Thursday, June 28, 2007

Climate Change: a term laden with fear?

The German magazine, Spiegel, interviews the CEO of the largest chemical company in the world. What gives a man like this nightmares? Apparently the term "climate change"

Hambrecht: I have a problem with the term "climate change." It's laden with fear. The climate is a highly complex system, and it has always changed. If there is one thing we cannot do, it is to allow ourselves to be scared and to seek emotional satisfaction in short-term campaigns.

The term Climate Change is laden with fear? The predictions behind it, maybe, but the term itself is pretty tepid. If we were calling it Apocalypse Forecast or Planetary Inferno maybe.

My guess is there's a different reason the CEO of a chemical company is spooked about climate change. The idea that his industry may be held partly responsible comes to mind.

Hambrecht never actually accuses climatology of being junk science, he just thinks it needs a few more decades of study. And of course, he likes to think there's an up side:

Hambrecht: We must develop a different attitude toward conditions on this earth. Many academics believe that the 12th century was the most successful for people in Europe. It was also the century in which Europe was the warmest. But then came the "little ice age," which lasted until the 19th century and was a difficult time with many epidemics.

On happier nights, he must dream about the monuments that will be built in tribute to industrialists like himself for creating a tropical utopia.

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