James Rus­sell

El­e­ment edi­tor

Element - - Contents -

I can’t help feel­ing like an ide­al­is­tic teenager when I say that tack­ling cli­mate change and achiev­ing global emis­sions tar­gets would be the great­est col­lec­tive achieve­ment of the hu­man race. But, well, damn the be­grudgers – I’m say­ing it any­way. Here at El­e­ment our take on cli­mate change is long past the ‘is it hap­pen­ing, or isn’t it?’ stage; past, also, the ‘are hu­mans the cause?’ ch­est­nut. We take it as a given. In­stead, Andy Ken­wor­thy ex­plores in our lead story the phe­nom­e­non of those that don’t, or won’t, be­lieve in cli­mate change, and their pos­si­ble rea­sons for de­nial. It’s bound to be a story that those in the de­nial camp will find pa­tro­n­is­ing, even in­fu­ri­at­ing, that their be­liefs can be ex­plained through some ba­sic psy­cho­anal­y­sis. The irony that inside th­ese pages you’ll find a fea­ture on Ge­n­e­sis En­ergy – of­ten the tar­get of en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist ac­tivism due to cer­tain coal-fired power sta­tion found be­tween here and Hamil­ton – is not lost on us. But the annual $30m car­bon bill to keep that baby run­ning is mak­ing the busi­ness model look in­creas­ingly crappy. Two of the four units will be closed in two years’ time. Some of this stuff is ac­tu­ally work­ing. I sup­pose there’s al­ways the pos­si­bil­ity that by some mir­a­cle hu­mans aren’t ac­tu­ally chang­ing the cli­mate, and that at some point in the fu­ture it will be re­vealed as a mon­strous con­spir­acy of the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity. In which case that will be­come known as the great­est col­lec­tive achieve­ment of the hu­man race.

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