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Climate Change - Think About It!

We are constantly assailed by information that drags us towards one extreme or the other, leading to irrational fear, or blind dismissal. Whichever way we trend, it is extremely difficult to arrive at a reasoned position from which we can make decisions regarding our own behaviour.

I commend to your weekend reading list this excellent article from this month's 'Atlantic' (formerly known as the Atlantic Monthly) that attempts to put some perspective on the choices facing us, both individually and nationally. Go to the article headed "How to Talk About People about Climate Change So People will Listen" by Charles Mann, a well respected commentator.   

What I found was that it dealt with many of the paradoxes that have certainly troubled me for a long time - such as the comparative benefit of coal or oil reduction on CO2 production that remains the 'elephant in the kitchen.' You may also be amused at his analysis of the almost diametrically opposed literature on the Antarctic Ice Sheet that makes you wonder who to believe. 

He deals to a great number of other fallacies that have crept into the argument, but in the end comes down on the side of caution if we are avoid the risk almost certain apocalypse within the foreseeable future; depending on how you regard 'foreseeable' - 20, 100, 500 years?

An almost mind-boggling example is provided of the trans-national dilemma arising from one particularly egregious suggestion - sulphuric acid injection into the stratosphere to reflect the sun's rays. It would probably destroy ocean life as we know it, and require repeated injections - are they mad, or just flailing?- it is hard to tell.

Wherever you stand on the issue, can I suggest that the article throws light on what has been a battlefield with a great deal of open space between the castellated ramparts.   




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