Future imperfect

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Clark Cross (Letters, 8 June) 
illustrates the large carbon footprint of the new biomass power plant stretching from Grangemouth to the harvested forests of the United States.

The confusion of green is a great chattering point within that class, swinging this way and that. Of course, we’re looking at the timeless Armageddon here – interpreted within our own age, using our own age’s fears and particular frames of reference.

The future does not exist and cannot be tamed, contained, or presaged by mere technical ingenuity, computer modelling and such-like, let alone full control of ourselves. Immodesty destructively forbids us to know our place and capabilities, our scale.

This was far more elegantly 
explored and described in the past in heroic metaphorical terms, not the short-termist, low-brow, scientifically backed ones (both sides!) of a dull, practical age. But the truthful vision of the ancient poets and philosophers trumps all that nicely: “We wait for light, but behold obscurity.”

Douglas Hogg