"America finally has a president who, whatever his profession of faith, has a high regard for science (look at his sturdy views on intelligent design in Nature magazine of September 25) and has surrounded himself with scientific advisers of impeccable quality, and committed himself to the dreamy target of an 80% reduction below 1990 levels of CO2 emissions by 2050." Thus writes Ian McEwan in The Guardian, in a wonderful piece ('The world's last chance') defining the scientific agenda that faces the new president as his most pressing challenge.
Ian McEwan's inspiring, confident and stirring article describes, with his characteristic poetic precision, the environmental devastation of the Earth and our inability to translate the power of the Sun or the wind to large-scale renewable energy resources. He urges the new president not to become sidetracked or to be cautious about tackling this uniquely important crisis, and to go to Copenhagen to "make a bold commitment". The world has tipped into a financial crisis "because we always thought we could": Obama may succeed in tipping the nations toward a low-carbon future "simply because people think he can."
This piece is the most inspiring and important piece of writing I've read for a very long time. I urge everyone to read it.
Thanks so much to Karen of Euro Crime for alerting me to it.