obstacles to collective action: why Obama’s voice matters

win win saving earth for humans

Disturbing results from a 'climate game' created by Germany's Manfred Milinski raise serious questions about our human capacity for taking collective action in time to avert catastrophic climate change.

Milinski's ‘collective action’ experiment found that "people do not act rationally, even to protect their own interest" (via ipsnews).

Despite advance knowledge that all lose if the collective "climate account" does not grow fast enough, players in half the groups kept too much in their private accounts. Seeing others greed, some players stopped contributing to the collective account.

So, we'll need help rising above personal interests...and that's where Obama comes in.

If people are to "become engaged and carried along, not in spite of themselves, but beyond themselves", as Bud McClure puts it, we're gonna need a 'transcendent' voice (via commondreams).

McClure says he heard such a voice Tuesday nite in St. Paul, where Barack Obama spoke as he became the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

"Obama is one of the most congruent speakers I have ever heard", says McClure, a psychologist, for whom this was "a deeply felt, transpersonal experience, in which we are transported beyond our own small, isolated sense of self. There are feelings of wholeness, unity, and a connection with something greater than oneself."

"In the coming years", says McClure, "we will need a leader who can engage us in this meaningful way and ask that we make sacrifices for the common good."

"Obama gave each of us a glimpse into our higher nature and a sense that when all of us come together anything is possible", says McClure.

Dare we hope?

...posted in honor of my wife, Susan Dixon, who has totally switched back on to the democratic process, thanks to Obama.

Published by Ken on June 5th, 2008 tagged Climate Change, Community Initiatives

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