Climate Change Claim: Existentialism Will Help Silence Objections to Restricting Individual Choice

Sisyphus pushing his rock up the mountain. Titian [Public domain]

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

By emphasising the collective conscience implicit in the philosophy of Existentialism, policy planners might win more support for climate action.

Existentialism: A guiding philosophy for tackling climate change in cities?

January 8, 2019 8.56am AEDT
Markus Moos
Associate professor, University of Waterloo

The evidence of human-induced climate change is clear. At minimum, climate change will cost us dearly due to the economic impacts and lives lost from the increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events. At worst, it presents an existential threat.

But, importantly, existentialism also includes a collective conscience. As Sartre noted: “Am I really a man who is entitled to act in such a way that the entire human race should be measuring itself by my actions?”

In other words, the philosophy argues that individual freedoms cannot be preserved if all individuals are completely free to choose their actions. The reference point for making decisions then becomes the impact our individual actions would have on society as a whole if everyone else modelled their actions after ours.

Reduce your carbon emissions now

If existentialism is making a comeback, it may provide precisely the philosophical fodder planners, and other policymakers, need to help the public understand why solving collective problems, such as climate change, may require restricting some choices and not only creating new ones.

If everyone continues to drive carbon-emitting cars, current and future generations will face severe restrictions on their own choices because of the impacts of climate change.

In an increasingly individualistic society, a philosophy that helps us validate our personal freedoms all the while emphasizing our collective responsibilities holds great potential to provide meaning to a large number of people.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/existentialism-a-guiding-philosophy-for-tackling-climate-change-in-cities-108649

The following from the Wikipedia entry on Existentialism stood out;

Confusion with nihilism

Although nihilism and existentialism are distinct philosophies, they are often confused with one another as both are rooted in the human experience of anguish and confusion stemming from the apparent meaninglessness of a world in which humans are compelled to find or create meaning.[51] A primary cause of confusion is that Friedrich Nietzsche is an important philosopher in both fields. Existentialist philosophers often stress the importance of Angst as signifying the absolute lack of any objective ground for action, a move that is often reduced to a moral or an existential nihilism. A pervasive theme in the works of existentialist philosophy, however, is to persist through encounters with the absurd, as seen in CamusThe Myth of Sisyphus (“One must imagine Sisyphus happy”),[52] and it is only very rarely that existentialist philosophers dismiss morality or one’s self-created meaning: Kierkegaard regained a sort of morality in the religious (although he wouldn’t himself agree that it was ethical; the religious suspends the ethical), and Sartre‘s final words in Being and Nothingness are “All these questions, which refer us to a pure and not an accessory (or impure) reflection, can find their reply only on the ethical plane. We shall devote to them a future work.”[44]

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existentialism

Sisyphus is a metaphor for futility, or maybe a metaphor for a life of brutal manual drudgery. Sisyphus was a Greek king who was condemned by the gods to endure eternal torment, by pushing a large rock up a steep hill, but he was condemned to never have the satisfaction of finishing his hopeless task – the rock always rolled back down before he reached the top.

Existentialists urge us not to make objective judgements about the fate of Sisyphus, because we don’t know what is actually happening in his head. We need to imagine that Sisyphus might be happy with his hopeless task, because “his rock is his thing”.

Fossil fuel alleviates drudgery, by replacing manual effort with machines – but from an Existential viewpoint all experience is subjective; you cannot know that people who live lives of brutal drudgery want their burden alleviated, especially if that alleviation comes at a cost for future generations.

122 thoughts on “Climate Change Claim: Existentialism Will Help Silence Objections to Restricting Individual Choice

  1. Yeh. Just like the existentialism of Sartre and Marcuse inspired Pol Pot to rampage through Cambodia. Time to take up arms?

    • The great existentialist philosopher Jean Paul Sartre was a Stalinist before and after WWII. During the War he sucked up to the Nazis. Fascism, Nazism, Stalinism, Maoism, Marxism, Existentialism, Socialism, Progressivism, and Warmunism (apologies to any one I left out) are all pretty much the same. They all lead to slavery, poverty, and death.

  2. Wait can the esteemed Professor prove he exists?
    I do not know of this person,he is an imaginary possibility in my mind.
    “Markus Moos
    Associate professor, University of Waterloo

    The evidence of human-induced climate change is clear.”
    I see he uses existentialism in his selection of “proof”

    Best answer is “42” and please carry on with your rectal cranium introspection till you disappear up your own and cease to annoy the taxpaying public with your parasitic leeching from the public purse.

    • Climate science needs philosophers like a bicycle needs a fish…

      Keep your science-powder dry, my friends. We are at the start of the “if you believe yourself to be morally right, you don’t have to be accurate” era. Facts are irrelevant. Feels are in.

      • Climate science has been in that “moral license to lie” mode since day 1.
        Tweaked fudge factor parameters in climate models, constant adjustments to past temperature records, erasing the pause, calling RCP8.5 the BAU scenario,
        all forms of lies and ethical misdeeds.

        It is foundational to the IPCC unwillingness to reduce the IPCC climate sensivity (ECS) estimate range to the realistic 1 -2 K range from the 1.5 – 4.5 K they publish.

      • I don’t know what philosophical stream it is, but you hear it at the street level as ‘truth is subjective.’ This concept is taught all the way from elementary school to universities. “There are no absolutes.” It is no wonder that absurdities as there are 31 genders abound. (BTW both of the aforementioned statements are self-defeating. The first one is crushed with the question ‘is that subjective?’ and the second with the question ‘is that an absolute”)

        • Most of the existential stream (except for Kierkegaard) were atheists. The honest ones recognized that without God, there are no moral absolutes. Combine this with Modernism, today better described as scientism, i.e. the view that the only truth we can know is scientific truth (we can’t know any metaphysical or moral truth) and you get post-modernism. The more extreme post-modernists are even skeptical of scientific truth.

          So the overarching dogma of post-modernism is moral relativism, which as you point out, is a self-defeating concept. But it is very easy for charismatic leaders to convince the moral relativist to lie, cheat, steal, and commit horrific acts of violence with an end-justifies-the-means mentality. This has been the method that all leftists and fascists think that they most use to achieve the utopian society of their dreams.

          Unfortunately, this philosophy and methodology has become dominant today in the mainstream media, academia, the U.N., the Climate Change alarmist community, the progressives of the democrat party, and to a lesser extent, Trump and his more radical supporters, to name a few.

    • “Wait can the esteemed Professor prove he exists”
      I was certain of my existence in my early years, but for the rest I’m not so sure.
      I was born and spent my early teenage years in a kind of ‘pre-industrial age’.
      No electricity, no telephone, no running water, all cooking and heating was done on wood fired stove and I use to do my homework with help of one of these , almost exact in every detail.
      For the rest of my life I’ve been transported into an electron powered hologram of ‘modern industrial’ age, where nothing is as obvious or certain (h/2*pi).

    • My “Cold Curse” on the East is still working, but the best is yet to come. Brrrr!

      https://weather.com/maps/ustemperaturemap

      Fully ~85% of global primary energy is from fossil fuels, unchanged in decades – and essential for the survival of you and your family.
      _______________________________

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/11/17/will-the-snowiest-decade-continue/#comment-2521702

      Fair warning: I’m calling down another very hard winter on the US Northeast, extending up into Canada.

      The reason I’m doing this is that you deserve it. You continue to bleat about global warming, in a world that is about to get colder.

      You continue to blather on about climate change and the need to eliminate fossil fuels – do that tomorrow and most of you will be dead within a month or two.

      Fully 85% of global primary energy is fossil fuels and that number has not changed significantly in decades. Fossil fuel energy provides almost everything you need to survive in this complex world. It IS that simple!

      So enjoy the bitter cold and snow this winter, good people, and maybe you will actually learn something.

      Cold kills far more people then heat in the world today, probably about 2 million excess winter deaths per year.

      Bundle up!

    • John, you made I laff!
      Thanks for that.

      It’s all post modernist nonsense. Nonsense because it has within its philosophy several serious contradictions.

  3. It looks like someone is trying the equivalent of Liberation Theology here, combining disparate philosophies. If it turns out similar to Liberation Theology, it will me mostly green socialism, and very little existentialism.

    • Tyranny, not socialism per see.
      You can tell the report is a corrupt bit of propaganda by not offering conditional context.
      No doubts about climate means no thought went into the article.

      • Socialism is tyranny.

        The point of socialism is to be fair.

        To fair you need to have rules to define what is fair.

        For rules to work you need people to enforce them.

        And the moment your society needs enforced rules to function you have tyranny.

        Freedom does not co-exist with fair. Either you are free to do what you like, sometimes at the expense of others, or you have a world where everything is regulated to ensure no one takes advantage of anyone else.

        Now too much freedom leads to anarchy where everyone acts purely for themselves, so a complete lack of rules is not automatically a good thing either. Society is a compromise somewhere in the amount of freedom people are willing to allow their peers and the amount of rules they are willing to put up with.

        • There is a whole body of scientific study of how we humans cooperate, help, and get along without having to be coerced by law.

          We do this all the time, all over the place.

        • Study of many societies seems to show that society’s purpose is to bring adolescents(~age 10 -25) into control of their emotions and the hormone swings of puberty so they can function relatively peacefully with other adults. Almost every society before the current modern one has had various rituals and customs to control sub-adults. That included birth rituals, teaching customs, an age of reason(where most children can start to think logically and rationally) , and adulthood customs including puberty rituals, education and testing, various other barriers to being recognized as an adult including fasting, going through physical trials, battles, etc.

          Post-modernist thinking and modern mis-education has more or less done away with self development and substituted class designations- old, young, black, white, other “races”, emotions instead of thinking, and other irrationalities.

          As one modern philosopher has put it(paraphrased)- stand up straight, put your shoulders back, and clean up your room. Then go out and do something that makes your life better tomorrow than it was today.

  4. The entire argument is built upon a false premise of doing harm. If they truly believed in such personal responsibilities they surely should be concerned with promulgating a false narrative which will cause far more harm.

    • If they truly believed in such, they’d actually practice what they preach. Do the Prof. ever partake of fossil fuel powered transportation (cars, planes, buses, etc)? If so he should stop his use of such immediately if he truly believes it does harm. Does he use electricity from a grid that has fossil fuel generation? If so he should stop his use of such immediately if he truly believes it does harm Does he used materials (like the plastics in his smart phones and computers) that are made from fossil fuels? If so he should stop his use of such immediately if he truly believes it does harm. etc

      I suspect that answers to most if not all of the above questions (and more) are yes and yet the professor still engages/indulges in those things showing that he doesn’t really believe in the problem he proclaims.

    • “The entire argument is built upon a false premise of doing harm. If they truly believed in such personal responsibilities they surely should be concerned with promulgating a false narrative which will cause far more harm.”
      Indeed.
      This is about the seizure of power, seizure of the economy, not about the strawman”harm”.

      There is simply no viable alternative to so called “fossil fuels” regardless of the actions taken.
      Just look at the trillions already spent. The ‘alternative’ fuels are barely a blip on the radar, a tiny slice on an energy pie chart. The Communists simply do not care about that though, they want control, they want the massive amounts of money of yet another taxation scheme.

      And note the usual sleazy tactic of saying ‘carbon’ instead of carbon dioxide. I have noticed that even skeptics often use the word ‘carbon’. Don’t do it, you are playing their game if you do.
      C, a solid / CO2, a gas
      Thanks.

      • There is simply no viable alternative to so called “fossil fuels” regardless of the actions taken

        While you can’t replace the use of *all* fossil fuels, there is a viable alternative to a large percentage of current fossil fuel usage: nuclear. The fact that CO2-doomsday cult refuses to consider it and instead tilt at the windmills (both literally and figuratively) of “renewables” is proof enough that they don’t even believe their own story and that it is not about CO2 emissions (and never was), but about power (and not the kind you use to heat your home, and keep your lights on).

        • Well that works for electricity generation, but not (at least until the miniaturize it) for transport (though I think nuclear powered vehicles would be sweet, personally) and probably some other biggies (heavy manufacturing, etc.).

          • Indeed, hence why I said “you can’t replace the use of *all* fossil fuels”. Some transport can be “nuclear powered” though not in the way you were thinking, any EV that is powered from a nuclear powered grid is in essence “nuclear powered”. Bottom line is that if CO2 is the problem that the doomsters claim, than nuclear is the easiest solution to eliminating a good portion of current CO2 emissions. and yet it’s a solution that most of the doomsters are adamantly against. Tell you everything you need to know about how real the “crisis” is.

  5. A lot (nearly all) of existentialism is nihilistic bunk. About its only usefulness is pointing out how Nature gives a whit among the species that occupy her space, the rest is fanciful projection. Philosophy could use another Schopenhauer.

  6. “individual freedoms cannot be preserved if all individuals are completely free to choose their actions. ”

    Sounds like a catch 22.

    • …well, only in a community. You can express any and all ‘personal freedoms’ if you are alone in a deserted area.
      An individuals ‘personal freedom’ to swing their arms wildly about ends at their neighbor’s nose.
      While you may have the personal freedom to flail about, your neighbors also have the personal freedom not to be struck by your flailing. If you choose to live within a community you are accepting the responsibility to censor and control your ‘personal freedoms’ to conform to the society you wish to belong.

      • It depends on how you define “neighbor”. Also, if that the neighbor is a putative national socialist, a medium for Soviets, insufficiently diverse (e.g. wrong “color”), pro-human rights, or otherwise politically incongruent.

      • An individuals ‘personal freedom’ to swing their arms wildly about ends at their neighbor’s nose

        Except if your neighbor is a Nazi. You’re allowed to punch Nazi’s. Well, your neighbors not really a Nazi, but as long as you call them a Nazi, you can punch them. At least that’s what the loony lefties (like the misnamed Antifa) insist from what I’ve seen.

        • Also, if your neighbor has more than you do, that’s an assault on your personal sense of self worth, therefore you are entitled to strike your neighbor and take his stuff.

          • And you’re entitled to limit your thoughts and words to those allowed, and provide them protection money, so that they don’t have to report you to the authorities.

        • As Jordan Petersen says, the possibility of descent into violence has a civilizing effect on discourse.

    • I think that loosely translates to “individual freedoms cannot be preserved because you little people wouldn’t do what I think you should do with such freedoms if they were preserved.”

    • key words are ‘completely’ & ‘preserved’.

      “individual freedoms CAN be preserved if – individuals are free to – choose their actions. ”

      “individual freedoms “will not be lost” if all individuals are free to choose their actions. ”

      (Another key word, form the perspective of those that will manage, is ‘all’. The simple solution is just to limit the freedoms to those that manage … “individual freedoms will be lost if managers define, and then allow, specific freedoms”.)

    • The problem here is the original author made the rookie mistake of using ‘individual freedoms’ when they had meant to say ‘we will make the rules’.

      You can live fair, or you can live free.

      Free to eat all the pizza and sod everyone else, or fair in that everyone gets exactly the same sized slice.

      But to work out what is fair you need rules, and if you have rules you need people to enforce them.

      A truly ‘fair and equal’ society has no freedom. You will do EVERYTHING in accordance to ‘The Rules’ or else.

      Successful societies find a balance between freedoms and rules. It is the fact that other people are making these rules and still being successful and happy that annoys most socialists.

      • What is the issue Joel? It is an HTTPS link with a green padlock in the browser bar showing it to be secured when opened. It also went through moderation. CTM/Anthony, if you see an issue, please delete me, let me go 😉

        • I never go to sites when the person posting the link does not have the courtesy to indicate why I should. Thus, I assume I should not.
          Saves time.
          Simple.

          • It is a picture pulled through google John. I thought it would post as such, but it did not have the courtesy to do so. Albeit, your policy is sound.

    • The “existentialist threat” is real; rather than the ominous sounding “existential threat”, which is just a puffy way of saying someone is scared.

      Beware the Borg, and their (perceived) remedies.

  7. Choice, Existentialism, as in selective-child. So, what they’re saying, in their traditional semantic play, and with a conflation of logical domains, is that the prophecy of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is not about science or ducks, but a wicked solution to appease mortal gods and dodos.

  8. The good professor picks his points carefully.
    “a collective conscience”
    “collective problems”
    “our collective responsibilities”

    A collective social order, that is to say, socialism, and the Marxism at the core comes through loud and clear.

    Why is it that all the climate warriors on the political front are a bunch of commies?

    • “Why is it that all the climate warriors on the political front are a bunch of commies?”

      That is an example of a tautological question.

    • And yet, in all that collectiveness, none of the actual sacrifice or change in lifestyle falls upon himself. It’s always other people that must sacrifice and change their lifestyle for the “good of the collective”.

      • Management tactics 101.
        By making a decision in a meeting, nobody is held responsible if it all goes ape. Whereas if a single person was to be responsible, well…

        Its plainly obvious that the green blob always blame others for their failings. Look at their rallies, garbage everywhere.

        Some sort of collective non-responsibility, somebody should do something but not me (I’m busy).

        • …also known as Management By Committee, and from said Committee you get these results:

          Six Phases of a Project:

          1. Enthusiasm
          2. Disillusionment
          3. Panic
          4. Search for the guilty
          5. Punishment of the innocent
          6. Praise and honors for the non-participants

          You’re welcome.

    • TonyL
      Collectivism is NOT in the spirit of existentialism! The essence of existentialism is to find one’s personal meaning in life, not to accept what the collective tells you the meaning is.

  9. The problem with those who argue for sacrifice in the name of “Climate Action” is they are always imagining someone else’s sacrifice, not their own.
    – Not their own living a meager existence of manual labor and deprivation.
    – Not their own inability to turn up the heat in their home on a cold winter day knowing they won’t be able to pay for food on the table when the heating bill comes due.
    – Not their own inability to jet off to some faraway vacation spot.
    – Not their own inability to have a decent meal of meat and vegetables on the dinner table, brought in from some faraway location in the dead of winter.

    The climate socialists always envision someone else’s sacrifice in the pursuit of their political power. I have no doubt that if Al Gore or Tom Steyer were put on fossil fuel-free lifestyles that they advocate for others, both would quickly change their tune.

    • ‘The climate socialists always envision someone else’s sacrifice in the pursuit of their political power.’

      They prefer to be one who beats the other lemmings off the cliff.

  10. “Am I really a man who is entitled to act in such a way that the entire human race should be measuring itself by my actions?”
    To the virtue-signaling narcissists ( Al, Leo, etc.) the answer it clearly “YES, the entire human race should measure itself against ME” (except when it comes to reducing my own carbon footprint).

    • Also:
      Everyone thinks and believes as I do, those who don’t are evil or stupid. So when I have such an epiphany as the above article, you should all listen and believe me.

  11. What a bunch of nonsense. Professor Moos should meet his Waterloo. Quoting sissy philosophers doesn’t work for me, give me the great American philosopher Al Bundy any day! Forced to have a Birds and Bees conversation with young Bud, Al says “Now that you’re not shooting blanks anymore watch out where you aim”.

    Existentialism? About every hundred years or so.

  12. The ruminations of a guy sitting around in cafe’s ruminating is a very poor foundation for anything. Many of the professors I took classes from appeared to be living in a fantasy world of their own making. As a Liberal Arts major I already knew difference between the world of the mind and the actual existing world. Learned it at 15 humping crates of ice cream in a freezer room. Unlikely that Sartre or Moos would have been of much use there.

    Not anti-intellectual. Just anti-stupid

  13. Whilst I have once made the following suggestion, I wish to restate it.

    In this excellent site which is read by those interested in the subjects but are not “qualified scientists” would it be helpful to help the readers perspective.

    When taking,/writing about climate change it would help to either use the plural, climate changes, or ” the current climate change” .

    It would assist in halting the media’s use of fear to allow readers/listeners to realise that this Earth has seen many many climate changes and will see many more.

    I was taught many years ago that An effective communication is ” that which is received, not that which is sent.”

    Hope it helps.

    • There are climates but not a climate.
      We live in an area with cold winters, hot summers, and very little precipitation.
      In the Köppen system this is a BSk: see http://hanschen.org/koppen/#maps

      The main issue is CO2 induced global warming that, as far as I know, has yet to change one of the many perceived climates.

  14. Somewhere there are parents who, having paid their child’s tuition for the year, are weeping quietly to themselves, wondering where they went wrong…

  15. So… all they’ve got to do is convince the population to give up its personal liberties, and they plan to do so by pushing it through the media.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that ‘climate change’ is not the only vehicle they intend to carry this message.

  16. “Collective responsibilities” are always dependent upon who is deciding what those responsibilities are.

  17. So is precipitation a real thing? Do thunderstorms really produce ice crystals and hail at high altitudes? Then without any philosopher to assist, one can see that heat cannot in fact be “trapped” to excess at the surface or in the atmosphere itself by greenhouse gases.

    As others have noted above, the premise “The evidence of human-induced climate change is clear” is unfounded to begin with. Expecting folks who rationally reject the premise to fall in line philosophically is absurd.

    • indeed. Here’s a hint to the “if only we present the message just right everyone will fall in line” crowd. It’ll never happen as long as you are “presenting messages” instead of “presenting evidence”. People who refuse to believe until they see the evidence aren’t going to magically start believing absent that evidence just because you keep trying to fool them with messaging.

  18. ‘The evidence of human-induced climate change is clear’

    I must be double extra dense, because that evidence is not so clear to me….

  19. “The evidence of human-induced climate change is clear.” Yes, it is clear that there is no evidence for human-induced climate change.

  20. “We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!”
    ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

  21. I’m grateful for Anthony’s contribution to the collective consciousness. This website stands in opposition to the tyranny where only approved thoughts are allowed.

    Humans have thrived because we are able to see from different perspectives and this leads to advances when people see things others have not noticed. Understanding we are interdependent, fresh ideas should be embraced and examined rather than dismissed because they conflict with preconceived notions.

    The self serving intellectual fascists who think they should determine how others should live are the biggest obstacle to human development. Millions have died due to this cancerous philosophy.

  22. “Nihilists! F*** me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.” – Walter Sobchak

  23. Devil’s Avocado….
    Yes Sisyphus was happy.
    He was getting shed loads of Dopamine and Endorphin from his physical work.
    It made him happy. He would be ravenously hungry and would enjoy whatever it was he was eating.
    He had no stress from other folks telling him what to do. He had a set routine and no worries about the future. In their bizarre way, whoever set Sisyphus his task, had set themselves the responsibility and worry of keeping him at it.
    Sisyphus had no problems and no worries.

    And you……..

    Hint: You THINK you are happy because all the drugs (chemicals that promote Endorphin release) TELL you that you are happy. You use the drugs to escape all the things that Sisyphus knows nothing of
    Sorry. Wrong. Cause & Effect go through the wind-shield yet again.
    The drugs lie. Even worse, their effect gets weaker the more of them you take.
    Taking drugs to make you happy actually puts you on a worse treadmill than Sisyphus is on.

    And they all have side effects. Side effects that kill.
    Easily 40% of all people who ‘pass away’ these days are dying of illnesses that were medical curiosities barely 80 years ago.
    Sugar is simply not potent enough but many people massively over-use it.
    Oh well, as long as the barley yield keeps on going up eh?
    And Weed gets legalised. What next? Cocaine? Xtal Meth? Then what?
    /avocado

    IOW: Do be careful of ‘projection’ – of what you imagine Sisyphus was going through because YOU were putting him through it.
    Why do you hate Sisyphus? Is there anyone else you’re ‘not so fond of’?
    What do you wish upon them?
    What does The Drug suggest you do to them – in order to perpetuate its own continued supply?
    tax?

  24. The evidence of human-induced climate change is clear.

    And yet, those claiming that never ever produce this clear evidence. They make endless assertions about what it means such as:

    “At minimum, climate change will cost us dearly due to the economic impacts and lives lost from the increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events. At worst, it presents an existential threat.”

    But as for actually presenting the evidence, nada. zero. zip. zilch. Which indicates that the only clear thing is that there is *no* such evidence else they’d be shouting it from the rooftops.

    • “as for actually presenting the evidence, nada. zero. zip. zilch”

      Correct, John.

      They don’t present it because it doesn’t exist. The only thing that could possibly change is the weather.

      Climate is an abstraction. There will never be evidence for it.

      Andrew

    • I don’t know about every third person. But certainly 90% of politicians (the other 10% merely haven’t been infected yet).

  25. Existentialism is about taking personal responsibility!
    The philosophy has ubiquitous benefits but this is a perversion of its ideas. The damn left corrupt and reconstruct everthing to suit its agenda.

  26. Another professor, this time prof Carl Lipo from Binghamton University in New York, has shown that even horses can do some essential science where the best archaeological minds appear to have failed.
    Couple of years ago the WUWT considered case of the Easter Island, or Rapa Nui where hundreds of 300 megalithic statues were erected.
    So what is all this about?
    “We noticed this, actually, when we were doing a survey on the island, that we would see horses drinking from the ocean. It is sort of amazing at low tide when the water goes down, suddenly there are streams running off at different spots right at the coast that are just pure fresh water. Every time we saw massive amounts of fresh water, we saw giant statues, it was ridiculously predictable” said Lipo.
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/jan/10/mystery-of-location-of-easter-island-statues-revealed

  27. I recall a Jane Austen quote that if nobody wants to dance with you, you have to become a philosopher.

    • “By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”
      -Socrates

  28. There is no evidence available of human-induced change to the climate. At minimum, the inefficient solutions to the non-existent problem of ‘climate change’ will cost us dearly due to the economic impacts and lives lost from the increased frequency and severity of loss of power events. At its worst, ‘Global Warming – Climate Change’ presents an existential threat to the existence of humanity.

  29. What would a government shutdown in the USA look like if we had a socialist economy. Under current conditions daily life rolls along with a shrug of the shoulders. Under socialism the claimed imaginary impacts of climate change extremism would be immediately realized. No food. No water. No medical care.

    • “What would a government shutdown in the USA look like if we had a socialist economy.”
      Under a socialist regime, the economy would stall. Unemployment would be 100%. Walmart– sorry– Walmarx, which would be “collectively owned”, would be shuttered. Schools, churches (if churches were permitted), hospitals, beaches, lakes, parking garages, and everything we take for granted would be dead.

  30. In the light of 20th century history (for instance) articles like this are a reminder that an inclination to totalitarianism isn’t a national or a cultural characteristic but a personality disposition.

    • That is something I’ve been saying for a long time. It’s the same people in every generation.

  31. Existentialists urge us not to make objective judgements about the fate of Sisyphus, because we don’t know what is actually happening in his head. We need to imagine that Sisyphus might be happy with his hopeless task, because “his rock is his thing”..

    Yeah, but here and now we can ask someone if they are happy or not. If unhappy, I might offer the modern day Sispyhus a loan of my V8 rock pusher. Task accomplished, we’d go for a beer and discuss philosophy.

    • True; If he had a 16 tonne excavator, he’d probably love the job. And it has an air conditioned cabin to boot 🙂

  32. Acedemia is very fond of coming up with new words, possibly to try and justify their very existence.

    It should be remembered that Universities started off as schools for the training of Pries, , then some rich men decided that their children needed education.

    Perhaps with the exception of the hard subjects, that all the soft, an easy to get a diploma for subject, s should go back to what they once were, the teaching of faiths..

    Only way to really learn a subject is to do it, get one’s hands dirty. Look at all of the great inventers of the UK Industrial revolution. Almost without exception they all served long apprehenticships

    MJE

    • Michael
      But many of those successful inventors were full of hot air — or at least steam! 🙂

  33. Dr. Markus Moos is a Registered Professional Planner and Associate Professor in the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Moos’ research is on changing housing markets, demography, generational change, millennials, and the economy and social structure of cities.

    Nowhere do I see ANY Scientific Credentials, Climate Credentials, or even any Philosophy Credentials! Of course his article sounds like the ramblings of your typical Village Idiot, but the MSM will herald this Idiot for his call for SOCIALISM!

    • We are beset on all sides by Dunning-Krueger sufferers, idiots who believe they are brilliant, and believe they are eminently qualified to tell the rest of us what to do.

  34. So, climate alarmists can use a misreading of existentialism to make their case now?

    They redefined “climate change”.
    They call CO2 “carbon”.
    They twist and or hijack other words to suit their narrative.

    Hey, let’s celebrate as they distort existentialist philosophy now.

    On a related note, I, for one, am tired of the phrase, “existential crisis”, used in association with the idea of human-caused climate change.

    • My first interpretation of the word “existential”, was to believe it was something like “our very existence is at stake”.

      But I’ve read several people comments here that it’s more along the lines of one’s own existence among their peers.

      The wiki article seems to have yet another description of it, though it’s a bit of a challenge to read. It appears to be saying that when you study a subject, you don’t just study their mind, thinking, beliefs and attitudes. You also study their acts, their lifestyle, their labor and their leisure.

      • Greg.

        Easiest way to understand existentialism is this.
        Your existence precedes your essence.

        that means you first exist, then you choose what to be

        as opposed to god defining what you are or the state defining what you are or biology defining it or your parents or your class defining it.

  35. The evidence of human-induced climate change is clear. At ‘a’ minimum, climate change will cost us dearly due to the economic impacts and lives lost from the increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events

    Yes sir. The clarity of the clear evidence has been made even clearer by the NASA statement on “How We Know”.

    How we know that the warming since the LIA is human caused and that it will have catastrophic consequences if we fail to take climate action.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/12/27/nasa/

  36. I once read (well, I tried to read and really did get more than half way through) J-P Sartre’s Being and Nothingness but I can’t remember a single thing about it other than that I couldn’t make sense of it and why was he spending so much time writing stuff I couldn’t understand.

    Correction: I remember one thing, his analysis of why he smoked. He wrote that by taking the physical substance of smoke into his lungs, he was somehow validating his own existence. Or something like that. What nonsense. He smoked because (a) he enjoyed the little buzz and it does help you concentrate a little, and (b) he was addicted to nicotine like everyone else sitting in smoky cafés on the Rive Gauche and not doing anything that resembled work. Anyone who can’t see that is either impervious to self-evident facts, or a philosopher.

    But what do I know, I’m only a geologist.

  37. The professor’s argument is not legitimate, because it can be applied to anyone to enslave them or rob them or control them without reason or due process. All that is required is a proclamation that someone’s present behavior will cause some unspecified harm to unspecified people in some vague future.

    The argument can be used against the associate professor as easily as he uses it against others. It is arbitrary and fallacious. He is hiding his call for despotic rules behind a guise of philosophy, but it is not a philosophical argument. It is simple, gross probaganda.

  38. That the argument begins with grounding in “extreme weather events” not actually caused by climate change is awesome. Justifying universal suffering with ignorance. The Club of Rome has certainly succeeded in convincing the uneducated to relish freezing to death in the dark, where some of them truly belong.

  39. This is a convenient way of denying he’s a Stalinist who would like to send those he disagrees with to a gulag.

  40. How does saying “I am nothing but what I make of myself” an endorsement for limiting freedoms when it suits government?

    Maybe this fellow needs to go back and read up on Sartre.

    • He seems to put a lot of weight on everything after Being and Nothingness… that is on the promised ethical system that wasn’t really delivered in any clear way

    • We cannot make something from nothing, not even ephemeral things like meaning or identity. For those who try, the nothingness never fails to show through for those around them. Nihilism is the emperor and existentialism is his new wardrobe.

      True creation ex nihilo is the domain of God, not Man.

  41. Clever and smart: the Greeks mythology / narratives deals with archetypes. And it’s policy planner heroes that nasty threaten climate. Till change.

  42. ( … the religious suspends the ethical )

    because the religious has to believe and never dare to think by himself!

  43. I think Satre’s argument works, but needs to acknowledge a compromise between individual freedom and societal benefits. Tolerance is the middle ground. And, of course, totally dreadful to use this marxist angle to comply on an issue which is false.
    I’m constantly amazed these people can write with such authrity. Surely they can’t really believ in the CACC nonscience! Either that [innocent ignoramuses], or their bribed [criminals].

  44. Here it is without typos [sorry….]

    I think Sartre’s argument works, but needs to acknowledge a compromise between individual freedom and the societal benefit.
    Tolerance is the middle ground. And, of course, it’s totally dreadful to use this marxist angle to goad people into complinace on an issue which is false.

    I’m constantly amazed that these people can write with such authority. Surely they can’t really believe in the CACC nonscience!
    Either that [innocent ignoramuses], or they’re bribed [criminals].

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