Margaret Wente did us a favour by her assessment of the efforts to explain to uncommitted Canadians the need to take action against global warning (Globe & Mail, Saturday, October 16th). She points out that people find it hard to react to invisible, distant threats. So they shrug off evidence, such as the significant reduction in Polar Ice Caps, that is short of calamitous.
And there are plenty of other worries on which people focus: in Canada concerns about global warming is somewhere below crime, health care, taxes, municipal spending, transportation and the economy. So, as she observes, the lamentable lack of political action is understandable: the Canadian government has just been reading the polls.She asks:” W hy are people cooling on warming?” She might have questioned whether people have really been other than cool. Instead, she blames the apocalyptic language used by some environmentalists. Here she departs from journalistic fairness. She comments: “When they say we are doomed unless we radically change our way by the end of next week, people figure the problem is exaggerated.” No environmentalist has referred to such an absurd time line, and certainly not Tim Flannery, whom she refers to in her article.