In his excellent article In Politics Today, It’s All About the Narrative, Charlie Martin makes the very real point
If you control the narrative, you don’t just control what gets reported. You control what people see and hear.
Controlling the narrative in the modern world is a very powerful tool. It is not that we are not smart in modern day society, mankind has never been more educated, and for sure it is not that we have a lack of information resources, we have never had more. The simple truth is that we are lazy, apathetic and of course just too busy. A summarized thirty second sound bite and we are set to go, right?
The problem with narratives is that they can be manipulated to.... well manipulate. Once you control the narrative you set the agenda. Watch this video from the above article before reading further.
Once you have people focused on the narrative it really does not matter what the reality is. The narrative becomes the truth, the narrative becomes the reality.
So what is the narrative about Man Made Global Warming, excuse me Climate Change , I almost forgot that little narrative swtchiharoo. Even the switch from global warming to climate change is now part of the narrative. It has always been about climate change don't you know? After all the UN agency is the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change. the fact that skeptics point out that the terminology has been changed from the once popular global warming to the now accepted climate change, is just those silly deniers paranoia over some mythical conspiracy, it has always been about climate change, jeez get a grip.
The truth is that it has always been about climate change.
The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.
That is from the IPCC charter, sounds reasonable doesn't it? I'm all for it. So what is the narrative? I'll give it my best here
Mankind's burning of fossil fuels is generating excessive CO2 which is warning the Earth. This warming will cause terrible consequences for mankind and the planet. The solution to the problem is for man to limit and eventually eliminate the burning of fossil fuels.
Did I leave anything out? Not really I don't believe, but like any good narrative there has to be sub-narratives to get peoples eyes focused back on the ball should they notice a bear in their midst.
Here is a sub-narrative
People who disagree with the narrative, particularly scientist are either in the employ of a fossil fuel concern, incompetent, blinded by right wing ideology, or in a state of psychological denial.
The idea that people may seriously question the premise behind the main narrative is just not acceptable. Denying that the main narrative is fact is derided and it's opponents are slandered and humiliated, regardless of their reputation or background.
Sub narrative number two;
WE MUST ACT NOW! The crisis is so great that failure to act is the equivalence to inviting world wide Armageddon-someday.
A very important sub-narrative here! The more the public can be made to believe that there is a crisis the more likely they are to believe and follow the suggestions and recommendations of those who claim to know the solution. After all if you are told your child is dieing and only an emergency surgery is going to save them, who is going to waste time waiting for further test and a second opinion? Act now or your baby will die!-someday.
Is there some vast secret plot to deceive the world? I seriously doubt it, though it would not be the first time it has happened. No what it is, is a combination of ideologues gaining control of a process and having willing accomplices that help promote it. Once a narrative, especially a seemingly well intentioned one, is properly fertilized and nurtured it is bound to grow. Add to this mix vast sums of money to be made and earned, justice and fairness to be achieved, Polar Bears to be saved, Pollution to be eliminated and by God you got a narrative worthy of World Dominion!
There are other narratives in the story, everything from species extinctions to increased kidney stones but really there is only one that matters-the first one. You see, or perhaps you don't, without the first narrative, all the others are meaningless. All the hype, all the fear mongering and guilt trips simply collapse if the primary "Climate Change" narrative is wrong. If CO2 is not raising the Earth's temperatures to levels that will harms us and the planet, all the rest is just subterfuge used to promote an agenda. An agenda built on, well we won't call it a lie, we'll just call it a mistake.
So while you are watching the ball being tossed around in the Global Warming, I mean Climate Change debate, keep your eye out for the moon walking bear passing through, that might just be reality.