Sir John Houghton once famously said:
Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen.
Except actually he didn't say that. His real words were:
“If we want a good environmental policy in the future we’ll have to have a disaster.”
Now, in an eerie echo of the learned Sir John, we have the words of Robert Stavins, the head of Harvard's Environmental Economics program
It’s unlikely that the U.S. is going to take serious action on climate change until there are observable, dramatic events, almost catastrophic in nature, that drive public opinion and drive the political process in that direction