Another noble but likely futile effort by our intelligentsia:
Man-made global warming is worsening and will disrupt both the natural world and human society, warns a joint report of two of the world’s leading scientific organizations.
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society, which is the national scientific academy of the United Kingdom, are releasing an unusual plain language report on climate change that addressed 20 issues in a question-and-answer format.
The NAS report goes along with this live webcast Thursday:
Here’s the PDF of the full report:
Here’s the catechism sub-set:
The short version, only 8 pages:
Here is the link to the Royal Society page:
Some reflections of own:
I expect Fox to roll out Krauthammer to dismiss it all as liberal propaganda, or some similar response from the usual suspects in the know-nothing industry.
Yet the tangled wrestling over climate change as an existential problem is not limited to the know-nothings of the American paleo/neo/libertarian-conservative political punditry.
The following is an example of what I consider an important social phenomenon regarding climate change and why our noble intelligentsia (and I use the phrase only mildly snarkily) have such a small effect on what our society is doing about AGW (and other matters):
Justin Gillis, an environmental reporter for The New York Times, said at a lecture in Hesburgh Library on Wednesday that he wants to awaken people to the urgency of the climate change.
But the reality is, according to the human experience, climate change is not “urgent”.
Indeed, the next paragraph goes on:
Gillis, one of only six American reporters covering the climate crisis full-time defined climate change as “a big, slow-moving, long-term problem.”
Without trying to sound too pedantic, for someone to declare an issue as “urgent” in one breath and then in the next describe it as “slow-moving, long-term” - then that person is incoherent.
What is happening in the Crimea right now is “urgent”, by human standards.
Gillis is all too easy an example of what I’ll label as the well intended but not quite self-aware 21st century American “progressive”. There is a real crevasse between an idealized world and our material world. In an ideal world knowledge should lead to a rational action, in this particular case one of self-preservation. Yet the problem with Homo sapiens, one of many, is that our actions cause effects that far, far out live us. If our actions are based, as evidence supports, on near term perceived risks and rewards, then “slow-moving, long-term” climate change will not have much of an influence on any single human’s behavior.
This conundrum is not a new revelation, but there are factions of the American progressive community that seem quite hesitant to discuss this openly. I suspect there are deeper motivations here, about the human need to keep our fears in the closets of our mind.
Climate change will prove to be an existential threat to some species currently on this planet. Whether that includes our own is not clear to me, but I am convinced we, collectively, have little intent to mitigate against these possibilities.