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Today's quote:

Friday, July 31, 2009

Poles Apart

His interest piqued by the profound policy implications of global warming, and by evidence he’d seen on his motorcycle tour of the world, Gareth Morgan decided to find out the answer to the above question.

His method was to hire the finest international scientists available to present their best arguments. Some were staunchly of the view that human beings are damaging the delicate climatic balance; others were equally convinced the evidence suggests that nothing out of the ordinary is under way.

Far from an orderly discussion of the evidence from the natural world, Morgan and co-author John McCrystal found themselves stuck in the middle of a fractious, at times catty, but always mesmerising debate between two sides that are poles apart.

Over the next eighteen months, the authors’ task was to sift through the arguments and counter-arguments, the mud-slinging and the name-calling, the distractions and the distortions — much as a jury must, in a trial involving expert testimony from both sides.

Slowly, painfully, the weight of evidence began to favour a single verdict.

"Poles Apart" sets out the authors’ conclusions as well as the path that led them there — because, after all, getting there was half the challenge.