Secondly, there is more to it than just ‘optimist – pessimist’. There is also how confidence we are in our expectations of the future. This may sound a bit abstract but it’s fundamental, particularly with something big and uncertain.
I wrote about it in an article called “Optimism, pessimism, and open-minded realism” at http://www.managedluck.co.uk/objectivist/index.shtml
The ability to get on with actions even while the truth is uncertain is very important. I don’t discuss that in the article, but obviously it is important for climate policy.]]>
You are either wonderfully optimistic and naive or horridly cynical, I can’t tell which :-).
The reality is that Climate Policy is a misnomer. Climate Policy is really People Policy. This is a Risk Management issue pure and simple which effects every living human being on this planet in one way or another.
A theory has been put forward and has gained some traction. It is only now receiving truly intense scrutiy from outside the bullwork of bureacracy which is IPCC and of the society of friends which has been those leading the charge based around the notion of AGW.
You are absolutely correct that there is much distraction going on and irrational behavior on every side of the debate. It seems to frustrate you. I actually find the interest healthy. My own interest peaked with ClimateGate and after reading through 150 pages of the EA e-mails, having to filter out “analysis” by an avowed conspiracy theorist, I find the scrutiny the actors both within CRU and without to be useful.
As a professional Risk Manager, I’ve always found it useful to challenge the assertions/materiality of those who come to me with a risk in a respectful way. The individual making the assertion will have their position challenged. It’s healthy, and good preparatory work for me when I have to take the position to the Program Manager, get funding for mitigation, and assign the appropriate resource to develop the mitigation plan. Honest debate, discussed in a respectful way which separates known elements from the unknown is the only way I’ve found to seriously address Risk Management.
The Climate Policy debate influences everyday people. The elitism shown within the ClimateGate e-mails is palpable. The reactions to it by many conformist institutions without a curious brain cell in their heads is predictable. Your article misses the point completely. Rationality is often about perception of same by the individual looking through their individual prism. In a diverse world one should not be surprised to discover diversity of thought. To write off those differences and character attribute is being irrational is to be too readily dismissive of those who are different than you. Any honest man or woman should be able to look in the mirror and admit that the image staring back at them does not represent the “ideal”. The viewpoints of that individual will be necessarilly fallible, and that each day represents an opportunity for learning from those who are different than that face we see.
AGW theory proposes a risk and a source. IPCC seeks to quantify impact (remember, risk quantified = probability * consequence) and prepare policy recommendations for a path forward, all this based on confidence in both the evidence and the potential impacts of the incumbent scenario. IPCC seeks to validate the integrity of their advisory content through process and vetting of the characters who contribute the content.
That the public speaking through their elected representatives holds these institutions and their designees to a high standard IS A GOOD THING!
AGW theory and accompaning Climate Policy recommendations by those who are proponents of the theory represents one path forward based on a level of uncertainty both of the quantity of risk in evidence and now with ClimateGate, the integrity of those who submitted the content.
The incumbent path forward carries with it incumbent risks AS DOES ANY DEVIATION THEREFROM.
There is absolute certainty that the “consensus recommendation” COP15 was intended to drive represented risk. It came with a cost. Proponents would argue the framework and binding language desired came with overwhelming benefits that outweighed those risks.
Proponents of COP15 language in the aftermath of the timid response from official participants remain frustrated, and “blame the messenger”. That messenger of course is the constituency the heads of state and designees present are accountable too.
Frustration with that constituency by labeling them as irrational is elitest and foolish. Part of Climate Policy by necessity is to craft a message which seems rational to the ultimate customer and stakeholder of the proposed policy changes in question.
Respectfully I say to your profession, buck up and prepare a “rational” policy roadmap going forward that appeals to the constituency you ultimately answer to, your fellow citizens of this globe and stop complaining or get out of the way and let new voices speak in a dialect that your fellow species members can better understand and appreciate.
ClimateGate reveals individuals in a “cocoon” that really need to get out more. Spend some time with everyday people. Appreciate the salt of the earth. Listen to their challenges to your ideas. Respond with respect and courtesy to them…you’ll get further with them that way. Like it or not, they stand before you requiring persuasion. Coercion isn’t an option so dealing with those you consider “irrational” goes with the territory. Maybe if you take the time to get to know them a little better, perhaps there’s more logic to the “wisdom of the crowds” than you give them credit.
Coincidentally, yesterday the fine Mind Hacks blog (http://www.mindhacks.com/) pointed me to an article about the motivation of internet trolls (people who subvert discussions, pick pointless arguments, etc. on forums and comment threads) at Cognition and Culture (http://www.cognitionandculture.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=559:conversation-hackers-trolls-argumentation&catid=32:oliviers-blog&Itemid=34) written by Olivier Morin and Sophie Claudel which you may find interesting.
Best wishes, Andi]]>
That leads me to divide people into two categories: precautionists who worry about the consequences of making type 2 errors (Planning for less severe climate change than actually occurs) and cautionists who worry about the consequences of making type 1 errors (Planning for more severe climate change than occurs).
I think this division also nicely defines the policy debate.]]>
Nine internationally acclaimed photojournalists have come together to put a lens on the effects of climate change. http://www.consequencesbynoor.com
Our photographs are stunning reminders of how climate change is effecting the earth. We would love to talk with you about featuring the project on your site. Please feel free to contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org
about consequences by noor
From the frontiers of climate change comes Consequences by NOOR. Featuring the work of nine, internationally acclaimed photographers, this exhibition documents the devastating effects of climate change around the globe. These stunning photographs show not what might happen in the future but what is happening today.
The subjects include: a massive pine beetle kill in British Columbia, genocide in Darfur, the rising sea level in the Maldives, Nenet reindeer herders in Siberia, Inuit hunters in Greenland, a looming crisis in Kolkata, India, coal mining in Poland, oil sand extraction in Canada and the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest by Brazilian cattle ranchers.
Consequences by NOOR premiers at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, December 7 through December 18, 2009.
Consequences by NOOR goes on tour in 2010 and is available for booking. Below is just one of the images from our project. I’d love to speak with someone to see if you’d be interested in featuring a few of the images on the wwfus website.
Chief Creative Officer
Design for Social Good