Thursday, April 09, 2015

Finding a Serious Approach to Global Warming

I've been reading about global warming since the early 1970s. I started taking it seriously in the late 1970s but I assumed there was still plenty of time. By the late 1980s, I began to realize we needed to take it much more seriously. It is now 2015 and the hour is getting late. I am proud that I voted for President Barack Obama and I am glad that he takes global warming seriously. But he will be in office only two more years and today's Republicans prefer to live in an alternate universe. These are not the pragmatic Republicans of my parents' generation or my grandparents' generation who believed in science and took on the serious problems of their age.

Now I happen to be a liberal Democrat but I occasionally come across Republicans who take global warming seriously. You can find them in business, in the military, in science and other places, but you won't find them often in today's politics, though some of these rational Republicans I just mentioned were once in politics in a more sane era.

Today's politics are saturated with money from conservatives in the fossil fuel industries. These conservatives are dangerous and put all of us in danger. The funny thing is, I happen to believe in free enterprise and economic competition. But I also believe in a strong role for government. For me, one of the roles of government is to make sure capitalists play fair and don't try to rig the game to the point of endangering the populations they supposedly serve. Today fossil fuel corporations are endangering every person on Earth. I still believe a balance of government and business is the best way to move forward but we have drifted far from that formula. Now I happen to be sympathetic to environmentalists as well as those who talk about sustainability, but I'm not certain they have the best solutions either, though they are often sources of important ideas and information. I'm a pragmatist and a liberal. I want solutions that mesh with the real world in real time.

Tonight I read an article published by The Guardian that is close to my own position and that I strongly recommend. It is called: Can the World Survive Without Fossil Fuels by Larry Elliott, the economics editor for The Guardian.


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