Global Warming Overkill – My Letter on the IHT

For the 12th time, the International Herald Tribune has published a letter by Yours Truly.

As usual, here the text as printed in the newspaper, followed by my original message.

Letter on the IHT:

Global warming overkill (March 8 )

I have been rather disappointed by your three-part “Global warming, land by land” commentaries (March 5).

In “Losing Bangladesh, by degrees,” Tahmima Anam barely mentions the country’s real problems — poverty and overpopulation. We may discuss which one generates the other, but the main issue is not global warming. It’s Bangladesh’s inability to cope with any change.

In “While Australia burns,” Iain McCalman makes the flimsiest of connections to global warming. We barely get a hint of the fact that Australia’s environment has been shaped by thousands of years of fires, independent of any recent climatic change.

Finally, “Memories of a colder Iceland” by Kristin Steinsdottir appears to be an exercise in self-delusion. We are treated to a series of Icelandic climatic quirks and changes, but, for no apparent reason, they are ominously linked to global warming.

If you wanted to demonstrate that global warming is an all-encompassing Mother of All Evils that risks distracting us from real issues, impeding our understanding of nature, you have been successful.

Maurizio Morabito, England

Original:

Dear Editors

I have been rather disappointed by your choice of Opinions for page 6 of the IHT on March 5 (“Global Warming, land by land”).

In “Losing Bangladesh, by degrees“, Tahmima Anam barely mentions the real problems of that country: poverty, and overpopulation. We may discuss which one generates the other, but the main issue is not “Global Warming”: rather, Bangladesh’s inability to cope with _any_ change.

In “While Australia Burns” Iain McCalman makes the flimsiest of connections to “Global Warming”. Again, we barely get a hint of the fact that the Australian natural environment has been shaped by thousands of years of fires, independently of any recent climatic change.

Finally, “Memories of a colder Iceland” by Kristin Steinsdottir appears to be an exercise in self-delusion. Just like years ago everybody seemed to be developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, nowadays everybody can feel “Global Warming” in anything that can happen. In the case of Ms. Steinsdottir, we are treated to a series of Icelandic climatic quirks and changes, but still for no apparent reason whatsoever they are ominously linked to “Global Warming”.

Not sure what you had in mind when designing that page. Anyway, you have been very successful if all you wanted to demonstrate was that “Global Warming” is an all-encompassing Mother of All Evils that risks distracting us from the real issues, impeding our understanding of nature, and in general consigning us all to a depressing, self-castrating mood.