Peak Indifference: are we reaching climate's denial/nihilism tipping point?

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Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/25/gnd-to-the-rescue.html

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#2

Peak Indifference: are we reaching climate’s denial/nihilism tipping point?

Sorry to burst that bubble, we’ve been there for some time now.

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#3

Personally, I’m having trouble sleeping at night, and I’m 62 and probably won’t be around when the worst starts to hit.

I’m ramping up my efforts to do my part; as discussed on an earlier post with Papasan, I’m hoping to install a fossil free heating system (air source heat pump), and white roof in the next couple of years. I eat a mostly vegan diet, don’t have kids, don’t own a car … and yes, I know that one person’s efforts won’t make a difference in the overall warming or not, but rather than give in, I’m going to fight harder.

I think we can do this thing. I don’t think we can avoid impact, but I think it is possible to avoid the worst.

For myself, I’m trying to focus on positive progress; hey! Pakistan has planted one billion trees! And is planning to continue planting billions of trees! People and countries ARE making strides.

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#4

Damage control won’t be a choice, and we’re already experiencing damage.

As the damage increases with the warming, it might reduce the amount of nihilism regarding a plan to reduce further warming.

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#5

Yeah fucking right, I don’t think so. I heard about the Green New Deal from friends I have on team red, and their understanding came from(no surprise) Fox. I had to look it up, because they all kept quoting this $93 Trillion price tag, drived from a dark money thinktank American Action Forum I know my sample size is small but from my estimation 57% of conservative Republicans are against anything proposed by the left.

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#6

NIMBYs are a huge problem, especially when it is older folks who can legitimately claim they will be gone before climate change is a problem for them.

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#7

If these fools wanted to be surrounded by woodlands forever and never have that change, then they should have bought up more land around their “resort” (safe space for snowflake) as a buffer.

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#8

It’s the left too. Too many think that electric cars are the solution, they are not. Walking and riding a bicycle are the solutions. The left have turned into techno utopians, thinking that they can live the same ‘consumer’ lifestyle, but augmented with some new tech.
What we need are new moral values. Or, at least, promote the values of vegan/cyclists.

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#9

I’d love to cycle to work. If it weren’t 20 miles away and had 9 hills of 400 feet and higher in between.

The thing about america is: for most people an affordable place to live has no fucking jobs. So the two have to be impractically displaced from each other.

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#10

I went to see a client today about 110 miles away. Pretty challenging on a two-wheeler.

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#11

I don’t hear much about walking and biking from any environmentalist who is seriously running for office, that’s for sure.

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#12

Cutting a forest down to build a solar farm is stupid.

You could build solar panels, elevated above roads. They would be more efficient, since they are elevated, they would protect the asphalt road, and not cut down forest.

In India one solar project built panels above a canal. This prevented water evaporation, and produced electricity.

To do this you would need a planned economy. Tax, re-bait, schemes are not effective. They lead to this type of stupidity. The state wants more solar panels, but because the mechanism is some flaky tax scheme, you get a massive solar farm cutting downs many trees.

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#13

is physical presence neccessary? video-meeting. how much fuel is burnend when we post something on this site? is it fossil-fuel? or ethanol? how much of it comes from corn? how much fossil-fuel to make solar-panels? ecetera ecetera

either way, it will be a massive clusterfuck to (hopefully) unfuck us, but we have to start somewhere right now!

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Someone once described that as “D&D environmentalism,” which seemed appropriate - that if one just collected enough - and powerful enough - “magic” items, the problem would be solved.

(Though having been unable to find any references to the expression, it’s possible I accidentally coined the term through a misunderstanding.)

The thing about (modern) America is, it was built around the automobile. (I don’t drive and I live in an urban area, which should put me in a relatively good position to make that work, but the result is that job searches have to be confined to transportation corridors and I have no social life, as all my friends live too far away for me to visit them.) This is a solvable problem, should the country want to do something about it, but it has to be decided on a large scale, not an individual one.

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#15

https://web.archive.org/web/20131212093813/http://subsite.kk.dk/sitecore/content/Subsites/CityOfCopenhagen/SubsiteFrontpage/LivingInCopenhagen/CityAndTraffic/CityOfCyclists/CycleStatistics.aspx Stats say that average bicycle speed is 9mph. So a two hour commute is a bit far.

It’s crazy how much we commute nowadays. I know so many people that live 50km away (30 miles) from work, and do a daily commute of 2X30miles=60miles. This has become normal.

I also believe that 60-70% of work is ‘make work’, really doesn’t have to be done.

We are not a smart species.

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#16

I can’t blame someone for wanting to see a client face-to-face. The problem is much bigger than the occasional client meeting.

-We make our work, and our family, the defining central ways we define ourselves. At the same time we see both of those as hollow.

-Our work really tends to be ‘make work’, we have a routine and stick to it. And we don’t like breaking our routine. People don’t like flex time.

-We live in a cloistered, ‘nuclear’, family world. I see so many people isolated by their families. Moms left at home with one kid bored our of their skulls. Forced to put their careers on hold as they babysit a toddler.

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#17

I’d love to cycle to work as it would mean that I am not disabled anymore.

Sadly, some people have fallen into the trap of ecofascism (yes, it does exist, unfortunately) without considering the consequences.

Social ecology is the way forward.

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#18

It has occurred to me that we are very unlucky in one respect. We are running out of fossil fuels, and eventually most people who are burning those fuels are going to stop doing that, because they are going to become scarce and expensive. Price rationing is going to push the consumption level down. The problem is, that will happen quite a bit after we’ve reached the point of extremely serious consequences from climate change. So doing nothing fixes the problem of fossil fuel use, but way too late. Doing something now is urgent, but without intervention by forces outside the market (cough, cough, government), we can’t make it happen now. Intervention could cause us to go from a regime where people are free to burn all the still-cheap fossil fuels they want to a regime where they aren’t free to do that, but quite a few people are apparently unwilling to make that change. Not to mention the political and financial clout applied to delaying any action by people with a sunk cost in the fossil fuel industry.

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#19

We already live in a fascist world, and don’t need the aggravation of ‘eco-fascism’ as a divisive idea.

The everyday pressure on people to have kids, and a good job is incredible. From parents, to relatives all pushing the idea. To people feeling incredible insecure about not being able to describe themselves by their work title.

We live in fascist country dictated by nice aunts saying ‘so are you thinking of having a kid’, and ‘how is work going’? All while passing judgement.

Try for once to not conform; not have kids, not be a good bread-winner, and you will see the incredible psychological toll it takes.

This is the meaning of fascism. It is not militarism, or physically forcing a person to do something. It is a totalitarian system that devalues you, if you are not part of it. It is your aunt, neighbour, employer, all looking down on you if you do not conform.

We need people to stop having kids, we need people to stop and rethink the structure of their family. Who their friends are and why. How they evaluate themselves. Perhaps this is what you mean by social ecology.

You confuse the short physical pain of getting people to bicycle, with the deep physiological games of having people conform to a ‘normal life’. The first is simply policing, the other is a complex police state.

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#20

The solution is right there, make fossil fuels more expensive. Higher energy price spurs innovation, and the fossil fuels tax can be invested into R&D. Too bad you need global agreement for that to work.

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