About

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.

You can follow me on Twitter @350ppmJames.

12 comments

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  1. David Klein

    Hi James,

    I got your website from my wife Marja (Bowen Therapist)a few weeks ago, but lost it. She retrieved it for me, hence this message. I’ve been interested in global warming for about 25 years, the first five as a sceptic (as distinguished from denier)I am broadly interested, but since 2007 have focussed more on the arctic ice situation. I truly believe that it is the equivalent of ‘the canary in the mine-shaft. Have bookmarked your site and any contribution will be under my real name. Have more or less given up on The Advertiser and outspoken sceptic/denier Peter Wiseman. Good site and well organised, we need sites like yours. Regards, David

    1. jameswight.wordpress.com

      Hi David — thanks for the book. It is nice to have another local voice of reason. I have already written one post which was partly about Arctic sea ice. I’m considering writing one about the current melt season.

      1. davidklein40

        Hi, while the book is based on the US scene, it gives a good insight into the machinations of the fossil fuel industry’s disinformation campaign.
        Am in the process of writing an item about why a group of scientists are on the side of the sceptics. Have glanced over your post about the global ice situation. Looks very thorough, will read it in more detail this weekend. Are you familiar with Patrick Lockerby; http://www.science20.com/chatter_box
        An amazingly detailed website about the arctic. Regards, David

        1. davidklein40

          Hi James,
          Sorry, a big time lapse, can I contact you by e-mail? Thanks David

  2. Watching the Deniers

    James, do you have an email? If not drop me a line at watchthedeniers@gmail.com

  3. King Lolliolp

    There are many sceptics of climate change as you’re probably well aware but the difference between them and you is experience, knowledge and credibility. You seem very young and a little naive. For example I dont think you are aware that even if our emmisions were zero, our contributions to climate chage would be dwarft by China’s planned increases in carbon in the next 10 years. The tax therefore would have been in vain and damaged our key industries for no other reason than creating revenue for government. You’re also unaware that all indications point to a landslide defeat of the Labor party in 2013 along with the Greens so to publically label your future leader as ‘stupid’ and ‘liar’, one would think is not in your best interest as its government that plays the key role in reducing emissions not scientists. The carbon tax is clearly not the way of the future so if I were you Id be directing my attention elsewhere and I would not sticking pins in Tony Abbott publically on the internet. Glad I could help.

    1. Pedro

      King Lollipop, James is right to worry about his own country rather than China.

      – Much of China’s emissions are caused by those in consumerist nations buying lots of cheap crap from China (exporting emissions),
      – China are more likely to curb their emissions if the rest of the world get on with it.
      – They currently have much lower per capita emissions than consumerist nations.
      – Under a dictatorship, governments have far more power to limit emissions.
      – China are already way ahead of us with renewables

      Stop hiding behind China’s future emissions and cut your own emissions – by at least 80% – if you give a damn about your children’s future.

  4. thepoliblog

    I enjoy your blog, and it expands my horizons. I appreciate the effort that goes into it. I have nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award. The details are at http://thepoliblog.wordpress.com/, in the post named ‘A Blogging Award’ (January 10, 2013). Thanks for the wonderful blog!

  5. inheritanceorg

    James, you are writing and informing us all about the single most important issue facing us as a civilisation. As a fellow Australian I am grateful for your inspirational work. Thank you.

  6. Chester Graham

    Thank you. I wish to read your Anti-politics from the beginning. Where do I find Anti-politics 1?
    – Chester Graham

  7. JT

    Well Done.. Climate Change concerns me immensley.. I have a young son and wonder how is life will be in the future.. Can people not see what we are doing to the planet.. Why is the government not promoting more green initatives? I built a house recently and the builder did not suggest anything! So we will eventually have Grey Water conversions for water, solar and soon a composter.. We as people of Australia need to be sustainable and be more environmentally aware.. One Person can make a difference!

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