Environment

Getting Serious about Adaptation

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorDec 2, 2010 11:17 AM

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The Economist explains why adaptation has long been marginalized in the climate debate:

The green pressure groups and politicians who have driven the debate on climate change have often been loath to see attention paid to adaptation, on the ground that the more people thought about it, the less motivated they would be to push ahead with emissions reduction. Talking about adaptation was for many years like farting at the dinner table, says an academic who has worked on adaptation over the past decade. Now that the world's appetite for emissions reduction has been revealed to be chronically weak, putting people off dinner is less of a problem.

The article is titled "Facing the Consequences," and its thrust is captured in the subtitle:

Global action is not going to stop climate change. The world needs to look harder at how to live with it.

Is that a conversation the climate concerned community is ready to have?

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