Saturday, March 17, 2007

Is climate change being overplayed?

That's the opinion of two scientists, according to the BBC (click here). They probably have a point, but my major issue is that people still are not taking it seriously. If we downplay the problem now then people will just use that as an excuse to continue acting in the irresponsible and selfish way they have been.

I'm not saying we should assume the worst will happen, but we should prepare for it. That's why we wear seatbelts, in case the worst does happen. I know this idea of preparing for things is alien in today's society - witness this government's fine art of knee-jerk reactions mirrored by large numbers of the British population - but it makes sense. Perhaps if people were more careful there wouldn't be quite so much debt, or people wouldn't be throwing away a third of their food and then complaining because we have a waste problem that requires councils to cut their rubbish collections by half. Perhaps there wouldn't be this hysterical belief that climate change is a "conspiracy" designed to wheedle more taxes out of the population.

It's like the idea that it will be a painful transition to a low-carbon economy. I'm sure it will be, for those of us used to indulging ourselves on tap. But it's a hell of a lot easier to manage this "painful" transition than to deal with living on the edge, as so many people in the Third World are doing. Let's grab some perspective and accept that we've had our cake, eaten it and now need to lose the weight we've put on. It's good for us, it's good for our neighbours, friends and family, it's good for the planet and - perhaps most importantly of all - it'll be good for those that follow us.

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