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Friday, July 25, 2008

Al Gore is Under-reaching

The Sands of Denial

I note with interest how simple it is to take simple ideas and recount a thousand technical reasons why they cannot possibly work. I think Al Gore has made a mistake in the approach he is taking to the problems facing the world. He is under-reaching.

By closely coupling the crisis to global warming, he gives critics an easy target for slander. The fact is that the natural workings of the climate are so complex, that greenhouse gases in combination with fewer sunspots, more or less particulate matter in the atmosphere, melting ice, changing currents, etc., can push the climate toward warming or cooling under different circumstances and in different time frames.

However, the crisis of the widespread contamination of the natural world is not simply an issue of climate change. The unintended consequences of the combustion-based industrial revolution are a cauldron of unintended chemistry in the land, sea and air. The rapid rate of this change makes it difficult for many biological organisms to adapt and thus we are in an age of mass extinction caused in large part by the way we provide for our standard of living. There is some reason to suspect that human beings may not be exempt from this extinction trend.

So while some people like to show how smart they are by tearing down people like Al Gore, I suggest that, instead we work together to insure the survival of a habitable planet and a decent standard of living. With non-combustion renewable energy, elimination of waste, increase of efficiency and a more responsible attitude toward stewardship of the planet, we may yet make it through this serious crisis and come out stronger, richer, healthier and happier than if we stick our heads in the sand of denial.