That sinking feeling!

In a few days’ time – 15 April to be exact – the world remembers an event 100 years ago when the “unsinkable” Titanic struck an iceberg and started its inglorious journey to the depths of the Atlantic. There were more than 1500 fatalities and around 700 survivors, making it the world’s worst maritime disaster to date. It also spawned an industry of stories, books, films and treasures – still being viewed or offered for sale today. Could there possibly be a lesson or two from this isolated century old incident that we could relate to in this climate-challenged, technology-driven age of ours?

Wasn’t there a warning issued about icebergs in the Atlantic at the time? Didn’t other passenger ships in the same area manage to avoid the dreaded obstacles and report them to shipping in the area? There’s a well-researched, scientific report of a different kind just issued by the IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – emphasising extreme weather for the planet and worse to come. The signs are there. It’s already underway. The risks are identified. Disasters are predicted. Trends, models, charts – technologically aided and science based – all show an upward movement of higher average temperatures, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and Arctic ice. Less icebergs for sure, but more dangers to watch out for.  And who would be brave or stupid enough to ignore the warnings? Which captains of our ships of state are prepared to turn things around? Surely it is not too late to set the ship – Planet Earth – on a less risky course. We do know what safe fuels we could be using – zero carbon, clean energy – for a green earth trip. We do know that we must stop the fossil fuel burning. We must cut deforestation. Use less of the earth’s resources. Consume less and waste less. The earth is not for burning; the ship is not for sinking. Full steam ahead. Solar powered, of course! – Ken Hickson

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