Stewart Brand (whom, incidentally, we have to thank for the ‘whole earth’ photo at the Fourcultures masthead) wrote an op-ed recently in which he identified four types of climate change talk, based on two scales, scientists-politicians and agreement-disagreement. This produced four poles, not merely two. They are:
- denialists (ideological disagreement)
- skeptics (scientific disagreement)
- warners (scientific agreement)
- calamatists (ideological agreement)
This is a very worthwhile attempt at getting some subtlety into the standoff between the naysayers and the yeasayers. But frankly, I think the existing typology of Grid-Group Cultural Theory does a more parsimonious job of this, at the same time as giving us more information about the motives and practices of the proponents and their institutions.
This typology, derived from the work of anthropologist Mary Douglas, can be summarised as:
- Indvidualist (low grid-low group)
- Egalitarian (low grid-high group)
- Hierarchical (high grid-high group)
- Fatalist (high grid-low group)
Fourcultures has recently called these four approaches expanders, restrainers, managers and shruggers.
There’s more about whether climate change or its denial is a ‘new religion‘
and about climate change responses as four types of deviance (reflecting the work of Robert K Merton rather than Mary Douglas).