Ideas

the most villainous act in the history of human civilisation

Interview with Samantha Page for Cosmos.

Michael Mann:  A compelling case can be made that Russia’s involvement and Saudi Arabia’s potential involvement in the last [US] election was about a half-trillion-dollar oil deal between Russia and ExxonMobil that had been blocked because of the sanctions against Russia.

What’s the first thing that happened under the now-infamous Paul Manafort? They changed the Republican platform to try to get rid of those sanctions. Then Trump appointed Rex Tillerson, the former head of ExxonMobil, as Secretary of State. Is that a coincidence?

Michael E Mann in his office at Penn State University. SYDNEY HERDLE

 
….The science that we are doing is a threat to the world’s most powerful and wealthiest special interests. The most powerful and wealthiest special interest that has ever existed: the fossil fuel industry.

 

They have used their immense resources to create fake scandals and to fund a global disinformation campaign aimed at vilifying the scientists, discrediting the science, and misleading the public and policymakers. Arguably, it is the most villainous act in the history of human civilisation, because it is about the short-term interests of a small number of plutocrats over the long-term welfare of this planet and the people who live on it.

So, once again, to be in a position to be fighting on the right side of a battle between good and evil – which frankly it is – is a privilege.

 

“History began when humans invented gods, and will end when humans become gods”   Yuval Noah Harari

From:    Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

Yuval Noah Harari,

For the first time in history, more people die today from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals combined. In the early twenty-first century, the average human is far more likely to die from bingeing at McDonald’s than from drought, Ebola or an al-Qaeda attack.

People, not nature,

Elizabeth Anderson

are responsible for turning the natural diversity of human beings into oppressive hierarchies,” Elizabeth Anderson.
The New Yorker, Jan 7, 2019

Anderson  liked how philosophy approached big problems that cut across various fields, but she was most excited by methods that she encountered in the history and the philosophy of science. Like philosophers, scientists chased Truth, but their theories were understood to be provisional—tools for resolving problems as they appeared, models valuable only to the extent that they explained and predicted what showed in experiments. A Newtonian model of motion had worked beautifully for a long time, but then people noticed bits of unaccountable data, and relativity emerged as a stronger theory. Couldn’t disciplines like philosophy work that way, too?

Anderson is the chair of the University of Michigan’s department of philosophy and a champion of the view that equality and freedom are mutually dependent, enmeshed in changing conditions through time.

 

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