Thursday, March 16, 2006

Taking the politics out of the Greenhouse

There is a simple problem here: If sea levels rise, the Tower of London will get flooded. This is the trouble when the river you are parked on is more or less at sea level. And will sea levels rise? Well, if the workd heats up - yes.

The trouble is there is dispute as to whether the world WILL heat up in the near future. CErtainly it has gotten a little warmer, but is this really showing a major trend? The best evidence unfortunately thinks that it is - we could be in big trouble. In fact we could be in enough trouble that we will get there whether we do anything or not, and that is a depressing thought.The USA has, however, a different approach. They say that firstly the indications are so small as to be misleading - they may or may NOT be showing climate change. They also are havng tremendous trouble with the idea of one body telling another what it can do - especially of the second body happens to be the USA and the first has anything to do with the UN.To be honest, the USA has a more realistic problem too. As the most powerful, or rather most succesful, economy in the world currently, they have unbelievable power requirements. And they are very worried that climate change will mean they will have to start turning power off. This could be politically destabalising not only for the US but for the rest of us as well.However, the US is taking a very dishonest approach to the problem - at least publically. Rather than confront the situation head on and start looking for solutions that may protect against climate change as well as keeping stbility - taking a lead, in other words - they hide behing a wall of political twists and turns that are as meaningless as they are rediculous.Avoiding a problem is not a solution. In other areas the US has been good, or perhaps over zealous, in getting it's hadns dirty, why are they so backwards in this one that may REALLY matter?

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Tower of London on climate list