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Great Scot! A Climate Change Red Alert!


We all know that cultural differences between the U.S. and the U.K. abound, but every once in a while, something happens—just one little piece of news—that makes those differences stand out. This was the case yesterday, when we read in The Scotsman that the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) had issued a “red alert” in Scotland. 

Now while in the United States, a red alert might send people on a frenzied stampede to the supermarket to stockpile supplies, in Scotland, SEPA is hoping their alert might convince the Scottish people—and their government—to take climate change seriously:

The environment minister, Ross Finnie, said climate change was a "major threat" to which the Executive was responding in a serious way.

"If progress over the past ten years is to be maintained, government, business and consumers must decide what environmental legacy we wish to leave our children and act now to protect their future," he said.

Which brings us to our next question: would our own EPA ever issue a climate change red alert? We doubt it. Thus far, the U.S. has mostly left the global warming alert duties to those outside the government, like private companies, or even celebrities. But what if the U.S. left the dissemination of other critical information to “the marketplace”? Imagine a scenario, for example wherein, say, Alanis Morissette and Keanu Reeves break the news to the country that the terror threat level has been raised to red in a documentary. Hilarious and ludicrous!