Climate change: where science, media, glamor, and politics collide

Angelo Persichilli’s recent Toronto Sun editorial on the motivations to address climate change seem frustratingly accurate. He argues that the furor over climate change is more about talk than action, more about politics than science, and more about being part of the ‘in crowd’ than doing anything effective. (Do you use one square or two?)

Unfortunately that mindset leads to a lot of grandiose plans, spinning wheels, and impassioned pleas, but not a lot of concrete solutions. To paraphrase for Perisichilli, if we are that seriously concerned about climate change, we need to start acting like it. Unfortunately, that will mean life-, economy-, and society-changing decisions need to be made and made soon.

Our politicians should have the guts to tell us we will have to change our way of life before they do.

The Earth will not be saved because (Canadian Prime Minister, Steven) Harper does or doesn’t send
greeting cards to Al Gore or makes nice with scientists at a level that
satisfies media pundits.

The Earth can be saved if scientists stop
trying to be politicians, politicians do their jobs when they’re in
power (not after they’re in opposition) and entertainers go back to
entertaining (one hopes while being somewhat less violent, offensive
and obscene.)

If, however, there is reason to doubt the far-reaching and catastrophic forecasts of climate change — perhaps because climate change may be a natural cycle and beyond our ability to control, or the outcomes of human-caused climate change may not be quite so catastrophic as Hollywood producers would have us think — then drastically altering our way of life or damaging our economy as well as our ability to mitigate the environmental impacts of climate change (or some other environmental influence) may not be the best policy decision.

04. March 2008 by
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