ray245 wrote: ↑2020-05-10 07:56amLook at this pandemic as a case study of how societies behave. Most countries outright opted for the mitigation measures instead of making any attempt at suppressing and eliminating the virus. Despite the fact that it pays off to impose an earlier lockdown, and you save more of your economy if you take earlier measures, most countries waited for the problem to balloon out of control before taking an even more painful and economically costly measure.loomer wrote: ↑2020-05-10 07:33amWould it be fair to characterize your position as being that, while urgent action is necessary, it isn't practical, so we should focus only on the (grossly) inadequate action that can be accomplished under present conditions over the next one to two years and not look towards what could be implemented over the next decade that would be adequate? Because that's the vibe you're putting down, and it shows its own problem up fairly clearly.
Only a few countries managed to avoid making this mistake, but that is mostly because they have a painful cultural memory of the previous outbreak, or they were lucky enough to see how bad things have gotten in other countries before the pandemic hits them. A lot of human response tends to wait till things got out of control before taking actions. We as a species are horrible at taking preventive measures.
The thing is, we're past preventative measures. We're past early mitigation. We've already hit the point where serious disruption is inevitable. So, you're right: We suck at taking preventative measures. We even suck at taking proper mitigation measures.
But that isn't a reason to let the conversation be pulled further and further back in scale until we get handed ideas like 'don't try and fix the transportation infrastructure quickly, it'll take decades' when we no longer have decades to spend. It's a reason to keep pushing the conversation towards swift, decisive action, because at this point, to use the pandemic analogy, we're no longer looking at a pandemic overseas. We're no longer looking at a few isolated clusters in a port city. We're looking at a mass outbreak across every country, just like the actual pandemic. The problem has already ballooned out of control, and every year we delay swift, meaningful action, the costs in lives, ecological devastation, and economic and political catastrophe will get worse and worse. Cries of 'well, we need to just focus on being practical' in the face of what's coming are the equivalent of saying we need to reopen the economy despite the outbreak and sacrifice our elders to the dark god Adam Smith to bring a rich harvest to the stock farmers.
It is precisely for this reason that 'well, we need to just focus on what we can do over the next couple of years with the current political willpower' is a suicidal approach. We are facing a civilization-threatening event, and whenever the conversation tries to turn away from facing that fact, it needs to be brought right back to staring into the jaws of the beast we created. To do anything else is to concede territory to those unwilling to face it, and they will always demand more concessions every time we do. Instead, we must unflinchingly confront underlying assumptions that inform us of what 'practical' looks like and then work to reform the factors that make them thus so that 'practical' and 'actually sufficient as mitigation' are at least close to one another.
(Bonus points for the analogy: We even have the cultural memory of apocalypse already in the memories of Indigenous peoples. There's a reason ecojurisprudes are flocking to hear what Indigenous elders have to say, and it ain't just some idealized 'harmony with nature' or generalized leftie sentiments. We're looking to learn how to survive the complete disintegration of our ways of life and how to guide people through it from people whose parents and grandparents passed those lessons down.)