Tag: Civilization

Climate Change

The Probability of the End of Civilization in the 21st Century

Climate scientists have been calling recently for more research into warming scenarios of 3Β°C and above because such scenarios are dangerously neglected. According to mainstream models such levels of warming are by no means impossible or even unlikely, and would have catastrophic effects. Luke Kemp and ten colleagues write: Could anthropogenic climate change result in worldwide societal collapse or even eventual human extinction? At present, this is a dangerously underexplored topic. Yet there are ample reasons to suspect that climate change could result in a global catastrophe. The answer to the question in this quote is obviously β€œyes”, but that’s...
Climate Change

On the Fragility of Civilization

(This is part 2 in the No Time for Utopia series.) Doom has always been a major attraction for some, perhaps even many people. There are whole subgenres of extreme (heavy) metal built on the aesthetics of death, doom, and decay. But β€œdoom” in the form of extreme pessimism about the (near) future is also increasingly common in discussions about climate change and its effects. In Stages of the Anthropocene I tried to look into the more distant future. Whether what I found is an example of β€œdoom” in this sense is debatable – at least I didn’t predict human...
Climate Change

Fictionalism – or: Vaihinger, Scheffler, and KΓΌbler-Ross at the End of the World

In 1911 the now almost forgotten German philosopher Hans Vaihinger published Die Philosophie des Als Ob (The Philosophy of β€˜As if’) in which he argued for something approaching global fictionalism. In the preface to the second English edition of his book he wrote: The principle of Fictionalism . . . is as follows: β€œAn idea whose theoretical untruth or incorrectness, and therewith its falsity, is admitted, is not for that reason practically valueless and useless; for such an idea, in spite of its theoretical nullity may have great practical importance.” Fictionalism is the view that claims in some area of...