I don’t write many posts specifically about climate change on Make Wealth History, mainly because I want to give equal weight to other matters. Climate change provokes such strong reactions that it tends to unbalance the debate, so I tend to save my stronger posts for Celsias, where they sit much better on a dedicated climate change site.
However, the other day I read George Monbiot’s latest column entry, with the inflammatory title ‘Cyberspace has buried its head in a cesspit of climate change gibberish‘. I like Monbiot’s column, mainly because he’s one of the few journalists who uses footnotes, so you can check up on everything he says (the same article, footnoted, is here on monbiot.com). He starts this week’s column like this:
“We all create our own reality, and shut out the voices we do not want to hear. But there is no issue we are less willing to entertain than man-made climate change.”
He goes on to describe the accusations and snide dismissals that follow opinion pieces that agree with the man-made climate change theory, and the gleeful applause for anything that casts even the slightest shadow of doubt on it. He ends, perhaps unwisely, by goading the enemy thus:
“We have to change the way we talk about this issue. You don’t believe me? Then just read the gibberish that follows when this article is published online.”
True to form, over 1,000 people took it upon themselves to prove his point with a parade of uninformed opinion, abuse and derision. Whether you agree with Monbiot or not, this is a sad state of affairs. How can we solve our problems if we’re incapable of talking about them?
If we’re going to get anywhere at all, here are some words that I think we need to bear in mind. I’m going to post one a day for the next week, and to start us off, here’s humility.