“Global Warming and Network Think”

I’ve found this book review that has a lot of interesting ideas to consider, even if you (like me) haven’t actually read the book that it’s written about.

I’m especially interested in the article’s conclusion regarding the democratization of knowledge (network thinking) and how it has/will impact the fight against climate change:

“Network thinking has helped us conceive our present predicament. Yet, if embraced too completely, it may leave us powerless to do anything about it. Global warming is unlikely to be solved by either a Marshall Plan or a popular revolution against capitalism. In lieu of a big fix, we will need many more middle-range solutions. Each will have to be advocated and worked for in local communities and through social media as well as in the halls of Congress and the United Nations.”

To back track a bit in the review, Jordian Sand’s (the review’s author) argument stems from a defense of scientific empiricism, which we discussed when we read The Collapse of Western Civilization. (Both TCoWC and our discussion were critical of over zealous empiricism). He argues both for the necessity of rigorous empiricism (if not too much,) as well as a need to really question who we learn our information from, in the context our globalized internet. In other words, he’s cautious of how anyone can use the internet to circumvent academia and the peer-review process when making scientific or political claims.

While internet skepticism is a pretty logical and obvious solution to this problem, I do think there’s some room to argue about how hierarchies of knowledge are constructed and who has control of those hierarchies, especially in regards to global warming.

The review touches on a lot other aspects of climate change as well, and is well worth the read if you have the time.

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