I'm expecting to hear a lot of scary stuff about climate change this week, and for quite a while to come. The problem is so huge, the consequences are so dire... There's a danger that people will forget it's a man made disaster, and one we can still do something about.
So, some recent remarks from the head of the UN Environment Program are a welcome reminder that with smarter energy policy and use, we still have time to fix our climate. As reporter under the headline, "Global warming happens: but is it 'catastrophic?'":
"I'm a bit preoccupied that the media, having contributed to every day making another doomsday news headline, then in six weeks time will declare it hysteria and move on," said Achim Steiner, head of the U.N. Environment Program.
Still, Steiner said it was clearly right to use words like "catastrophe" to describe effects such as a projected rise in sea levels in coming centuries that could swamp Pacific island states or cities from Shanghai to Buenos Aires.
"It is legitimate to use those words in specific scenarios," he told Reuters. "But does that mean that the whole climate change debate should be about doom and gloom? No, because we are finding that we can do something about it."
Umm, but soon, as in right now, is when we need to do something.