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Greta Thunbergs Fan Club

How to link the panic in pandemic with the climate crisis? The Guardian (who else?) shows the way:

Pandemic shows climate has never been treated as crisis, say scientists. Letter also signed by Greta Thunberg urges EU leaders to act immediately on global heating

Greta Thunberg and some of the world’s leading climate scientists have written to EU leaders demanding they act immediately to avoid the worst impacts of the unfolding climate and ecological emergency. The letter,which is being sent before a European council meeting starting on Friday, says the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that most leaders are able to act swiftly and decisively, but the same urgency had been missing in politicians’ response to the climate crisis.

It is now clearer than ever that the climate crisis has never once been treated as a crisis, neither from the politicians, media, business nor finance… Net zero emissions by 2050 for the EU – as well as for other financially fortunate parts of the world – equals surrender,” they say. They add that the target is based on a carbon budget that gives only a 50% chance of limiting global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the figure set out in the 2015 Paris agreement.

That is just a statistical flip of a coin, which doesn’t even include some of the key factors such as the global aspect of equity, most tipping points and feedback loops, as well as already built in additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution. So in reality it is much less than a 50% chance.”

The letter also argues that the climate and ecological emergency can only be addressed by tackling the underlying “social and racial injustices and oppression that have laid the foundations of our modern world”. It says the EU, with its political and economic clout, has a moral obligation to lead the fight to create a fair and more sustainable world.

Thunberg and the other signatories – including the scientists Michael Mann and Johan Rockström – call on EU leaders to immediately halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction and end subsidies. They say the EU must advocate to make ecocide an international crime and establish annual, binding carbon budgets.

The title and first sentence in the above article are outright lies. The letter wasn’t written by Greta Thunberg and some of the world’s leading climate scientists, but by Thunberg and three fellow climate strikers, aged 17, 19, 19 and 24. This is made clear in a second Guardian article:

Thunberg, 17, and other leaders of the school strikes movement across Europe said the package was inadequate. Luisa Neubauer, 24, a central figure in Germany’s school strikes movement, said young people were becoming increasingly frustrated with politicians… Another prominent school striker, Adélaïde Charlier, 19, from Belgium, said politicians who adopted the language of climate action without following up with urgent policy measures were worse than climate deniers… The group has written an open letter to EU leaders demanding they act immediately to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis.

The Group” which wrote the letter consists of the above three teenagers, plus Anuna de Wever van der Heyd, aged 24.

The letter, signed by 80,000 people including some of the world’s leading scientists, argues that the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that most leaders are able to act swiftly and decisively when they deem it necessary, but that the same urgency has been missing in the response to climate change….The letter argues that the climate and ecological emergency can only be addressed by tackling the underlying “social and racial injustices and oppression that have laid the foundations of our modern world”.

The letter is on the site of Climate Emergency Europe. In fact, it’s the only thing on the site, that and the names of 80,000 signatories, plus an invitation to create your profile picture.”

Among the other demands to global leaders made by these four Girl Guides are the following:

– halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction, immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels.

– advocate to make ecocide an international crime at the International Criminal Court.

-design climate policies that protect workers and the most vulnerable and reduce all forms of inequality: economic, racial and gender.

– safeguard and protect democracy.

– treat the climate and ecological emergency like an emergency.

But this is not enough of course:

There is one other thing that has become clearer than ever: Climate and environmental justice can not be achieved as long as we continue to ignore and look away from the social and racial injustices and oppression that have laid the foundations of our modern world. ​The fight for justice and equity is universal. Whether it is the fight for social, racial, climate or environmental justice, gender equality, democracy, human-, indigenous peoples’- LGBTQ- and animal rights, freedom of speech and press, or the fight for a balanced, wellbeing, functioning life supporting system. If we don’t have equality, we have nothing. ​We don’t have to choose, and divide ourselves over which crisis or issue we should prioritise, because it is all interconnected.

That these 17 and 19 year olds can discern and analyse the interconnections betweens the rights of us enlightened Europeans to bugger whom we like, and of animals and indigenous people to do whatever animals and indigenous people do, and my right of freedom of speech, is admirable. What this has to do with keeping the average global temperature down to less than half a degree more than what it is today is not clear.

We are facing an existential crisis, and this is a crisis that we can not buy, build, or invest our way out of… Our current system is not ‘broken’ – the system is doing exactly what it’s supposed and designed to be doing. It can no longer be ‘fixed’. We need a new system… We need to end the ongoing wrecking, exploitation and destruction of our life supporting systems and move towards a fully decarbonised economy that centres around the wellbeing of all people as well as the natural world… When you read the IPCC SR1.5 Report and the UNEP Production Gap Report, as well as what you have actually signed up for in the Paris Agreement, even a child can see that the climate and ecological crisis cannot be solved within today’s system. That’s no longer an opinion, it’s a fact based on the current best available science.

Even a child can see…That’s no longer an opinion, it’s a fact based on the current best available science.”

Sorry, no. that’s an opinion – the opinion of a child, and of three friends not long out of childhood. The fact that Leonardo di Caprio agrees with you doesn’t alter the fact that you’re still a child in law, and that your opinions aren’t worth a shit, except in the minds of the di Caprios, McKibbens and Monbiots listed below.

Because if we are to avoid a climate catastrophe we have to make it possible to tear up contracts and abandon existing deals and agreements, on a scale we can’t even begin to imagine today. And those types of actions are not politically, economically or legally possible within today’s system. In order to limit global heating to 1,5 degrees, the upcoming months and years are crucial. The clock is ticking. Doing your best is no longer good enough. You must now do the seemingly impossible. And even though you might have the option of ignoring the climate crisis, that is not an option for us – for your children. Right now, there is no place on earth where children face a future in a safe environment. This is and will be very much a reality for the rest of our lives. We ask you to face the climate emergency.

by:
Luisa Neubauer

Greta Thunberg

Anuna de Wever van der Heyden

Adélaïde Charlier

The organisation consists apparently of the above mentioned young women, aged 24, 17, 19 and 19.

Among the 80,000+ signatories are:

  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Actor

Michael Mann , Distinguished Professor, Penn State University and Member of the National Academy of Sciences

  • Coldplay

  • Mark Ruffalo, Actor, Justice Activist

  • Greenpeace

  • Hans Joachim Schellnhuber , Atmospheric Physicist and Founding Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research Scientist

  • Emma Thompson, Actor

  • Naomi Klein, Author, Rutgers University

  • Margaret Atwood, Author

  • PETA

  • Kevin Anderson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change, University of Manchester

  • Annie Lennox OBE, Singer, Songwriter, Activist

  • Russel Crowe , Actor

  • Stefan Rahmstorf, Professor of Physics of the Oceans at Potsdam University

  • Bill McKibben , Author and Founder 350.org

  • The 1975

  • Daniel Ellsberg, US Economist, Human Rights Activist and Right Livelihood Award Laureate

  • Björk, Artist

  • Juliette Binoche, Actor

  • 350.org

  • George Monbiot, Writer and Activist

  • Nicolas Hulot, Author and Former Minister for the Ecological and Solidary Transition of France

  • Lily Cole, human being

  • David Suzuki, Academic and Activist

  • Mercy For Animals

  • Jane Fonda, Academy Award-winning actor, founder of Fire Drill Fridays

  • Kate Raworth, Author Doughnut Economics University of Oxford

  • Stella McCartney , Designer

  • Beabadoobee, Artist

  • Brian Eno, Music Producer

  • March For Science

  • Arizona Muse , model

  • Dr. Lucky Tran, March For Science, Managing Director

  • Hunter Lovins , Natural Capitalism Solutions, Right Livelihood Award Laureate

  • Mercy For Animals

  • Extinction Rebellion

  • Bianca Jagger, Founder, President and Chief Executive, Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, Right Livelihood Award Laureate

I’ve selected a sample of signatories, either because I‘ve heard of them, or because their simple existence seemed telling in some way. That Scientists might want to March for Science seems reasonable, in these demonstrative times. That they should have a Managing Director named Lucky Tran seems more than a satirist has the right to expect. As for Hunter Lovins of Natural Capitalism Solutions, read her CV, ye mighty and despair. 

Many signatories claim to be Right Livelihood Award Laureates (more than 30, according to the Right Livelihood Foundation.There’s a separate list of 320 scientists who have signed, almost all of whom are German-speaking and members of the organisation “Scientists for Future.” They have a website with the usual Zombie Blog (an article every three months, and no comments except ping backs from other articles) It costs 60 euros to join (or whatever you can afford.) [Coincidentally, that’s what it costs to join Cliscep. And we have comments on our blog articles.]

And Arizona Muse has 265,000 followers on Instagram.

How did these four schoolgirls (OK, ex-schoolgirls) get so many famous people to sign up to a statement like this?

If we are to avoid a climate catastrophe we have to make it possible to tear up contracts and abandon existing deals and agreements, on a scale we can’t even begin to imagine today. And those types of actions are not politically, economically or legally possible within today’s system.

[I’m all for that. Let’s “tear up contracts and abandon existing deals and agreements, on a scale we can’t even begin to imagine.” Starting with the contracts that guarantee the above mentioned signatories comfortable incomes, whatever their carbon footprint, even if it’s “not politically, economically or legally possible within today’s system.” Starting with George Monbiot’s contract with the Guardian, Michael Mann’s with Pennsylvania State and so on.]

Did the Famous Four get in contact with all these stars of Stage, Screen and Twitter? I don’t think so. More likely the Michael Manns and Bill McKibbens and George Monbiots have been hanging round the stage doors of Greta and her colleagues (well, Greta, in fact) and our girls simply emailed their fans, asking for endorsement. Which they got.

The letter was addressed to 27 EU leaders a week ago. Apparently not one of them has replied. Oh dear. It’s great to have a fan club when you’re a Twitter star. But when you want to change the way the world works, you need something more.

21 thoughts on “Greta Thunbergs Fan Club

  1. Good heavens! Where to even start with this one. Half of what was written could have come straight out of the Unabomber’s manifesto. And he was a murderous certified nut job.

    I didn’t see Professor Rice’s name on the list, by the way.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Geoff. I am completely confused. This quartet and their many followers seem equally confused, bothered and bewildered. Two of their demands seem contradictory:

    § design climate policies that protect workers and the most vulnerable and reduce all forms of inequality: economic, racial and and gender.

    § safeguard and protect democracy.

    How can you protect workers when you are determined to sabotage the legal underpinnings of our society? By deliberately creating anarchy how can you have democracy?

    Can 80,000 signatories have so little common sense? No understanding of how the world works? Clearly being successful in today’s world, they do have this understanding, so what gives?

    The activist youth have always been unhappy with the societies that they grew up in and are prepared or willing to pull them down, but what excuse do the mighty 80,000 have?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. On reading through this I immediately thought “Extinction Rebellion must be behind this”. Surprise, surprise, it’s one of the signatories and there’s not an aporopriately qualified, traibed or experienced scientist among its leadership.

    Like

  4. Actually, to put the record straight, although I may have called Ted Kaczinsky a certified nut job, he wasn’t actually clinically insane; he was just a psychologically unstable idealist. As such, he represents the potential that exists within the average XR member, or indeed the Greta Thunberg flan club. All they would need is the requisite levels of self-delusion and self-righteousness and, of course, a Great Satan to attack – who shall be known by the name ‘The System’. Take the following extract from Ted’s manifesto:

    “If the system breaks down the consequences will still be very painful. But the bigger the system grows the more disastrous the results of its breakdown will be, so if it is to break down it had best break down sooner rather than later. We therefore advocate a revolution against the industrial system. This revolution may or may not make use of violence; it may be sudden or it may be a relatively gradual process spanning a few decades. We can’t predict any of that. But we do outline in a very general way the measures that those who hate the industrial system should take in order to prepare the way for a revolution against that form of society. This is not to be a POLITICAL revolution. Its object will be to overthrow not governments but the economic and technological basis of the present society.”

    Or, to put it in the words of our four schoolgirls in their open letter to the EU:

    “Our current system is not ‘broken’ – the system is doing exactly what it’s supposed and designed to be doing. It can no longer be ‘fixed’. We need a new system.”

    In contrast, XR’s Roger Hallam, definitely sees it as a political revolution but is no less militant than would be your average letter bomber:

    “We are going to force the governments to act. And if they don’t we will bring them down and create a democracy fit for purpose. And yes, some may die in the process.”

    Killing to achieve democracy has to be the oldest political cliché in the history of activism. It’s a good thing that there is no such thing as an open letter bomb.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Another good quote from the Unabomber manifesto:

    “Furthermore, if the system survives, the consequences will be inevitable: There is no way of reforming or modifying the system so as to prevent it from depriving people of dignity and autonomy.”

    It really does look like the four schoolgirls stole their homework.

    Like

  6. JOHN RIDGWAY
    Half of what was written could have come straight out of the Unabomber’s manifesto.

    … or a speech by Joe Biden, trying to sound like Ocasio Cortex. Cant say more. My keyboard4s gone qwerty.

    Like

  7. I like searching the internet for the climate-alarmed with unusual names, as it reduces the possibility of confusing them with someone with the same – or a very similar – name. Thus I find that Anuna De Wever has her own Wikipedia page:

    “De Wever was born in Mortsel, Belgium. With Kyra Gantois and Adélaïde Charlier, De Wever became one of the leading figures in the School strike for climate movement in Belgium. As a result, from February to May 2019 she had a weekly column in the magazine HUMO.

    In aftermath of the school strikes in Belgium centre-right Flemish minister for the environment Joke Schauvliege was obliged to resign after falsely claiming that the Belgian State Security Service had information indicating that the climate strike was a political front organisation.

    Personal differences led to a fissure within the Belgian Youth for Climate movement, with the departure of co-founder Kyra Gantois in August 2019.

    De Wever made an appearance at the 2019 Pukkelpop music festival attempting to engage the audience to call attention to the climate issues. This call angered some festival goers who harassed her group, hurled bottles of urine at her, and followed her back to her campsite, uttered death threats and destroyed their tent, forcing security to intervene. Because the attackers had been carrying a variant of the Flag of Flanders favoured by far-right elements of the Flemish Movement, the organizers banned such flags from the event, confiscating 20.

    In October 2019, De Wever was among the youngest climate activists to set sail on the Regina Maris for a low-carbon trans-Atlantic journey to the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Santiago, Chile.

    In February 2020, after returning from South America, she took an internship with the Greens–European Free Alliance in the European Parliament, without becoming a member of the party.

    Awards
    In May 2019, De Wever and Kyra Gantois jointly received the Ark Prize of the Free Word.
    In September 2019, De Wever and Adélaïde Charlier received Amnesty International Belgium’s Ambassador of Conscience Award on behalf of Youth for Climate.”

    It’s a pity she sailed all the way to South America for a climate conference that wasn’t there. The Wikipedia page doesn’t tell us how she returned.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ‘ ‘I’m wild again, beguiled again
    A simpering, whimpering child again
    Bewitched, bothered and bewildered
    – am I, tra la.’

    …Pity they’re too young and indoctrinated to have learned any history
    re the consequences of wipe – the – slate – clean political movements.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. All is not well among the young climate-concerned:

    “Amid rising tensions, Youth for Climate co-founder will leave group leadership”

    https://www.brusselstimes.com/all-news/eu-affairs/123098/european-parliament-threatens-to-block-approved-eu-long-term-budget/

    “The co-founder of the Youth for Climate movement in Belgium will leave the group’s leadership amid tensions with fellow leader Anuna De Wever, but will remain active in the larger climate movement.

    In a statement published on Twitter at the weekend, 20-year-old Kyra Gantois said she was “tired of being treated like a piece of dirt,” according to De Standaard.

    Gantois, who has received less media attention than De Wever, said that, as the group gained attention, she saw her role diminish even though she continued playing a leading role in the weekly school strikes which saw hundreds of students take to streets throughout the spring to demand political action on climate.

    “What nobody saw is that I organized almost everything behind the scenes and that I also had things to say and that I never had the chance to do so,” she wrote, according to the outlet.

    Gantois’ announcement follows media reports during past weeks which cited tensions between her and the more prominent figure of De Wever, which reportedly came to a head during music festival Pukkelpop, where De Wever was threated and harassed.

    Amid the fallout from the events, De Wever announced she would be leaving for an extended sailing trip to the COP25 in November, which she said will allow for a sort-of respite for what the 17-year-old described as “Anuna fatigue.”

    The youth for climate protests school strikes are set to return in September, when the students go back to school, but will take up a new form in order to fend off criticism that their strikes were only an excuse for the group to take a day off school.

    In the statement, Gantois said that she doubts she will return to the group’s leadership but that she will continue to pursue her climate goals and to show up during the marches.”

    Liked by 2 people

  10. From the French wiki article on Anuna – At 16 she accompanied her mother, a sociologist specialising in gender and diversity, on a trip to New York to attend a conference on feminism, where she discovered the great vulnerability of women to climate change. There’s more on the Flemish Wiki, but my malfunctioning keyboard is not up to repeating it. Love the expression ‘Opwarming van der Aarde’ though.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This quote is actually true: ““It is now clearer than ever that the climate crisis has never once been treated as a crisis, neither from the politicians, media, business nor finance…” in the sense of any kind of crisis that is concomitant to the dominant public (and authority) narratives of imminent and certain global catastrophe. The entire renewable effort, for instance, has still had negligible effect on world energy use.

    Greta has hit exactly upon the most key characteristic of a culture – it’s dominant narrative, while being highly emotive and persuasive, *must* be dead wrong in order to achieve its purpose. Within adherents generally, a *subconscious* mechanism alerts them to the fact that the emotive narrative, the ‘crisis’ in this case, isn’t true, and that their actions should be to virtue-signal, *not* to act like it’s literally real. The virtue-signalling tells others they are part of the club, and this is *only* what the culture is about. En-masse, this not only results in the lack of any useful action, but typically cultures do everything possible to *not* solve the (false) issue / problem, while of course individuals must *look like* they’re doing so, because this policy prolongs or even enhances the conditions which feed the culture’s growth. If fossil-fuel usage actually dramatically declined, the culture would be immediately doomed.

    Unfortunately, Greta has opted for the wrong explanation to her astute observation (which maybe she has arrived at via her incorrect processing of cultural narrative; Asperger interrupts the proper processing of social communications). While why wouldn’t she? Her presumed logical alternative is that everyone has been lying to her, including her parents and teachers. About incredibly serious matters, including the mass well-being and deaths of children. But they are not lying; they are believers, they are proselytising, which is an entirely different thing. And presumably, a thing she doesn’t know about. We know all these characteristics to be true from the much more familiar case of religions – only a vanishing minority even of true believers actually behave as if they’re going to burn in Hell for their sinful actions – somewhere deep inside, subconsciously, they know it isn’t true albeit they consciously ‘believe’ that it is.

    Alan: ‘…Two of their demands seem contradictory…”

    The fundamental untruth at the heart of all strong cultures, mean that they are riddled with contradictions, which typically buffer the main narrative untruth from outside reality via a vast network of smaller / lesser contradictions. Of which as John notes for strong political cultures, one near the top of that network tree is an old chestnut, though it is not typically expressed in such an obvious form. Albeit the implication is a few will die to save the many, to state it so obviously is a sign of the cultures confidence, its ascendancy. More typically such cultural hypocrisies are *obscured* by smoke and mirrors. It’s not usually worth unravelling all the myriad contradictions and hypocrisies; they occur in reams of convolutions, and we know why this is.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. “If fossil-fuel usage actually dramatically declined, the culture would be immediately doomed.”

    This is why Renewables are such a perfect policy for the culture, involving mass effort and money and infra-structure tied up in the culture, and constant proselytising of the culture’s values to expand same, while having no chance whatsoever of removing the fossil-fuel usage that is actually keeping the culture alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hunter Lovins used to be married to environmentalist Amory Lovins, of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Colorado, which she co-founded with him. She obviously liked the name…
    Yet another lawyer – Hunter Lovins received an undergraduate degree in sociology and political science from Pitzer College in 1972, and a J.D. from Loyola Law School in 1975.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amory_Lovins
    Amory Lovins spent about a decade as British Representative for Friends of the Earth. Married Hunter Sheldon in 1979, divorced in 1999.

    Like

  14. Greta Thunberg is the Winner of the First Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity • MassisPost

    Greta Thunberg said: “I’m extremely honored to receive the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity. We’re in a climate emergency, and my foundation will as quickly as possible donate all the prize money of 1 million Euros to support organizations and projects that are fighting for a sustainable world, defending nature and supporting people already facing the worst impacts of the climate and ecological crisis — particularly those living in the Global South. (Global South is UN-speak)

    Starting with giving €100.000 to the SOS Amazonia campaign, led by Fridays For Future Brazil to tackle Covid-19 in the Amazon, and €100.000 to the Stop Ecocide Foundation to support their work to make ecocide an international crime.”

    The Grand Jury chaired by Jorge Sampaio, President of the Portuguese Republic from 1996 to 2006, is composed of personalities like:
    Hans Joachim Schellnhuber (Founder and Director Emeritus of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research),
    Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim (President of Indigenous Women and Peoples Association of Chad),
    Johan Rockström (Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Professor at the University of Potsdam),
    Katherine Richardson (Coordinator of the Centre of Sustainability Science at the University of Copenhagen),
    Miguel Arias Cañete (former European Energy and Climate Action Commissioner),
    Miguel Bastos Araújo (Geographer, Pessoa Award 2018),  
    Runa Khan (Founder and Executive Director of the Friendship NGO and Country Chair of Global Dignity Bangladesh) and
    Sunita Narain (Writer and environmental activist, Director of the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi).

    Her “foundation” is obviously well financed, if she can afford to give away a million euros.

    Like

  15. ANDY WEST

    Greta has hit exactly upon the most key characteristic of a culture – it’s dominant narrative, while being highly emotive and persuasive, *must* be dead wrong in order to achieve its purpose.

    Really? “dead wrong”? Surely it must be at least a little bit right – morally for example – in order to take hold. The defiance of a freaky minority of Hebrew and Aramaic-speakers on the fringes of the Roman empire first provided a focus of resistance to the corruption and cruelty of the regime (a moral good) but also made some progress towards rationality (less use of chicken entrails in decision-making, less waste of protein on altars.) Could they have done it without getting eaten alive by lions in the arena? Probably not, and that’s where your analysis of the irrational nature of cultural change is so useful. Early Christians correctly spotted some things wrong with the system, and blundered towards some partial solutions. “Doing some things a bit better for the wrong reasons” seems a description that aligns your analysis of the nature of cultures with the undoubted facts of progress.

    What’s “right” about environmentalism is the objection to the trash littering the countryside, the conditions of work in Bolivian cobalt mines, etc. We all struck at some time in our lives by the realisation that the planet is in a mess. Life is messy; death is messy; our bodies are messy – and who better than adolescent girls to articulate this profound truth?

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Geoff: Good observations. But the problem here is that the absolute right / wrong of cultural narratives, and the moral alignment that humans derive from such narratives, are not the same thing, albeit such narratives as each comes along for sure shift the moral landscape (for better or worse).

    In absolute terms, while I add the caveat of ‘strong’ culture and I guess also ‘established’, then ‘dead wrong’ is still applicable. Regarding your example, ‘a single God’ is still just as dead wrong as ‘a pantheon’, because there are *no* gods. We tend to let this go for religion, and some political cultures too, because indeed they often boil down to “Doing some things a bit better for the wrong reasons”. Which incidentally is a great way of putting it. Yet it is still important to understand that the primary cultural narrative *must* be dead wrong, because it cannot accomplish its purpose otherwise, after which realisation we *may* choose to turn a blind eye if it is driving a net ‘better’ context than what went before, but at which point we may also choose not to if it is net worse. In the specific case of catastrophic climate change aka global warming as was, while indeed some good things are no doubt hiding within, e.g. simply more environmental awareness, I think it’s highly likely that this is the worst thing that could ever possibly have happened to the prior causes of environmentalism, and so indeed the environment. Not to mention the numerous other human damages. Imagine a planet where everything was exactly the same as here, but for some magical reason GW hadn’t taken off as a cultural movement, remaining a rational and scientific topic, so rationally dealt with. I strongly suspect that would be a net much better planet.

    But for sure I concede that only future history can tell whether cultures are net good or bad. We know from our evolutionary history that they have systemically been net good for group survival, because that is exactly why they are so prevalent and why our brains are so geared to them. But we also don’t know how much we need them any more, and that for sure they can be very net bad on occasion, like the culture that arose in central Europe in the 1930s for instance. In practice, I think we still do need them. We are not Vulcans, and so need cultural motivation to do communal good things, despite this means we will be doing some cultural bad things too. We haven’t yet grown out of the need; as someone Latin and famous who I can’t recall once said, ‘even by our own aspirations, we are but half-men’. But despite this continuing need, we have to remember indeed that they are all dead wrong, because that’s our main tool for mitigating the downsides and applying the brakes, should the beast veer too far off the path. This is more important especially for secular cultures that have stolen the cloak of science, because science is the very lens which we use to understand that cultural narratives are dead wrong (as exemplified by the exposure of religious narratives). If the culture has grabbed the focus knob, far less people who should be rational about the issue are going to realise that it is indeed dead wrong, even it it has transitioned from dead wrong but useful to dead wrong and deadly.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. There is so much still to learn…

    For example Hunter Lovins “served the King of Bhutan on his International Expert Working Group, charged with reinventing the global economy.”

    It is amazing in all sorts of ways. I might have to spend the rest of the day evaluating just what a prodigious achievement this is

    Liked by 2 people

  18. There’s not much that’s notable about Hunter Lovins other than her cow girl outfit. I remember her from this Intelligence Squared debate on whether “Major Reductions in Carbon Emissions are Not Worth the Money”:

    https://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/major-reductions-carbon-emissions-are-not-worth-money

    She probably out-shined her two dull team mates, Oliver Tickell and Adam Werbach. Werbach is probably a more interesting character (albeit a bleached flour bland debater}:

    https://reason.com/1998/03/01/green-beyond-his-years/

    They get hopelessly outclassed by Peter Huber, Philip Stott and Bjorn Lomborg. Intelligence Squared scores their debates by tallying how many minds get changed and Hunter’s team loses big time.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. A notable fact about Hunter Lovins: for a long time she lived in Hygiene, a settlement named after a TB sanatorium founded by a dunkard bishop called Stoner.

    Liked by 2 people

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