"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Economist comes out in favour of action on global warming.

This is a change of direction for them - they used to take a "let the free market sort it out when it happens" line.

The heat is on

8 comments:

Tom said...

Yes, someone recently told me that they thought the Economist had got a lot more progressive recently. They got a new editor a few months ago which might explain it. Anyway - it's good news, and almost every day now there seems to be a global warming news item (e.g today it's California sueing car manufacturers over emissions), suggesting that it's finally being taken seriously by media outlets other than Fitzrovian Tuesday.

Colin said...

Things definitely improving, but we're not there yet. That Bjorn Lomborg was on a discussion on Radio 4 last night. He doesn't deny it - his stance is that global warming is happening, it is at least in part caused by man, but that you can't address all problems with limited resources, and global warming probably isn't the top priority (although he is in favour of funding lots of alternative energy research for the future). Just about every other scientist takes issue with his non-urgent take on the situation (inlcuding all of those on the programme, who argued vociferously against him), but he still mentioned that he was off to address US congress the next day. He is disproportionately influential there, because he's telling them what they want to hear.

Colin said...

Incidentally, all the other articles related to the one John posted are worth a look. Most of them (menu top rhs of screen) need login - email me if you need one.

john said...

be most obliged if you could mail me the economist login. cheers!

Tom said...

As I was saying, every day now there's something. Though it does make me wonder why he doesn't just junk his airlines, never mind his plans to fly people into space. Burning up millions of tonnes of fossil fuels in the stratosphere in order to donate the profits to fight global warming seems bizarre to say the least.

john said...

convert the 747s to biofuels in 10 years time, keep the business, make more money...

Colin said...

He probably hopes he'll be a major investor in some revolutionary alternative energy technology, and make all his cash back.

That was my first thought, too, Tom, but its still better than nothing. Plus, if he junked his airlines, someone else would just fill the resulting gap in the market, but without giving the money for research.

These guys are convinced that technology will save us, without major changes to our lifestyles. Hope they're right.

Tom said...

Yes, I suppose so - in the same way that the 'death cigarettes' brand (does anyone remember them?) was better than giving money to Philip Morris.

I actually want global warming to force major changes to our lifestyles. It might be the only pressure big enough to slow everyone down and bring the consumer society to an end.