Dahr Jamail compares two liberal responses to Anthropogenic Climate Disruption (Climate Change) to victim appeals to an abuser, and to Rapture belief.
Chris Agnos: ... many activists and celebrities are tirelessly promoting „green growth” and convincing the rest of us that we should appeal to the corporate officers to do the right thing – stop the wanton decimation of the Earth’s ecosystem. The billionaire investors/shareholders do not earn their profits by defending justice or restoring ecological balance, do they?
Dahr Jamail: This is a time-proven failure of a tactic. It’s another iteration of the entity being abused appealing to the abuser by thinking if they behave better, or appeal differently, the abuse will cease.
I've received a number of petition requests from green groups, asking me to appeal to corrupt CEOs. I wondered why they wanted me to waste a stamp and my time. It seemed like a trick, similar to the ubiquitous pseudo-surveys pretending to ask your opinion just to manipulate you to donate.
Dahr Jamail: ... some scientists I know who were formerly staunchly opposed to the use of geoengineering are now advocating for it, as a last-ditch effort to at least do something.
It’s a sign of utter desperation. In discussions about hypothetical applications of technological solutions what’s rarely mentioned is the question of scale. Experts calculate that if we had a highly efficient, cheap and ready to introduce carbon capture and sequestration technique (CCS), it would have to become the basis of an industry three times bigger than the energy infrastructure of the entire planet.
There simply is no techno-fix for this predicament. I see these techno-fixes as the lefts’ version of the political right’s rapture ideas – that somehow a god will save us from ourselves.
Similarly to how we’ve given our memories over to our iPhones and gadgetry, we’ve deified technology to the point of „it” saving us. [emphasis mine]
We're easily seduced into trusting technology to save us from ourselves because the planet adjusts to rising temperature slowly, and IPCC reports are both conservative and based on data over 10 years old.
Dahr Jamail: The last time there was this much CO2 in the atmosphere, it warmed the Earth 7°C higher than today’s temperatures, and the seas were 23 meters higher. We are now in a time where the damage has been done. We are simply waiting for the Earth to fully express all of that damage.
Chris Agnos: Why did the earlier research assume a much lower rate of future changes? Can it be solely attributed to the habitual conservatism and caution practiced by scientists?
Dahr Jamail: I see this, at least in part, as a product of the fact that it often takes years to carry out a study, then the reviewing process takes a year or more on top of that. So by the time data is published it is already out of date. For the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), even by the time one of their new reports is published, that data is often a decade old. Thus, the studies are never keeping up with what is happening on the ground.
Plus, most analyses are not accounting for the positive feedbacks that have already kicked in.
Chris Agnos: Do the projections provided by the IPCC reflect this reality?
Dahr Jamail: I’ve spoken with several scientists, some of them even IPCC authors themselves, who unequivocally state that the IPCC is politically influenced to always lowball their predictions and modeling. One scientist even calls them „criminally negligent” for how extreme their lowballing predictions has become, compared to how severe and rapid things are unfolding today. Besides, most (but not all) scientists, like most humans, do not grasp the concept of exponential growth. But this is something we all need to understand, given that feedback loops entail non-linear changes.
... their reports have served more to pacify global populations rather than telling the truth of our situation. I think the same can be said of their most recent report which still tells governments there are a dozen or so years left to act.
The positive feedbacks reinforce themselves and each other. We are already off the cliff. [emphasis mine]
I've found this very difficult to process. Even the latest IPCC report suggesting we only have a window of (now) 11 years to drastically cut emissions is lowballing how severely and rapidly climate is degrading.
Not sure what I can do.
Ruth, a powerful statement of the severity of the situation. Truth-telling seems to be a forgotten art/science.
The common stories tell of religions being the source of love and community, when in fact they provide the spear point for killing and destroying people who do not believe or act as they.
The cultures tell of movement out of savagery afoot on the earth, when in fact cultures create the means of murder and mayhem, and "Us vs. them" mentality, or "We have always done it this way, or "If it was good enough for my forefathers it is good enough for me."
The societies tell of the advancement of health care and scientific achievements, when in fact societies justify and glorify wars and warriors with parades and ceremonies.
Truth-telling operates outside of common stories, cultures, and societies, relying on facts and evidence to illustrate events and their meanings. Learning the facts of climate change requires paying attention to detail, of understanding historical records, of taking action that differs from the norm. An effective problem solver tends to the current event, history, and alternatives.
We need accurate information, an "We are in this together" mentality, and an understanding that the enemy is not other cultures, or societies, or politics, or religions but the health of the Earth.
Well put, Joan. Thanks.