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Environment and Ideology

Understanding the Basics

L Graham Smith

on 3 April 2015

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Transcript of Environment and Ideology

Facts don't change your perspective
Your perspective changes your facts
Environmental Change
There are no environmental problems extant that we lack the ability or technology to address

The major issue facing society is poverty and its consequences:
Social injustice

This is an issue of governance and social construction
Seemingly intractable
Not amenable to short political timelines

Lacks widespread support
Invokes a morality that imposes elitist beliefs in contradiction to the well-being of the masses in favour of justification of elite oppression and control
Climate Change
Climate changes
This is
a priori
neither good nor bad:
it just is, or
it is no longer a scientific proposition or fact
Heinlein on Social responsibility
Social responsibility above the level of family, or at most of tribe, requires imagination-- devotion, loyalty, all the higher virtues -- which a man must develop himself; if he has them forced down him, he will vomit them out.
Environment and Ideology
Understanding the Basics


All change is threatening
All change is opportunity
Change is perpetrated by human agency
Change requires human
adaptation irrespective of cause
More governance is the best (only) reaction
Freedom of choice best facilitates creative thinking as a response
Environmental issues are used as a proxy to:
Conflate issues
Subsume questions
Contain discontent, by
Distracting attention away from societal inability and unwillingness to address fundamental reforms and political change, and
Compel conformity and compliance with elite control
Science used as both the justification for moral suasion and as the tool of authority and intimidation

Represents the antithesis to this contrived ideology
It is:
Global change that is liberating the masses
Inspired by unprecedented technological innovation
Unconstrained by attempts to control, govern and/or police it
Technology and Innovation
Fear and Stasis?
Trust and Dynamism?
A politics of limits or prosperity?
A narrrative of tragedy or overcoming?
A discourse of insecurity or affluence?
A future of control or creativity?
As Illustration and embodiment of stasis environmental ideology
Stasis narrative construction:
Climate is changing rapidly, in an unprecedented manner with potentially devastating effects (
Those changes, as evidenced by Global Warming, are being driven by human agency (
) with potentially catastrophic consequences
Climate change is now conflated with AGW, which morphs into CAGW to subsume a myriad of extant ills and injustices and any dissension is not a reasonable questioning of the resulting policies but an inferred denial of science, of morality and compassion
that increased governance is the only solution)
The narrative is embedded in education and the media and any skepticism is dismissed through marginalization

Issues are neither of science nor concerned fundamentally with the environment
But are relate to governance and the absence of moral imperative in political leadership
Ecomyths is a blog designed to help people think for themselves. Empirical data are contrasted with theories to examine axiomatic myths: ideas taken to be so well accepted that they don't need to be proven. It seeks to change ideas, correct fallacies and challenge dominant constructs by having people read, think and reflect for themselves about contemporary issues.
Sustainability is the capacity of a system to engage in the complexities of continuous improvement consistent with deep values of human purpose.
Sustainability is a management construct. The central question it addresses is:
how do we manage growth and future change so that it is sustainable?
Sustainability is change.
Not the denial of change, the suppression of change, nor the control of change.

To implement sustainability effectively we must address this distinction directly in the consideration of power, precaution and the perpetuation of ecomyths.
Resources are not, they become
A resource is defined by four conditions:
it is known
a demand exists for it
it is spatially delineated, and
its development and production are economically viable.

All four of these conditions change with technology. As technology advances, so does our conception and definition of the resource base.
Limits do not exist
Intergenerational equity is a myth
Appeals for conservation are unwarranted
Much of sustainability is asking the wrong question
Technology has not slowed, it has continued to advance, become cheaper, smaller, more effective, more efficient and finally, more equitable under contemporary globalization.
One of the most challenging concepts for people to grasp is that resources are not finite. Long before their absolute limits are reached, scarcity elevates the price of the resource past the point at which the resource supply switches to a better, cheaper, alternative resource. This has happened all through history. Long before any resource was ever exhausted, it was replaced by an alternative provided by technological advancement in production, in manufacturing, or both.
Population is not the problem. Its not even resources. Its human will and the political decision to commit to human welfare, and not to the politics of their welfare.
The basis of all morality is duty, a concept with the same relation to group that self-interest has to individual
Man has no moral instinct. He is not born with moral sense. You were not born with it, I was not ... We acquire moral sense, when we do, through training, experience, and hard sweat of the mind.
The instinct to survive is human nature itself, and every aspect of our personalities derives from it. Anything that conflicts with the survival instinct acts sooner or later to eliminate the individual and thereby fails to show up in future generations. . . . A scientifically verifiable theory of morals must be rooted in the individual's instinct to survive--and nowhere else!--and must correctly describe the hierarchy of survival, note the motivations at each level, and resolve all conflicts. We have such a theory now; we can solve any moral problem, on any level. Self-interest, love of family, duty to country, responsibility toward the human race ..
As an ideology, does
a pedagogy for overcoming oppression or
a means to enforce compliance with the conformist beliefs of an intellectual and political elite?
An elitist ideology:
Corollary: You cannot enforce a morality on people who do not associate that ideology with their own social responsibility

Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable
. Orwell
elections in England exposed the gaping, probably unbridgeable chasm that now exists between the political class and the public. It’s official: Britain is now run by an oligarchy
Equality for Orwell was not a merely a measure or a statistic; it was a quality that all living humans have, a resistance to fate even at its most blind.
All the culture that is most truly native centres round things which even when they are communal are not official,
The way in which politicians pitch and hitch themselves to science reveals much about the politics and ‘ideology’ of the era
Who opposes globalization?
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