Grantham – and beyond

That’s essentially the article I mentioned yesterday.

Here’s a great reply, down the thread:  (from someone with the pen-name ‘Greenish’).

I think a hypothetical wise sentient species, given the resources and opportunities we were given, probably could have spread life and industry far beyond earth, while pointedly avoiding mucking up the earth’s life systems. Unfortunately, no such species arose, and if it arises in the future it will not have the resources. So earth life will almost certainly end on the earth.

The difference between the list of things which are “not physically impossible” and the list of those which are “not socially and politically possible for humans as they now exist” is huge. Chaotic path-dependency notwithstanding, hardwired core aspects of human behavior mean that widespread individual change is unlikely. It is not impossible that the human race will, one person at a time, enlighten itself and drastically change its behaviors in the nick of time… just as it is not impossible that all the oxygen molecules in my room will spontaneously find themselves above my head, and I’ll pass out before finishing this note.


Nope, I’m done & still well-oxygenated.

The implications of aggregate probability are not confined to thermodynamics; but we have a particular blindness for it in our own actions, and our evolved systems have learned to correct for the noise of minority opinion.

Well put.!


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