Comment: Looming catastrophes do not require incremental reform but system change

In the face of disaster, most people will perceive only a slow deterioration until is it too late to act, which is why leadership on climate change is needed now

Sufficiently urgent, coordinated and decisive action will likely be difficult to mobilise when most of us – like the proverbial slowly boiling frog – perceive change to be incremental. Picture: Getty

In his elegiac memoir The World of Yesterday, which he wrote while in exile from the Nazis, the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig observed that most people cannot comprehend the prospect of catastrophic changes in their situation. Things can get incrementally worse for a long time without prompting a reaction. Once catastrophe strikes, it is too late to act.

Dramatic changes are occurring in our times too, and we must hope that it is not yet ...