The Philosophy of Global Warming

If you are interested in the relationship between the human species and the rest of life on Earth, individual and collective human purpose, evolution, cosmology, the nature of reality, astrology, spirituality, and how all of this relates to global warming & the environmental crisis of modernity, then I am sure that you will like my new book 'The Philosophy of Global Warming'. In the post below I have provided the book description, the list of contents and the first two sections of the book. You can find out how to get hold of the book by clicking on this link:

The Philosophy of Global Warming

Sunday, 30 July 2017

The Evolution of Free Will & the Spiritual Journey

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 12 of The Philosophy of Global Warming:

At some point in the evolution of life the ability of life to pursue alternative courses of action arose; this possibility might be thought of as ‘free will’, or ‘rational ability’ or ‘thought’ or ‘reflective awareness’. The evolution of this possibility for alternative courses of action meant that some life-forms, such as humans, might not be living in accordance with their inner feelings/inner wisdom. I should stress that this isn’t an either/or situation; living in accordance with one’s inner feelings is a matter of degree. I believe that the vast majority of humans have always lived to a fairly high degree in accordance with their inner feelings; for, to not do so leads to mental and physical illness and to numerous kinds of suffering. Doing so is what has propelled human culture from hunter-gatherer to globalised technological society. However, there is almost always scope for humans to live more in accordance with their inner feelings than they currently do.

The vast majority of humans live to a fairly high degree in accordance with their inner feelings without any conscious effort to be spiritual beings. The realisation that living more in accordance with one’s inner feelings is a good thing to do, and the consequent pursuit of this objective, results in what is known as a spiritual journey, or a path of spiritual development or spiritual practice. A spiritual journey typically includes meditation, which is a way of connecting at a deeper level to one’s inner feelings. Meditation and mindfulness are concerned with attempting to be present with one’s currently existing inner feelings, so that one is not ‘taken away’ from these feelings by thoughts concerning the past and the present.

The epoch of the technological explosion, which I outlined a little earlier in this chapter, seems to be simultaneously an epoch in which humans have become increasingly preoccupied with the external as opposed to the internal. In other words, it seems to be an epoch in which the spiritual journey has largely been neglected by the human species. However, this surely wasn’t a new phenomenon in the era of the technological explosion. In other words, for almost its entire history the vast majority of the human species seems to have been more external focused rather than spiritual journey focused. The epoch of the technological explosion simply exacerbated this pre-existing tendency and took it to its extreme. When you have reached the extreme there is only one way to go, and that is to the less extreme. Whilst we are still living in the epoch of the technological explosion we are also gradually moving into the epoch where there will be a spiritual explosion. The widespread switch from external states to inner feeling states will result in an increasingly vast proportion of the human species embarking on spiritual journeys. This is a slow and drawn out process, but it is the future.

So, one can think of the ‘technological explosion’ as a prerequisite for the ‘spiritual explosion’. It is as if once we have fulfilled our purpose as a species, once we have brought forth the technology that life requires, that then we will be rewarded. We have suffered immensely in order to fulfil our purpose, but a glorious harmonious future awaits; it is a future of increasing spiritual fulfilment.

I would expect such interplay between technology and spirituality to exist on any life-bearing planet. So, if we were to encounter a highly spiritually evolved species of alien life-form, then there is one thing that we could be fairly certain of: these alien life-forms come from a planet which is highly technologically advanced. Their planet has gone through a technological explosion which was followed by a spiritual explosion.

It wouldn’t be correct to say that spiritual development is a side-effect of technology. Yet, technology lays the foundations which enable spirituality to bloom. This is the reality of what occurs and unfolds on an evolving and ageing life-bearing planet. This whole process of intertwining between the evolution of technology and the evolution of spirituality – a very gradual evolution of both, leading to a technological explosion which brings forth a spiritual explosion – can be thought of as leading to the self-actualisation of the human species.


Monday, 3 April 2017

Veganism & The Superiority of the Human Species

In my last post I wrote about the reality of the superiority of the human species and how this relates to various interconnected issues; for example, the current widespread belief that the human species is not superior to the other life-forms that live on the Earth, and the cosmic inevitability and worth of the previous and current domination and exploitation of these other life-forms by the human species.

I have just finished reading the April 2017 edition of the Vegan Life magazine (I am a vegan!) & thought that, in the light of the above, it would be worth commenting on a view that was expressed in the magazine:

"Where I am right now I can see a field, and in front of me there are about 20 lambs. They have all been spray painted with numbers across their white fleeces. That to me is an example of the commodification of animals. They are seen as numbers and not as living beings. We, as humans, have to stop seeing ourselves as superior. By what right do we exploit these innocent creatures?"

Roger Roberts, 'Spokesman', Vegan Life magazine, April 2017, p. 41

The first part of the view expressed above is just an obvious truth: the 'human' is that part of our evolving Solar System, and the evolving entity that is 'life on Earth', that is the technological animal, the modifier, the analyser, the utiliser, the commodifier, of the non-living and living resources of the Earth. As we are currently living in the age of the Technological Explosion it is inevitable that the vast majority of humans that are currently alive will see non-human life-forms as 'commodities to be used' rather than as 'fellow brothers/sisters'.

The second part of the view expressed above is fundamentally flawed. The belief/hope that is being expressed is that in the future the human species might come to see itself as not superior to the other life-forms that live on the Earth, and that when this happens that there will be an end to factory farming and the plethora of other ways that humans utilise and exploit the non-human life-forms of the Earth. This hope, that all non-human life-forms will be treated by humans with the utmost dignity and respect, is a wonderful one. I, along with a vast number of other people, certainly hope for such a future. The reason that the view is fundamentally flawed is that, in reality, the human species is superior, and the human species will come to know, in the near future, why it is superior (at the time of The Realisation of Cosmic Purpose in the age of the Spiritual Explosion). This knowledge will be pervasive and widely accepted.

This means that the hope that in the future the human species will come to see itself as not superior is a hope that will never become reality. Indeed, despite the current exploitative actions of the human species towards non-human life-forms, our current epoch is already a stage in which the dominant view entails that the human species sees itself as not superior, because the current dominating view is that the human species is 'just one species among many' that has no cosmic significance or purpose that 'raises it up' above the non-human life-forms of the Earth. The view that the human species is not superior is perfectly compatible with the widespread human exploitation of the non-human!

In direct opposition to the view expressed in the magazine, it is actually the acceptance and widespread realisation that the human species is superior, and the knowledge of the reason why this is so, that leads to the end of the exploitation of non-human life-forms by the human species. Compassion cannot easily arise from a place of ignorance. It is when one sees the purpose of the human species and our relation to the non-human life-forms of the Earth, the fact that we are superior and the saviours of life on Earth, that compassion can easily flow and non-human life-forms can then only be seen as fellow brothers/sisters which are to be exploited and commodified no more.

The final part of the view expressed in the magazine is "By what right do we exploit these innocent creatures." The exploitation of the non-human by the human is not very helpfully thought of as a matter of 'rights'. Rather, the human, by its very essence, is that part of our Solar System, and that part of life on Earth, which becomes the modifier par excellence, the master exploiter, for the benefit of life on Earth. This is just the way that things are, the way that our Solar System is and unfolds. There is no question of 'rights' here. 'Rights' are just things that are invented within human society. As our Solar System/human culture unfolds, we will move to a different non-exploitative relationship with the non-human life-forms of the Earth.


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Superiority of the Human Species

We live at a stage of the unfoldment of our Solar System in which it is fashionable to believe that the human species is not superior to the other life-forms of the Earth. In accordance with this fashion, I am sure that you will have heard people assert things such as "we are just one species among many", or, "there is nothing superior about the human species; every species of life on the Earth is unique or special in its own way", or, "the human species is a destroyer; so, if the human species were to go extinct then this would be a good thing for non-human life on the Earth".

This view is currently fashionable because we live at a time in which the human species is gradually coming face-to-face with the realisation of the magnitude of the changes that it has made to the Earth. This gradual realisation is a stage of unfoldment of our Solar System in which 'the human' is in a state of separation, of anguish, of isolation, of desperation. The purpose of the human species, our role as the precious saviour of life in our Solar System, has yet to be revealed, so we are left in the aimless wilderness of believing that there is no purpose, believing that we are just 'one species among many'.

Not only this, but we are currently abusing and murdering our fellow life-forms on an industrial scale, through such activities as vivisection, caging and factory farming. If we tell ourselves that 'we are just one species among many' how can we possibly simultaneously justify our actions in initiating such abuse and murder of those who are our equals? This is the paradoxically contradictory human situation in our current stage of Solar Systic unfoldment; this is the source of human anguish and desperation. We try and ignore the abuse and murder, we want it to be below the surface, we don't want to encounter it face-to-face; yet, it is tacitly accepted and simmers away below the surface where it eats away at our inner being.

Yet, this stage of Solar Systic unfoldment is an essential stage of Solar Systic unfoldment. It is not a pleasant time to be born a human; however, the age of the mass domination of non-human life by the human species is an age of euphoria for life. Life is in a blissful state when it has reached the exceptional modification ability that is represented by the form that is 'the human'. In reality, the human species is superior to every other life-form that exists on the Earth, and that has ever existed on the Earth; the 'human species' is the zenith of the evolutionary progression of life on Earth. The human species is the most precious and valuable life-form that will ever exist in our Solar System. Don't let any supposedly knowledgeable scientist tell you any different, because if they do, then they don't have a clue! Why this is so cannot be widely appreciated at our current stage of Solar Systic unfoldment. For, the achievement of our cosmic purpose necessitates that this is so. The widespread realisation of cosmic purpose arises in the age of the Spiritual Explosion which follows our current epoch - the age of the Technological Explosion.


Sunday, 31 July 2016

The History of Our Solar System

You will probably be aware that in my writings I provide an account of everything from the nature of the universe, the meaning of human existence, the processes through which everything evolves, and the cosmic role of the 'environmental crisis' and human-induced global warming. In this post I provide an excerpt from Chapter 4 of my book The Philosophy of Global Warming. The title of this chapter is 'The History of our Solar System'. Here is the excerpt:

The Earth has sustained life for most of its history. Life has evolved from simple beginnings to highly complex animals. Complex animals have evolved culture, and human cultural evolution has similarly evolved from simple beginnings to globalised technological society. Taking the Earth as a whole there is a continual evolution from the simple and unconnected, to the complex and interconnected. We are a part of this great unfolding and evolving process. You might have been told that the evolution of life-forms is solely down to natural selection and that humans evolved as a fluke. What a limited understanding! The evolutionary processes of life and of human culture are underpinned by cosmic forces. The Earth is the womb of Solar-Systic Life, but that life is propelled forward by the entire body, the entire Solar System. The development of a baby in the womb of its mother is not isolated from the actions of its mother. Similarly, the development of life on Earth is not isolated from the movements of the Solar System (as has been known by astrologers for a very long time). As the planets swirl through their orbits, life on Earth gradually evolves from simple beginnings to globalised technological society. Swirl, evolve; swirl, evolve; swirl, evolve. From the beginnings of the Solar System, the evolution of life on Earth, the evolution of the human species, and cultural evolution to the globalised technological society of today, was effectively ‘programmed in’. The formation of the Solar System can be compared to the programming of a ‘Sat Nav’ in a car; once it was formed, both the destination and the path to that destination were already largely determined.

Where does global warming fit into this picture? We have already explored the two different types of global warming. A fundamental part of the evolving Solar System is that as the Sun ages it sends out more solar radiation; the result is the global warming of the Solar System. This means that over time, as the Solar System ages, the planets closest to the Sun become increasingly hotter and even more inhospitable to life; whereas the planets at the extremities of the Solar System also receive increasingly more solar radiation, yet they still remain too cold for life to survive and thrive. There is only a limited temporal window in the unfolding of the Solar System within which non-human-induced global warming interacts with planetary location in order to enable the emergence, survival and thriving of life. In other words, the womb of Solar-Systic life comes into existence and then it either gives rise to a successful birth, or it goes through a painful abortion.

We have already explored how the Earth stored fossil fuels underground so that it could offset the global warming of the Solar System and thereby maintain the Earth as the womb of thriving life. We have also explored how humans have released a massive amount of these fossil fuels. It is best to think of this original process of storage as an instinctive, almost automatic, part of the unfolding ageing Solar System. In other words, the process didn’t require conscious knowledge or foresight of what was required to keep the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere hospitable for planetary life. This process is just what happens on a thriving life-bearing planet which is located in an ageing Solar System.


Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The Inevitability of the Extinction of the Dinosaurs

You might well be aware that some of my old colleagues at the University of Reading have been in the news recently because of their research into the extinction of the dinosaurs. You will almost certainly be aware of the idea that the reason that the dinosaurs went extinct was because of a meteor strike on the Earth. Those people who hold this view, a view which I have known to be false for decades, use it to draw the conclusion that the evolution of the 'human' was a fluke, because if that meteor had just missed the Earth then the dinosaurs would still be the rulers of the Earth and the 'human' would never have evolved.

If you have read my books, or previous blog posts on this site, then you will be aware that for years I have written that the evolution of life from simple beginnings to the 'human' is inevitable, and that 'fluke' events such as whether or not a meteor strikes the Earth make no difference whatsoever to this process, this inevitable evolution of the 'human'.

The opposite view, that evolution is directed by fluke, that if were not for that random meteor strike, that the dinosaurs would still be ruling the roost is still surprisingly common in the collective psyche. This is why the researchers at the University of Reading were so surprised by the outcome of their research, which is that the dinosaurs were well on their way to extinction before the meteor strike. The lead researcher, Dr Manabu Sakamoto, states that: "We were not expecting this result".

In other words, whilst doing the research the researchers had the belief that the dinosaurs went extinct because of a meteor strike! At least they are not so clueless now. You will see from the above link that their conclusion is described as "revolutionary". Well, not that revolutionary! Revolutionary suggests something utterly new. If you have been reading this blog since 2010 then you will have known since then that the extinction of the dinosaurs had nothing to do with a meteor strike.

The simple fact is that the primal forces which drive the evolution of life forwards to the 'human' are not affected by random events. As the Earth ages through time, there are stages of evolution through which various life-forms arise and fall away on the planetary and Solar-Systic journey towards the technological zenith that we call the 'human'. The dinosaurs had their time, their role in this unfolding process, and their demise had nothing whatsoever to do with a meteor strike,

This has been obvious to me, and hopefully to you, for a very long time. Despite the surprise of the researchers, there is nothing 'revolutionary' about this conclusion.


Saturday, 30 January 2016

The Goldilocks Zone

A few days ago I came across an article concerning the Goldilocks Zone in the latest edition of the New Scientist magazine. It is a terrible article. The author clearly has no idea what the Goldilocks Zone is, yet he has written an article about it which was published in the magazine.

The Goldilocks Zone is that part of a solar system in which life can survive and thrive. Life can pop up all over the place in terms of microbes, but if this occurs outside of the Goldilocks Zone then this life is doomed to a simple and relatively short existence; it won't be able to evolve into complex life-forms, it won't be able to flourish. For life to flourish it needs to be in the Goldilocks Zone, the segment of a solar system which is neither too close to the Sun (too hot for life to flourish), nor too far from the Sun (too cold for life to flourish). In our Solar System the Earth is in the heart of the Goldilocks Zone. The Earth is the womb of solar-systic life. The Earth is thus the only part of the Solar System which can bring forth complex life-forms like humans, dolphins and dinosaurs. Of course, life has popped up elsewhere in the Solar System, after all, life pops up wherever it possibly can. Indeed, the entire universe is continuously striving to bring forth life wherever it possible can. However, the existence of life in terms of microbes and the flourishing of life within the Goldilocks Zone are two very different things.

In the New Scientist article the author writes:

"What if the Goldilocks story is just a fairy tale?...It's entirely possible that the Goldilocks formula for habitability no longer holds water. Instead, perhaps we should be thinking of habitable worlds as more like raisins in a fruit cake - they can crop up randomly, almost anywhere."

('Where can life exist' by Joshua Howgego, New Scientist, 23 Jan 2016, p. 29)

The mistake that the author makes is to believe that if a simple microbe can exist outside of the Goldilocks Zone (he refers to such an existence, very grandly, as a 'habitable world'), that this undermines the very idea of the Goldilocks Zone. This is a fatal error. Microbes can exist all over the place in a solar system (like "raisins in a fruit cake") but this fact does nothing to undermine the reality of the Goldilocks Zone. The Goldilocks Zone is the only part of a solar system in which these microbes can evolve, thrive, develop and flourish into an amazing plethora of complex life-forms which come to dominate their home / host planet.


Monday, 14 December 2015

COP21: Why don't they want to stop global warming?

It is good to see that at the recent COP21 meeting in Paris that representatives from very diverse countries and organisations were able to work together and reach an agreement concerning addressing global warming.

What is not so good to see is the way that these meetings are dominated by 'group think' concerning the situation we are in. There is too much 'finger pointing', too much discussion of who is to blame, and too much discussion concerning how those who are going to be affected by future global warming are to be compensated for the negative effects that they face due to this global warming. This is accompanied by a rosy assumption that if global carbon dioxide emissions are gradually reduced over the next half a century, and we do nothing else, that everything will work out relatively okay. Of course, we know that this assumption is completely wrong.

Here is an example of this 'group think'. It concerns the UK's approach to global warming, as expressed by the international development secretary, Justine Greening, who attended COP21:

  • "Helping poor countries to go green and adapt to the effects of global warming is in Britain's "national interest" because climate change will render other countries unliveable, sending displaced people in search of new homes, she [Justine Greening] argues.  In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Ms Greening said Britain's commitment to spend almost £6 billion on overseas climate aid in the next five years was "the smart thing to do", because climate change could trigger refugee crises similar to that caused by the conflict in Syria."  ('Greening: Our choice is climate aid or more refugees' by Emily Gosden, The Sunday Telegraph, 6 December 2015, p. 18)

This is a widespread view: significant global warming is going to occur, many countries are going to be severely effected in a negative way, so lets give them billions and billions of pounds to help them deal with these negative consequences!

What we really need to see is a different way of thinking about global warming. Let us just focus on the type of global warming that is human-induced global warming (which is what they have been doing at COP21). This type of global warming is caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere due to human activity. At COP21 thousands upon thousands of people attended and effectively said, well yes, global warming is going to occur, so let us try and limit it if possible so that the consequences are not too severe. Instead of this, wouldn't it be nice if they said; 'why don't we stop global warming completely and do it now, over the next 12 months'. This is possible, if the will was there, and it has nothing to do with cutting carbon dioxide emissions!

Rather than spending billions upon billions of pounds dealing with the negative consequences following from global warming, we could be spending this money stopping global warming. That is surely more sensible. To stop human-induced global warming we need to have an atmospheric carbon dioxide/greenhouse gas target, just like the Bank of England has an inflation target. The Bank of England has a range of measures it can deploy to reduce inflation in the economy if the inflation target is breached, or looks like it might be breached. Similarly, if inflation is way below the target, then the Bank of England can implement measures which result in the inflation rate slowly rising upwards towards the target.

We need the same range of measures to maintain the atmospheric carbon dioxide/greenhouse gas target, and thereby avert any global warming. We need measures to both increase, and decrease the level of carbon dioxide/greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This means we need to be actively intervening on the planet in order to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Compared to sending humans to the moon, this is surely a piece of cake. Why don't we do it? Why don't we focus all our resources and energy on stopping global warming in its tracks? Of course, we will do this in the future (we will be using technology to regulate the atmospheric temperature in the future). But, why don't we do this immediately? It would save a lot of human suffering if we did.

There are a plethora of ways in which we can pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere in order to maintain our atmospheric carbon dioxide/greenhouse gas target. We can use human technology to directly pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere; maps have already been drawn up of the underground storage areas on the planet in which the carbon dioxide can be stored (as we saw in a previous blog post). We can cultivate massive seaweed farms to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. We can plant more trees. There are also a whole range of ways in which the way that we manufacture goods can be made carbon-negative rather than carbon-positive; for example, plastics and cement.

We need to be able to actively control the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere through such measures. So, for example, if there are slightly too many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, then we can immediately set the seaweed farms into increased production. In contrast, if the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere gets too low, then we can temporarily stop production from the seaweed farms.

There is no need to talk of future global warming, and no need for spending billions upon billions of pounds to compensate those negatively effected by global warming.There is no need for massive movements of global warming refugees. We just need to have the motivation and the drive to stop global warming. This won't be achieved by anything that was discussed in Paris at COP21. We need a completely new way of thinking about things, a new agenda, an atmospheric carbon dioxide/greenhouse gas target which we can attain through a range of globally coordinated measures. These measures will initially involve pulling a lot of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. This will mean that there is no future global warming.

We can only hope that this will be on the agenda at COP22. If not, they will once again be spending a lot of their time 'finger pointing' as to who is to blame for global warming, and spending their time discussing transferring billions of pounds to those countries who have either been negatively affected by global warming or who are 'developing'. They could, instead, change the agenda and decide to stop global warming through collective coordination in order to achieve an atmospheric carbon dioxide/global warming target! This can be achieved through the mechanisms outlined above.

Stopping global warming in this way is not a problem. The problem is changing the 'group think' and attaining a widespread realisation that stopping global warming in this way is necessary, possible and desirable.