26 April 2005
Good article about climate change at Grist...
Let's Talk About Climate Change by Ian McEwan. Here's an excerpt:
...[R]eports from a range of scientific disciplines are telling us with certainty that we are making a mess of the earth, we are fouling our nest, and we have to act decisively and against our immediate inclinations. For we tend to be superstitious, hierarchical, and self-interested, just when the moment requires us to be rational, even-handed, and altruistic. We are shaped by our history and biology to frame our plans within the short term, within the scale of a single lifetime; and in democracies, governments and electorates collude in an even tighter cycle of promise and gratification. Now we are asked to address the well-being of unborn individuals we will never meet and who, contrary to the usual terms of human interaction, will not be returning the favor.
To concentrate our minds, we have historical examples of civilizations that have collapsed through environmental degradation -- the Sumerian, the Indus Valley, Easter Island. They extravagantly feasted on vital natural resources and died. Those were test-tube cases, locally confined; now, increasingly, we are one, and we are informed -- reliably or not -- that it is the whole laboratory, the whole glorious human experiment, that is at risk.
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