Monday, October 8, 2012

Media "overkill" -- could it be true?

Regular readers of this blog will remember that we had quite a few discussions about the alleged (or real) alarmism over climate change. The UK (among other countries) seemed to be a case in point. Now the EU climate commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, is on record of saying pretty much the same (or at least some unnamed source close to her -- you see, it is a sensitive issue).

Here is what the BBC reports:

The European Commission believes that policies to cut greenhouse gases will only work if individuals share the vision of a low-carbon society.
"It's perhaps been a bit too much doom and gloom in the past on climate," one official told the BBC at the launch in London. "We are now emphasising the need to inspire people."

Hedegaard said that awareness of climate change varied widely throughout the EU. According to the BBC,

One of her officials admitted that the UK was suffering from something of a media backlash against climate policies because previously there had been media "overkill" on climate. But in some other countries - particularly in southern and eastern Europe - climate was not widely discussed.
If you thought this would indicate a U-turn of EU climate strategy, you are wrong. The official line still is about reaching a global deal...
She said she believed a new global climate agreement might be achieved in 2015. "That would be the first time that rich nations and developing nations signed a legally binding agreement for everyone to reduce emissions - a huge breakthrough."


Hans von Storch said...

If this report is accurate, it describes a sad inability of European elites to take climate change seriously. The issue seems more as an opportunity to do social experiments - such as mass mobilization, steps towards a truly global governance - than dealing with efficiently limiting climate change and protecting society against "non-mitigatable" climate change.

"A bit too much doom and gloom in the past on climate" - if quoted accurately - describes a concept that this past "gloom and doom" practice could easily be rectified by another educational approach "inspiring people" - without recognizing that the gloom & doom practice caused damage in the trust in policymakers, media and science - even though "people" are not mentioned in Reiner's discussion; it seems that the EU officials consider the media as culprits.

Werner Krauss said...

The BBC article is about a campaign by the EU named "worldulike", which intends to inspire people instead of frightening them. It's interesting to click through the following link:

This is what archaeologists in a couple of hundred years will look at and wonder what kind of cosmology people lived by in 2012!

Hans: I agree, but: "The issue seems more as an opportunity to do social experiments" - isn't anthropogenic climate change a social experiment per se? Consequently, the problem is not that climate change is used for social experiments, but which social experiments do we want instead to face this challenge.

Hans von Storch said...

Werner - not sure if I would call anthropogenic climate change a social experiment. In the sense of inducing intended change, obtaining a planned difference to "normal" (presently prevalent) conditions.

Would a development towards more affluence qualify as an "experiment"?

Werner Krauss said...

of course, climate change is an unintended consequence of industrialization. Nonetheless, there is no routine or normal to rely on or to go back to - this is what I meant by social experiment.

Mike Zajko said...

Inspiring people tends to be more difficult than scaring them, and it's especially hard to do with a website. This might account for the site's awkward design - trying something new I guess...