03 January 2012


Legislation concerning climate-change mitigation, some say, is a "social experiment" "imposed" by politicians. These people then advance the idea that technology will solve our energy and environmental problems.

But the introduction of (any) technology is always a social experiment, too, sometimes radically altering society on a massive scale--think of the telephone, television, or the smart phones my students now see as vital extension of their minds and bodies. It has been the case, also, that technologies (and techniques in the arts) might be available but not used (think of renewable energy sources) because of the social/political milieu, now largely controlled by a techno-corporate state system.

Should we wait until the gargantuan energy industry (and its techno-corporatist state political partners) decides that the time is right to introduce a new socially experimental energy technology, based on its own profit (and political) needs? That likely will come much too late for the global environment and the energy/transportation needs of most people, even as it more than satisfies the profit-making requirements of private enterprise.

Life today is changing so extremely rapidly that all legislation and all technological introductions must be seen as "social experimentation" that will deeply impact society in all areas of existence. Our task is to decide which technologies and legislation are the vitally appropriate ones for survival and sustainability.

It is my opinion that at this point the social experimentation (again, technological and public policy) that is advanced is crucial for survival on a direly short time-scale. Waiting for corporatist decision-making seems a fatal option. Mistrust of government is necessary; but government is the only institution that will, in some degree, listen to the will of the people. If not, then we are entirely at the whim of the profit motive of an Empire of global corporations which could very well take the physical Planet and all people down with it.

Let's hope that social experimentation for survival is even an option left for humanity in the short time-frame that many scientists allot to us. 

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