Friday, January 4, 2013

Of bangs and whimpers

In response to this post, also sent as an email to a reading group in which I participate, I got a reply leading to some indeed dire evidence that our climate problem may be beyond fixing. I responded with the following, also bringing in the current book we are reading, Incognito by David Eagleman.

This reflects a more a general trend of defeatism, that there's nothing to be done, the world will end, and we should just accept it. I'm not convinced. We are too easily writing off the human spirit, and by that I don't mean something 'spiritual' but more like our ingenuity,  resourcefulness and will.

Or in terms of Incognito, our neuroplasticity. In reading that book it at first appears to also follow the path of pessimism in that most of our behavior is controlled by zombie systems beyond our control so why bother. To the contrary the author, while acknowledging the evidence, also knows we can modify our zombie systems to some degree, that our brains are plastic and changeable, that we can and do learn and evolve.

And so it is with climate change and the technology we'll need to create to solve this predicament. Along this line of thinking China, while the leader in anthropocentric CO2 production, has new leaders who are inclined toward Rifkin's effective social and technological (neuroplastic, if you will) changes. There is still hope, and as long as there is I will continue to fight for a better, more healthy and just world. And even when all hope seems lost I'd prefer to go out with a bang than a whimper.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.