This is a very sobering article, published in the FT magazine this weekend. The writer’s premise is simple: who really gives a XXXX about climate change anymore? This really is a good question because – as Simon Kuper points out in his article – the subject does seem to have dropped off the radar over the past year.
Sure, there is still the internet chatter (of which this blog is obviously included!) and POTUS still believes in it as well! But for everybody else, it seems to have gone off the boil. Now, we have the economy, the Middle East, terrorism and goodness knows what else to worry about. As Kuper also points out, there seems to be a growing consensus in the West that there is little we can now do to prevent it (those who believe in Climate Change, of course!) The jury remains out on what the effects will be. He states that no-one has been able to predict for definite what will happen in future (although I thought James Lovelock had a fairly shrewd idea!)
The other pessimistic thing is that the West will probably shrug its shoulders and say ‘Ah well, we’ve got the money to combat it so it won’t effect us that much. It’ll only be countries like Bangladesh that’ll get the brunt of it – not our problem!’ Very charitable! However, might not our ‘wealth’ take a nosedive in future years if the Peak Oil problem is proved to be correct and seriously harm our own prospects for economic growth?
Maybe. But then again, another work has come out recently to suggest that this theory is actually flawed and there are, in fact, vast and continuing reserves of oil and other fossil fuels that we can draw on for the quite foreseeable future. So that’s okay then (well, not really: if it means mankind is still able to continue with its emission habit in the long term then we really are in trouble – not that Peak Oil would really offset Climate Change anyway as the damage has already been done!)