Blog Archives

CCAN GOOD HABITS REVERSE CLIMATE CHANGE?

by Tom McBride

CAN GOOD HABITS REVERSE CLIMATE CHANGE?  Tom McBride From the forthcoming book THE SURVEILLANCE OF ICEBERGS: GREAT PHILOSOPHERS AND CIMATE CHANGE Aristotle can be put in the thick of the climate crisis. He was born fifteen years after the death of his teacher’s idol, Socrates, He lived during a time when nature had more predatory chances than even tofay. There were no cures for plagues and no mass relief for famines. Aristotle theorized that while the good life might be the advanced courses one could not possibly live it without the pre-reqs, and these included food, water, clothing, shelter, and sleep.  He was never so foolish as to believe that one could live a life of happiness and excellence if   Read on »

WILL THE LIMATE CRISIS FINALLY SET US FREE?

by Tom McBride

WILL THE CLIMATE CRISIS SET US FREE AT LAST?  Tom McBride From the forthcoming SURVEILLANCE OF ICEBERGS: Great Philosophers and Climate Change  What is it like to “be” in the midst of a climate crisis? It is something one hears about, reads about, sees the results of on various screens. It is something that expresses itself in chatter about weather patterns, as in “It seems to rain a lot more nowadays” or “Our weather seems to go in extremes now” or “It’s much hotter than usual and has been for a long while now, it seems.” One is interested, anxious, unsure of what to believe or think. One wonders if everyone is living on borrowed time. Is this the beginning of   Read on »

WILL THE CLIMATE CRISIS MAKE US FREE AT LAST?

by Tom McBride

WILL THE CLIMATE CRISIS SET US FREE AT LAST?  Tom McBride From the forthcoming SURVEILLANCE OF ICEBERGS: Great Philosophers and Climate Change  What is it like to “be” in the midst of a climate crisis? It is something one hears about, reads about, sees the results of on various screens. It is something that expresses itself in chatter about weather patterns, as in “It seems to rain a lot more nowadays” or “Our weather seems to go in extremes now” or “It’s much hotter than usual and has been for a long while now, it seems.” One is interested, anxious, unsure of what to believe or think. One wonders if everyone is living on borrowed time. Is this the beginning of   Read on »

CAN LIONS AND FOXES SURVIVE GREENHOUSE TOXINS?

by Tom McBride

LIONS AND FOXES AND GREENHOUSE TOXINS  Tom McBride  (from a forthcoming book: THE SURVEILLANCE OF ICEBERGS: Great Philosophers and Climate Change)  Of all the philosophers in this book, only Machiavelli himself actually tried to change the natural landscape. He worked with Cesare Borgia to change the course of the river that gave Pisa, a rival city state, its water. Otherwise, he left well enough alone, and was likely glad to do so because, after he lost his job due to backing the wrong side in unstable Florentine politics, he was glad to enjoy the natural consensus of his lovely Tuscany farm land.       Machiavelli did not mean for his most famous book, The Prince, to be published. He wanted it circulated privately as sage   Read on »

PASSING GAS IN THE TWOER WHILE THE EARTH IS BURNING UP

by Tom McBride

IS IT OK TO WRITE ABOUT FARTS WHILE THE PLANET BURNS Tom McBride  If climate policy and science fail and the weather in seventy years or so is a hot mess of extremes all over, then Montaigne becomes the perfect philosopher for climate collapse. This is not because he has any special insight into the conditions outside. Indeed, he might even have fled from them in his own lifetime of five hundred years ago. Although in his younger years he got around a lot, even to Rome, and while he rode on horseback to his various magisterial posts in France, before he was forty he famously retired to his aristocratic tower in the countryside to write down his thoughts. He   Read on »

DOES THE CLIMATE CRISIS NEED A SOCIAL CONTRACT?

by Tom McBride

DOES THE CLIMATE CFRISIS NEED A SOCIAL CONTRACT?  Tom McBride  Thales thought everything was made of water. Thomas Hobbes thought nearly everything was made of fear. He no doubt saw it as the prime human emotion. Fear was to Hobbes what Pride was to medieval theologians: the chief of its class, first among un-equals, in terms of deadly sins (theologians) or human emotions (Hobbes.  When in The Leviathan Hobbes said without a social contract human life would be “nasty, brutish, and short,” he was appealing to our fears. Who would not be scared to think their lives wold be so brutal, with the only redeeming feature being brevity? This is some distance from the existential condition of dread, angst, or anxiety. Hobbes traded   Read on »

DOES THE PLANET EARTH NEED A FINAL SOLUTION?

by Tom McBride

DOES THE EARTH NEED A FINAL SOLUTION?  Tom McBride  From a forthcoming book, The Surveillance of Icebergs: Great Philosophers and Climate Change.  Philosophers of existentialism would start with two simple facts. We were tossed upon the Earth without any choice in the matter. And we are all condemned to die. Our births are contingent. Our deaths are necessary. There is nothing we can do about either of these facts, and they form a huge chunk of what Simone de Beauvoir calls our “facticity,” as opposed to our “transcendence.” We are transcendent in that we can choose to die when we wish, if we wish to choose, and we are transcendent in that we can contemplate our death and its meaning, while   Read on »

THE SURVEILLANCE OF ICEBERGS: Time for a Check-Up!

by Tom McBride

WHO WILL KEEP THE ICEBERGS UNDER CONSTANT SURVEILLANCE? Tom McBride From a forthcoming book, The Surveillance of Icebergs: Great Philosophers and Climate Change      Life may be a tale told by an idiot, but the climate crisis is a tale told by experts. Suppose your body were the planet and it was getting uncomfortably hotter. You could always go to a guru and just say “cookie” a hundred times to ward off evil spirits, but you would likely consult an expert. This expert would study your body, monitor it with care, figure out what is wrong, and prescribe a treatment. This would entail some technology or other—perhaps pills, maybe surgery, or perhaps a sophisticated mandate for lifestyle change. Foucault termed   Read on »