Politics and the climate crisis


Sir, – Michael McDowell criticises Green Party policies which he sees as disconnected from reality (“Green policies are increasingly divorced from reality”, Opinion & Analysis, September 15th). However, the view of reality implicit in the article is quite limited, and rooted in economics and everyday practicalities.

He too needs to add a “dose of realism” to his analysis, and factor the physical world our civilised societies are so good at buffering us from into his calculations.

We need to recognise that climate change is a physical process and doesn’t care about our politics, or what actions we find practical or acceptable. To meet the challenges it poses, we will need a coordinated, apolitical and eventually global response. Everyone will face choices they find difficult, whether it is considering the use of nuclear power, or cooperating with political opponents both here and abroad, or accepting significant shocks to our economy as we redirect our efforts towards environmentally sustainable policies.

It may be the case that a proposal to combat climate change is unrealistic, but we should also consider the possibility that our political and economic systems which are becoming increasingly divorced from reality.

As the climate changes, our world changes, and we may soon find our ways of thinking are based on assumptions about reality which no longer hold. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.