I strongly suspect that a deep problem is that climate disruption is built into the very essence of the Industrial Paradigm. It is hard for many ‘moderns’ to accept the evidence that the industrial paradigm, at sufficient scale, is far from an unalloyed good. It appears that to accept the notion of man made climate disruption is to, in fact, raise very disturbing questions about the nature of the industrial model and its ultimate threat to Modern Society. Further, as Malthus discovered, it may also challenge some firmly held religious convictions such as dominion over the natural world rather that stewardship responsibilities for.
In the US, for just one small example, the industrial model has strip mined our soils, depleted their carbon content, poisoned them with salts from man made fertilizer, allowed for dramatic loss in our top soil inventory, led to dead zones in major bodies of water, etc. That is, the industrial model, at scale and in the long run, threatens our food security.
The programs started by President Nixon and Earl Butz, his secretary of agriculture to insure “cheap” food to avoid civil unrest now can be seen to have led to epidemics of obesity, diabetes and other health issues. So cheap industrial food has led to today’s run away medical costs — all from the industrial degradation of food. As the local food movement says, you can pay more now for healthy food or pay a lot more later at the hospital.
Similar critiques of the results of the industrialization of markets, government, energy, water etc. can also be made.
In the US, I expect the intersection of the consequences of drawing down our fresh water supplies faster than they can be replenished with climate change driven multi-decade droughts in the south west regions, combined with the degradation of our soil quality, will have profound negative results.
Unwinding 200+ years of blind faith in the Industrial Paradigm will be most difficult, esp. in places like the US where it is an article of faith that the iIndustrial Paradigm made the U.S. great. It is a bitter pill to acknowledge that, unchecked and unchanged, the industrial model may well impose an unanticipated and unintended, but terrible, price.
Is it any wonder climate disruption is so widely denied?
May 2012 be vibrant, dynamic and abundant.