Climate Change Campaigns: Climate Deniers, Climate Traders, Climate Justice
For those choosing between the filter or the lens, assuming climate change and global warming are real, its a choice between 3 Climate Change Campaigns, 2 corporate and 1 community
- Climate Deniers: climate change is not real, not significant, natural and not man-made, will be good & wont hurt you, is worth the inconvenience – the Greenhouse Mafia – carbon emission consumers of producers – coal, oil, gas, automobile, agriculture
- Climate Traders: climate change is the single biggest problem and we can deal with it by exclusively focusing on reducing greenhouse emissions, every other problem needs to cue behind it
- Climate Justice: global warming and climate change are a symptom of a pathological global system that is based on violence and exploitation. Imperialism, industrial and landed fuedalism, capitalism
Over the last decade and a half we have been subjected to two competing corporate campaigns, echoing different time-honored corporate strategies and reflecting a split within elite circles. The issue of climate change has been framed from both sides of this elite divide, giving the appearance that there are only these two sides.
Source: Corporate Climate Coup, Part 1
The first campaign, which took shape in the late 1980’s as part of the triumphalist “globalization” offensive, sought to confront speculation about climate change head-on by denying, doubting, deriding, and dismissing distressing scientific claims which might put a damper on enthusiasm for expansive capitalist enterprise. It was modelled after and to some extent built upon the earlier campaign by the tobacco industry to sow skepticism about mounting evidence of the deleterious health-effects of smoking. In the wake of this “negative” propaganda effort, any and all critics of climate change and global warming have been immediately identified with this side of the debate.
Video Source: Corporate Climate Coup, Part 2
The second positive campaign, which emerged a decade later, in the wake of Kyoto and at the height of the anti-globalization movement, sought to get out ahead of the environmental issue by affirming it only to hijack it and turn it to corporate advantage. Modelled on a century of corporate liberal cooptation of popular reform movements and regulatory regimes, it aimed to appropriate the issue in order to moderate its political implications, thereby rendering it compatible with corporate economic, geopolitical, and ideological interests. The corporate climate campaign thus emphasized the primacy of “market-based” solutions while insisting upon uniformity and predictability in mandated rules and regulations. At the same time it hyped the global climate issue into an obsession, a totalistic preoccupation with which to divert attention from the radical challenges of the global justice movement. In the wake of this campaign, any and all opponents of the “deniers” have been identified – and, most importantly, have wittingly or unwittingly identified themselves – with the corporate climate crusaders.
The corporate campaign has done more than merely create market opportunities for mainstream popular science writers like Flannery. By constructing an exclusively Manichean contest between mean and mindless deniers, on the one hand, and enlightened global warming advocates, on the other, it has also disposed otherwise politically-astute journalists on the left to uncharacteristic credulity. Heat, George Monbiot’s impassioned 2006 manifesto on the matter, is embarrassing in its funneled focus and its naive deference to the authority of science. “Curtailing climate change,” he declaims, “must become the project we put before all others. If we fail in this task, we fail in everything else.” “We need a cut of the magnitude science demands,” he declares; we must adopt “the position determined by science rather than the position determined by politics,” as if there was such a thing as science that was not also politics.
Climate change campaigners have no greater right to be wrong than anyone else. “If we mislead the public,” he allows, “we should expect to be exposed,” adding that “we also need to know that we are not wasting our time: there is no point in devoting your life to fighting a problem that does not exist.” Here perhaps some remnants of truth seep between the managed lines, hinting yet at the opening of another space and another moment.
Historian David Noble teaches at York University in Toronto. Canada. He is the author, most recently, of Beyond the Promised Land (2005)
Source: Corporate Climate Coup, Part 3