The Russell problem

Written on 18 February 2020, 12:16pm

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The Russell problem is one of the most difficult problems that the humankind needs to solve soon:

How one can convince humanity to consent to their own survival.

Bertrand Russell

We are slowly, but surely destroying our planet. And with it, since we don’t yet have a planet B, we are destroying our species. The effects are already here. While there is a large consensus that the consequences of our behavior are irreversible, we can still slow down the whole process. It might be just enough to find a last-minute solution (sometimes pressure helps) or simply to find another home and ensure the survival of the humankind.

Here are a few types of people that have to be convinced:

  1. The denialists: They argue there is no climate change. Essentially flat-earthers, or anti-vaxers. Can’t and (unfortunately) won’t be convinced.
    Passive and uneducated.
  2. The hangoners: Yes, the climate change is probably real. But hang on, hang on, we don’t have to rush into doing anything. There’s still plenty of time left, and we might make things worse if we actually do something. So let’s wait. And then let’s wait more.
    Passive; consider themselves educated.
  3. The defetists: we’re screwed anyway. So let’s party like it’s 1999…
    Passive. More educated.
  4. The youfirsters. Sure, we’re going down, but you do something first.
    Passive. Education irrelevant.
  5. The trolls. I don’t care if we’re going down, I just want to make fun of Greta.
    Passive and uneducated.
  6. The ostriches. Right, we know that the birds don’t actually bury their head into the sand, but their human equivalent do. They hope that the climate change is just a bad dream and probably believe in Captain Planet.
  7. The average Joes. Vaguely aware about the climate change, but their efforts are limited to recycling paper and glass.
    Hardly active, mildly educated.
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