Learning from Dogs

Dogs are integrous animals. We have much to learn from them.

It’s really quite simple.

with 6 comments

David Roberts of Grist offers a very clear message.

But before going to the piece, just let me say why there’s been a preponderance of climate change articles on Learning from Dogs.  Two reasons come to mind.  The first one is that this blog’s primary theme is integrity.  The idea of writing about what we can learn from the closest species to man, the domesticated dog, came out of the understanding that dogs are integrous creatures.  As I concluded in the Purpose of this blog,

Or, possibly, it’s more accurate to say that our civilisation is under threat and the time left to change our ways, to embrace those qualities of integrity, truth and consciousness for the very planet we all live on, is running out.

So what has this to do with dogs? Simply that man’s best friend, a relationship that goes back tens of thousands of years, is still a wonderful example of the many qualities that we need now for the very survival of the human species.

The second reason is that as many will be aware it is the G20 gathering this week and the more that millions around the world add their demand for common-sense and reason the better that will be.  Again, honesty and integrity, values not usually associated with the world’s political leaders, must come to the fore.

So now to the recent piece from Grist.

Climate change is simple: We do something or we’re screwed

By David Roberts

Back in April, The Evergreen State College invited me to speak at a TEDx event called “Hello Climate Change: Rethinking the Unthinkable.” Videos from the event are now online.

My talk was called “Climate change is simple.” I’m proud to say that I used only 17 of my allotted 15 minutes.

I’ve put an annotated version of my slideshow beneath the video, linking to sources and adding thoughts. The only thing I’ll say about the video itself is that I’ve always thought these things would be better with a soundtrack. If anybody out there on the web wants to make a mashup with it, add some good beats, be my guest.

This is the video of David’s talk.

And in case you think this is all green paranoia, then spend a couple of minutes watching this,

A group of scientists from around the world who are part of The Berkeley Initiative in Global Change Biology (BiGCB) is warning that an ever-growing population and widespread destruction of natural ecosystems may be driving Earth toward a planet-wide tipping point, an irreversible change in the biosphere with unpredictable consequences. Anthony Barnosky, professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, is the lead author of a review paper about this issue in the journal Nature.
For full story: NewsCenter.berkeley.edu
Video by Roxanne Makasdjian, UC Berkeley Media Relations

NB. I found the sound levels on these videos to be rather low – hope you can hear them clearly.

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6 Responses

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  1. Thanks for posting this Paul. David Roberts presents an excellent summary. In fact, I was so impressed with it, I have forwarded to my MP in the hope that the UK’s Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will now answer my questions (which they have failed to do previously)….

    Dear [x],

    Rio+20, Climate Change, Fossil Fuel Subsidies, etc

    This email is deliberately brief in the hope that you will take time to at least read it. However, I would like to ask you to also spare 18 minutes to watch this video of a talk by Grist blogger David Roberts – and forward this to [the Minister for Energy and Climate Change] with a request for an explanation as to how current DECC policy will avoid irreversible climate change. I am sorry to have to say it but, nothing in the responses previously given gives me any confidence that DECC is really engaging with reality on this issue.

    The International Energy Agency claims that greenhouse gas emissions must peak within 5 to 10 years or:
    — stabilising the Earth’s temperature will become impossible;
    — 6 Celsius rise by the end of the century will be guaranteed; and
    — mitigation and/or adaptation costs increase by 500 billion USD every year.

    Even if Carbon Capture and Storage does prove achievable (I remain sceptical), we now seem to be very short of both time and money. However, I am not just a doomsayer: I believe that this problem is solvable but only if we think outside the box, #StopFossilFuelSusidies; and start paying people to install renewable electricity and water-heating systems in their own homes (etc).

    Yours very sincerely, etc.

    Martin Lack

    June 21, 2012 at 02:00

    • I wonder if you will receive a reply and, if so, if it is a reply of substance!

      Paul Handover

      June 21, 2012 at 07:29

      • I will undoubtedly get a reply (eventually) but I am equally sure it will not admit to the fact Hansen has illuminated (i.e that our governments are lying to themselves and us – we are not on a sustainable path because we seem intent on burning all fossil fuels simply because they are there….). In any case, when he is not flying home to meet Nobel Peace Prize-winning Burmese democracy protestors, PM David Cameron seems too busy naming and shaming comedians for duplicitous tax avoidance to go to Rio… One has to assume that Cameron himself is whiter-than-white…?

        Martin Lack

        June 21, 2012 at 14:50

  2. [...] the Learning from Dogs blog, yesterday, Paul Handover published an 18-minute video of a presentation by David Roberts (a blogger on the [...]

  3. Situation Update post-Rio+20 = SNAFU = Think Progress can try and dress-up failure as success but, I think they’re deluding themselves. Our politicians have made that Faustian pact with the Devil: They have quietly replaced “sustainable development” (circa 1992) with “sustained growth” (circa 2012); and decided, literally, to hell with the laws of physics and to hell with the planet because growth must be promoted at all cost = We’re screwed!

    Martin Lack

    June 23, 2012 at 08:46

    • Martin, at one level I agree in spades with you. But at another level I think it reveals a fundamental weakness in how we, as individuals, govern our lives. I’m writing a post on these thoughts to come out on Monday, Paul

      Paul Handover

      June 23, 2012 at 09:00


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