Kernos wrote:I agree with you in principle, Guardian, but practically it is not possible for most of us to use primary sources of scientific information. Even in my discipline of which I am supposed to be an expert, anatomic pathology, it is impossible for me to keep up. I read reviews, digests, some abstracts and mostly on an ad hoc basis.
Oh I quite agree in that situation, with my field too. That advice is mostly aimed at people who you address in the last bit of your response - the stubborn, the ignorant, the ill-informed. They read a blog and decide they know what's up, or they hear about hacked emails and assume the whole thing is a hoax, or a conspiracy, or humans have no effect on it. This is what drives me up a wall, and this is when I send people to primary sources. While 2° and 3° sources are acceptable for people who already understand what they're researching and already agree with the consensus of the scientific community, I feel as though primary sources are the only effective way to educate skeptics/deniers. Because while Al Gore, or Glenn Beck, or a random youtube blogger, or a magazine article might lie to you or distort the facts, a primary source will not.
I have been able to sway many people who adamantly reject the concept of man-made global warming just by showing them the literature on it. That it HAS been studied, and that there IS evidence support it, from an unbiased source.
Kernos wrote:What is clear from my studies of human induced elevations in CO2 levels and other environmental damage, is that the preponderance of evidence supports this theory as do 95+% of scientists working in the field. It is clear to me that sometime within the next century that the chances of global civilization destroying environmental changes are great enough, that we should be forcing a decrease in CO2 levels NOW, by what ever means necessary. Since this will not happen, as was obvious from Copenhagen, I will do what I can for me an mine to survive. There is also the paradox that to do what is necessary ensure this does not happen, will also fundamentally change our civilization.
(to specify, I'm referring to what happened at Copenhagen, not what you just said
)I think this is where my brain just starts to fizzle. I don't get this. It just doesn't click in my head. My husband brings up the economic issues with addressing global warming or habitat destruction or overfishing and I just give him a blank stare. Economic?! How can you even be thinking about the economy?! We're destroying our ability to live on this planet and the excuse is that it's not cost-effective??! I mean I -know- that this is a problem and an issue and needs to be addressed, but I have to force myself to know that. I have to FORCE myself to accept the fact that people will give up on doing the right thing because of the politics or economics involved.
It seems so black and white to me. We know whats wrong, we know what we have to do, why the hell are we arguing about doing it??? Who gives a sh*t about debt and taxes when our current way of life immediately or the survival of our species ultimately is on the line? (I'm referring to ecological responsibility in general and not just climate change at this point)
We are very arrogant. We have this "The world is ours to use as we see fit, f*ck everyone else, it will fix itself" attitude that I haven't understood since childhood and I don't plan on understanding it now. We are LUCKY to be here, we are LUCKY to have the level of comfort that we have now!! The concerns of money are a luxury. We are essentially going to force ourselves to give up that luxury because we refuse to give it up. By doing nothing in hopes of preserving this way of life we are destroying this way of life. We refuse to pay reparations to poor countries in order to have a consensual agreement which will help us all because we feel entitled to the wealth we gained at everyone else's expense. So instead, nothing will happen and we will lose it all anyways.
It's times like this, and discussions like this which lead me to believe that I no longer have any stock in the human race. To be so "enlightened" and yet so stupid is beyond heartbreaking to me.
Kernos wrote:A question I keep asking myself is, "is our global civilization worth preserving?"
The more we do nothing to change our fate, the more strongly I answer that question 'NO'.
I suppose I'm just naive to think that the global civilization we have now would be capable of addressing all of these issues in a controlled and responsible manner, that they wouldn't descend into playground politics, and that our world leaders should truly be interested in the well being of their citizens, as well as the well being of everyone across the globe.
Written by an economist, at the end of WWI:
What an extraordinary episode in the economic progress of man that age was which came to an end in August 1914! The greater part of the population, it is true, worked hard and lived at a low standard of comfort, yet were, to all appearances, reasonably contented with this lot. But escape was possible, for any man of capacity or character at all exceeding the average, into the middle and upper classes, for whom life offered, at a low cost and with the least trouble, conveniences, comforts, and amenities beyond the compass of the richest and most powerful monarchs of other ages. The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, in such quantity as he might see fit, and reasonably expect their early delivery upon his doorstep; he could at the same moment and by the same means adventure his wealth in the natural resources and new enterprises of any quarter of the world, and share, without exertion or even trouble, in their prospective fruits and advantages; or he could decide to couple the security of his fortunes with the good faith of the townspeople of any substantial municipality in any continent that fancy or information might recommend. He could secure forthwith, if he wished it, cheap and comfortable means of transit to any country or climate without passport or other formality, could dispatch his servant to the neighboring office of a bank for such supply of the precious metals as might seem convenient, and could then proceed abroad to foreign quarters, without knowledge of their religion, language, or customs, bearing coined wealth upon his person, and would consider himself greatly aggrieved and much surprised at the least interference. But, most important of all, he regarded this state of affairs as normal, certain, and permanent, except in the direction of further improvement, and any deviation from it as aberrant, scandalous, and avoidable. The projects and politics of militarism and imperialism, of racial and cultural rivalries, of monopolies, restrictions, and exclusion, which were to play the serpent to this paradise, were little more than the amusements of his daily newspaper, and appeared to exercise almost no influence at all on the ordinary course of social and economic life, the internationalisation of which was nearly complete in practice.