NEWS

SPYROS RAPSOMANIKIS

In Johannesburg, emphasis was placed on the economic situation in the Third World and on sustainable development. Of course, these are major problems for our planet. Since long-term atmospheric pollution that brings about climate change is of human origin, sustainable development and developing economies are directly linked to the climate. It is customary for scientific thought and objectivity to get lost in the political cauldron, simply because politicians think differently from scientists. I believe that scientists should push ahead, even at the level of a world agreement, regarding measures to control the greenhouse effect, before handing over to the politicians. Perhaps that is the right way even today. The lesson learned in Johannesburg should be a warning to our colleagues to step up their efforts to make the problem of climate, and the scientific solutions proposed for them, better understood. There is no doubt that greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for a long time and that is why their effects on the climate will be with us for many decades. If we could convince politicians to take long-term action, then our children will see a change for the better. Otherwise the cost of disasters might raise the awareness of people, insurance companies and governments, both politically and economically.