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The Storting could establish a citizens' council

CHRONICLE: What is the reason why the Norwegian people constantly choose oil over climate? And when it comes to the climate crisis, why do Storting politicians withhold significant information from the public?

Who is responsible for that 10% of the Norwegian population are climate deniers? What is the reason for that the majority of the norwegian population is not very worried about climate change when climate scientists are unanimous that it constitutes an existential crisis? Is there something wrong with our democracy when the majority of the population chooses short-term oil extraction over our future livelihood in any Storting election?

The consequences of climate change

Democracy means democracy, and this means in principle that the population can choose a policy that is destructive to one's own interests. But democracy should be self-regulating in the sense that when a problem arises, the population will react and demand that politicians do something to improve the situation. However, this is where the challenge for democracy arises when it comes to the climate crisis: the really serious consequences of climate change have not occurred in Norway yet and therefore one can not expect the population to react and demand change from politicians based on their own experience of the problem.

What is required is clear communication from the authorities to explain the situation we are in and how it will affect us in the future. Norwegian politicians were good at standing together and explaining the seriousness of the pandemic, which also posed a future threat, without letting political disagreements stand in the way. But when it comes to the climate crisis, Storting politicians hold significant information from the public.

Quiet climate crisis

In 2019, I participated in a number of actions under the auspices of Extinction Rebellion to support the school strikes and get Parliament to declare climate crisis. We considered it a natural requirement, as it simply and easily reflects the research, at the same time as it would be an important premise for the political action. . .

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Dag Kolstø
Kolstø is a trained social anthropologist, farmer, full-time activist and spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion Norway.

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