Blog entry by Alan Chapman

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by Alan Chapman - Monday, 18 November 2019, 8:38 AM
Anyone in the world

Climate Change and the Anthropocene

If you are interested in climate change and seek to understand how serious it might be, and to enable others to understand too, then this is powerful and helpful, although obviously very scary to many. So go easy. Many people will be shocked by this, and so please ensure thought and care is given for anyone who might be distressed.

Incidentally 'Anthropocene' refers to the epoch of planet Earth created by humans, proposed (by many geologists and other scientists) to follow the Holocene, and which is a classification currently under review by international geological institutes.  Anthropocene is therefore a useful term by which to explore greater understanding of the modern age, in the context of Earth's history, and future. The Anthropocene is absolutely not just about climate...


This description below is from the YouTube posting of the video by http://www.upfsi.org/ (United Planet Faith and Science Initiative) which is a very serious organisation I assure you, which you'll validate for yourself by looking at their website. So is https://www.scientistswarning.org/. Both organisations were founded by the extraordinary Stuart Scott, who is recovering from cancer treatment.  

"John Doyle is a long time EU staffer stationed in Brussels.  Stuart Scott was asked to make a 'reality-check' presentation to UN aid agencies with responsibility climate change in May 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.  With a recent cancer diagnosis, Stuart was unable to travel, and John was able to step in and make this climate assessment.  Here is John's 'catastrophe-check' to UN aid agencies. Diplomacy is the art and science of posturing, distortion and fabrication about underlying false and ideological mental positions about reality.  We are operating under a global political network of self-delusional agencies and individuals who seem to believe that if they just keep repeating a false narrative about Reality it will become true and real.  Parties to the climate talks need to stop talking so much and start acting.  But for this to happen, the world's citizens need to take them to account. The Student Strikes and other forms of civil disobedience are what's needed, but much more of it. One day a week of student striking is an inadequate response for a future being stolen for a full seven-days a week forever.  Stuart is hoping to heal enough from his cancer by treatment at the Mayo Clinic that he will be able to attend COP-25 to produce ScientistsWarning.TV programs daily again live from the climate talks.  If you wish to contribute to the Fund for Stuart's Healing here's the link. http://bit.ly/2kiQz2T The parallels between the cancer Stuart has contracted and the cancer that human civilization has contracted are so strong that he is aching for the chance to make the case live."

Love, Alan

P.S. There is always hope, for example brilliance such as https://simpol.org/ (simultaneous policy, global). The solutions must be via cooperation, not conflicting. 


Dr Ira Leifer is also highly regarded by Stuart Scottt: 

This is quick and easy..  Anthropocene  https://global.oup.com/academic/product/anthropocene-a-very-short-introduction-9780198792987?cc=gb&lang=en&

More, by Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin ...  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Human-Planet-Created-Anthropocene-Pelican/dp/0241280885

And I love the review (by 91 year-old Professor Yehezkel Dror, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) of Jennifer M Gidley's OUP VSI book Future...

If ever example were required of the value and wisdom of older people, this is a good one:

3.0 out of 5 stars HONORABLE MANIFET, BUT NOT A VALID GUIDE FOR STEERING HUMAN CULTURAL-TECHNOLOGICAL EVOLUTION   (31 December 2018 - Published on Amazon.com)

"After reading this book and rereading my notes, I think the fairest way to describe this book is to view it as a personal manifesto. It surely is different from the many short Oxford introductions I have read which provide professional discourse on their subjects, without multiplying their personal views on what should be done.

Let me first disclose that I read this book with a feeling of nostalgia, having personally been involved in many of the activities discussed in it and knowing personally main futurists mentioned in it, both in the world future movement and at the RAND Corporation (though I do not regard myself as a “futurists” but as an contemplative policy scientists).

Given this background I emphasize with the feelings of the author. But I have to be frank and point out at least seven errors, some minor and some very serious: (1) The author misreads some of the literature she discusses, such as Plato’s Republic. (2) When discussing major global problems, nuclear weapons are ignored. (3) Posing a choice between techno-futures and humanistic futures, the inherent co-evolution of culture and technology is ignored. (4) The trust in education is touching but wrong; thus the total humanistic egalitarian education in Israeli Kibbutzim was a failure, many of the best pupils leaving their Kibbutz and preferring capitalist technological Israel. (5) Very disturbing is the fact that much attention is given to artificial intelligence, while more advanced synthetic biology and its radical potentials are ignored. (6) as most such manifests this one too has a lot to say on what is necessary and should be done, but nothing on how to get it done; the realities of power and politics are ignored and hopes pinned on micro-activities completely unable to shape global policies.

(7) Worst of all, the author does not seem to realize that humanity is quantum-leaping into an epoch of metamorphosis, driven by emerging science and technology which provide Homo sapiens with unprecedented novogenesis power changing meta-evolution processes; this implies that (a) the past is only partly a basis for plausible outlooks; (b) therefore much depends on mental time travel, which is largely speculative though in part it can be based on explicit methods and tacit pattern recognition; (c) the future must be imagined in terms of deep uncertainty, up to inconceivability; (d) large domains of ignorance have to be recognized; (e) therefore all efforts to influence future-shaping processes are “fuzzy gambles,” often for high stakes; and (f) outlook and humanity-craft composing trying to impact on the future for the better require much knowledge and particular rather scarce “bends of mind,” not well-meaning but unqualified activists.

In short, futures studies need a novel paradigm. This is beyond the horizons of this text (and most ongoing future studies, from which I therefore disengaged), making it a honorable manifesto, but not a valid guide for steering human evolution into largely unknowable alternative futures."  (Professor Yehezkel Dror, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Again, go easy, and love,

Alan


[ Modified: Monday, 2 December 2019, 11:08 AM ]