Having one-sided discussions about climate change helps no-one, says Clive James in his weekly column
About 40 years ago now, the world used to hear a lot from a futurologist called Herman Kahn. Of ample girth and unquenchable volubility, Herman Kahn, who died in 1983, was always making confident pronouncements about what would happen in the future.
So and so, he would say, would happen 10, 20, 25 years years from now. It wouldn't happen tomorrow, so that you could check up on it straightaway, but it would happen 10, 20, 25 years from now.
Some of us realised that he had invented a new unit of time, and we gave it a name. In tribute to Fermi, who could measure electrons, we called his new unit of time the Hermie. The merit of the Hermie, as a unit of measurement, was that, while being vague, it sounded impressive.