Phy are governments reacting so little when the scientific evidence of the existence of a major dysfunction in the Earth system is accumulating? On May 31, the review Nature To published the results of a study (“ A just world on a safe planet: First study quantifying Earth System Boundaries »Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, PIK) drawn up by an international scientific commission, bringing together more than forty researchers from all over the world, which warned in very worrying terms: “Man is taking colossal risks for the future of civilization and all that lives on Earth. »
And yet, in France, the day after the publication of the important report by Jean Pisani-Ferry and Selma Mahfouz on ” The Economic Impact of Climate Action “, in which are proposed in particular two measures making it possible to finance the investments necessary for the ecological transition – debt and exceptional tax on the most well-to-do – several ministers were dispatched to the media to indicate that neither one nor the other were conceivable.
The other States are not doing any better, nor are the international bodies: “The world’s collective response to global warming is pitiful”denounced the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, on June 15 at a press conference. How to explain such blindness?
Resistance to science, less frontal and more subtle
Should resistance to science be blamed? Climatoscepticism is far from having disappeared, in our country as elsewhere. We still find – admittedly more discreetly than before but in an equally ertive manner – public expressions defending the following ideas: the current warming is a natural phenomenon that has nothing to do with human activity; the ertions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are lies stemming from the manipulations of the American Democrats; the policies resulting from the work of the IPCC would be dramatic because they would destroy our industries and our jobs. Few governments, however, venture to officially adopt these claims.
There are, however, other forms of resistance to science, less frontal and more subtle, to which governments can lend a more attentive ear and which scientists themselves can nurture.
One thinks here of the strategies of lobbyists unveiled by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway in The Merchants of Doubt (Le Pommier, 2012) and by social science works devoted to agnotology, i.e. the way in which ignorance can be produced for the purpose of manipulation (see for example The Guardians of ReasonStéphane Foucart, Stéphane Horel, Sylvain Laurens, La Découverte, 2020).
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