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HomeCandidates 2018Abdul El-Sayed2/26 News Roundup – Bernie Sanders’ Weekend Rallies, A Federal Judge Halts The Bayou Bridge Pipeline & More
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Don midwest
Don midwest

Bringing science, politics and religion back to Earth

Science has struggled as deniers use the methods of science to attack science which in hindsight shows that science was considered to be above the fray, i.e., politics. Need to bring politics back to Earth and go beyond the focus on personalities and behavior.

Politics is all around and now that The New Climate regime is the dominate geo political actor, politics is essential. But, no longer expect political heroes, need to bring politics back to Earth. Starting with Plato who put down sophists who used persuasion, rhetoric has been a dirty word but is essential for speaking to the 10,000 in the stadium in contrast with Socrates mathematical, facts and rules.

Religion cannot be ignored. One can find it everywhere and the Enlightenment solution of secularism never worked and once again we are faced with religious conflict, or conflict put in religious form. “the city on a hill”, American exceptionalism, is actually Utopian. We have been living through a utopia. Need to bring religion back to Earth.

One of the problems we now face is the destruction of other voices, especially indigenous voices, who have been silenced in the colonial efforts.

The words above are from my reading of Bruno Latour. They are not directly discussed in this readable interview, but his other work does touch these topics. Here are a couple of paragraphs from the interview

Bruno’s early work followed scientists in their labs and the steps like recording readings on paper, moving samples to the lab, writing papers, peer review, etc. In the early days in the 80’s, scientists were pissed to see such mundane work described. They wanted the glory. In other words, this work brought science back to Earth and showed the importance of institutions in establishing a fact. One of the dangers of the Trump reign is the destruction of institutions.

Why would scientists come to people like you — sociologists of science — for help?

We are showing that science is absolutely part of the culture and that our culture is now engaged almost in a war against science itself. Now that the United States has abandoned the Paris Climate Agreement, we clearly are dealing with questions of war and peace. Mr. Trump basically declared war on Europe and the rest of the world by saying, “We in the United States don’t have climate change. You have climate change, but not us.” That’s geopolitical war. It’s tragic, but it actually clarifies that geopolitics is now organized by this question of climate change. What do you do when your ally is saying, “Go to hell!” That’s a completely new situation. There was something called Western solidarity before and the French and Europeans were looking at the United States as an ally. And the military is very interested in these questions. I’m now discussing the climate question with people in the French Ministry of Defense.

Why is the military interested?

The issue is central to migration patterns and all sorts of thinking about energy resources and use. Before Trump, it was still not clear that climate change was a central geopolitical issue. Now it’s clear. In fact, we could have solved the problem years ago with something equivalent to the effort put into the Manhattan Project during World War II.

So if we had confronted this problem decades ago — if we had reorganized our industrial system — we would not have climate change?

Yes. The historian [Naomi] Oreskes says that even in 1980 we could have done it.

You’re talking about getting rid of the fossil fuel economy.

Yeah, decarbonize it. It’s very simple. I mean, it’s nowhere near as difficult as war. Of course, every year that passes, it’s becoming more complicated. And the tragedy is compounded by what has been called the “sixth extinction” [the human-caused wiping out of flora and fauna around the world].

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