Compare and contrast

Don’t worry (if you worry about North American energy supplies) – there is enough fossil fuels in shales to move the USA to energy security within the next few decades.

Meanwhile, if significant actions to reduce carbon emissions are not taken soon, then we may be locked into a 4 degrees Celsius increase before this century is out – the consequences of which would be particularly dire for developing nations.

These two reports, a couple of weeks apart in the same newspaper provide a nice summary as to the scale of the challenge before us. Those that contribute most to this particular problem are largely disconnected from the impacts of this problem. When there is an absence of feedback, when there are no consequences for a particular action, then what reasons are there to change the particular action? Writing polite letters hasn’t been particularly effective thus far.

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