James Lovelock: Humans Are Too Stupid
This was the topic of an article published on March 29 in the Guardian/UK of a recent interview with James Lovelock, the globally respected environmental thinker and originator of the Gaia theory. Lovelock is reported to hold the view that humans are too stupid.
But actually his comments were not quite so condemning. ”I don’t think we’re yet evolved to the point where we are clever enough to handle as complex a situation as climate change,” Lovelock said in the interview. He acknowledges our increasing evolutionary cleverness but doesn’t think it has gone far enough to be a match for our current predicament. Lovelock expects that it is going to take some catastrophic event—the collapse of a giant glacier in Antartica or the return of a dust bowl in the US midwest— before humanity will get motivated and act to do something about climate change.
A fundamental premise of FOUR YEARS. GO. is that we actually are evolved enough as a species to successfully tackle climate change as well as a whole array of other social and environmental problems confronting us; that as a species we do now have the ability to foresee and choose our future; that empowered with nearly instantaneous global communication and with a deep understanding that everything is connected to everything else we as a species have now evolved our cleverness to where we are a match for our predicament. Armed with this new ability, it is crazy to wait for catastrophe. The task is to choose to motivate ourselves, now. That is what FOUR YEARS. GO. is about.
And at a very deep level an additional premise of FOUR YEARS. GO. is something like, we now have the ability to jump start our own evolution. That we are entering into a new evolutionary space, where evolution isn’t just something that unfolds and happens to us but that it is a process of which we, as humanity, are now agents and participants. So, even if as Lovelock says we haven’t quite evolved far enough yet, then the task is to provoke that evolution, now. That’s also what FOUR YEARS. GO. is about.
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