Reply To: September 22: Sverker Sörlin's History is a Nightmare

Start Forums Courses Current Debates and Themes in Global Environmental History September 22: Sverker Sörlin's History is a Nightmare Reply To: September 22: Sverker Sörlin's History is a Nightmare

Author Replies # Posted on September 23, 2014 at 21:19

Reply to Gao’s reflection and Gao’s comment to my reflection 🙂

Ok, you are wrong when you say that no one reads the reflections nor cares about them. I read or at least skim through most of them and am making a portfolio of people’s ideas. I like to steal ideas ha!
Now to your reflection; I got the impression that your reflection was driven by contrarianism and disillusionment in our studies and the academia in general. I understand you completely, but I don’t understand what would change if we attached (even more) moral character to natural phenomena? Like Libby said during our previous session, it was the European moral judgement and fear of fire that led to aversion of controlled forest fire techniques. So there is a lot of moral judgements in our relationship to nature. Even the climate change credo is here to keep the planet within the “planetary boundaries” that can sustain life (meaning people) and this certainly reflects a certain morality that guides our practices; the instrumental pragmatic utilitarian ethics.
It almost sounds like you want to punish the natural world because it sometimes disrupts the stable cycles of life that thrives on it. Here Earth, have some nuclear waste, that will teach you haha. But you are right when it comes to knowing the facts of global warming and the reasons behind it; we cannot accept ideas uncritically but there is no doubt that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission are a significant geological force.
By the way, you should have asked the guy that approached you and lectured you on the relevance of different disciplines, what he did in his life. Chances are he is bitter about something if he is so aggressive about commenting other peoples’ lives. And you know what, I’m tired of old people who lived in the golden age of the welfare state and dare lecture us on what the society needs. It sure doesn’t need another grumpy old man (that was cruel, but so was he). And your reply was actually very good Gao. I know you will not read this, but whatever. Oh yeah, maybe if we said that we study planetary environmental history, people would be more impressed hahah, I’ll try it next time someone asks me.