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I think that's a major question. Not that there is never rational self-interest involved - incumbent energy industries, for example, have of course built communications strategies to help them hold on to their slice of the pie. But what intrigues me is to what extent those strategies have been built on the negatives of renewables' positives. OK, it's a known strategy to take the adversary's strong points and turn them upside down. But you can only really choose it if you have evidence that there's a constituency that will run with it.

I think it may be an extension of the "culture wars". The '60s and '70s represent one of those lurches of history where fairly deep changes take place in a short time. Not that there was a revolution in the sense of party and political institutions (the boom generation was a failure at that), but in attitudes to life, to pleasure, to family, to sex, to the natural world, to the planet - that, taken together, are extremely political. After such changes, a fairly long period of uncomfortable maturation takes place, marked by hate-fuelled backlash. I'm thinking, for instance, of Leon Poliakov's analysis of late nineteenth-century European anti-Semitism (that lived on remarkably into the mid twentieth century) as a reaction to the emancipation of the Jews by the French Revolution. Some people's (perceived) added freedom may infuriate others. Anything that smacks today of the dirty fucking hippie can be attacked with vehemence speaking to a reactionary constituency. Sarkozy's communicators appear to think this, to judge by the regularity of his attacks on May '68 and everything that may be considered its consequences.

Looked at from another angle, it's now been forty years that some people at least have been saying that the planet needs to be an integral part of any political platform, and it's still an uphill battle.  

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 12:51:02 PM EST
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