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View Diary: Will climate change saints save the Earth? (151 comments)

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  •  Collective power has evaporated into the machine (1+ / 0-)
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    veritas curat

    model of reality where the complexity and wholeness of living are disassembled into parts that have utility relative to the machine. Now we are all living in the sleep of a hyper individual view of reality where meaning is determined from the frame of "The Individual". So we have a collective problem that few can see because self is seen as irreducibly singular.

    The best description of our cultural situation I have read is "The Master and His Emissary" by Ian McGilchrist. The right hemisphere which sees whole systems, new things and values living things/processes should be the master that informs, gives new information to and creates meaning and purpose to the left hemisphere (reductionist, machine and tool view of reality) relative to the living of life in a living world. Finding the collective and developing a collective solution seems the province of the right hemisphere but we live in a left hemisphere dominated culture. This hemispheric shift of western culture precedes Capitalism and the industrial revolution.

    I agree that we need a collective solution that shifts the way we manage the power of the industrial revolution from Capitalism to some systematic way of prioritizing the health of the whole ecology and the well being of humans within it. I don't have a clue about how we pull that off. Your suggestion of starting with eco-socialism seems better than our current path to rapid collapse so I am sympathetic to your view. I still don't see anything I can do to help move us that direction. Maybe something surprising will emerge that wakes us up to the view of of life from the right hemisphere in a large enough way to catch fire and galvanize a collective movement.

    Thanks for writing and reading so much I learn a lot from your writing and I feel less alone.

    Love = Awareness of mutually beneficial exchange across semi-permeable boundaries. Political and economic systems either amplify or inhibit Love.

    by Bob Guyer on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 11:49:18 AM PST

    •  A shift in the way we manage the power of (1+ / 0-)
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      Bob Guyer

      technology is crucial. Right now we use it to enhance our reproductive success via increased consumption of energy and resources. We are descendants of ancestors who successfully maximized resource consumption and, hence, reproductive success. With technology we are approaching the "goal" of all species - cover the earth with our babies and our shit.

      Wolves would not hesitate to kill the last black-footed ferret and would have no qualms whatsoever about causing the extinction of a species. That ferret was, simply, food. But wolves don't have rifles and ATVs. If they did we'd be facing a serious rival to our domination of the planet.

      The "free market" is simply the working out of our basic drives, successfully evolved via natural selection, with rocket powered assistance from technology. It is amoral and uncaring. Reproductive success is about me - not about the biotic community. The biotic community has kept this narcissism in check via predation, famine and parasites in the past.

      And, in a dramatic break with the past, we have managed to figure out how to beat "environmental resistance" to our evolutionary success story and postpone our appointment with limiting factors to our growth until that appointment, via climate change, is going to bring down much of the biotic community of which we are a part.

      It is a tenuous hope to imagine that we will somehow find a way to surmount our highly evolved instincts of consumption and reproductive success in time to avert a major ecological collapse. It is the same fight an alcoholic has with their self-destructive addictive urges.

      I hope we find a way to do this. I wouldn't bet on it, but I do hope for it. But one thing I am certain of is that the present economic system and its addiction to growth is mathematically doomed. It's about math and physics, yet the solution seems to fall in the areas of woo - like spirituality, philosophy and morality - a land ethic. A land ethic which encompasses the entire planet and is practiced by all humans residing upon it.

      Like you I feel clueless and limited about how we pull this off. And, like you, I am sympathetic with eco-socialism. I appreciate Cassiodorus bringing these issues up and I especially appreciate his understanding the limits of "minor blogging." It's foolish to take all these words in the narcissistic innertubes too seriously.

      muddy water can best be cleared by leaving it alone

      by veritas curat on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 05:46:30 PM PST

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      •  Maybe groups with a better collective approach (0+ / 0-)

        will survive and therefor reproduce more effectively than more rapacious groups. I like the ideas E.O. Wilson has about group selection and evolution being a factor in the case of humans and some other species. If he is right then evolution isn't really a purely individual affair and a collective affect can actually change human capabilities and ways of working together. Climate change will certainly exert a lot of pressure on our species and the best adaptations should gain over less successful ones over time.

        Love = Awareness of mutually beneficial exchange across semi-permeable boundaries. Political and economic systems either amplify or inhibit Love.

        by Bob Guyer on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 11:05:48 PM PST

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    •  Seriously, evoking (0+ / 0-)

      right/left hemisphere cognition?  Do you have any idea how discredited that is?  

      •  Seriously impressed by McGilcrist, educate me (0+ / 0-)

        Have you read his book?

        Love = Awareness of mutually beneficial exchange across semi-permeable boundaries. Political and economic systems either amplify or inhibit Love.

        by Bob Guyer on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 10:55:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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