Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Red Signs in the Sunset?


I think that it's a change of focus, rather than a change in the facts, but the recent report by the Lancet/UCL commission on health and climate change is most welcome as it points out that world health can be driven back (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/23/climate-change-threatens-50-years-of-progress-in-global-health-study-says). It has been fairly obvious that climate change would be detrimental to people in marginally viable parts of the globe but recognition that it would impact on health issues even in the UK's NHS has been slower to emerge. With this and the pope's encyclical, perhaps we are getting away from purely financial arguments about the need to curtail emissions that make 'global warming' more problematic? The financial arguments still apply (and one can understand why they achieved prominence in their time) but they were always unlikely to influence behaviour of the masses, a necessary condition for achieving lasting improvements. One just hopes that a) messages get across, b) people act on them; c) the messages are not 'muddied' by vested interests and d) it is not too late to effect meaningful change.

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