Guy McPherson presented scary research findings in a recent interview.

"A suite of amplifying feedback loops have engaged ..."

"the clathrate gun may have been triggered in 2007..." ("clathrate gun" refers to self-amplifying methane emissions)

(paraphrase) (Nature 2013) A 50 Gigaton burp of methane is highly likely - that's 3 times what we’ve released since the beginning of the industrial revolution, being released within weeks or months.

McPherson explains that people won't die directly from overheating so much as from starvation. "People will die because the plants and plankton can’t respond very quickly." "At 125 to 130 degrees proteins denature in plants." "We’ve already lost about half of ocean plankton from  the 0.85C rise."

In sum, self-reinforcing methane hydrate release has already begun. A giant burp of methane from the Arctic is highly likely. If and when methane burps, global temperature will rise within decades to the point that large mammals would starve. Scientists have known these findings for a few years.

Meanwhile, our leaders are still subsidizing fossil fuel extraction.

McPherson quotes Albert Bartlett Prof Emeritus of Colorado Univ.

The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.

It’s difficult for us to project nonlinear change into the future.

Imagine how Vulcans would have responded to these studies.

image source

Spock would have instantly realized the extinction consequences of initiating self-reinforcing methane hydrate release, and of a 50 Gigaton methane burp risk, and informed the Vulcan Council.

A logical organized program would swiftly have been put in place to switch to renewables, conserve, and reduce population to sustainable levels, to prevent catastrophe. Citizens would have complied without grumbling, understanding the risk.

Some humans understand exponential functions. Some humans can integrate new information immediately into their world view and extrapolate what it means. Some humans can grasp the significance of terrifying new information and change direction on the spot. Some humans do live by values such as "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one."

Had we tests so that only people with these qualities could stand as candidates for leadership, governments would have comprehended our danger and acted to prevent extinction. Presumably candidates would need training in governance once their aptitudes had been identified.

But then, citizens would need to either trust those leaders enough to upend their lives or also have such qualities.

Since the Supreme Court just guaranteed plutocracy in the US, where democracy was already compromised, I vote for a new kind of US government. Let's demand Vulcan-like competence of our elected representatives, executives, and Supreme Court Justices.

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Replies to This Discussion

Although, I disagree with the Greater Good thing.  I agree with Uhura in "Gods and Men" and I think that is what we are seeing with our Plutocracy/Oligarchy government.

I don't quite get how Uhura's claim that slavery and genocide result from putting the needs of the many above the needs of the one or the few applies to our plutocracy. When 1% "enslave" 99%, that's not putting the needs of the many above the needs of the few.

I can see how it applies if a minority is enslaved by a majority, as in US slavery of African Americans or European invaders wiping out indigenous peoples.

I remember as a kid being taught about Europeans "discovering" America and other regions, as if the people who already lived there didn't count.

It's basically the same thing, much like the "white majority".  Neither one can be taken in a literal sense, because, in reality, it is a twisted sense of logic.  Just because one doesn't have more numbers of people, doesn't mean they aren't the majority and slavery is a good example of that, because rich slave owners weren't the majority, numbers wise.  Slaves outnumbered the owners, but the owners had the money and power, making them a majority. Those in power, with the majority of the money, put their needs ahead of the group that doesn't have much (the "minority").  It's sort of calling "White" people the majority, when a light complected skin colour is actually the minority.  Despite being out numbered by dark complected people, "white people" (or WASPs)  are considered the majority.  Because the rich have the majority of the money, due to greed, thereby possessing the most power and control, they become the decision makers.  In the case of slavery, the slave owner wasn't actually a majority in the literal sense either, but he did have money and power, making him a "majority", which puts a twisted definition to the word "majority".

So you're taking "the needs of the many" metaphorically?

Yes, because it's been metaphorical and even twisted towards those who have power and money for centuries. It is illogical, but often true that the majority are those who have power and money, but yet they aren't actually the majority, but rather the minority.




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