When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 23 September 2012

“Why don’t the greenhouse gases escape through the Ozone Hole?”

The misperception of the TV viewer in this cartoon (which first appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio, United States, a few years ago) is more common that you’d imagine.

In recent years, as climate change rose up in the news agenda and the public’s concerns, I have met many people – from different educational and cultural backgrounds – who confused or conflated the two issues.

I once listened to a senior Lankan civil servant saying in a public speech that the ozone hole was “letting in the Sun’s heat that, in turn, was warming up our atmosphere”. He could have been forgiven – but as the then head of our environmental agency, he should have known better.

For sure, there is…

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