And while the sun and moon endure Luck’s a chance, but trouble’s sure, I’d face it as a wise man would, And train for ill and not for good. — A. E. Housman
John Stossel, in an opinion piece in today’s Elmira Star-Gazette, disparages efforts to combat climate change. Stossel’s view is political rather than scientific or religious — he doubts the ability of humanity today to do anything useful to help ourselves.
On the positive side, Stossel doesn’t flatly deny man’s contribution to global warming, but pooh-pooh’s it. Stossel, who is not a scientist, assures us that carbon, unlike soot and sulfur, is no pollutant, so we needn’t worry.
According to Stossel, anything we might do today is futile. Mockingly, he writes:
- We already waste billions on pointless gestures that make people think we’re addressing global warming.
- Clueless scaremongers like Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Cal., seize on weather disasters to blame man’s carbon output.
- ludicrous subsidies to Al Gore’s “green” investments
- What we do now is pointless.
- If serious warming happens, we can adjust …
- What global warming hysterics want to fight is merely carbon dioxide.
Stossel informs us that “industrialization allows people to use fewer resources. Stossel would have us believe that the Iroquois in Colonial times consumed prodigious amounts of natural resources per person. Who knew?
While Stossel is pessimistic about mankind’s ability to address climate change today, he is wildly optimistic about the future. He writes: “Someday we’ll probably invent technology that could reduce man’s greenhouse gas creation, but we’re nowhere close to that now.” He suggests that we don’t worry ourselves now, secure in the knowledge that people alive in the future will easily deal with whatever damage we do to the Earth. It’s a cheery thought, but what if they can’t?
© William Hungerford – January 2014