Climate change - tipping or turning point?

Is the debate about the impact of climate change really over? The last few years have seen a growing consensus about the potential consequences of our damage to the planet amongst the public, media and government. Barely a day goes by without a media headline telling us of the possible impacts. In the high street we are confronted by more and more sustainable choices — HSBC is suddenly a green bank; Ikea doesn't give free plastic bags. At the ballot box David Cameron wants us to "Vote Blue: Go Green". On the big screen we don't see Arnold Schwarzenegger these days because he's focusing his efforts instigating the US's flagship low carbon policy. It is tempting to think we've made it and the debate is over. In the face of a dangerous climatic tipping point, we stand on the verge of a behavioural turning point. Or do we? Ipsos MORI have published a report which focuses on the perspectives of the public — the way they think and behave in relation to climate change, as well as their values and aspirations. What signs are there already of a transition to low carbon lifestyles? And how far are we really willing to go?

Last updated at 15:08 Mon 18/May/09.
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I am quite pessimistic about the prospect of taking sufficient action to avoid catastrophic climate change. In terms of this discussion, we are nowhere near the tipping point.

I went to a briefing by Nick Stern on the issue of climate change and what needs to be done (see review). It left me feeling that the job is just too big.

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