I’m completely confused by whats happening to the climate change movement. Since China effectively destroyed any last trace of hope for something to happen at the Copenhagen Conference there has been a stunning silence from most parties. It must be a tactic of withdraw, gather energy and re-strategize. In recent days there has been a few interesting developments which I’ll link to here.
The first is Scientific legend James Lovelock, who is in his 90s now and awesomely is going to be one of the first people to head into space on a commercial space flight, has commented humanity is ‘too stupid to prevent climate change’, which is sort of insulting but one can’t help but feel that we are showing a remarkable inability to rationally change our behavior in the face of overwhelming evidence.
“I don’t think we’re yet evolved to the point where we’re clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change. The inertia of humans is so huge that you can’t really do anything meaningful.”
“One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”
This point seems worthy of discussion. If the imperfect political democratic processes we use are too slow to deal with a crises, then how to we assure that the temporary seizure of the power is done reasonably. The example of war that Lovelock is a depressing precedent for how executive power is often abused, think Iraq, Vietnam, Falklands etc. This also raises the strange prospect that China iron grip over its large populous and industry maybe the one thing that can safe us from ourselves.
One of the more ridiculous statements made by Climate Change sceptics is that scientists are riding a gravy train of funding which encourages them to support CG. Given the awesome power of Industrial and Corporate lobbyist and the clear examples of two-bit CG scientist skeptics getting flown around the world to promote the skeptic view this always struck me as a mis-directed charge. Greenpeace has just released a report that gets in behind the lobbyists and shows the vast money that goes into supporting the corporate position. Report identifies Koch Industries giving $73m to climate sceptic groups ‘spreading inaccurate and misleading information’
The obvious line to draw between these two articles is that its not so much humanity that is too stupid to deal with this crises, but that we are allowing ourselves to be held ransom by powerful self interested groups that to acknowledge a reality which might threaten their power or their modes of existence.
The question is, given limited time, how to we get out of this bind?