Tuesday, September 23, 2014


The Science section of The New York Times asked twenty-two prominent individuals, "What is your greatest worry about climate change? What gives you hope?" One of them was Bush-era EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman. The great Republican moderate told us that what she frets the most about is that Both Sides Do It on climate:
What keeps me up at night are people who talk in absolutes. It's the people who say "humans cause it" or "people have no role in it," full stop. Science is not exact and the truth is in between. By taking the extreme position, they give an opening to the other side, and then people stop listening.
Seriously? If you're in a discussion of climate change and you say "humans cause it," you're an absolutist on the order of people who deny any human role whatsoever?

What's the middle ground? Elves cause it?

No, I know: the middle ground is that climate change is caused by a combination of human activity and natural climate activity. But among the population concerned about the climate, who is arguing that there's no natural component to climate change whatsoever? Who insists that every change in climate is 100% the fault of humans, and not a tiny bit less? Whereas there are all sorts of people -- including extremely wealthy and powerful people, as well as just about every elected member of the national government who belongs to one of our two major political parties -- who believe that the human contribution to climate change is zero.

The community of people calling for action on climate believes that the human contribution is a huge factor -- and it's what we can change. So of course that's where the focus is.

Whitman goes on to acknowledge that she believes in "implementing environmental regulation." Good, Christie -- we're more or less on the same page. Too bad your obsession with applying the one-size-fits-all centrist pox-on-both-houses formula to this situation blinds you to that fact.


Victor said...

Almost every single conservative politician and pundit, says it's NOT humans who are causing the climate to change.

I don't know whether they really believe that, or are being paid not to see and say things, but that's the truth.

Liberals, on the other hand, are open to human and natural causes.

But would it hurt for us to change what we can change - even if we're NOT 100% responsible?

oc democrat said...

You want an EXTREME opinion regarding Climate Change, HUMANS are definately the MAIN cause of climate change.

Forget about history of earth and climate change; the deciding line should be approximately 1865, when Oil was discovered in Pennsylvania.

Before the discovery of "fossil fuels", mankind's contribution to pollution was the occasional burning of villages, and the regular burning of Garbage. After
1865, Man had many more ways to contribute to the atmosphere.

The real starting point should be when Mankind had the ability to contribute pollutants into the atmosphere, and WHAT has happened since then!

Man doesn't contribute to atmosphere/ Man contributes to atmoshere AND the results aint pretty!

Yastreblyansky said...

"The community of people calling for action on climate believes that the human contribution is a huge factor -- and it's what we can change."

So what she's asking for is to devote equal time to not changing stuff?

"A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing." A time to implement greenhouse gas regulation and a time to sit upon the ground and weep. Turn, turn, turn.

Professor Fate said...

Atually Science can be pretty exact - things like the speed of light and Planck's constant are very exact - and if one was to toss Ms. Whittman from say the leadning tower of Pias - she would accelerate at a very exact rate until she hit the ground. Not a bit of uncertainy about that.