October 8, 2010
by Guy Dauncey
If the climate-denying leaders of the oil and coal industries think they can bribe, sponsor or advertise their way out of the problem, they should think again.
v When a saber-tooth tiger attacks, it’s fight or flee! There’s no moment of choice - your instinct takes over, primed by millions of years of genetic selection. It’s a visceral emergency.
v When the enemy is coming and you’ve only got a day to prepare, your instinct to protect and survive kicks in and there’s a rapid fusion of analysis, planning and action, primed once again by millions of years of genetic selection. It’s an emotional emergency.
v When your scientific analysts tell you there’s an emergency coming, however, but your senses give you no evidence of it, you have all the time in the world to think about it, and to decide on balance that it would be much more convenient if the warning was false. It’s a supposed emergency, not a real emergency, so it can be ignored.
v In the 3rd century BC Mesopotamian civilization, they failed to realize that their irrigation systems were salting the soil, making the land unfarmable.
v In 16th century Spain, they failed to realize that the massive influx of gold from the Americas would cause inflation and ruin their economy.
v In 1930s Europe, they failed to heed the warnings that Hitler’s Germany was re-arming.