Quora – What action/personal effort have you taken to fight against climate change?

Quora – What action/personal effort have you taken to fight against climate change?

[ 25/2/20 ]

25 years ago I bought 35 acres of land, planted 16,000 GF18 Pinus radiata seedlings, and calculated that it should about neutralise the lifetime emissions of my family. But there isn’t enough land on the planet for that strategy to work and have everyone have the sort of lifestyle I have.

I have stopped flying aeroplanes. I use my 4WD only when needed, otherwise I drive a wee Honda Fit.

I went vegan 10 years ago (but not for climate change reasons, that was purely to beat a terminal cancer diagnosis – the climate change benefits were secondary).

I write many places about the reality of climate change, and about effective mitigation strategies – all of which require very high tech and global cooperation.

I speak to all sorts of people as the opportunity arises. At Lions club, golf club, district council, regional council, conservation meetings, election meetings, policy development meetings.

I have been a consistent voice for 30 years that there is a real problem, that will require real changes of social systems to solve (competitive markets cannot possibly do the job).

So it is a deeply complex set of problems, and there are real solutions.
Global cooperation is nothing like global government – it can and must mean acceptance of and respect for diversity.

Global justice must mean all individuals having a reasonably high basic standard of living (something anyone in the developed world could accept). With fully automated systems that is technically easily achievable, but it is contrary to the political and economic dogma that dominates the thinking of most people today.

We have got to start looking at entire systems, energy flows, matter flows, information flows; closing the open loops to the greatest degrees possible and cleaning up the worst of the pollution that our market insanity has produced.

We need to look deeply at biology, at the evolution of complexity, to understand the fundamental role of cooperation in the emergence and survival of all new levels of complexity. The current dogma that evolution is all about competition is just wrong; logically, strategically mathematically demonstrably wrong – to the extent that it creates existential level risk in and of itself.

We have got to have individual life and individual liberty as our highest values, and liberty has to have responsibility if it is to survive. Unthinking liberty, an unfettered ability to do any whim that comes along, leads to extinction. Real liberty, the sort that can survive in the real world, has to be constrained to within the class of actions that are actually survivable. One can make a case that individuals can be free to destroy themselves, but not that they are free to destroy others, or the environment that we all rely upon. And that rapidly leads into very complex and uncertain territory that can only ever be a balance of probabilities at some set of levels. So there is eternally a requirement for judgement, for wisdom, for the art of the possible.

Most of what I see today under the heading of climate change response is little short of lies for the exploitation of one group by another, at some level.

As far as I am concerned, very few people have looked deeply enough at the issues to have any real idea of what a workable set of solutions looks like. Far too much unexamined dogma and protection of existing privilege in the way.

I am extremely confident that the problem can be solved, and solved in a way that is of real benefit to everyone (even the 1% of the 1% of the 1%); but not by any set of actions that fit into anything remotely approximating a “business as usual” economic response.

We can have competitive systems present, we all enjoy a certain amount of competition; but they have to be built upon a fundamentally cooperative systemic base if we are to have any real prospect of any real liberty or security for anyone at any level. Of that I am confident beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt, and that confidence comes from 42 years of my exploration of strategic and systemic spaces available to us within the biological and physical reality within which we find ourselves.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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