May 18, 2011
This will be a grab-bag post of various things I’ve been meaning to blog about but haven’t had time.
First, (this will only make sense if you read Amy and Daniel’s comments on my last post) I did get the BYU magazine. When I got to the page with the picture, I read the caption and thought, “I remember that. I was there.” And then I looked at the picture and thought, ”And it looks like there I am.”
So the disagreements really break down into two. There’s the science: human influence is either significant or not so significant; and there’s economics: we must have policies which make drastic changes to society, lifestyles and industrial policy – what George Monbiot called “a war against ourselves” – or we must sensibly adapt, and are foolish to create more unnecessary human poverty and misery when we don’t need to.
This isn’t so surprising, really. The most passionate believers in the view that man is irreparably changing the climate are the people with the long lists of radical remedies already prepared; their politics needs the catastrophe, for nobody would entertain their politics for a moment – it wouldn’t be mainstream – if it didn’t come with a catastrophe attached. Take away the catastrophe, and their politics collapses like a house of cards. Politically we’re in a sort of limbo: a few countries have pledged themselves to the course of radically changing lifestyles and industrial policy – but the price of implementing them is political suicide. Things meander along without resolution.