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Saturday, 5 December 2015

Christmas, pumpkins and climate

Much has been written about COP21, the latest climate circus, but there is one aspect pointing to a less than desirable future as global processes bite into our freedoms.

COP21 will fail – China and India are not interested.
Everyone has known this for years.
Ditto COP22.
Ditto COP23.
Ditto COP999.
The science is garbage.
The negotiations are political fantasies.
Few people care anyway.
The whole thing is a process.

That’s the point and the scary aspect of climate change. COP21 is merely a global process. Nobody is in charge, nobody is responsible, there are no achievable goals, nobody cares.

Christmas is a process too. Christmas involves lying to children about Santa Claus and no doubt many parents aren’t so keen on that, but the lies are part of the process so they are widely told. Halloween is another process. Many of us in the UK saw it start from nothing but one started the job is done, possibly for decades, possibly centuries. Think of that – trick or treat for centuries.

Once established a large-scale process tends to go on and on because the number of beneficiaries is correspondingly large. Lies, evasions and misinformation trigger few moral sensitivities if they are part of the process. Everyone does it so it can’t be wrong, that’s the unspoken formula.

Achievements, failures and moral ambiguities are not necessarily relevant, the only relevance is gain. Do beneficiaries gain? Christmas and Halloween are funded by punters. Government-sponsored processes such as COP21 are also funded by punters but without consent. Inevitably they tend to be funded until a scandal or two render them politically whiffy.

Obvious lying, general silliness and an absence of global warming do not constitute a scandal for COP21 and won’t for COP22, COP23 or COP999 unless people within the process suddenly become significantly more moral. Sadly evolution doesn’t work that quickly.

There’s the rub. Government-sponsored processes such as COP21 don’t have to be honest, truthful or make sense. They don’t have to confer benefits on anyone outside the process. As long as they confer benefits on those inside the process, which may be as trivial uncritical peer review, as cut and paste reporting or an annual jamboree, then reasons will be found for business as usual. Unless something big such as another ice age diverts our attention of course but then it may be too late. 

That’s the scary part. It doesn’t really matter whether we see global warming, cooling or neither. Hardly anyone inside the process actually cares. Prince Charles possibly, but he is a figure of fun these days.

3 comments:

Demetrius said...

We, us humans, like to believe things. A consequence is we do not like being told that the things we believe are either faulty or nonsensical.

Michael said...

I think I've bored people before about the irritating naming of storms...

It's the blasted BBC, softening everyone up to their Globule Worming 'debate', which they intend to 'win'!

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - we do like to believe things and quite possibly we have to believe them because doing so is the simplest approach.

Michael - you mean Draughty Desmond? I like being able to make fun of these things but as time goes on they will be just another irritant.