We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Climate Holism vs. Climate Reductionism

Click here to access article by Richard Heinberg from Post Carbon Institute.

Heinberg apparently thinks that our capitalist masters are stupid rather than desperate in their actions to support their addiction to power and wealth with which their system supplies them so abundantly. According to him, our masters are guilty of reductionist thinking.
The reductionist mindset is relentless: if one technofix leads to a problem, surely there will be a technofix for that too. Some habitual practitioners of reductionism do realize that their proposed tactics merely buy time before the next crisis hits, but they see no realistic alternative. Still, each new increment of time seems more expensive than the previous one.
Actually he doesn't see capitalist masters at all. He separates the economic system ("Wall Street") from government and labor. Apparently "holistic" thinking doesn't apply to capitalism. (sarcasm)
The lure of the technofix is that we won’t have to fundamentally change our behavior. We can go on extracting resources, using energy, and making money, all at an ever-accelerating pace. Wall Street is happy, government is happy, workers are happy. Here’s the thing: this line of action cannot solve the cascading complex of crises that will hammer civilization to bits during the remainder of this century. Until we start thinking holistically and alter our systemic behavior, we are locked into a trajectory that leads inevitably to a chain of mutually reinforcing planetary breakdowns that start with droughts and superstorms and won’t end until everything we hold dear is either destroyed or rendered meaningless.