combat baby combat baby combat
Dexter's Lab political framing expert Emily Haines wants to know when we'll fight, fight, fight off the lethargy, inre: global warming.
Reuters (yes, I know, again), via ENN, via UN News Wire:
NY ALESUND, Norway (Reuters) - Climate change is the biggest security challenge since the Cold War but people have not woken up to the risks nor to easy solutions such as saving energy at home, experts said on Tuesday.
"We're not yet collectively grasping the scale of what we need to do," British climate change ambassador John Ashton told a seminar of 40 scientists and officials from 13 nations in Ny Alesund, Norway, about 1,200 km (750 miles) from the North Pole.
He said global warming should be recast as a security issue, such as war or terrorism, to help mobilize support for tougher global action to cut emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.
"The Cold War was the last big problem the world faced on so many fronts -- economic, political, industrial," he said.
Other experts at the talks, in an Arctic scientific research base, also said there was too much focus on costs of cutting emissions of greenhouse gases, rather than on risks of rising seas, droughts or floods projected by U.N. studies.
Global warming "should be looked at as a totally different type of challenge instead of asking 'what does it cost?'," said Joergen Randers, a leading Norwegian economist. Casting global warming as a security issue could make it easier to confront.
Most said that costs of fighting global warming were likely to be manageable. A report by the U.N. climate panel this year said that even the most stringent measures would mean a loss by 2030 of just three percent of global gross domestic product.
Randers said that the cheapest way to cut greenhouse gas emissions in cooler climates would be to get everyone to turn down the temperature at home by a degree Celsius (2 Fahrenheit) and wear a sweater if needed to keep warm.
"This can be done with no loss of comfort," he said, adding jokingly that it might be have to be enforced by "sweater police". Another solution would be to charge higher prices for heating homes beyond about 18C (64F).
Researchers noted that people often act without weighing up long-term consequences -- many smoke cigarettes or eat too much without rationally reviewing risks of lung cancer or obesity.
In a similar way "most people don't see the benefit of switching to a more expensive bulb that will last longer," said Nebojsa Nakicenovic, of Vienna University of Technology.
A couple of things:
* The "global warming = cold war" frame sounds good, sure - just makes you want to run outside and man the barricades, any kinda barricades, don't it? - but I don't think I'm really hep to a whole other paradigm of global elite management. This is, no doubt, what's driving the radical critique behind global warming, behind all the bullshit denialism (is that a word? it is now!). But frames don't have to fit facts - so are we staring down a necessary linguistic and intellectual evil? Yes? No? Maybe so?
* We accept so much centralized, state planning in our lives, and in many instances, with slavish devotion, but why the drama over large-scale enviro planning (and you can bet your ass that that "sweater police" remark will make the Glenn Beck wing of global warming deniers choke on their Cheetoes and Dr. Pepper)? Are our capitalism stories and private property myths so pervasive?