Tag Archives: Lord Anthony Giddens

A reflection on “Giddens’s paradox”

Ron Johnston and Chris Deeming
Ron Johnston and Chris Deeming

by Ron Johnston and Chris Deeming

In his article The Politics of Climate Change as in the the two editions of his The Politics of Climate Change, Anthony Giddens identifies what he and others now refer to as ‘Giddens’s paradox’ – that although climate scientists are increasingly certain about the nature and intensity of anthropogenic climate change the general public is becoming less concerned that it is a crucial issue calling for immediate comprehensive, global action. He identifies four reasons for this: the well-funded campaigns against policy proposals to reduce carbon emissions, often involving disinformation, by those who would lose financially, notably companies involved in fossil fuels; the difficulties lay people have in appreciating climate science and the concepts of risk and uncertainty; the ‘free rider’ issue – why should Britain (or any country for that matter) which is only a small contributor to the global emissions total take a lead in tackling the issue; and the primacy that many countries, especially those in the developing world, place on economic development.

There is thus a global paralysis regarding climate change policy that needs to be broken. Giddens suggests that a new policy paradigm is now urgently needed, based Continue reading A reflection on “Giddens’s paradox”

Video of the Annual Lecture now available

We were delighted to welcome Lord Anthony Giddens on 17th March 2015 to speak on The Politics of Climate Change. The event was fully booked some weeks beforehand and the Great Hall was packed on the night. Lord Giddens did not disappoint in presenting a clear and pressing case for the need for urgent action to address the problem of climate change.

Below is a film of the whole lecture in case you want to listen again, or if you were not able to get a ticket. We are most grateful to Lord Giddens for allowing us to use it.

Continue reading Video of the Annual Lecture now available

Time for a radical new paradigm to help us address climate change

Tessa Coombes
Tessa Coombes

by Tessa Coombes

Lord Anthony Giddens presented the Policy and Politics Annual Lecture, in Bristol, on Tuesday 17th March. The theme of the lecture was to consider what recent progress has been made on climate change and what stops us doing more. Lord Giddens concluded his lecture with a proposal for the need for a new paradigm to provide the change needed to generate the radical solutions that are now necessary.

Lord Anthony Giddens first wrote “The Politics of Climate Change” in 2007/08, a time of optimism and hope, when change to reduce carbon emissions seemed top of the agenda both nationally and globally. It was a time of opportunity, seized by politicians like Al Gore who published his book and produced the film “An Inconvenient Truth” to great acclaim. It was also the time of the biggest United Nations meeting on climate change in Copenhagen where over 100 nations met to discuss measures to address the problems of climate change and reducing carbon emissions.

Lord Giddens moved us through this period of optimism to one of dashed hopes and increasing fears following the lack of agreement in Copenhagen. He talked about the difficulties of measuring climate change and the range of indicators needed to assess impacts. He argued that despite the advancements in science and knowledge, there are still many sceptics who refuse to acknowledge the very real changes we are experiencing. Indeed, one of the problems with climate change, he explained, lies in its irreversible nature, the fact that once greenhouse gases are in Continue reading Time for a radical new paradigm to help us address climate change

Lord Anthony Giddens to give 20th Policy & Politics Annual Lecture on the Politics of Climate Change

Lord Anthony Giddens
Lord Anthony Giddens

UPDATE – THIS EVENT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED. You can still #askgiddens a question during the lecture via our live twitter feed @policy_politics


We are delighted to welcome Lord Anthony Giddens to speak on the Politics of Climate Change at our Annual Lecture on the evening of 17th March 2015 in the Great Hall of the Wills Building at the University of Bristol. The lecture is free of charge to attend though numbers are limited so tickets must be booked in advance at bit.ly/1y0vM2Q

Climate change is arguably one of the greatest threats to a stable future for humanity. Lord Giddens’s book The Politics of Climate Change (Bill Clinton called it ‘A landmark study in the struggle to contain climate change, Continue reading Lord Anthony Giddens to give 20th Policy & Politics Annual Lecture on the Politics of Climate Change