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If the science of climate change is right, then we face considerable uncertainty ahead. As we squabble about the causes, newly unfolding formidable challenges are lying in wait. Challenges create opportunities if we can learn to recognize them. We need to ground all our thinking (social, political, financial and technological) around some guiding principles that are implicit in the best forms of engineering practice. They are PUPIL-‘we are Part of a world of Unintended consequences for which we need to be Prepared through Ingenuity and Learning’. Some of the common myths about engineering are questioned. Does science have all the answers we need—in an age in which we have collectively begun to understand that the world is a much more complex place then ever we previously thought? What is ‘practical wisdom’ and how is it different from ‘academic’ cleverness? Is the modern distinction in education between the academic and the vocational helpful?