April 23, 2014

I missed Earth Day

Yes, I missed Earth Day this year (again). I know people who sat in their homes with candles as their light source, playing board games to honor earth.  I don't get it.  They use light bulbs the other 364 days of the year.  They may still be heating their homes with natural gas.  Their refrigerators are likely still running.  The truth is we need electricity.  We need oil. That isn't changing any time soon.  If the purpose of Earth Day is about raising awareness of the health of the earth, it's not going to change anyone's hearts and minds.  Look, nobody is in love with pollution.  Nobody wants runaway greenhouse gases.  But just because someone is skeptical about the veracity of the "science", does not mean they are an evil oil-demon.

It's similar to the argument I (and others) have made about the roots of inequality: nobody has a monopoly on compassion, the difference is in the proposed solution.  When it comes to climate issues, conservatives are not less caring about the environment, we simply disagree about the scope of the problem, AND, if there is a problem on the proposed solution.

Conservatives do not believe the government can force faster innovation by subsidizing select players in the energy marketplace and penalizing others.  That distorts the marketplace.  If we have reached peak oil, if the climate is suffering as a result, then innovation will occur because someone sees an opportunity in solving it.  They will work twice as hard at solving the problem than someone who is getting an annual grant from the EPA to expand their solar panel production plant.

But just because I don't agree with you on the scope of the problem, and I don't believe the science is settled, and I propose a different path to a "greener future", don't paint me as an earth hater.  I love nature.  I enjoy the outdoors and clean air, and clean water as much as anyone else.  I do not want those things to go away. To suggest that I do is to assign a motive (incorrectly) to my opinions.

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