"None of us is as smart as all of us"
Expecting the value of majority views on such an all encompassing subject as climate change policy (which demands expert knowledge just to understand, let alone evaluate) to be the 'gold standard' for scoping and delineating long term, far reaching, policy decisions is using rose tinted spectacles at best. In the case of global warming policy, one needs to have both a very good knowledge of climate science, and politics and/or economics to appreciate the issues. More importantly, the phrase presupposes that the majority view, which people must know is highly vulnerable to the very sophisticated disinformation and misinformation spread by the 'sceptic'/contrarian/denialist lobby and can look extremely plausible unless one is extremely well versed in how it is deceptive, deceitful or dumb, will be invulnerable to these powerful distorting forces which are widely promulgated by very sophisticated lobbyists. The great majority of people haven't got a hope of discerning the scientific wheat from the pseudo-scientific chaff and similarly for the economic and political aspects.
Why the contribution is important
To be effective, actions and policy to tackle anthropogenic climate change need to take much longer time frames into account than is normal for policy formulation. Some required decisions are likely to not have significant beneficial effects for several decades while having some negative effects in the interim period. The majority of people are not good at planning for the ultra long term and the cycles of political periods of office do not favour this either. People are good at planning to avoid the 'tiger in the undergrowth' but not the slow erosion of arable land. I think it important that the likely prevalence of short term thinking and 'here and now' pragmatism that one will probably get from citizens' assemblies - if they can actually come to any definitive final position - needs to be at least prepared for by the executive
by NickPalmer on February 01, 2021 at 05:30PM