Article from: Agence
This article shows us we need to engage people in new and creative ways on this issue, so they don't give up and disengage. Hopefully the Transition approach will be found useful in this regard! - David
SCIENTISTS say they are haunted by the failure to convey to the world just how close Earth is to climate catastrophe.
Top researchers who gathered in Copenhagen for a climate change conference said they were worried that people could not psychologically deal with the enormity of the problem and were reverting to doing nothing.
French glaciologist Claude Lorius, one of the first scientists to publish in 1987 evidence that global warming was real, said he despaired of getting the message across.
"At first, I thought that we could convince people. But there is a terrible inertia,'' he said.
"I fear that society is not up to the challenge of a crisis like this. Today, as a human being I am pessimistic.''
John Church, an expert on sea levels at the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem Cooperative Research Centre in Hobart, took an equally dim view of our collective capacity for denial.
"Perhaps society has realised the seriousness, but it certainly hasn't realised the urgency,'' he said.
"But even if you are pessimistic - and sometimes I am - it does not help. What are you going to do? Chop off your hands and give up? That's not a solution either,'' he said.
But even if it is urgent to let the world know just how bad it could be, there is also a danger of frightening people into inaction, said other scientists.
"As a scientist, I deal with climate change on a time scale of hundreds of thousands of years, and even I have a hard time dealing with it,'' Williams Howard, a researcher at the University of Tasmania said...
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