Can ‘We’ Save ‘Us’ from Our Own Greed and Stupidity?

Can ‘We’ Save ‘Us’ from Our Own Greed and Stupidity?

[Music] the huge travesty that keeps coming to my mind it’s mind-boggling is that we can’t seem to a species that our heads around we can’t keep our hand out of the cookie jar oh-ho I want an iPod I want to miss I want to bat you know what I want we can’t seem to realize that those insatiable appetites when our appetites are not enough then society or the advertising industry comes along and increases our appetites for the sake of making money for somebody and we can’t seem to get our heads around that that that is doing us in well that’s everybody else let let everybody else share I want my own it is frightening and and every trend seems to be negative and again that’s another reason for saying the back stop that will save us is co2 with action because we can’t depend on on ourselves being intelligent and thoughtful citizens of the planet well we can because that we are but that most people are not you and I those listening to video and those listen yeah but take your you every human being back in that 1980s there was a laudable attempt by none other than Ronald Reagan to reduce emissions of co2 from cars and he had bought in a regulation that every car maker that their average car emits less carbon dioxide year-on-year so the car makers were forced to produce smaller cars or more efficient cars but it was easy and they did that for a few years till they got tired of it and then they thought well how can get around this let’s pretend that this car a huge car is actually a commercial vehicle so they invented SUVs a sports utility vehicles to be fat expensive four-wheel drive car that guzzles gas but it passes as a commercial vehicle so it’s not subject to this Reagan law of improving emissions suddenly the whole of America was awash with SUVs and from Europe I was looking at this and thought this is this is greed and stupidity to the nth power it won’t catch on anywhere else suddenly caught on in Europe and in Britain everywhere is like that Cambridge which is the flattest part of the world is full of SUVs mothers taking their children to school presumably they feel if they take the child to school in a tank it’s less likely to be injured than if it just goes to school by itself and so you can writer a book about the stupidity of humanity as demonstrated just by one thing which in my case I would say SUVs if the world wanted to be less destructive SUVs would never be built no company would build them because nobody want to buy and a pointlessly heavy four-wheel-drive vehicle designed to go up mountain sides to take your child to school in ER in a small town so that makes me despair about the human race that’s all the thing makes me human well either we don’t deserve to survive or if we are going to survive it’s it’s it’s despite ourselves we have to bring in a method like taking carbon dioxide out the air atmosphere that will enable us to survive despite all the crazy thinking that that seems to pervade the human race we know that once you’ve got science and you’ve got a real really big economic reason then technology can deliver the goods survival alone is not a good enough economic reason well yes it is of course but not in yet not in the global economic system and the frightening thing in the global economics is that the people who run the system don’t mind if the whole human race is wiped out as soon as it doesn’t cost too much no isn’t it would you repeat that but it’s they they don’t mind if the human race is wiped out as long as in doing so it doesn’t cost too much you feel is the philosophy of the people who run the fossil fuel industry and politicians they simply don’t want to take the steps that are needed to save the human human race and because they’re not taking those FETs they’re not going to save the human race and the reason they don’t take the steps is they think it will cost too much and we’ll lose them votes so we’re the amazing species we’re heading for own destruction because we don’t want to be too disturbed in in how we’re living now we know the example of solar energy shows how with some technology you can bring down the price of something too much lower level we could do the same with carbon dioxide removal and you should be doing that the what’s holding it up at the moment seems to be that the the institutions and companies that are coming up with solutions finds that nobody’s willing to pay for it nobody’s willing to pay for the experimental research the development or the installations because it’s it’s a common good you set up a plant to take co2 out of the atmosphere like some company has done in Iceland and it’s operating now you take the co2 earth the atmosphere you’re helping to save the world but you’re not making any profit out of it so how are you going to stay in business so we have to have some agreement amongst the people of the world that we want to be saved from ourselves and the way to save ourselves from ourselves is to pay for removing I’m not an economist but it seems to me part of the way the vicious cycles are dominant is because economics isn’t just left to to produce the best solution or a solution that turns out to be good like so look now but you’re finding the people involved in running the economic system intervene in the political system and and force money and to be wasted on on folks ends that happen to profit then the way for instance has always been massive subsidies for oil and coal and the people who did that were complaining when renewable energy came along and was given some subsidies but now we knew well energy is it’s having to make its own way and is doing so incredibly successfully so the oil industry in the corners tree is going to the government and saying we have to be protected we need subsidies to protect us from impact of renewable energy because we the world needs coal and oil to see us through to to the future so we’re doing good things for the planet by pumping oil and picking up coal and so we should be subsidized so there you went 180 degrees from being don’t give any money to these renewable energy weirdos so suddenly we’d like some money ourselves please some more money we were getting money all along but we’ll forget about that our subsidies are are part of the background noise so we’ll ignore that and give us some more subsidies yeah say so that way in which you have an an interaction of control between big business and government means that we as long as that’s happening we can’t expect too much we can’t expect even free-market economics to operate freely moving deliver some good results which isn’t itself always the case but certainly economics as as practiced on this planet is not going to help us to to save ourselves we have to have some kind of directed system where we recognize what it is that we need to save the planet which which is getting rid of carbon dioxide and we devote all our efforts to that no matter how much it costs or what it does to our economic system it’s what we need to avoid actually die you


  1. It's probably too late already. The Capitalists will fight until the end. The demise of their children and possibly themselves does not matter. We have given ourselves a mental illness of Capitalism and consumerism and the only cure is collapse and eventually extinction. The homo-sapiens had a good run, but are parasites due to their greed and lust for power.

  2. I don't think it's SUV so much. I remember back in the late 80's early 90's some college students in Colorado I do believe. Made a suv get like 50-75 mpg maybe more. It was a crazy insane #. I don't remember the details being a long time ago. But all they did was change some gearing in the tranny and rear end. But that got buried real fast. I just remember sitting around with my buds thinking why they hide such things like so fast before people find out about it. But it is really stupid to own one if you don't venture off road. Cracks me up to see some one that drives one or even a full size truck hit the curb every time. Or parks stupid because they can not see over the hood.

  3. Wow! I never knew SUV's were simply classified as 'commercial vehicles' so automakers could get around emissions laws. How sick is that!?

  4. I am very skeptical about creating any viable CO2 extraction from the atmosphere. What percentage it can actually extract, then the liquefying method and air tight storage underground. We are now at 410 PPM using April and May's data and that rate would change from 2.2 PPM yearly to 3.3 PPM. We are way past the tipping point and the only way we have a chance of survivalbility is to stop all carbon emissions now. Of course that will not happen because of our blind growth based Neo-Liberal economies.

  5. The human race always has its foot all the way down on the accelerator so to speak, i.e. there is no limit to human greed. People always want more and will take whatever they can get. Corporations build bigger and longer nets to fish out the oceans, specialized vehicles to cut and trim trees in an ever shorter period of time, and so on. There is no way to get humans to take their foot off the accelerator. It's like asking an alligator to stop twisting off limbs from a dead animal. It's not going to happen.

  6. Thanks for the video – I always like to hear what Peter Wadhams has to say.

    I do have a somewhat different view than the people put the burden of guilt on the fossil fuel industry. I think what is happening now with climate disruption and resource depletion and the rest of it is the natural and obvious outcome of the kind of society that the Europeans brought to this hemisphere. The early settlers were voracious in their consumption of the human, animal and natural resources of North America. They were genocidal to the native peoples, destroyed the natural habitats of animal species (such as the destruction of salmon habitat in the western US) and rapidly clear cut the forests. These actions would continue until they were untenable to the people doing them (such as the bad farming practices in the west that led to the dust bowl). This society has a basic belief structure around nature that is destructive and an overall myopic view of themselves. Unless the basic philosophies and sociological structures change, there will be no change of course, until things are untenable, which would too late for effective action.

    Seems to be true.

  7. The very real dramatic point being that the ultra rich are calling the shots. Choice is often the illusion of being able to select from a limited number of options, none of which are what you want. There is no political solution, so long as the ultra rich are controlling the candidates. We could have had Bernie Sanders as POTUS, and been getting down to implementing solutions. Nope….we get a stock market manipulator, that is just channeling money into the wrong hands.

  8. Ah! Peter Wadhams…one of my favourite climatologists…but a "Cassandra" who, if you know your Homer, was condemned to prophesy the truth only be practically ignored. His wonderful book "A Farewell to Ice" (which I recommend every thinking person reads) alas, sold very poorly.

  9. Excellent! Now someone needs to help President Trump and his Climate Change Denying Administration to understand this simple principle! Good luck with that! This needs to be done on a Global scale, which was where we were heading with the Paris Climate Accord. We just needed stricter guidelines for all Countries, especially those like the USA to follow in order to reach those goals and really make a difference.

    Climate Change is the greatest threat to mankind and the world. It needs to be front row and center, as saving humanity is the most important issue facing us today. Our very lives depend upon it.

  10. …cont'd threatened by Nazism so everyone (well almost) was willing to do what was necessary. The rich today are so super-rich that they do not believe they are threatened by climate. How wrong they are.

  11. Thank u again Peter and Stuart for your insights and opinions. I look forward to more vids from u guys! Stay well.

  12. Its not the majority of the people, its few that are in power
    It's time to fix this fuck up of elected crooks

  13. How about starting with our public school system that puts inner city kids on diesel power buses to attend schools on the other end of the city? Our kids always walked to school but we had to pay for a private school. My view is that oil and fossil fuels are not evil, we just need to use that resource responsibly and continue to find ways to run more efficiently. I think more people would listen if you gave hope rather then gloom and doom because after a bit, people just stop listening. PS sell your car and go out and buy an expensive bike, my pocket book will thank you!

  14. The West has been destroying itself (and most of the world with it) with "fake appetites" since the colonial beginning: their first "reform" was to persuade Native peoples that they needed shiny junk.

  15. In the case of the UK why shy away from calling for an emergency mode of governance with civilian oversight though none the less backed and given oomph by the military? For us here the political system is not going to be able to overhaul itself in time to make the needed changes. Let's not lie to ourselves about the need and what is more, let us consider rounding up the most affluent and culpable and taking their wealth to fund these much needed grand projects. If this is about the continuity of our species, civilizations and nations then it's time to take the kid gloves off.

  16. I blame the complacency of that smug *** Hillary Clinton who carelessly missed an easy penalty kick, thus giving the deplorable Trump and his sell-out mob of grifters free reign to trash every human value and the environment too. We are now totally f***ed.

  17. The professor needs to be corrected about US politics, as he is British with limited knowledge of the United States, as I guess he had not lived in the US during the 1970's to now. It was during President Jimmy Cater, who belongs to the Democratic Party of the USA, administration when cars were downsized after the OPEC limited oil export to the US in response to the conflict there, and it was President Reagan, who was a governor of an US oil state California, and a Republican, who trashed all of the Jimmy Cater alternative energy, and high-car-mileage laws, because not only President Reagan was a former governor of the oil-state California, but Reagan's Vice President was George Bush, who was a oil-state Texas oilman, who owned an oil exploration and drilling company. If the Professor read the book "The Prize" (the new latest edition,) the car downsizing measures, and fuel injection controlled by micro-computers reduced oil demand so much that oil prices free fall to less than $5 a barrel, resulting in cutthroat competition within OPEC members. Reagan's Vice-President Bush went (perhaps was sent) to Arabia to threaten the disintegrating OPEC to shape up, and regroup to stop the cutthroat competition in order to jack up oil prices, or otherwise, Bush will place a tariff on OPEC oil to protect domestic US oil drillers by jacking up the oil prices within the US by with the proposed oil tariff. According to the book, Bush became the defacto head of OPEC.

    The Professor being British, refused to recognize that the problem is follow Scottish economist Adam Smith's lazzie-faire free-market free-trade greed-is-good the-invisible-hand-(of the masses or the super rich)-that-is-always-good money-is-king no-government-intervention pollute-at-will short-term-profit-thinking take-the-money-and-run types of philosophical behavior that have created almost all of our Earth threatening modern problems of today like Global Warming, Nuclear Proliferation, pollution of the seas, decimation of the whales and fishes, decimation of the American bison, decimation of the American Indians (ie. Native Americans,) decimation of the middle-class, and on and on. Yet, because Nobel Prices have been blessed on the economists devoted to Adam Smith, and because conservatives like President Reagan had pushed Adam Smith's ideas to promote tax-cuts-for-the-super-rich (aka trickle-down economics, voodoo economics, tea-party-economics, Reaganomics, conservative-economics, Austrian-school-economics,) and Reagan with his Texas oilman Vice-President Bush pushed for more oil use by trashing car oil conservation laws. Adam Smith by placing money ahead of God has created a following of godless economists, businessmen, and politicians, who place greed ahead of everything else, including our planet Earth.

    There are hordes of Adam Smith greedy followers, who careless about the wellbeing of the planet Earth. It is almost impossible to stop these gigantic hordes of Adam Smith devotees of economists, businessmen, politicians, and even some scientists. I am personally start to restudy the Bible on the instruction given in the story of Joseph on preparing Egypt for the seven years of famine which followed the seven years of feasting. The super-rich people will prepare for themselves. The middle-class and the poor will have to fend for themselves, unless they revisit the Bible's instructions for having the government(s) which will be supervised by billient outsiders like Joseph to implement huge national projects to prepare for the coming threats to the planet. Don't count on Adam Smith's invisible hands. Follow the Bible's instructions. God bless us, and may God help us.

  18. Yes people (sheeple) are stupid but they are being led by greedy psychopaths who control production and the polluting energy. Psychopaths live for the now and instant gratification and don't care or believe it will mean the end of life on the planet.

  19. A report in the journal ‘Science’ 2018 states that :”“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the research. “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,” he said, as these only cut greenhouse gas emissions. This fact is constantly overlooked , even by the wonderful and unique Peter Wadhams. The other problem with carbon removal is that unless societies change radically and overcome their greed driven addiction to consumption and personal gratification, then all that will happen will be business as usual. Merely delaying the inevitable through biosphere destruction and, of course, increased global warming. I fear that although humans have the capacity for intelligence, their innate stupidity predominates.

  20. I stopped by Clyde Tombaugh's house (yes the discoverer of Pluto) before he died and he was talking to me about his efforts to bring morality back to the young. It seems to be what some old men do. It is a waste of time.

    Nothing we do is going to be sustainable as long as we are over populated by a factor of ten. Renewable energy generation, with storage, and electrifying our transportation sectors are the best things we can work on in the near term to reduce our carbon emissions.

    The culture we are embedded in is just what it is given the economic system and governance we now have which is totally corrupting.

    I suggested Paul Beckwith that flying to New Orleans for a conference wasn't the best idea given the emissions of air travel. I would like to see a company set up to provide virtual presence for some of you conference attenders.

    They could be as simple as a $2,000 robot on wheels with an iPad mounted on top for a video and audio presence while you guys stay home. It would be rented of course.

  21. In answer to your title question, NO, I don't think we can. Abrupt climate change is upon is…it will likely bring humanity to it's knees.

  22. RED ALERT RED ALERT Science will not save us from Science. We need to save ourselves from GLOBAL WARMING. If the U.N. had a plan it would start something like this.

    1. The world’s total population would have to accept to not bring children into this world for the next 20 years. ( there are plenty of children that need love and a home )
    2. People that would likre to end their lives should be legally and socially accepted.( euthanasia) (a persons dignified right)😀
    3. All wars must stop today. ( people get to go home to live in there own places )
    4. The automobile industry must stop producing Fossil Fuel Powered social vehicles ending 2017. ( people get to still have a job in the motor industry building alternative vehicles )
    5. All countries that can ,will need to produce their own products (reducing ocean travel fuel burn)( sustain a work force)
    6. All global business will need to move investment to full blown Renewable energy supply. ( they and their investors still make money )
    7. All countries will need to grow billions of tons of Indian Hemp. The hemp will provide for a huge carbon store by making everything you can from it. Replacing all petrochemical products. (diversity will create contentment and PEACE and UNDERSTANDING. )
    8. Socially all drug addicts will be supplied with there drug of choice at a place of convenience. At a cost that will cover the cost. ( social rest,the end of the black market and the decline in overall drug use and deaths.)
    9. The amounts of Fossil Fuels (burnt) in the countries that will still need them will be calculated so as to keep the atmosphere stable as the gasses are reduced. ( the second and third world people will still have their first world comforts and thus we all become one world people accepting all cultures.) Sounds great hey.
    10. Understanding that there is a lot more to UNDERSTAND and DO to save LIFE. The Scientific COMMUNITY have a colossal job in helping to do this. We need all of us to DO this, ALL OF US. And the list goes on.
    (Patience and faith in one another)

    Imagine the UN achieving that, when they can’t even stop the ethnic cleansing that happens daily.

  23. Great interview with the inimitable Peter Wadhams. I will say though…won't it take, to suck up hundreds of billions of tons of excess atmospheric carbon deposited since 1750, even more energy vis a vis the co2 removal machines than it took to emit in the first place? I'm damn sure no physicist, but perhaps someone above my pay grade has some thoughts

  24. Here in the UK there is an obsession for individuals shaping themselves into a Limited Company (even if only a one man salary earner with no premises or machinery or fixed capital items) and bragging how little tax they pay ie wife as employee and biggest vehicle the cashflow will allow, etc etc. IT STINKS. They are so shortsighted, cannot think beyond their own hubris and visible consumption; must have the latest toys. Theres no inner life, people hardly read or consider anything, meanwhile grazing on tv.

    I suspect the human race can be treat as one long bad joke being played out to its ultimate conclusion.

  25. Maybe put off is a poor choice of words. It disqualifies your message and the only reason I have got past it at all is that I have listened to enough of your presentations to realize you really do have your head screwed on your straight. Others might not be so charitable however. Fortunately you keep good company. The whole title adds a flavor of nutterism to your endeavors unfortunately as it smacks of theism gooblygock up front.

  26. Dr. Wadhams is the real deal, he's actually been on above and under the arctic ice for decades! Who ya gonna call?

  27. NO,  we cant save humanity from the greed and stupidity of humanity.   Homo Stupidas Avaricious Omnicidalus is an utterly unsustainable species, hell-bent on wiping out its own habitat.   Everything humans do, degrades and destroys the natural environment.   It would take a miracle to save the human race, and that miracle will not come from the unsustainable species itself.  It would have to come from somewhere else.   Runaway global heating is well underway.    We are only a few years away from total ecological collapse.

  28. I'm of the opinion that as much change as possible, as soon as possible, is a GOOD thing for humanity. Otherwise, the population growth will just keep degrading everything.

  29. Commerce rules the minds, as it raises kids into it. I mean, it took me till the age of 28, to actually admit humanity was abusive, corrupt, selfish, egocentric, etc… . Until the age of 25, at school, you were taught that humans have been 'achieving a lot'… they don't tell you what they haven't been achieving. Also : everything is money, but every-thing. It's like a meteor is heading for Earth, and they still are going to calculate how much it's going to cost to save the Earth, if it's too expensive they will go like 'Well, we could have prevented our extermination… but the funding lacked'… and people would go 'Ah, what a pity, if only we had been able to print some more money!'… 'Save the kids in Africa!' (1984)… I was a young teen, and we gave money. Now: save the kids in Africa… we go like : 'Didn't anyone tell them to make any more children, as they couldn't afford it then, so why would they be able to afford it now?!' I mean : I, myself, never got children, because I thought I wouldn't have been able to afford them… and I consider that a natural response, just like most in my society… is that healthy : no! But that's how brainwashed we were, and are.

  30. (Good interview thanks) I saw an SUV the other day,it had The Intimidator written on the side. Yeah we get the picture,"buy our SUVs and intimidate everyone who hasn't."…Thats a short trip from The Rapist/The Killer/The Bully…take your pick.Insane.

  31. I heard americans are now consuming about 200,000 calories of energy per day per person whereas our fireless ancestors probably only consumed about 2,000 calories from burning food. People are already addicted to overconsumption so even if renewables become available, that might not stop the overconsumers from also consuming all of the fossil fuels.

  32. It always a pleasure to listen to Dr Peter… Regarding Human stupidity confirmation, it is just observe everyday around us. Though there are many books about it, a very good one is the book "Madness of the Crowds" w/c you can easily find on Internet. Anyway, greedy, selfishness, short-term view, ignorance n stupidity shall end up exterminating a great part of Earth's population or at the minimum bring great society chaos.

  33. I totally agree. I have been working hard on a plan for a solution. I think the reason we don't take the steps is because we don't have a plan. We can develop a plan in virtual reality on the internet. It can be modeled by AI.

  34. There is a big reward for the one who can restore the Arctic ice sheet.
    It would be a way to control the weather.
    Truly more potent than the atomic bomb.
    Where is our Mr. Goldfinger, looking for world domination in the
    field of geo-engineering?
    For who controls the weather controls the world.
    It would be as simple as that and
    it is a formidable reward.

  35. I live in Calgary Alberta 5 hour drive from The Alberta Tar Sands. Many men here drive big huge pickup trucks, its so ridiculous to see. Now they are only getting , $16/Barrel for that Tar they call oil. Im not in the Oil business and im sick of it all. I think we are Doomed and im preparing. Starting my Tiny Home on wheels build in the Spring complete with solar power.

  36. trump and the paris tresty….. both are false. we have toxification of both earth and oceans….. more serious than the band aid called paris accord.

  37. "If stupidity got us into the mess, why can't it get us out?"………. Will Rogers. Can you substitute "greed" into that get a better answer?

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