Thursday, June 22, 2006

An Enormous Step Forward

Here is an interesting read. Canada's Environment Minister, Rona Ambrose, is saying much the same things that I have been thinking about the way the climate change debate has been paralysed over Kyoto, and "polarized by skepticism and political ideology." What's missing from her speech, of course, is an acknowledgement of what real action on climate change would mean in the lifestyle of individual Canadians. I can't blame her - she has votes to keep. But there are hints in her speech that it is up to all of us.

More importantly, by presenting climate change as an urgent challenge requiring a global solution, she and her government have taken an enormous step forward: they have moved beyond discussions of the science (whether it be skepticism or cheerleading) and focussed on what we are going to do about it. If the debate now focusses on what is being done and how much (or little) difference it will make, the challenge to us as individuals will become increasingly clear.

5 comments:

grannyfiddler said...

not on topic at all... just saw your note at madcap, re: Alphabet versus the Goddess, and wanted to say 'thanks' - i needed the reminder that i want to buy that book. the copy i read was borrowed.

Laura said...

Hmm - might not be so far off topic, when you think about it...

Laura said...

For my own readers, the reference above is to Leonard Shlain's book, "The Alphabet Versus the Goddess." Website here. I suspect Shlain might have some interesting comments about polarized debate.

Richard said...

Laura:

The National Academy of Science has just made available a document that was requested by the US Congress last November. It is here:

http://www.nas.edu/

You might find it interesting, as they made a concerted effort to determine what global surface temperatures have been doing for the last two millenia.

Laura said...

Thanks Richard - much appreciated. This link might be more durable.