Consider this post a public protest at the untimely end of a year when I feel I have so much more to explore about expert ignorance as exposed in 1917, 1953, 1956 and 1989. Oh and now 2009 and December 2017. For the experts on Iran are out in force:
Ah yes, the naive Twitter activism of June 2009:
Many, not least myself, have been drawing parallels with, or at least trying to learn lessons from, 1989:
Not much on climate. Let’s put that slightly right by listing four events 28 years ago.
15 April Hillsborough Disaster
4 June Tiananmen Square
8 November Margaret Thatcher speaks on Climate Change at the UN General Assembly
9 November Fall of the Berlin Wall
How much did anyone know about how these four were going to play out? How much did we know about what had actually happened in the case of the first two? West hypes false Tiananmen death toll gives a Chinese view of the latest news from the UK on Tiananmen. Latest news to the masses, that is. The UK government had a deeply disturbing picture from a trusted source right away and chose not to share it. Hillsborough was different. Some policemen had a deeply disturbing picture and chose not to share it with the government.
But I had totally forgotten that Thatcher addressed the UN on climate just the day before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Which expert would have guessed either event even a year before? Or the profound way both areas developed from there?
Moments of uncertainty
On 26th November I wrote:
The Death of Stalin is for me a brilliant depiction of how a group of ‘experts’ – or ruthless members of the supreme Soviet – have no idea of what is going to happen next. We are now in such a moment, just as we were in 1989, before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
But I now feel that was stupidly wrong. Moments of uncertainty come in very different shapes and sizes. And to explore that, and see the implications for our interest in climate, we’ll have to wait for 2018. Happy New Year!