Let’s stop pretending

Ray Brindle, Malmsbury

A grassfire was rapidly approaching a rural house. The occupant was urgently asked to help the CFA save it. The man said no, he wouldn’t; although he and his sons had the gear and manpower to make an impact on the fire, it was a natural event and they didn’t cause it so they weren’t going to try to put it out, nor take measures to protect themselves. While they all stood there arguing over who or what was responsible, the fire arrived and things got a bit hot.
My question to Messrs. Clarke, Scoles et al., who want to go on debating who to believe about the cause of global warming and climate change (Opinions, August 14), is this: Do you think we shouldn’t try to do anything because we (humans) didn’t cause it? Or are you clinging to the Pollyanna-ish wish that it’s all a fantasy, or if it isn’t, that it will just go away and life will go on as normal?
As I said in a letter to these pages in December 2011: “Whether or not human activity was the major cause … it is within our power to reduce our contribution to problem gases sufficiently to have an effect”. So let’s stop pretending that we know better than the vast body of science about how it started, and get on with demanding that we at least try to put the fire out and take steps to minimise its impacts. We can argue about how effective our attempts will be, but the longer we procrastinate over starting, the less likely we are to be successful.

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