by David Owen
Riverhead Books (Penguin), NY
A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma
Not every problem seems to have a solution. We really want it to be the case that there's an answer for every problem. In fact, we want a quick, simple, easy-to-understand, easy-on-the-budget, no-real-work-from-us solution to every problem we see around us. Maybe it's because we've spent too many years watching TV ads that tell us we'll get the girl if we use the right breath mint -- that's all it takes. Maybe it's because the depth of some of the problems (particularly when we talk about something as enormous as climate change) are so overwhelming that we can't stand the thought of sorting out all the details and coming up with solutions that work in the real world. So we do what we can within our comfort zone. But can we really make the kinds of changes that need to happen that way?