On Debates and Being Right

Margaret Wente has declared the debate on Anthropogenic Global Warming over. Her side has won. We have decided what we are going to do about climate change, and the answer is… nothing.

Congratulations, climate change deniers. You played your hand well. Apparently our culture is unwilling to make any sacrifices to preserve an uncertain future for people who haven’t even been born yet. It’s a terrible pity, though, that it wasn’t a game.

You seem to be right in your calculation that we don’t value life enough to give up (or even scale back) this:

or this:

or this:

So that these people:

Residents of the island nation of Kiribati

or these people:

Bangladesh flood survivors

or these people:

The children at the end of my driveway

Can be assured of having this:

Rice Grains: by Ashok Menon, via wikimedia commons

or these:

Medical Facility – Intesive Care Unit. Norbert Kaiser via wikimedia commons
Fir Trees, by Cruizer, via wikimedia commons

Or these:

It’s really too bad that the planet won’t do the decency of conforming to your expectations. Although your rhetoric is strong, and your resources are formidable, the molecules that our world is made from are going to stubbornly insist upon obeying the laws of physics. Which, I fear, are far less forgiving than the “laws” of the market. If only, along with being powerful, manipulative, and convincing, you could also be right.

2 responses to “On Debates and Being Right”

  1. In the face of all of this, my small changes feel so, so small. Though I’m hoping that over time they will work a more radical transformation of my life. Once you start giving stuff up, it becomes easier and easier to give up more.