by Paul Douglas via Neorenaissance
During the Republican National Convention in Tampa, climate change became a punch line. “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet” Mitt Romney said.
(Pause for polite laughter)
“My promise is to help you and your family.”
All well and good. But denying climate change won’t help any American family or our fledgling economy. And looking at the world with carbon-colored glasses, or using Solyndra as an excuse to snub renewables and clean-tech, is not only short-sighted, but makes America less competitive on the world stage. According to the World Economic Forum, America’s global competitiveness fell from 1st to 7th place since 2007. Should we just accept that most breakthrough energy technologies are originating in China and Europe, where there is no more “debate” about climate trends? Why is America still questioning the science? For political entertainment? Something tells me Mother Nature may get the last laugh.
To be fair, Romney later adjusted his position on climate change. “My best assessment of the data is that the world is getting warmer, that human activity contributes to that warming,” he said last week in an online debate with president Obama at ScienceDebate.org, “and that policymakers should therefore consider the risk of negative consequences.” Bravo! That’s leadership. But then sadly, in the very next sentence he veered into denial when he said “there remains a lack of scientific consensus on the issue.” This is simply not true, and a candidate for president needs to be dealing in reality on an issue like this. Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree. That’s a consensus.
If it’s not raining, why are we getting wet?
As a Republican business owner, entrepreneur, meteorologist and father of two upbeat, optimistic boys, I may not fit the stereotype of a “global warming alarmist.” I’m an Evangelical Christian. I’m enthusiastic about streamlining government and letting the markets work. But unlike some, I see no inherent struggle between my faith and the ability of science to improve our understanding of the world. The Creator gave me a brain, to think and reason, and react to facts on the ground. And I’m disillusioned, because some in my party are pro-science-denial, and on the wrong side of history.
The word “conservative” no longer applies to the environment. The GOP’s new energy platform shows this, in a stunning departure from 2008. Don’t get me wrong. My party’s focus on the economy and putting Americans back to work is dead on. And America has been blessed with a rich supply of natural resources and innovative technologies to wean ourselves off foreign crude. But our fossil fuel frenzy is impacting the weather floating above our heads. Denying that it’s raining doesn’t keep you from getting wet, and climate change has gone from theory to reality — while our side fiddles away like Nero.
What the data tells me