Should our biggest climate change fear be fear itself?

Nov 05, 2010

From apocalyptic forecasting to estimates of mass extinctions, climate change is a topic which is filled with fearful predictions for the future. In his latest research, published in WIREs Climate Change, historian Matthias Dorries examines the cultural significance of fear and how it became a central presence in current debates over climate change.

Climatic change, as represented by the media, often prompts headlines predicting disastrous events, frequently adopting fear laden language including analogies with war and warnings of the imminence or irreversibility of pending catastrophes. For Professor Matthias Dörries from the University of Strasbourg, a culture of fear is alive, and doing very well.

Professor Dörries looks at the issue of fear from a historical perspective, asking how our current society has come to conceive of in terms of catastrophe and fear.

"Recently historians have underlined the necessity to revise the grand Enlightenment narrative of science as antidote to fear," Dörries stresses, "We should now look at how popular and scientific discourses frame fear, and study the constructive and destructive functions of these fear discourses in societies."

The 1960s and 1970s were characterized by an increasing appropriation of the future by science, leading to a rise of fear discourses by scientists themselves.

"For the very long run, science has indeed some terrifying prospects to offer for the planet Earth, and on a scale of decades, science has identified serious threats, such as anthropogenic climate change," Dörries remarks.

"The current discourse of over climate change reflects the attempts to come to grips with the long-term issue of anthropogenic climate change," concludes Dörries. "They are appeals for action, they imply claims to power, they stress that the issue is political and cultural, not merely a matter of science and reason alone."

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Shootist
2.6 / 5 (5) Nov 05, 2010
"The Polar bears will be fine." - Freeman Dyson
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
Using fear to get a reaction to changing climate is the true idiocy of AGCC.

The theory is sound, the science is sound, the timescales and alarm is not. Trying to get kneejerk reactions out of people when they can't perceive the danger is akin to yelling at a group of teenagers in a horror movie to not split up and look for clues.

Education is the right way to get people interested in change. Education and addressing denialists directly. Half the reason why the denialist camp has any pull whatsoever is because of the preliminary rantings of people who were more interested in money than reality, ie: Al Gore.
marjon
2.5 / 5 (8) Nov 05, 2010
Don't just blame Gore. 'Scientists' have done their share of fear mongering and spinning to get more funding.
If the science was that 'sound' there would be NO significant scientific opposition.
marjon
2.7 / 5 (7) Nov 05, 2010
Just another money grab:
"A top UN panel on Friday called for increased taxes on carbon emissions and international transport to raise 100 billion dollars a year to combat climate change"
http://www.breitb...rticle=1
Who trusts the UN with any money?
Skeptic_Heretic
3.4 / 5 (5) Nov 05, 2010
Don't just blame Gore. 'Scientists' have done their share of fear mongering and spinning to get more funding.
If the science was that 'sound' there would be NO significant scientific opposition.
Would that be why there is NO significant scientific opposition?
marjon
2.7 / 5 (6) Nov 05, 2010
Don't just blame Gore. 'Scientists' have done their share of fear mongering and spinning to get more funding.
If the science was that 'sound' there would be NO significant scientific opposition.
Would that be why there is NO significant scientific opposition?

How do you define 'significant'? Quality or quantity?
ereneon
3.3 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
I'm surprised how calm and rational all the comments are! Anything about climate change tends to quickly devolve into almost religious ranting. I agree that there is definitely something there in the climate change science, and in some of the denial arguments, though I'm not quite sure what to think anymore thanks to manipulation by profiteers on both sides...
Skeptic_Heretic
3.2 / 5 (5) Nov 05, 2010
Don't just blame Gore. 'Scientists' have done their share of fear mongering and spinning to get more funding.
If the science was that 'sound' there would be NO significant scientific opposition.
Would that be why there is NO significant scientific opposition?

How do you define 'significant'? Quality or quantity?

Quality, that much should be obvious to you by now. You've been on a science website long enough to recognize that your 40,000 posts of crap don't equate to a single eruditic research paper, let alone a "significant" body of work.
StillWind
2 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2010
Would that be why there is NO significant scientific opposition?

And here we see the words of the true "Denier"
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2010
Would that be why there is NO significant scientific opposition?


And here we see the words of the true "Denier"
Link your peer reviewed detraction of AGCC. I've been waiting for a long time, and I'd be thoroughly pleased if you could produce one that is airtight.
StillWind
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 05, 2010
Would that be why there is NO significant scientific opposition?


And here we see the words of the true "Denier"
Link your peer reviewed detraction of AGCC. I've been waiting for a long time, and I'd be thoroughly pleased if you could produce one that is airtight.

Puhleeze, apparently you have been living in a hole, and it's not my job to do your work for you, but you can start by refuting the basic physics and chemistry involved:
http://nov55.com/gbwm.html
kaasinees
3 / 5 (2) Nov 06, 2010
but you can start by refuting the basic physics and chemistry involved:
http://nov55.com/gbwm.html


Wow the website doesnt even work :D
--------------------------------------------------
My only fear that i have is that human society will do nothing, that they will keep us enslaved with virtual substance of power.
My fear is they will keep trying to make it rain by inducing (silver) particles into clouds, or anything in those lines.

I think i dont have to explain why : )
marjon
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 06, 2010
Anything about climate change tends to quickly devolve into almost religious ranting.

That's because AGW IS a religion.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (4) Nov 06, 2010
Puhleeze, apparently you have been living in a hole, and it's not my job to do your work for you, but you can start by refuting the basic physics and chemistry involved:
http://nov55.com/gbwm.html
Link is no good.

Secondarily If the basic chemistry refutes the theory, why do you think the theory still exists? If a highschool student can refute it, why does the theory continue to be a hotbed of research? Is it all a scam, or are you just ignorant of chemistry and attempting to argue from false authority? It's the latter. Chemistry supports AGCC. Try again.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 06, 2010
I'm surprised how calm and rational all the comments are! Anything about climate change tends to quickly devolve into almost religious ranting. I agree that there is definitely something there in the climate change science, and in some of the denial arguments, though I'm not quite sure what to think anymore thanks to manipulation by profiteers on both sides...

This is the 'science' global climate change:
"But the combination of precise formulas with highly imprecise assumptions can be used to establish, or rather to justify, practically any value one wishes . . "
http://www.americ...-science
Economics, like global climate, is an emergent system.