Disagreeing about the Climate
Centre for International Business and Sustainability (CIBS) Working Paper No. 4
8 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2009 Last revised: 5 Aug 2009
Date Written: June 24, 2009
The science concerning climate change is clear, both sides of the argument agree. What they don't agree about is what that clarity means. Each side considers the matter settled, and their points of view unsettle each attempt to make public policy. This paper takes an extended look at a new book by Mike Hulme, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia. The debate - the disagreement about climate change is symptomatic of other, deeper disagreements about how we see the world. Hulme calls climate change a battleground between different philosophies of science, a justification for converting public commons into private assets, the inspiration for new social movements, and a threat to our security, justifying a new form of geo-diplomacy. This is not a "how to" book on fixing climate change or even a "best practice" book about ways some people think we could. Its "recipe", if we can call it that, is critical reflection, coming to understand how we think and why we disagree. That's not an observation that will help a director reach a decision about which action to take when, or how to report it. But if the solutions, such as they are, must be "clumsy", then route to them will probably lead us into disagreements. This book will help us understand better why we disagree.
Keywords: Climate change, sustainability, corporate governance
JEL Classification: A10, G30, O10, Q20, Q30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation