Are we in denial of global warming?
Question: What issues stand out for you?
David Patrick Columbia: The main issue that stands out for me is a refusal of people to see things as they really are, and tend to see things the way they’d like them to be or believe they should be under their own personal circumstances. For example, the business of the environment. When I was at this festival of thinkers of Abu Dhabi where there were Nobel laureates, there were people who still believe that there’s no such thing as global warming. There was a woman there nevertheless from Kenya who was talking about how the snows of Mount Kilimanjaro are melting, and actually they’re not going to have the water from those snows.
Well there are two separate opinions, but one opinion was based on what’s really happening, and the other opinion based on an opinion. So there’s a great deal of that. A popular word for it now is denial, but there’s a great deal of that going on in our world right now. Maybe that’s because our world is so plentiful and so abundant with the natural resources that we’ve needed to operate that this has allowed that to happen. So when I read a newspaper now, I’m constantly looking for the way they approach the issues. And it’s very difficult for me because I really do believe that we’re not really approaching the issues from a very practical or sensible way anymore.
I think that one of the main issues that’s not being discussed in the media is the fact that we’re such a large number of people living on the planet which appears to be growing smaller and smaller while we grow larger and larger in number. We’re not really discussing how we’re treating each other so that we can actually live versus die together on the planet.
Conducted on: October 29, 2007