Climate Change Denial

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May 1, 2012

Coal billionnaire sunk by vast metaphor

George Marshall @ 1:16 pm

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.

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4 responses to “Coal billionnaire sunk by vast metaphor”

  1. Robert M Stahl says:

    Because the metaphor is not a simile. Bertrand Russell proved that a field is not structure, truth is a simple underlying notion in a wider field it is inclusive in (structure?), and math in the end is pure fiction. Similarity is the only path to structure, which, instead of karma, is ecstacy, or Life. Ecology?

    All of the world, stemming from the laws of the universe, are music-based. There is no silence, and all of the miracles we understand exist at one level or another, looked at in hindsight properly, are contextually associated with music. Where is the higher intelligence? Probably lost in a disease… Try Gregory Bateson’s Steps to an Ecology of Mind to start.


  2. Graham Game says:

    Earth to Robert . . . Come in Robert . . !!

  3. Mark Ritzenhein says:

    Logic occurs in the mind, and is as illusory as all other phenomena dismissed by rationalists. However, the issue of inevitability and inertia still bears down upon the human race. I see technological change finally picking up speed, but will it be at all sufficient to reverse the gassing off of the permafrost methane, along with the sudden collapse and of the ice cap albedo switch? Not likely. Will the oceans which have absorbed so much CO2 just return to a previous chemical stasis, like magic? Not likely. Overreach by earlier human societies indicates 90% die-off.

  4. John says:

    Clive Palmer recently made another contribution to our rich vocabulary of climate change narratives: he is funding the world’s biggest dinosaur park. For stories, search for “Clive Palmer dinosaur”.

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