Submitted by Mark.
George W. Bush recently described Climate Change as one of the "greatest challenges of our time". That Bush failed to follow his speech with concrete action was of no surprise, because climate change also appears to be one of the most complex and least understood challenges in our history.
The popular media have reduced the topic, with is complex science, critical unanswered questions, endless political and social ramifications and countless untested mitigation possibilities into a simple set of nightmare scenarios brought about by Co2, the new icon of our sinful existence.
This makes climate change the ideal political tool, the perfect excuse for anything unpopular that you need to do anyway. But the real solutions are far away - with our current level of knowledge any meaningful action would require measures so drastic as to spell instant disaster at the polls. Quite simply, a serious green politician is unelectable.
The truth is that we are only now beginning to apply human ingenuity to the problem. The underlying science needs to be refined, new technologies need to be developed, and political barriers need to be broken down. The consequences will no doubt be severe for some. Many will suffer, and much change will be required. But it will happen in good time, as todays media and political debate matures into a more measurable and answerable set of problems.
TalkClimateChange.com hopes that the internet can accelerate this process. The newly launched site presents news and views from all sides of the climate change debate to encourage active debate on the issues by its users. Speaking shortly after its launch, founder Mark Seall described progress that has been made to date; "We have been surprised", he says. "What our users have shown us is that climate change is not a binary debate. For every aspect of the argument, from the science to the solutions, there are numerous views and complexities, but at the same time there is a surprising clarity of thought. Reading the submissions of our users has been truly educational."
Mark hopes that TalkClimateChange, and other initiatives like it can make a genuine contribution to education, knowledge and understanding by providing deeper public debate on critical subjects and through actively harvesting the results.
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