First, since Derrick's name is in the thread, I'll do the guy a favor and plug his recent book:
Which I invite every human to read, it has some really interesting insights that most definitely pertain to the discussion here (human brain size and capacity is discussed on many pages of that book).
Secondly, a quick thought about Paul's quandry:
It bugs me that interest in electric cars is huge while rocket mass heaters are getting less than 1% of the attention. Don't get me wrong, I applaud the electric car. I just think interest in stuff about our heat would be bigger.
Derrick is in the final stages of a new book "Bright Green Lies" that addresses this very thing. The basic premise is that big-E Environmentalism in the past was all about conserving natural habitat and species. Now environmentalism has essentially become the lobbying arm of a specific subset of industrial capitalism, the renewable energy sector. I believe that to be true, based on the limited awareness of public discourse on environmentalism I've experienced in my lifetime. It's less about inhabiting a planet in some sort of harmony with other beings and more about buying renewable energy (or a myriad of other fake-eco solutions).
I think you might find your answer in there, expect that probably spring of next year.
More on that:
The sensation I have watching this discussion is that
a) it's all about me.
b) it's all about humans.
c) we're totally fucked.
To blow all that up and get past that, I would also encourage everyone to acknowledge that humans have lived, on this earth, for thousands and thousands of years without messing it up. We've managed in about 200-500 years to gum up the works seriously
. We as a species know what to do and we have done it. From our vantage point that might be a little hard to digest, but our imagined privilege as civilized human beings (but more importantly the energy and murder of the planet needed to sustain that privilege) is exactly the problem.
If we could, for a moment, put ourselves in the position of other beings who are experiencing the haloscene in a much more dramatic way I think we would act and interact with each other differently.
If we could, for a moment, imagine that this catastrophe was being forced upon us from alien beings, from the Talaban, from whatever imagined enemy, I think we would know how to act and we would behave much differently. The fact is that the main culprits for the destruction of the natural world are people with nice hair and expensive suits who drink champagne and attend social gatherings with important people and take expensive vacations on big yachts and who generally inhabit the Apex our our society. Oh yeah, and we generally live in a world where accountability is an anathema. Especially for quote "lesser" beings.
As for the idea that global warming is natural and we can't do anything about it, all I can really contribute to that is...whatever. Humans are adept at one thing: justifying unreasonable behavior. Believe what you want to believe, the gazillion beings who die and struggle because of what's currently happening paint a completely different picture -- and as Paul mentions, it's not just global warming.
And what's absolutely astonishing is that it could be exactly the opposite: hello permaculture! hello Loess plateau! hello greening the desert! hello 100 million new trees in India just the other day!
Probably I'm like most of you saying "Hells yeah! where do I sign up!" And that's one of the problems, nowhere to sign your name, do some (or many) hours of work, and produce real tangible change in the real world.
Which brings us back, in some ways, to "Personal vs. Political change".
All the best to everyone. hope you are well.