The climate scientists have spoken. Again. This time with a 95% certainty that us humans are the dominant cause of observed global warming that's been mapped and modelled since the mid-20th century.
And yet again the skeptics, or deniers, or realists (the terminology here seems forever in perpetual flux) have also spoken. They point out that the scientists have merely stitched themselves up by acknowledging that the rate of warming over the past decade has unexpectedly flatlined despite a continued rise in carbon emissions.
As reaction to the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report unfolded last week, a lot of hot gas was inevitably released. Over the course of a few days, this gas has slowly dissipated and people scurry on with their lives. The news has moved on. The world is continuing to rotate on its axis at the same pace. We notice no difference.
I fear that ultimately, the IPCC study has already fallen on a collective deaf ear. Has the political arena changed much since the panel's last major assessment? Has society wised up to an urgent sense of responsibility? Are businesses really ripping that linear economy to shreds yet?
I look around and see no significant circumstantial shifts here. Not at a local level, not at a global level. The underpinning mechanisms are stuck in a rut. The unified desire to make the necessary changes required is simply not there - it never has been. The only hope is either an orchestrated far-reaching civil revolution of sorts, or global governance.
But exactly what, and how much, action should be taken? How might our political leaders balance the future threat of climate change against present day challenges? Will we as individuals need a legislative whipping to fall into conformist behaviour patterns?
Unfortunately the sad reality is that these fundamental questions remain the darkened elephant in the room. Genetically it is thought we are only wired to deal with a crisis sufficiently if it is on our immediate radar. This is one challenge too far on the horizon. It remains for the time being, out of our reach.