Since I’ve mentioned Ecomodernism before, I thought I would highlight a post I’ve just encountered called Dark thoughts on Ecomodernism (lengthier version here). There’s also a follow up post in which the author responds to his critics.
The posts are lengthy, so I haven’t digested them fully, but they do seem to highlight many of the sames issues I have considered myself. There are some aspects to Ecomodernism that are very appealing. On the other hand, many of the arguments seem simplistic; they seem to focus on things that superficially support their viewpoint, while ignoring – or dismissing – that a more detailed analysis might suggest that it’s not quite that straightforward. The post above provides some good examples.
One of the most vocal critics of the post I highlight above, was Michael Shellenberger, President of the Breakthrough Institute. Shellenberger has spent the last couple of days dismissing the relevance of the conversion of Exxon from a company that knew about the role of fossil fuels in global warming, to one that funded climate denial organisations, while aligning himself with Owen Patterson and Matt Ridley, both of whom seem to think that most of our problems can be lain at the feet of the Green blob.
It’s not that I think the Exxon issue is all that relevant (I think blaming companies like Exxon misses the point in a big way), or that the Green blob can’t be criticised (they can for very many reasons), it’s that I can’t really take seriously anyone who seems to see things in such a simplistic way. It would seem to suggest that they either don’t have the ability to consider these complex issues in the right kind of context, or they aren’t being entirely honest about these complexities. Of course, if they’re simply pushing some kind of agenda, then maybe this kind of behaviour is the norm. In that case, maybe they should just be honest about this, and stop pretending that they’re really interested in bringing people together and encouraging dialogue. To be fair, though, Michael Shellenberger has made it pretty clear that he isn’t interested in dialogue with me. Anyway, this post was really just intended to highlight the others posts that I linked to at the beginning.