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Response to jsmirman (Original post)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 02:04 PM

18. Climate change has been politicized by both the right and left.

Liberals and conservatives alike have staked out untenable positions, unhindered by the burden of rational thought. Right wingers refuse to acknowledge that global warming exists, or that humans are the cause. Left wingers are certain that global warming threatens our existence and that human activity is the cause, and that the only solution is to curtail human activity.

Neither faction is willing to address the fact that the cause of climate change is immaterial to the task of finding a solution.

Those on both the far right and the far left seem to be taking the position that if global warming is caused by nature, it does not require intervention, even if the result holds disastrous consequences for the human race.

During the debates leading up to the 2008 Presidential election, Joe Biden chastened Sarah Palin that, if you don't know what causes global warming, you can't do anything to fix it. Biden’s comment, while crowd-pleasingly reasonable on its face, was scientifically unsupportable.

By that logic, a person who wakes up to find himself behind the wheel of a car hurdling at high speed in the wrong lane of a highway cannot use his brakes or steering wheel to avoid collision with oncoming traffic, simply because he cannot remember how he got into this predicament. For many problems, global warming likely among them, the solution has no connection to the cause of the problem.

An analogy more appropriate for those who believe they "know" the cause of climate change would be that of a driver heading at high speed toward a curve bounded by a steep cliff. According to current political thought, the only option open to that driver to save himself from peril is to take his foot off of the accelerator and hope the car slows down soon enough on its own. The brake pedal is not even an option.

If climate change poses a true threat to humanity, and I am persuaded that it does, then it should be addressed on that basis alone, without regard to its cause. We should be seeking the most effective and cost-effective means of applying “brakes” to prevent a climate induced catastrophe.

No rational human being, and certainly no climate scientist, can reasonably argue that any proposed reduction in combustion of fossil fuels will produce any meaningful benefit in our lifetimes.

Addressing the challenges of climate manipulation will require a difficult discussion of tough issues. Sadly, until things get much worse, it seems unlikely that either Republicans or Democrats will be ready for that discussion.

Brent Deck

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
jsmirman Nov 2012 OP
DCBob Nov 2012 #1
Dyedinthewoolliberal Nov 2012 #2
jsmirman Nov 2012 #3
Amonester Nov 2012 #14
jsmirman Nov 2012 #17
OneGrassRoot Nov 2012 #4
jsmirman Nov 2012 #7
malaise Nov 2012 #5
jsmirman Nov 2012 #9
Speck Tater Nov 2012 #6
jsmirman Nov 2012 #8
Speck Tater Nov 2012 #10
jsmirman Nov 2012 #11
MoonRiver Nov 2012 #12
jsmirman Nov 2012 #15
AverageJoe90 Nov 2012 #13
jsmirman Nov 2012 #16
LineReply Climate change has been politicized by both the right and left.
Brent Deck Nov 2012 #18
uppityperson Nov 2012 #20
pinto Nov 2012 #21
bluesbassman Nov 2012 #22
Brent Deck Nov 2012 #23
uppityperson Nov 2012 #27
bluesbassman Nov 2012 #28
uppityperson Nov 2012 #31
DirkGently Nov 2012 #19
Kaleva Nov 2012 #24
spanone Nov 2012 #25
0rganism Nov 2012 #26
Zoeisright Nov 2012 #29
jsmirman Nov 2012 #33
jsmirman Nov 2012 #34
joshcryer Nov 2012 #30
Lady Freedom Returns Nov 2012 #32
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