Sunday, December 20, 2009

Publics need persuading on climate change

The lack of a binding agreement on carbon emissions in Copenhagen is regrettable in the extreme. That said, it is perhaps a warning signal to politicians that they have not yet done enough to persuade voters that radical action is needed. Too many political leaders are still terrified for their jobs and Senate majorities if they take the necessary steps to stop the planet frying. (Of course, the leaders of non-democracies have no such excuse).

Matthew D'Ancona, former editor of the Spectator (which likes to promote absurd contrarian denials of the climate impact of atmospheric CO2), at least has this right:
If you want a "green revolution" — and the evidence suggests that you don't – it must truly be from the bottom up. This Government's strategy – to sneer at the doubters — is doomed, not only because doubt is the cornerstone of democracy but because, on this specific issue, the doubters are in the majority. Copenhagen marked the end of an era: it demonstrated the poverty and self-regard of elite politics, the introspection and self-congratulation of a political class still in love with itself because nobody else will love it. The lesson of 2009, from duck houses to green summits, was that that kind of politics is dead, and a new kind is needed. Any ideas?

Well, Matthew; since you ask…

1 comment:

Canada Guy said...

But how does bottom up work if US and other western politicians (including here in Canada) completely ignore the activists and protestors? That's what happened at Copenhagen after all. Two years of work, down the drain.

If you're just talking about personal lifestyle changes, that can't work, it's just a few percent of the problem. It's necessary, but far from sufficient:

I think at this point the leadership is probably going to come from the third world, assuming they can maintain their unity: