Global Warming Today: SUV Hypocrisy

Stirring the puddin’!

Humans love to complain; humans love to be afraid. And politicians prey upon both traits. Does that mean I dismiss global warming as a non-issue? Hardly. No matter which side of the debate you read, it’s clear that human activity has increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, and that has likely contributed to global warming. Does that mean an apocalyptic inferno is a certainty — and that we need Draconian, hugely expensive CO2-cutting measures to prevent it? On that point allow me to quote the brilliant physicist Freeman Dyson: "I’m not saying the warming doesn’t cause problems, obviously it does. Obviously we should be trying to understand it. I’m saying that the problems are being grossly exaggerated. They take away money and attention from other problems that are much more urgent and important. Poverty, infectious diseases, public education, and public health. Not to mention the preservation of living creatures on land and in the oceans."

Unlike what the attention-seeking politicians suggest, we won’t fix the world via feel-good gestures like trading in a few SUVs for Priuses — especially when man-made (or "anthropogenic") C02 accounts for only about 3.2 percent of all greenhouse-gas concentrations (water vapor, the most significant greenhouse gas, accounts for 95 percent and is almost entirely nature-made). Besides, crowing about your Ford Escape hybrid when you live in a 28,000-square-foot mansion is like showing off your squirt gun while riding in the turret of a tank. (Let me clarify my position by paraphrasing Voltaire: I think McMansions are vulgar and stupid, but I will defend to the death your right to live in one.)

I will not claim there is no global warming, either, nor that Man bears no responsibility. But, it is minor, and we have had warmer and cooler era’s, and will again. Personally, I would like the temps to go down a bit on average: screws up the golf course, and I would rather walk then take a cart. Oh well. On the flip side, the start of the Little Ice Age is thought to have caused the Black Death, which killed an estimated 75 million people. When global warming gets near that, let me know.

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