President Kennedy in the operations room

Do we need questions or answers?

Some politicians seem to think that asking the question holds the moral high ground. To them, it doesn’t matter that answers require actions.

Suppose you are faced with an intractable problem, human-induced climate change, let’s say.

The problem needs a solution, or it will continue to fester with consequences for health, well-being and, eventually, human existence in any form of civilised order.

People have been aware of the problem for a while and are constantly asking questions and expecting answers. Except that the problem needs solutions, actionable answers to the many questions.

Here is a marvellous quote from the UK member of parliament who the people in the British town of Brighton voted into office at UK national elections four times in a row.

I’m not saying that the Green party is the only party that has the answers, but we’ve been asking the right questions for a hell of a lot longer.

Caroline Lucas, British MP and two-time leader of the Green Party of England and Wales 

The implication is that asking the question is a kind of moral high ground, especially if you keep asking the right questions.

I can sympathise with the intent given that over on Alloporus|Ideas for healthy thinking, I am prone to the same pitfall, asking questions as gripes rather than offering solutions… but it is wrong.

‘I told you so’ is no longer enough.

We all need to knuckle down and decide on real solutions for human survival in civilised order, despite the vagaries of climate. 

Many changes to weather extremes are with us already, which means accepting them as we adapt. 

Here are a few solutions to climate change and for climate adaptation aired here on sustainably FED and Alloporus|Ideas for healthy thinking because, as we all know, it is not all about emissions. 

In no particular order…

  • subsidise farmers to look after soil health rather than subsidise production
  • educate and legislate for healthy eating to reduce sugar and carbohydrates in western diets
  • promote innovations that grow more fruit and vegetables, vertically if necessary 
  • increase soil carbon levels in all agricultural systems where the soil has lost carbon
  • keep vegetation cover on soil?
  • make everyone literate in the science of ecology, including anyone who makes a decision on our behalf
  • gameplay scenarios and conduct scenario planning and look long
  • teach healthy scepticism in schools
  • be polite to genuine experts

We will keep adding to this list as we search for solutions to feed everyone well.

Do you have other suggestions? We would love to hear them.

Hero image from photo by History in HD on Unsplash


Mark is an ecology nerd who was cursed with an entrepreneurial gene and a big picture view making him a rare beast, uncomfortable in the ivory towers and the disconnected silos of the public service. Despite this he has made it through a 40+ year career as a scientist and for some unknown reason still likes to read scientific papers.

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