Climate change can not be solved

04-11-2009 09:47
Thanks to Mike Hulme, the global dialogue conference got off to a good and controversial start. The professor of climate change at University of East Anglia introduced some insightful and tantalizing propositions, which did no less than putting the whole COP15-joint venture in doubt.

Jumping onto his train of thought isn't easy. Basically, his intention is to liberate the way we think about climate change as a mere physical process which can be estimated by numbers and facts. "Release climate change to speak with many voices."

Climate change can not be solved anyway. In the current debate, all the use of apocalyptic language (such as Ban Ki Moon's warning), of Promethean attempts to control nature, the hypocrisy when talking about preserving nature in a state of Eden or Themisian ideas of justice – it does not lead to the right question.

Still following Hulme, the question is not what we can do for climate change, but:

What can climate change do for us?

First of all, focusing our achievements on percentual decrease of carbon dioxide emissions only, stifles a lot of potential discussion. The global dialogue about climate change is not to be determined by scientific facts only, it should be understood more as an idea with all its possible social, political or cultural implications.

So, not rules and regulations, but rethinking values should be the result of dialogues about climate change. Climate change as an idea, and not just statistics about rising sea levels, has a far more constructivist power. New narratives should be told, collective action on a more horizontal level, and not prescribed from top-down institutes, should be achieved.

So, don't we need a Copenhagen protocol? From a realist point of view, I ask myself in how far do we need rules as a basis for actions, as a framework in which rational agendas can and have to be pushed?

Hulme's argument can be followed here

by Torsten Müller

Category: Conference news


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