Monday, December 07, 2009

'Fourteen days to seal history's judgment on this generation' – so nothing important then

The warm-up acts of the street demonstrations, hours of background TV coverage and minor politicians moaning on about doomsday scenarios has come to an end and now we have the big ‘C’ conference. It is strange that with this strictly choreographed coverage, with everybody being on-message, the great British and American publics are becoming less convinced of the strength of the climate change arguments. Why?

There are two things at work. Firstly, the law of diminishing returns. There is only so much hectoring that people can take before they start tagging “climate stuff” as noise to be filtered out. Secondly, there is the law of "distrust by association" (i.e. Gordon Brown consistently gets things wrong; hence, he probably has got this one wrong as well). For Gordon, read just any branch of Government, business and media.

I suspect the final straw for a lot of people will be this editorial calling for action from world leaders on climate change that is published today by 56 newspapers around the world in 20 languages.

Irrespective of your views about climate change, this is no way to sway the hearts and the minds of Joe and Jolene public. This is certainly true if the aforementioned have had their 50th birthday. Dick Stroud

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