Self-titled “real ecologist,” Kveldulf Gunnar Larsson, gives himself a lofty task in The Alternative of Real Ecology1)Kveldulf Gunnar Larsson, The Alternative of Real Ecology (Germany: Solitude Books, 2016). when he attempts to critique ecology as it is presented today, environmentalism is it is practiced around the globe, and humanistic thought…all in a book that is self-styled as “a collection of thoughts […] not written to be taken seriously.”2)Larson, The Alternative of Real Ecology, 95, 266. Indeed, The Alternative of Real Ecology is a unique book insofar as it is, either intentionally or unintentionally, written in a quasi-Delezuoguttarian way by trying to do away with subjectivity both in the traditional, humanistic sense, and in the sense of being a book about something. Indeed, Larsson notes his book has no value in the traditional sense. “It has no scientific, academic or literary value. It was not written to entertain or make money. It has no educational value; it was not written to educate. It doesn’t even have any environmental value as it’s not an environmental book.”3)Ibid., 2. Unfortunately, the subsequent questions that arise from Larsson’s bold statements and radical project (e.g. ‘What am I reading?’ ‘Why am I reading this?’ ‘How ought I understand the human-‘nature’ relationship?’) receive little treatment apart from the repetition of slogans within the 260+ pages of the book. Furthermore, numerous editorial and stylistic errors hinder the reading of The Alternative of Real Ecology to the point that, not only does one become angry with the text itself, but the project as a whole is jeopardized. The subsequent review will be divided into three parts: substance, critique, and style; however, as we shall see, the nature of the project necessarily intertwines the three together.
So this post will be part one in my series “Ideology in Progress” where I, as the name suggests, try to formulate and explain my ethical-political ideology. These writings are as much for me as for you and as such I will try to be clear and concise, but considering my brain works by jumping around, the “parts” may not be in the most logical order and may be re-arranged later.
Additionally, in my meta post, “Part 0: What Am I (Politically)?” I created a bulleted list of aphorisms/things that I believe and these posts will be where I flesh them out.
Finally, the post titles will be an attempt at stating which aphorisms or ideas that run around my head so you know what to expect. So without further ado, it’s time to discuss nature.
A little over a week ago Bill Nye (the Science Guy) was on CNN’s “Crossfire” segment where he “debated”, and I hesitate to use this word when describing the following people, pundit S. E. Cupp and the Heritage Foundation‘s Nicolas Loris on the impact that climate change has on our lives. Amidst Bill’s clearly superior understanding of climate science and Loris’ “>muh federalism” cries, Cupp stepped up and did make one interesting point when she said
[Y]ou can look at entitlement reform which will bankrupt this country long before climate change destroys us, heart disease kills 7 million a year worldwide, 870 million suffer from hunger; I want you to look me in the eye and tell me in good conscience that climate change is our most urgent, number one priority right now.
While I loved Bill’s response and her reaction, I feel like he could have run with it more. Specifically, climate change directly affects the root cause of each of those issues and solving climate change is a prerequisite to solving any of the issues Cupp brought up. You see, climate change really is our most urgent, number one priority because it will not only be a huge blow to the economies of the world due to flooding and relocation issues, but it will disrupt global food supplies due to crop failures and ocean acidification, and the increased temperatures will create higher outbreak rates for diseases. All these, which will be fleshed out below, are reasons why climate change is a prior question and answers the impacts of Cupp’s claims.
My aim in writing this is not to provide a comprehensive list of the impacts of climate change, rather to point out that climate change comes before every issues that Cupp claims is more important.
Unfortunately, despite all our scientific advances and supposed advances in rationality, there is still one lingering and debated issue…whether climate change is anthropogenic or not. If you’re a person who enjoys the Kochs or believes everything the CATO Institute tells you, this is directed towards you. In 2013 a study was completed by and authored by nine different scientists ranging from climate scientists at the University of Queensland to geological scientists at Memorial University of Newfoundland. The article, titled, “Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientiﬁc literature”, apart from being one of the best articles on climate science I have ever seen, without a doubt proves the human influence on the environment. Specifically, the authors, Cook et al., took over 10,000 peer-reviewed scientific articles published in journals examining climate science over the past 20 years and found that “papers rejecting the consensus on AGW…[make up]…a vanishingly small proportion of the published research” (Cook et al.). Specifically, the study found that literally less than 1% of all the papers published and studied rejected the anthropogenic thesis. When one churns the math (.007 * 11,944 papers = 83.6, rounded to 84), 84 out of the over 10,000 papers rejected the thesis that climate change is anthropogenic and, as per the study, that already amazingly small percentage is shrinking (Cook et al.).
So this is a paper I’ve been working on for a few weeks and, of course, I wanted to share it with you. The paper itself is rather lengthy and formatted just the way I want it so I won’t post the full thing here, rather, I will post the coverphoto linking to the PDF that you can download. Before that however, I do want to explain the paper and write an abstract.
The paper is meant to be a building block, or more precisely the building block for my ethical philosophy and how I view humans in relation to nature. The paper is lengthy because I feel I must defend my worldview with everything I have and thus I will not half ass it.
Abstract: Human growth has been increasing at an unprecedented and exponential rate and the harm the we are doing to the biosphere is becoming irreparable. What’s more, the entirety of the industrialized world is rooted in one mindset, that of anthropocentrism – that is, the belief that humans are the center of everything – and this mindset is allowing for the moral justification for the death of the natural. I question the premise that humans are special and worth more than other creatures or nature and I propose a solution, while potentially a pipedream, that would help restore balance to the biosphere.
So, if you all have any comments or criticisms, please leave them below and I will respond.