Reason in a Dark Time PDF Ò in a Dark ePUB ✓

Reason in a Dark Time [PDF / EPUB] Reason in a Dark Time From the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Conference there was a concerted international effort to stop climate change Yet greenhouse gas emissions increased atmospheric concentrat a Dark PDF Ê From the Rio Earth Summit to the Copenhagen Reason in Kindle - Climate Conference there was a concerted international effort to stop climate in a Dark ePUB ✓ change Yet greenhouse gas emissions increased atmospheric concentrations grew and global warming became an observable fact of lifeIn this book philosopher Dale Jamieson explains what climate change is why we have failed to stop it and why it still matters what we do Centered in philosophy the volume also treats the scientific historical economic and political dimensions of climate change Our failure to prevent or even to respond significantly to climate change Jamieson argues reflects the impoverishment of our systems of practical reason the paralysis of our politics and the limits of our cognitive and affective capacities The climate change that is underway is remaking the world in such a way that familiar comforts places and ways of life will disappear in years or decades rather than centuriesClimate change also threatens our sense of meaning since it is difficult to believe that our individual actions matter The challenges that climate change presents go beyond the resources of common sense morality it can be hard to view such everyday acts as driving and flying as presenting moral problems Yet there is much that we can do to slow climate change to adapt to it and restore a sense of agency while living meaningful lives in a changing world.


10 thoughts on “Reason in a Dark Time

  1. says:

    The scientific evidence is clear global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now and it is a growing threat to society American Association for the Advancement of ScienceHuman‐induced climate change reuires urgent action Humanity is the major influence on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years Rapid societal responses can significantly lessen negative outcomes American Geophysical Union“Warming of the climate system is uneuivocal as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid 20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate ChangeThe scientific debate is closing but not yet closed There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled their views about global warming will change accordingly Therefore you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate and defer to scientists and other experts in the field Republican Strategist and Awful Person Frank LunzThe scientific consensus derived from the preponderance of evidence regarding global warming is clear the earth is warming and human activity is the cause Given this fact why has the response to this critical issue been so ineffective? Dale Jamieson Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy at New York University attempts to answer this uestion in Reason in a Dark Time Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed And What It Means for Our Future What he finds is really no surprise Americans are by and large scientifically illiterate The problem is big complicated and effects key aspects of our culture and economy The petroleum industry and its allies have been successful at sowing misinformation and confusion about climate science Humans are poorly evolved to respond to threats with long time horizons Dysfunction now rules the US political process Countries can’t agree on emission reduction targets or on how these reductions should be allocated between developed and developing economiesI would add to the above that a good percentage of US citizens seem preternaturally susceptible to ill informed demagoguery and are apparently incapable of thinking critically see in particular right wing authoritarians At any rate meaningful action has yet to be taken regarding global greenhouse gas emissions GHGs and atmospheric CO2 the gas most responsible for warming levels continue to rise The US has been particularly negligent in this respect having until recently been the largest source of GHGs and by virtue of having the largest economy being best positioned to lead the issue The effects of our collective behaviors are already being felt Ocean levels are rising due to thermal expansion sea ice is in decline natural plant and animal cycles and behaviors are being altered and global temperatures have been increasing steadily with 2015 being the hottest year on record to date Because CO2 remains in the atmosphere for than 100 years these effects will remain with us for many generations So what’s to be done besides selling that ocean front property and escaping to higher ground? Jamieson proposes a four part strategy involving Adaptation A wide range of policies that are directed toward reducing the negative conseuences of climate change for example building sea walls in areas that may be effected by rising seas or switching to drought tolerant agricultural crops Abatement Take measures to reduce GHG emissions for example through increased use of alternative energy and decreased use of fossil fuels Mitigation Take measures to reduce GHG emissions already in the atmosphere for example by planting trees Solar Radiation Management Jamieson’s euphemism for geoengineering for example by painting rooftops white or through the use of aerosol sprays in the upper atmosphere to scatter sunlight though he considers this to be the worst of the bad options open to us and reserves them only for use as a last resortThese are all things we’ve heard before and Jamieson really has nothing new to add to the conversation Add to this the fact that his writing style is dry as paste and he goes off on strangely unnecessary tangents that add nothing to the conversation ie his extended and wonkily academic discussion of the ethical considerations of climate change and his assessment of economic analyses of the issue and you have what amounts to time that would better be spent elsewhere I will also add that once again we have a supposed environmentalist who fails to consider the root cause of the issue human population Human activity both causes and exacerbates every aspect of the problem through increased consumption of fossil fuels to deforestation to the raising of livestock particularly gassy bovines Through the use of humane measures to reduce population GHG emissions would decline and there would be less pressure on sensitive ecosystems and species whose extinction is all but assured on a planet whose climate has been irrevocably altered by human behaviors As an aside I always feel cheated when I finish a mediocre book and hold a mild animosity towards the offending author but it’s really my own fault for stubbornly plodding through knowing full well that the going wasn’t going to get any better


  2. says:

    Subtitled Why the struggle against climate change failed and what it means for our future this is not a feel good story about international efforts to stabilize the climate Instead Jamieson tells the story of the period from the Rio Earth Summit 1992 to the Copenhagen conference 2009 as a tragedy a narrative that starting with high hopes has now thanks to the flaws and mixed motives of the participants ended by locking in a level of global warming above the threshold that they had originally decided they must avoid As a philosopher Jamieson wants to ask two uestions What made this tragedy inevitable? and What resources do we have to move forward from here? According to Jamieson the climate problem has proved so intractable because it is the world's biggest collective action issue where both the responsibility for the infliction of climate harms and the suffering thereof are diffused across many societies classes and generations As a result both traditional economic analysis which conceals uestions of intergenerational euity beneath technical assumptions about discount rates and common sense morality which is focused on specific causal paths leading from individual actions to individual effects struggle to get a grip on the climate issue What exactly is my motivation to reduce my personal footprint in order to make an infinitesimal contribution to bettering the lives of millions of people I do not know most of whom do not even yet exist?Of course it is the force of this uestion which leads many to believe that climate issues have to be resolved at the level of negotiation between nation states A single nation state is a large actor whose policies can have a significant effect at a global level Moreover a nation state is extended through time beyond the life of an individual human and therefore may perhaps serve as an advocate for the interests of its own unborn future generations But Jamieson does not see the national players at the climate table as meeting these standards Collective action and free rider problems derail international climate negotiations just as surely as they undermine individual responsibilityThat does not mean he believes that nothing can be done but he believes that whatever is done will be a hodge podge of actions on different levels sometimes mutually reinforcing sometimes not by a variety of international state and local actors He lays out seven practical and actionable priorities that do not reuire comprehensive agreements across large diverse populations in order to implement Here they are Integrate climate adaptation with development Protect encourage and increase terrestrial carbon sinks Encourage full cost energy accounting Raise the price of GHG emissions to a level that roughly reflects their costs Force technology adaptation and diffusion Substantial increases in basic research spending Plan for a new world in which humanity is a dominant force on the fundamental systems that govern life on earth Modest and tentative though it is says Jamieson this list provides a road map for how we might be less stupid in our immediate response to climate changeLest these principles seem too abstract Jamieson concludes this section with some trenchant words about coal Finally I want to suggest one focus of immediate action The use of coal should be discouraged limited and phased out as soon as possibleThis will mean different things in different countries In Australia and other countries it means planning for the end of coal mining This will create hardship for some people regions and countries but this should be addressed by the familiar mechanisms that are available in modern welfare states There is no justification for putting the Earth's climate at risk in order to generate jobs in rich countries that could do without them Supposing otherwise is like arguing for war genocide and police states on the grounds of the employment opportunities they present While what I say may sound extreme in our present political context I have little doubt that these words will seem obvious and restrained to our descendants All this is well said but the tone is certainly different from the cool analysis of the failings of common sense morality in the earlier chapters One might even recruit that over used word prophetic to describe his stance here And that brings me to a uestion that I wanted to ask after reading the book What about the role of faith in binding communities together across space and time? Can a faith founded reverence for the wonderful Earth and the people and other beings on it give us strength to resist our own careless greed? It is a regular propaganda move from the denialist camp to say that warmism is becoming a new perhaps anti Christian religion I think that's nonsense but it's nonsense with a kernel of truth Global warming cannot be a religion by itself but in thinking about it we must reach for religious concerns for uestions about worship and hope and idolatry and justice I think that Jamieson is doing that perhaps despite himself in the passage I uote above And that's why I feel especially hopeful about the work of faith based environmentalism


  3. says:

    Jamieson is a philosopher so the first 5 chapters are the best but particularly the part where he describes the nature of the problem and obstacles to action Although he is not a scientist or political scientist he still does a good job of bringing in elements of both through the work What I like about Jamieson's work is that there is always a foundation of pragmatism in his discussion of philosophy I don't think he gets at every single reason why we struggle to act on climate change and I think he could connect to literature on psychology; but I think he hits on a great number of them and some of the most important Though I may disagree about whether the problem he identifies as the hardest problem though I think he might be uite close his explanation is clear coherent and compelling It's also a big pill to swallow because it underscores just how great the challenges of climate change are from a human perspective and not just because of the physical challenges it presents I can understand why many people would feel dissatisfied by his policy recommendations because they really are incremental but this is because of his pragmatism It may not feel good to read a book that by its own admission is trying to provide reason in a dark time This is neither a book to provide you with an uplifting vision of the future nor a book to make you feel as though there is no hope His recommendations include better integration of climate adaptation and development fostering carbon sinks reflecting the true costs of energy and emissions research and planning None of this is big and sexy but all of it is achievable He avoids big coordinated actions precisely because climate change is the world's biggest intergenerational collective action problem and has all the hallmarks that work against collaboration in such situations We've seen already that action is happening effectively at local and regional scales Though it may feel pointless given the scale of the problem and it is true that local solutions are a mismatch for the scale of climate change but sometimes incremental changes can lead to bigger reforms Perhaps importantly sometimes it is reasonable to focus on what is most probable rather than reaching for what is possibleWhat I love about reading books by philosophers is that they aren't sloppy with their terminology When Jamieson uses a term like adaptation he describes how he is using it One of my biggest pet peeves with both books and academic literature is that we let authors get away with using words inconsistently Sometimes reading philosophy can be tedious precisely because there is so much time spent on defining terms and clarifying concepts; but for me in this book it worked As Jamieson says climate change is a thinking problem and humans are feeling animals This isn't a book for everyone; but it is a book for people who want to think about climate change as a policy and ethical challenge happening in society rather than just a physical problem happening in the climate system


  4. says:

    This book gives a history of the climate change movement and an analysis of why global attempts to act together to stop or slow climate change have fallen short of their objectives Jamieson shows why standard economic and ethical arguments aren't suited to showing us why it's important to do what needs to be done to address climate change and thus aren't motivators for us He also accounts for political interests undercutting attempts to make changes in the United States Jamieson has some suggestions for proceeding but he acknowledges that at this point climate change is not going to be stopped In spite of the technical language in the sections on economics and ethics I thought this was a pretty readable book The history of climate science and investigation into climate change was especially interesting for me since I didn't know how long ago people began to think that climate change was coming I found the analysis depressing but not surprising and Jamieson's suggestions for how to proceed modest but probably realistic Obviously this isn't a cheery beach read but it's a worthwhile one


  5. says:

    Very factual based book with essays from experts on how to combat the effects of climate change from geoengineering carbon seuestration hydro power nuclear power sulfate aerosol injections carbon cap and trade systems for oil companies etc He gives very good insight in the beginning too to the many misconceptions people have about Climategate scandal and how climate change since then became a bipartisan issue


  6. says:

    It comes across as a regular non fiction book on climate change when in actual fact it's a dry ass text book for Oxford Students I gave up within 40 pages having been bored to tears unfortunately


  7. says:

    I am really interested in climate change and I thought this would be a good read but I got bored uickly during each reading session


  8. says:

    Good and concise look at how international policy efforts have failed to solve the climate change problem Here are some of my favorite partsA good summary uote In many ways the first part of the story is unexceptional The development of climate science has been similar to the development of other sciences incremental contributions from many people punctuated by occasional new insights and perspective often enabled by the applications of innovative technologies In some ways the second part of the story is unexceptional as well Climate becomes an issue of public concern because science reveals looming threats to humanity When it becomes increasingly apparent that these threats originate in human behavior science collides with economic and political power What is important for our purposes is that this story does not have a happy ending by the 1960s scientists had expressed concerns about the possibility of an anthropogenic climate change to presidents of both parties At the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 the industrialized countries seemed to agree that by 2000 they would stabilize their GHG emissions at 1990 levels Yet global emissions are still increasing the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is now almost 10% greater than it was in 1992 we have already experienced a warming of8 degrees C and there is no end in sight The underlying drivers continue to increase and intensify population consumption and land transformation We are already committed to changes that for all practical purposes are irreversible Each day we act so as to make these changes deeper and increase their velocity and the risks they impose Pp 59 60A bit about the scale of the problemSince the end of World War II humans have attained a kind of power that is unprecedented in history While in the past entire peoples could be destroyed now all people are vulnerable While once particular human societies had the power to upset the natural processes that made their lives and cultures possible now people have the power to alter the fundamental global conditions that permitted human life to evolve and that continue to sustain it There is little reason to suppose that our systems of governance are up to the task of managing such threats P 101The enigmatic nature of a threat like climate change hampers our ability to deal with the issueClimate change must be thought rather than sensed and we are not very good at thinking Even if we succeed in thinking that something is a threat we are less reactive than if we sense that it is a threat Consider the difference between touching a hot stove and being told that the stove is hot Scientists are telling us that the world is warming but we do not sense it and so we do not act This is the hardest problem to overcome Any approach to coming to terms with climate change must respect these facts about ourselves P 103Will the century long project to decarbonize the global economy be too expensive to even contemplate? Jamieson thinks we're focusing on the task from the wrong viewpointWhen we imagine in advance large scale changes over relatively long periods of time we think that such changes must be draconian and expensive This is an illusionViewed retrospectively such changes may actually be relatively cheap and invisibleChange that is seen upfront as extremely rapid costly and wrenching may not seem that way when we look back from the comfort of the new world that we have created Imagine that someone were to say that we were going to move from typewriters hard copy and paper storage to computers light displays and digital storage in a 20 year periodWhat is seen from one perspective as rapid and wrenching social change is often seen as irresistible and incremental from another point of view P 108 109Page 168 has a good uote from a 2006 article by Daniel GilbertAlthough all human societies have moral rules about food and sex none has a moral rule about atmospheric chemistry And so we are outraged about every breach of protocol except Koyoto Yes global warming is bad but it doesn't make us feel nauseated or angry or disgraced and thus we don't feel compelled to rail against it as we do against other momentous threats to our species such as flag burning The fact is that if climate change were caused by gay sex or by the practice of eating kittens millions of protesters would be massing in the streets


  9. says:

    Notable uotesWe are constantly told that we stand at a uniue moment in human history and that this is the last chance to make a difference But every point in human history is uniue and it is always the last chance to make some particular differenceHuman action is the driver but it seems that things no people are in control Our corporations governments technologies institutions and economic systems seem to have lives of their ownMany will be surprised to learn that in 1965 climate change was mentioned by the president of the United States in a message to Congress This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through radioactive materials and a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels Lyndon JohnsonScientific consensus does not produce actionA focus of immediate action should be to discourage limit and phase out the use of coal as soon as possibleOne influential scientist reported that after telling Washington policy makers that in 50 years there would be a CO2 doubling that would have major impacts on the planet hew was told that she should come back in 49 yearsFallback arguments for those who favor the status uo climate change doesn't exist it does but it's good for us it's too expensive to change or nothing can be done about itFor people who think that society can't make such a dramatic change in a short time consider the digital revolution in which in less than twenty years we went from no personal computers or cell phones to everyone having them That's a dramatic behavioral change that cost trillions of dollars and affected hundreds of millions of people Yet people willingly did it because they were excited about the future of these technologiesThe US environmental movement has gone through three phases It started out with the Republicans Abraham Lincoln Ulysses S Grant Theodore Roosevelt In the early and mid 20th century both the Republicans and Democrats embraced it Republican President Dwight Eisenhower created the Arctic Wildlife Refuge and Republican President Richard Nixon signed the Clean Air Act Clean Water Act Endangered Species Act etc It didn't become a primarily Democratic issue until the 1980'sOne way of solving the problem of collective action is through love sympathy and empathy Politicians do not display these traits Tom note If we are going to care for creation the Church must lead the wayThe fact is that if climate change were caused by gay sex millions of protesters would be massing in the streetsWe may come to think of thermostats as ways of controlling carnage as much as temperaturePerhaps the greatest threat in the world is the widespread perception that it doesn't matter what I doTom note For millions of believers in this country being Christian feels like defending ourselves from the onslaught of secular society Instead of remaining in a defensive posture what if we boldly followed Christ to care for each other and God's creation? What a powerful witness it would be to the secular worldEthics for the Anthropocene are a lot like The Celebration of Discipline Jamieson calls for temperance mindfulness cooperativeness simplicity and respect The failure to show respect for nature can be seen as a form of narcissismThe politics of some countries seem to have been seized by resentful adolescents engaged in never ending popularity contests In other countries it seems like the lunatics are running the asylumClimate change is an injustice that the rich impose on the poor 96% of disaster related deaths in recent years occur in developing countriesThe first priority is to integrate adaptation with development helps those in the present AND in the futureSecond priority is to protect encourage and increase carbon sinks forestsThird priority is full cost accounting of producing and consuming units of electricityFifth priority is technology adoption and diffusion This can be enhanced by government regulation often at a low costSixth priority is substantial increase in research investmentWhether you accept the evidence of global warming or not coal is a serious problem It contain lots of toxic substances which are released into water and air when it is processed and burned harming human health


  10. says:

    Dale Jamieson coherently covers a lot of ground in this book and has many good footnotes He explains the history of climate change politics and economics well but his consideration of the causes and of climate change philosophy differentiate it from others in the climate policy field I especially liked Jamieson's mention of the role of science in US society He notes the gulf in perspective between scientists and public policy makers caused by the reuirements for success in their fields 62 An amusing anecdote about the Supreme Court case for the EPA's regulation of CO2 was also apt; Jamieson explains that Justice Scalia mixed up the words 'troposphere' and 'stratosphere' After being corrected by a scientist he replied Whatever I'm not a scientist to laughter among the sympathetic audience of lawyers and journalists 62 Jamieson considers how differently the audience would have taken a similar uip if it had been about a basis of economics or politics such as Supply and Demand Whatever I'm not an economist 63 He asserts that US society generally doesn't prioritize scientific bases and our ignorance can lead people to both overestimate what science can do and feel betrayed when it fails to live up to these pretensions He says that we tend to see science as an unimpeachable source of authority and yet drown in our contradictions sometimes behaving like jilted lovers when forced to acknowledge reality 63Two parts of the book stood out to me as having room for improvement In his explanation of climate change philosophy and values he focuses exclusively on human impacts for future generations and for people in developing countries His being an environmental philosopher it's interesting that he never mentions philosophical ideas related to ecological and non human impacts in the present and future This significantly narrows his focus as may have been deliberate; the book focuses on human society Jamieson also refers several times in the book to the biggest problem in addressing climate change a psychological component While he explains other factors in some depth he addresses this factor in only two pages I think mentioning some of the research in environmental climate change and related evolutionary psychology Robert Gifford Kari Norgaard Susan Moser could have significantly contributed to this sectionJamieson realistically concludes that we will continue to address climate change in a piecemeal and messy fashion Overall I think he does a great job in explaining many aspects of climate change with thought and depth


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