Global Warming: The All or Nothing Debate

An uneventful Copenhagen summit, the sluggish economy, and lingering questions about the propriety of data collection and analysis have turned concerns about global warming into more of a punch line than a national priority. For some people, the series of snowstorms to hit the Southeast is the clincher.

Opponents of stricter greenhouse gas emissions rules say the totality of negative forces proves that global warming, and the euphemistic climate change, is not worthy of serious national attention. Supporters of new regulations and international treaties say climate change is still serious business and must be addressed, and not derailed by weather patterns or scientific outliers.

As for me, I find the extremes on both sides of the debate amusing, somewhat misguided, and more than a little dangerous. The all or nothing approach is never sustainable, and that should be the test for any national agenda item, especially this one.

For the latest thinking on the topic, and probably some heated discussion, attend Baldwin-Wallace College’s Sustainability Symposium (free and open to the public) March 1-2 in suburban Cleveland. Featured speakers will include Sen. Sherrod Brown, NOAA senior scientist Dr. Susan Solomon, and Sherwin-Williams CEO Chris Conner. Dix & Eaton is a sponsor.

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