Climate scientist Kevin Anderson explains the unspoken economic and career pressures which prevent his discipline from challenging the neoliberal capitalist underpinnings which cause climate change.


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... so far we simply have not been prepared to accept the revolutionary implications of our own findings, and even when we do we are reluctant to voice such thoughts openly, many are ultimately choosing to censor their own research.

... we fine-tune our analysis so it fits within ... the political and economic framing of society, the current political and economic framing.

..., our science now asks fundamental questions about this idea of economic growth in the short term, and we’re very reluctant to say that. In fact, the funding bodies often are reluctant to fund research that raises those questions. So the whole setup, not just the scientists, the research community around it that funds the research, the journalists, events like this, we’re all being—we’re all deliberately being slightly sort of self-delusional. We all know the situation is much more severe than we’re prepared to voice openly. And we all know this. So it is a—this is a collective sort of façade, a mask that we have. [emphasis mine]

Top Climate Expert: Crisis is Worse Than We Think & Scientists ...

In short, because there's no funding for research that questions economic growth, and presumably loudly calling for political and economic revolution to avoid climate catastrophe would get you fired, the entire discipline dissembles - crippled by cognitive dissonance. 

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I am very familiar with scientists who self-censor their research because we were finding that there was a correlation between the occupation of the abuser and the incident rate of family violence. We had to change our focus or lose our opportunity to publish and we could not make our findings known for fear of our jobs. Time will validate our findings. I can verify Kevin Anderson's statement. 

"because there's no funding for research that questions economic growth, and presumably loudly calling for political and economic revolution to avoid climate catastrophe would get you fired, the entire discipline dissembles - crippled by cognitive dissonance." 

Just notice the ego defense mechanisms used in this facade: denial, compartmentalization, rationalization and combine this with cognitive dissonance, the mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information.

What are our options? Reason, compromise, negotiate, gather a coalition of like-minded researchers, anger, name-calling, yelling, crying, begging, or giving-up. 

A juxtaposition I find interesting.

Weapons makers want wealth and don’t want to die in a nuclear war.

Climate deniers want wealth and will survive a climate catastrophe.

"Weapons makers want wealth and don’t want to die in a nuclear war.

Climate deniers want wealth and" don't want to die in a climate catastrophe. 

I am certain, Tom, that you had a reason to write, "will survive a climate catastrophe."

Can you say more?

Joan, a climate catastrophe will not be a nuclear winter with radiation that will in time kill all who survive the blasts.

Many, especially the wealthy, will survive a climate catastrophe. If deniers believed they would die in a climate catastrophe, they would stop denying it.

Elites in declining civilizations often imagined themselves to be immune to coming collapse. In early stages, those with great resources will only be able to hoard and relocate for a few decades.

Moreover, our current civilization is far more fragile than earlier ones. Consider these excerpts from Catastrophic Shocks Through Complex Socio-Economic Systems: A Pande...

The globalised economy is an example of a complex adaptive system that dynamically links people, goods, factories, services, institutions and commodities across the globe.

… characterized by exponential growth in Gross World Product of about 3.5% per annum over nearly 200 years within a range of several percentage points. This had correlated with emergent and self-organizing growth in socio-economic complexity 

…our society is very resilient, within certain bounds, to a huge range interruptions in the flow of goods and services. Within those bounds our society is self-stabilizing.

But we know from many complex systems in nature and society that a system can rapidly shift from one state to another as a threshold is crossed…

The commonalities of global integration mean that diverse hazards may lead to common shock consequences. The systems that transmit shocks are also the systems we depend upon for our welfare and the operation of businesses, institutions and society,…

… it can entail multi-network and de-localised cascading failure leading to a collapse in societal complexity.

“One week seems to be the maximum tolerance of a Just-In-Time economy… before major shut-downs in business and industries would occur."

One of the defining features of rising complexity is growing interdependence.

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