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Showing posts from November, 2009

Playing the futures game

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During moments of idleness I’ve often dreamt of seeing into the future. I have been known to ponder frivolously who’ll win a World Cup Final or the US Masters but other times it’s a lot more prosaic; what will happen with a new initiative at work? How should I respond to comments on a research paper? Shall we go for coffee? And so on. We all draw on as much knowledge as we can to answer these sort of questions, but there’s often moments when we need to make a decision quickly; where time is of the essence but we don’t have all the information we’d like. Fortunately, if we make the wrong choice and things don’t go to plan, it’s often possible to quickly change tack and redress the situation. Yet what happens when you have a global environmental issue which urgently needs a deal that can’t afford to be wrong? Next month, the United Nations faces just such a challenge. Negotiations are taking place in Copenhagen to thrash out a new climate deal to replace Kyoto with nations offering a di…