Sunday, 16 March 2008

Global Warming and Social Warming

One of my favourite authors of sociophysics papers, Serge Galam, has published an interesting short analysis of social phenomena associated with the frenzy of words and resolutions (hardly a frenzy of real activities) that is called `response to the Global Warming threat'.

The paper, found on arXiv, Global Warming: the Sacrificial Temptation argues that the emotional side of the situation has led all research on the warming and conclusions of such research away from the scientific princliples.

Let me quote the abstract and conclusions of this paper:

The claimed unanimity of the scientific community about the human culpability for global warming is questioned. Up today there exists no scientific proof of human culpability. It is not the number of authors of a paper, which validates its scientific content. The use of probability to assert the degree of certainty with respect the global warming problem is shown to be misleading. The debate about global warming has taken on emotional tones driven by passion and irrationality while it should be a scientific debate. The degree of hostility used to mull any dissonance voice demonstrates that the current debate has acquired a quasi-religious nature. Scientists are behaving as priests in their will "to save the planet". We are facing a dangerous social phenomenon, which must be addressed from the social point of view. The current unanimity of citizens, scientists, journalists, intellectuals and politicians is intrinsically worrying. The calls to sacrifice our way of life to calm down the upset nature is an emotional ancestral reminiscence of archaic fears, which should be analyzed as such.

To sum up above analysis of the social and human aspects of global warming, most caution should be taken to prevent opportunistic politicians, more and
more numerous, to subscribe to the proposed temptation of a sacrifice frame in order to reinforce their power by canalizing these archaic fears that are reemerging. Let us keep in mind that in a paroxysm crisis of fear, opinions can be activated very quickly among millions of mobilized citizens, ready to act in the same direction, against the same enemy: it then enough to designate it.

Read it, even if you fear the global warming.

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