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An Inconvenient truth

Yesterday evening I watched "An Inconvenient Truth" for the first time. Maybe I should have done this earlier but I am generally a guy who has a strong aversion against 'believing the hype'. On top of that I already was a convinced environmentalist before.
After watching the thing I can only hope that it does its magic with those who weren't convinced yet. Surely, as a philosophically interterested person I have to say that there are a few flaws in the film. One of them is Al Gore claiming this or that to be a "hard fact". I am more of a Lyotard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyotard) type of guy: There are no objective truths and all scientists do is generating new research. Even those who believe to work for some higher purpose are indeed mistaken.
The good thing about "An Inconvenient Truth" (http://www.climatecrisis.net) is that the people behind are certainliy aware of these mechanisms. Above putting the topic of climate change on the public agenda, they also generate new interest (and consequently new financial ressources ) for scientific research on the topic.
Therefore I am totally at ease with Gore talking about hard facts. It is what Todd Flemming Jefferson Davis called "Comforting Lies." The period of the grand narratives is over (or should be over). Progress, Capitalism, Nationalism, Communism, Truth, Right, Wrong; these categories have only proven to be narratives people dedicate their lives to. Since many people still seem to be unable to live without a grand narrative the interesting question now is: Which influence does a narrative have on our planet and consequently on our lives?
If the influence is a positive one I really don't care to which degree a narrative is based on something called 'hard facts'. The only criterion of evaluation is its influence on society. I can't think of anything more positive as an outcome of "An Inconvenient Truth" than people believing in what Mr. Gore and his team say. It generates public interest, it generates scientific interest, it strengthens solar industry business and other forms of alternative energy. Furthermore there seem to be no negative effects involved. A few years ago some people would have said that a collapse of the Western economies could be the outcome of more strict carbon dioxide guidelines, but since all our economy is based on are narratives there is no reason why those narratives cannot be changed as well.
Although I am not an economist, I cannot see why the system couldn't be run burning less ressources??? Everything can be done using less of something. The only thing that we have to do is to adopt another lie. One that is not only more comforting but additionally less harmful than our current one of throwaway society as the only possible solution to secure wealth for a Western minority.
2007-07-08 00:00:00