The World is Not Ending

Jordan Peterson discusses with Bjorn Lomborg how to make the world a better place

Fitting perhaps for this time of year (Christmas) is this discussion between psychologist Jordan Peterson and statistician Bjorn Lomborg.

Here‘s the beginning of a 5-minute summary, mainly by JP, of the whole previous discussion.

Here are some snippets of ideas from this conversation:

Making climate change the only problem to focus on, and making it look apocalyptic, drives us to make poor decisions in this regard.

Enticing young people to stick themselves to roads and chucking food at beautiful pictures [signs of infantilization and narcissism] makes them believe they are messianic saviours of the world and provides them with feelings of unearned moral virtue.

They are made to believe that they are heroes defending the benevolent virginal earth from rapacious patriarchal human culture.

While there is some truth in that view, psychologically it’s only half the story. On the feminine side, there is also a negative aspect: the rapacious, overprotective mother. And on the masculine side there is a positive aspect: the provider and explorer.

Lomborg stresses that there are many solutions for many problems available, technology has provided us with them.

Peterson stresses the importance of free speech to the finding and implementation of solutions to problems. He quotes Alfred North Whitehead: “The reason humans think is so that our ideas can die instead of us.”

One of the ideas being implemented, reports Lomborg, is self-learning programs in cheap tablets given to children in the developing world, e.g. Malawi.

Another is giving nutritional supplements to pregnant women, to prevent the babies from being stunted and enabling them to develop their full potential.

It’s only in the last century or so that we have learnt to love nature. Before we mostly feared it, for it was likely to kill us. A richer humanity will feel better protected from the dangerous aspects of nature and will be much more willing to protect the environment.