Monday, June 02, 2008

Clerical error?

Usually I radge against the clergy when they put their foot in it. In this case, my initial radge-o-meter was turned down to 'mildly irritated' by the furore that the comments of Gordon Mursell, the Bishop of Stafford, has caused. True, the comments don't really help things, with tenuous comparisons of our society's relative inaction over global heating with Austrian nutter Josef Fritzl, but Mursell has unintentionally highlighted the barely rational belief structures of climate change denial.

Whilst those in denial over climate change either choose not to follow the science or cherry-pick their sources, it seems that many have taken his comments very much to heart as a personal attack on their denial ideology. The Bish's language and his position as a cleric confirms the tin-foil hat delusions of many deniers who like to portray climate change as some kind of new age religion, some even going so far as to proudly proclaim themselves as 'heretics'. The comments on the Telegraph thread are clear evidence of this group-think.

Perhaps using such language makes for some fiery pulpit bashing, but using monster รก la mode Fritzl just seems like Mursell's trying too hard to stimulate debate. Well, it worked, but I don't think Mursell expected such a Pavlovian response.

If any comparison of deniers or those opposed to action is to be made, the most valid is to the supporters of appeasement before the Second World War. They didn't want to believe the evidence before their eyes, and weren't stirred into action until the bombs started falling.

We have faced similar challenges. Acid rain, ozone layer depletion and particulate emissions. We came up with solutions to them all through agreement and policy, despite opposition. We can do it again, although with climate change, it needs to be a response on a much bigger scale.

Back to the war analogy. Since tackling climate change now needs a war footing response, I wonder if our children and grand children will ask us in the future "What did you do in the war against climate change?"

1 comment:

punkscience said...

I just added this to my 'amusing quotes':

"I wonder if our children and grand children will ask us in the future "What did you do in the war against climate change?""