The newspaper I picked up in London this morning announced that global climate change, or global warming, is now thought likely to be twice as bad as previously projected. This came from an article published in the very respectable scientific journal Nature, and got quite a lot of press in Britain (along with the woman arrested for driving while eating an apple).

What are we going to do about it? I’m in Rome, having flown here in a airplane that made a heavy contribution to greenhouse gases, and a food service operation that takes no account whatsoever of environmental issues. Later today I’m meeting a journalist from an Italian environmental magazine, La Nuova Ecologia. Here’s my thought: there are a lot of us who care, and who see the dangers and are willing to do things differently. How can we unite? We especially need to find new ways to influence governments and companies, as well as our friends and families.

In Rome, a city packed with gorgeous churches, heartstopping ruins, and an unbelievable density of cars and motorbikes, the contrast between talk and walk was intriguing. I saw many references to ‘ecologia’ and while stuck in traffic I noticed how many cars had stickers for the World Wildlife Fund and environmental causes. What this suggests is not hypocrisy but a longing for ways to do things better, a love for the natural world that we are all too often pushed by advertising and circumstance to ignore. Here, for Americans who are unfamiliar with the concept of ‘bottle bins,’ the Italian version. It’s so much easier, the way at home we put recycling out by the curb, rather than hauling it to a separate location. But the real question is whether there is truly a demand for recycled products; the most important thing we can is to BUY recycled.