Climate Change as a Lifeboat Scenario

Imagine that we constantly find ourselves on a lifeboat everyday. Catastrophe would be the norm and not the anomaly in such a setting. The Universe would be malevolent instead of benign in such a setting. The moral code we practice based on such a norm would be totally different from what we practice today.

A lot of “freedoms which do not violate freedoms” (i.e. rights) of individuals we protect today, doesn’t lead to immediate human well being on a lifeboat where catastrophe is the norm. The doctrine of individual rights which many of this world’s political systems tries to base itself on, is downright evil on a lifeboat.

On a lifeboat where catastrophe is the norm, unchosen obligations towards gods, earth, country, king, society, economic classes, nation and others a.k.a altruism takes precedence over protecting “freedoms which do not violate freedoms” of individuals.

People who believe, being virtuous is about fulfilling such unchosen obligations without gratification however, observe a world which is benign, thanks to human ingenuity. Thanks to human ingenuity the universe doesn’t seem to be actively trying to destroy us. We modify the universe to make comfort and prosperity possible.

However hard these folks try to convince others about the virtue of altruism, they know deep down that people would only pay lip service to altruism, and always find happiness in exercising individual volition in a manner which maximizes the well being of their own lives.

So in order to morally justify the exercise of coercion to make individuals act against their own well being, it is not enough to merely say that altruism is moral. One must create a world in which altruism and violating the rights of the few for the sake of the whole, seems beneficial, and the benefits of altruism observable and measurable.

Therein lies the motivated reasoning behind portraying Climate Change as a problem requiring a perpetual violation of individual rights for the sake of protecting earth as a whole even if it means handicapping the best among us.

So we have environmentalists who claim all true solutions to climate change as neither adequate nor possible. For example consider the case of geo-engineering i.e. the deliberate large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climate system, in order to moderate global warming. Most environmentalists have never even heard of such a method, and those who do know of it, claim it is dangerous/inadequate/impossible.

Or consider the case of hydroelectric power or nuclear power. The environmentalists hate these forms of clean energy actively although they are capable of meeting a lot of our energy needs better than solar or noisy wind turbines.

This is because environmentalists are not really motivated by saving the planet. The true motivation that guides them is the premise that “Human Beings are evil because they exist” a.k.a Original Sin, and that all human intervention taints the ideal which is everything natural except the artificial.

Much like their religious counter-parts, they hate the human being because it prospers by ingeniously modifying this world for selfish reasons i.e. To them Love for this world is the source of all evil.

So for the environmentalists, it is not enough that we can currently solve climate change. To them we must do so by ceasing to be happy and prosperous.


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