This blog recently commented upon the presence of energy fascism, a.k.a., Exonomies of Scale, at COP15. Noam Chomsky has observed that “American democracy is nothing but media performance art, designed to deceive the Electorate while the Financial Elite pillage.”
Referring to it as the world’s largest climate change demonstration, NYC Treehugger Matthew McDermott reports that “on the coldest day of COP15 so far, and also the only sunny one, somewhere between 40,000 and 100,000 people assembled in Christiansborg Slotsplads and marched the six kilometers to the Bella Center to demand strong action on climate change, climate justice and basically raised their voices to say that what is needed now is full-fledged system change.”
Something similar was said by the demonstrators that marched through Copenhagen after the first week of COP15. They called for System Change, Not Climate Change. Pretty simple and straight forward. Is the Klima Kollecktivet, kerrect?
Well, climate change will continue no matter what is done because of what already has been done. Do we need system change? This blog would say, “Yes.” The question, then, would seem to be… No, not “How?”, there is lots said about that, or even “Why?”, more and more is being said by church bells and the like, No, the question this blog considered is: “Why isn’t the System (whatever that is) changing?”
What started me into a particular direction with this rumination was being pushed to The Edge in Paris, specifically a video, “Signatures of Consciousness,” wherein Stanislas Dehaene introduced a theory of consciousness, which he admited is a simplification. So if you were looking for how to induce mindfulness into climate deniers, best move along, Citizen.
When neural activity in the brain exceeds a particular communications threshold across multiple brain areas, the brain enters a large-scale synchronous state and consciousness appears. The researchers have also devised an empirical test for the presence of consciousness and tested it on human patients in coma, vegetative state, and locked-in syndrome. So far, their test seems to reliably detect which patients have residual consciousness.
BTW: There is some evidence that consciousness may not require a big brain.
So what if the marchers and the security, the arrests and the media coverage, all are necessary, and yet these events, in a sense, constitute processing that, from a global perspective, is occurring subliminally, a.k.a., “under the radar.” It is other than what everyone, everywhere around the world is going on about at the water cooler. The hive mind that is humanity remains unconscious of a crisis.
Actually, some about what Professor Dehaene spoke, reminded me of the Matrix. In writing about the red pill / blue pill as a metaphor for the Aristotelean question of whether to lead “an examined life”, Oliver McAdoo observes, “Questioning the status quo carries the danger of ostracism, possibly persecution. This aspect has a strong link with politics.”
People doing well under the current system are not inclined to look favourably on those who question the system. Morpheus says to Neo “You have to understand that many people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.”
Chomsky begins his essay, “Crisis and Hope“, by repeating a verb. A simple verb, one that we learn as children:
Perhaps I may begin with a few words about the title. There is too much nuance and variety to make such sharp distinctions as theirs-and-ours, them-and-us. And neither I nor anyone can presume to speak for “us.” But I will pretend (My emphasis) it is possible.
There is also a problem with the term “crisis.” Which one? There are numerous very severe crises, interwoven in ways that preclude any clear separation. But again I will pretend (My emphasis) otherwise, for simplicity.
Chomsky begins his essay by exploring the concept of pretense. In the rooms of recovery, the phrase is used, “Act as if”. This blog has been thinking about national and international climate policy and about pretense. How does pretense differ from deception? denial? delay? hope?
“Excuses and pretexts for not taking action on the environment, and assertions that there are more important problems, are simply no longer credible. If we fail on this problem, we’ll fail on all the others.” Z. Gorbachev
And, what would change if humanity pretended there was a climate crisis… not just a few thoughtful people or most of the world’s climate scientists… Everybody. What if what was done to respond to the crisis was constantly in the news… with every update… by every talking head? What would the governments of the world start to do? What would we be doing different?
And, would the awareness come in time for a survival response?
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