All of Sable's Comments + Replies

I think this post highlights some of the difficulties in transmitting information between people - particularly the case of trying to transmit complex thoughts via short aphorisms.

I think the comments provided a wealth of feedback as to the various edge cases that can occur in such a transmission, but the broad strokes of the post remain accurate: understanding compressed wisdom can't really be done without the life experience that the wisdom tried to compress to begin with.

If I was to rewrite the post, I'l likely emphasize the takeaway that, when giving a... (read more)

I don't see this as a conscious choice people make to not solve the problems the institution they're a part of is supposed to address. I agree that many of the individuals within the institution are working in good faith and genuinely care.

The issue is that the incentives of the people are not the same as the incentives of the institution itself, which are to grow and attract more status and money, which happens when the problem is seen as harder and more important.

Yes, Climate Change is obviously not solvable by a few activists, but there's a finite amoun... (read more)

I use homelessness as an example, but I believe the logic generalizes. You're right that in many cases, the incentives facing an institution aren't powerful enough to matter, or the people involved could/would just go do other things.

But there are also a lot of cases (see: almost all nonprofits) where people's jobs depend on the existence and salience of the problem, in which case I think the incentives do start to matter.

While I haven't looked at the data lately, there are a lot of institutions in the US, as I use the term. Surely of the many social ills they address there are some that solvable/solved?

While I used ending homelessness as an example, the salience of an issue matters too. Climate change organizations receive lots of funding because their cause is seen as an important priority. If that changes, their funding dries up. So they have an incentive on the margin to overemphasize the importance of their associated problem - they benefit from the problem, while generally not solving it. Hence, commensalism.

2dr_s3mo
There being a lot means resources are split and coordination may be harder, it doesn't make this easier. "Solving climate change" for example is nothing short of a monumental task that requires a complete overhaul of our current industrial system. No tiny group of activists will have the power to do that, they don't need to keep the problem around to stay relevant. And again, I think this widely misreads the people part of these things: these are people who mostly do want to solve the problems. They may not be optimal at it for various reasons and I get how incentives can create pressures that feed this sort of commensalism even without it being an intentional strategy, but it's absolutely not obvious to me how the process of "could solve the problem but doesn't" would manifest here. Perhaps you could argue it for some causes like e.g. animal rescues: lots of people have refuges for stray cats/dogs but their general motivation is probably just that they enjoy having the little fuzzballs around and helping them, so they're not really tackling the problem of stray animals head on with systematic spaying and neutering etc (though that is absolutely also a thing that they do). Also, I'd make a distinction between straight up commensalism and simple "are not cold utilitarian minimizers of suffering", because lots of people aren't the latter because they have other values they think are too important to trade off, so they don't just go at the problem as hard as they could, but that's not the same as keeping the problem intentionally around to justify their own work.

Thanks! I've been pointed to them by others as well; it's a good example of an institution surviving the death of their problem.

I do think that the case underlines how important problems are for institutions, in a sort-of "exception that proves the rule" kind of way.

They would need another problem to pivot to.

Also, I suspect that such a pivot on an institutional scale is difficult to pull off. People often prioritize altruistic work because they're passionate about a specific cause - maybe they were homeless in the past, or they were a cancer survivor, etc. That wouldn't necessarily translate.

4CronoDAS3mo
It has been done. March of Dimes was originally an anti-polio organization; after the polio vaccines basically solved their problem, they generalized...

This was well thought-out, thank you.

You're right about redefining the word/problem. I've been referring to this as "The Pivot" in my head.

It would still be better if we found a way to form institutions such that, once they had solved a problem, their resources were efficiently allocated to the solution of the next-most-pressing problem.

Wait until you discover the world of Worm fanfiction (*cue evil laughter*).

1Neil 4mo
I'm doomed already. I've narrowly escaped a close encounter after reading a few chapters from at least one of them.  I may be cornered, however, but I shan't admit defeat. I've used a site blocker (haha!). This is what an actually pessimistic containment strategy looks like.  Check for the time being, minions of wildbow!

Very possible.

I do suspect, though, that your friends at least have an internal process of analysis going even if they're not working. (I could of course be wrong.)

Quite true, and I considered being more specific about the kinds of relationships I was talking about.

For the sake of brevity I omitted such relationships.

What I did try to emphasize was that a relationship doesn't have to be equal to be reciprocal. So long as each party is getting what they need out of it, it usually counts. In a parent/child relationship, for instance, the parent is/should be getting something valuable out of the relationship, even though that something isn't reciprocity or emotional support.

As you say, the reward might be seeing your junior/student/child grow up and succeed.

I understand what you're saying. I wasn't familiar with the exact definitions of the political theory you cite.

I do think that it's reasonable to be bound by laws made before one was born, but only to a certain extent. Society changes over time, and over a long enough period of time I would argue - philosophically - that the society that passed the law is no longer the society I was born into. (And yet the law is still binding, because the law doesn't have an expiration date.)

That being said, thanks for the reply, and I appreciate the feedback!

Fair, and I forgot about the term stuck prior (I think I've heard "trapped prior" before). Thanks!

Great question.

You've got the basics - eat right, workout, sleep, etc., but just saying that isn't much help.

I've gotten a great deal out of habit chaining/trigger-action planning when used consistently; basically you create chains of actions that feed into one another so once you've started the chain, it takes no extra willpower to just keep following it to its conclusion.

For instance:

Wake up -> make breakfast -> get pills -> turn on sunlamp -> eat

is one, that makes sure I take my medication, eat breakfast, and get some light everyday (the lat... (read more)

2ErickBall5mo
Excellent, I think I will give something like that a try

A good point, and I agree. Part of my thinking on this topic, and the desire to write on it, was sparked by Scott and others' debate on what mental illness and sanity really are (how much of it is social, how much biological, etc.).

Is there a term for a non-updateable belief? 

I like the concept, although I wonder if you run into some kind of contradiction if you follow it all the way to the extremes. Is the belief that "all beliefs should be updateable" itself updateable?

3romeostevensit5mo
Stuck priors is the term I've heard. I'm not that worried about the self reference problem as a competing framework for linking evidence and beliefs would have to outperform it, which seems pragmatically unlikely. Unlinking evidence and beliefs can work locally, which is the theme of some decision theory 'paradoxes' but I see such a move as lobotomizing yourself. Sure, you can construct an adversarial universe in which omega or whoever demands I lobotomize myself in order to win/not-lose but at that point we're in blackmail territory.
Answer by SableSep 21, 202330

I would 100% bring in European or otherwise non-English speaking transit experts to completely overhaul US public transportation. The US is particularly bad at this, and the expertise does exist in other places.

Agreed - measuring the magnitude of ongoing effects in property damage is very vulnerable to the rising amount and value of property.

And you have kabbalistically reminded me to start reading Worm

My master plan has suceeded!

3Neil 4mo
[Update!] I have now finished Worm. I'm kind of just really relieved that my ambient thought is no longer obsessed by finding new ways to munchkin superpowers. I'm free!  Given that Ward is even longer than Worm, I'm going to wait a while until I fall back into obsession. 

I've thought about an approach to this I call meta-regulation: regulations on what kind of regulations can be passed.

One of my favorite ideas is to limit the number of total regulations a given agency can set (or perhaps the total wordcount of its regulations, just to punish any gaming of this meta-regulation) to half of whatever it currently is. That way, once regulations are reduced to their newly declared peak, whenever regulators want to add a new regulation, they are forced to get rid of an existing one.

Hence they will be forced to do some form of cost-benefit analysis on the regulations they keep.

I've personally gotten a lot out of viewing myself as a 4D worm (a 3-Dimensional being stretched out across the fourth dimension of Time can be thought of as a sort of 4D worm), when I remember to do so.

A concrete benefit is that it renders procrastination moot - the task, if completed at all, is in the worm somewhere, so the specific location in time it finds itself is not particularly important. Which means it might as well be now.

There's also an emotional component - if I think of myself as some kind of weighted average of myself in the moment, I can be... (read more)

2Neil 6mo
I like this idea. I've personally been viewing time as a pile of sheets of paper packed up in a cube, with each sheet representing one Planck time/ brain cycle/whatever. (The MRI image is an excellent analogy.) I've also been imagining all my final achievements in one place which I can see at any moment, and then fulfill a part of on any given day, much like your "worm" in which you store everything you are going to do. Stepping outside time is surprisingly useful.  For me things get odd when you start applying anthropic reasoning and it becomes apparent that only the present exists and you are a single sheet of the MRI scan. That's when I would integrate the idea of acausal trade; "if I make these sacrifices today,  I increase the chance that a future self will do it, and since I am, myself, a future self... ". This helps materialize the final sum of all your life, the "worm" in your case. Still grappling with procrastination though, even though I'm trying to defect as little as possible in relation to future and counterfactual selves.  It's interesting because I haven't seen this particular brand of idea much, even though it seems like an obviously useful and fairly convergent solution to some daily problems. I'll collect testimonies like yours and try writing up a post agglomerating it all in order to verbalize this seemingly convergent style of thinking (at least on this site). Might be summarized as something like "game theory in self-help".  And you have kabbalistically reminded me to start reading Worm. 

Of all of these, I found 8 most useful.

1Neil 6mo
Glad to hear it! I'm curious as to why? Also, can you imagine any extensions or developments that might come from this idea? I'm willing to take any feedback I can, because I'm worried about building a world-model in isolation.   

Perhaps a better way to express my thoughts would have been "What goal do the structures of society create optimization pressure for, when it comes to childhood?" I believe that different societal structures create optimization pressures for different visions of what childhood is like, and this can confuse conversations about those structures.

This was very well said, and I'd be interested in reading a post fleshing more of it out.

I agree to some extent with what you're saying - but in today's society, (at least in the U.S. and, to my understanding, many parts of East Asia) children are subjected to optimization pressures from colleges and other selective institutions. I think there's a lack in clarity of thought in society at large about the effect this has on children, and more importantly, what childhood ought to be.

To your point, less optimization pressure on children does not seem to result in less achievement in adulthood - so perhaps that's the direction we ought to be aiming for?

Nostalgia can be a funny thing. I've been nostalgic for experiences that I would in no way want to repeat. Sometimes things are better as memories than they are to live through.

Thank you, this was very kind.

I think it's great that you did this and posted your results. I'd be super interested in learning more about what effect the Neuro is actually having, and why different people have such different experiences.

I think this functions well as an introduction to Charter Cities. It doesn't grapple with any of the real-world difficulties, but it shouldn't need to as an introduction.

It might be beneficial to mention the benefits of agglomeration effects as a justification of why cities are so often the engines of economic growth, and another point in favor of Charter Cities as opposed to Charter Villages, Charter Towns, or Charter Countries.

1Jackson Wagner7mo
Thanks!  Apparently I am in a mood to write very long comments today, so if you like, you can see some thoughts about addressing potential objections / difficulties in a response I made to a comment on the EA Forum version of this post.
Answer by SableJul 13, 2023116

Broadly speaking, I'm in favor of defining Rationality as systematized winning.

To become a better rationalist, you have to have something to win (or something to protect).

So you need a goal that isn't directly "become a better rationalist". This goal could be to learn a new skill, accomplish some simple task, or literally anything else.

Some suggestions:

  • Learn a Skill (Chess, Math, Foreign Language, Juggling)
  • Dealing with Uncertainty (start using a prediction market, play poker for real money)
  • Study the World (Pick a topic (Housing, Nutrition, anything), exhau
... (read more)
9Adam Zerner7mo
I think this is incorrect. From Levels of Action: I too like the idea of rationality being about winning (although you can also argue that it is about epistemics independent of how epistemics relate to winning). But I think that rationality usually helps with winning via high level actions. For example, learning about biases is a high level action that helps in a whole bunch of different scenarios. That said, I also agree with the author of Levels of Action's warning about focusing too much on high levels of action.
2TeaTieAndHat7mo
How did I not notice ‘systematized winning’ meant that? I think I actually had no clue what it meant :/ Still, sounds great! And it’s actually a big part of what I’m trying to do, but I’ve been depressed for a long while and it’s only getting better now, so I’m a bit late at that game :-) So, I’ll have to find a goal. Even then, that sounds way easier to do in the Bay, where one supposedly has other LWers around to talk to, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem

2020 - and the pandemic in general - seems to have been a bit of a watershed moment for figuring out certain things about human nature and society in general for me as well.

I also like your characterization of post-apocalyptic fantasy as getting all the benefits of a modern technical civilization with none of the people-driven drawbacks.

While the zombie apocalypse is popular, I'd say an asteroid strike/supervolcano/other no-fault apocalypses convey a similar sense of relief.

That being said, I do strongly agree with the "heroic fantasy" angle.

I don't agree with your thesis about the CAUSE of such fantasies being pleasant.

I'm not sure I'd characterize the relief as pleasant, at least not in a positive sense. It's a removal of bad things (stressors), not an addition of good things. The cause of said fantasies is a desire to avoid feeling one's current burdens, by imagining a situation in which they don't exist.

I broadly agree that we're biased towards the past and against the future, although I think a large part of the latter is that we don't like the uncertainty involved in it.

While the AI debate is well beyond the scope of this post, I will say that I would expect the future to continue getting weirder the more non-human processing capability exists, and I personally don't expect this weirdness to be survivable past a certain threshold.

2Noosphere898mo
More generally, one of the implications is that one should expect negative news to be less informative than positive news, since there's probably a gap between the negative things in reality, and the negative news you are hearing, and that there's more negativity in your information sources than exists in real life.

I've had similar experiences. It seems odd, but sometimes a crash can seem like a better option than takin g a test or attending an unpleasant family dinner.

It isn't, but the thought can be tempting.

What are some of the real-world consequences to this?

Will China ever admit it? I honestly don't expect the CCP to ever cop to this.

If so, what could the response be? I don't expect any kind of apology or mea culpa, much less any form of reparation.

I don't even expect gain of function research to stop.

-2ChristianKl8mo
It seems that Fauci and Collins already saw the writing on the wall when the Republicans got the majority in Congress and decided to end their careers. That means they can't be fired for it.  After misleading the public in the Iraqi WMD case, there was some accounting in the media and an attempt to improve structures to avoid getting lied to by authorities. It's possible that our media institutions aren't completely lost and will do some accounting of why they failed to inform us. 
1Zack Sargent8mo
Sarcastically: Some uptick in the betting markets on Ron DeSantis ... But actually? I doubt any consequences. I agree that we'll continue with "gain of function." I'm more worried that secret labs developing biological weapons will be (re)started based on "gain of function" given that there was such a successful demonstration. A lab leak from someplace like that is even more likely to be a civilization killer than anything bats and pangolins were ever going to do to us.

Sure there are other environmental problems, but my experience of the main concern of modern environmentalists is climate change, largely because it's seen as apocalyptic in scope and thus the most deserving of concern.

As for deaths resulting from fossil fuel pollution, I suspect Epstein's response would be that we should be evaluating fossil fuel use in its full context. How many lives were saved/improved by access to the energy generated? How many people were lifted and kept out of poverty?

The largest effect in the article is also found in East Asia, whi... (read more)

Happy to engage, and thanks to you as well!

I see your point, and part of this is the difficulty I'm having distinguishing - and communicating the differences - between the book Fossil Future and my own personal views.

I think your interpretation might actually be correct when it comes to Alex Epstein's answer to the question. He shows that dangers from climate are consistently surmountable, and we should expect to continue to be able to surmount them.

Granted, he certainly wouldn't support literally dumping toxic waste into a river, but that isn't really what the book is about, or indeed what the mod... (read more)

4ChristianKl9mo
That's not true. We have research like what's described in https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/09/fossil-fuels-pollution-deaths-research that suggest that fossil fuel emissions kill over a million people each year.  We also have other enviromental problems like nitrogen accumulation in the ocean, PFCS and microplastic. 
1Thomas Sepulchre9mo
Very clear, thank you for your patience and your answers!

Purely looking at evaluating the book Fossil Future, I'd want Alice to provide evidence that the project she supports delivers energy at market or below-market rates, while avoiding any sort of obviously terrible pollution (e.g. dumping toxic waste into a river). I'd want Bob to provide evidence that the project will impact human beings and the environment so terribly that the energy generated by the project is insufficient to account for the damage done.

Of course, outside of evaluating the book I'd only make sure that the project wasn't doing anything obviously terrible and then be all for it; our society is heavily biased against action, and so I try to be biased towards action to correct for it.

2Thomas Sepulchre9mo
Thanks for your answer. It seems to me that it is not what you said though. Quoting you: That is, even if evidence of terrible impact is provided (e.g. dumping toxic waste into a river), you will require Bob to prove that this impact cannot be mitigated/adapted to/... To reiterate, you will not ask Alice "How do you plan to solve the dumping toxic waste into a river problem?". Instead, you will ask Bob "Can you prove that the dumping toxic waste into a river problem cannot be solved?". Since it is very difficult to prove that a problem cannot be solved, the standard for Bob is orders of magnitude harder to reach than the standard for Alice.

It looks like you are using a double standard here.


Could you elaborate? I'm not sure I follow.

Epstein spends a large portion of the book going into how human ability to master the dangers of the earth's climate have grown with our ability to deploy cheap energy and machines. He argues that the dangers of CO2 emission, in particular, are entirely masterable with fossil fuel energy.

I'm not prepared to do service to his entire argument here; I'd encourage reading the book for yourself if you haven't.

1Thomas Sepulchre9mo
Let's say Alice wants to support some fossil fuel project, ans Bob is against it. What evidence does each character need to provide, according to you?

Thank you for the long and detailed response! This was exactly the sort of stuff I was looking for.

I think the foundation of Epstein's argument - that we should be prioritizing human flourishing (which requires large and increasing amounts of cheap energy) and carefully evaluating the costs and benefits of our choices (not just the costs) is largely accurate.

That being said, you've made me think that Epstein's treatment of solar, wind, and other alternatives to fossil fuels is perhaps too short and/or not up-to-date.

Out of curiosity, how long would you exp... (read more)

2AnthonyC9mo
I think that's a very reasonable range, with more developed countires likely getting there by the 2050s and others a bit later. Most countries and companies that have stated net-zero goals have set them in the 2040-2050 time frame. And that's not just because all the current leaders will be retired by then :-). All the ones that don't have aggressive commitments will take longer. I think 2075 is a bit conservative actually? Economically speaking I would doubt any developed country is still building coal plants by 2030 or gas plants by 2040, the ones that do get built are already increasingly using designs chosen to be retrofittable for other fuels (hydrogen, methanol, biofuels, etc.), and more of them are being used for peaker plants and not baseload (lower utilization, so they make up a smaller fraction of generation relative to nameplate capacity). Plus the existing stock will mostly all be retired by the early 2050s. By the early 2030s I'd expect renewables + storage to be cheaper to build than anything but natural gas plants even in developing countries. Like you said, permitting and reviews are some of the big limiters here. We are plausibly talking about 10,000-200,000 km2 of solar panels, worldwide, for a complete transition combined with continued economic growth. The Australian Outback might be one of the best places in the world to make green hydrogen, for example, but it's also one of the largest mostly-undeveloped wilderness regions remaining. Somehow arguments like "Yeah, but even more will be lost if we don't replace fossil fuels, and all the other options are worse" seem to lack the power to overcome project-specific objections.

I'd encourage you to read Fossil Future, because Alex addresses a lot of the points you make.

One of the points he emphasizes is that (quoted from my response below)

large portions of the energy we need have nothing to do with the grid. Specifically, transportation (global shipping, flight) and industrial process heat (to make steel, concrete, etc.) comprise a large percentage of our energy needs and solar/wind are pretty useless (far too inefficient) for meeting those needs.

He talks extensively about how nuclear power is the best option, and has only failed... (read more)

3AnthonyC9mo
Edit to add: historically, nuclear should have been the best option for baseload power. It could have gotten there for slower load-following use if capex had stayed low and gotten lower, in  better regulatory regime. The higher capex/lower fuel cost would not have let nuclear replace faster load-following and peaker plants at any time in the past 50 years. Hydro and geothermal could have helped with that, but I'm not sure to what degree, Today energy storage technologies are at a point where they could fill in the gaps like the can for renewables, but that's only true because of all the government policy kickstarting and supporting their development that Epstein doesn't think should have happened. 
4AnthonyC9mo
Thanks for the correction on nuclear. I understand the impulse to want to avoid government interference, but I don't think it's reasonable unless he is making detailed proposals for a lot of other policy changes to happen in advance or in parallel. I'll set aside past subsidies and government investments in fossil fuel extraction, use, and infrastructure to support same except to note that the playing field did not start level. For anyone involved. Instead I'd focus on how existing policy choices have shaped and constrained the development of alternatives. 1) We have pipelines for oil and methane, not hydrogen and methanol and CO2. 2) Our grid (due to Edison-era tech constraints) uses AC, which is great for spinning turbines, but means solar and wind need more equipment to interface with the grid, and similarly makes charging batteries (for vehicle or grid-scale storage) less efficient. It also makes long-distance transmission less efficient. 3) For safety (to avoid errors), airports only have one fuel type on site, and it's kerosene. Any alternative has to be refined and blended to be identical in function and properties to kerosene. 4) Electricity market structures vary extensively and are defined by regional and national government policy. How prices are set, how capital expenses get planned and approved, who gets to compete in the market, all heavily regulated in ways that, for historical reasons, favor fossil fuels. This situation has getting better for a while, but slowly and very unevenly. He's just plain wrong on wind and solar being useless for fuels and industrial energy use. It's going to take decades to scale up and implement the relevant tech, because any shift that large and complicated does and because there just isn't enough renewable energy production yet to make sense at scale. But:  1) Global shipping companies like Maersk are ordering dual-fueled ships that can burn methanol, and partnering with companies scaling up production of e-methanol (f

While I think Epstein's treatment of solar/wind and batteries is too brief, his main points are:

  1. Large portions of the energy we need have nothing to do with the grid. Specifically, transportation (global shipping, flight) and industrial process heat (to make steel, concrete, etc.) comprise a large percentage of our energy needs and solar/wind are pretty useless (far too inefficient) for meeting those needs.
  2. Epstein also points out that replacing current fossil fuels with solar/wind + batteries will require massive amounts of a) batteries, b) transmission li
... (read more)

From the paper you linked to:

For all values of the social cost of carbon, emissions of CO2 have the largest percent impact on the damages from natural gas–fired power plants (40 percent to 90 percent). This is because natural gas–fired power plants generate very small amounts of the local pollutants. In contrast, the CO2 share of GED* for both coalfired and oil-fired power generators is between 5 percent and 40 percent. Although coal-fired plants generate a great deal of CO2, they generate greater damages due to other pollutants

So it does go into CO2.

As fo... (read more)

1ErickBall9mo
Positive externalities is a bit of an odd way to phrase it--if it's just counting up the economic value (i.e. price) of the fossil fuels, doesn't it also disregard the consumer surplus? In other words, they've demonstrated that the negative externalities of pollution outweigh the value added on the margin, but if we were to radically decrease our usage of fossil fuels then the cost of energy (especially for certain uses with no good substitute, as you discussed above) would go way up, and the tradeoff on the margin would look very different.
1Sherrinford9mo
Yes, I misremembered - but the CO2-based calculation is not driving the main results; instead, it is an extension calculated for one sector (electric power generation). See these two paragraphs from the introduction: The 184 bn $ (in 2011) do not include CO2 (see first paragraph of section B) Concerning positive externalities: Yes, the authors note that this is not part of the calculation. But it is completely unclear what the relevance of this is. Every economic action may have a positive externality, but why exactly should this favor fossil energy sources in particular? And why should I assume these externalities to be so large that they are relevant=

Thanks for the response!

  1. As for alternative sources of energy, the book goes into more detail about the specifics. Basically the only sources of reliable, on-demand energy available today are fossil fuels, nuclear, and hydro. The author is vastly in favor of more of all three, while noting that solar and wind actually reduce the reliability of the grid due to their intermittent nature. Additionally, the author notes that large amounts of energy are used for transportation and process heat, which fossil fuels are very well-suited for, and solar/wind in parti
... (read more)
2gbear6059mo
I haven't read Fossil Future, but it sounds like he's ignoring the option of combining solar and wind with batteries (and other types of electrical storage, like pumped water). The technology is available today and can be more easily deployed than fossil fuels at this point.
3Sherrinford9mo
As far as I remember (but it is a while ago that I read that paper), the paper I linked to does not include CO2 externalities but focuses on the effects of local air pollution on the United States itself. So no, if anything the negative externalities derived in the paper are too low, and net value added would be even lower if climate change was taken into account. What is your criticism of how the benefits of the industries are calculated?

I accept my ticket from the pedantry police with dignity.

1dr_s10mo
I would argue that this is actually a matter of substance and not form but all in all that probably would qualify me as not only the pedantry police, but the pedantry SWATs.

How can we take control of our effects on the climate if we don't first acknowledge them, and then add a moral valence?

Assigning blame doesn't fix anything; it divides people and helps bad actors accrue political power.

I would argue that "climate change" is about the most neutral description possible--it doesn't imply that the change is good or bad, or suggest a cause.

It certainly was neutral at some point, but I don't think anyone hears "climate change" and thinks of the climate getting better for humans, at least nowadays. "Accidental Terraforming" at least suggests that we ought to be doing this on purpose, instead of unintentionally.

Fifty years ago was hardly the start of industrialization; by the 1970s, the effects of industrialization upon the world were knowable, if not widely known. I'm more referring to the decisions and processes that began in the 18th and 19th century when I say that those people had no idea they could change the course of the planet's climate.

Load More