This is a collection of comments that may be interesting but are off topic.
The funny thing is that science is not really the answer to any of this – as we have seen Gory Al presents his Toyota sponsored version and in this blog we can read the G.M version, or whichever persuasion it is – perhaps an independent one, although that is a very difficult term.
At the end of the day, there are people dying every single day as a consequence of melting glaciers and failing crops and billions of people literally live under a brown cloud in Asia – and the point is that most of this seem to anyone – but the most idiotic fool in denial – as consequences of industrial capitalism, so the question is: what are we going to do about it? Sit around and write blogs about how it is /not/ happening or how there is no scientific “proof” that can tie such effects to any cause?
I, for one, need no science, really. Just go out there, in the real world, switch off the TV and go see some people who already live in the aftermath of industrial capitalism. Tell them that there is no evidence.
If you read through my blog you will notice that I try to respond with thoughtfulness and courtesy.
But I must say, in all sincerity and hopefully in a constructive way, that your comment, above, is just plain foolish. Your emotions will not solve the problems of the world. Your caring and good intentions will not solve the problems of the world. Complex problems require reason, and science is the result of the most effective form of reasoning.
I understand that it is very hip for beneficiaries of the industrial capitalist world to prove their higher moral existences to each other by ignoring the pros and exaggerating the cons of capitalism and the reasoning of science. I wouldn’t care so much, except for the damage that is done when their ill-considered plans go wrong.
Very simply, capitalism and science have brought more benefit to more people than any two other concepts in history. I have no doubt you can list examples of where it has failed – but there are ten successes for every failure.
We are at a crossroads, where one direction will take us down a path of expending huge amounts of time and treasure to solve problems that may be of little or no consequence (i.e. anthropogenic climate change). If this path is taken, there will be very little resources left to engage in projects that can really help the impoverished of the world.
I sincerely wish you success in your efforts to help the indigenous people of South America. But I suspect that your efforts will lead to naught, or worse, until you take on a more rational attitude.
Science has helped us a lot. We are very rational – quantifying and qualifying all aspects of our project within a framework of analytical philosophy and scholarly ethnography, but always reasonable enough to expand our field of vision, should experience show us something new – like good scientists we don’t stand on a firm ground of certainty, but seek to break down the barriers of ignorance through experimentation.
Foolish is a compliment. Thank you.
I know that when someone starts quoting Nietzsche or Goethe that I am in the presence of the enlightened elite.
Since you seem to be an anti-capitalist, chew on this quote from Nietzsche’s “Human, All Too Human:”
“Socialism is the visionary younger brother of an almost decrepit despotism, whose heir it wants to be; thus its efforts are reactionary in the deepest sense. For it desires an abundance of executive power, as only despotism has ever had; indeed, it outdoes everything in the past by striving for the downright destruction of the individual, who it sees as an unauthorized luxury of nature, and who it intends to improve into a useful organ of the community. It crops up in the vicinity of all excessive displays of power because of its relation to it, like the typical old socialist Plato, at the court of the Sicilian tyrant; it desires (and in certain circumstances, furthers) the Caesarean power state of this century, because, as we said, it would like to be its heir. But even this inheritance would not suffice for its purposes, it needs the most submissive subjugation of all citizens to the absolute state, the like of which has never existed; and since it cannot even count any longer on the old religious piety towards the state, having rather always to work automatically to eliminate piety—because it works on the elimination of all existing states—, it can only hope to exist here and there for short periods of time by means of the most extreme terrorism. Therefore, it secretly prepares for reigns of terror, and drives the word “justice” like a nail into the heads of the half-educated masses, to rob them completely of their reason (after this reason has already suffered a great deal from its half-education), and to create in them a good conscience for the evil game that they are to play.”
Give my regards to your grandfather, he sounds like a swell guy.