2021-11-03 The Enigma Of Climate Inaction


This hour long video is summed up by the first slide,

<< Main messages

– It’s complicated!

– Humans really don’t understand human behaviour.

– How we ‘act out’ in life springs from a complex interplay of nature and nurture.

– From the perspective of the public good’, H. sapiens is not primarily a rational species.

– Public policy is strongly tainted by cognitive and behavioral traits that operate beneath consciousness. We cannot, by definition, be aware of them.

– These traits were advantageous earlier in human evolution, but have become dangerously maladaptive in the complex techno-industrial environment humans themselves have created.

– One result: Global society will miss the Paris climate accord target of limiting global warming to <1.5 C° (likely also <2.0 C°).


At time 11:30

<< Our dominant social construct is a very bad map

Neoliberal economics, the entrenched economic narrative of modern techno-industrial (MTI) society, is simplistically reductionist. It contains no useful information about the ecological or social systems with which the economy interacts in the real world. Some crucial assumptions:

– the economy is separate from, and essentially independent, of the biophysical environment’.

– human ingenuity (efficiency and technology) can create substitutes for any potentially limiting natural resource.

– ethical and moral considerations are irrelevant to economic analysis; damage to ecosystems or communities are mere ‘externalities.’


<< Day 9 – William E. Rees: The Enigma of Climate Inaction – On the Human Nature of Policy Failu… >>

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