Thinking and Our Future

One of the purposes of this blog is to apply some of the ideas of some of the great thinkers to the great problems of our age, in particular, our energy supply and it's implications for the future of the Earth's climate. I think the particular combination of political philosophy and our energy future is severely neglected.

The limiting factor in tackling the danger of climate change is not our understanding of the physical climate. We know already that there is at the very least a credible risk of an average warming of 2 - 6 degrees Celsius above the long-term average, with a risk of severe impacts such as the melting of ice, the destruction of ecosystems and the desertification of fertile farmland. This in itself might motivate a concern to mitigate those risks.

We know the basic policies for tackling climate change; namely a price for carbon or carbon tax. However, these policies have not been implemented. This could be a communication problem or it could be something even more serious. If we accept there is a danger, we need to think about whether it is a problem which can be solved socially and politically. If not, what needs to change? More fundamentally, is there any agent or idea which can actually affect our trajectory? If we are on a road to hell, can we get off or take a different path? What are the boundaries to the emotiveness of our thoughts? Can science speak truth unto power and if so when? What is power and what language does he speak? How can you or I speak with him or her?

The economics of climate change is now a little less neglected, after the Stern review and the subsequent outburst of academic activity. But the political theory of climate change still seems to exist at a very basic level. Hopefully this blog will find those thinkers who are talking in the wilderness and to bring them in touch with this thread at least. If they cannot be found this blog aims to start to redress their absence.

2 comments:

Robin Smith said...

This question is so well put you should be made prime minister!!!

Well done. I am right behind you on this thought process.

I would go further and ask: Who are we trying to protect? Me, The Human Race, The Entire Biosphere... All The Above. the politics of climate change so far indicates its "Me" and I believe this is purely Darwinian and natural

But the opportunity is there now using technology, science, compassion to move post darwinian and create a positive sum for everyone and everything.

Like you say though, how to do it, how to start. A little truth and cooperation wouldnt go amiss.

TheClimatePhilosopher said...

thanks for your kind words.

good point on who are we trying to preserve.

yes, absolutely agree we need to use technology and science.

communication is essential to understanding this difficult problem and communication requires honesty and cooperation.