So Breitbart just criticized the show I was on. It spews nonsense like Climate Change is not an urgent issue and that the Maldives are fine. I don’t think I need to say anything about the former. Let’s move onto the latter point about the Maldives. So the Guardian wrote a piece on the Maldives and it reported that “not only is the tide of sea level lapping at the shallow islands, but sea temperatures are rising as is the acidity of the ocean: both kill the corals.” This is not the description of a place that’s doing “just fine.”

Also, the author of this article makes fun of the quasi-hippie claim of one of the participants. Sure, it’s not dressed up fancily. It can be interpreted as a hippie comment if taken out of context. But if you actually watched the show, you will realize that her worry over our relationship with nature is a philosophical one. Professor Michael Sandel, whom this article ridiculed, is one of the leading political philosophers of our time. He challenged in his works and even on this show the utilitarian and capitalistic solutions to climate change. I think his criticism of capitalistic values is sound. We do give capitalistic solutions to such problems unassumingly –without realizing that by doing so we are replacing ordinary morality with market values. If you think he’s wrong, you have to offer arguments rather than mock a man who is far more qualified to speak on the nature of such values than you are.

He also challenged the utilitarian imperative to primarily care about the survival of sentient beings and whether that ignored certain values such as our relationship with nature that are just as important. I happen to disagree with Michael on this. I believe an improved relationship with nature would be a good but I do not think this is a good that supersedes the good of protecting the species and other sentient beings. Nonetheless, I would not mock his views the way this author did, because he helped me re-examine my views and this was manifestly the purpose of this show. Of course, Breitbart doesn’t mention any of this. Instead, it labels this show as leftist and sneers at a man whose philosophical depth makes a laughing stock out of the dull-minded trash they call journalism.

P.S. It’s funny how they label anything that challenges capitalism as leftist. Sandel is coming from the neo-Aristotelian tradition when he criticizes market values. He is not criticizing them as a traditional leftist would –workers need to own the means to production. He is criticizing them as a neo-Aristotelian: it corrodes goods such as our relationship with nature or our relationship with education. These are not leftist values. These are communitarian values. I doubt these philosophically illiterate barbarians know the difference.

Breitbart’s article

The Global Philosopher’s episode on Climate Change


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