Good news for glaziers in Belfast

We need more James Hansens

Growing up outside Belfast in the eighties, daily news bulletins brought a relentless barrage of atrocities into our home: bomb blasts, kneecappings, executions, plastic bullets, riots, Molotov cocktails.

A campaign developed to bring more positive news to the screens. The crusade died when one cynical journalist remarked: “Good news for glaziers in Belfast this evening. A 1000-pound car bomb has exploded in the city centre.”

There is a time and a place for news spin and positive messaging, but sometimes we must face the grim reality. Some news stories are too important.

As we approach the Rio+20 Summit (essentially Plan A for Planet Earth), some argue the “urgency” message is not working and should be abandoned. Politicians are numb to doom and gloom, so instead science must put a positive spin on things: less negativity, let’s focus on solutions.

Well great, but this is a mistake. Science has a responsibility to tell the story straight. The message is too important to pull punches. Besides, if you said to Obama he had to deal with three crises: global financial meltdown, Syria, and global sustainability, but the last one is not quite so urgent, what would happen? Go figure.

The sarcastic Belfast journalist’s remarks came back to me this week as TED published NASA scientist James Hansen’s recent talk Why I must speak out about climate change.

Hansen must be applauded for steadfastly refusing to dilute the message. The TED lecture is a great example of focusing relentlessly on hard facts, no matter how unsettling.

Sure, he offers solutions (market based with minimal government intervention! It is an election year after all) but he is unflinching in his message that humanity is sleepwalking towards a colossal global catastrophe: not for life on Earth, but for societies everywhere. We need more like Hansen.

See: Is civilization really at risk of collapse?

2 thoughts on “Good news for glaziers in Belfast

  1. Ole1 Tatyana. Gostei imenso de cenhecor o seu blog. Foi atrave9s da entrevista que deu no Blog DMC. Os seus trabalhos se3o perfeitos,, e muito bom gosto e muito inspiradores. Gostava imenso de obter o esquema desta me1quina de costura. Gostava de fazer um quadro para colocar no meu cantinho craft. Pode disponibilizar para mim? Convido-a tambe9m a visitar o meu blog. Beijos de Portugal. Elisabete

  2. Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and
    starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a extraordinary job!


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s