Why the World Disagrees on Climate Changeby John Lorinc, Green Inc., blog at the New York Times, October 23, 2009
With a global summit on the topic, COP15, less than two months away — and the prospects for reaching an agreement there growing increasingly dim — it would seem ripe territory for analysis, and Mr. Hulme examines why different societies approach the topic from sharply different vantage points shaped by culture, spirituality, history and politics.
Green Inc. spoke recently to Mr. Hulme, who is in India lecturing about his book. Excerpts from that conversation follow.
For me, this is exactly a case again of why we disagree about climate change. We have almost exactly orthogonal positions emerging about what the preferred strategies should be. They’ve got ideologically different ways of approaching solutions. Those are difficult differences to reconcile.
It’s like surgeons conducting a series of experiments on the human body without knowing what they were doing, or doing it blindfolded.
Those sorts of approaches are actually going nowhere. If we moved to more bilateral or sectoral approaches that don’t all have to be singing from the same hymn sheet, they can be doing their own thing in their own sector, for their own motives. Then we’re more likely to see progress being made.
It won’t likely be on the scale that some of the advocates argue it should be. But it will start making some tangible progress outside of the gridlock.
We’ve painted ourselves into a corner with these negotiations. Even now, I’m hearing from the environmental advocates that they’re resigned that COP isn’t going to produce anything. There’s a real mood of despair, almost, that it isn’t going to deliver. So I think we need to move out of that kind of negotiating framework.
Link to Green, Inc., blog post at The New York Times: http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/23/why-the-world-disagrees-on-climate-change/