We need clarity and action if we’re to take this “catastrophe” seriously


Are we really destroying our beautiful planet? (c) Spencer Weart 2009

I’m no environmental expert but the information we’ve been fed about climate change during the last couple of weeks has left me completely confused.

Just over a week ago, there were countless articles being brandished about asking where global warming seems to have disappeared to. The BBC pointed out that the warmest year recorded globally was in 1998 and “for the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures”.

But then today we have our, ever on the pulse, Prime Minister Gordon Brown telling us all; “In Britain we face the prospect of more frequent droughts and a frequent wave of floods”. All in all, he says if we do not act now we will be facing a “catastrophe”.

And then last night I caught a glimpse of the latest “Act on CO2” advert on TV. In this, a father reads his daughter a bedtime story about how adults created global warming and how the children of the world are having to deal with its “horrible” consequences. At the end of the advert the little girl, rather chillingly actually, asks her father if the story has a happy ending and we’re told that this is “up to us”.

But then I read in The Guardian that this advert has received more than 200 complaints with people unequivocally stating that there’s “no scientific evidence of climate change”.

So everywhere we turn we seem to be bombarded by completely contradictory, and at the same time very dramatic, statements and messages about a potentially very serious issue.

Action must follow words

And if we are all to believe Brown’s comments and take them as, in the words of Al Gore, an ‘inconvenient truth’, then it is his responsibility to send out a very clear message, without any of the usual jargon, about exactly what we are facing here and why we are facing it. 

Once this has been achieved, world leaders must then start introducing policies which will enable all of us to change our lifestyles in a way that will mean we can actually stop this apparent path to the destruction of our world.

Not just token gestures which make it seem as though we’re doing something about it all, but actual changes in policies which make it illegal to act any other way.

I’m not exactly a champion crusader for the ‘Big Brother State’ but, like I said, Brown’s statements are quite frankly nothing short of terrifying and if they are to be taken seriously then serious action must follow them.

At the moment we all seem to be sporadically terrified into paralysis over the issue before it’s then dropped for the next big headline. In the intervals nothing concrete enough seems to be getting done to try and solve the problem once and for all.

The only thing we’re left with is a series of articles and campaigners claiming that actually there’s nothing to worry about after all.

Right now, just like many others, I’m simply confused. And being confused about something which, according to our political leaders, could potentially result in an inhabitable world for our children is a very worrying indeed.

By Sophie Hudson


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