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Climate Denial Denial, or Questioning Questioning Climate Politics

posted by dru Geography: Earth Topics: climate change

April 19, 2007

Climate Denial Denial, or Questioning Questioning Climate Politics

Justin Podur takes issue with the comments of Denis Rancourt, whom I recently interviewed. ,

My quick reaction is that this is like Michael Deibert on Haiti or Irshad Manji on Israel/Palestine and terror - reactionary politics wrapped up in some thin progressive language to either dupe or confuse leftists who would otherwise be the most solid advocates of progress (or decent survival).

Admitting up front that I don't have the time to look into Rancourt's scientific claims, my impression is that his scientific claims are non-starters, but his political points are on the money. He's not as keen to separate the two as I am.

I will say that as far as I can tell, Rancourt differs from Manji and Deibert in that he's not obviously benefiting from his claims. He may have motivations than a love of the truth, but advancing a career as a bougie contrarian doesn't seem to be among his aspirations.

What I don't understand about the intensely critical reactions that I've heard so far, is that there's very little about Rancourt's political proposals that wouldn't help to decrease carbon emissions. Sovereignty for the Dene and the Lubicon Cree nations, for example, would all but end the tar sands development. That alone would prevent Canada's emissions from increasing by 10 per cent.

That would seem to be a far better use of organizers' time than promoting carbon trading schemes that end up destroying habitat and displacing indigenous people. For example.

Maybe that is a non sequitur, but I think that that would be news to Al Gore and company.

As for the politics of climate science, it is indeed the case that climate science is acceptable to large swaths of global elites, though not the ones who run oil companies. Now, the question is: is this a) something that emerged because the science was so compelling that--à la social programs of various kinds during the cold war--they need to get out in front of it or b) a way to gain political support for state subsidies to "green" industries and distract from other pressing matters? My current impression rests more heavily on (a) with (b) as a secondary effect, but Rancourt says its mostly if not all (b).

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