Have now watched both Mr. Craven’s original video and an improved version, “How it all ends.”
The second version is very much improved, dispensing as it does with the Pascal’s Wager issue, which is to say that evidence/rational probability is presented as an indispensable factor, instead of reliance only on Pascalian worst case scenarios.
However, I think the “How it all ends” video still suffers from two severe problems, not for me, but for hope of broader public acceptance. As that video stands, I suspect its primary use will be as a sort of a pitch pipe for the already persuaded choir.
Chances are my concerns have already been addressed in some subsequent video or in Mr. Craven’s book. If so, which video is now the best one to forward per Mr. Craven’s suggestion?
Here are those concerns:
1 - Few people who have not already grasped the importance and relevance of the overwhelming consensus on this issue will be persuaded by any scientific organization, no matter how august. So holding up signs for the NAS and NAAS, even when accompanied by the names of lots of self-promoting, amoral, PR oriented, corporations seems a real weak point. At root, it seems that by now, individual citizens can either understand and pay attention to the weight of evidence and expert consensus or they can or will not.
2- Sadly, I think the likelihood that the U.S. public, not to mention the broader world (um, China?), will respond with an intensity such as occurred the day after Pearl Harbor is right around nil, because the “enemy” is not a different looking or at least different language speaking bunch of “aliens” who are killing us with known weapons and who live in a specific far away place. In the case of the climate, the enemy is us - every human in every developed country, doing all kinds of things that we ALL do, every single day. Can humanity really focus on such a nebulous “enemy” with the requisite energy? I’m not putting my money on that wager, for my part.
So as not to end in an utterly depressing manner, I really liked Mr. Craven’s point in his videos that the terms “warming” and “climate change” are misleading and unhelpful, and the the really obvious chain effects will and are the result of destabilization, that is change in climate PATTERNS which occur TOO RAPIDLY.
I think it may have been Thomas Friedman who suggested that teachers, formal and otherwise, start explaining the situation as “global weirding.” That seems to me an effective and memorable term.