Even though I was late and arrived half way through the discuss, the talk given by Robert Manne and Adam Brandt was well worth the effort. Held at Melbourne University last night, they spoke on the “victory” of the deniers in front of a large and appreciative audience.
Getting there later was frustrating as the rain and hostile traffic lights conspired to prevent my attendance – I blame the international bankers, but hey what do I know?.
But what I did see was worth the effort.
Overview of Manne and Bandt arguments
To paraphrase both Manne and Bandt:
- There is no question the science is settled: that is not the debate
- The issue is “not what to believe, but who to believe” – the denial movement has confused people on this question
- Climate change is now a part of the “culture wars”
- The struggle is over “cultural values” which can’t disproven by facts
- Culture wars are hard to fight: to quote Manne “I’ve fought several and lost” (citing the history wars in Australia)
- Manne stated he “didn’t know how” we could fight a successful culture war
- The extreme weather events and Arctic melting may have pushed some into “not talking about” climate change (i.e. it is too scary for the punters).
I hope some of you caught the live tweets as well. It was an experiment I wanted to try, and something I hope to do more of. I was restricted by the technology (I have a Blackberry, which quite frankly is sub-optimal for this kind of thing) and missing part of the talk. These are valuable lessons and I’m sure the next attempt will be worth it. I also note
I’ve picked some new Twitter followers – so welcome!
Obviously what Manne and Bandt had to say interested me and I’m still reflecting on their observations. But, I am in general agreement. For me the obvious question – for which I’d hoped there was more discussion about – is how to challenge, combat and perhaps negate the denial movement.
So I’m throwing the question over to you:
- What can be done to combat the effectiveness of the denial machine?
Feel free to post ideas, links and even rough thoughts in the comments section of this post.
I’ll send your ideas to my paymasters at the United Nations and Hose of Rothschild – they’re one in the same you know.
You don’t have to post it on the blog, simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org