While I believe the problems global warming will cause are likely overstated (what activist group doesn't overstate the problems they're advocating to eliminate?), I do believe it's real and a major problem. That being said, I had no issue with Trump taking the United States out of the Paris Accords. The Accords seem to be a bit of a farce as the United States promised to drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions whereas China promised to do what they had already projected they would and Pakistan promised to, and I paraphrase, "try to reduce emissions or something like or whatever." John Stossel has a good take on the Paris Accords that sums up my thoughts on the matter:
Indeed, even if every signatory fulfilled their non-binding promises, it would hold back the projected effects of global warming by four years, over the next 100! Trying to cut emissions with existing technology is a fools errand and will drastically hurt the developing world which desperately needs cheap sources of energy.
The answer, other than dealing with the consequences by investing in dykes and levies, is technology.
On that front, Nature just published an article about "sucking carbon dioxide from the air." And the price of such technology is falling by leaps and bounds,
The study, in Joule, was written by researchers at Carbon Engineering in Calgary, Canada, which has been operating a pilot CO2-extraction plant in British Columbia since 2015. That plant -- based on a concept called direct air capture — provided the basis for the economic analysis, which includes cost estimates from commercial vendors of all of the major components. Depending on a variety of design options and economic assumptions, the cost of pulling a tonne of CO2 from the atmosphere ranges between US$94 and $232. The last comprehensive analysis of the technology, conducted by the American Physical Society in 2011, estimated that it would cost $600 per tonne.
This is the direction we need to go. Maybe have a "Paris Technology Conference." On other fronts, while solar technology is inefficient and requires government subsidies right now to compete, the technology is improving and could one day become a cost-effective renewable energy source. I just read an article about using the hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the ocean, of which "The energy potential is staggering. In the Gigawatt range per vent." Of course you would have to find a way to protect the fragile ecosystems that live around these vents, but I would think such a problem could be overcome.
In the end, science and technology will solve this problem, not artificial and growth-halting caps on emissions. Indeed, the problem could be solved almost overnight if the right technology is invented. Science, therefore, is what we should primarily put our resources into as far as the environment is concerned.
You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube, but in hindsight, social media probably shouldn't have been invented. Hell, even Chamath Palihapitiya, the former head of growth at Facebook, admitted "we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works." The founder of Napster and onetime president of Facebook, Sean Parker, has also expressed similar fears.
This is not to say that social media has no advantages. For one, people used Twitter and Facebook during the hurricanes in Houston and Florida to alert rescue workers of their location. Hell, social media makes it a lot harder for the establishment to maintain gatekeepers. At the same time, people are also finding their way into extremist movements more and more often.
Social media is likely raising our stress, causing a fear of missing out and leading to new and exotic forms of online harassment. There's also the problem that these tech companies, who wield enormous power, are becoming more and more politicized. But perhaps even more worryingly, social media is driving people further and further into the extremes. It's not as fun to hear the other side's argument. Instead, the comfortable place is to sit in your echo chamber. And the only place to go in an echo chamber is more extreme.
Indeed, CGP Grey made a great video about this where he talks about how the Internet, and social media in particular, is making us angry. But it's not so much angry at the other side. It's discussions with our own side about how angry the other side makes us. We are hearing what the other side thinks through little more than critique:
And the research on this matter seems to confirm the theory. As one study notes "Social Networks Spread Anger much More Effectively Than They Spread Joy or Sadness."
I have no society-wide answer for this. But personally, I would highly recommend to take a break from social media. Use it sparingly, if at all. And get out in the real world and spend time with real people, not whatever Avatar they use in cyberspace.
I have had several occasions in my business where I have waited too long to let go of an employee that I really needed to let go of. One time, we had a construction manager who was actually taking kick backs, and while we didn't know that at the time, we did know that he was effectively accomplishing nothing. Yet even after coming to this realization, it took us another four months or so to finally pull the trigger.
We also had a property manager who was emotionally exhausting and insubordinate. She would start projects without permission, do them in ways we told her not to, hire her son-in-law to do jobs at inflated values, rent to people with a subpar background check, etc. She would also be border line abusive to various other employees. And despite numerous meetings with her about these problems, we kept hanging on for many more months than we should have.
One of the problems is that both of these people held key positions. There are other cases like these that we have lived through that were easier to move on from, but we still often waited too long. But when it's a key position, it feels daunting to move on from them even if they aren't any good at their job. Who will fill the void?
But you almost always wait too long. I've never heard an employer say they fired someone they wish they hadn't. It's always that they "waited too long."
This concept applies throughout your life. Recently, I ended things with my long time girlfriend. It was tough because I didn't want to stop seeing her, I very much care about her and think she's a great person. But at the same time, the conclusion had finally dawned on me that it wasn't what I wanted long term. And we had been together too long for it to simply be casual.
Unfortunately, despite figuring this out, it took me a few months to finally tell her. It's tough to do such things especially when you don't really want your relationship to end. But the combination of me not wanting to hold back while we were together and me hesitating to tell her after I knew, caused it to drag out and ended up hurting her worse than was necessary. The thought of hurting her in the first place was awful to me, and while I wasn't exactly sure where she was at (I thought that maybe she had come to the same conclusion as me), it was easier to delay inflicting that hurt on someone I cared about, which made it even more tempting to delay. But in the end, that's the coward's route.
Sometimes, you don't know what you think or feel. But often times, that clarifies. Maybe you don't want it to be true, but when you know, you know. It's best to act on it quickly even if it's hard to do. In the end, such delays only hurt yourself and others, often those you care a lot about.
I just had my first article "Ending Online Outrage Mobs," published for The American Thinker. The article takes the idea of "skin in the game" from Nicholas Nassim Taleb and applies them to online civility and basically online forgiveness.
Broadly speaking, the Left feels like they can demand someone be fired for every small infraction; like say Roseanne making one racist tweet or Nobel Prize-winning scientist Tim Hunt making an innocuous joke. Apologies are never accepted and only seen as acts of weakness. And when someone on the Left says something completely out-of-line, mainstream conservatives pundits will come to their defense and say they shouldn't be fired because "my principles" or something. But if the Left doesn't feel any blowback, why would they ever stop? Until they suffer too from outrage mobs, they have no skin in the game.
And I should note, one Nicholas Nassim Taleb agrees with my take:
Check the article out here!
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