The Selfish Green

14 01 2018

Every now and again, a video pops up in my newsfeed that I really really look forward to watching. This was one of them…… but oh what a disappointment…..  Sometimes, and I know I am not, I start believing I am the only one who ‘gets it’ and sees the whole picture. Well 99% of it, I’m certain I’ve missed something.

While there’s no doubting the eminence of the panel of four, David Attenborough, Richard Dawkins, Jane Goodall, and Richard Leaky (of whom I hadn’t really heard of much before…), I thought they fell far short of understanding the issues – no, predicaments – we are facing.  None of them seem to know much about energy, or the monetary system, with the fat cat lookalike, that Leaky fellow I didn’t know much about, really displaying his ignorance of nuclear energy.

What’s plain to see after watching that lot is that we are truly stuffed, notwithstanding their collective optimism, which as you probably all know, I don’t share……  a pessimist is, after all, a well informed optimist…!

Leaky’s wish to monetise every aspect of the environment so it can be saved really takes the cake. Money is the problem after all, which thankfully Attenborough points out to him, even if it’s just as an aside.  I love Jane Goodall to bits (and her chimps – there’s a wonderful clip of a couple with a Jack in the Box), but she’s frankly a bit naïve.  Dawkins is interesting, as always, but has no grasp of the financial and energy problems at all, in fact says nothing whatever about it.  Attenborough is the best informed of all, he has after all seen how the planet has changed in the past 60 years more than anyone else, and at least he realises we are way overpopulated……..  at the end, they all roll around in hopium. I’d love to know what DTM followers think……

That this video has only had 187,634 views as I type says it all.  Does anybody care?




15 responses

14 01 2018
Respect Silence

Attenborough did a serious 2009 program on overpopulation (How Many People Can Live On Planet Earth?) which was surprisingly free of the usual platitudes, and I think that particular panel is rational about most issues. They have an undercurrent of knowing that things aren’t going to get better.

I think the environmental movement needs to do a major reversal of absurd “solutions” like industrial wind power, which is busy ruining places that fossil fuel production and mining had spared. We have to stop trying to build our way out of everything and pushing the same old growth agendas under a new mantle.

Also, the social-justice and environmental movements are at odds since so many poor people would like to consume more.

Realistically, I don’t think the situation will improve until a crash forces it, probably when the “real” Peak Oil hits sometime after 2020, impossible to accurately predict.

14 01 2018
Lloyd Morcom

Unfortunately most of the older crew are still stuck in the paradigm of thinking that all we need is a change of policy. It doesn’t matter how nice or sincere they are, wrong ideas are just as deadly coming from the truly caring as they are from the grossest narcissists.

14 01 2018
Don Hayward

All of these folks greatly rely on the system remaining close to what it is. They think only a few tweaks will do that. As you say, Attenborough has documented the tragedy and is aware. Perhaps the low viewership isn’t that so few care but that many of us have stopped listening to this servant class hopium. There seem to me to be only two logical responses to the inevitable disaster, to try to build the foundations for local resilient communities and to actively try to destroy industrialism. The many efforts on the first may lead somewhere, the second will never be done, at least on the scale necessary. We are now simply waiting for the natural correction.

14 01 2018

There are many, many people that don’t truly understand our plight, such as those getting very excited about the coming energy ‘electric revolution’. Only a very few realise just how bad our prognosis is as a species and even fewer of those want or can be bothered to speak aloud about it.
Does anyone care? Well, as there is nothing that can be done about it, then no I don’t. That’s just a waste of energy.

15 01 2018
Chris Harries

Every high-status celebrity, when they have a microphone in front of them, decides that it’s best to sound optimistic. This has become a universal, unwritten rule. Meanwhile, In their hearts and in their awareness of the global predicament those green celebs are mostly utterly despondent.

Nearly every environmentalist I know is the same. They hold out slender hope, but the accepted meme is that even with our backs to the wall people will respond better if given hope.

The ubiquity of this meme says to me that I ought to follow suit, because these are in the main very smart, thoughtful, committed and concerned people.

I’ve said it many times, I think this thought bubble being the case there is a need for at least a few people to honestly say it as it is because if we all fake optimism then we create a mass social delusion and society then makes faulty decisions based on that mass delusion. That’s basically what is happening.


I also do question the premise that people will necessarily respond better if given optimistic information. The faking of optimism tends to lead to complacency, listeners sensing that we don’t have an insurmountable problem after all. I think complacency is as dangerous as fatalism.

In their wishful thinking, people basically want to look away and continue to live their lives. In doing so they feel uncomfortable if presented with information that conflicts with this attitude. People thus seek out information that doesn’t challenge this comfort zone too much. In pandering to this, environmentalists strategically choose to tell people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear – on the basis that this has a better chance of gaining acceptance.

This meme is very questionable. But, for better or worse, it’s the track we are on.

15 01 2018
Daniel Boon

clip not attached / un-openable Mike

On Sun, Jan 14, 2018 at 5:37 PM, Damn the Matrix wrote:

> mikestasse posted: “Every now and again, a video pops up in my newsfeed > that I really really look forward to watching. This was one of them…… > but oh what a disappointment….. Sometimes, and I know I am not, I start > believing I am the only one who ‘gets it’ and sees the” >

15 01 2018

Works on my phone and laptop…

15 01 2018

“A pessimist is, after all, a well informed optimist…”
Agree absolutely Mike. It’s not that I want to be a pessimist. Optimists are much happier people. ( Just like genuinely religious people.) But people who read widely across many disciplines and who have a realistic (and historical) view of human nature, plus a deep sense of intellectual honesty, surely know that we are screwed. Unfortunately, such people seem to be few and far between. It’s very lonely knowing the facts and what lies ahead. One is dismissed by friends and family as a doomster. Fortunately there are websites like this to confirm one’s thinking and to connect with like minded people. Added another two just recently – Reddit’s Collapse forum and the Near Term Human Extinction FB site.

15 01 2018
Chris Harries

The most optimist people are those who conclude that ‘we don’t actually have a problem’. i.e. those that are labelled as Denialists.

The second most optimistic take we can persuade ourselves to take up is that ‘the problem is easily fixed’. This can be seen as another form of Denial, i.e. if we really do have a serious problem.

I am intersted in Secondary Denial mostly because it infects most people in society and is thus a far more serious problem than is primary denial.

Ironically, the second category of people tend to harshly denounce the first group without coming to terms with their own denial of reality.

On the other hand, spelling out Reality is fraught with difficulty because 1) it is not welcome news and 2) it defies our society’s natural instinct to go with the flow and resist changing social mores. A bit like being a little antibody in a diseased body, I imagine.

17 04 2018
Respect Silence

It’s especially grim when you see people pretending to solve the energy problem by creating another bloated revenue stream that happens to have green wrapping.

Same business model, same destruction of nature, newer product. (image search)

15 01 2018

No doubt it was my share that you saw, Mike, since I only did it yesterday, and I agree with most of what you say above. But the main subject was about loss of biodiversity, which those on the panel were (relative) experts on, Attenborough especially.

You have to realise that people want to hear positive messages and such a panel would not have even been convened if it was obvious the general message was going to be predominantly negative. You’ll be aware of the positivity in most of Heinberg’s books, but probably also aware that his private views are very different. In any case I think the overall message wasn’t all that positive, it’s just that none of the other things that you and I and others commenting here are aware of, were mentioned. If it had the effect of making more people aware of that one single problem, then it was useful, IMO.

It was interesting that Attenborough bought up the ‘profit before biodiversity conservation’ aspect as he’s never spoken that way publicly before to my knowledge. I think he gets that aspect of it. I know of Leaky but have never heard him speak before. Of course nuclear isn’t the solution…uranium is a non-renewable energy source just as fossil fuels are. There’s no long-term future in it. Dawkins is primarily an evolutionary biologist and I know he doesn’t get the real underlying problems. I follow him on Facebook and he says some really dumb things sometimes. Jane is, well, just Jane. People can’t not like her.

The deep underlying problems aren’t known to most people; they just don’t have the mental capacity to understand and they don’t go into the depths of it like we do.

The video was made some time ago, judging by the alteration in Attenborough’s appearance; he is much more aged now. I tried to get the date at the end and think I saw 2004 or 5. Can’t remember now. A lot has happened since then. Maybe they would think differently now.

15 01 2018

Didn’t realise it was that old….

15 01 2018

Good share Foodnstuff. Thanks.

16 01 2018

Good to see that they discuss rationally the follies and foibles of the human experience.
But they are old skool in that they are considering that the future will be more of the past and past solutions are the only way to address the problem.
But they didn’t start at the begining and consider if they is actually a problem or not …
Is it a problem if a species such as sapiens becomes extinct ?

A rational species would consider the pros & cons of extinction and change
and knowing that change is the one constant of the universe would figure that if they are the major agents of change then they should analyze if they should exist forever or not get upset if they find that they are alive at the end times of their species.

Humans sometimes worry about the biodiversity of the seas and on land.
Why dont they worry about the biodiversity of the solar system ?
There is plenty of energy & resources in the solar system but it is barren.
Is that a problem ?

17 04 2018
glen osborne

thanks for the chance to comment, for what it is worth. I watched the video and in my opinion their comments were very pessimistic and gloomy. Yes, they finished off with acknowledging their very optimistic feelings, any other statement would infringe upon their popularity. My personal opinion, formulated by personal observations, reading peer reviewed journals and speaking with a wide variety of people is; we have exceeded the natural balance that was responsible for our very existence and proliferation. We have the capacity to imagine and plan our future, but this must be tempered with caution and rational thought. Rational thought that is not soured by personal goals, beliefs nor hubris. Can we muster the willpower necessary to meet this undertaking, it seems highly unlikely with the world populace being dominated by utter need or random excessive desire. also we seem to have initiated some rather nasty and inconvenient self reinforcing feedback loops. what else is in store for our changing habitat? we are good at looking after the fact, but this is a poor method which seems to not have an underlying long term strategy. we are so F%$&!!ed so I declare, Don´t Delay / Play Today personally I think that going out with dignity is better than going ballistic, but everyone will make their own choice, firstly based upon opinion ( pleasure ), secondly based upon need ( survival ). cheers G.

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