Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Opinions about Climate

The Op-Eds are coming fast and furious now that the Copenhagen conference has begun.  I wanted to quickly post links to a couple of important and noteworthy ones.

Tom Friedman - "Going Cheney on Climate"
Tom Friedman gives his usual clear-eyed perspective on why its in our national interest to act on climate change.  He uses the risk-aversion argument of the 'precautionary principle' (which I've said as a reason to act on climate change), as the best argument.  He then uses Dick Cheney's arguments about weapons of mass destruction to make the case that conservatives should also feel that way.  Here, I think Friedman is dead right: if the skeptics are anything less than 100% sure that climate change is not a danger and is not man made, then we still have a duty to act.  Even a 5% chance that abrupt and disruptive climate change was coming should be enough reason to act. 

Mikhail Gorbachev - "We Have a Real Emergency"
Gorbachev gives his view in the Herald Tribune that fixing climate change will go a long way towards fixing many of the problems the world faces today.  We focus too much on the short-term costs, without thinking at all about the long term threats of inaction.  Gorbachev is one of the last real statesmen of our times, and its good to see him involved. 

Sarah Palin - "Copenhagen's Political Science"
Sarah Palin decries the politicization of science by taking a political view of the science.  I'm not going to go into this very much, plenty of other people have already had a go. The number of comments (2310 when I last checked) shows that the Washington Post knows who drives controversy and internet views.  One thing to say, Ms. Palin should sit down with Senator Murkowski to talk about climate change: I think she would learn a great deal from the Ranking Member of the Senate Energy Committee. 

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