As the climate conference concludes in Copenhagen (picture above is from the last day of the conference), I have a number of questions.

Perhaps you have answers.

  1. Hasn’t the Earth always warmed and cooled in big cycles? Weren’t there glaciers in places where it is warm now? Wasn’t there an ice age (very) recently?
  2. Isn’t it therefore a little “above our pay grade” to think we can regulate the temperature like a thermostat and stop those cycles?
  3. I grew up in a town with terrible air pollution (Kellogg, Idaho). It had devastating affects on the plant and animal life nearby. Huge lung problems for a small town.
  4. Do you think it’s impossible that our emissions levels have affected the climate? Why?
  5. No matter how you answered #4, and given #1, is it truly reversible? Partially?
  6. If we really can “dial the climate back” what would be the economic cost (we’d have much less transportation freedom, etc.)?
  7. Perhaps there was a good reason that the ancients built their cities upstream from the beach (Rome, London, Paris). Perhaps we shouldn’t build cities there (New Orleans, etc.)?
  8. Have you noticed that pro-business conservatives and pro-environment liberals read the data differently? Agendas pre-determine what our conclusions are. The right “wing nuts” see a global conspiracy and the left wing chaos-crazy-protestors are being their usual “attractive” selves.
  9. Wouldn’t our quality of life go up if we spent less time in cars?
  10. Is it fair to withhold family cars from Indian and Chinese families? They want them and are beginning to be able to afford them. Combined, they have 10 times the population of the US. What will that do to global air quality?
  11. What are the costs, socially, when conservative Christians appear, as a group, to be against a clean environment?
  12. No matter what the data, wouldn’t it be a good idea to clean up the air and the water? Wouldn’t that be helpful for everyone?
  13. Is a cooperative, binding, global effort to do so necessarily anti-American or apocalyptic one-world-government stuff?

Let me just say I am dubious about the data on global warming. It is way too politicized to be objective. The big picture is very complex. Too many variables.

But cleaner air and water, long term, in a fair and shared effort that counts the cost, seems like a good thing to me.

Your thoughts?


Please browse around my other essays. I welcome your comments on all of them.

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