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Politicians Who Deny Reality Aren’t Fit to Lead


#1

Politicians Who Deny Reality Aren’t Fit to Lead

David Suzuki, Ian Hanington

So, what was the U.S. president’s reaction to a U.S. scientific report compiled by more than 300 scientists and endorsed by a dozen different agencies, including NASA, NOAA and the defence department, that warned climate change poses a dire threat to the American economy, way of life and human health? “I don’t believe it,” Trump told reporters.


#2

Trump will never be anything more than what his father most likely taught him as a small child:

Never admit anything bad, Deny it,

Lie to protect yourself and your possessions,
and,
Steal from the poor, the weak, and the needy.


#3

thank you again dr. sazuki for your continued efforts to keep us informed and. . . as an added treat, i got a laugh when i read this sentence, " The White House released the report late on Black Friday, when many Americans were caught up in the country’s celebration of rampant consumerism." to be honest, i do find fault with one phrase in your title, “Fit to Lead,” because i feel we can never achieve a just and equitable democracy as long as we believe we need a leader time to grow up, right? like eugene debs stated.

Too long have the workers of the world waited for some Moses to lead them out of bondage… I would not lead you out if I could; for if you could be led out, you could be led back again. I would have you make up your minds there is nothing that you cannot do for yourselves.
makes good sense, i’d say anyway, climate change and global warming impact all of us living citizens of earth; not only a few in washington d.c. and ceo’s of mega monopolies as you pointed out we’re dealing with pathological people they are egocentric and incapable of seeing beyond instant gratification.

now to those ‘celebrating with a show of rampant consumerism!’ they’re hooked into that instant gratification, too. those who refuse to acknowledge or see what’s right before their eyes are as culpable as the ones they trust to enact the laws well, let’s face it all of us humans living in this so-called “civilization” are culpable! all i can do is my best to keep a small carbon footprint politics, religion, and such often become excuses for “the little people” to avoid accepting responsibility no one of us is qualified to lead all of us, so it’s high time as you say,

In the face of an overwhelming crisis that threatens our very future, it might be time for an overhaul of our democratic and political systems, which are clearly failing the people they were designed to serve.

#4

In the face of impending environmental collapse, it is time to redesign our democratic and political systems. Representative democracy clearly represents capital attempting to grow to infinity. A more efficient democracy that focuses distributed human intelligence is required to avoid species suicide.

Capitalists commit crimes against humanity daily; They obviously do not care what happens to their children and grandchildren.


#5

I would have more respect for Suzuki if he was not a Malthusian over-populationist and if he accepted the scientific prevailing view that fertility rates were dropping and many countries populations were in decline as reported in a recent Lancet report.


#6

This is not suicide. It’s genocide.
The ruling class have no intention to support 10 billion in 2050.
Denial of global warming is a form of warfare with the same gastly results.
Those who believe reincarnation think it not a coincidence
that the current P-resident was born shortly after il Duce was executed.
Both pigs liked to put their name on theatrical civic edifice.


#7

With all due respect for the author(s), it is pointless to try to make any sense of the actions of a fool and uneducated, narrow-minded, arrogant mental case and racist, that revels in his power to dominate, and ignorance to destroy! His is a world of fantasy and thoughtless exploitation with less than zero regard for truth, the natural world, our planet, other people’s well-being, and anything but his sole goals in life…wealth of the lowest bad-taste, and the power of a malignant imbecile that sees himself as superior to all others…and impresses that stupidity on all else…a life of depraved criminal mental illness, and uncaring abuse and contempt for others, that should, without delay, be expunged with prejudice!


#8

Trump is fit to be led by Nutty Yahoo & GHW Bush’s funeral which of course means they are unfit to lead. They are fit to be jailed.


#9

“In the face of an overwhelming crisis that threatens our very future, it might be time for an overhaul of our democratic and political systems, which are clearly failing the people they were designed to serve”

Who is going to overhaul it? It has worked great for the oligarchy so it will fight tooth and nail against an overhaul until pitchfork time. It has the money-power to buy police, armies, politicians and owns all the resources, so (un)armed rebellion is unrealistic.

However, the people might be able to stage a bloodless democratic takeover with Liquid Democracy:


#10

It’s collegiate to assume good intentions in debate, but we ought not deny that bad intentions can exist. Oil-industry experts have discussed and researched peak oil and global warming for half a century or so. It’s easy to underestimate the capacity of humans to maintain genuine ignorance when it suits us, but if we do not assume ignorance automatically, the denial of climate disruption looks a lot like deceit and aggression.

I hate to generalize too broadly about a Republican or neoliberal or neoconservative mindset, since the world is made of people who are each exceptions in one or another regard. But there are some common assumptions that we ought to recognize if we want to understand our ruling class or ruling classes in general.

  • Belief 1. They accept a mythology of ownership. Not only do they imagine that much of the planet belongs to them, they imagine that they have some responsibility for certain things that are theirs, and little or no responsibility for other things that are not.
  • Belief 2. They believe, after Hobbes, that human life is naturally and intrinsically “nasty, brutish, and short.”
  • They regard themselves and some group around them as exceptions to this natural nature of humans by virtue of being “refined” or “enlightened” or simply by being rich and powerful.
  • They tend to regard steep hierarchy and particularly their own rule as largely benign, and their abuses as necessitated by the “nasty” and “brutish” aspects of what they regard as human nature.

If you want to wrap your head around the way of thinking here, think about how humans traditionally relate to livestock and pets. We may have affection for our livestock. It is often a sad day for a farmer when he or she sells a group of friendly animals for slaughter. But that does not usually delay the sale. We may feel considerable affection for pets and weep at their passing, but most of us limit the amount that we might spend at a veterinarian’s office in a way that we would not do with respect to our children.

A further conception that is more characteristic of Republican and American Libertarian thinking is an attraction to the idea of exclusion. That is, because they see themselves responsible for me and mine, they would like to believe that “everybody else can just go do what they like somewhere else.”

So here the denial of global climate disruption, of pollution, and of all sorts of things is essentially an extension of the denial of externality in capitalism. The frameset basically refuses a concept of humanity as a meaningful or workable unit, so it leaves little way to respond to a global problem. The problem is not posed as such, but as “How do we get ourselves and ourselves out of this jam?”

We can see an extension of this among the many people who continue to insist that the main ecological problem is human population–rather than this being one problem among others, and almost as though it made little difference how they humans in question might behave. Of course, this point of view appears to make sense if one assumes that human behavior, or at least the offending human behaviors, are intrinsic. If one also imagines that worthwhile human life is life that is “elevated” or “refined” rather than natural–refined by wealth or Western culture or purchases or whatever–then it is likely to appear that it is reasonable to allow Western culture to continue in something like its current abuses by reducing the population sharply, even vastly.

If one is raising sheep on a certain plot of pasture, the calculations can become quite Malthusian. If we assume an analogous set of thoughts among those sixty-some people who own most of the world’s wealth by standard measures, the picture not only looks alarming, but strikingly consistent with their actions.

So here’s a theory. To a large extent, in different ways, with some conference and collusion and some conflict of perceived interest, the ruling class is fairly aware that society is headed into drastic changes, if not catastrophe. In general, however, they believe that their personal interest lies in maintaining social status through the rough spots, not in solving problems for people whose lives are “nasty, brutish, and short,” “deplorable,” “not the good people,” or “not citizens of the essential country.” Different assessments of who is or is not to be saved probably do not match up, but the morally concerned among this group of people will be figuring how to get theirs to some imagined safety.

This sort of thinking appears consistent with the extension of American empire, the particular abuse of the oil-producing regions, the attempt to encircle China and Russia, and the general disregard for ecological measures. It is disturbingly similar to
60s realpolitik jawing about cost/benefit analyses of a first nuclear strike. In both cases, the assumption runs something like “If I don’t do it, you know the other guy will.”

The difficulties here have lots to do with generally inarticulate background assumption. They are terribly difficult to address with the individuals involved.


#11

Every once in a while we need a reminder. Not that it does any good.


#12

“Denial in the face of overwhelming evidence is pathological”

You’ve just described religion. The state of humanity today comes down to this:
Nature’s activity produces edible results.
Human activity produces inedible results.
You aren’t going to change the course of civilization by intentional use of the system of inedible systems to demand it become something it’s not.
Humans once contributed to their own future edibles or we wouldn’t have evolved.
We aren’t going to make it up in volume sales, yet everyone allows the conversations to always end up in economics, even when talking about morality.
People don’t need jobs, money or health insurance: they need good health, clean water and a place to live. Everything beyond that is just religion (pathological).