NEAR TERM EXTINCTION – POSSIBLE WITH NON NEGLIGABLE PROBABILITY

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.

Author: nuet

01/24/1935. BS-physics RPI 1956; MS-physics UofChicago 1958; PhD-physics Yale 1965; PhD-Edu Psy Uof MInnesota 1970. Auroral Research Byrd Station, Antarctica 11/1960-02/1962. MINNEMAST curriculum dev 1964-68. Woodstock. faculty Pima Community College, Tucson 1974-1997. Transdisciplinary scientist, philosopher, educator, futurist, activist. PC user since 1982. "Wife". daughter, 2 grandsons. 5 dogs & 7 cats. Lacks mental imagery in all sensory domains.

4 comments
gdeepwater
gdeepwater moderator

"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." - this is pretty much the direction of the first academic essay I must write for "Human Geography - Environment Science" this semester, there are multitudes of students across 4 campuses of JCU writing this essay - lets hope we contribute something worthwhile to the discourse, or at the very least, become prepared to do so.

happyseaurchin
happyseaurchin

Agreed. Without a doubt. It would be wise for us to pool our resources.

I thought and practiced emergent social cohesion. The transition from our current state is tricky, individually and regarding our embedded social structures.

My strategy now is to provide the tools that enable both/either. One algorithm departs from money, another social protocol hacks money; one may be emergent, the other transitional. Which is picked up, if any, is up to each of us, and as a result, all of us.

And of course, our individual contributions relative to one another is our sticking point. Getting out of the market mentality is primary. I appreciate and completely concur with your observations of current situation.

nuet
nuet

@gdeepwater Glisten, I am pleased to learn that formal education can attempt relevance. I am not sufficiently IGNORANT OF what is happening at the frontiers of education. I would be most interested in reading your essay, and access to the essays of others. What specifically were your instructions for the essay?


Much more is happening within "nuet" than is evident in my postings, comments and emails. I am disappointed in not observing any significant change in discourse exchange in social media - but it is not surprising in context of my analysis. I note the recent ventures of Joe Brewer and Michael Bauwens (and hopefully hundreds I am yet not aware of). Yet, I (Larry) have not yet approached them.  I sense we need an increased flow between the immediate (methane fueled extinction threat) and the emergence of a nu humanity (NU) after we survive this crisis. We lack an effective "medium" to "reesee seaf the galdee" of this discourse/interaction.


From the news, Australia appears as schizophrenic as the USA. USA actions/coverups re Ukraine, Russia, Gaza, Ferguson, Libya, ISIS, China, BRICS -- hell, the whole world - is scary. Contemporary reality is both highly unstable and resilient. A convergence of unexpected events could trigger a cascade of collapse AT ANY TIME.  The Same-O could continue for many years, with the biggies adapting to survive while pockets are plowed under. Does anyone hear the SCREAMS?

nuet
nuet

@happyseaurchin  David, thanks for the support. I look forward to better comprehending your work.  I alert you to my unease about "algorithms", although I may not be clear as to the meaning you give to that term. I comprehend "algorithms" as formal rules expressed in symbols. "Algorithms" are like atomic components of process. Yet, I strongly resist the belief that reality is one big system of "algorithms".  I have the same caution with "ontologies". There was a phase in my life when I was a "constructionist"; today it is but one of many "perspectives/paradigms/barriers" in my pluralist reality.


From my formal studies in Quantum Physics, I claimed that Bohr's "complementarity" was one of the two most potentially disruptive ideas of the 20th Century.  The other was Godel's Incompleteness Theory. I personally live in a complementarity reality. I don't require ONE SINGULAR, LOGICALLY CONSISTENT, EXPLANATORY SYSTEM FOR ALL OF REALITY.


 ARE WE DETERMINED?  Using the operational definition of "determined", the answer is YES.
    ARE WE FREE? Using the operational definition of "free", the answer is YES.
    ARE WE DETERMINED OR FREE?  There are no operations to use to answer this query. The operations for determined and free cannot be concurrently performed.


"Algorithms" may lead to one formulation of our "determinism". It is very critical to know the "range of applicability" of determinism and freedom. The freedom of a person to determine their own life is a very dangerous myth. Our agency lies in our ability (only as humans) to alter the parameters of our "algorithms". To ignore "agency" as an essential feature of "reality", in our attempts to comprehend cosmology, makes contemporary cosmology more poetics than science.


I have also recently adopted a both/either perspective. The distinction between emergence and transFORMation remains essential. But, typical for persons promoting a suppressed alternative perspective, I had avoided thinking in any detail about necessary transFORMations that must accompany emergence in their dance of complementarity. I had conceptually accepted the complementarity, but my intuitive/emotional mind had become supportive of my bias towards emergence.


Coming back to how methane changes the game, as I discuss further in my more recent post about our need for cyberteams.  As usual, Larry is confused by the complications of his RealTime life, while nuet clarifies the complexity of the whole.

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