Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Rerun

I hope everyone can forgive me for my repetitiveness, but it seems that whenever I get into a new issue, I want to write about everything I find out. Recently, my issue has been global warming. My girlfriend and I have been talking about it a lot recently, and one of the things we were confused about is why so many people, including ourselves not too long ago, think there still isn't a real consensus on whether or not there is a human impact on global temperatures.

Columns like this one explain why that belief exists. The other side of the issue has gotten really good at telling compelling stories about why there is no such thing as global climate change. Granted, one can realize that the article is only using one study basically to defend their side, and you can tell from the group’s web site that their mission is to protect capitalism and free market, which is bound to influence their study and conclusions. But it is hard not to marvel at how strong their case is, even if it is biased. I don’t believe their argument, but it certainly is powerful.

The Washington Post Magazine story I linked to earlier talked about this very issue. Global Warming detractors have many positions they can take that all point to inaction as the right policy. They can either outright deny that it is happening; they can say there isn't enough convincing evidence yet; or they can simply argue that there might be an impact, but it is so small, and American ingenuity so strong, that it isn't worth regulating industry to make changes - the market will handle it. With all of those arguments in their arsenal, it is no wonder there is so much confusion and doubt about global warming.

Just on a side note, I wonder if the stats from the beginning of the article are true. Have we really cut pollutants down as much as they suggest? If so, that tells me that we are capable of making serious improvements once we decide it is important.