Wednesday, May 12

Oblique strategies for climate diplomacy

Some sanity in the climate change discussion from The Economist:
The consensus view of climate change rejects this messy plurality by framing the issue as a classical environmental problem—in effect, carbon-dioxide pollution—and looking for a solution in the form of policies that directly or indirectly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide people emit. Climate diplomacy tries, at its best, to provide a range of strategies by which different countries with different capabilities can cooperate towards this common end, on the basis that natural science has revealed it to be what everyone wants, or should want. The degree to which debates about climate change have become debates about climate-change science reflects the fact that this way of looking at the issue presents “the science” as a reason to act; those who want action thus have an interest in exaggerrating the conclusions or certainty of the science, and those who do not wish to act are incentivised in the opposite direction.

The Hartwellites do not disagree with the science in general and certainly don’t think there is no reason to act. They simply doubt that action along this one axis (carbon-dioxide reduction) can ever be made politically compelling. Instead, their oblique strategies... are to concentrate on easy opportunities and efficiency, energy and dignity.
Read the whole article

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