A text version of this episode, along with links and sources, can be found in my blog post of the same name.
When it comes to climate change, the actions of individual people, and even individual nations, are close to meaningless without global solidarity to deal with the emissions and destructive behavior of multnational corporations.
Climate disasters present us with an opportunity to rebuild in a manner that will prepare us for the coming changes to our climate, but without a deliberate policy of doing so, it won't happen by itself.
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Thank you for listening, and take care of yourselves.
The realities of our warming world mean that there are hard times ahead. We're facing challenges unlike anything humanity has ever encountered, and we're going to have to change how we do almost everything.
That is not an excuse to give up, and anyone who says it is, is lying.
Of the many ways in which climate change is already affecting our lives, agriculture is probably the most dangerous.
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Using only words on paper (or a screen, or braille), how do you generate a feeling of surprised elation? How do you make someone feel hope? It’s easy to write about someone feeling those things, but to actually reliably make a reader feel them seems more difficult, at least for me. Satisfaction, awe, comfort, the feeling of doing something for the first time – humanity is blessed with a nearly endless spectrum of ways to experience the world, and some of them are very difficult to replicate outside of simply living the events that create them.
In my experience, the easiest ones are things like fear and disgust. Our reactions to threats are pretty universal, and pretty near the surface because they generally come from a need for some immediate action. Get away from the scary thing. Wash off the gross thing. It could hurt us. It could make us sick. Pretty much everybody has had some version of those feelings, and they tend to generate strong memories.
That means they’re also very easy to use in politics. It’s why various forms of fear-mongering tend to work so well, and why there’s so much focus on what some like to call “base instincts” or “primal instincts”. Triggering emotional states that demand immediate action puts other instincts and needs on hold, and if you can maintain those feelings in a group of people, it’s far easier to get them to move in the direction that you claim will make those feelings go away. It’s a nasty tactic, because it always works, and because there are real problems in the world.
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