Friday 16 April 2010

when you attack yourself

In his new book Requiem for a Species (extract here), Clive Hamilton  reminds us how problematic it is for neo-conservatives to find themselves attacking the science of climate change because science is 'the very basis' of the Western civilisation that the neo-cons set out to defend.

But what were they going to do? In the modern world, science and technology had come to be associated strongly with ideas of progress, economic growth and freedom. So when science started to reveal the damaging side-effects of certain types of progress, what set in among the neo-cons was 'cognitive dissonance'. This is nicely revealed in the words of one senior Bush official before Rio:

'We did not fight and win the wars of the twentieth century to make
the world safe for green vegetables.'

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