Please Deliberate on That

4000 people from 38 countries learn about global warming. They let our world leaders know that they really should do something about it. As you know, nobody cared anyway, but it seems that as a world public-reading device, this World Wide Views experience/ment fared better than politicians.

But there’s an irritating underlying media narrative. Journalists (and that horrid, shameful subspecies of journalists, social scientists) gleefully point at the “contradiction” between the public-regarding view of people (as in “we should do more about global warming, even if it costs us”) and their private views (as in “I wouldn’t like to pay more in taxes or for goods”). Oh, really? This is Elsterian rationality, you simpletons, and the clash in worldwiews is coming to that: how do we find ways to restrain ourselves, as Ulysses had himself bound so as to avoid heeding the sirens. But when the sirens sing, it would be simply stupid to ask Ulysses “would you like to be unbound?” and then point at the “contradiction”. Or worse, not even wrong.


  1. Gosh, “contradiction”. As they say in French, “le concept qui tue”.

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