Saturday, January 18, 2014

scientists growing more politically active and radicalized...,


peaksurfer | "Rather than spurning financial system terrorists, Holmgren urges activists to become “terra-ists”; to directly bring down the system by thousands of acts of economic disobedience."
A ferment in the environmental movement, brewing for many years, has now bubbled up into the blogosphere. We are dipping our ladle in here to take a little taste of it, even though we are quite certain it is not done fermenting.

Bill McKibben has been stirring the wort of whether social activism can save us for many years. In Eaarth: Making Life on a Tough New Planet, as in The End of Nature a quarter century earlier, he poignantly waffled, in elegant prose, between hope and despair. Since launching 350.org — “the first political action with a number for a name” — he has urged those of us with any remaining shred of hope for our children’s future, given what we now know about climate change, to step up and lay our lives on the line. Get arrested. Risk lengthy jail terms and even death to stop this atrocity. Do not go gentle into that good night.

Words to this effect we have heard much longer and louder from Derrick Jensen, another eloquent writer, the difference being that McKibben advocates for non-violence in the mold of Gandhi and King, while Jensen has no qualms about advocating violence. Naomi Klein, another stirring writer with an arrest record, calls for acts of resistance large and small. McKibben is tepid about taking on capitalism’s growth imperative, as though it were not a major contributing factor, while neither Holmgren, Klein nor Jensen have any such reservations.

Thus we are tasting many different flavors of leadership, or literary guidance, in the shaping of the nascent climate resistance movement.

Scientists themselves have been growing politically more active and radicalized, as Klein described in her October New Statesman essay. If you go back enough years you’ll find scientists like Dennis Meadows, Howard Odum and James Lovelock, all of whom correctly foresaw the impending collision between consumer civilizations and natural systems. Lovelock made a series of climate-and-society predictions that went unheeded for 20 years but hold up well in retrospect.

13 comments:

umbrarchist said...

Scientists can't connect technology to accounting to economics.

Ignoring Demand Side Depreciation is turning natural resources into garbage and calling it growth. Dumb ass scientists!

Ed Dunn said...

"..given what we now know about climate change, to step up and lay our lives on the line. Get arrested. Risk lengthy jail terms and even death to stop this atrocity." - if these were true scientists and actually discovered something, the government would have no problem making good on these kind of actions.


For thousands of years, scientists were persecuted and killed for discovering truth that goes against status quo interest. There is no need to be an activist...truth in science is activism in itself...

CNu said...

Science for the common good would benefit tremendously from a quantum-leap in its mass communications and marketing in consequence of which the common good might take a quantum leap.

Nakajima Kikka said...

Getting rid of the race concept requires getting rid of the essentialism concept. As a species, we're still heavily invested in both.

I see Stewart Brand remains heavily invested in the nuclear power will save us all concept...

Nakajima Kikka said...

So I think I'm between Greer and Orlov on the Ecotopia-Collapse vertical, and at the same place as Bardi on the Peaceful Transformation-Violent Revolution horizontal axis.

Nakajima Kikka said...

I need some schooling here, umbrarchist. Tell me about Demand Side Depreciation. Is it something like Planned Obsolescence? Or Yearly Change in Women's Fashion?

CNu said...

While I agree that there are powerful cognitive reinforcements for in-group/out-group selection/reaction - once the fact of the matter is established - continuing preoccupation with it takes on the appearance of brobdignagian folly. Imagine yourself "caught up" and seriously prosecuting one side or another in an argument about mythological goings on, or, talking with abject earnestness about phrenological distinctions among individuals or groups.

The conspicuous oversight in the NYTimes has nothing whatsoever to do with a "species" investment, rather, I consider it expressive of a specific elite establishment investment in the concept of race as a politically expedient tool for human livestock management.

Vic78 said...

"While I agree that there are powerful cognitive reinforcements for in-group/out-group selection/reaction - once the fact of the matter is established - continuing preoccupation with it takes on the appearance of brobdignagian folly."

You know, when you're solution oriented the people dedicated to that folly are your worst opponents.

umbrarchist said...

Demand Side Depreciation and planned obsolescence are related even though DSD would occur even if there was no PO. Machines wear out. The Laws of Physics dictate that. An air conditioner will eventually break down if you use it every summer. Fix it a few times and eventually it makes more sense to buy a new one.

But all of the cars in the world wear out eventually. So when do economists discuss the depreciation of all durable consumer goods? Look up NET Domestic Product. It gets half a page in a 400 page economics textbook. In theory economists compute Supply Side Depreciation but they never talk about it.

So Planned Obsolescence would increase Demand Side Depreciation but economists do not acknowledge the existence of either.

http://toxicdrums.com/economic-wargames-by-dal-timgar.html

umbrarchist said...

The problem is all of those grade school teachers who cannot teach science.

Nakajima Kikka said...

That investment is not only a matter of political expediency, though. To one degree or another, they buy into the concept intellectually. If you asked those 166 deep thinkers directly, I think that each one of them would say that the idea of race is not at all ready for retirement. Instead, they would say that the national socialist meaning/interpretation of race is what needs to be deep-sixed.

In the biomedical and biology research communities, race is most commonly viewed now as something fluid, rather than fixed. Race changes over time, as the members of a race undergo changes in local environment, experience mutation, and as members of different races intermarry and genes flow across racial "boundaries".
Still, as the current intellectual and political drift back towards eugenics shows, this post-modern view of race remains somewhat entangled with more traditional national socialist enthusiasm for using genetics as a tool for enhancing or reducing specific genotypes to promote racial hygiene within a country's citizenry. I suspect that the bulk of the 166 Edge thinkers support the new eugenics, at least in a broad sense, favoring a more "libertarian" implementation strategy than the more classical national socialist forms. The criteria for genotype selection/elimination, as in national socialism, is largely an aesthetic one, based on the particular cultural norms of the country.
Up top I said that getting rid of race requires getting rid of essentialism. I withdraw that claim. Current scientific definitions of race are largely non-essentialist in scope, yet the basic idea remains as robust as it ever was. Getting rid of race is not a matter of essential vs. non-essential. It will require an entirely different conception of what humanity is.

CNu said...

If you asked those 166 deep thinkers directly, I think that each one of them would say that the idea of race is not at all ready for retirement.

lol, 165 - Jablonski was the dissenting one who took a sledehammer to it. http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2014/01/jablonski-taking-sledgehammer-to-race.html

Instead, they would say that the national socialist meaning/interpretation of race is what needs to be deep-sixed.

I'd be willing to bet that none of them, including Jablonski - and yourself - have a clear understanding of what the Ahnenerbedienst believed about race. Have you ever read Schwaller de Lubicz?

The criteria for genotype selection/elimination, as in national socialism, is largely an aesthetic one, based on the particular cultural norms of the country. Many of the germanized Jews were racially indistinguishable from aryanized germans. I suppose you could call what was going on in Germany an aesthetic program, but in all earnestness, at its core, it was a theocratic program which at its basest levels of popular expression became "aesthetic".

Getting rid of race is not a matter of essential vs. non-essential. It will require an entirely different conception of what humanity is.

Barring collapse and wholesale loss of current science, race will succumb to the practical science of neurotypes and cognitive "races". Something jarringly close to what the Ahnenerbedienst were on about.

Nakajima Kikka said...

1 out of 166. Well, it's a start.

I have not read de Lubicz. I do know that the Ahnenerbedienst were (among other things), seeking to discover the true essence of the German race. How do you genetically, culturally, spiritually, know whether or not a particular German is racially "pure"? Presumably, since centuries of intermarriage and interbreeding with other ethnic groups had made the Germans "impure", they needed such knowledge in order to restore the German people to a racially "pristine" state.

I'm referring to aesthetics not only in terms what is physically beautiful, but all the traits that those of a particular culture find desirable in some way. Certainly the foundation of national socialism is religious and spiritual, but aesthetics is very much part of that. Post-modern eugenics ("self-directed human evolution", as Francis Collins says) shares that concern for aesthetic development/regeneration with national socialism. As for the specific traits involved, post-modern eugenicists generally amenable to a "libertarian" approach (with some helpful guidance from professionally trained genetics counselors).
Post-modern eugenics does not as yet have much of a spiritual dimension, though, so in that way it's unlike national socialism.

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