18 April 2011
Why does it seem like the anti-action side of the carbon debate lives in a parallel universe? From a certain view of the history of knowledge, it is because they do. According to the paradigm theory of Thomas S. Kuhn, those who hold on to the old way of viewing the world are unable to even perceive the new reality.
In 2007 Charles Firth established a Sunday newspaper called Manic Times because he thought that the excess or satire of gonzo journalism was needed, to cut through the dull group-think of mainstream Australian journalism.
The Saturday Sydney Morning Herald ran my column from that first Manic Times. I wrote a gonzo oped on Kevin Rudd and the politics of moving from the ‘coal centered’ paradigm to a renewable energy economy.
Last week I came across a post on Energy Bulletin, which explains the paradigm theory, where I glossed over it. The author explains why it is that we find it impossible to communicate with those who live in the bubble of the old paradigm.
If it is true that our opponents live in an outdated paradigm then there is no point arguing with them. We would instead campaign to bust through the old paradigm, talking to those who are equivocal and to those who say they are against us but who can be engaged and ignoring the truly lost causes.