Monday, February 3, 2014

#34 / Is Earth F**ked?

I was enthusiastic about Russell Brand's role as guest editor at the New Statesman when I heard last October that he had been given an opportunity to put out an issue on revolution. 

One of the articles in the edition edited by Brand was written by Naomi Klein. It is entitled "How science is telling us all to revolt." It is an article worth reading. 

Among other things, Klein reports on a speech given by scientist Brad Werner at the Fall 2012 Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, held annually in San Francisco. The title of Werner's talk was "Is Earth F**ked?"

His conclusion: "More or less!"

What is the only thing that just might mean that Earth is "less" F**ked, rather than "more" F**ked? Something that Werner, who is a complex system researcher, calls "friction." 

Klein makes it more definitive. "Friction," in this case, means a significant and successful revolutionary effort to overturn the current economic and political paradigm. 

In other words, Klein's title is on point: "science is telling us all to revolt."

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  1. Science isn't telling anyone to do anything. Boiling a complex issue like climate change down to a 4-letter vulgar word solves nothing.

    Naomi Klein is not a scientist, and she's made no scientific argument for revolt as the solution to anthropogenic climate change. Maybe there is one, but it will take more than hot air to convince me.

    1. The "more than hot air" is in the science.

      Whether or not anthropogenic climate change is a threat to human society, it is abundantly clear that unlimited economic growth cannot long continue. Pollution, resource depletion, habitat loss, potable water decline... all argue that the present economic paradigm cannot continue in a world of finite resources.

      This has huge implications for what we call civilization. Our present pathway is unsustainable, by any measure.

      We must change or we will be changed. We may not like the changes Nature has in store for us.

    2. Change or be (ex) changed. Think you've got it!

  2. Thanks for the link to the Klein article.

    You also will enjoy this article by Richard Heinberg:

  3. And this article by Jimmy Fox of Fairbanks, Alaska:

    1. Thanks for these references! I will definitely read the articles.


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