|24 Sep 2005 @ 22:29, by Uncle Remus|
© Bill Watterson 1993
While the Union of Concerned Scientists has been stressing that our civilization needs to urgently confront the root causes of the crisis the world is facing (i.e. the distortions of the global market and overpopulation,) proponents of the status-quo (who present themselves as sober, practical people, patiently pegging away against the legions of apocalyptic doomsters) consistently have been arguing that we just have to be patient, that a solution will emerge from our slowly evolving civilization just as it is right now, and that the current system will prove enough to create an incentive for resources to be used efficiently, new technologies to be devised and further resources to be discovered (quote: "I think for most of us this just isnt happening fast enough, and being most americans I know, want instant gratification, we are there just be patient...".)
The argument is painted in black or white terms:
Either x or y.
If x then q.
If y then r.
Quote: "To me it's all or nothing, Grow with the tech or go back to the land and live as the animals do, eat each other in hard times, make more babies in the good times. I personaly don't think that is what our creator intended for us. Picturing 6 billion campfires burning in the woods, 6 billion bows and arrows, 6 billion dead rabbits a day. Where exacly do you see the balance? Other than a government telling you how to live and what you will eat tonight and how much you get to eat, and how many times you are allowed to flush the toilet per day."
Any compromise of the satus-quo is perceived as a threat to the economy and a threat to our jobs (quote: "Right now if you did a study you would find, that if there was no oil all of a sudden, just about every manufaturing and construction comadaties uses oil some how, there would be no jobs.")
While some are sincerely concerned, there are always those (present NCN company excluded, of course) who are more concerned about politics and portraying the environmentalists' legitimate concerns as part of a missguided, or vicious, left-wing liberal agenda.
A straw man, typically, is created by extending an opponent's ideas: "You are advocating A; the next thing, you'll be advocating B, and then C, or D, why don't you?" Then you show how terrible or foolish or impractical D is. Of course, D was not what one was talking about in the first place (though, conveniently, if one so chooses, one can always find extremists or "plants" who do.)
People say a lot of things. They play many games, too. Ultimately, what is of interest is not what people say. It's what people actually do. Or what people say can be done, that can actually be done. And so, what's surprising is that seemingly no more has been done. It is almost as if people had been lulled into believing that the laws of the market and doing things as usual will eventually take care of the problem (through scientific innovation and human ingenuity), forgetting, perhaps, that the laws of the market and doing things as usual is precisely what created the mess we are in, in the first place.
Hopefully, there is a third way.
Here is hoping that a New Civilization is on its way, which can do better than that.
The quoted passages come from various threads, here, Work To Save Planet Earth, and here, Energy.
The above referenced article, Energy, was removed from the Newslog by its author and is no longer accessible on this network.
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