Margaret Wente lists building flood barriers and developing drought-resistant crops as examples of what humans can do to adapt to climate change (An inconvenient truth about climate change, 12 September). However, she overlooks the two most important factors that will be needed to achieve even partial success in adaptation: time and scale.
Climate change is happening faster than originally predicted, meaning that major civil engineering projects or crop development programs may prove to be too little, too late. Similarly, the cost of building flood barriers to protect even part of the world's major coastal conurbations will be astronomical.
Years have been wasted bickering over mitigation and now it appears that many more will be wasted debating adaptation. The inconvenient truth is, business-as-usual is no longer an option.
Submitted to Globe and Mail 12 September 2006