Last year I blogged on Walter Russel Mead’s analysis that linked climate denial to a tradition of American populism. At one level it is obvious that there is an association between climate scepticism and populists (such as the lovely Jeremy Clarkson). But in this post I explore those links more deeply, inspired by Paul Taggart’s excellent book on populism. Continue reading
Category Archives: US
The Durban climate summit produced a surprise (or at least a surprise for natural pessimists like me…). A consensus agreement has been reached to open a new phase of negotiations, to be finished by 2015 at the latest, with targets for all countries kicking in from 2020. Given initial positions of the most powerful actors, this outcome looks Continue reading
David Wheeler at the Washington DC based thinktank Center for Global Development says that the number of Americans affected by extreme weather events has skyrocketed from fewer than 10,000 a year in 1980 to over 2 million a year by 2008. The graph compares the rate (per 100,000 Americans) of being affected by violent weather events (the orange line) and the trend for violent crime (the dotted black line).
As they say Stateside, go figure….
A little while back Andrew picked up on an FT piece warning that technocratic elites should take notice of the possibility of a populist backlash. The current issue of Foreign Affairs (behind paywall) contains a couple of excellent analyses that drill further down into this theme, and carry some important implications for climate policy.
Walter Russell Mead places the American Tea Party movement in historical context, and explores the challenges it poses to US policy makers trying to follow a liberal internationalist agenda. He identifies the Tea Partyers as latter-day “Jacksonian” populists, named after the original 19th C populist President Andrew Jackson (no, not that Jackson!). As Mead explains: Continue reading