05 March 2023

Will climate change lead to social breakdown?


Will climate change lead to social breakdown?

Short title: Climate change and social breakdown


Topic by:  James

Notes by: Lawrence


Note: the topic is well documented in both general publications and academic media. A search for “climate change AND social order” should result in a number of possible articles. But here are some links:


The Impact of Climate Change on Mental Health: A Systematic Descriptive Review



Global climate change, war, and population decline in recent human history



Why mental health is a priority for action on climate change




There is no doubt that the state of our environment determines our ability to survive in our environment. This natural state of affairs does not matter how our environment changes or what it changes to. What matters from our perspective is whether we have what it takes to survive in a changing environment.


If by “social breakdown” we understand the collapse of law and order in a given region we already see such breakdown in various parts of the world. Africa, certain South American countries, and maybe central Asia, Afghanistan comes to mind, are clear examples of social breakdown. The other issue is whether this existing breakdown today is the result of global warming or mismanagement of local resources.


Some of the standard arguments about climate change are whether today’s climate change (global warming) is human made or natural. This is a reasonable question since in the past there were climate changes due to non-human activities. The so called Ice Age is one such event.


Having said that, we now know that most of today’s climate change is due to human activities. The burning of fossil fuels is often cited as an important cause, maybe followed by dairy farming. But this explanation is too simple and in my opinion misses the real “philosophical” causes.


I would argue that the key cause of human made global warming is basically mismanagement of resources. And I use “mismanagement” quite broadly since I would include things we do and things we do not do. The rhetoric about climate change always gives the impression that the causes of climate change are things we do (e.g. drive petrol cars) and hardly mentions things we ought to be doing.


One of those things we ought to be doing is to make it financially unviable for companies, individuals and countries to take short cuts in the race to making money or rather profiteering or price gouging. These illegal profits are not channelled back into the local environment where the environmental damage has been caused. And lack of supervision of large scale destruction of local environments makes global warming a certainty.


The other thing we should be doing is to recognise ourselves and our environment within the scope of a global context. This means education and information about the world and other people. But it seems human nature to think about us and ours and ignore the rest.


Climate change will certainly lead to the breakdown of certain societies, but whether it will lead to violent revolutions and social disorder is something to look out for.


Best Lawrence

telephone/WhatsApp: 606081813
Email: philomadrid@gmail.com



PhiloMadrid meeting Skype 8:00pm TUESDAY 7th March: Climate change and social breakdown

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