Robert Gottliebsen yesterday wrote an article that is incredibly concerning for those worried about dangerous climate change.
In the article Gottliebsen outlines how a range of highly influential Australian business people are working to galvanise business community opposition to the introduction of a price on carbon pollution. According to Gottliebsen, concerns about the carbon price’s economic impacts are causing business people to question the underlying rationale for why we should limit carbon emissions – that these could cause dangerous global warming.
This is not a new phenomenon. A regard for short-term self interest is an incredibly powerful motive that can cause people to hear what they want to hear, and see what they want to see. Back in the early 1900s in trying to reform dangerous working conditions in America, Upton Sinclair observed:
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
That these Australian business people are trying to dismiss human-induced global warming as “a carbon theory” recalls a range of battles involving new ideas that were inconvenient to the established order.