Edging Forward by Ann Dale

Edging Forward by Ann Dale

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Chapter 2: Going Down the Wrong Rabbit Hole

May 30, 2015

The Climate Imperative

This chapter focusses on the disconnect between scientific evidence and government decision-making on climate change, drawing on lessons from the tobacco industry opposition to banning cigarette sales (many of the same scientists and lobbyists are also involved in the climate denial campaign). I also draw very briefly on the inability of the system to ban asbestos for so long. The solutions lie not in incremental change but in transforming current development paths, and many actors are already on this path. BC communities and the province are major innovators in climate actions on the ground.

Chapter Quote

“What lessons can we learn from this long-term denial of evidence to avoid staying down wrong rabbit holes too long in the future? There are complex vested interests in favour of maintaining the status quo, despite the scientific evidence, the augmenting consensus from civil society that we need to change, and the increasing sophistication of our use of Internet communication technologies (ICTs). These technologies are capable of accelerating the speed of knowledge take-up, of connecting diverse groups of people in novel ways and passing information on complex social issues more rapidly. What are some of the barriers that prevent us from quickly leaving dysfunctional rabbit holes? How can we accelerate the speed of the tipping points we are now seeing on climate change?” (pp. 35-36)

– Ann Dale, Edging Forward: Achieving Sustainable Community Development

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