deep thoughts: why shallow thinking will kill us

eileen crist

The race is on to find technologies that will solve the global warming problem, yet this "shallow" thinking focuses on symptoms of unsustainability, while something more "deep" that addresses the underlying causes is what we need.

Eileen Crist worries that "if greenhouse gases were restricted successfully by means of technological shifts and innovations, the root cause of the ecological crisis as a whole would remain unaddressed" (via telos).

"Symptomology” leads merely to technical piecemeal solutions", says Crist, and if we don't deal with underlying causes, we're guaranteed to “generate more nasty symptoms”. Climate change is not the problem. It’s our civilization. That's deep.

"Questioning this civilization is by and large sidestepped in climate-change discourse, with its single-minded quest for a global-warming techno-fix", says Crist.

According to Crist, we must not let go unchallenged "the destructive patterns of production, trade, extraction, land-use, waste proliferation, and consumption, coupled with population growth". We cannot continue to "run down the integrity, beauty, and biological richness of the Earth."

"Industrial-consumer civilization has entrenched a form of life that admits virtually no limits to its expansiveness within, and perceived entitlement to, the entire planet", says Crist...and that's the deeper problem.

"The industrial-consumer complex that is overhauling the world in an orgy of exploitation, overproduction, and waste—is treated with kid gloves, taken as given, and regarded as beyond the reaches of effective challenge", says Crist.

Righto! Yet there's another deep problem: when you go thinking in terms of alternatives to the dominant order, you "risk exclusion from polite intellectual society", says Crist.

Crist exhorts us to "pay the price while preserving our clarity about the unredeemable socioeconomic reality in which we live."

Wot she said...

Published by Ken on October 1st, 2008 tagged Climate Change, Systems Thinking

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