As a result of my previous thread and Corey’s thoughtful response, I want to create a dedicated thread for us to discuss the problem of climate change and the solutions we might propose from an Integral perspective.
Some of my specific, but not necessarily ordered, thoughts to kick off this discussion are:
Currently, I believe much of the resistance (such as outright denial that there is a problem, despite overwhelming scientific consensus) is a result of cognitive dissonance as Leon Festinger first theorized. In many ways the idea that humans have the ability to negatively affect the climate of our planet would generate cognitive dissonance in Amber and below given those stages have a hard time thinking beyond their local community and authority. Because of this, policy proposals need to take into account where different individuals and communities may reside along the Spiral. Orange and Green scientists screaming at the top of their lungs simply isn’t sufficient (and, indeed, may actually be making the problem worse).
It is my belief that the economic impacts of climate solutions will actually be a net positive for the world, rather than a net negative as implied by many of the right-wing think tanks demonstrating active opposition to climate solutions. Looking at this from the point of view of Keynesian economics, a large scale effort to transition to carbon neutral energy technologies (or even carbon negative, such as sequestration technologies) would have a stimulative effect on economies around the world. This is doubly so when we see that carbon neutral energy sources are now becoming less expensive than traditional fossil fuel technologies. When we also factor in the money saved by eliminating reliance on fossil fuels, I believe that not only will the environment be cleaner, but there will be more well-paying jobs than there currently are. If we were to treat this type of transition in the same way the US treated industries that supported the WWII effort as well as the large scale infrastructure buildouts of the 40s, 50s and 60s, it’s clear that history shows just how stimulative large scale public works efforts can be. The challenge with this is mainly dealing with the cognitive dissonance experienced by right-leaning Amber communities (“anything the government does must be bad, even if it’s good for me”).
I think we need to talk about nuclear, both fission and fusion. The reality is that when you take away all the hyperbole about nuclear fission, it is actually one of the safest and most economically and environmentally sustainable forms of energy generation. Oftentimes proponents of traditional “green” energy sources, such as wind and solar, ignore the supply chain realities and effects of those technologies (such as the reliance on limited rare-earth materials for solar). The Motley Fool has a good breakdown of the safety stats. The challenge, of course, is that this type of power flies directly against the worldview of Green, and we need to take into account the cognitive dissonance such a strategy might create. This Forbes article covers that a bit in its analysis of the Fukushima meltdown and Japan’s response.
Anyway, those are just some random thoughts to get a discussion going. I look forward to seeing where this goes!