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
Wednesday, 30 September 2015
The Veil of Ignorance
You will have noticed that I haven't posted anything for a while; as September draws to a close I thought I should write something!
I don't have a television, but I try to keep up-to-date with what is going on in contemporary human culture through the radio, particularly Radio 4. Over the past few weeks the issue of the relationship between humans and the Earth / Solar System, framed from the perspective of the environmental crisis / human-induced global warming, has cropped up several times:
* Pope Francis has been talking about this issue as he has toured the United States. He expressed the view that it is our common duty to protect the Earth from human destruction / human-induced global warming, by cutting fossil fuel emissions.
* Yesterday, Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, chimed in to the issue by warning about the massive risks to global economic stability which would be caused by a significantly changed climate precipitated by global warming. Again, we should cut fossil fuel emissions to supposedly avoid this.
* There was another interview on Radio 4 with the author of a new book called 'The Evolution of Everything'. The author seemed to appreciate the reality that human culture has a preordained directedness from hunter gatherer to global technological society. However, when it came to the environmental crisis / global warming, the author failed to have any understanding of how this fits into the unfolding cosmos. He expressed the widespread but tired old view that 'we might destroy/eliminate ourselves as a species, but life will be fine without us, it will continue to thrive and might even be much better off without us'.
* The issue of water / life on Mars has also been in the news over the last few days. New images suggest that water might be pervasive on Mars, and this in turn suggests that life is quite likely to have evolved on Mars. This is, of course, what we would expect from the perspective of the view that I express in my books. The whole universe is directed towards bringing forth life wherever possible, and then that life is directed towards surviving. The bringing forth of the human species, the environmental crisis, and human-induced global warming, are all part of this striving for survival on the part of life.
* Whilst I was in town yesterday I noticed a poster advertising an imminent screening of the film 'The Age of Stupid'. The tagline was something like: 'we could have saved ourselves but we didn't because we are so stupid'. This is obviously a campaigning film produced by environmentalists who utterly fail to comprehend the nature of the relationship between the human species and the rest of the Earth. There is some merit to the view that we are living in an age of stupidity / ignorance. But the nature of this ignorance is that the overwhelmingly vast majority of humans who are currently alive believe that humans are a wholly destructive force on the Earth whose productive activities (their 'work' in Holderlin's terms) are fundamentally harming the rest of life on Earth. This is not true, so to believe it is to be 'stupid'. It is in the future, when the 'veil of ignorance' has been lifted, that the vast majority of humans will come to realise that they, the human species, are the saviours of life on Earth. The human species will come to realise the point of it all, they will come to realise their important place on the Earth, and how, through their 'work', their toil in bringing forth the industrial revolution, the technological revolution, the environmental crisis, the geoengineering of the Earth's atmosphere, that they have enabled wonderful life to survive and thrive. I am not seeking to label the producers of this film, or environmentalists, or anyone, as 'stupid'. It is to be expected, given the current stage of the evolution of the Earth / Solar System, that the vast majority of humans are lacking insight into the nature of things, being as they are, stuck behind the 'veil of ignorance'.
It goes without saying, that the views expressed above, the views expressed by Mark Carney, Pope Francis, the author of 'The Evolution of Everything', and the views expressed in 'The Age of Stupid', are all views firmly emanating from behind the 'veil of ignorance'.
Some people seem to get really excited by the idea that humans are a wholly and fundamentally destructive force that is destroying the Earth. This idea of stupidity and injustice seems to give meaning to their lives, it gives them a reason to get out of bed in the morning, it gives them something to 'fight for'. And this is okay. It doesn't matter that the underling view which motivates their actions is wrong. Their actions are still 'right'. Such is the nature of human motivation in the unfolding Solar System.
I hope that this has made some sense to you. On a final note, I have been reflecting recently on the fact that although I have a PhD in philosophy, that I am fundamentally a mystic. There are thousands of philosophers and the vast majority of them have nothing of any importance to say. The realm of importance is that of the mystic. So, I was wondering whether I should have called my 2014 book 'The Philosophy of Global Warming'! It makes it sound like a boring work of academic philosophy, not an inspiring insight into the nature of human existence, human purpose and the nature of reality.