An interesting discussion popped up today on a private mailing list I’m a part of, and the topic was global warming. I don’t pretend to know much about this issue other than the commonly-used talking points the media feeds us, but I’m old enough to remember several of these “dire predictions” over the past couple of decades. Does anyone remember textbooks in school during the ’80s telling us we’d run out of oil by the year 2000? Or that the would couldn’t possibly support more than 5 billion people because we’d all starve to death? Or that we were going to run out of space for our garbage by the mid-90s? The past 30 years are chock-full of predictions by experts who were sure certain things were going to happen…and they didn’t. Ten years from now, are we going to look back at the hysteria over Global Warming and wonder what we were all thinking? I can’t say for sure, but it’s always important to remember history to keep things on context.
I don’t believe we’re treating the planet and the resources we have as well as we should – I believe that mankind is a rather short-sighted, selfish steward of the planet we rule…but I also know that just because 99% of people say something is true doesn’t necessarily make it so. Most people don’t want to admit that.
Matt Miller pointed out an interesting article written by John Coleman that raises some points worth pondering:
“You may want to give credit where credit is due to Al Gore and his global warming campaign the next time you fill your car with gasoline, because there is a direct connection between Global Warming and four dollar a gallon gas. It is shocking, but true, to learn that the entire Global Warming frenzy is based on the environmentalist’s attack on fossil fuels, particularly gasoline. All this big time science, international meetings, thick research papers, dire threats for the future; all of it, comes down to their claim that the carbon dioxide in the exhaust from your car and in the smoke stacks from our power plants is destroying the climate of planet Earth. What an amazing fraud; what a scam.”
It’s also worth noting the damage that thoughtless environmentalism can cause. The move toward ethanol-based fuels really gets me because it’s the worst kind of environmentalism: knee-jerk, “do it ’cause it sounds good” choices rather than looking at the big picture. It’s idiotic to take a limited resources (food) and use it to replace another limited resource (fuel). That’s like cutting off your legs to save money on buying pants. Converting everything to electrical power and going nuclear is the best option we have in North America (and most developed countries for that matter), but that’s going to take a supreme act of will on the part of the people and their government, and I can’t see it happening for another two decades – and things getting much worse.