Monday, October 29, 2007

Global Warming Makes Strange Bedfellows

Well it’s official now, everyone wants to appear green. Actually, it turns out Newt Gingrich thought of himself as a conservationist before worrying about global warming was hot. The difference now is that he has written a book about global warming. Is that de rigeur for politicians who have fallen from grace?

Anyhoo, today in an interview about said book, Newt said this about global warming: “Caution is key. . . you don’t have to prove the argument about carbon loading the atmosphere to think it would be prudent to try to find economically useful ways to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.” Agreeing with the words coming out of his mouth produced so much cognitive dissonance I almost had to stop driving.

Things returned to normal fairly quickly. First, Newt proposed Nuclear energy as the answer to our carbon woes. Brilliant--- let’s switch to an energy source that doesn’t emit carbon when burned, but takes carbon to mine/transport/process, is non-renewable, and produces very hazardous waste that we will have to store pretty much forever. How environmentally responsible. It even violates point 5 of his own contract, “think long term.” Before, and after, that slam dunk of a suggestion, Newt failed to impress. Just like most other politicians, when it comes to the environment, he seemed like all talk and no action. Even so, I’ll probably give the book a chance. There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell I’d elect him for anything, but if he actually works to solve our environmental problems, I’ll pay attention.

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