The articles discussed in the Sydney Writer’s Festival panel are now available on line:
Sharon Beder examines the global warming sceptics’ bag of tricks.
David Spratt on why the climate catastrophe leaves no room for pragmatism
My article (on blogging about global warming). The posts discussed are on Michael Duffy and on Andrew Bolt.
Hello Lambert, may I ask you for a shout out:
This is Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s free movie dealing with global warming. It’s not scientific, obviously, but it’s the most beautiful presentation to date and will definitely inspire people. Today, the 5th is the start date so I really hope that we can give it a nice flying start because it deserves it.
Keep up the good work 🙂
Great article Tim.
Yes, good work. Go Tim.
Spratt doesn’t say much that’s helpful. He points out that current political compromises on climate won’t be sufficient, but doesn’t explain how we can reduce emissions without catastrophically upsetting peoples’ lifestyles. The hidden implication is that we can’t, and that people should just ‘live with it’.
The reality is that they won’t. The vast majority of humans on this planet WOULD rather burn the world than change their lifestyles significantly. Neither can they be forced to do so by their governments: history has taught us that governments able to coerce their citizens to this degree become uncontrolled engines of oppression. That is, democracy itself is weak to the challenge presented by this problem. Spratt doesn’t acknowledge this openly, but nevertheless seems to judge society for not doing something about it.
“…catastrophically upsetting peoples’ lifestyles…”
“…history has taught us that governments able to coerce their citizens to this degree become uncontrolled engines of oppression…”
For goodness sake, Nils, we’re just talking about switching to different sources of energy.
Today the NSW government gave approval to a wind farm with expected output equal to 4.5% of current electricity consumption.
It seems to have been done without resorting to the heavy hand of totalitarian brutality and it is projected to cost less than the Epping to Chatswood rail link.
Fears of the process of “decarbonising” the economy are overblown. Vested interests are keen to play on people’s fears but once a cap-and-trade or carbon tax is up and running the fuss will die down.
Same as with the GST and tariff cuts. I mean people still complain about them but they didn’t send us back to the stone age.
I think Spratt is overstating things when he says we need “a great social and economic upheaval, a revolt against the corporate interest, the cultural comfort and political incapacity that are driving us to catastrophe..” etc.
We just need a few less dickheads in the Senate.
We need a few less dickheads in the Parliamentary Labor Party, the coal industry (and their shills and hangers-on) and the various other special interest groups who’ve been whining up a storm as well, Gaz.
The Senate isn’t the only problem.
RF at #1: “… it’s the most beautiful presentation to date and will definitely inspire people”.
Ditto to that and thanks for the tip RF – that film is very, very beautiful indeed! And inspirational as you say. I highly commend it but don’t be just lulled by its mesmerising beauty – spot its flaws! 90 minutes and 800MB of HD video and lush original soundtrack (now you know).
“The obstacles to building a post-carbon society are principally cultural and political, not technological and economic. “
This is b*****it, rosy tinted glasses land. Does he even live in the modern world?
DI(NR) “The Senate isn’t the only problem.” Sigh. Yes, but the CPRS, imperfect though it is, will probably stall in the Senate. I’m of the view that it would be better to have an operating scheme that can be fixed than to have no scheme at all, with the consequent risk that the ALP will lose the next election and we never get a scheme of any sort.
I tend to agree with Spratt that cultural/political problems are most pressing at the moment than technological/economic issues.
I mean, what’s harder, getting the CPRS through the Senate, or building a wind farm. Hint, there are wind farms. There is no CPRS.
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Happy new year!