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United Nations Overpopulation Denial Conference

Exploring the underside of climate change (Part #1)


Written on the occasion of an announcement by the FAO of 1.02 billion people hungry and by the World Bank of a trillion dollar drain on the world's poor, with flows to the developing world halving in 2009 as a result of the financial recession


Introduction
Main arguments
Questionable asystemic promotion of strategies against "climate change"
Questionable use of the best of scientific method in relation to "climate change"
Questionable exploitation of faith-based behaviour patterns of organized belief systems
Problematic failure to reflect on strategic development in the light of past experience
Problematic progressive focus on unproven geoengineering options as offering the most viable solution
Overpopulation denial: failure to consider progressive implications of overpopulation
Developing a healthy pattern of argumentation
Climate change and overpopulation as cultural challenges of reflexivity
Possibility of rapid reframing for an appropriate shift in focus
Conclusion
References

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Introduction

This is a contribution to future reflection on the significance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (Copenhagen, 7-18 December 2009). The argument is summarized by a folktale. The case is supported below by the following interlinked considerations:

  1. Questionable asystemic promotion of strategies against "climate change":
    • "climate change" as the "most important problem facing humanity"
    • "climate change" as a surrogate for avoidance of other issues and more comprehensive debate
  2. Questionable use of the best of scientific method in relation to "climate change":
    • scientific research "nested" within an unscientific context
    • promotion of "consensus" on "climate change" by the sciences
    • reliance on modelling methodology (recently demonstrated to increase global vulnerability disastrously)
  3. Questionable exploitation of faith-based behaviour patterns of organized belief systems (notably ideologies and religions):
    • identifying "unbelief" and "denial" to stigmatize critics of "climate change"
    • failure to consider issues conflicting with predetermined ideological or religious dogma
    • failure to identify issues which it is too problematic to recognize and discuss
    • institutionalization of double standards with respect to suffering
  4. Problematic failure to reflect on strategic development in the light of past experience:
    • challenges of broken promises and commitments, disguised by tokenism
    • abuse of faith in governance
    • lack of the political will to change
    • lack of political courage to consider alternatives
  5. Problematic progressive focus on unproven geoengineering options as offering the most viable solution
  6. Overpopulation denial: failure to consider progressive implications of overpopulation
    • denial
    • overpopulation
    • shortages
  7. Developing a healthy pattern of argumentation
    • dialogue, argument and issue mapping
    • polyhedral configuration of envisaged initiatives
    • application of critical thinking to detect fallacious argument
  8. Climate change and overpopulation as cultural challenges of reflexivity
    • thinking "out-of-the-box in the light of psychoanalysis
    • fundamental psychological significance of climate change
    • potential implication of concept associations
  9. Possibility of rapid reframing for an appropriate shift in focus
    • refocusing official documents by substitution
    • playfulness and humour
    • song and poetry
    • systemic mapping of associations

Conclusions
References

The argument might fruitfully be summarized by the following folktale and its adaptation.

A caricature of the United Nations Climate Change Conference
including the 15th Conference of the Parties to the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Looking for Keys
Under the Lamp

A folktale associated with
Mulla Nasreddin,
a legendary figure, claimed over centuries
by the nations of the Near, Middle East and Central Asia

Looking for Solutions to Climate Change
in the Light of Conventional Thinking

A folktale of the future associated with the
United Nations,
a legendary body of the 21st century,
acclaimed by the nations of the world

Nasreddin is frantically searching for something at night under the light of a lamp post in the dusty street outside his home domain. A kind neighbour comes by and asks, "Mulla, what have you lost?" Nasreddin replies, "I have lost my keys."

The neighbour gets down on his hands and knees and begins to search with Nasreddin through the dust. After a long time, the neighbour says to Nasreddin, "Mulla, are you certain you lost your keys here in the street?"

"Oh no!" says Nasreddin, "I lost them in the house."

"If you lost them in the house," says the neighbour, "then why are we looking for them under this lamp post?"

"The light is better here," Nasreddin replies

The UN is frantically searching for something in the obscurity of global policy-making, just outside its domain, in the light of conventional thinking . A concerned citizen comes by and asks, "UN, what have you lost?" The UN replies, "I have lost the keys to global climate change."

The citizen gets down on his hands and knees and begins to search with the UN through the conventional dust. After a long time, the citizen says to the UN, "UN, are you certain you lost the keys here in the street?"

"Oh no!" says the UN, "I lost them within my domain."

"If you lost them within your domain," says the citizen, "then why are we looking for them outside in the light of conventional thinking?"

"The light is better here," the UN replies

***

On the quest to reduce "carbon emissions", efforts to reduce the "smoke" might appropriately extend -- for a professional firefighter -- to determining the nature and location of the "fire" from which it derives, who is stoking it, by whom it is repeatedly relit, who is systematically avoiding such questions, and why.
elit, who is systematically avoiding such questions, and why.

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