Braving Tough Conversations
Tagged: our civilization at risk
October 31, 2019 at 1:22 pm #38582MAHB AdminKeymaster
The early October power cuts in northern California provided the opportunity to talk openly and factually about climate change, mitigation responses and human behavior with my family. I often struggle to engage with my loved ones on these difficult topics, I tend to steer away from arguments and don’t want to ruin family dinners even though I feel “I should.” Ironically, the cuts occurred while I was out of the county, thousands of miles away from my Bay Area home. I could have easily ignored the situation. However, I was sitting with my father-in-law who had a 35-year career with India’s largest energy provider, so I brought it up. “Baba look at this, PG&E is turning off power to almost a million people to help prevent fires. Interesting, right?” And the conversation began.
We spoke about PG&E’s role in some of California’s biggest wildfires to date, what humans can really do to prevent them, why they are getting bigger and fire season lasting longer. We pulled out data, articles explaining climate change and even explored how population, consumption and pro-growth mindsets all fuel the human predicament fire. It was civil. We hit roadblocks in our understanding. We disagreed on scientist’s role in providing information, and I think we concluded with each of us feeling more interested in discussing the topic with one another. There was no formula for this conversation, no preconceived notions or sides drawn; perhaps mutual patience, curiosity, and acknowledging what we could both contribute to the topic at hand. It was a breath of fresh air for having these tough conversations.
We’d love to hear how you approach these difficult conversations with your family, friends or anyone else!
MAHB Communications Director
November 3, 2019 at 10:47 am #38632Jason G BrentGuest
Every effort to stop global warming/climate change will fail unless population growth ceases. According to the UN’s latest estimate (June 2019,) the population is expected to increase by about 3.2 billion (or over 41%) between now (2019-7.7 billion)and the year 2100 (10.9 billion)–just 81 years. Every effort to save the planet such that civilization does not collapse in the very near future will fail unless population growth ceases. The previous statements are incorrect. Not only must population growth cease, the population must be substantially reduced from the current 7.7 billion
In addition to reducing the human population, all attempts to maintain economic growth must cease. If the economy of the planet were to grow at the annual rate of 3.5%, it would be about 16 times as large as the current economy by the year 2100. That cannot and will not happen. Any attempt to maintain economic growth must lead to the collapse of civilization and the deaths of billions.
November 3, 2019 at 2:30 pm #38634Steven Earl SalmonyGuest
Perhaps Jason Brent can be given a hearing by population experts who appear to be unwilling to speak out openly and truth-fully about a really tough conversation like the one that could result if we asked one question. Why are absolute global human population numbers continuing to explode, despite the decline of total fertility rates virtually everywhere on the surface of Earth?
Please note the world’s human population is expected to increase by 80+ billion in 2019.
Note too, that population experts refuse to “brave a tough conversation” about how are humanitarian solutions of human-induced global environmental threats to Earth’s ecology determined when intellectual honesty, the best available scientific knowledge, and the ‘whole’ truth about the root causes of the global threats looming before humanity are willfully denied?
November 3, 2019 at 3:08 pm #38636Steven Earl SalmonyGuest
Note well: The number in the post above should be 80+ Million NOT 80+ billion.
November 14, 2019 at 3:18 pm #38870AnonymousInactive
In response to the error in numbers stated above, 80 billion, it got me thinking about what number of population increase would start the collective human population to realize that we must ‘Stop’. Scientist and others respected individuals who studying these trends have been warning ‘Us’ since, at least, the book Population Bomb came out. There analysis brushed aside by every generation since. What does it take to wake up a population? Why do we brush aside the comments of those who are trying to warn us? I’ve been reading in MAHB for years and respect every paper that speaks of this danger. One article speaks of anxiety and illness related to this endless trend. Is that the collective human response? To cough, curl up in a ball and close our eyes? I have no solution but I wish I could step aside of this insanity and let ‘them’ fly by into the abyss.
November 17, 2019 at 2:22 pm #38876MAHB AdminKeymaster
Thank you Jim, Steven and Jason. Much like I shared my minor success story in speaking to my father in law about these issues, have any of you had an experience where a conversation about these topics went well? What contributed to the success of that conversation?
We know it’s challenging to see eye to eye and agree with folks who don’t appear to share the same concern as we do about population growth and other existential threats, I’m curious what your personal experiences have been like when things DID go well?
It’s fair to say the MAHB population base will agree with all of your’s summary of the problem, I’m curious to discuss and share here strategies for conversing about these sticky issues.
Looking forward to the MAHB community’s response on this thread!
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