Climate Change Denial

October 7, 2008

STOP talking about the environment!

George Marshall @ 4:58 pm

George Marshall in short interview argues that we must stop refering to climate change as an environmental issue arguing that this provides a handy denial strategy for people to argue that it has nothing to do with them..

The original is on youtube at link…

For those with nothing better to do, there are more of these short pieces of George(me) talking about

Climate Change Denial …. link
People Don’t Care About Polar Bears…..link
End of the world? You decide! …..link

8 Responses to “STOP talking about the environment!”

  1. Graham Game says:

    Great stuff – just got to the nub of the issue & the video ended!! This is our starting point now, how do we progress? How do we make CC more than a green issue?

  2. This video is on the right track. CC fits into a bigger picture than ‘environment’. However all previous attempts to rebrand CC haven’t really worked, as we see from the absence of any effective solutions. This is because people’s response to CC is driven by the inescapable human need for psychological comfort. Denial provides that comfort; so does “CC isn’t in our remit”; so does any token effort at doing our bit. This explains why so little is done when so much is known about CC and positive feedbacks.

    How do we progress? Offer people a psychologically comforting view of the future which is more attractive than current ‘every man for himself’ wealth-squandering resource-squandering debt-powered nonsense, which is anything but comfortable for most people. Show people how this vision could be rapidly installed with rather simple economic tools. Remind politicians and business that this vision preserves hope for future economic growth, unlike the old model, which is obsolete and bankrupt.

  3. I have just read you essay in ‘Surviving Climate Change’with great interest. I hoep that you will be interested that we have just committed £280k to four groups of organsiations to work with non-environmental charities on climate change in the UK, looking at their primary charitiable mission as well as their CO2 emisisons. Do please contact us if you like to know more.

  4. Graham Game says:

    We have come to believe that we are separate from, and superior to, nature and have unhitched ourselves from the biological reality we are a part of. In an attempt to further disassociate ourselves from our actions, we have created ‘environmental issues’ so that we can hide or marginalise the chaos we are creating and get on with the more important things in life.

    My mantra is this: There ARE no environmental issues – EVERYTHING we do is an environmental issue.

  5. I actually agree with this, and it does not mean that all the work on green or eco-branding is for naught. It means that we must engage in far more complicated thinking in terms of how to engage and involve people and organisations who can exempt themselves by using the enviro label. It also gets at a more subtle issue of identity and values; in other words the eco and green branding is context specific. I just posted an almost identical point, made very briefly, on the Green Awards website (www.greenawards.co.uk) – no comments as of yet! Renee

  6. Mike Small says:

    Hi George, you are absolutely right. But its also about connecting to peoples real lives and everyday life and making a POSITIVE case for change.
    Keep up the good work.
    Mike, for the Fife Diet Collective

  7. Anthony says:

    Have you read The Age of Consequences, the foreign policy and national security implications of global climate change by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

    Really scary stuff and many arguments to use against those who say the problems will be manageable.

  8. Ivan says:

    You realize that this is essentially the thesis of The Death of Environmentalism, yes?

    If so, you should really give credit where credit’s due… to the Breakthrough Institute.

    George writes: fair point Ivan, and happy to provide the reference, though my argument differs from theirs in details

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