Sunday, February 19, 2012


A little over a year ago (not long before the date indicated above), I was engaged in a conversation on a friend's page on Facebook, regarding global warming. A friend of my friend, with whom I've interacted before on this subject, was saying things that confused me as to his position. So I asked him if he didn't believe warming was happening, or only if he thought humans weren't causing it. He did reply, but I didn't have time to respond immediately. Now I have. His original words are in standard font. My comments are in italics.

My position is: Warming is happening. It has been happening for thousands of years. Mankind is having an impact on the environment and has contributed to warming of the planet, but not to the extent that it is being portrayed. I believe that mankind should use its time, talents, resources, and technology to find ways of living with the change and not squander its time, talents, resources and technology on trying to stop something that is NOT going to be able to be stopped or reversed. With 7 billion people on the planet to feed, house, and support, it is totally naive of anyone to think that we are going to cast aside the use of fossil fuels to supply the needs of the population in favor of ridiculously expensive, unproven cleaner energy options.

So you agree that we are warming the planet, but not as much as most scientists agree is the case. Why would you be correct, and almost every climate scientist on the planet be wrong?
You don't think we should do anything to slow it down? If we can change it in one direction, why not in the reverse direction? Because it's expensive? The costs of slowing global warming will likely be smaller than the costs resulting from doing nothing to slow climate change. Maybe a lucky planetary wobble or small solar cycle 25 will help us out, but that's just knocking on wood and crossing fingers. We REALLY can't do anything about those things.
You say it's naive to think we can cast aside fossil fuels? There is no choice. That's the one inevitable thing to which we must adapt. Fossil fuels will only become harder to find and extract. We can wean ourselves off fossil fuels proactively, or it will be difficult and tragic later on. It's already begun, for some people.
You say clean energy is unproven and expensive? If there is ANY truth to your statement, it is only because fossil fuels have artificially low prices because they are subsidized, and the fossil fuel producers lobby to squelch innovation and regulation at every turn. The fact is that many of these technologies are viable, but haven't been broadly applied because of resistance from fossil fuel monopolies, who now can buy their way around Washington. If it weren't for artificial inequalities, alternative technologies would be much more competitive. And if the societal costs of fossil fuel use were accounted for, alternative energy sources would be more than competitive.

I firmly believe that all available cleaner technology should be utilized in as much new construction as possible. We as a nation should be able to take full advantage of our natural resources and not be obstructed by government or environmentalists in doing so. I believe that governments, federal, state and local are too intrusive in our lives. When I see that I need to apply for a zoning permit and a building permit to construct an out building over 64 square feet, I see intrusion.

So you agree that we should be efficient, but don't want to be required to be efficient. You agree that new buildings should employ efficient technology, but where is a builder's incentive? When has voluntary efficiency EVER worked on a broad scale? People you call "libtards" do it, and some people are efficient because they don't have "money to burn", but how else but by regulation, can this be made to happen? We saved countless barrels of oil when Carter imposed the 55-mile-per-hour speed limit. But I've been in favor of positive-incentive-based regulation for a long time. And what about the rights of our children and grandchildren to have fossil fuels available to them while they are making the inevitable adaptation to non-fossil-fuel-energy.

I see our freedoms being stripped from us 1 by 1, and people sitting idly by accepting it. I see unnecessary regulation being forced upon us in the name of progress and ideology.

Our freedoms ARE being stripped from us because of things like the Patriot Act, enacted by a President who REALLY played the scaremongering game you keep accusing me of doing. Our freedom is disappearing because of things like the Citizens United case, which allows a few affluent people to spend all the money they want, to spread whatever disinformation they wish. Like denial of climate change. And too many are buying it, to everyone's peril.

I see a country in moral decay, because people have changed the definition of freedom. I am old school. I realize a problem and either correct it if I can, or learn to embrace it if I can't. I do not waste time trying to fix something I can't to perpetuate an image or ideology that makes me look or seem cool at the time. I am against federal grant money of all kind. If the cause is just, right and necessary, the people should come together and promote it and fund it. Let the private sector do what is designed to do.

Moral decay? I see that, but probably not how you mean. I see too many things that indicate we are in another "Gilded Era" when ruthless people were allowed to get away with whatever they want.
You say the private sector should do what it's designed to do? The private sector is designed to make profit. Period. They do that, whether they are causing global warming or not. And that IS the problem. That is why we need regulation: To limit the wanton destruction of every resource by people who care only about profit, and not about their impact on other people.

Get the scientists out in the private sector where their ideas have to stand on their own and not be propped up by the government, thus forcing them to contrive science to keep the money flowing in. I can go on, but by now you should have an understanding of what I'm about.

You say scientists are propped up by the government? So are businesses. The private sector is not some idealistic, pristine environment. It's a jungle out there, and our government is supposed to do those things that private enterprise can't or won't, like keep people from harming EVERYONE'S environment for their own profit.

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About Me

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I've been a number of things over the years: husband, father, environmental technical specialist, college instructor, carpenter, volunteer firefighter and ambulance driver, student of Lakota and Japanese languages, technical writer, process engineer, research technician, IT technician, emergency dispatcher, etc.