~ PROLOGUE ~ HOW I MET THE CLIMATE ~ THE MEANING OF SCIENCE ~ THE STATE OF THE CLIMATE ~ BEGINNING
ONE CHANCE ~ TRIBES ~ SENTIENCE ~
~ AGONY ~ LETTER TO PRESIDENT REIF OF MIT
WHO IS AT FAULT ~ CRITIQUE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES ~
WORLD CLIMATE AUTHORITY ~ A BIT OF BIO ~ APOLLO 8 ~ EPILOGUE
WHAT MAKES HUMANS HUMAN, OR NOT
We start by asking what humans do.
I. Form tribes
II. Choose a purpose
III. See things as they are
IV. Not see things as they are
V. Face the music
VI. Chicken out
And many other things.
Humans evolved to to have unusually large brains, with a large frontal cortex and modern bodies able to learn extraordinary skills. They then took over the Earth from all other huminoid species.
They had developed lives as hunter-gatherers and that was successful for a long time. Then they discovered agriculture. Loncking back, that was a mistake, but humans don't make mistakes, they do what's next.
So the hunter-gatherer tribes became tribes with different purposes.
And just as hunter-gatherer tribes had to watch out for their own self-interests, sometimes joining with other tribes and sometimes waring with other tribes power, land, women, food, or whatever. And their brains had truly stunning power. In my opinion, and that of many others, Albert Einstein, set a standard by development an understanding of the most fundamental laws of nature, just by thinking and with only pencil and paper for tools. However, only a tiny portion of homanity could comprehend what he did, or for that matter was interested in what he did. This was to be expected becaause for a long time there was no utility to his discoveries. However, once applications were found, they resulted in phenomeninal weapons beyond what anyone had ever dreamed could be possible.
However, while he was doing his work, other humans were doing other very practical work making things, heating homes and factories, generating power, etc. in all cases buring fossil fuels that contaminated the atmosphere with carbon dioxide a gas that trapped heat from the sun and made the Earth warmer. As the heat started to become significant and therefore dangerous, a fair number of scientists and business people came to understand what was happening.They knew that eventually this heat would become a serious problem, and they talked about doing something to moderate or eliminate the problem, but no one every did anything significant, and that is our problem: to understand why no one every did anything significant. It reminds me of having a nightmare where I feel a need to do something to stop whatever was in the nightmare, but I could not move, and might wake up screaming. Many people are screaming today, but are also doing nothing. Why?
So we have a problem that has never happened before. The planet is being destroyed by what the humans do, but they don't quite get what they have to do about it.