Planet in Peril (PinP) "Where science gets respect:" A woman prepares a meal of weed leaves for her family as a hunger crisis continues to grip South Sudan. Photo: UNICEF/Oatway
Tuesday, 5 September 2017
Human attitudes toward climate change. Smart? Or just plain dumb! (Editorial)
by Larry Powell
Despite historic weather calamities descending upon Earth with breathtaking frequency and ferocity, the root-causes of our planetary crisis continue to be avoided like sacred cows. An analyst interviewed on TV yesterday did make some good (albeit now-familiar) points.
He pointed out how ordinary people have "stepped up" by helping their neighbours, after the fact. These are true heroes, he pointed out, correctly.
Then he went on to say, (altho they are rarely recognized as such.), so are policy-makers who come up with practical ways of lessening impacts, like smarter development which uses less concrete, further away from flood plains. He even mentioned "climate change," words rarely uttered in polite society.
So far, so good.
But he gave not a word of recognition to the most important part of all - the need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels and make a very rapid transition to a low-carbon society!
The world's climatologists who've been toiling in labs and in often hostile places, are heroes, too. They've been warning for decades, based on copious evidence they've gathered, we simply cannot carry on with "business-as-usual," burning coal, oil and natural gas without regard to the consequences.
Yet, even as another climate catastrophe looms - a Category Five hurricane bearing down on Florida, these heroes and their advice (which offers the best hope for future generations), are virtually ignored or are, themselves brushed off as crackpots.
This flirtation with stupidity rather than wisdom is dooming future (and present) generations to a greatly degraded planet.