2 Mar 2009
More from the Modern Movement
Had this from Sarah Boyes of the Modern Movement...please feel to comment, and I have just published my draft thoughts on fishing at my Euro blog!
As for Modern Movement, you can see our statement - calling for cheaper, better, faster transport on our website - www.modernmovement.org.uk.
On the idea of climate change, though, there seems a lot more going on than at first blush. The climate has always been changing, but 'climate change' as a phenomenon is quite a recent. I think there's a variety of reasons for that, and not all of them have to do with what scientists have been predicting recently; but are bound up with deeper trends in society.
The idea of 'not being dictated to by science' is a rallying cry against people who would invoke scientific authority and expertise to veto public and political debate. The idea of building a future based on a fearful reaction to what's often presented as inevitable global catastrophe or a terrible present is something I have a problem with. If other people and publications have a problem with that then good - because I think it's a problem.
I'm quite happy to rely on scientific expertise and for scientists to write reports telling the rest of us what's going on. But firstly, it's not as if 'science' develops along lines abstracted from what's going on in the rest of society, or that funding of scientific research isn't tied to often political and institutional agendas. That's not a conspiracy theory about science, but pointing out it's ultimately based in society. Neither is it 'denying climate change'. But secondly, there's a world of difference between knowing what's going on, and then deciding how to deal with it, coming up with solutions that are both progressive and suit what people want and can take us forward.
It's not that I think 'Greens' are an homogeneous group bent on stopping everybody from flying. But the idea that we can't both deal with what's going with the climate and also keep on traveling and moving around even more than we do is ridiculous. If that is enough to make me a 'free market libertarian' then I suppose I'll have to swallow the moniker and get on with it. Though neither am I the one calling myself a 'socialist' - or anything else for that matter. It's much more important - I think - to look at what people want to do and stand up for something positive, good, fun, exciting and progressive. I'm not apologising for being idealistic, though. Or wanting to fly abroad as much as I want to for little cost.