Media & Messaging
September 10, 2012 at 10:37 am #3861
I am organizing the Media Messaging node, where we can share insights such as this: Climate Coverage Drop Due to Disinformation Campaign and Immensity of Crisis. I invite you to join this node if you’re interested in helping to figure out how to get the overshoot, limits to growth and sustainability messages out there in an effective manner.
P.S. Is there a way to subscribe so we get an email whenever someone posts anywhere in this forum?
Dave GardnerDirector of GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growthhttp://www.growthbusters.org
October 14, 2012 at 11:33 am #3891
Interviewed recently on the Bill Maher show, Bill McKibben said that the main problem regarding the climate change problem was “not politics…it’s physics”. This may be his excuse for
refusing to formulate legislation or organize a lobbying movement for energy policy,but he isn’t addressing the REASONS why climate change deniers are DENYING it or doubting it. This is not ignoring science but putting self interest, politics and economics first. It is time we stopped being defensive about having the facts and the truth, and instead of worrying about the deniers we should focus on organizing a political force to confront the deniers instead of continuing to just
publish more and more facts about climate change. Most people know it is real and happening, and are open to more aggressive action than the road shows and email letters McKibben and 350.org use. How can we move past the sloth and inaction of 350.org into aggressive public
organizing for tough energy legislation and public policy….the things that McKibben has
publicly said are impossible to influence and from which he has recused himself. How can we get principled uncompromising leadership that, based on science, will focus on organizing and
legislative change? A colleague who met recently with a congressional legislative aide was told that no one had approached his/her committee in eight months to talk about climate change.
It seems everyone has literally given up on congress. But why should congress listen if we do not have a real movement and constituency for a sane energy policy? We need to develop the movement first and then congress will listen. All we have now are speeches with cliches like
McKibben’s (“we need action”). Would McKibben please tell us what kind of action we need?
And why he hasn’t proposed it already? Or done anything about it?
- This reply was modified 6 years, 5 months ago by Joseph Rowley.
October 14, 2012 at 1:24 pm #3893
Lorna, I always read with great interest what you write. I know you are very smart and experienced in all matters environmental. My two cents here is that you may be wasting a lot of energy complaining about Bill McKibben. I know you’ve tried to convince him to do these things. I doubt that public beatings will change his mind. If he doesn’t see his role the way you do, then that leaves a void you or someone else can fill. I understand there are a few bills related to climate change somewhere in process. Is there no one championing them?
October 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm #3895
There are a few bills in congress, including the ten year phase out of fossil fuel subsidies sponsored by Bernie Sanders, one carbon trading bill, and one efficiency. I havent read them and can’t comment, but my experience tells me they won’t come near what we need or want.A colleague told me yesterday that a congressional legislative aide said that no one had visitedhim on the climate change issue for eight months. That undoubtedly includes McKibben. And it means that all the groups have closed shop on the issue and no one is doing anything. I am not surprised at all. This confirms my worst fears. We have no movement. So who will fill the void?
And who will tell the McKibben cheering squad that he is asleep at the wheel? Maybe if more of them find out, someone will do something. Any suggestions?
October 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm #3897
That is a serious problem. No one dares go up against the Holy Grail of economic growth during election season. So, from a media and messaging perspective, my take is wait until after the elections, but be planning some effective moves for post-election. Keep in mind this forum is about media and messaging, not necessarily political strategy, lobbying, etc.
Lorna, thank you for joining this forum and encouraging others to participate. I am guilty of not promoting it enough, but hope to become more active here now that my year of promoting GrowthBusters is nearly behind me.
November 20, 2012 at 6:23 am #3949
Lorna, i feel i understand mr. McKibben when he says that problem about climate change – is physics, not politics.
I digged into the matter for a couple years. It is my current opinion that no matter what legislation a country would make, – it won’t significantly reduce levels of greenhouse gases emissions. Physics and chemistry of carbon burning in oxygen-rich athmosphere are very straight. In short, burning carbon is the cheapest way of getting energy for mankind. And i mean cheapest not in dollars (but that too), – worse, it’s cheapest physically. We can do it, we can do it on mass scale we need it, and there is no viable alternative so far. Renewable sources are intermittent (solar, wind), times more expensive (labor-wise and matherial-wise) to implement on global scale of significance (note, this differes from “couple millions households” dramatically), and/or dangerous in long run (geothermal 2nd gen), and/or limited (hydro power, nuclear power), and/or many decades ahead to be invented and built (effective fusion reactors global scale, artificial photosynthetic carbohydrates). To feed ourselves, we need energy to power up our agriculture machinery, at very least – which is massive amount of energy even if to count only crop production and needed irrigation. So it ends up like this: presently existing mankind wants to eat (not to starve to death) = we have to keep burning carbon.
Whatever legislation you do won’t cancel that. Raising carbon prices dramatically won’t cancel the need for diesel fuel for agriculture machines – it merely will decrease food production. Don’t even think about electric heavy machinery – first, very ineffective weight ratio of available accumulators, 2nd, 80%+ of our electricity is generated by burning carbon.
I’d be happy to be proven wrong, though! But as far as i know at the moment, i am right.
I am sorry…
January 10, 2013 at 2:36 am #4111
Just a word on “most people know”: I recently saw a report on public TV here in Germany (sorry – cannot properly source adhoc) about a global survey on global climate change attitudes and perceptions. Result: 1/3 of mankind never even heard of it, and in Asia and Russia the vast majority of those who did believed it was either a hoax, irrelevant or natural. Here in Germany where the vast majority had no doubt about global climate change and its anthropogenic contribution the tables are slowly turning and years and years of disinformation slowly show an effect. There are a small number of apparently well funded individuals and pseudo-institutions that manage to sneak their views even into the more serious and critical media, and casting the shadow of doubt is all they need to do. When lengthy and very complex scientific works are published that deny the entire existence of even the radiative forcing effect itself that are later crushed by experts that still comes across as “different scientific opinions” and “the scientists themselves cannot agree”. The approach is like that of an attorney defending a murder suspect. Raising doubt. And it is a sinister tactic, since it cannot really be countered. The defender of truth always looses when the judge (the public) is unable to identify trustworthy independent experts. It is a loose, loose situation. The same happens when the prevailing economic model (the main culprit of all and everything) is criticized. Immediately come accusing cries of Leftist! Socialist! Marxist! Communist! along with scenarios of masses of people herded into Gulags. Loose, loose.
January 10, 2013 at 2:57 am #4113
@Aleksei: Well – your arguments largely hold, but only under certain circumstances, which include (that’s an old hat, of course) direct and hidden subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear. “We need it” is not a good argument. We need fossil fuel, because we have a fossil fuel driven exponential growth economy? Which we have because fossil fuel is cheap and available. So somehow we end up with the circular argument that we need it because we have it. Now if we look at some of the more extreme scenarios – say Jim Hansen and his Venus effect (plausible enough for me as a trained astrophysicist): how can risking the very existence of the biosphere be justified on economic grounds? Maybe financial analyists living in the little sphere of artificial illusions can think that way – but the greater public should rather not. The risks only seem controllable as long as we adhere to deeply diseased neoclassical economic thinking where an accident like the Macondo incident in the Mexican Gulf either causes financial damage with clear price tags or non at all. Economically the total destruction of huge sections of Earth surface and habitats can well be seen as “no or little damage”. So that is the one side. Need vs. damage. It is the need of the drug addict for the next shot. Until the final one.
But need is also relative. Here in Germany we seem to “need” much less carbon per capita than in the US. I know both countries well, have lived in both, and I do not see that the living standard and social services in the US are any better than over here in Western/Northern Europe. Need therefore also depends on efficiency. Another no brainer. Demand side management. The company I work for just opened its second passive house office building. It needs next to no heating fuel. Some cities in Germany plan to be energy independent by 2020. A few smaller towns already are. The intermittent nature of renewables is not much of a problem with proper power distribution, smart grid technology, demand side management and hierarchical storage solutions. What will change is transportation. In any case from a point of view of global risk management I do not see how we can justify global environmental and socio-economic degradation, all the way to potential large scale biospherical collapse, by merely stating “we need it”. For… keeping the status quo alive?
Having said that I do agree that there is very little in terms of international political action that could encourage optimism. I do not see really unsolvable technological problems. But I also do not see much happening, globally. There are many promising small scale and regional projects and approaches, but no big leap in sight. And that big leap necessarily would have to address our economic system. No way out there.
January 31, 2013 at 7:45 pm #4285
“The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking. “ –Albert Einstein
We didn’t set out to poison the world’s waters. We didn’t set out to poison the air we all breathe. We didn’t purposely create the conditions that are causing Global Warming, or Peak Oil. We didn’t hold a meeting where we decided to expand human population far beyond anything seen in the course of human history (and prehistory). We didn’t choose to hyper-exploit renewable resources to the point that species extinction and habitat destruction threatens our own survival. These are the byproducts, the natural consequences of how we think, how we relate to the natural, physical world and to each other. These are the natural consequences of a mode of thinking based on transactional exchanges that disregards the complex relationships that underlie the ecosystem and the physical limits of the biosphere. The relationship of man to the land, the relationships that guided connected groups of people within the context of a community to share in the provision of food, water, shelter, the necessities of life have been rendered superfluous for modern industrial humans. Since these relationships are effectively no longer necessary in daily life, they have to a large degree ceased to be a part of our thinking.
Until we change our thinking, we will continue to find ourselves trapped like a rat in a maze by the inevitable consequences of actions that flow from a mode of thought that doesn’t incorporate the priorities and perspectives that inherently result from the kind of thinking that is embedded in concepts of relationship with Nature and other humans. Whether it is politics, economics, commerce, social policy, environmental policy, culture- when we begin to look at the overemphasis on individualistic, transactional thinking and the almost complete disregard for complex or even simple relational thinking, it veritably screams at us: “we are thinking in a way that binds us to a terrible destiny of alienation, waste, and collapse”. I’ve heard it said that a paradigm is what we think about something before we think about something. Conversely, a paradigm is also what we don’t think about, when we think about something.
February 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm #4313
I’m a Junior at Chico Senior High School, located in Chico, Ca. Within this last year, I’ve had an epiphany.
This epiphany I had is what you would think had come from a sci-fi novel, or some other mediated information bank. I’m sure that humanity can be cured, and cure its perspective environment.
This may have to be invented in case of global emergency, or before hand.
Let me ask you to ponder these possible realities.
Colonial Bio mechatronic Consciousness
Using technology that may resemble the current ECoG system of “mind controlled prosthetics”, being tested as we speak, to communicate brainwaves between subjects. To have two people with a single co-dominant conscience, of course, would be meager compared to exponential connections shared. This possibility would truly amplify and express, “Knowledge is Power”. Out of this small introduction to this future technology, you can easily see how any small group of people can instantly create an undivided collection of thoughts, experience, and emotion to complete any task. the only downside would be the training to learn how to use this technology; like introducing a computer to an infant.
Think of how this would impact military, political parties, world leaders, the education system, the church… actually, all this would become irrelevant. If all the collective information known throughout the schooling systems are on the internet, then why are students laboring in classrooms 6-14 hours a day? After that, there is still homework. Students are kept busy with tasks that require physical input to turn in tangible evidence to be analyzed by an educator; why not just know as much as the educator in the first place? this technology would cure that pain. I hear this all the time, ”Why can’t I just download this into my brain?”. When this becomes a reality downloading would become snail mail.
Acquiring information is but a fraction of what this technology would possess. What would be the deal breaker is how much information any little human info node could put out at any time.
Take time to research the ECoG system. Imagine being able to connect with someone that was on their last breath of life and experience their personal perspective death; blending their visualizations into your mind. You would instantaneously have those memories readily available for other people to share. The question of, “What happens when you die?”, will be answered from this first daring discovery.
Just start out with “What if…” fill in the blanks, and all would be answered.