16 Oct '11, 3pm

Machiavelli and Humanity's Lukewarm Response to Warming

After I wrote on the hidden factor behind the lopsidedness of the climate-energy policy fight (the inertia in a society and economy deeply reliant on fossil fuels), Paul Birkeland of Seattle posted an apt quotation from Niccolo Machiavelli : It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in their favor; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it. ["The Prince "] What makes the climate predicament even tougher is the uneven nature of human ...

Full article: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/16/machiavelli-...

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