Dr. Flannery has done a great service to mankind through is book which explains the details of climate change in layman's terms such that the reader can fully comprehend the magnitude of the problem. He looses points for thinking man has the capacity to understand and deal with climate change.
Dr. Tim Flannery
Dr. Suzuki has been trying to convince us that we need to clean up our act for over 30 years, and his message has been ignored. Dr. Suzuki is a very soft spoken messenger to our detriment. Perhaps if he'd screamed a little louder more of us would have heard him and climate change would not be an issue. He looses points for thinking man has the capacity to understand and deal with climate change.
Dr. David Suzuki
I lose points for thinking man has the capacity to understand and deal with climate change. (But I am beginning to get some of my points back.)
It's both amusing and pathetic to see how someone with a great capacity to learn has never learned the art of reasoning. It is sad but true that there are many of us who could learn to reason but who never do. Human induced climate change is so obvious to anyone with basic reasoning ability. I pity Dr. Singer
Dr. P. Singer
George and George senior have always enjoyed the power to kill others with impunity. It has been the mark of both their presidencies. Population reduction will be there families greatest contribution to reducing the threat of climate change. It's like George senior said of Saddam Hussein, "Kill him! Kill him!" Should I say, "what goes around comes around"? Heh!, not his fault he's a moron.
US President Bush
Actually he forgot about God. This is one dude that just begged to be at the top of the list. No fear of a lobotomy for this guy. Nothing to work with.
US Senator Inhofe
It's Not A Question Of Facts, But Perceptions, Says CBSNews.com's Dick Meyer. You can see the full story and read the reader's comments (which further demonstrate the thesis ) at the CBS news sight
Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist who wrote "Stumbling on Happiness," summed
up evolutionary psychology's perspective by noting how global warming
lacked four traits "the human brain evolved to respond to."
First, the threat is not human and we "social mammals" are especially sensitive to dangers from other humans — and dangers that are intentional (terrorism) rather than accidental (floods). Similarly, homo sapiens respond with greater instinctive power to threats that violate group sensibilities or "moral emotions;" global warming doesn't spawn visceral feelings (for most) of something "indecent, impious or repulsive." Third and most obvious, the threat of global warming is far, far away, not immediate, not something that makes you duck or twitch. In fact, a person really has to use the analytic brain hunks to get in a global warming lather, not the affective or emotional mechanisms that detect common threats and risks. As another scholar said, "risk is a feeling." Statistics and reports don't enter the brain through feeling portals. So after Hurricane Katrina, polling found concern about global warming ticked up. Similarly, climate change is gradual. Indeed it is invisible; there are no "affective" sights and sounds to switch on the neurological special alert system — no infernos, poxes, pests and plagues.
The problem with the Darwinian angle here is that it doesn't explain why some human brains do feel threatened and worried by global warming and some don't. The biggest variable here is probably simple anthropology: as social mammals, we use the group to survive and thus tend to share the beliefs of our own group. In modern society, groups are intangible and amorphous; they aren't discrete tribes gathering walnuts and spearing bison. Group ties are as often emotional or even ideological as geographic or even familial. You may identify, with varying degrees of self-consciousness, as a Catholic, a Green, a Jew, a small businessman, an African-American, a geek, a recovering alcoholic, a Republican, a liberal, a lesbian, an Italian-American, a Blue Blood, a Texan, an artist or a stamp collector. Most people cross-pollinate.
Intelligence ~ the curse given the few which forces them to witness mankind’s march to extinction while being pulled helplessly along by the crowd.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In the last decade a great many studies have been done that point to serious
fallacies in this belief. A few examples are included below. There is
much documentation of this available on the net, in books, in scientific works, and even, from
time to time, in the news. No one seems to put it together in one
place. (Until now.)
1. Your eyes do not see anything when they are moving. You can only see one ninth of the time you are looking at something, and your brain fills in the missing data based on experience. If the experience is not the same it will fill it in wrong. Hence you cannot watch a ball being thrown from one person to another. Try it, you only get snapshots between eye movements. The magician is very aware of this and using distraction can perform a series of acts right in front of you and you don't see them.
2. If an eye witness is fed false information immediately after witnessing an occurrence such as a traffic accident, his/her perception of what happened can be changed such that the witness is totally convinced and can picture the false details as clearly and assuredly as if they were the true occurrence and with even more conviction than with the correct information due to the confirmation by the supplier of the false information.
3. If you are told by a trusted authority that something is true then you will adopt it's truth as your own. For example the world is round. Personally, I have no experience in my life other than anecdotal information that this is true. You will be brain washed. For example most Americans, and for that matter most of the world believes, that the United States is a democracy. Not true. The Electoral College chooses the US president. He is not elected by the people even though they vote for him.
4. Only approximately 40% of the population has the ability to reason. The other 60% simply parrot what they have been told by others or have observed with limited vision. They believe they are reasoning even though they aren't. This phenomenon is across the board. That is to say that there are mentally retarded children with better reasoning capabilities than some Supreme Court judges and visa versa of course. That may be one good reason for not ending up in court. Reason is a learned capability that takes years of practise. Thinking outside the box or scratching your head does not come automatically.
5. Remember the IQ chart above when you walk down the street next. Every second person you meet is stupid and the others are nuts.
6. Recent studies in the Netherlands have brought into focus a suspected communication problem that hitherto received little attention. We all know that two people speaking different languages have difficulty communicating. What we now know is that two people speaking the same language only actually interpret the conversation correctly about 40% of the time. In other words when I speak you only get about 40% of what I say. And visa versa. Part of this phenomenon is the limitations of the language itself, and part is due to experience.
i.e. "The man was chasing the girl on the bicycle" Who's on the bicycle?
For example the Eskimo and the British Columbian Logger are sitting in a bar talking about cutting trees. The logger speaks of the huge machinery they use to cut the trees and haul them out of the bush. The Eskimo says they just use a snowmobile and cut them off at the base with a machete. They both leave the bar thinking the other is an idiot. Neither has seen what the other calls a forest and neither knows the size of a tall tree. The logger thinks a tall tree is 200 feet and the Eskimo thinks its 10 feet.
To resolve this dilemma we do what we call form a consensus by talking and talking and talking until we weed out the differences or one brainwashes the other. This is probably the most common cause of war next to religion.
You can see how these things might affect our legal system. The evidence given in court is mostly unwittingly made up by the witnesses. The poor defendant hasn't got a hope in hell of a fair trial. Not to mention that the judge only understands about 40% of what he is listening to.
7. No two people actually speak the same language. We are like snowflakes. For daily conversation we are close enough but when it comes to any sort of dispute the frailty of the language really shows up.
8. Finally; If we are so damn intelligent then why are we killing ourselves with our own pollution?
9. Oops: A new study in 2009 has demonstrated again that humans do not have free will. Now that puts a whole different light on things. See the video below. Some of the ramifications of this are boggling. For example if you don't have free will then are you responsible for the things you do? What about scientific peer review? Who is responsible if you beat up your neighbour? More on this soon.
One phrase, that although insignificant, has bothered me
for a long time. The common comment, "It's better than
Now in my opinion sliced bread is one of the, if not thee, stupidest invention that mankind has ever come up with. It totally destroys the protection of the crust and requires all sorts of additives to keep it from spoiling before you get it home. I've always considered the above comment to be a sarcastic pronouncement and am damned insulted when someone refers to one of my ideas as 'better than sliced bread'. Yet I often wonder if some %*^#@ actually think it is a complement and that sliced bread is actually a good idea.
group affiliations are likely to be a strong determinant of your feelings
(feelings you will call a "position"). Do you think global warming is an
urgent problem because you are a Democrat or are you a Democrat because you
think global warming is an urgent problem? Some variant of the former is
most likely, I'm sorry to report.
Scandinavians and Germans have been the most alarmed and politically active about global warming. Why? Diet? Too much existentialism?
Compared to other countries, Americans display an unusually large disconnect in describing themselves as environmentalists by being broadly unwilling to support voluntary restraints and vigorous laws and regulations. (This comes from a paper called "The American Paradox" by Dale Jamieson of New York University, part of a fascinating collection of papers on "Global Warming: The Psychology of Long-Term Risk" in the July 2006 edition of a journal called, "Climactic Change.")
Group identification not only orients specific positions but what might be called the distribution of alarm. Elke Weber, also writing in "Climactic Change," notes that societies have a "finite pool of worry." Neither a group nor an individual can stay at red alert about terrorism, salmonella, bird flu, identity theft and global warming. We don't prioritize threats and risks rationally; we do it emotionally and through the genius or dumbness of crowds.
On top of all this very cool psycho-babble are some common-sense factors that keep global warming from triggering our inner worry monkeys. It's a hard problem to solve; OK, the world is warming, but it's not like you can go out and buy a Glock, duct tape or Cipro and do anything. Global warming is also the classic other guys' problem: leave it for the next generation; let the Chinese cut their pollution then we'll talk. It is also susceptible to optimism: American ingenuity will fix it.
"Global warming is a deadly threat precisely because it fails to trip the brain's alarm, leaving us soundly asleep in a burning bed," Daniel Gilbert wrote.
Scientists, economists and "ists" of all sorts have probably done all they can do to trigger our humanoid alarm systems. American politicians will probably hurt, not help. Bizarre and inconvenient as it sounds, effective and affective warnings and information about global warming will likely come from novelists, moviemakers and comedians.