We are rapidly approaching the era of ubiquitous surveillance, a time when virtually every aspect of our lives will be monitored. Leaving us vulnerable to all manner of manipulation and persuasion.
The goal is to automate us’: welcome to the age of surveillance
Google, Facebook Amazon, U Tube, Supermarket Loyalty Card,
Credit card spending, you name it and it is creating the
surveillance data and we continue to ignore the most vital data
that we are alive and can do something about climate change.
It’s impossible to take a long view of what’s happening.
SHOULD WE BE WORRIED?
While most of us think that we are dealing merely with algorithmic inscrutability, in fact what confronts us is the latest phase in capitalism’s long evolution – from the making of products, to mass production, to managerial capitalism, to services, to financial capitalism, and now to the exploitation of behavioural predictions covertly derived from the surveillance of users.
During all this surveillance some elements of our world will change beyond recognition while others will stay reassuringly (or disappointingly) familiar.
Some innovations we might not notice, while others will knock us sideways, changing our lives forever.
For example The use of biometric recognition devices to ensure the identity of a person.
Three things, however, are certain: technology will get smaller, smarter and cheaper while Climate change will cost TRILLIONS by the end of the century.
Perhaps there’s a technological barrier that can’t be surmounted, such as artificial superintelligence or weaponized nanotechnology but Global warming will no doubt disproportionately hurt the poor, broadly undermine human health, damage infrastructure, limit the availability of water, alter coastlines, and boost costs in industries from farming, to fisheries and energy production.
How different might life be 20 years from now?
I would bet you that it probably will be much like it is today.
Unfortunately, GDP is still viewed as a prerequisite to achieving global goals, even though it can’t stand for everything.
Food, clean water, good education and infrastructure, all these things need money to support so it’s inevitable and sad that climate change will become a product for profit.
However, the effects of Surveillance and Climate Change are going to be felt for hundreds, and possibly thousands, of years to come.
“A large fraction of climate change is largely irreversible on human time scales.”
Climate change and variability (e.g. increasing water scarcity), mounting / unresolved conflicts and refugee crises, increasing global inequalities which seem irreversible, and the questionable performance of the global economy (which is still very linked to increasing resource use) will still rule the roost.
Many people do not know what it really amounts to, either due to unreliable sources or deliberate misinformation, which has led to a series of myths about climate change.
First, it is important to be clear that climate change cannot now be avoided.
Climate change presents perhaps the most profound challenge ever to have confronted human social, political, and economic systems.
One of the central social, political, and economic questions of the century is: how then do we act?
It will present one of the most profound challenges to the way we understand human responses.
National governments are embedded in market economies that constrain what they can do.
We first have to get past controversies over cost estimates and distributions. (See previous posts: World Aid Commission Of 0.050% )
Activists think that the key here is simply getting the public to understand the facts by providing information.
The public should not, however, be understood as simply mass publics, which are problematic when it comes to mastering complex issues simply by virtue of their mass nature.
Increasingly, justice frameworks are being used in the development of climate policy strategies and as such, national governments can deploy this discourse when it suits their interests to do so. So developing countries can point to the history of fossil fuel use on which developed countries built their economies, such that fairness demands that it is the developing countries that should shoulder the burden of mitigation.
The response on the part of the wealthy countries is that for most of this history, their governments had no awareness that what they were doing could change the climate, and so ought not to be held uniquely responsible for future mitigation.
Dealing with major climate change issues has however never been a part of the core priorities of any government.
Governments acted swiftly and with the expenditure of vast sums of money in response to the global financial crisis in 2008–9. They have never shown anything like this urgency or willingness to spend on any environmental issue.
To date, very few national governments look at all like decarbonizing their economy or redesigning energy systems to reverse the growth in energy consumption.
This is why it is necessary to reframe the effects of climate change to where the government might involve recognition of the security dimension of climate change. Climate change can threaten the security of populations and vital systems, even in some cases threaten the sovereign integrity of states.
BUT: Neither coordinated collective action nor discursive reframings can stop at the national level.
Even if this was achieved Climate change involves a complex global set of both causal practices and felt impacts, and as such requires coherent global action—or, at a minimum, coordination across some critical mass of global players.
Like the heading to this post state:
Perhaps we need to think in very different terms about the coordination of a global response.
The Western Antarctic Ice Sheet has already gone into an unstoppable decline.
Currents that transport heat within the oceans will be disrupted.
Ocean acidification will continue to rise, with unknown effects on marine life.
Thawing permafrost and sea beds will release methane, a greenhouse gas.
Droughts predicted to be the worst in 1,000 years will trigger vegetation changes and wildfires, releasing carbon.
Species unable to adapt quickly to a changing climate will go extinct.
Coastal communities will be submerged, creating a humanitarian crisis.
Thankfully, we’re not completely out of options yet.
There is little point if we as the data is implying that the world is warming planting trees or hoping that some future technology is going to solve the effects of climate change.
We are all riding on the one big blue ball together, and no matter what happens we will be finally all be confronted (Thanks to climate change with our societal problems.)
Millions of voters will no longer cast their ballots based on emotional cues, defying their own clear self-interest or reason that has created a society that is consumed with looking out for yourself first.
So here are a few things that you can do now.
Reduce the emissions that are warming the world the fastest.
Vote Diem 25 in the forthcoming European Elections.
Lobby your Television Stations to include a least once a week a weather report on Climate change.
Use your buying power to stop purchasing products with Palm Oil or products wrapped in plastic or are transported from on side of the world to the other.
Support local products.
Demand from your government free education.
Protect our privacy at all costs (It won’t be easy to fix because it requires us to tackle the essence of the problem – the logic of accumulation implicit in surveillance capitalism. That means that self-regulation is a nonstarter.
Digital technology is separating the citizens in all societies into two groups: the watchers and the watched and it will become increasingly disruptive throughout this century and beyond with profound consequences for democracy because the asymmetry of knowledge translates into asymmetries of power.
Governments know this.
Whereas most democratic societies have at least some degree of oversight of state surveillance, we currently have almost no regulatory oversight of its privatised counterpart. This is intolerable now while climate change will be intolerable in the near future.
The fourth Industrial revolution will be the last. In effect, we are forcing future generations to retroactively subsidize our decision not to increase energy efficiency and move to cleaner fuels.
The warmer it gets, the less productive a country’s economy will likely be. Perhaps more concerning, however, is what could happen in a world where climate change is allowed to continue unmitigated.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.