The highly recommended German website “NoTricksZone” had an article about a new law in Germany which would mandate energy rationing http://notrickszone.com/2011/01/03/germany-passes-energy-tyranny-act-will-force-energy-rationing/. It also had a comment about the climate change conference which pushed for the legislation, so I clicked the link to have a look. Here’s my report.
Firstly, the name of the conference, you’re gonna love this:
The Great Transformation: Climate Change as Cultural Change.
They just can’t help it, can they? After all the carefully crafted proclamations that this was about the science and not the politics, they have an international conference to discuss how they’re going to change everyone’s lives in the name of saving the world.
The conference program lists four major topics of debate. The economics of climate change, global governance, cognitive dissonance [i.e. changing people’s behaviour], and most importantly, “political participation”. By political participation, they seem to mean the exact opposite:
4) POLITICAL PARTICIPATION:
Technological innovation and political regulation can only be effective if “the people” participate in their various roles as polluters, producers and consumers of goods, citizens and voters. Democratic regimes are not well prepared for the level of participation that is required: Can free democratic societies cope with the effects of grave changes in the global climate, or might authoritarian regimes possibly be better placed to enforce the necessary measures?
There’s also a link there to the organizations behind the conference, which includes the Potsdam Institute, whom you may remember for their recent claim that global warming is the reason the winters are so very, very cold these days: http://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/global-warming-could-cool-down-temperatures-in-winter
Here’s what the director of the Potsdam institute was saying at the conference:
“Humankind is at a crossroads,” says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Either the Earth System would undergo major phase transitions as a result of unchecked human pressure on nature’s capacities and resources or a “Great Transformation” towards global sustainability would be initiated in due course. “Neither transitions nor transformations will be manageable without novel forms of global governance and markets, and also of cognitive awareness and political participation that will be addressed by this conference”, says Schellnhuber
Professor Cornel Zwierlien, another speaker at the conference, compared the situation to standing at a balustrade staring into the abyss, and argued that
We have to study how “balustrade fear” and . . . “balustrade hope” can contribute to and can be transformed into real, actual fear and hope that triggers action
Obviously the file linked to represents his lecture notes only, so we don’t know what was actually said or discussed here. Presumably, one of the topics was how to inspire the “real, actual fear” that might trigger the necessary action. It’s well worth clicking on the link and reading through his notes yourself. It gives a good idea of how “scientific” this process really is.
Are you ready for the “great transformation”?