By Roger Pielke
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Extra info for The Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won't Tell You About Global Warming
It is a common perception that the failure of climate policies to date stems from a lack of political will. For instance, in July 2009 Al Gore repeated some of his favorite lines during a speech on climate change at Oxford University: “We have everything we need except political will, but political will is a renewable resource. . The level of awareness and concern among populations has not crossed the threshold where political leaders feel that they must change. ”2 If the concept of political will is to have any practical meaning, it cannot simply be based on an argument that because certain climate policies have thus far failed to be implemented there must be a lack of political will, as that would mean assuming rather than proving a causal linkage.
1 will inevitably grow longer and more detailed as scientists continue to better understand the myriad complexities of the human role in the global climate system. The presence of multiple human influences on the climate system has proved problematic at the science-policy interface, where much of the public discussion takes place as a Manichaean debate of skeptics and deniers versus consensus defenders and alarmists (with the choice of group labels a function of where you stand on the issue). This two-sided debate has been difficult territory to navigate for those espousing a more nuanced perspective than the cartoonish caricature of debate over climate scienceas-a-proxy-for-political-debate found on blogs and in the media.
23 The top priority in the poll both years? 24 An important lesson to take from polls of the public is that support for action is strong but not intense. S. public opinion on 0465020522-Pielke_Design 7/12/10 3:31 PM Page 43 What We Know for Sure, but Just Ain’t So 43 global warming has been both its stability and its inelasticity in response to new developments, greater scientific understanding of the problem, and greater attention from both the media and politicians. ”25 They maintain that the issue of climate change is tailor-made to attract public support, but at a very low intensity.