Is Voting Worth Attention?


Within the time scale that is required in order to achieve drawdown of GHG and carbonic acid fast enough to save humankind, is there enough time to reform the political system and install moral public officials? I think there is probably not enough time to do that, so no one should waste their time trying. We need something like the Long March, as a faster route to power.


I beg to differ. Reforming the political system may actually be the key catalyst that hastens the implementation of solutions to climate change et al. Public officials need to work together with businesses to address these problems.

Also, when we have saved mankind from the worst disasters, it would be nice to have a representative democracy that actually is such for once!


This is far from the only global catastrophic risk humanity faces. Solving this problem would be pointless if afterwards we immediately fell prey to, say, nuclear war, and vice versa. A lot of the value of voting reform comes from the potential to improve policy in a way that helps solve multiple large problems rather than only focusing on one.


In my opinion, the key is to keep researching public opinion, and find the voting system that can unite the minority and the moderates, or any other group that can form a majority on Election Day. Do that, and we might start seeing success at the statewide level soon enough. How fast do you think we need to be for this to be worth the effort?


This long march?

The Long March (October 1934 – October 1935) was a military retreat undertaken by the Red Army of the Communist Party of China, the forerunner of the People’s Liberation Army, to evade the pursuit of the Kuomintang (KMT or Chinese Nationalist Party) army.

I honestly cannot fathom the connection.


I hope this is a joke.


How would abandoning voting reform efforts increase the likelihood of rapid action on climate change?


That would be by freeing up some of the time and attention of activists so they could pursue some perhaps faster method of obtaining enough power to put a stop to the burning of fossil fuel and to put into effect the myriad other measures that seem necessary in order to achieve the drawdown of quantities of GHG and carbonic acid loose in the atmosphere and ocean, such a drawdown as may save humankind from a rapid extinction.


Nothing comes so easily, and you might not like the society that results from such a drastic action even if we did survive climate change. Also, it’s not that immediate a problem; the catastrophes will add up, not blow up. We are closer to reform than you might think, because now we can figure out how to sell reform and have the resources to do it :slight_smile:


Climate change is very unlikely to result in rapid human extinction. There are a number of global catastrophic risks that are also existential risks, but this isn’t really one of them.


Responding to your response, the piece you cite does not say how close current conditions in the ocean are to the envelope of survival of phytoplankton, nor on what kind of curve over time the conditions are moving toward that envelope.

The scientific/engineering community does not have deep enough knowledge of ecosystems to manage them for human survival, as evidenced by the failure of Biosphere II.

There are many more ways the planet can become uninhabitable by us humans than there are that it can remain inhabitable by us. Grounds don’t exist to give a random member of the public confidence that those studying the problem closely can really cover all the bases when it comes to scenarios leading to extinction. The safe policy would be to restore atmospheric and oceanic conditions to pre-industrial to the extent possible.