Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Global Warming vs Societal Decay

As a follow-up to my last post, in truth, I really don't know all the merits of the fix-it theories for Global Warming --- assuming it is a fact.

I haven’t read the Al Gore fact sheets or watched the movie. As a rant-writer, I make the assumption, and perhaps unfairly, that everything Al Gore may say, is a plagiarized work, with all of it extracted from other’s work and investigations.

Seems to me he too graciously accepted the Peace Prize for “his” work, when the work was no doubt far-removed from any personal research or documentation on his part. Maybe I’m misunderstanding something here but isn’t it odd that through a direct factory-buy, one can suddenly become the ‘originator’ of another’s writ?

Still I often ponder, going off topic a bit here, why no one is working on a theory to explain, in a similar manner, the chaotic thinking of modern society.

Seems if we could get to the cause of that, straighten it out a bit, get some wisdom and common sense in the air, society, as a whole, could develop the kind of sensitivity that we have towards preservation of our environment. A sensitivity that would make so much of society better at parenting, sustaining relationships, being responsible, practicing wisdom, conciliating rather than warring with other nations, and ultimately as an extension of clear and responsible thinking, tidying up our trash.

Though I can’t fault Mr. Gore for the best of intentions, if he doesn’t get this connect, I’m not certain his connect is truly authentic. Unless, of course, our societal break-down is solely due to melting ice and the ever expanding hole in the ozone layer.

Another possibility may be that our present condition is the outcome of some other atmospheric, climatic, or circumstantial phenomena, not yet countered or realized.

In truth, I have to wonder when there is so much child and animal abuse and violence in the news, where are the tabulations and schematics for explanatory theories for the causes and cures for all that? Where is the campaign leader to sensitize us to those realizations? Is it not an equal, if not greater concern – the concern of who we are and what we will become if action is not taken now?

But, of course, that's me coming out of left field again. And I’ll be the first to concede I am no authority on anything much.

Perhaps if I felt comfortable with snagging others thoughts, and passing them off as my own, I’d have some enviable solutions and an even more enviable theory. But there is a part of me that will not allow me to do that. Recycling is good, but not so good in that context.

And so now I give you my final admission. I’m too much of a dreamer of an earth-based Utopia, where children are cherished, animals are loved, nature reverenced, and relationships stabilized by selfless-commitment to embed myself in the symptoms of Global-Warming that are not necessarily the crux of the matter.


P.S. Feel free to debate these notions. The originality of your thoughts are safe with me.


Dick said...

I am, God knows, no scientist, but the burden of evidence indicating global warming seems to be absolutely overwhelming. I haven't seen the Gore film, nor am I very easily impressed by re-routed politicians at the best of times. Too many gamekeepers turned poacher amongst them. But I have read countless sober, measured, considered articles in the serious press.

I accept that, in the current climate (yuk-yuk), dissenters would have difficulty finding a platform for their alternative interpretations of undeniable phenomena. That having been said, Bush's payroll of oil-happy experts have been shrill in their condemnation of the Cassandras.

One thing seems certain: the truth is - as the old-style predictors of doom used to tell us - close at hand.

Pauline said...

As usual, you write a thought-provoking post.

I think Al Gore's achievement - whether he did his "own" research or relied on the research of respected scientists - was to bring the dangers of global warming to the attention of the public in an attention-getting way. In two minutes of googling, I unearthed a wealth of scientific information on global warming and its effects, including a brief explanation as to why some places are seeing record snowfalls. As much as we like to think of ourselves as original thinkers, we all get our seed information from somewhere, i.e. parents, teachers, experts, friends, books, mass media, etc. (in other words, from other humans). And while individual research leads to increased knowledge, the bulk of us simply read the results and either accept or reject what we want of what we read.

I agree that the world falls short of your idea of an earth-based Utopia and that we ought to give attention to those very things you mention, but even there, without a thorough understanding of what makes the human being what it is (continuing research still cannot explain to the satisfaction of everyone our obvious penchant for avarice and violence), how can we hope to change?

One does not have to be an authority to have an opinion but when it comes to original thought, one has to look carefully for the seed that generated it.

Roberta S said...

Hi Dick. I couldn't agree more with your observations about the Bush administration and "re-routed politicians."

The sober discussion about climate change will come later. I'll meet you out on the deck as soon as the temp again bottoms out at around -40 C. It's a discussion that is a bit like discussing religion and I know you'll agree that we want to have a 'cool-headed' debate. :D

Roberta S said...

pauline, I found your perspectus on original thought very interesting. It makes totally good sense.

But I have noticed something I planned to blog about for quite a while now, and haven't done so yet. The commonality of our thinking. Way too often I go to other blogs and find on any given day, that after I have written mine, that there are an uncanny number of people that are writing on similar themes without any of us having any knowledge of what the other had written. One day I found another blog that so closely echoed every line that was written that I felt compelled to send a note of explanation assuring that I had in no way copied her work because in writing mine I hadn't even read hers yet.

And I also have to say that on more than one occasion this has happened with the things you write. It is something pleasureable to discover, but so mysterious. I shrug and say, "Oh well, I guess Pauline and I think alike in many respects."

Yes, global and political happenings are often at the root of this commonality of thought, or, as you suggest, seeds garnished from another, but still I have to wonder if something more obtuse, like planetary arrangements or primeval DNA, put us in similar frames of mind.

Guess I won't need to write that blog now. I've already pretty much written it.

I do feel complemented when our ideas on any given day mesh in that magical way. And, I may or may not do the climate-change research, but either way, I will do what I can to not harm this planet.

brad4d said...

my parents were pioneers of a new profession when they went into Social Work in the 40s but their lack of frustration with the improvement progress was because as trained observers realistic versus idealistic expectations get passed to progeny. I believe conflict resolution is the key to restorative justice through an understanding of mediation ~ the problem is that telling people what to do makes them defensive (expensive) due to these punitive reflexes to distrust copying.

WheelDancer said...

Interesting post! I do think that Al Gore has been instrumental in getting the topic on the table whether by his own hand or not. I do think that without him the 'green revolution' would be less mainstream than it has become and I think that is a good thing. However, I have to add my voice to your point of chaotic thinking.

I think the most wasted natural resource is human potential and creativity. Education is the fertilizer without which weeds, or chaotic thinking as you put it, over-run the garden. There is, in my humble opinion, only one thing we need to make sure we all learn and that is critical thinking. With critical thinking skills we would understand that our environment hosts our existence and must be preserved if we are to thrive. Environment in this sense includes the physical, social, relationship and spiritual facets to our human experience. From this perspective, global warming (and so many other societal ills) is just a symptom of our failure to cultivate critical thinking.

Well I could go on here until I wore my fingers to a nub but would this be a different world if education and military budgets were swapped? We live in a complex world that can't be understood without learning to think about it but that takes resources which are currently wasted on fear mongering. So I'll sign off, standing as I am in my own left field.

Roberta S said...

Hi again brad4d. And again you speak truth. For a certainty, I more readily stash away original idealistic notions then practical notions pressed on me by outside sources. As for mediation justice -- it's a huge concept. I recall some excellent 'bradims' concerning it that I probably should review.

Roberta S said...

I agree with you, but not completely wheeldancer. Our academic institutions press notions of superiority and educated self-righteousness (and cloned thinking as well) on the minds intrusted to them. It is not any great education that gives me the appreciation I have for doing what I can for a healthy environment. It is my simple awe and reverence for the beauty of nature and the hand that created it. And I don't think that can be called 'critical thinking' -- at least not in an academic sense.

Still thank you for visiting. I enjoyed the discussion and reading the points you made.

Esther said...

I read something that one of theer Kennedys wrote (third generation) regarding the issue of global warming and he said something profound to me. He has noticed that a certain species of bird that usually migrated south each winter has stopped doing so, and was content to stay on through the not so cold winters (this is in Massechusetts). He said that part of the problem, is that we are not teaching our chidren how to live outdoors or experience wildlife and that just simple observations would tell us, that something is changing. I noticed this in my own neck of the woods, species of ducks, that I never used to see before are now settling here in the winter, when they would go further south. We need to be outdoors more, I think it would all become clear to us.

Roberta S said...

Perhaps we do, esther, but last week I went out with visitor puppy very early in the morning for about ten minutes. It was -48C. It was a first. I did it, I lived through it, I can record it, but I will NEVER do it again if I can possibly avoid it.

The temperature here this week broke past records...and that's how sceptics are born.