Akademiker efterlyser “a new kind of democracy”

Akademia, Campusradikalisme, Godheds-industrien, Klima, Politik, miljø, venstrefløjen — Drokles on April 3, 2013 at 8:21 am

Helen Camakaris er akademiker og det er alt, hvad man behøver at vide for at forstå hvorfor hun skriver, som hun gør i Shaping Tomorrows World - et ildevarslende navn til et ‘news site’.

Cognitive dissonance is that uncomfortable feeling we have when we know we should invest in solar panels but the 46? wide screen TV wins out; we know we should catch the bus but we take the car anyway. It’s that sense of discord that arises when emotion and reason don’t get along. And unfortunately, it’s alive and well, sabotaging the climate change debate.

We’ve evolved to feel a single sense of self, but our minds consist of multiple voices. Our emotional brain has first go at making sense of our world, instantly telling us how to behave and what to believe, based on instincts reinforced by upbringing. Sometimes our rational brain is then called upon to endorse our intuitions, which then become beliefs. Problems that are unusually difficult or surprising will recruit our rational brain, but reasoning takes effort and we avoid it when we can.

Unfortunately our emotional brain is encouraging us to pursue perceived self-interest even if that means trashing the planet. This leaves our rational brain to try to justify our actions, even while the walls come tumbling down and the temperatures keep rising.

If we are to have any chance of a future we need to understand why our intuitions are so poor, and how we might temper them by engaging our ability to reason.

We haven’t evolved to be successful in the modern world. Civilisation arose only 12,000 years ago; in evolutionary terms that’s just the blink of an eye. Ninety-nine per cent of human evolution occurred during the Stone Age, so our evolved instincts, personality traits, and even some of our cognitive “short-cuts” are much better suited to this Pleistocene world.

Evolution didn’t care about the future; it was simply driven by those who survived and left the most descendants. So our ancestors were the ones who were best at competing for food and status, securing mates and having babies. They were materialistic, living very much in the present and rarely constrained by sustainability. They ate a broad range of foods, and if resources became depleted they could expand their territories or move on, behaviour that led to the extinction of many animals and to extensive migration.

A level of altruism did evolve, but it was circumscribed by benefits to kin, expectations of reciprocal reward, and an obsession with fairness. Altruism can often therefore be trumped by self-interest.

We might expect that intelligence and language would have been game-changers; they were, but not necessarily for the better. We learnt to tame nature and harvest its bounty, to build great cities, and to harness the laws of physics and chemistry. We may celebrate the Industrial Revolution as the beginning of modern civilisation, but it also ushered in burgeoning overpopulation, resource exploitation, pollution and climate change.

So if we evolved to exploit nature, and to be blind to the consequences, what now? Our only chance is to wrest control away from our emotional brain, and construct a new reality where our rational brain can take control.

Og så foretager fru Camakaris springet fra det underfundige til det undergravende

We need to design a new kind of democracy where many government decisions are made cooperatively, with multi-party representation and the input of experts. Such think tanks must have strategies in place to promote critical self-analysis and to “frame” policy to reflect the long-term reality. The cost of climate change mitigation can then be shown to be minute compared to the cost of inaction.

If we value a sustainable world, the GDP must be replaced by a measure of a country’s wealth, including resources, social capital and the cost of pollution. Costs should reflect the inclusive cradle-to-grave value of products and services, so that choices reflect out true long-term interests. Conspicuous consumption might be curbed further by offering workers the choice of more leisure rather than a salary increase, and by rewarding excellence with honours and privileges, rather than fat pay packets and obscene bonuses.

Education must produce adults who can think critically and understand what’s at stake and why our judgement is flawed. To counter self-interest, the government should use incentives and disincentives to guide public behaviour. We need to encourage altruism by instituting reciprocal, incremental improvements, and by showing leadership.

We are at the crossroads. Unless we recognise the less-adaptive aspects of human nature and devise ways of keeping them in check, the world we bequeath to our children will be a diminished one. We have the means to do this, but do we have the will? Evolution may have made us the most intelligent animal on Earth, but it makes no promise that we will be survivors.

Man skal have læst på universitetet for blive så dum.

Eurokraten Ellemann

EU, Historie, Politik, Økonomi og finans — Drokles on April 1, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Jeg henledte en af mine venners opmærksomhed på et blogindlæg på Berlingske Tidende fra tidligere udenrigsminister Uffe Ellemann Jensen. Jeg vidste at Ellemanns foragt for nationen og næsegrus beundring for det store projekt ville animere min ven til en krads kommentar. Den kommentar var så god at andre burde have glæde af den. Ellemann skriver om Cyperns Parlament, der netop havde nedstemt en redningspakke “landets præsident havde forhandlet på plads med EU-partnerne” (historien om den forhandling kan læses HER) og følgende uddrag fra Ellemanns vrede over Cyperns forkevalgtes mangel på storhed og oplysende kommentarer er fra min gode ven:

Og dermed har Cypern taget sine partnere som gidsler i et højt spil, der minder om dengang, da Cypern blev medlem af EU i 2004 – og omgående kvitterede med at stemme nej til den FN-fredsplan, som skulle have afsluttet den gamle strid med Tyrkiet og forenet det delte land.

Man fornemmer afskyen ved et land, der ikke sætter egne interesser i anden række i forhold til EU-projektet. Ellemann glemmer også lige, at der ikke er tale om en “forening” af det delte land - der er tale om en føderation.

Hvorefter de græsk-cypriotiske politiske ledere (med en enkelt hæderlig undtagelse, ham kommer vi tilbage til) anbefalede et nej til Kofi Annans fredsplan, som blev vedtaget af tyrkisk-cyprioterne…

Man forstår, at modstanderne mod Annans plan åbenbart er uhæderlige. Man bemærker også, at man ikke for nogen som helst detaljer om planen. Tillad mig:

- Tyrkere udgør 18% af hele øens indbyggere, og af de 18% er halvdelen første-eller andengenerationsindvandrere fra Tyrkiet - det man populært kalder bosættere i Palæstina, når det drejer sig om jøder. Disse bosættere skulle cyprioterne sådan bare acceptere som fait accompli.

- Selv om tyrkisk-cyprioter altså kun udgør ca 10% af den indfødte befolkning, så skulle de ifølge Annan-planen have ret til præsidentposten halvdelen af tiden, halvdelen af pladserne i parlamentets senat og aldrig mindre end 25% af pladserne i andetkammeret og halvdelen af pladserne i højesteret. Dertil et præsident-råd der skulle vælge præsident og vicepræsident, hvor tyrkerne ville få en trediedel af pladserne, men med den finte at medlemmerne skulle vælges af parlamentet - hvor tyrkerne altid har veto-ret i senatet. Man forstår, hvorfor to ud af tre tyrkere (indfødte og bosættere mellem hinanden) stemte ja.

- Sikkerhedsmæssigt afviste cyprioterne planen primært fordi den forlangte en opløsning af den cypriotiske hær (nationalgarden), mens de tyrkiske besættelsestropper i nord fik lov til at blive på øen. Tyrkiet fik altså reelt lov til unilateralt at gribe militært ind på Cypern, hvis de mente der var behov for det.

Men så gik det galt: De to største cypriotiske banker havde anbragt store midler i græske statsobligationer (til høj forrentning), men da Grækenland for et år siden blev presset til at nedskrive sin offentlige gæld som led i redningspakken for den nødlidende græske statskasse, påførte det disse banker enorme tab.

Bemærk, at det hele er Cyperns skyld……selv om det er EU, der har tvunget Grækenland til at nedskrive den græske statsgæld, og således har påført de cypriotiske banker tabene…

Det er baggrunden for den aftale, som op til weekenden blev strikket sammen mellem Cyperns præsident og de store Eurolande med Tyskland i spidsen om en redningsaktion – som Cypern selv skulle bidrage til. Det sidste er forståeligt, for det ville være meget vanskeligt selv for en tysk kansler at bruge skatteydernes penge til at redde banker fulde af mere eller mindre tvivlsomme russiske indskud.

Bemærk innuendo. Man aner ikke, hvor tvivlsomme de er.

Så den nye præsident tog til Bruxelles – og her sagde partnerne fornuftigt nok, at cyprioterne selv måtte bidrage til en redningspakke. Eurolandene ville låne 10 milliarder euro, hvis cyprioterne selv stillede med 6 milliarder. Og det eneste sted, man kunne hente de nødvendige midler, var i bankernes svulmende kasser.

Oversat til dansk: i bankkundernes lommer.

Der blev aftalt en afgift på bankindeståender,

Oversat til dansk: konfiskation. Reelt statsligt tyveri.

…problemet er, at hvis man lufter tanken om at tage penge fra de indskud, der er dækket af den fælles EU-garanti for indskydere på under 100.000 euro, sendes der et meget farligt signal til almindelige sparere: I kan risikere, at garantien undermineres af en afgift på Jeres indskud!

Det er åbenbart ikke et farligt signal at sende til velhavende sparere, at man tager 10-20% af deres penge. Det skulle man ellers tro, nu EU har haft mere end almindeligt travlt med at hive bemærkninger om at den cypriotiske “løsning” kunne fungere som skabelon i andre lande tilbage - Italiens banksektor var tæt på et bank-run og følgende kollaps af den grund. Bemærk også denne formulering:

Det er vanskeligt at forstå, hvordan det kunne komme dertil. Og selv om de europæiske finansministre med Tysklands Schäuble i spidsen hurtigt fik sagt, at cyprioterne var velkomne til kun at hente pengene fra de største indskydere, var skaden sket.

Der vil blive grædt tørre tårer i resten af Europa, hvis Cypern går bankerot og må forlade euroen. Men det kan få voldsomme virkninger på tilliden til euroen – og på tilliden til hele det europæiske banksystem, på grund af den uforståelige lapsus med afgift på indskud under garantiordningen.

Som Ellemann vist siger tidligere, er indlånene i cypriotiske banker 8-9 gange højere end BNP. Det er næppe de små sparere, der har blæst indskuddene så højt op….og bankerne er ret ligeglade med om en milliard bliver trukket ud af banken af rigmænd eller af småsparere. Småsparernes vigtighed kommer kun ved, at det er dem der går på gaden og stemmer.

Climate Change: It’s a white thing, you wouldn’t understand it

Diverse — Drokles on April 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Rob Lyons anmelder Pupert Darwall’s The Age of Global Warming: A History Spiked Online, som absolut kan anbefales at læse. Her vil jeg blot fremdrage at miljøbevidsthed som ideologi er en fornøjelse der udgår og drives af priviligerede hvide vesterlændinge

The most high-profile of those banging the drum on this issue has been Al Gore. The US vice president under Bill Clinton in the Nineties - and a hair’s breadth from the White House himself in 2000 - has long been an avowed environmentalist. His book Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit was published in 1992. Darwall describes it as ‘one of the most extraordinary books by any democratic politician seeking high elective office, for it constitutes an attack on Western civilisation and a fundamental rejection of two of its greatest accomplishments - the Industrial and Scientific Revolutions’. Gore would, of course, go on to win both an Oscar - for his error-strewn lecture, An Inconvenient Truth - and the Nobel Peace Prize, shared with the IPCC, in 2007.

A comment made by Gore in an interview in June 1992 is indicative of the importance of climate change to these elites. ‘The task of saving the Earth’s environment is going to become the central organising principle in the post-Cold War world’, he said.

While environmentalism is certainly an obsession of many rich people, and a natural fit for many conservatives, one of the major factors that Darwall cites in the rise of environmentalism is the collapse of the left. But interestingly, this is not the usual argument about disillusioned ex-Communists turning from red to green, although such people have indeed often been the brains behind the development of these ideas. Rather, it was the collapse of a left-wing opposition to eco-notions about lowering growth that was crucial. Darwall notes the strong tradition on the left, from Marx onwards, in support of the need to increase the material wealth of society.

That tradition was still important in the 1960s and 1970s to the UK Labour Party’s ‘foremost intellectual’, Tony Crosland. Darwall quotes Crosland’s damning assessment from 1971 of environmentalism and the class bias behind it: ‘Its champions are often kindly and dedicated people. But they are affluent and fundamentally, though of course not consciously, they want to kick the ladder down behind them… We must make our own value judgement based on socialist objectives: and that objective must… be that growth is vital, and its benefits far outweigh its costs.’

Og den rige hvide miljøbevægelse plejer også en selvfølgelig racisme, fortæller Washington Post

“The environmental movement has a bit of a reputation as being a wealthy white community, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation works hard to counteract that,” Coble said.

The reputation is deserved, said Norris McDonald, president of the African American Environmentalist Association.

“This goes back a long way,” McDonald said. “It’s why I founded the [association] in 1985. .?.?. White groups weren’t hiring black professionals, and when they did, it was a hostile atmosphere. There were a handful of black professionals in the environmental groups then, and there are a handful now.”

Men det bærer de fattige negre dog ikke nag over, fordi de har et overskud af livsglæde og varme, hvis man skal tro følgende norske sang

Universiteter barsler med åndelige Maginot-linier

Diverse — Drokles on April 1, 2013 at 1:15 am

Danmarks Radio skriver at Københavns Universitet starter en ny to årig kandidatuddannelse i klimaforandringer.

- Med uddannelsen vil vi blande videnskab, antropologi, samfundsøkonomi og samfundsfag. Grunden til det er, at vi ved, at klimaforandringer ikke blot har betydning for naturen, men også for os som mennesker, siger Niels Elers Koch og uddyber:

- Eksempelvis ved vi, at vores bilforbrug betyder en stigning af CO2-udledningen. Men vi ved ikke, hvordan vi adfærdsregulerer, så vi mindsker bilforbruget. Det ønsker vi at se på med denne uddannelse, siger institutlederen.

Der er altså ikke så meget tale om en egentlig uddannelse endsige studie af et egentligt emne, som der er tale om udklækkelsen af politiske propagandister. Politiske propagandister, der er helt ude af trit med tiden ifølge virkelighedens verden.

skc3a6rmbillede-2013-01-16-kl-0457271

Forklaringen på at man efter 16 år uden global opvarmning kan finde på at udklække propagandister i klimaforandringer findes delvis i Holland, hvor man søger korrekturlæsere til FN’s næste klimarapport.

Are you an ambitous PhD student and would you like to be involved in an important, ambitious and unique project? If so, you are invited to read on for an opportunity to enhance your analytical and review skills. You will come into contact with leading scientistst in the Netherlands and learn about the ins and outs of IPCC procedures.

The review

In an ambitious and world first national endeavour, the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency will be conducting a review of the draft version of a volume of the Fifth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). For this review we seek approximately 60 young scientists who have an affinity with climate change.

Our offer

We would ask that you invest two to three days in this review. Based on your interests and expertise, you will be asked to review a particular chapter of the report. In return, PBL will provide you with the opportunity to be part of an important, ambitious and unique project and develop your analytical and review skills. You would be  working under PBL supervision and we will provide you with the required methodology to conduct the review.

Ingen kvalifikationer kræves andet end entusiasme - og så et brændende ønske om at adfærdsregulere velsagtens. Og adfærdsregulering er også in på Aarhus Universitet der “lancerer en ny hjemmeside, der skal fremme kvindelige forskeres karrierer“, skriver Danmarks Radio. For der er noget der står i vejen for de politiske ønske

De sidste 20-30 år er der ellers kommet flere og flere kvinder på universiteterne, men mange af dem falder fra jo højere niveau, man kommer i forskerverdenen.

Men når det gælder at få kvinder til at ramme niveauet er adfærdsregulering så mon nok?

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