March 7, 2010

NO, ENVIRONMENTALISM ISN'T A RELIGION...:

Wanted: an eco prophet: People are drifting into a lethal slumber on climate change. More of the same won't wake them up (Peter Preston, 3/07/10, guardian.co.uk)

It's an exceptionally inconvenient truth. Only one American in three believes that human beings are responsible for climate change: a polling result 10% down on where opinion rested the year before. Worse, the number of Americans who believe that climate change is a hoax or a scientific conspiracy – not doubting, just damned blank certain – has doubled since 2008. Add in those who assert that the changes, if any, are of "no significant concern", and you've got 30% of the US denying, scoffing and just walking on by.

Are the issues clearer, the people more committed, here in Britain? Call for the latest evidence from Ipsos Mori – and find that the proportion of UK adults who believe that global warming is "definitely" a reality has plummeted from 44% to 31% in the last 12 months. Figures like these, on both sides of the Atlantic, are getting more sceptical week by week. The real change of electoral climate is that fewer and fewer voters pay any heed to scientists and politicians. [...]

[T]he plain fact is that we surely need a prophet, not yet another committee. We need one passionate, persuasive scientist who can connect and convince – not because he preaches apocalypse in gory detail, but in simple, overwhelming terms. We need to be taught to believe by a true believer in a world where belief is the fatal, missing ingredient.


...it just happens to need a messiah. At least the whacky anti-human movements of the 19th century had enough marketing savvy to form behind bearded prophets: Marx, Darwin and Freud.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 7, 2010 8:27 PM
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