Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that we have two groups of believers in the world:
- The first: those who accept global warming as a scientifically demonstrable phenomenon of our time (it’s happening, folks), and who (mostly, more or less) support legal/economic/institutional intervention to fix it. Carbon taxes, or better public transit, or green energy, solar and wind.
- Those who reject the science of global warming, who make opposing scientific claims, saying no, this is not happening, or it’s a hoax, but even if it were true, would strongly oppose certain policy responses. Cap-and-trade legislation, for example.
Naturally there are other postures, and other constellations of value and belief. However (particularly in America), the routine public discourse about this issue is quite polarized, and the media routinely divide public opinion into these two ideological tribes, implacably opposed, pro and contra.
Much of the political will to address climate change seems devoted to the contest for ascendancy between these two poles of belief, or if you like, these two tribes. It seems to me there’s an implicit assumption: that as public opinion shifts one way or the other, so goes the political power to put the tribe’s policies in place, and to defeat and block the policies of the other tribe. Much political energy and activism goes to the propaganda that emanates from both sides.