Monday, December 10, 2007

Road To Bali

Ecomyths writes:

A short, easy to comprehend and an accurate assessment of the Bali conference is offered here.  The central premise?
  • ...the issue is not whether humanity will succumb to a "climate crisis," or how the international community might craft a successor to the tattered Kyoto Accord (Let's call it KyoTwo). The real theme of this United Nations gabfest -- like that of its 12 predecessors, and of the hundreds, if not thousands, of related meetings --is whether globalization and trade liberalization will be allowed to continue, with a corresponding increase in wealth, health and welfare, or whether the authoritarian enemies of freedom (who rarely if ever recognize themselves as such) will succeed in using environmental hysteria to undermine capitalism and increase their Majesterium.
How did this situation evolve?  Just how did the science become so politicized to be unrecognizable as science?
Phillip Stott provides a brilliant summary in this essay where he examines the role of science in a postmodern world.  As he states:
  • Science has to learn that science no longer controls the debate, and that 'truth' will not be legitimised by science alone.
  • ...the language games of science are no longer self-legitimised, but are legitimised against the power and media relations in which they are embedded. They are, accordingly, legitimised by the social bond, which seeks out the 'science' that supports the bond, but actively rejects, and pours scorn on, the 'science' that challenges the bond.
  • The social bond has created a desire for 'global warming' to be true in order to legitimise a whole suite of pre-ordained Neo-Malthusian agendas and fears....from anti-growth to anti-Americanism. Thus, the science is also uncritically legitimised...
  • Science can no longer function in a vacuum and legitimise itself. Indeed, it is questionable whether this was ever the case. The fight for 'truth' involves, above all, the use of language, of words of power...
  • Language is everything. One mythical phrase employed by one clever media outlet can overthrow the whole edifice of science at the press of a computer key.
  • The battle ground is the social bond, not science.
  • And, paradoxically, and perhaps amusingly, this is something that 'global warming' scientists are about to learn to their cost at Bali, where a different, but equally powerful, grand narrative from the developing world could well topple the 'global warming' grand narrative of a rich and ecochondriac North.
Now, the challenge is to foster a new social bond: one that is inherently dynamist in its constructs, that empowers the individual rather than holding power over them, one that celebrates creative enterprise and not censure, and one that sustains globalization rather than the false mythology of a global sustainability.
This new paradigm is emerging.  It is evident in the blogosphere and in the advent of new media and social networks, What is needed now is a leader around which a new social bond can coalesce, take shape and gather momentum.  The times, they are a changing once again.


Phil said...

Despite the Left's self-deception on this issue, the strong social networks are (a)rising on the Right sceptic side of the (so called) debate.

The Left's argument that they represent the many against the few is shown to be a lie.

Go check the volume of comments at Climate Audit if you don't believe me.

And then google climate blogs.

Raging Tiger said...

Jonathan and Phil,

I wish I was able to share your optimism. While, I believe that climate hysteria will become increasingly harder to sustain, the sheer number of politicians subscribing to the AGW gravy train is staggering. Witness our own boy Rudd basking in the Bali glory. I fear that once politicians invest significant political capital into something it will become very hard to overturn: Kyoto was a failure, but politicians continue to push on with Kyoto 2, since admitting that Kyoto was wrong and unworkable would make them look like fools.

It took many years for AGW to capture the public imagination in the way we see now, it may take just as many years to overturn the tide barring spectacular cooling of the climate.

Jonathan Lowe said...

nice comment, and I completely agree with you Raging Tiger.

Sometimes I feel that the only evidence that will go against AGW is if the temperature decreases, but by then, no doubt, people will claim it is either El Nino or their good work at reducing emissions that did it.

Phil said...

raging tiger, whilst I agree with you on the sheer number of politicians subscribing to AGW being staggering, I don't think the reason is a 'gravy train'.

The problem for politicians is that AGW is sold as a moral issue and it is very hard to take a political stand against a moral issue without being portrayed as a bad person.

The nearest equivalent issue I can think of is multiculturalism. If you take a position against multiculturalism, you get labelled a 'racist'.

I also think that politicians are far more fickle than you imagine. All it would take is a shift in scientific opinion (or perception thereof) or a realization by the general public of how much pain there is going to be in Kyoto II to flip politicians, otherwise they are going to get thrown out of office.

The UN and its IPCC is another matter entirely becuase it's unelected and it has found the motherofall gravy trains, and they will want to keep the train running for as long as they possibly can.

igor said...

The real theme ... is whether globalization ... will be allowed to continue, with a corresponding increase in wealth, ... [OR the] enemies of freedom ... will succeed in using environmental hysteria to undermine capitalism ...

mmm... you realize that the Global Warming Catastrophe is a propaganda.


that you buy another propaganda - that of the "Wonderful Globalization" ...