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Global Warming in their own words

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"The more time i have spent talking to people in the green movement the more i have come to suspect that cutting carbon emissions isnt the top priority for all green campaigners. What worries me is that the political objectives of some greens seems to override their interest in solving global warming"

" I noticed early on in my year of living ethically that all sorts of the advice you get from greens has little if anything to do with tackling global warming. Organic food, for example, is often more carbon intensive to produce than super-efficient industrial agriculture; locally produced goods can sometimes have a higher carbon foot print than imported goods."

"If we could suddenly switch to a world where growth without increased emissions were possible, (people) would still have a problem with our urge to consume."

"I can’t but help feel that the identity campaign that Tom Crompton champions carries a whiff of social engineering about it – it seems to imply an almost evangelical approach with green missionaries"

"You make it sound quite cynical - using climate change as a tactical device. It’s almost as if climate change is a sort of convenient truth."

- Justin Rowlatt, BBCs 'Ethical Man' (Green propagandist)


"I was angry because it really showed that they wanted more. They didnt just want to prevent climate change, they wanted to somehow change people."

"Actually if you look through human history we’ve fulfilled those desires in numerous different ways from tattooing our faces to binding feet – not all of them have been fabulous but not all of them have been high impact. Fulfil those desires for status, for social acceptability, for desirability in low impact ways and you’re onto a winner."

" I think people would far prefer for me to use marketing and advertising tactics on them to play with their sense of status, to play with their sense of social acceptability "

- Solitaire Townsend, Futerra


"People wanted to stop Stephenson's Rocket on the basis that it would kill all the cows that it went past because it was moving too fast. Genetic modification could be very damaging(!) but it could be very important. Lets stop demonising it."

"What you have to do is to make sure the market is working properly, and the market doesn’t work properly at the moment and we have to make it work properly."

- Conservative MP, John Gummer


"We are quite clear, we actively oppose nuclear power. We will do all in our power to oppose nuclear power."

- John Sauven Greenpeace director


"The idea that there are huge numbers of environmental activists out there that are anti technology is just a myth that the nuclear industry and the GM industry love to persuade people like you that thats the story"

"Is it true to say that it’s the emission of greenhouse gases that is the root problem behind climate change? You see I don’t believe that. The root problem is the model of economic growth that drives a particular pattern of economic activity that creates the emissions that lead to the climate impacts. And I think you have to go further upstream, if you like, in looking to the root problem in climate change; and going further upstream means going to the heart of the growth economy that we have today."

"my pragmatism works to the point where I hope we can get significant changes in people’s lives, but then I want them to go further than that and look to a different kind of economy, a different kind of society"

- Jonathan Porritt, Sustainable Development Commission


"In societies where the norm is very individualistic, high levels of consumption, everybody out for themselves go-getting, that those people are less likely to do the good environmental things than in societies where the norms are much more communal, collective in the way that you tackle problems, people share difficulties. "

- Andrew Simms, New Economics Foundation


"I think the problems at the root of climate change are problems of collective identity – it’s a problem of who we see ourselves as being."

- Tom Crompton, WWF Strategist


"I hate to say this – but there is a very strong –it’s very small – but there is a very strong green fascism in much of the environmental world. I’ve heard it said at (UN) meetings I’ve been at – that climate change is so important - democracy has to be sacrificed."

- Theologian Martin Palmer


"Some of the deep green movement would buy into this - that actually climate change is the best opportunity that we have got in order to get our political goal of a more egalitarian, localist, less consumer driven society onto the table. And we’ve seen over 40 or 50 years different tactics I suppose from some of these deep greens, eco-socialists if you like, to drive forward this idea and climate change is the latest and is an opportunity. "

- Climategate linked UEA scientist, Mike Hulme


(OTTMAR EDENHOFER, UN IPCC OFFICIAL): Basically it's a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War. Why? Because we have 11,000 gigatons of carbon in the coal reserves in the soil under our feet - and we must emit only 400 gigatons in the atmosphere if we want to keep the 2-degree target. 11 000 to 400 - there is no getting around the fact that most of the fossil reserves must remain in the soil.

(NZZ): De facto, this means an expropriation of the countries with natural resources. This leads to a very different development from that which has been triggered by development policy.

(EDENHOFER): First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.

For the record, Edenhofer was co-chair of the IPCC's Working Group III, and was a lead author of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report released in 2007 which controversially concluded, "Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations." (1)

Source Edit

BBC Radio 4 - Analysis, broadcast Jan 25th 2010

(1) link

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