Oh what glorious and bizarre irony. Yesterday an Australian coal billionaire, Clive Palmer, announces that he is building a full size replica of The Titanic. This is Clive Palmer who utterly rejects climate science, calls CO2 the ”fluid of life”, says that green activists are a CIA funded conspiracy and sought a high court challenge to prevent the government Carbon Tax. As well he might as a carbon billionaire and main investor in the $8 billion China First coalmine in Queensland.
The Titanic is, as the Onion points out, the world largest metaphor. The line about it being the unsinkeable boat was actually made up later by a journalist, though Palmer likes to add his own twist: “of course it will sink if you put a hole in it”. But there are other metaphors of interest to climate change…the gross inequality in the proportion of the lower class passengers who died, and the utter failure to anticipate or manage the disaster.
There is a very interesting question about why The Titanic is such a resonant myth at present. I would suggest that boosterism requires us to exorcise past (or future) challenges to our values through re-enactment- as we have seen with the rebuilding of the New York World Trade Center. I am sure must be many powerful examples of this approach – ideas please.
So thank you Clive Palmer for adding to our rich vocabulary of climate change narratives . Maybe the CIA could fund the iceberg too.