I’m writing to ask everyone who reads this to immediately buy and read, “What we think about when we try not to think about Global Warming,” by Norwegian psychologist and economist Per Espen Stoknes.
There are 3 parts. Here are highlights:
In Part 1, Stoknes harnesses behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology, and social psychology to bring laser-like clarity to the source of humanity’s resistance to dealing with global warming NOW. Your soul will give a huge sigh of relief when you fully understand why some brains deny, resist, ignore, become paralyzed, or resigned in the face of the facts of climate change.
In Part 2, Stoknes lifts us out of the insanity of “doing the same things over and over again expecting different results.” He spells out a series of “end runs” around people’s barriers to solutions which will set your imagination on fire!!
In Part 3, entitled “Being, Inside the Living Air,” Stoknes creates a brilliant new context in which we human beings can relate to and experience air. He says, “Today we tend to think of the air as something out there or up there . . . This way of understanding the air arose with the chemical revolution in the Enlightenment period of 1789 to 1830.” When you have read all of Part 3 you will personally experience his assertion, “To be born is to enter the air. To be is to be in the air.” This transformative shift lights up all the solutions Stoknes proposes in Part 2 and calls people into action despite the fact that many people feel, “We’re fucked and there’s nothing I can do.”
Had Clinton been elected we might (emphasize might) have been lulled into thinking she would continue to address global warming at the same pace as Obama. Organizations working on ending human contributions to climate change might (emphasize might) have just continued working at the pace they were working at. President Trump and the Republican majority are the 1,000 pound elephant smashing its weight on the see-saw of public opinion so forcefully that it catapults committed citizens into the air and into action.
Every roll back of environmental protections, every muzzling of scientific voices, every appointment of climate-denying bureaucrats calls forth more, and more action by everyone who is committed to reversing global warming.
When President John F. Kennedy declared the United States should put a man on the moon in 10 years it was as if he invented a building called “Put a Man On the Moon in 10 Years.” The first room in that building had to be “It can’t be done” so that those people who stood for that it will be done could interact with those who said it could not be done.
President Trump and the Republican majority are not the enemy. In the building named: “Reverse Global Warming” President Trump and the Republican majority are in the office of “It can’t be done.” Having them in this building creates a place where the dialogue can be had and the views transformed in the same way that we miraculously put a man on the moon.
We human beings are fascinated with what is happening RIGHT NOW (i.e. Hurricane Harvey) and blind to the forces behind what is happening. These forces are accelerating beyond anyone’s capacity to fully understand or respond.
Friedman says, “One of the hardest things for the human mind to grasp is the power of exponential growth – – – what happens when something keeps doubling or tripling or quadrupling over many years and just how big the numbers can get. So whenever Intel’s CEO, Brian Kzanich, tries to explain the impact of Moore’s Law – – -what happens when you keep doubling the power of microchips ever two years for fifty years – – – he uses this example. If you took Intel’s first generation microchip from 1971, the 4004, and the latest chip Intel has on the market today, the sixth generation Intel Core processor, you will see that Intel’s latest chip offers 3,500 times more performance, is 90,000 times more energy efficient, and is about 60,000 times lower in cost. Intel engineers did a rough calculation of what would happen had a 1971 Volkswagen Beetle improved at the same rate as microchips did under Moore’s Law. Today that Beetle would be able to go about 300,000 miles per hour. It would get 2,000,000 miles to the gallon and it would cost 4 cents!!
Read Friedman’s book and you will be thrown out of your bed and slammed on to the floor as you confront the acceleration of technology; the acceleration of inventors collaborating; the acceleration of global warming; and the acceleration of the global economy.
Friedman connects all of them in a way that makes it possible for thinking human beings to take actions on the scale demanded to reverse global warming!!