Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Rebecca Huntley, a prominent Aussie academic, is concerned voters choose politicians with inadequate climate policies. Her solution is for people who dismiss the urgency of the alleged climate crisis to be driven from positions of power, and prevented from making donations to political parties.
Climate change splits the public into six groups. Understanding them is key to future action
Updated Wed at 10:14am
In Australia there is now widespread public acceptance of the reality of climate change; we seem to see its effects almost hourly.
But the electorate still votes for political parties with environment policies that I would call recalcitrant, and with significant groups of climate deniers in their ranks.
We need to increase the Alarmed cohort, absolutely no doubt.
But we also need to develop and hone their skills of talking to others not of the same mindset.
And we need to provide social and emotional support as many of them — many of us — struggle with feelings of grief, dread and burning anger about what’s happening to the planet and the response of many of our political leaders.
We need to shift more of the Concerned group into the Alarmed group.
We need to find a way to convince the Cautious that urgent action is necessary.
This, very difficultly, often requires language that isn’t fraught with tones of crisis. More on this in a moment.
We need to engage the Disengaged — probably the hardest task of all, because it requires us to rebuild their faith that our democratic institutions are capable and willing to do something about it.
And finally — in my opinion, and I say this with no trepidation whatsoever — we need to drive the Dismissive group out of positions of power in our government, stop the flow of their donations into our political parties, and find smarter ways to engage with them in the media, including social media.
This will then expose those who dismiss both the science and the solutions, the denialists — who are today a minority, albeit a powerful one — as what they are: out of step with the rest of us, determined to put our collective wellbeing and our way of life at risk.
We must not let their voices be the loudest in the public arena.
…Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-29/climate-change-global-warming-six-groups-rebecca-huntley/11893384
Rebecca is advocating that a group she doesn’t like, “climate dismissives”, be excluded from full participation in the democratic process, by “stopping the flow of their donations to political parties”, and by “driving the dismissive group out” of power. Her justification for these extreme views is the alleged urgency of the climate crisis.
There is a name for this brand of political ideology, and it isn’t a nice one.
Rebecca Huntley (born 1972) is an Australian social researcher and expert on social trends. She is an author and researcher with degrees in law, a first class degree in film studies and a PhD in Gender Studies. She has been a regular columnist for Business Weekly Review, a feature writer for Vogue and a radio presenter for ABC’s RN. She regularly features on radio and TV.