The Post-Progressive Post (Sept. 2021 edition focused on climate change)

For anyone unaware, this is a publication of the Institute for Cultural Evolution (which has an IT foundation). Last month’s edition was focused on climate change, including a “Win-Win-Win Solutions” piece and an article by David Storey titled “Why We Will Grow Together or Grow Apart: Cultural Intelligence and Climate Change.” (with some critique of Jonathan Haidt’s work included.)

“Cultural Intelligence” is Steve McIntosh’s term referring to the traditionalist, modernist, and postmodernist stages of development.

A few other articles too: (for instance, “Why Centrism Fails”). And descriptions of what ‘post-progressivism’ is from the Institute’s perspective.

Check it out if interested at

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It’s widely recognized that the single greatest Existential Threat to humanity is Climate Change. Cross-Domain Multi-Systemic discussion with Copenhagen Consensus Center and Hoover Institute


  • EV’s impact on CO2 reduction
  • Societal Trade-offs
  • Response to the Existential Threat
  • Base Load Power requirements
  • Solar, Wind, Gas, Coal, Nuclear power

Thanks Fermented Agave for posting this. I watched the video and was pleasantly surprised to hear Bjorn Lomborg at the conservative Hoover Institute saying many of the same things as are the people at the Institute for Cultural Evolution in the Post-Progressive Post issue on climate change. At the core of both views is the thought that renewable energy alone is not going to be able to meet either U.S. or international energy demands for a long time to come, and that what is needed is publicly-funded innovation (e.g. batteries, next gen nuclear, etc.) Germany is now facing a major energy crisis, having done away with coal but being far from able to provide needed electricity through renewables, and there are other energy crises going on in other parts of the world too, as this article reports: An energy crisis is gripping the world, with potentially grave consequences (

I felt a sense of hope seeing the similarities in thinking from conservative and post-progressive perspectives. I think the major difference is that climate change is seen as a bit more of an urgent issue by the post-progressive camp than how Lomborg sees it. Regardless, so many similarities in thinking in terms of best-approaches.

Glad that we are seeing some commonality across the spectrum. I don’t know if its fundamental differences, just misunderstanding, or political motivations that keeps these commonalities from being more readily seen, but the division is definitely kept ablaze by our select echo chambers.

One keep point that I wouldn’t want lost out of Lomborg’s Climate discussion is consideration of trade-off costs. Sure we can mandate 100%'s EV’s by 2035 (I think the California mandate?) but how many people will this drive into poverty? Which then this forces additional “fixes” to solve the increased inequities or absolute increases in poverty in California (just as an example). Meanwhile, electric vehicles are HAPPENING ANYWAY. And coincidentally the state mandates won’t have any meaningful influence on the environment (the “Existential Threat”) but will have the impact of driving M’s of citizens into poverty.
These “unintended consequences” are at best a lack of multi-systematic thinking (good people making bad decisions for us) or at worst a nefarious agenda to expand government bureaucracy/control (Qanon warning!).

I think one big problem across the spectrum is, for lack of a better term - denial. Not just climate change denial, but even when it’s accepted people often go into denial regarding the depth and breadth of the changes that need to be made.
It’s possible to do basic calculations and very quickly come to the conclusion that everyone on the planet cannot have the lifestyle currently enjoyed by “the west”. If we just look at pasturage required for beef and the rubber required for tires if every family in the world has their own car and eats beef once a week the mathematics just show there is not enough acreage on the planet for cow pastures and rubber trees. Petrol is only one resource needed for vehicles. The other is rubber - and we currently don’t have a synthetic rubber that can completely replace natural rubber - so we will need more and more rubber plantations if everyone on the planet wants a car. A third problem is asphalt and how resurfacing all the roads in urban and suburban areas is cost prohibitive in a long term perspective and as a result we in the US is now faced with a crumbling infrastructure nobody wants to pay for.
When I hear climate change - I agree - but I also see the problem much deeper than “just” our environment becoming unlivable.
It’s so deeply enmeshed in North America’s development in particular. Cities have to be completely redesigned from the bottom upward so that it isn’t necessary to drive 10 miles to get a gallon of milk (or soytein or whatever). Suburbs as they exist in North America are just not sustainable. We need villages that are not complete food deserts as our modern suburbs are and there needs to be a tolerance for people to at least keep their own chickens or other small animals.
But our entire economic system somehow got developed into making the most inefficient products and models profitable. Suburban houses and townhouses are built with materials designed to last 30 years or less, as opposed to other continents where you live in buildings literally hundreds of years old.
I see electric vehicles as more of the same denial. It’s a dialogue the major industries can agree on because it gives them something to sell. The problem of expensive EV’s and taxes on vehicles is that a personal car for every adult is required to live in California - and that’s due to the basic failure of urban planning. This failure is even more astounding in other states like Texas, for example where the electric grid to power EV’s is close to collapse. The US Mainland is the only place I have ever visited where a personal car is necessary to live. Korea, England, Czech, Greece - all these places I lived and didn’t even miss not having a personal vehicle unless I made a major purchase like furniture - or someone giving birth or something like that. I’m sure people who lived in other countries have similar experiences. On other continents having your own vehicle is convenient, but not necessary to live, so it’s possible for an extended family of let’s say 20 adults to share one large vehicle.
The only way our current global economy can operate is if there continues to be a minority of “haves” and a vast majority of “have nots” - by a ration of 1:9. Out of 7 billion of the worlds population, 6 of those billion have to live without personal vehicles and eat beef less than once a month, and meat about once a week. The math for acreage on the planet just doesn’t work with our current model unless most people on the planet are kept in poverty. That’s the brutal reality of consumer oriented capitalism.
Unless we start teaching safe sex and family planning today in every school in the planet …
I think an integral approach to living and planning for the future needs to consider really how completely absurdly unsustainable the North American lifestyle is from top to bottom and from that knowledge start to make personal changes regardless of what the current 10 - 20 year trend is, because the current trend is headed toward failure.

Good news is our for-profit free market capitalists are once again well ahead of your existential crises:

  • Class 5 fully autonomous vehicles are being tested by literally every auto manufacturer on the planet.
  • Ride shares (taxi, Waymo, Uber,…) with rapidly transition to Driverless auto sharing - you won’t need a car
  • Ride shares can easily coordinate pick-up / drop-off times in real-time to met buses at bus stops
  • My 3 car garage with 2 cars will transform into a beautiful Man Cave with IOT enabled Keggerator and that pool table I’ve always wanted, further reducing my driving.
  • My 9 car sea of concrete driveway will transform into a beautiful garden plot and pen for goats, pigs and chickens.
  • We will reduce our street widths to 1 car width since al traffic will be coordindated in real time.
  • Porn is fixing the population problem. Men won’t tolerate feminists any more. 10,000 men can login their remote control vag to the VR feed of 1 porn star.

Ray - Our Existential Crises are already being solved faster than even George Jetson would have predicted.

Science fiction.
When I was a kid they told us all kinds of nonsense about how technology will improve our lives and eliminate humanity’s problems. Sure, there were a minority of technological achievements that were good for all mankind - so I’m not saying technology is bad - just that 80% or more of humanity’s problems can never be solved with technology or Capitalism. Climate can be partially reduced through technological innovation - but it’s really too little if you really look at what is wrong with the modern world and how that drives climate change.
Your post is mostly the same pie in the sky daydreaming and believing that all we need is better technology.

What they could never conceive back then was the idea of planned and engineered obsolescence - that megacorporations will not focus on what’s best for society, but what is best for future sales. For Auto manufacturers, they will engineer vehicles that need to be replaced periodically even though it is possible to engineer vehicles to last 10 times as long - because making good quality products is less profitable.

If you want to live with your head in the sand, that’s your choice.
I don’t even see how driverless cars are even relevant to the discussion of reversing climate change.
Uber, etc is basically cheap taxi service and is also mostly irrelevant in regards to reducing greenhouse emissions.
Your focus on unnecessary consumption as the thing you “always wanted” - like a mancave with a pool table and Keggerator is further telling. If you had said instead something about a place for you to spend time with your family or community or at least a room for spiritual pursuits, there might be hope. But instead your dream is a room to get drunk in and to fill it with an expensive game that’s nice to have as a status symbol but you’ll honestly play for a few months then use it as just a table to pile things on. That’s pretty much what I’m saying is why humanity will continue to fail regardless of technological innovation.
Your attempt to blame feminists for the porn problem is pretty sad as well. The reason men are so lacking in self esteem that they use porn is because, quite simply they are looking everywhere except inside themselves for the answers to their problems. Why are they using porn - feminism! If only feminists would view men as the superior gender and stop demanding respect and equal treatment, men wouldn’t have to turn to porn, lol.

However, it would help the planet and give you a more fulfilling life if you did convince your neighborhood to change their ordinances and allow you to dig up your driveway and keep animals. I suspect you live in an area where that is currently illegal.
But I also suspect you were not being genuine, and the idea of keeping animals is a low key joke to you. Ah, yes, haha haha.

Of course it’s not a single domain solution. All I’m telling you Ray is it’s ok to take a step back from the rim of the volcano. The wheels of progress fueled by our free market capitalist system are creating energy efficient solutions to affect the very change you howl are needed.
I don’t know if you listened to the talk or not. One of the key realities is even with a global pandemic which drove shutting down the global economy, we only hit 50% of the UN recommended green house gas reduction. So short of twice the lockdown, we need to work across all solutions to stem this “existential threat to humanity” that many wail about.

Great news is you don’t have to do anything at all but sit back and enjoy the fruits and efficiency of our free market capitalism. You don’t need to promote creating a $2T “investment” staffed with 100,000’s of new state employees to make it happen. Fully autonomous EV ride sharing is on the way regardless of what you or the government does. And yes, my local municipality then may change zoning laws to enable me to jack hammer out my driveway and put in a corral for goats, pics and chickens.

An adrenal response to a perceived “existential threat” is not necessary. The world is morphing in front of us. And if we don’t “get it right”, we’re all screwed anyway. LOL

Instead of condemnation, perhaps consider affordability vs over engineering/over constructing. If we look at Autos today, there are very few that are not easily capable of lasting 200,000 miles with basic maintenance. You’re old enough to remember when anything near 100,000 miles was considered a ticking time bomb. Think about it.
Here’s an interesting book that describes in great detail your very valid concerns (linked here).

Where did I do this?

This supports my point and pretty much directly contradicts your point that we can just “sit back and enjoy”. EV is only a partial solution. Can you tell me any other solutions you see in the works?

I don’t have an adrenal response. Is this your own mantra to yourself? There is something called “acceptance”. Once acceptance has been reached on a very deep level, it’s possible to calmly plan contingencies. Your responses honestly seem to alternate between denial and bargaining, while projecting anger (Adrenaline = fight / flight) onto others (me).

This is two false either / or dilemmas. 1 - I can condemn the current trend AND also chose to only purchase quality products as they are available. 2 - Affordability and overengineering are not the only two options. High quality products last longer, making them more affordable in the long term.
One example - a good quality German razor cost me lets say $30, while cheap Gillette sensor whatever are $12. But over time the German razor is cheaper and also gives an incomparably better shave because it can equip any one of a dozen different blades. This German Razor was engineered over 50 years ago. I’ve also used other razor brands over the years and I’ve noticed that Gillette Razors have frankly deteriorated in quality since my first shave in 1984. All that engineering to over 5 decades to make an inferior product.
But I don’t have an “adrenal response”, lol. That’s absurd. I just researched how to get the same razor my dad gave me as a teenager and bought it. Side benefit - I always have a razor on hand for arts and crafts.
I could go through dozens of similar examples - the plastic plant “watercan” or for that matter anything plastic left in the sun like chairs that break when you sit on them after 6 months, furniture that stains or falls apart when it gets slightly wet, DIY spray foam insulation that makes a toxic environment if you make a mistake, cell phones that you can’t replace the battery, garden hoses that are either worse quality or more expensive than those made in the 1970’s, etc. etc.

I don’t remember this. I still see 1980’s Toyota Corollas on the road. The VW bug and minibus were other old models that just “kept on ticking”. The old 1980’s Czechoslovakian “Skoda” was another car that just kept running forever. The old models of some of these cars are still sold in developing countries over newer brands because they last longer than newer cars and can be repaired at home. 50 years of engineering later and these classics are still better for people who want a reliable car for decades rather than a stylish one that needs replaced every 5 years. When I was a kid myy family always had 15 year old cars. The first one I remember didn’t have seatbelts. I remember many weekends spent with uncles or cousins making some kind of repair. My own first car was a used toyota with 150,000 miles when I bought it and I just replaced the radiator and it was good. I bought another one in 2000 with similar mileage. Just needed brake work and it drove me around for 2 years before I donated it. That’s not even mentioning Diesel vehicles made in the 1960’s that are still being used in developing countries and can run on used cooking oil, lol.
There have been a lot of developments in the past 50 years regarding automobiles, but also at the same time factored into the engineering is forcing repeat business whether it’s parts and service or replacement.

Founder of Green Peace on the politicalization of environmental and climate movements.