I read the Devil's Kitchen a lot. And as some of you reading this may realise, his understanding of Climate Change is that, a) it is probably not happening, and b) if indeed it is happening it is certainly not man made, or indeed effected by man.
"Indeed and, in Master Hundal's World of the Ad Hominem, the environment is far more important than the high food prices that are causing riots and deaths around the globe: full ahead with biofuels, Jeeves old chap, and bugger the poor and the starving, what what!"
Ok, not the best. But it is a method into my own understanding of the issue.
I think the political sphere is blind to the realities of the world, and indeed there is an argument which says that it has to be, as the arguments for and against Man-made climate change are far from resolved. That being said, the climate matters, our environment matters and we matter.
Thus what are we to do in a situation where there could possibly be a world destroying force of our own unleashing, but to resolve it would be to the detriment of society and kill hundreds of people. Climate change in this sense, if understood as a possibility, can also be understood as a risky hunch. A risky hunch which at the moment is interestingly high on the political arena's list of priorities.
The climate matters, is what I said above. And that is the case, but it is also the case that we (the people of the world) matter, and that our direct environment matters. Climate change is doing the horrendous thing, not of warming the world through greenhouse gasses, but of redirecting the attention of policy makers away from the things which are important to the lives of the individuals they profess to serve.
Climate change is a logo. And one which has been expertly crafted by [insert personal theory of world/state/local ills of choice] into a catchall problem and immediate solution all in one. The equation goes, "Climate change = human activity + carbon dioxide emissions", thus the solution is to drop the emissions. This does nothing to help us understand our world, or to solve the problems it faces.
Simply put my understanding of climate change is that it should be de-politicised again. And we should concentrate on preserving our environment in the immediacy, supporting anti-littering (though understanding and respect instead of fines and the nannying state) for example. And we should be able to take a reflective look at the society with which we live in and cure its ailments instead of this constant need to find something external with which to fix.
All that is found within climate change is a monster. A monster which may or may not be fictional, but the possibility of it being real is too great to allow for any dissent or complicating of the matter through real hard evidence. The monster must be defended against at all costs. And those costs are grubby streets, a dilapidated countryside, social disintegration, the failure of multi-culturalism, the stability of our economy; the list could go on and on but thats just in Britain!