Climate change: according to Professor of Political Theory Marcel Wissenburg and Political Science alumnus and Member of Parliament Silvio Erkens, in particular climate change deniers and climate activists dominate the social debate. This is a shame, they think: the conversation should be about solutions and how we are going to implement them. They themselves are ambitious yet realistic when looking at climate and energy issues. And they find solutions that fit seamlessly into the tenets of liberalism, which can both strengthen the economy and make it more sustainable.
Erkens: ‘I have been spokesperson for Climate and Energy for the VVD (People's Party for Freedom and Democracy) in the Lower House for two years. In all honesty, climate policy in the Netherlands often irritates me. It is either too expensive and too nonsensical and we should do nothing with it, or we may not do anything and we all lose out. However, I’m much more interested in discussing how we are going to take steps together as quickly and effectively as possible.’
Wissenburg agrees with the volatility of thinking in politics. To encourage thinking and reflection, in addition to being a professor at the Nijmegen School of Management, he is also active at the Telders Foundation, the VVD’s scientific thinktank. ‘If I look at everyday politics, politicians are just getting by, day to day and problem to problem; in that practical approach, they almost never ask themselves the question: why am I actually doing this? As a result, discussions quickly fall back into caricatures.’