Four General Positions of the Climate Change Debate

By Evolution Shift Archives
Cover image for  article: Four General Positions of the Climate Change Debate

As someone who writes and speaks about alternative and renewable energy, I often get asked about climate change. What do I think about it? What is true? Who to believe?

There is so much noise about it. The media knows it is an important topic to many and they know that controversy prompts viewership so they create controversy. The U.N. Copenhagen ClimateSummit is the current case in point. TV in particular provides superficial, breathless coverage of registration problems, conflicts, walk-outs and somewhat angry talking heads arguing points of view. So what to think?

The most cogent description of the four general points of view concerning climate change and humanity's causality of it was in a column in the New York Times. It was written by Stewart Brand. Stewart Brand is best known for creating the "Whole Earth Catalog" and also for being one of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters. It can – and has- been argued that Brand and the "Whole Earth Catalog" created the beginning of the environmental movement and the cultural underpinnings of Silicon Valley. He is that significant of a cultural figure. After all it was Brand who, in 1968, asked the straightforward question: "Why haven't we seen a picture of the whole earth?"

Stewart Brand has been a hero of mine for the last 40 years. It therefore gave me great comfort to read his column and find that of the four positions he describes around climate change that he and I are in the same one: "Warners".

Brand describes all four groups; the Denialists, the Skeptics, the Warners and the Calamatists. He then speculates on what each of these groups would do if climate change were to suddenly reverse and the opposite, that it keeps getting worse.

Which category are you in? Here is the link:

[It ran on the OpEd page of the Times Tuesday, December 15, 2009]

David Houle is a futurist, strategist and speaker. He has always been slightly ahead the curve. Houle spent more than 20 years in media and entertainment. David can be contacted at

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