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View Diary: Science Fiction: On earth climate and sustainability (10 comments)

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    Yeah, this story was a button-pusher all around, but I saw it as a triumphal story of a band of heroes, rather than an all-is-lost tragedy. Actually, I'm proud of the crew for being able to manage their personal emotions in service to their community. I think the crew is going to survive long enough to make it. I think the example of their leadership behavior will (as intended) move their brothers, earthside, to finally start pulling together.

    And, the final twist is a pointed reminder to Christians that the core of their faith is all about personal sacrifice. John 3:16 anybody? Even the timing of the post (on Christmas day on my blog) was symbolic. The story is a prayer for peace on earth among men of good will.

    This beats frequent historical precedents where crisis precipitates degeneration into the most primitive levels of personal-survival-at-any-cost behavior. Give us just a 48-hour blackout and stores will be looted. Frankly, I expect climate change to create sufficient regional famine, floods, and desertification that entire populations will take to violence against their better-off neighbors. It won't be pretty.

    We need to be constantly persuaded into the general acceptance of the fact that we are now facing a true-life end times scenario. Nothing else but such a shared stark realization will have sufficient capacity to provoke adequate transformations in our behaviors.

    I believe that advances in energy generation, materials properties, data analysis, and social organizing will be sufficient to allow mankind to find solutions. It will be more a matter of shared purpose -->with a willingness to make personal sacrifices<-- that makes survival of of our species possible. Call me an optimist.

    We sometimes forget that not everyone shares the same emphasis on responsibility-to-self. Western civilizations tend to promote individual and private interests as primary. Even so, we tend to hold self-sacrificing heroes in the highest esteem. I would be interested to see how people more-comfortable with Oriental social-obligation cultures respond to the crew's decisions.

    Because our lives pass so quickly, compared to geologic and evolutionary time scales, we tend to not notice gradual changes. We remain complacent until we perceive a threat strong enough to motivate us to make changes and take risks. Truly, we tend to not think about things until we are involuntarily obliged to think about things.

    I agree that a uniting positive vision from our leaders is inspiring and vital to giving us meaning, hope, and direction. However, I learned in business that there was nothing like a good crisis to galvanize groups into incredible paroxysms of focused collaboration.

    There are several functional groups that collaborate in any productive organization. Not everyone will be a visionary leader, but strategic thinkers are critical. Another group of creative enablers invent the resources and tactical methods needed to achieve the vision. The bulk of the rest of us sometimes just hope for a better future. But it cannot arrive from passive expectation. We must get up and move -- sometimes willingly -- sometimes not.

    The drum I am banging has a suite of tones: 1) We must abandon nostalgic fantasies of better times past. 2) We must wake up now to the urgency of real and present dangers. 3) We must take the initiative to work together to create a better future.

    Blogging at - Find excerpts of essays, short stories, and books.

    by David Satterlee on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 10:33:55 AM PST

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