Mistaken assumptions on climate change

In: Uncategorized

27 Jul 2008

Burn-up, BBC 2’s big budget eco-thriller on the oil companies and runaway climate change, was awful in every way: as a drama, politically and in relation to the science. Rob Johnston on spiked has written an incisive review but it is worth outlining the key misconceptions embodied in the drama as they are common in the green mindset:

* It is assumed that there is no question that runaway warming (not just climate change) is happening. Catastrophe is imminent. A worst case scenario is presented as indisputable fact.

* Corporations are driven by greed in their ruthless pursuit of oil. In this sense attacks on capitalism are moral (it is driven by bad people) rather than linked to the pursuit of profit in itself. Companies and the economy are “addicted” to oil. (Insurance companies are a partial exception as they are suffering big losses as a result of climate change).

* The role of corporate lobbyists is to shed doubt on “the science”. They play the pernicious role of generating uncertainty and may engage in “greenwash” to improve their clients’ images.

* Deep down America knows that climate change is bad but it should help further its drive for global domination.

* Britain is on the right side but ineffectual.

* China is duplicitous – playing America against Europe to further its own interests,

* The only way to deal with climate change is to cut emissions. Adaptation is hardly discussed at all let along geo-engineering.

Sadly such mistaken views are widely held in the climate change debate.

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