English poetry

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What does it take?

Is the current rate of global warming
A serious and cogent warning?
Do we need to think about the fact
That higher tides will drown Pacific island states
Within a year or two, or do we listen to
The loosely spewed claptrap backed
By pseudo-scientists (who say with fervent ease
That it’s all happened before, a cyclic phenomenon which
Is basically benign and not to worry please)? Yeah, sure,
The weather’s been great although the recent storms
Were a pest, it could rain a little more, particularly
In the storage dams or out West where it hasn’t rained
For years, and the best thing that could happen
Would be we get back to the weather patterns of twenty
Years ago, or more. For sure. And some guy who studies
The thermocline produces a thermo-geomorphologic guide,
A train timetable, saying we’ve got years before, well,
Certainly not this Century, any catastrophic event
Will inundate Mexico City, Moscow or Sydney. I’m relieved,
Only trains don’t read, they ride the rails we construct.
The next event down that track is on rails set up
By a warm snap one hundred years or more in making,
Perhaps that’s why the islanders are shaking sand off
Their tapa mats, readying for mass exodus.
In the meantime we calmly use dirty energy,
Release greenhouse gas through industrial expansion
Fuelled by exponential population growth driven
By expansionist economies without fear of intelligent intervention
or reprieve? Please, what does it take to make the picture clearer?

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Poem What does it take? - Ivan Donn Carswell
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