CLIMATE TALK RULED BY STEREOTYPES
Why do people talk passionately using theories they often don’t understand in situations that are not defined? Climate change is a sport and knowing the moves of the sides can limit dirty play.
BELIEVERS want their majorities to rule over everyone by the consensual decrees of international forums. They don’t want further investigation because they are already sufficiently mobilised by their beliefs. Their edicts contradict and overrule scientific and democratic freedoms, which is autocracy at best and at worst hegemonic tyranny.
DENIERS is the name Believers use to label as heretics those who challenge their monotheism with arguments they are unable to counter with reason. The heresy is claimed to be self-evidently false, dishonest, illogical and too stupid to be considered. Denying is often claimed to have motives corrupted by greed, ignorance and self-interest. Believers sometimes call for reprisals against deniers. When they reject others’ beliefs, believers lack convincing evidence and their defence usually fails miserably. There is little evidence and beliefs are so fragile that compromise between believers and deniers is impossible.
SCEPTICS simply don’t know and their views are less acceptable to believers than deniers, because they are a moving target of doubt, compared with deniers who have an alternative reality. Sceptics remain to be convinced that climate change is significant when there is no accepted standard for significance and there has been bias. Sceptics want climate change to be significant before launching into remedial action. They want evidence that there is a greenhouse effect and that CO2 traps more infrared, molecule for molecule, than N2 and O2, rather than the same, which is what respectable theories suggest. Most scientists would be sceptics if they had the courage.
Believer, Denier and Sceptic, like The Three Monkeys, operate with different engagement, as mankind migrates across the savannah of human understanding of climate. Believers lead the migration to better environments, creating different survivors. They are opposed by deniers who, like predators, select their prey from the ranks of the young, the old and the disabled and pursue them in arguments to exhaustion. More agile believers are advantaged by sacrifice of the weakest. Sceptics apply reality tests to believers’ progress, checking their theories for veracity by science and logic. Sceptics try to mediate between believers and deniers. Sceptics must win, eventually, when the believers stop believing in a better climate.
My speculative fiction novel The Grass is Always Browner considers Australia 250 years in the future.