What is the Source of Hope?

A little context. I’ve been an educational change agent for about 40 years. Not. First. Rodeo! So here’s something to ponder:

You’re right. Thoughts are things. Once you post those thoughts on Integral Life (or wherever) you instantiate them and translate them into artifacts. Systems take artifacts and run with them.

From the Technology Adoption Curve model, Integral Theory is in the Innovator part of the curve. (IT is a “technology” in so far it involves artifacts, procedures, techniques - stuff that can transmitted and taught). So as an Innovator - and proven change marketeer - I’m sniffing out target markets of Early Adopters.

My usual experience with this sort of thing is I start out sounding like John the Baptist and a couple years later everyone is looking at me like Doubting Thomas. When it all becomes everybody else’s idea, victory is achieved. Time to move on to the next thing …

I’ll point out that model isn’t just for technology, but also for pretty much any socio-political-economic “trend”. I first ran into the idea myself in Milan Kundera’s book “Farewell Party”. First there was a dog catcher absurdly trying to catch the stray alone, then a few people joined in (early adopters) then people started cheering and then everyone in the village was trying to catch the dog. His analogy was to how the general population took up communism.

In my life I’ve used this model in a wide variety of ways. Most recently what comes to mind is pushing back against MAGA and Trump “Early Adopters” so that movement did not get to “Late Majority”. That is a struggle still in progress. I also do my best to sway how a movement goes from Innovators to Early adopters - a lot of times corruption and mutation sets in during transitions in the phases. Actually almost every innovation gets transformed between innovation and “early majority” by the early adopters. Where I get my most bang for the buck personally is in small local communities where it’s possible to “kill” (not literally) or nurture “mutations” selectively by putting my energy toward it or against it.

Amen. It may strike many here as shockingly vulgar, but I’m just here doing my accustomed job of educational “solutions architect” looking for ways to improve the system though a new “technical” adoption. Some past chapters in that story: word processing, desktop publishing, internet, email, voice mail, web development, digital video production, IT security, cloud services. So why jump categories and involve anything as humanistic as Integral Theory? Because the next challenge is not AI. AI is already here. The next technical challenge is HI (Human Intelligence). I’m shopping for a platform and an operating system for that one.

From Integral Life, straight to my students.

Check out this supply chain. Started with this discussion thread. Added the Zoom call last week with Stephanie Lepp. Included a side talk with @EnlightenedWorldview. Resulted in this new assignment for my IT students:

For your group project this quarter, your group can make a small website on any topic you want. But if you need a place to begin your creative discussions, consider this question:

How can information technology help make the world a better place?

For some background on this, check out this discussion. The Social Dilemma - How Can We Solve It? (Discussion behind a class login). Reference: https://www.thesocialdilemma.com/

Many think IT is starting to do more harm than good. Are they right? What do you think?

My point here is that the integral transformation will happen one class project at time. My hypothesis is that integrally-oriented content, if presented in the right way, will be more effective and motivational than other approaches. This will lead schools, as adaptive systems, to become more integral.

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I am not in the climate justice / STEM course community, but I have a long history with AQAL and Integral. One feature of an Integral world view may be relevant here – as we move into second tier we become ever more keenly aware of the importance of context. However advanced and accurate our understanding of anything may be, there is almost certainly some larger context that we’re not yet aware of. That larger context may well challenge our model of how things are. We would be wise to always be looking for larger contexts that might lead us to better policies and actions.

Unpacking this a little: In the area of climate change, I especially recommend enlarging the context. Meaning, look at the history of climate on this planet on larger and larger time scales, not just the last few million years. In its 4.5 billion year history, our earth has gone through an amazing variety of climates, many of them far, far more extreme than anything we are facing in this century.

Basically, the climate has always been changing. Mostly it changes slowly, but there are those occasional abrupt, massive shifts. That’s always been the case. Yes, humanity is causing at least some of the current warming trend, but the planet has been through greater extremes of heat and of cold than anything Homo Sapiens has experienced. And the warmer the period, the more abundantly life has flourished. There have been hundreds of millions of years when there was no year-round ice anywhere, not even at the poles, with CO2 levels far higher than anything our most pessimistic modelers are forecasting. Green plants LOVE CO2. Fossil forests have been discovered in the Antarctic, no kidding.

I recommend: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yze1YAz_LYM
This is 56 minutes but very well worth it. Paleoclimatology by a serious scientist who is an excellent lecturer.

Conclusion: our situation is serious, but much of the hysterical fears being expressed these days are groundless (sez me), and the policies on which they insist would harm not help.

Blessing on your endeavors!

Thanks, @ksv! I agree. I’m a big fan of https://www.youtube.com/@GEOGIRL among others!

That being said, “Hot House Earth”, “Ice House Earth”, and the post-Permian “Great Dying” are not the best looking model outcomes. Something closer to our current temperature range and sea levels, would be preferable from my POV.

Along with Geo Girl I also follow other YouTubers who are into colonizing planets and so forth. It may be the case, that we are on the verge of “terraforming” Earth 1) because we can or 2) because we need to. We may, essentially be learning how to practice horticulture on a planetary scale. Not sure which “altitude” can pull that off … but it’s an AQAL project for certain!

I’ll just point out that you paint anyone opposing your view in the extreme (“hysterical”), and then follow it up with your own extreme position (“groundless”), and then use a vague “they” to say some nameless group of people are causing harm.

I don’t see this position as anything close to “integral”.

I’ll also point out that every time the climate has shifted radically, there have been massive extinction events. Most of them scientists cannot prove what was the cause and what was the effect. It’s all speculation.

One thing that I DO know - and it is provable scientifically - is that quality of life is actually going DOWN since the 1970’s. Some of this is climate related and some of it isn’t. Some are highly suspicious correlations.

But back to not knowing what is cause and what is effect. Even if we give climate change critics that point - which is a generous concession. Regardless of if climate change is caused by human activity or not - humanity does not have a plan to handle climate change. We are still building cities in areas prone to increased natural disasters and we are still basing our food supply on farming system that is ill equipped to handle climate change.

Those who oppose the idea that humans have caused climate change seem to think that “being right” (and that is a very thin claim) will address the problems that climate change id bringing, and it just frankly won’t.

So let’s say we are in the midst of a massive natural climate swing. It won’t matter one slight bit who is right or wrong about the cause of it when the North American aquifer is drained and we have another dustbowl in the great plains and no wheat can be grown for 5 years. That’s just one example of a dozen I can list. What is the plan for cities that are facing rising sea levels - regardless of cause - sea levels are rising. What is the plan for increased hurricane and tornado severity? Keep bailing out stupid people who feel they have the right to live in flimsy dwellings in tornado alley and Florida? What about increased severity of flooding and increased building in flood zones that again require massive bailouts of stupid people.

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There are apocalyptic views on both sides of climate discussions. Technically, we don’t need to “save the planet” because the planet has been through far worse than us. However, in a parallel discussion in another forum recently, I got hit with a perspective that 1) climate change is a plot to establish one world government and abolish religious freedom and 2) per the Book of Revelations, this was predicted long ago and Jesus will return soon to sort it all out. Me - as soon as the “End of the World” signs come out, I start checking out …

Flood, droughts, fires, etc. need to be managed or at least mitigated. “:The science is settled” is another pretty questionable term, because any actual science is never settled (per Karl Popper). That being said, though I’ll take the best available science and adjust action plans accordingly. Based on best available science, CO2 emissions reduction or sequester seems recommended.

I think we kind of agree and I think the constructive activity will be found in taking action on the 95% of the middle positions.

The taking action is the critical part, though. I think the reason a lot of people gravitate toward the extreme theories is that if they accept the common sense, reasonable and scientific view - then they’d have to take some kind of responsibility to take action for their own circumstances and do something to significantly change their lives. Placing these concepts into a global all or nothing paradigm allows people to deflect making changes to their lives and instead act out debating extremes as their contribution to “doing something”.

You’re not wrong. In the other forum, I am actually highly engaged with the person who dropped the Revelations bomb on the conversation. I think there are both bad faith (i.e. manipulative) and good faith reasons people land outside of @raybennett’s 95%. The good faith reasons are too … much … complexity … must … shut … down … now. That’s a basic defense mechanism, highly understandable. That’s why I prefer to lower the temperature on conversations, because I believe that sort of temperature lowering is also essential to lowering the temperature on Earth.

I also think proportionality is relevant here. What proportion of discussion should include what has already overwhelmed past and present discussions to the degree that it has hindered discussion on more useful perspectives?

With that in mind, I’m citing this paper in my school project:

Hochachka, G. (2019). On matryoshkas and meaning-making: Understanding the plasticity of climate change. Global Environmental Change . 57(101917). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2019.05.001.

Gail presented here in Integral Life a few weeks ago. This is very good research and it shows how different people process climate at different stages of development.

The basic game plan is just Integral: all the “ups”, all the “lines”, all the quadrants. The teaching art (that’s my swim lane) is to read the audience, size up where they are at, and craft the message to build on where they are now, pointing them to what might come next.

I see service as a selfless act or contribution and separate myself from attaching myself to a specific outcome. Maybe the most obvious example would be a volunteer sitting with a person who will die soon. There is no outcome except the inevitability of death. In this action of sitting with someone about to die, there are two emotional paths. The holding one will lead to all kinds of emotional trauma and dysfunction. Humans cannot sit with death again and again and again and hold that energy and remain physically or spiritually healthy. The other path is releasing energy, allowing it to pass through without attachment to it. The one guarantee in life is that everyone will die and how we handle the energy of deaths of individuals is a kind of practice and a choice.

On a larger scale, civilizations and nations and planets and galaxies all die. OK - we don’t want it to happen immediately, just as we don’t want people to die immediately - so we try to keep individuals, communities and of course our planet alive and well for as long as possible and we should take action on those fronts. So I’m not talking about apathy but acceptance and recognizing all one can do is what one is able to do. If one is doing what one is able to do, then that is all one can do. If one is not able to do a thing, holding harmful emotions about this inability will not help.