In this Era of Prehistory, everything gets turned on its head, just like in the Pirate’s of the Caribbean movie…
As I have put forth in various places a “turned on its head” version of faith in the spirit of Kierkegaard (somewhere in my posts Im sure Ive spelled it out, but I surely address it in my book The Moment of Decisive Significance); I am applying Pascals Wager to the issue of climate change.
The deep adaptation that I have a link to in my previous posts signals more than drastic political and financial maneuvers, and more than ideological change; maybe I’ll write about that kind of depth in a post to come.
For right now, perhaps as a way to begin to chart the depths we can meet at the crossroads of the wager.
In the original wager, Pascal places what what can occur against what will occur. For example, what can occur is God’s existence, and our ability to believe, and what will occur is ‘nothing’. This is to say that the Wager is balanced upon what is removed from the possibility of it being removed., that if God does not exist, what will occur no matter what we believe is nothing. Yet, what can occur if God exists against our belief is that either we will be eternally damned or we will be saved.
So the turning on it head of climate change in this regard is placed in this framework:
What can occur:
- the world only changes a little bit, not drastically different than any other change, big or little, in respect to our ability to live through it and adapt: This is to say, the world keeps changing.
- Humans still exist and deal with the universe.
What will occur:
- The world’s end.
My point is that if the world as we know it ends, then there is no amount of believing or behaving that will have had any effect. So, it is better to keep on as we have, as though the world, ourselves, and the climate is changing.
Extension, and perhaps a little more philosophical:
The idea that we will have to adapt deeply regardless of what happens with the climate, coincides with the climate despite what activity we will write papers about or the scientific studies about the Earth. The basic question which stabs at the heart of this whole issue is that if indeed the world beyond a doubt, scientifically, will end, then why are we still arguing about it? Why, if it so certain, must we still try and effect some sort of human business in any way?
I submit, it is because all of it is a human organization. Not an overdetermined basis of utopian solution, not an underdetermined basis of nihilism (or a overdetermined nihilism or underdetermined utopia).
My wager is that the Earth’s climate is changing, but human Beings (as a generality to indicate what ideological Being is) want desperately to keep the climate of knowledge the same even as they might argue drastic change is needed; as Zizek has formulated, their argument is to enact drastic change within the normalized field wherein change is able to be reckoned as change (Postmodern expertise). In other words, keep the basis of knowing of such thing, how the human Being shows up the its world, the same, without the human Being actually having understand it self and the universe in a different manner, which is to say, in the actual manner. My wager is that human Beings will indeed survive to thrive, that the climate will change and will continue to change with human Beings involved with it.
And I argue that this ‘same way’ is Enlightened Reason: The special universal case of the modern manner through which human Beings shows up in the world.