Jerry and the Climate Deniers

Jerry Brown 5
Jerry Brown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jerry Brown rails against climate deniers during summer of record heat
Philip Bump

Governor Jerry Brown has just launched a new web page, “Climate change: Just the facts,” on which he notes:

“After decades of pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, humanity is getting dangerously close to the point of no return,” Brown said in a statement. “Those who still deny global warming’s existence should wake up and honestly face the facts.”

After all these years, I remain unconvinced about the causal link between fossil fuels and global warming. The case is circumstantial at best, and I am suspicious of the self-interests arrayed on both sides of the argument.

Nonetheless, I am no scientist, and I am thus in no position to judge the validity of the research either way. But if there is even a 50% possibility that the link is real, it behooves us as a society and a polity to behave as such.

What is more, the negative effects of our quest for and use of fossil fuels should be apparent to all. The future of the world cannot be build on coal and oil, and we will be generations cleaning up the environmental and political damage that the crescendo of our dependency has wrought.

Despite utopian claims from the left, however, we cannot shift everything off of fossil fuels all at once. There is simply nothing that delivers the energy in BTUs for the money invested better than coal, oil, and natural gas.

Nonetheless, we must begin the process of shifting to more sustainable practices whenever and wherever we can. The sooner all of us as individuals begin that shift, the faster sustainable energy reaches economies of scale, and the less government will have to make blind bets on individual companies just to get sustainable products and services to market.

If we Republicans believe in the value of individual action over government fiat, we have to begin to act. It does not make us leftists to start living our lives more sustainably. It makes us intelligent. And for those areas that are beyond our ability as individuals to affect, we have to recognize – as Teddy Roosevelt and Ike Eisenhower did – that the government has a role to play in moving America forward.

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