The idea is to try to bring degrowth’s abstract ideas to the ground and think more concretely about the metabolisms, policies, economics and politics that can make degrowth REAL.
ExxonMobil’s deliberate attempts to sow doubt on the reality and urgency of climate change and their donations to front groups to disseminate false information about climate change have been public knowledge for a long time. Reports in 2015 revealed that Exxon had its own scientists doing its own climate modeling as far back as the 1970s: science and modeling that was not only accurate, but that was being used to plan for the company’s future.
By reimagining scientific publishing as a type of commons, PLOS has been at the vanguard of the massive shift in scholarly publishing. Access to research is increasingly more open, and not restricted or delayed – and scientific inquiry itself has become more rigorous. Equally important, PLOS has been able to provide vital advocacy and pacesetting innovation to the field, which now includes thousands of open access journals and over half a million freely licensed research articles.
The numbers that come our way are calculated and disseminated by people who have an agenda. It may be to be as objective as they can be given the constraints under which they labor. It may be to satisfy the views of financial supporters of a think tank or university research laboratory. The information may be intentionally skewed so as to deceive us (even if there are no outright lies). Or the information may simply be mistaken.
Should the research community be exempted from the emission reduction targets applied elsewhere?
Every human society likes to think that its core cultural and intellectual projects, whatever those happen to be, are the be-all and end-all of human existence.
When Friedrich Nietzsche proclaimed the death of God—in less metaphorical terms, the collapse of the Christian faith that had provided the foundations for European social life since the Dark Ages—he saw that event as a turning point in human history, a shattering and liberating transformation that would open the road to the Overman. That hope turned out to be misplaced, and it’s worth keeping in mind that any equally grandiose claims that might be made about the consequences of the death of progress will likely face disappointment along the same lines.