Scientists with Arctic expertize forecast climate change so rapid as to lead to humankind extinction in a few decades, possibly even sooner. In scientific parlance, this outcome “has a finite/real probability” – a meaningful possibility. The probability, although not accurately quantifiable, is large enough to activate our highest survival alert system. Such knowledge has led to suicide of environmental activists. (urls below)
- The problem is that we can’t trust these probability and time estimates. All formal estimation procedures are theory dependent and there is no assurance that these theories apply to process of such great magnitude/scope/complexity. The psychology of deep denial and the conservative stance of scientific disciplines leads most experts to propose low probability for worse case scenarios.
- At what percent probability can we chose not to act? What size chamber in a Russian Roulette gun would you pull the trigger, with your “reward” for not killing yourself being nothing other than letting our world continue the march towards collapse and possible extinction some decades to centuries later?
- The worst of the worse case scenarios is a rapid shift to a Venusian atmosphere with temperatures so high as to kill all but a few bacteria already acclimated to extreme heat. We can’t reject the need for immediate action just because this worst-of-the-worse scenario may be controversial. Least-worst-of-the-worse scenarios, a severe reduction of most multicelled organisms, is still too severe to not take quick and appropriate action. Even “better” scenarios, that may leave a few humans struggling to survive in an environment that will remain threatening for tens of thousands if not millions of years, are not worth the risk just to preserve a very sick societal system with scientifically high probability to collapse (independent of climate change).
- Without global heating our exploding consuming/destroying/wasting economy is well on its way raping its biospheric foundation. All the resources exploited for their economic gain are rapidly being depleted. Faith based rationalizations (whether the target of faith is God or The Market) has zero legitimacy in this debate about our future. There is ample evidence to support the hypothesis that many of our societal leaders are intelligent and creative socio/psycho-paths, with brain dysfunction leading to no compassion or empathy. Our mess cannot be blamed on any single cause, but the ascending of socio/psycho-paths up the pathways to power (our competitive systems filter them to the top) is a major factor in the intentional blocking of our crisis messages, even to the “well educated”. See: Merchants of Doubt.
- Why do we risk extinction, not only of humankind but of most of the astonishing ecologies of wonderful animals, plants, and even the microbial world we are just now appreciating? Do we stand by and let the view of Earth from the moon change from the Blue-Green sphere we all wowed about to a bleak view like Mars or Venus?
- War with Reality.
- New methane craters in Siberia.
- More Methane
- Requiem for Mike Ruppert.
Anyone (leaders, average intelligent persons, and many activists) adequately cognizant of societal dysfunction and distorted reality perception knows that action to confront this emergency within the existing “system” is impossible (until it is too late – and even then unlikely). Most of us with competencies to comprehend our threats and the impossibility to reform for survival are unable to intuitively/emotionally accept this reality. In our deep denial we look to proposed action campaigns without following through by analyzing how such campaigns might succeed in the “real world”.
An “easy solution” – WHICH I DON’T SUPPORT – would entail the total, sudden collapse of all dominant societal systems and powers and a very significant reduction of the global human population. The sources driving climate change ceases to exist.
- I put the viable survival of humankind before the survival of any specific humans, human groups, or societal systems. What happens after the runaway heating is stopped? What “mop up” operations may be needed, to be performed by humans, to insure global heating doesn’t smolder (as embers) to resume in the future? May “putting out the fire and dousing the embers” require coordinated action of human teams/orgs that must have been organized before the collapse and population reduction.
- The collapse alone would probably not be sufficient to stop global heating, as the actions of masses attempting to survive collapse may lead to continuing output of greenhouse gases. Only a severe reduction of population would insure stopping global heating (by human agency). Methane feed-forward and the ongoing destruction of carbon sinks may continue even with population reduction.
- I forecasted this as one of five alternative future scenarios many decades ago, which I called “The Operation”. However, it is highly unlikely that humankind, as currently constituted, could organize a selective extermination of a majority of the global population – even if necessary for species survival. However, this may be a considered strategy of the TOP ELITE.
- A debatable technological alternative would be to somehow induce a rapid cooling intervention. Significant blocking of solar input to Earth’s oceans and atmosphere is possibly beyond our collective technological expertize – yet we cannot claim that such a remedy is impossible. Given the seriousness of our crisis I support continued research on geo-engineering options; but these may have unexpected side effects as damaging as what they try to prevent.We cannot count on this.
The literal survival of the human species may depend on unprecedented actions by a small cadre of informed and dedicated persons, accepting the potential catastrophe and the impossibility of significant societal reform.
I prefer we not delve into these dark scenarios and instead devote our time and energy exploring viable alternatives. And such alternatives do exist. But for various reasons, these alternatives lie in blindspots of those most prepared for relevant action. A study of why humans (throughout history and most recently) have not successfully organized to collectively create a more viable and sustainable societal/cultural systems is needed. The mess we are in is as much the result of this “lack of success” (I prefer this to “failure) to create alternatives as it is the result of the beliefs of and actions by those in power.
False myths about “who we humans are” are believed by everyone. I personally have to daily fight slipping back into such beliefs and I continue discovering new myths whose belief constrains me. No individual person is to blame for the mess we are in. The myth that we are “self-made persons” leads to the cult of individualism and exceptionalism. Without here going into any detail, it can be strongly hypothesized that every person’s behavior is consistent with their inner constructed world (cWrld) that emerges in their mind/brain during life. Humans and humankind have agency, but it doesn’t lie with the constructed “self” living in its own cWrld. When we choose, our choice is highly determined by a multitude of factors. Moment to moment we humans are as S-R (Stimulus-Response) mechanisms. “Free Will” at this level is an illusion. Our real agency lies in our imaginative and creative competencies to propose/take actions-over-time (not in response to stimuli) which change ourselves so that the nature of our SR mechanism changes to enable our desired S-R behaviors to be our “programmed” behaviors. Such changes require collaborative effort in supportive social systems.
This doc attempts to communicate the NEED for nu ACTION; “nu” in the sense of preparing our future instead of “new” action to remediate the past. Many other docs are in draft where I share my insights on this issue, from almost five decades of work. I am preparing a different platform and interactive presentation for this. I am personally struggling to accept the EMERGENCY MESSAGE above “in my heart”. I know no individual person can sustain this perspective alone. I hope that collectively we can transcend our intuitive/emotional denial of the critical nature of our situation. YET, my deep soul yearns to engage the EMERGENCE of HUMANITY/GAIA that follows our biological survival. More than the possible extinction of humankind, I fear the loss of an emergent HUMANITY, a gift of Gaia to Cosmos.
I am not depressed, nor should you be, facing this awesome challenge. This new/nu awareness has catalyzed shifting in nuet and revisions of my models for Uplift and Societal Metamorphosis are in process. The possible success of these models become even more “practical”, by making the actions of the pioneers more immediate. The first draft of this post was much longer, where I attempted to outline a possible scenario. This needs more work. As I have repeatedly claimed: once one abandons all possibility of transforming societies, paths towards creative emergence and replacement open wide.