Climate Change A Hard Sell
If the world's leading experts in politics, psychology and game theory were to design a problem to be as difficult as possible to solve, it would probably look a lot like climate change.
Another UN climate change conference ends, another opportunity to save the world goes by. You could be forgiven for barely noticing; expectations were lowered so far that Cancún almost slipped under the radar. But even if it had been talked up like its predecessors, it would struggle for our attention. Climate change is peculiarly, and perhaps fatally, difficult to care about. That is because it's the kind of problem our imaginations are least able to capture and our moral sentiments are least tuned to address. Its effects will be felt most by people not yet born, over periods of time far beyond our imaginative horizons.
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- What distinguishes humans is social learning — and teaching.
- Crucial to learning and teaching is the value of free expression.
- And we need political leaders who support environments of social peace and cooperation.
We're talking Ghost in the Shell type of stuff.
Maybe you watched Ghost in the Shell and maybe afterwards you and your friend had a conversation about whether or not you would opt in for some bionic upgrades if that was possible - like a liver that could let you drink unlimitedly or an eye that could give you superhuman vision. And maybe you had differing opinions but you concluded that it's irrelevant because the time to make such choices is far in the future. Well, it turns out, it's two years away.
Tragedy in art, from Ancient Greece to Breaking Bad, resists all our efforts to tie reality up in a neat bow, to draw some edifying lesson from it. Instead it confronts us with our own limitations, leaving us scrabbling in the rubble of certainty to figure out what's next.
- Why democracy has been unpopular with philosophers
- Tragedy's reminder that the past isn't finished with us
- …and why we need art in the first place
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