Sunday, April 09, 2006

We are screwed

Is anyone who isn't in the oil industry really still doubting global warming?

And, if the Dodger game I have tickets to gets rained out this Saturday, can I sue the Bush Administration?

13 comments:

Peter Schrenk said...

Suing the Bush Administration may make you feel good, but it is completely non-sequitur. Are you upset Bush won't sign Kyoto? Why not sue Clinton as well? Even the Canadians have given up on Kyoto. The Brits have admitted that their goals to meet emissions standards are completely off-track. Etc.

The real questions are:

Is global warming any more than scare-mongering by the same types who declared global cooling in the 70's?

If you answer yes, that begs the next question:

Is global warming going to be as catastrophic as some people predict?

If, again, the answer is yes:

Can we prevent global warming *without* destroying the economy of the United States or, for that matter, the world?

Or, to put the question a different way:

Will the economic devastation caused by the negative effects of global warming exceed the economic devastation of bringing commerce as we know it to a stand-still?

These are all far more useful questions than asking if you can sue the Bush Administration.

Peter Schrenk said...

The next topic, if we decide to stop using fossil and bio fuels, is how soon can we build a lot more nuclear power plants? It's either that or cold fusion.

(ps: I think someone should sue Teddy Kennedy for blocking the growth of wind power generation.)

Kathy Schrenk said...

Bush is the worst president ever on the environment. That is indisputable.

As for "economic devastation," is that really what it's all about? How about the idea that being easier on the environment is doing the right thing? Some clean air and water would be nice for Arthur and Madeline?

Jack Mercer said...

Have to agree with Peter...how many years have they been saying 10 years...Geez, I'm hot!

-Jack

Jack Mercer said...

Oh, quicky, Kathy, what data are you suggesting validates your statement that Bush is the worst president ever on the environment?

Just curious...

-Jack

Kathy Schrenk said...

Where should we start? How about giving the proverbial finger to the Kyoto Protocol, which the rest of the civilized world seems to think is a good idea? Maybe trying to roll back environmentalprotections like the clean air act that have been in place since Nixon? That's right -- Nixon, for goodness sake!

Peter Schrenk said...

Kathy,
The economy is an abstract of our daily quality of life. Arthur and Madeline are not in danger of breathing dirtier air than they do right now because of Bush's policies. They are more in danger of inheriting a stagnant economy if Kyoto were made the law of the land. I know you are doing your part with the solar panels and all that. However, you cannot deny that significantly cutting back on our fossil fuel consumption would be required in order to meet the completely unreasonable requirements of Kyoto. That would raise the prices of just about everything that requires manufacturing and delivery. That means lots of inflation. Inflation means stunted job growth, higher unemployment, etc. etc.

You may be pretty comfortable right now, but it would eventually effect you as well.

I'm not advocating a policy of raping the land, but then again, neither is Bush. If he is for using more natural resources than you would like, fine. But your hyperbole about Bush does your side of the argument a disservice. (It's not unlike the hyperbole I heard from the NEA president who spoke at my school this morning.) I think that setting goals and making policies that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels is a great idea. It would be good for the environment, and, perhaps more importantly, it would be good to starve the Islamists in the middle east of our cash. Kyoto is way too radical. It will never pass. Only someone as fringe as Gore would even consider trying to get it through congress, and I doubt congress would even come close to passing it.

Bush gave the proverbial finger to Kyoto? Maybe that's because it would be terrible policy. As I said Canada has all but abandoned it. Britain may have signed it, but they have zero chance of living up to it. I suspect that many other countries in the "civilized world" will find it equally impossible. They may seem to think it's a good idea, but I would like to see if they can pull it off in reality.

Peter Schrenk said...

Hey, this is a timely article from a non-conservative news source that supports my point above about nuclear power.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/14/AR2006041401209.html

People who continue to oppose new nuclear power plants while protesting our emissions of greenhouse gases are in denial about what it will take to reduce those emissions significantly. Right now there is no other viable energy source that will replace hydrocarbons on the scale that is needed. Wind, solar, and hydroelectric combined cannot do enough.

Kathy Schrenk said...

Why are you so dismissive towards the idea of being easier on the environment for the environment's sake? Do you feel that humans have a right to use the planet's resources without regard to the long-term effects?

While we're at it, how did this anti-environmentalist stance become associated with neo-cons and fundamentalist Christians? Is there some Biblical basis for it? This is something I really, sincerelly don't get. And don't tell me about how the world is going to end soon, so we don't need to worry about it. If that were the case, all Christians would be fat smoking, alcoholics. "It doesn't matter how I treat my body, since I'll be dead and in Heaven soon."

Peter Schrenk said...

Kathy,
If by "anti-environmentalist" you mean I am against those in the mainstream of the "environmentalist" movement, then, yes, it may be fair to call me anti-environmentalist. It would be more accurate to call me a skeptic of many claims of environmentalists. I, just like you, would like to see a reduction in coal-fired power plants and their pollution. I want Arthur and Madeline and any children I may have to breathe clean air.

I *don't* believe doomsday scenarios of global warming at this point. I *don't* think the Kyoto treaty is worth the ink it would take to sign it. I believe in realistic policies that have real effects. This has nothing to do with the world ending soon. I may believe in Revelation, but I don't have the arrogance to believe I know when and how those things will happen. There is no Biblical basis for ruining the Earth, and I don't advocate that.

I don't believe in being easier on the environment for the environment's sake because I don't believe in Mother Earth. This planet has intrinsic value, but the human race has more intrinsic value than everything else on it combined. The planet also has value due to the fact it supports the human race (this exceeds its intrinsic value). I believe we should protect the environment as far as it is beneficial to mankind. This includes avoiding excessive pollution, protecting animals from extinction if possible, not wasting resources in ways that aren't beneficial, etc.

Our disagreement here is only about the degree to which we should harvest the Earth's resources.

Now, how about advocating for harvesting nuclear energy as the next real step for reducing greenhouse gas emissions? You've been ignoring this, and I think this is huge.

Kathy Schrenk said...

I think nuclear is too dangerous to be the first way we try to address the problem. On a deeper level, I think we need to address the causes, not the symptoms. We have gotten to a point where we just consume too much. The main causes of this, as I see it, are suburban sprawl and auto-dependence. In the past 50 years our houses and cars have gotten bigger and bigger and sucked up more resources, and I don't think it's really made anyone happier. At your house, at my parents' house, you can't walk to any resources! No convenience store, grocery store, etc. That's just one example. But it's why I advocate so hard for cyclists' rights and bike-friendly policies. The current lifestyle of most Americans (including myself) just isn't sustainable.

Patty J said...

There is a gas station and a Subway less than a mile from your parent's home. I have ridden my bike to both. :)

Kathy Schrenk said...

Since when? Where is it?