Thursday, February 11, 2010

Nothing Great about this Climate Change Debate

This is a rushed post. I'm on my way to the hospital to fetch my wife and baby (love saying that), so my quotes, names and references may be a little off, but the gist is here.

Watched the National Press Club's so called Great Climate Change Debate between Penny Wong and Greg Hunt, a couple of Australian politicians who argue for the sake of it. Wong set the scene for the debate, as it being a debate about belief, you either believe in the human caused climate change, or you don't.. they the other to her) being the don't. Then Hunt defused that attempt to polarize the issue saying he agreed on the science, so would rather debate just two proposed economic policies being put forward for action on that climate change.

What else can a popularist politician, who only know's how to combat ideas, and never collaborate, do? They can't take minority stances, not until polls say its safe, they can't talk about the threads of doubt, they can't cry, be humble, civil with one another, truthful and well meaning.. non of that. They can only think about an election not far from now, and talk only about 2 proposed policies, as though there is nothing else, and should be nothing else. What a waste of time, why bother?

The polarization of the issues surrounding climate change is the biggest problem, even bigger than climate change itself I'd say - deserving an open and frank discussion at the Press Club, not another debate! Now days, when I see or read anything that is divisive and using unnecessarily loaded words, targeting an "other" as if anyone else knows better, I dismiss it as cheap and wasteful. Such is the problem in Agmates/Infowars and the plethora of Climate Change agencies geared to defend the faith. So was Wong yesterday...

Wong used the agmate/infowar rhetoric to laugh at "denialism" yesterday. This example illustrates the point perfectly. She quoted the belief held by "conspiracy theorists" that climate change was a global conspiracy of the left to dismantle industrial society. Everyone laughed, no one thought about it.. all things predicated with "conspiracy theory" don't warrant any consideration, because - they don't think straight - we do, they use inflammatory language - we don't.

A conspiracy to dismantling industrial society... sounds ridiculous doesn't it? And on the one hand it is, on the other it is not. Its all in the wording and an ability to listen.

Wong went on to explain the Carbon Pollution Reduction Plan (an ETS), saying it was complex, but it needed to be. In her words, "we are changing the economy to fix the problem (putting a price on pollution). They (the Liberals) are proposing business as usual, that being the thing that created this problem in the first place".

Can you see how what she says confirms the agmate/infowar idea about the Left? Both sides don't realise it is neither a conspiracy nor is it good will, what they both say is true, what they both say is false. The truth (an understanding) is missed by poor communication.

Wong and the party she represents, traditionally speaking, is on the Left. They have a plan to regulate the economy to fix the human problems that cause climate change. In other words, the left is conspiring to "dismantle industrial society". Nothing to laugh at there, why can't Wong see the two sides of the same coin here? Because of the language that agmates/infowars use, because of her effort to sideline them by laughing at them, she's simply not listening, and they are not using words to be heard. They want to use language not for negotiating an understanding, but simply to agitate their own, preaching to the converted, laughing at their enemies, spoiling for a fight. They're all the same.

This school yard nonsense needs some bloody shaming. Its as though we all actually prefer to fight, hung up on old fights still. I wouldn't be surprised if some violence is brewing in a small NE Victorian logging town aimed at a small group of hippies who used to chain themselves to dozers, trying to stake a claim for subsistent and convivial living there. Nor would I be surprised at the number of people positioning to profit from this waste of energy in fighting. I hope our "leaders" (the ones who put themselves in the high minded spotlight, that is), start thinking about their petty play of politics, and start self sacrificing a little, and actually give something to the other. Listen, paraphrase, read back, check for understanding, work with.

All we need is love. Makes you cringe doesn't it. We've lost all perspective and meaning in life. I'm disgusted by us all.


benrattray said...

how's the fam?

liked the post, well the first bit, then you started talking like a person distracted by love, peace and becoming a new dad ;)

why does the answer have to be in the middle? why does decisiveness necessarily have to be wrong for both sides? if one side claims something is black, the other white, purely to argue, it doesnt mean the correct answer is grey, does it?

Leigh Blackall said...

Hey Ben, family is great. :)

You're right, middle is not the right term. But Its something like it - we are all in this together, so we might as well aim for something like togetherness. Whats the alternative? Victomisation, hate, war?

I keep seeing the very little effort on both sides to reconcile. you can see how wars start can't you. Both sides are guilty of ignoring each other, both taking cheap pot shots in their bid to maintain loyalty at the expense of the other.

stevenparker said...

Good post Leigh. I recently attended an event in Sydney where families and young people came together from all walks of life to showcase what they had learned about being more self reliant and growing food in the city.

I noticed less rhetoric and concern about climate change in talking to people and a more quiet conservative satisfaction in taking practical steps to be sustainable/ empowered. There was even an infowars 'truther' stall where a young fella rationally explained his thinking, he was even welcomed it seemed. My point being that in this instance the clmate change rhetoric seemed to have less sway over 'Green' people's emotions compared to what I have seen elsewhere.

I think this will the happy by product of all of the political cynicism in climate science generated of late.

Was good to see people from different backgrounds working past the divisive fear and hype of clmate change to do something meaningful local and effective for their own lives.