Friday, July 16, 2010

Global Climate Governance

Greetings from the closing panel session of the conference "Democratizing Climate Governance" at the Australian National University in Canberra. The panel has Sheila Jasanoff, Ronnie Lipschutz, Karin B├Ąckstrand and Clive Hamilton. The panelists did not reach any concensus on the issues, which is not surprising and made for an ineresting discussion.

This deepest and most useful insight I took from the discussion was that just presenting the facts on climate change and particularly presenting it as a catastrophe is not useful, even when true. Clive Hamilton used the example of Churchill's warnings about German re-armament during the 1930s. He was using this to argue that where there is a real disaster looming it should not be shirked. But I took the opposite lessons from this: While Churchill did clearly warn, few heeded the warnings and perhaps his actions were counterproductive.

ps: Less seriously, I wanted to ask: "So you want to invoke the Churchill's spirit and fight rising sea levels on the beaches?" ;-)

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