Brad Allenby of Arizona State University presents the challenges in developing tools and frameworks for a planet that has been increasingly defined by human activities, technologies, values, and cultures.
Feb 16th, 2012
00:01Hi. So I'd like to start with a quote from Heidegger, in part because it's been a long day.
00:12The last thing you wanted to see beginning the last presentation was a quote from a German metaphysician.
00:19I therefore proved that life is not fair.
00:23Second reason I like this, those of you that know Heidegger know that…
00:27…these are the only two sentences he ever wrote that you can understand…
00:30…without the use of powerful pharmaceuticals that are still illegal in California.
00:36Thirdly, he's right. Particularly the last part.
00:41"The flight into tradition, out of a combination of humility and presumption, can bring about nothing in itself…
00:47…other than self-deception and blindness in relation to the historical moment."
00:51I would like to submit that, in fact, in spite of our good work, in spite of our efforts…
00:56…in spite of the fact that we try to reconceptualize the world, we are in fact deceiving ourselves and we are blind.
01:02And that if you think about it, that's an inherent…in the framing of geodesign.
01:13For a moment, take yourself out of your planning or operational box and think about geodesign, literally.
01:21And what does it suggest to you? It suggests to you the fact that what you are working on…
01:26…is not the design of individual items, individual artifacts…
01:30…but in fact there is one more scale that was left out of the last presentation, and that is the scale of global systems.
01:36And that we are, right now, at an age where we are designing global systems and we are pretending to ourselves not to…
01:45…precisely because we want to deceive ourselves and we want to be blind…
01:50…because if we're not, we have to accept responsibility for it.
01:53Let me give you an example. There's a fellow at Columbia, some of you probably know him, Klaus Lackner…
01:57…great guy, kind of weird, and what he has done is he has developed a system…
02:04…where you can extract carbon dioxide out of the ambient atmosphere.
02:09You can do it at a fairly high price, but not totally irrational, and you can do it and still…
02:17…even if you're burning fossil fuel to power the system, have a positive gain for the atmosphere.
02:23Now I want you to think about what that actually means in terms of design and responsibility.
02:29If my approach to global climate change is the Kyoto Protocol, then my response is, Oh Lord, give it up.
02:36Do not use fossil fuels. I'm not going to ask how many people in here drive SUVs. Do not do that.
02:42You are evil and if you give it up we will all be safe, and so would the polar bears.
02:48But then I go to Klaus Lackner's technology, right? And he's extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
02:55What have I suddenly turned that into? It's a design problem. What do you want?
03:02You want an atmosphere of about 280 parts per million equivalent?
03:06It's what we started with before the Industrial Revolution.
03:08Now, I cannot guarantee that there won't be glaciers bearing down on New York City…
03:13…but I can guarantee that most people except in New York City probably won't care.
03:19You want what? 350? We're a little bit above 350, but 350's nice. I can live in Phoenix at 350. It's okay. We can do 350.
03:27So I'll give you 350. But maybe you're Russia or Canada and you kind of like the idea that you're going to get…
03:33…a whole bundle of new resources while everybody else is suffering.
03:38I wouldn't say that about Canada. Take your choice on Russia.
03:43So what do you want? 480? So what do we got? We got a design problem, right?
03:51What kind of world are you going to give me? And it's got all the classic questions.
03:56Who gets to decide? You here? You elites? Who's deciding now? Well, that's a good question, isn't it?
04:08So you have a world that is already being designed. You cannot avoid that higher scale.
04:15You may want to, but in good conscience, you can no longer avoid it.
04:21So what I want to do is I want to talk a little bit about earth systems engineering, some of the issues that it raises.
04:29I'm going to use water as an example because I come from Phoenix…
04:33…and if you don't use water they don't let you back in the city. But it applies across the board.
04:39All of these systems are extraordinarily complex, extraordinarily difficult, and we are, by and large, blind to them.
04:48Think about the ways that we're approaching global climate change.
04:52It's either (A) the Kyoto Protocol, the "just say no" approach, which has worked so well with drugs…
05:00…or (B) it's geoengineering, which is a bunch of guys out at Lawrence Livermore dreaming up…
05:07…some weird thing to do to the environment that's going to be strong enough and powerful enough…
05:11…to change the entire environment, but hey, it's not going to have any other impacts.
05:17Which means, you people in California really are consuming those pharmaceuticals.
05:23Okay, so why earth systems engineering?
05:25Well, in the first place, it's because you reach a point where you can no longer ignore what you're actually doing.
05:33And I submit that we are close to that point. Some of the examples, global climate change.
05:38We've mentioned that. That's the one everybody knows.
05:40The important thing to realize about global climate change is that a lot depends on how you want to define it, right?
05:48So if you define it as a problem, then it has solutions.
05:55But if you define it as a condition, a condition of seven billion people that's coupled…
06:00…to changes in virtually every other earth system--nitrogen, phosphorous, economic, financial, fossil fuels, culture.
06:10If that's what it is, then all of these simple solutions people have been talking about fail.
06:17And you're getting into a much, much more complex and dangerous world.
06:21Major natural cycles--carbon, nitrogen, quite obvious.
06:25Phosphorous. Phosphorous is kind of interesting. People are starting to get a little worried about phosphorous.
06:29It's a mined product, by and large, absolutely critical for agriculture.
06:34So we had a meeting at ASU of people who are beginning to think of phosphorous as an earth system…
06:40…and what we should do about it. And the suggestion was made by a totally off-the-wall academic…
06:48…that phosphorous actually could be considered a human right.
06:52You talk about water as a human right. I can generally find you water, but phosphorous…
06:57…I can't find you that, and you can't do agriculture without it. So maybe phosphorous should be a human right.
07:03The fertilizer people at the meeting were not impressed.
07:11Biodiversity. We've talked a lot about biodiversity.
07:15Biodiversity, as an earth system, illustrates another profound point, which is…
07:20…unless you really understand what you're dealing with…
07:22…you're liable to make some very bad conceptual mistakes.
07:25Most of the conservation biologists I know, as well as most of the public…
07:29…is aware of the fact that there is a huge crisis in biodiversity.
07:32The synthetic biologists I know say, No, what you've got is a cusp.
07:37You're at a historic point where biology is shifting from being a natural science with evolved biodiversity…
07:46…to being a design science with synthetic biodiversity with designed biodiversity.
07:54We are putting as much information into biological systems as you are losing out there.
07:58That's a hypothesis. I have no idea how you figure out the information content of biology, but that's the argument.
08:07Now, leave aside whether or not any of us are comfortable with that. I would assume most of us aren't.
08:12Leave aside whether or not the amount of information being exchanged between designed systems…
08:17…and evolved systems is actually somewhere equivalent, because I have no idea how to think about that.
08:23But ask yourself a fundamental question. Does it matter if that in fact is happening?
08:27Suppose it's a scenario. Does it matter if it's happening? Well, yes, it does. Why?
08:32Because if I am looking at evolved biodiverse communities…
08:36…I'm looking at communities that tend to evolve toward stability.
08:39If I'm looking at designed biodiversity, I am looking at biological systems…
08:43…that are being designed for economic or some other throughput.
08:47There's a huge difference. And the primary difference is in stability.
08:53So if I move towards a designed biodiversity, I am moving towards a much less stable system.
08:59You don't even begin to think about that until you begin to understand…
09:02…that the biodiversity crisis is in fact something that's a little more complicated.
09:08The economy. We probably better not say anything about that. Sell euros. I will leave it at that.
09:14Technology systems. Technology systems are absolutely critical in determining how these…
09:20…earth systems are going to evolve over time. And yet we tend to ignore them.
09:25I work a lot with people in the school of sustainability.
09:28Most of them are blithely unaware that even as I speak there are people at Stanford and Harvard medical schools…
09:33…trying to figure out how to get everybody to live to 150.
09:37In fact, the mantra there is that the person to live to 150 with a high quality of life…
09:41…has already been born in this country. Have they? I haven't a clue. Is it a plausible scenario? Yes, it is.
09:48They have a research program. They know what they're looking for.
09:51They know what they need to find. And they're pretty convinced that they've got it.
09:54Now, let's assume it's a scenario, which is a good way to think about these kinds of future technologies, not a prediction.
10:01But let's ask if it's a reasonably probable scenario.
10:04What happens to virtually everything we think we know about sustainability? Down…the…tubes.
10:11Why? Because I'll start getting people living to 150 in developed economies, consuming far more resources…
10:19…using far more energy, and doing weird things that I had not planned on…
10:23…back when I was doing sustainability in good old 2011.
10:29Technology, particularly technology that's evolving across the entire frontier…
10:34…nano, bio, information and communication technology, the stuff that we work directly with.
10:39When technology accelerates across the entire frontier…
10:42…then what you've got is extraordinary unpredictability and contingency.
10:48How contingent? The human as a design space. Is there anything about yourselves…
10:55…that you think should not be designed by some twit like me?
11:01Because if there is, you'd better figure out how you're going to protect it…
11:04…because otherwise, I guarantee you I'm going after it.
11:10What's that going to do to all of these predictions we're making about sustainability and biodiversity and resources?
11:16It blows them out the door. The future is a lot more unpredictable than you think it is.
11:23Is it going to be terrible? I have no idea. The data won't tell me.
11:27But it does tell me that the way we think about our world is profoundly broken…
11:32…and it's broken just at the time we need to be using all the imagination, all of the skill that we have…
11:38…to try to break out of the obsolete barriers to thought that inhabit every one of us.
11:45Social and cultural behavior. Enough about that. Let's go to water.
11:50Alright, before we go to water, this is a little bit of a schematic about how you might begin thinking about climate change.
11:57Why don't we think about climate change that way?
11:59Think of all the politics that are involved in any one of those particular quadrants and that explains it.
12:06Earth systems engineering. Why is it difficult? Well, first and obviously, it's the complexity.
12:12Now again, I want to remind you that I'm not raising these issues just because I want to be contentious, although it's kind of fun.
12:20I'm raising them because that's the world you've already got. This is not the world you're going to get.
12:25This is not the world that Stevenson thinks you'll get or Gibson thinks you'll get.
12:31This is the world you've already got. You're trying to struggle with climate change. You're doing a great job.
12:37How many years has the Kyoto Protocol been going on? And how many years have our emissions continued to go straight up? I rest my case.
12:48They integrate across very complicated systems. This is where thinking about GIS becomes really interesting, right?
12:56Suppose I was doing…well, Phoenix actually had Phoenix 20/20.
13:00It was a kind of study that you've seen some examples of here.
13:04What happens when I begin to reconceptualize Phoenix though in terms of the financial networks that it's a part of…
13:10…in terms of the technologies that it's developing, that're going to change the way that it functions?
13:15That may change the way that people operate. I really don't know.
13:22But what's interesting is, I begin to cut across a lot of very different categories.
13:27The Calgary presentation this morning I thought was particularly interesting. Why?
13:32Because there were a couple of categories of data that were just pulled out of there. Why were they pulled out of there?
13:37Well, because they would have given the wrong answers. How objective does that make your entire process?
13:45So I want to…I want to understand medical marijuana, because I want you to be able to read Heidegger, okay?
13:56So everything I read tells me that marijuana is very damaging to you. How do I know that?
14:02I know that because of all the research that's being done.
14:06But unless you know that the federal government tries not to fund research that shows marijuana in a good light…
14:14…and won't give permission to use a controlled drug if they think that you're going to do an experiment that shows that…
14:20…then you're not going to realize that, yeah, you got a lot of data, but it's all skewed.
14:25There is nothing objective about data.
14:30The only thing data do is they make it more interesting to play subtle games with the political process.
14:38Alright, water. So, water, we use a lot of water. I think you probably knew that.
14:48One of the interesting things about water though…
14:51…and it's good to look at sort of high-level patterns before you dive into details.
14:56One of the interesting things about water is that we have managed to decouple it from GDP growth.
15:02A lot of times there's an assumption that resources need to continue growing with GDP growth.
15:08What this example tells you, not much in case you're interested, excuse me, unless you're interested in water.
15:13Well, what this tells you is that these are very complicated systems that may be displaying patterns that we don't expect.
15:21To take another case. You're the EPA. You're in charge of figuring out if CFCs are a good idea or not.
15:28And you think they're a pretty good idea. Why?
15:31They substitute for bad chemicals, they protect workers, they're stable so they don't impact environments.
15:40How are you supposed to know that while your back is turned it's taking out the stratospheric ozone layer?
15:46How do you know that? You know that only if you've got enough imagination to win a Nobel Prize.
15:53How much are we missing because we're lacking in imagination?
15:58How much are we tying ourselves to ideas and concepts and assumptions…
16:03…that at best are incrementally valid and at worst are increasingly dysfunctional? So anyway, this gets at that.
16:12So what is water? I asked my students this, and they tended to regard it as the sort of comment…
16:19…that a whacked-out professor would make, but it turns out water's actually fairly complex, right?
16:26It's a material, sure. It's a commodity. But most importantly it's a legal construct.
16:32Why does Phoenix worry about water? Because we don't have the Colorado flowing down to us?
16:37No, we got the Colorado. We're cool with that. We worry about water because California has senior water rights.
16:44One of the rules about water, as an acting assumption, is that California always has senior water rights.
16:50I don't care who you are. You could be in Colorado and you can live on the flippin' glacier…
16:55…and you can bet California's got the water rights. I don't know how they did that.
17:01But that's what it is, right? It's a legal construct. It's also a cultural construct, and a very, very bitter one.
17:07Is water a private good or a public good? Is it a human right?
17:11If it's a human right, that's code for "don't give it to private firms"…
17:16…because they'll charge for it and you can't charge for a human right. What does it mean? What is it?
17:25That's a very deceptively simple question, and it's a question that I keep coming back to…
17:31…and kept coming back to as I was listening to some of the discussions today.
17:37GIS is interesting, but how much of the phase space of these kinds of systems does GIS get at?
17:46How do you integrate GIS into an understanding of these systems?
17:51I haven't answered that and I don't intend to because I don't have enough time.
17:57Water's a technological construct. One of the things that people don't realize is how clean we can make sewage water.
18:08People have an inherent dislike of drinking sewage. Now, this leads to some really interesting patterns.
18:12They'll drink polluted groundwater, but they won't drink tertiary treated water because it came out of sewers.
18:22And that's understandable, right? That's a disgust response. So how do people get around it?
18:25Well, Orange County gets around it by taking its treated sewage water and pumping it into the ground…
18:30…and then pulling it out of a well, and miraculously it has become groundwater and people drink it.
18:38This is a really good idea, so now we're doing it in Scottsdale.
18:45My point would be something that I think we need to remember…
18:49…particularly because most of us are techies, and that is, it is not a techy world.
18:55Do not think that you are manipulating the policy makers and the sneaks and the spinners.
19:00They are manipulating you. Just know that they're doing it.
19:05Okay. Transport. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
19:07Energy. Political power, essential for life, blah, blah, blah.
19:12It's the new oil. That's ridiculous. I don't know who came up with that slogan.
19:18If I take oil and I put it through a cracking system and then I put it in my car…
19:23…and I burn the gasoline, I get CO2 out. CO2 is not oil.
19:28If I go to the bathroom, I get sewage out. It's still water. I may not want to drink it, but it's still water.
19:35So I don't know where people get this idea.
19:37But more importantly, water gives us the same kind of example as climate change did, right?
19:44And that is, water is an absolute scarcity. There are published reports from very good scientists…
19:51…that will tell you that Arizona is going to run out of water. We are not going to run out of water.
19:59We may run out of cheap water, but if we have to…
20:04…we will put plants in the Gulf of California or in the Pacific Ocean and we will desalinate and we will get water.
20:12We will not run out of water. What does that mean?
20:15That means that what we are taking to be an absolute resource constraint is a price point issue.
20:20What was CO2? An absolute constraint. No. No.
20:25If I can take it out of the atmosphere at a high price, it's a price point issue.
20:30If you tell me you want to solve global climate change tomorrow, we can start putting up those plants.
20:38It's a price point issue. And water is a price point issue. What does that begin to say?
20:44That begins to say that there are characteristics of these earth systems that keep driving us back to design responsibility, right?
20:55If you want very expensive water, we can give you that.
20:59It will have social impacts that are fairly profound. But we can do it.
21:06The question is, What are you going to design for? What are your design objectives?
21:10What are your real design constraints?
21:13We have a very poor understanding of that because what we tend to do is substitute ideology for understanding…
21:20…particularly when we don't have much understanding.
21:23And that can be a very dangerous process when things are moving as rapidly as they are.
21:27Case in point--Durban fails. What's the result on geoengineering?
21:31There are calls now in Washington for implementing geoengineering…
21:35…and they're citing the failure of Durban as a reason to do that.
21:39I don't know how many of you have looked at geoengineering technologies…
21:42…things like putting aluminum balloons in the stratosphere to reflect off sunlight…
21:46…putting sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, that's a favorite one.
21:51It nucleates clouds, clouds reflect sunlight, everybody's happy…
21:55…except we were trying to take sulfur out of the atmosphere, but, hey.
22:01These are design issues. What we are doing is we are avoiding the responsibility…
22:07…for a design that we in fact have been implementing for at least 200 years.
22:12We really got good at terra forming with the advent of the Industrial Revolution. We just never admitted it to ourselves.
22:20So now when we look out and it's a designed world, what do we do?
22:22Well, we blame other people. The auto companies did it. Some point that runs out.
22:31Okay. Distribution challenges. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
22:39Now there are…there are of course instances when water can run out.
22:45And part of that is when you run into transition phases.
22:48If there were a sudden drought and we had to get water quickly in a place like Phoenix…
22:54…it would be very hard to do it, because everybody else is drawing, maxed out.
22:59It's amazing how much water the Colorado is supposed to have in it, if you add up all the water rights on the Colorado.
23:05One of the things that you always want to remember if you're doing water rights…
23:08…is pick a time when the river is really flowing and then allocate water rights.
23:13And everybody will be relatively happy and then the river goes at about two-thirds of that and the rest is written in lawsuits.
23:21But you can have transition issues, and this becomes, again, part of the planning dilemma, right?
23:29How do I plan for transition issues that could be fairly substantial?
23:34Another part of the planning dilemma--if I'm looking at something like say the everglades…
23:42…or even climate, and I say I want to go back.
23:46So let's say that I poll the world in some miraculous way…
23:49…and 98 percent of the world says they want to go back to 280 parts per million.
23:54So I take everybody there. Is it going to be the world that we left? No. These are complex adaptive systems.
24:01You never go backwards in a complex adaptive system.
24:04You may go to someplace new, but you are not going to get the world that you had.
24:10You want to restore the Everglades? It will never happen. Give it up.
24:15What you will get is something that is new and may be pristine and may be very biodiverse…
24:22…but you will not get the old Everglades back. All of this--all of this--are complex adaptive systems in play.
24:31And what we need to do is we need to learn how to design in the context of complex adaptive systems when we're part of it.
24:39We had a very interesting experience working with the design theater at--which is sort of a GIS kind of shop--at Arizona State.
24:49One of our engineers, very traditional engineer, did a study of water in the Phoenix area…
24:55…had all the water mapped out and it was really cool and you could see where the water was going.
24:59And he showed it to the city because he was sure the city was going to love this. And the city hated it.
25:05And the reason they hated it was that part of their political power came from being able to manipulate the water system.
25:12So of course they hated it. These are the kinds of issues that you need to get into…
25:16…if you're really going to be doing design in this kind of complex space.
25:20Alright. Weaponized. We tend to forget the human tendency to go to war.
25:28Trade networks and virtual water. I want to end with this as an example…
25:32…and it's one, if you think about it as I go through it, that applies very nicely to GIS.
25:37One of the things that we can't do is trade water qua water because water is a very heavy commodity…
25:44…and the idea of shipping water across borders, politically for most countries, is extremely touchy.
25:50Just go up to Canada and ask them how much they want for their share of the Great Lakes. We tried.
25:57It doesn't work very well. I'm not sure that we've gotten the bodies back yet.
26:03Virtual water. Virtual water's the idea that to create products I need to put in a lot of water.
26:09The kind of product determines how much water, but it can be very significant.
26:12So, for example, it takes 32 liters to make a two-gram microchip, because of the purity required for the process.
26:21That's a lot of water every time you make a microchip.
26:25Now you can recycle some of that, yada, yada, it gets into manufacturing techniques.
26:28But the bottom line is, there's a lot of water embedded in that chip. So what does that mean?
26:34Well, if water becomes that difficult, what it means is that you should be siting microchip plants...
26:40…where you have a lot of water, so that when you ship the chips…
26:43…which are relatively light, you're shipping water, virtual water. You begin to get the idea.
26:50Probably the most interesting aspect of this is beef being the single largest component of virtual water flow.
26:57Now this is basically because a cow is a very primitive way to manufacture steak.
27:05I mean, there's just no other way to get around it. It emits enormous amounts of methane.
27:13It eats a lot of grass. It just…it is a really lousy manufacturing system.
27:20So, what if, for example, to control water, you begin to do two things.
27:27One is, you begin to control beef, so that you ship beef instead of water and you grow beef in very water-intensive areas…
27:39…not Arizona, where we do grow a lot of beef. So that's one thing you can do.
27:44The second thing you can do is you begin thinking about the technological fixes that can feed into this…
27:50…such as, for example, industrial production of beef.
27:54It's a fairly primitive technology right now, very, very, poorly funded.
27:59You can imagine what happens when you go to the Department of Agriculture and say…
28:02…You know, I'd kind of like to put all of the livestock guys out of business.
28:08But if you think about water as a serious problem, then you ought to be thinking about…
28:13…that technology fix and somehow managing the flows of beef in trade.
28:19Now, the interesting thing about this is, conceptualize a little bit further with me.
28:24We know that we've got serious problems in most of our natural cycles, nitrogen, phosphorous, et cetera.
28:32So that what you're really looking at is some kind of multilayered mapping of virtual flows of these materials…
28:40…in such a way that you optimize their use and their security.
28:46So you can begin to see building models of virtual material flows that begin to get you the flexibility and the possibility…
28:57…of working in very broad global systems that have significantly reduced our impact without reducing quality of life.
29:06The good news, I think, is if you use a little bit of imagination…
29:10…you can find extraordinary ways to improve the systems that we are embedded in.
29:16But until you realize that that's really what we're dealing with, you're not going to get very far at all.
29:23So again, that's why Heidegger, because unless you realize that what we have chosen to do…
29:29…is be blind in the face of the challenges that we really face…
29:32…then you're not going to understand why you need to think about these issues at all. Uh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
29:40A nice graphic. It's good for cocktail conversation.
29:47So a couple points to close with. I want to talk about some of the earth systems issues.
29:52I'm going to go over these quickly. You can get copies of the slides if you want…
29:56…but I’m assuming by this point, if you're still conscious, it's probably barely.
30:02The first thing to understand is that there are technological options that can be developed…
30:07…but because we don't realize our responsibilities and the challenges that we actually face…
30:13…we are seriously underinvesting in those technologies. So that's one problem. That's solvable.
30:20Examples for water. There's also a number of opportunities for efficiency.
30:28You want to be careful with those, because those are partially what give you resiliency.
30:32One of the things that we don't talk about enough in any of our planning processes…
30:36…because we start talking numbers and getting technocratic…
30:39…is the need to try to support resiliency where we can.
30:43So for example, Phoenix has a lot of lawns. Anybody who knows Phoenix thinks that's really stupid.
30:51They should all be xeriscape so you don't have to use all that water on lawns.
30:54Well, maybe, but I get a good feeling in my heart when I pass those lawns. First place, they don't have cows on them.
31:01Second place, every one of those lawns is water that can be pulled out and used in an emergency.
31:08Every one of those lawns is a source of resiliency if you really think about Phoenix's water system.
31:14Now, that's not the way people think about it, but that's what it is.
31:17Conceptualizing the system you have becomes very…
31:20…very important once you begin to understand some of the issues.
31:26Some of the policies that come out of thinking this way are different than the ones you would ordinarily expect.
31:32So I think that a very profound environmental policy would in fact lead to established stable trade relationships.
31:39The Doha Round, for example. Most people don't think about that if they're interested in environmental policy.
31:46But if in fact I can get significant environmental gains by trading food instead of water, then this makes a lot of sense.
31:55Why do countries generally want to grow all of their own food, be self-sufficient in food?
32:00Because they don't trust the trading system. If they could trust it, then you could have more trade in virtual water.
32:08If you had more trade in virtual water, you could develop a more rational system.
32:15Let's look at the last one for a little bit.
32:18One of the things that I like to do as a technologist is social engineering. I don't admit it.
32:25I don't talk about it a lot, but the reality is, I know the way people should live a lot better than they do.
32:32And it's just really unfortunate that they don't listen to me.
32:36So if I manipulate the data so that they think they're getting objective transparent data…
32:42…then I can get them to change their lifestyles and they're not even going to know I did it.
32:50I have heard that argument made by a number of my students about global climate change.
32:59Now, disregard whether it's true or not, because in some cases politically it doesn't matter. Think about what that does.
33:05Number one, it means that in an area where you need to have serious agreement on the underlying science…
33:13…you have undermined the validity of that science for a large chunk of people…
33:18…somewhere around 40 percent in the United States. How have you done that?
33:24You've done that because what they have perceived is that you're trying to change them…
33:28…by using social engineering hiding as science.
33:34There's been very little recognition of the danger that poses to rational discourse, or for that matter, to rational policy.
33:44It's been so long since we've had it, I'm not sure I'd recognize it, but let's assume we could get there again.
33:49One of the things I think we need to be very, very careful about is being sophisticated…
33:54…in the way we understand data and the technologies that we use to communicate….
34:01…because they have been used in the past or perceived to have been used in the past in such a way…
34:07…as to have people believe that they're being manipulated. This is a particular problem in this country…
34:15…which has developed a very high level of anti-intellectualism in the political discourse.
34:21You can't fight that directly, but you can certainly avoid adding to it…
34:25…by being perceived as having played with the data in any way whatsoever.
34:31I'll tell you what, anybody wants it, I'll send out these slides.
34:43I do not think we have accepted our responsibility. I do not think we are accepting our responsibility.
34:53I think that the world that we have already created is one that desperately needs new ways of thinking…
35:00…new imagination, new tools to help it understand what we already have…
35:06…and that those are not going to come from the public.
35:10They're going to have to come from us, and so far, we have failed. Thank you very much.