Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Climate beyond Climate Change

Every now and then I read a book that's so good I consider shifting my career and becoming a promotion officer for it. I felt that way about 'Making a Living while Making a Difference', Van Jones' 'Green Collar Economy', and, most recently, with 'Why we disagree about climate change' by David Hulme. Himself a climate scientist who has been engaged with climate change for decades, including recent forays into sociology and history, he describes not only the political, economic and scientific dimensions of climate, but the social, cultural, and religious meanings that people bring to it. He eloquently argues that there is no 'solution' - he describes it as a 'super wicked problem', where 'solutions' don't exist. It demands us to change ourselves in a way never done before, and that entails looking not only for economic and technical solutions such as cap and trade and solar panels, but fundamentally reconsidering how we relate to one another. For a broader perspective on one of the most important shifts in our times, read his book - and see if you agree that the most important lesson from climate change is not about the climate - but about ourselves. It puts a whole new dimension on good work around climate.

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