Sunday, February 2, 2014

Climate change as the paramount issue

I may have mentioned before that I participate in a local study group on sustainability which has now been running for slightly less than a year. We discuss many aspects of sustainability but so far we have tended to focus on social and economic issues. Although the issue of climate change has always been there in our minds, we have tended not to focus on it. This, I think, is because none of our early participants has a significant scientific education and so other aspects of sustainability have seemed more accessible.

I think we have to tackle the subject nevertheless. This is because I think the threat from climate change requires us to overturn a lot of generally-accepted thinking about the economy and this has profound political and social implications. Furthermore, other perceived threats to our civilisation -  such as food shortages resulting from over-population - would look manageable were they not amplified either by the effects of climate change or by action needed to tackle it. Before I elaborate, I should clarify some of my premises:-