the planet you can save, maybe

Recently Barath wrote to me: Peter Singer’s ‘The Life You Can Save’ argument came to mind listening to last weeks’ C-Realm episode.  This was the question of whether we each have an obligation to do as much as we can to save the lives of others and if so (a) why limit it to just … Continue Reading

We Can Feed the World / No We Can’t / No We Won’t

There are, and have been for a few decades now, competing narratives about food, hunger, and population. And supporting these narratives are a large number of divergent arguments from people with an even larger array of ideological perspectives. I’ve been puzzled for some time that these narratives not only have co-existed for as long as … Continue Reading

Observations and Questions

For some time I’ve been accumulating observations and questions on a variety of topics but have felt the need to have, for the former, deep analysis, and for the latter, answers. I don’t have much in the way of either, but I’d like to share them nevertheless. Cause and Effect. Is technological progress driving prosperity, … Continue Reading

The Decline of Falsifiability

Recently there has been much discussion and debate on the revelations of government surveillance programs. While I think the specifics of those revelations, and the debate around them, are interesting in themselves, I think the manner in which the debate is happening points to a deeper issue that our society is facing that I haven’t … Continue Reading

Go Directly to Defeatism, Do Not Stop at Responses

About a year ago I mentioned that it seemed likely that in the next few years we’d see a transition from climate denial to climate defeatism or worse climate engineering: I imagine that a number of those who previously denied that climate change was a problem will quickly shift to “it’s too late to do … Continue Reading

Tree Debt

Lately I’ve been listening to some talks on climate change, such as this one by Prof. Kevin Anderson, and the news, not surprisingly, keeps getting worse. Anderson discusses many factors that have generally been ignored in official reports that claim to chart a course forward on the climate, including: a) a limit of 2C of … Continue Reading

There’s No Emergency Room for a Planet

The metaphors in that statement really hit home for me: most of us living in wealthy nations know, somewhere deep-down, that if something bad happens to us that there’ll be something and/or someone to take care of us—not just a long-term safety net, though there’s that to a greater or lesser extent in various nations, … Continue Reading

If Only We Had Free Energy

I thought I’d do a thought experiment. Suppose tomorrow morning a hypothetical university—let’s call it T.I.M.—sends out their weekly press release claiming a “revolutionary breakthrough” that will change the way we think about energy. Unlike every other time in the past decade they’ve made this claim, though, suppose this time it’s actually true: they’ve discovered … Continue Reading