Monday, March 31, 2014

Agnotology: The Surge - 8

Never shoot the messenger
James Lovelock, evidently an environmental religionist now, is telling everyone environmentalism is a religion for everyone involved.

I am reminded of Senators who are too old to be there, but just can't get off the stage.

The main reason for that mis-characterization of scientists as clerics has been stated here on Dredd Blog in posts past, thus, since today is the day that the final IPCC report for this current time frame will be released by scientists, let's get down to the nitty gritty reason for these shrill exaggerations:
A recent paper by the biologist Janis L Dickinson, published in the journal Ecology and Society, proposes that constant news and discussion about global warming makes it difficult for people to repress thoughts of death, and that they might respond to the terrifying prospect of climate breakdown in ways that strengthen their character armour but diminish our chances of survival. There is already experimental evidence suggesting that some people respond to reminders of death by increasing consumption. Dickinson proposes that growing evidence of climate change might boost this tendency, as well as raising antagonism towards scientists and environmentalists. Our message, after all, presents a lethal threat to the central immortality project of Western society: perpetual economic growth, supported by an ideology of entitlement and exceptionalism.
(Convergence - Fear of Death Syndrome, quoting Monbiot). That reality holds true as the cultural amygdala and personal amygdala subconsciously package reports of calamity in a manner that promotes personal as well as cultural denial:
There is a large amount of data indicating that the amygdala, a particular structure in the brain, is strongly involved during the learning of "conditioned" fear. However, until now, the underlying neuronal circuits have remained largely unknown.

Now, research ... has been able to identify, for the first time, distinct neuronal circuits within the central nucleus of the amygdala which are specifically involved in acquisition and control of behavioural fear responses.
(The Toxic Bridge To Everywhere, quoting Science Daily). A recent example was a state legislative body mandating that state reports shall not indicate that sea level can rise above eight inches over current levels:
There is virtually universal agreement among scientists that the sea will probably rise a good meter or more before the end of the century, wreaking havoc in low-lying coastal counties. So the members of the developers’ lobbying group NC-20 say the sea will rise only 8 inches, because … because … well, SHUT UP, that’s because why.

That is, the meter or so of sea level rise predicted for the NC Coastal Resources Commission by a state-appointed board of scientists is extremely inconvenient for counties along the coast. So the NC-20 types have decided that we can escape sea level rise – in North Carolina, anyhow – by making it against the law. Or making MEASURING it against the law, anyhow.
(Social Dementia ..., quoting Scientific American). Scientists, however, point out that if all ice caps melt a two hundred feet rise is more accurate (Will This Float Your Boat).

But the subconscious amygdala generates fear which propagandists use to deceive the minds of as many as they can, a dynamic which this series has been detailing (Agnotology: The Surge).

The ignorance generators within society, which Agnotolgy studies, has not only reached the North Carolina legislators, it has also contaminated legislators such as the republicans in the House of Representatives:
Climate change is happening, humans are the cause, and a shocking number — over 56 percent — of congressional Republicans refuse to accept it.

160 elected representatives from the 113th Congress have taken over $55.5 million from the fossil fuel industry that is the driving force behind the carbon emissions that cause climate change. They deny what over 97 percent of climate scientists say is happening — current human activity creates the greenhouse gas emissions that trap heat within the atmosphere and cause climate change. And their constituents are paying the price, with Americans across the nation suffering 419 climate-related national disaster declarations since 2011.
(Anti-Science Climate Denier Caucus). A geography professor turned expert denier is having a denier financial affair with those Luddites (Timothy Ball - presstitute for Oil-Qaeda).

These deceived deniers have been the foundation of the ideology that has brought down empires and societies as far back as our history records go:
A new study sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common."

The research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary 'Human And Nature DYnamical' (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharri of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.

It finds that according to the historical record even advanced, complex civilisations are susceptible to collapse, raising questions about the sustainability of modern civilisation:
"The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent."
By investigating the human-nature dynamics of these past cases of collapse, the project identifies the most salient interrelated factors which explain civilisational decline, and which may help determine the risk of collapse today: namely, Population, Climate, Water, Agriculture, and Energy.
(On The Origin of Catastrophe). Like the officials who ignored the landslide warnings in Washington state, it takes ignorant denial of warnings to lead us into catastrophe.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

A 1958 video which shows we went into the catastrophe with our "eyes wide open."

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