After another fascinating (and rewarding) graveyard shift I found a timely link to a new article at …and Then There’s Physics another discussion forum that I like to check in with, for peeks into a sliver of climate science academia.
It starts like this,
The basic premise of the article is that society has failed to take effective action on climate change and that, consequently,
the science-society contract is broken and that the time has come for scientists to agree to a moratorium on climate change research as a means to first expose, then renegotiate, the broken science-society contract.
I have sympathy with the frustration, but I think the basic argument is simply wrong. I don’t think the general description of the social contract is quite right. As Andrew Dessler pointed out, the social contract is simply that [t]hey pay us to do research and we provide them with the results. There is no obligation that policy makers take the results and make decisions that the researchers agree with. …
I didn’t read that much further because the self flagellation became too irritating.
Still, after a good long hot shower to wash off the precious bodily fluids I’d been getting sprinkled with parts of the night and morning, the reading turned into an inspiration to write a commentary, and I want to share, see if anyone else has thoughts to share.
The tragedy of climate change science
Bruce C. Glavovic, Timothy F. Smith, Iain White
The science-society contract is broken. The climate is changing. Science demonstrates why this is occurring, that it is getting worse, the implications for human well-being and social-ecological systems, and substantiates action.
Governments agree that the science is settled.
The tragedy of climate change science is that at the same time as compelling evidence is gathered, fresh warnings issued, and novel methodologies developed, indicators of adverse global change rise year upon year.
… . We explore three options for the climate change science community. We find that two options are untenable and one is unpalatable. Given the urgency and criticality of climate change, we argue the time has come for scientists to agree to a moratorium on climate change research as a means to first expose, then renegotiate, the broken science-society contract. …
Under the heading of: STOP BLAMING SCIENCE FOR OUR OWN FAILURES!
It’s astounding. You folks keep missing the point! Humanity failed itself!
Mr. Science explained the basics of climate scientific in the 1950’s and nothing, nothing has changed about the fundamental reality and the direction that reality points to! Nor the consequences of, (whichever choice we made). The science has become more informed ever since. Nothing changed about the outline, we’ve simply been increasing the resolution on the folds within folds of harmonic complexity that is our global heat engine. In so far as the science goes, scientists did what they were supposed to do.
What all too few seem capable of facing, is that this has been a collective mass societal willful denial of fundamental science, because the consequences of doing the right thing for future generations appalled us. Less growth, less greed? “You gotta be kidding!”
The fact of Anthropogenic Global Warming made clear to every thinking person who looked at it, that humanity had one simple choice. (It was the lesson stars have taught us, the bigger it is, the more it consumes, the faster it burns up, and dies.) Increasing Earth’s temperature will force cascading consequences that will profoundly supercharge weather, and degrade our biosphere, plus damage and destroy our infrastructure. No maybe about it.
If we cared about the wellbeing of future generations - the choice was clear.
We needed to Power Down, less greed, less kids, less consumption, less military, less commerce, less raping our Home Planet’s biosphere, instead more awareness towards Earth, Evolution and Deep Time, which would have enabled a sense of duty towards the welfare of this miracle planet - who’s biosphere and global heat and moisture distribution engine created us and sustains us.
Instead we allowed: “I hate taxes so I’m going to normalize blatant lies and slander and misrepresentation along with demonstrable fraud against science,” to win the day, and year, and decades. Now, here we are.
No one stood up to take down that sort of self-delusional, self-destructive thinking and behavior. Instead it became normalized to the point that a hollow corporate cypher like Trump is made leader of our nation.
All the while the brainiacs from every branch of our society and media simply keep on talking past each other.