The issue is not whether Climate Change is due to man’s influence on the atmosphere, sun spots or any other potential source for the hundreds of thousands of variables that affect our global climate. I personally believe that the Industrial Revolution has increased the carbon in the atmosphere from 280ppm to 385ppm over the last 200 years, and this has destabilized our climate. But the important point is that it doesn’t matter.
No scientist, no matter their position on man’s influence on the climate, would argue that the changes we are going to be dealing with are an illusion. Everyone agrees that things are changing, even John Coleman. So how do we frame this?
The crux of the discussion, given Mr. Coleman’s concerns and stand, needs to be whether the Hubbard Peak is real or not. The Hubbard Peak is where we hit the midpoint in oil production, making it more and more expensive to draw oil out of the ground. There are some people who believe that the oil fields are being replenished from even larger deposits that we haven’t found, or that oil is a natural mineral product of the earth and not sourced from the organic material from 200-300 million years ago.
If the Hubbard Peak is real, then we have likely hit the peak and oil will be more and more expensive to discover, produce, refine, etc. If it is not, then Mr. Coleman’s arguments might have weight. Not many people stand with him, however.
Here’s another important point. What is the opportunity cost? Of doing nothing, of changing our country to protect the environment, or of continuing to argue instead of act.
If people who believe that man has had an influence on climate are wrong, what would be the result of following the plan, establishing caps on carbon, and the other means of trying to reduce the CO2 in our atmosphere? Stronger infrastructure with rail and renewable able to help us transport people, goods and services from place to place around the country and around the world faster and cheaper than ever. A better educated workforce, more competitive with other nations and able to handle whatever challenge is thrown at them. Moon anyone? And if we’re right, we’ll save the biosphere from destruction.
If people who believe that man has had no influence on climate are right, and we do nothing, what would be the result? The exact opposite, but with the side “benefit” of giving our large energy corporations more opportunities to rip oil and coal out of the environment in order to fill their own bank accounts, and the campaign coffers of the politicians that support them. A Depression that will make the 1930’s look like a joke because the American people will continue to have their social services, safety net, educational foundation and every other legal, financial, economic and social pillar that keeps the wonderful civilization that Mr. Coleman is talking about operational ripped to shreds by the very people, groups and ideologies that the United States of America was founded to throw out of our lives in the first place. If they’re wrong, the biosphere is toast.
Pick the path we wish to walk, and let’s walk together. I’m walking towards Peace on the path of Collaboration and Cooperation. Mr. Coleman is walking towards Power on the path of Control.