When scientists are the doomsday sayers

Throughout history and across cultures, there have been doomsday sayers. Rarely are their predictions grounded in anything solid, and it’s even rarer that it’s accurate.

SCIENTISTS ARE THE DOOMSDAY SAYERS

These days, scientists are the doomsday sayers. (1)

This time, their predictions are grounded in something solid.

And there is every reason to think it’s roughly accurate. (2)

WHY DON’T MORE PEOPLE TAKE IT SERIOUSLY?

So why don’t more people take it seriously? Why don’t more people change their priorities and life?

I assume there may be several reasons.

We think we still have time. (We don’t since the effects of our collective actions won’t be clear until decades later.)

We think it will impact others and not us. (It’s true it will impact those with the least resources the most, but it will impact all of us, and it will certainly impact the lives of all our children and descendants.)

We misdiagnose the problem. (They may blame greed, or assume that piece-meal efforts are sufficient, while the real problem is in our economic system. It was created at a time when we, for all practical purposes, had unlimited natural resources and nature had unlimited capacity to absorb waste. Because of our numbers and technology, that’s not true anymore. And what’s required is a systemic change so we have a system that takes ecological realities into account, and where what’s easy and attractive to do is also ecologically sound.)

We take our cues from others. (Others seem blasé about it so we assume there is nothing to really worry about.)

We are caught up in everyday living. (Most of us have a lot to take care of in daily life. We don’t feel we have time or energy to do much beyond that.)

We expect politicians to do something about it. (Most may not since they operate on a four- or two-year election cycle, and these problems are on the scale of decades and centuries.)

We prefer to not think about it. (It may seem overwhelming. It may seem that we can’t do much. So we set it aside.)

We go into denial. (We assume scientists are wrong. Instead, we put our faith in people who deny the findings from science, and people who are non-professionals or people who have a background in another field.)

WHAT AM I DOING?

What do I do about it?

I have always voted for parties that take this seriously. (I am a member of the Green Party in Norway.)

I learn about it. I look for solutions.

I have been passionate about the mind and culture side of this since my early teens. (Deep ecology, ecopsychology, systems views, paradigm shifts, the epic of evolution, the universe story, practices to reconnect, etc.)

I worked for several years in sustainability and supporting people (organizations and individuals) in making real changes in their life that are enjoyable, rewarding, and more sustainable.

I have land in the Andes mountains and work on regeneration and sustainable food production. (Food forests etc.) We are collecting water, and we hope to use solar power. And we make connections with others in the area, which is vital for transformation and mutual support.

This transformation is collective as much as individual.

NOTES

(1) Here is just one of many examples from the last several decades: Scientists deliver ‘final warning’ on climate crisis: act now or it’s too late, The Guardian March 2023

(2) The reality is that we don’t even need scientists to tell us. Logic and our own senses will tell us the same. We are part of the seamless living system we call Earth and our existence and well-being is intimately connected with the rest of this living system. As it is now, ecosystems are unraveling and we with them. And we can see this with our own eyes.

I am now back at my parent’s house in Norway, and nearly all insects are gone. When I grew up, the yard was buzzing with life: Crickets, butterflies, bees, bumblebees, golden wings, and much more. If we had the door or window open during the summer and then closed, the windows would be full of insects. Now, I hardly see any. Without insects, most of our ecosystem unravels. And that means we unravel as well. There is a delayed effect, but it will happen. And anyone with a brain can see this and knows it. And yet, very few people prioritize it and do something about it.


INITIAL OUTLINE

  • when scientists are the doomsday sayers
    • always doomsday sayers, favorite pastime of some people through history and across cultures
    • today, the scientists, is a bit different, is grounded in science, in reality
    • and most people don’t seem to take it very seriously
      • don’t change their priorities, life, who they vote for etc.
      • business as usual
      • why?
        • think we have time, that others will do it, take their cues from others and others are blasé about it, see it as a problem for future generations, prefer to not think about it, rationalize themselves out of it,
    • ….

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