No smoke without fire

by .
Originally published in Impact Investor

Smog. Eerily quiet streets at midday, with the occasional car crawling along, lights a dim yellow, engine muffled by the wrapped-around atmosphere, the smog so thick you could taste a bitter tang. The taste of sulphur, coal, and goodness knows what else.

The Clean Air Act of 1956 – a response to the Great Smog of 1952, which is believed to have slowly killed as many as 20,000 Londoners – supposedly did away with that smog, but it still fell on us from time to time, well into the 1970s.

The untrammelled burning of carbon is a social menace and a threat to health. No-one sensible would today contest those assertions. Denying them would be as absurd as believing garlic keeps away vampires – or that vampires exist.

The false dichotomy between those who believe in global warming and those that don’t is completely beside the point. Who of us can know for certain?

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