I was surprised the other day by a good friend who expressed his doubts about carbon dioxide being the cause of climate change, a phenomenon which he accepted as happening but only because of variations in the Earth’s orbit in relation to the Sun.
He believed humankind should plan for climate change but without bothering overmuch about CO2 as such. He’s a smart fellow so I bit my customarily active lip and directed my energy into some web research instead.
This New Scientist piece did for the solar wobble phenomenon, saying it is an influence but not always and never to the extent that would explain global temperature changes through history.
On the subject of climate change, and whether taxes, technology or individual actions will sort things out, this article, from the excellent openDemocracy, explained why none of the above might be our escape route. The solutions themselves, on their own or together, are too entrenched in liberal capitalism and its emphasis on markets and individual choices.
So what might work? As the article says:
More social-science research suggests that collectivist, social-welfare societies are a better incubator of pro-environmental behaviour than individualist ones where welfare is looked on with suspicion.
It suggests a sense of community with others may be as important as concern over the biosphere in generating environmentalism, and adds:
If this is true, then any community that is subjected to a near-thirty-year experiment designed to prove that “there is no such thing as society” – as Britain under successive prime ministers has effectively been since 1979 – will be in poor shape to deal with the pro-social policy demands of a problem like climate change.
Can’t disagree with that.
All that being said, we have to deal with what we’ve got, which is why, as hotairhead, I posted a couple of times on the Guardian’s Comment is free site the other day on the subject of whether Al Gore should run again for the U.S. presidency. I reckon he should.
Parts of the U.S. political world are moving, as evidenced by this week’s Economist.
Finally, while on the subject of climate change, I can’t recommend enough the work of George Monbiot and his latest book “Heat”.