Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Climate activists celebrate the bogus political legitimacy of the government-sanctioned UK climate rally and other climate rallies that are popping up across Europe.
Duty of the jury for global warming: Citizens groups help solve the riddle of climate protection
By Cathleen O’GradyOct. 29, 2020, 1:45 p.m.
The British Climate Change Assembly is one of a growing number of similar assemblies that are taking place across EuropeMany of them have dealt with climate change and other science-intensive topics. A citizens' assembly in Ireland deliberating from 2016 to 2018 resulted in a referendum legalizing abortion and a government plan to quadruple the carbon tax by 2030. This year, a meeting in France made 149 climate policy recommendations, and President Emmanuel Macron has agreed to take 146 of them forward, including Make “ecocide” a crime and inclusion of climate targets in the French constitution. Spain, Denmark and Scotland have announced their own upcoming climate gatherings despite being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. At regional and local level, dozens of citizens' juries and councils have drawn up guidelines on climate adaptation, air quality and environmental protection.
For three weekends – and a fourth weekend that was expanded online and over three weekends due to the pandemic – the gathering not only listened to scientists but also representatives from stakeholders such as Greenpeace and the industry association Energy UK. The aim was to provide both impartial information and explicitly labeled opinions from supporters, says Chris Stark, chairman of the board of the Climate Change Committee, an independent body that advises the government. Congregation member Ibrahim Wali, a doctor from Epsom, says although some members disbelieved the scientists or thought mitigating climate change was worth It was clear to everyone that they weren't there to “argue about whether climate change is real”. The assembly's clear mission – to establish guidelines to achieve net zero by 2050 – kept the discussions on track, he added.
Random assignment of citizens to positions of political power has a history that goes back to ancient Greecewhere the Athenians used the practice to select judges and members of their representative council of five hundred. But the architects of the electoral systems in France and the United States after the revolution preferred a republican system of professional politicians – an "elected aristocracy" – to total rule by the masses, says Van Reybrouck. "Back then, they were just as afraid of democracy as we are of anarchy today."
Politicians also tend to overestimate the resistance of a vocal minority to some climate protection measures – like onshore wind farms, she says. And they fear punishment at the ballot box, where citizens express their opinions on a variety of measures at the same time: "Voting is such a blunt instrument.”
Read more: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/10/jury-duty-global-warming-citizen-groups-help-solve-puzzle-climate-action
Although the British Citizens' Assembly was set up to appease the extinction rebellion, I suspect British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pleased with the outcome.
“Citizens' assemblies” seem to be becoming popular across Europe with politicians seeking to give a veneer of democratic legitimacy to a process promoting unpopular politics. In my opinion, this is because politically naïve citizens' assemblies are much easier to manipulate than true representative democracy.
The British gatherings contained a small number of people opposed to climate action, a composite of views that allegedly matched the demographics of the British people. But "Everyone knew that they weren't there to argue about whether climate change was real.”.
Why was it clear to everyone that some issues were not up for discussion? because The moderators of the meeting set the agenda, Naturally.
The politically naive opponents of climate protection measures in the assembly have subscribed to this gentle coercion in a way that would never have happened in a legitimate parliament of politically experienced elected representatives.