Will Hutton’s Observer column this week was forthright on the folly and danger of climate change scepticism. “Climate change is already hurting and, unchecked, will turn into a catastrophe.” Against that statement he points to the intellectual bankruptcy of allowing ideological preference for reducing the role of government in society to somehow justify climate change scepticism. It’s not even as if capitalism is under threat of disappearance. “Capitalism is not going away: the task is to reform it deploying a more agile, intelligent state.” But taxation and regulation will be part of that reform and the climate sceptics on the right need to come to their senses on that necessity.
Hutton’s was the sort of direct statement we should expect from informed journalists. He notes in passing that the media is often less interested in the evidence that it should be. “It likes a spat: the idiosyncratic brave climate change dissenter is pitched as the David against the Goliath of established opinion.”
The day after I’d read Hutton’s column the NZ Herald’s monthly magazine Element accompanied Monday’s edition of the paper and cheered up my morning. There was no dallying with denial here. Editor James Russell gave voice to the slight embarrassment many of us who worry about climate change probably feel in some company.