Wednesday 7 December 2016

I'll understand if you don't want to hear it -- but the unpleasant truth must be told

Published 15/01/2012 | 05:00

Cosy consensus has led to our talent for reading instructions in the vast spaces between the lines, writes Marc Coleman

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Listening to things we don't want to hear is not one of our strengths as Irish people. When the unbearable is spoken, our usual response is to block our ears and circle the wagons. But the comments of Richard Tol, the energy economist formerly of the ESRI, have touched a nerve.

Combining a tall frame and intelligent mind with feisty independence and mad hair, Richard Tol looks like the result of a gene-splicing experiment between the ESRI's John FitzGerald and former Dutch soccer international Edgar Davids. He is also famous for a controversial suggesting that we solve our CO2 emissions problem by slaughtering more cattle.

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