Precarious Climate

A blog site run by James Wright about climate change issues.


My name is James Wight. I am an Australian student studying politics and climate change. For several years I have been growing increasingly alarmed about human-caused global warming. The main focus of this blog is climate change politics, though under the ultra-right-wing Abbott government I’ve found myself branching out into commentary on economic and social issues. I am not affiliated with any political group, though I broadly support the Australian Greens. One of the key lessons I’ve learned is that the debate about climate change is a war between opposing ideas. Environmentalism is the natural enemy of the Australian government’s free-market ideology. For those of us who recognize the need for urgent climate action, the realization that we face an enemy fighting an ideological war against us has implications for how we argue and campaign.

The argument will not be won by bowing to the present dominant ideology. Nor will it be sufficient to merely campaign for outcomes, especially if we continue to seek inadequate outcomes like protecting the emissions trading scheme. And we cannot afford to despair at the discrepancy between reality and the ideology of the political elite. The battle can only be won by debunking the beliefs that justify the existing system and policies. Though the details can get very complex, at its heart our task is a simple one: replace their narrative (the fossil fuel industry is the cornerstone of our economy and is not proven to be causing dangerous global warming) with our narrative (it is an obsolete industry that is driving dangerous global warming; destroying our environment, society, and economy; and must and can be phased out urgently). We must speak out against fossil-fuel-justifying ideology wherever we see it. That is in a nutshell what I’ve been trying to do on this blog.

Prior to 2011 when I began writing about climate politics, I focused on climate science, in particular debunking the arguments of global warming contrarians (you can find all those old posts in the archives). I later transferred this effort to the Skeptical Science blog run by John Cook. In the archives you’ll also find occasional posts about various miscellaneous thoughts that happened to enter my mind. You’re welcome to reproduce my content elsewhere as long as proper credit and a link to Precarious Climate is given.

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