by Peter Wallace, © 2007
Have you noticed it? Corporate America has determined that there is profit to be turned by turning “green.” In boardrooms across America, very earnest people are working to position their companies as being sensitive to the health of our earth mother, and the crisis of global warming.
Interestingly, these efforts are coming at a time when some of the leading climatologists are having second thoughts about the climate models they previously cited as proof of impending doom. John Coleman, the creator of the Weather Channel, has called man-made global warming talk a “scam.” NASA has determined that changes in the Arctic ice are more due to strong winds than to an increase in temperature, as the winds blew ice flows into warmer waters. Temperatures in Greenland are much colder now than in the 1930’s, well before carbon dioxide increases occurred.
In fact, some scientists say that carbon dioxide increases actually follow temperature increases, and not the other way around.
I’m no scientist. I rely on people smarter than me to figure these things out. I am a little suspicious of any conclusions drawn from computer models, since even an objective scientist may allow pre-conceived notions to enter into their equations.
I also remember back in the late 1970’s when there was talk of global cooling, and the starting of the next ice age. According to scientist Paul Ehrlich’s “The Population Bomb,” we’re all dead now, all the oil and water are gone, and that’s that.
I have mixed feelings about all this. I think it is morally right to conserve, recycle, and limit our impact on the planet – as individuals. My dad was a conservative in both senses of the word. Politically, he believed in personal rights and responsibilities, but he also loved tree-farming for lumber for future generations, and he did it in a very environmentally responsible way. He was 6’3” tall, but drove a Honda Civic, back in the mid-1970’s, when they were about the size of a go-cart. He liked using less, spending less, and none of it was due to environmentalism. The “ism” part didn’t seem useful to him.
It seems that since global warming has become a household word – two words, actually – everybody is jumping on the bandwagon, which isn’t bad. But, anyone daring to look at the king’s new clothes or look at the man behind the curtains… well, they’re considered in the same realm as holocaust deniers.
There are people who think you shouldn’t have the lifestyle you have, and they’d like the government to make it harder on you, for their own philosophical reasons. They’re not bad people, but that’s what they believe.
There are other people who have absolutely no restraint in their use of resources, and consume relentlessly without any concern for their neighbors, society, or the damage they cause to the environment.
Somewhere in between is a place that makes sense. I don’t know exactly where that place is, but I do know that it will be interesting to look back ten years from now, and see who was right on the issue of global warming, and to see if there was some unfounded hysteria.
In the meantime, NBC will send people all over the world in private jets to show that our climate changes sometimes, they’ll dim the lights in the broadcast booth for Sunday night football, and some people will think they look very silly doing it.