Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Previously, I have voiced my frustration of how much the mentality of climate science-shimemet science has entrenched itself in the Republican Party. This week Stephen DeCanio wrote a very thoughtful post on Grist that addresses the problem of climate change from the following perspective:
Suppose you believe, as I do, in basic conservative principles (free enterprise and a market economy, limited government, and minimal change in established institutions that work well), but also acknowledge that anthropogenic climate change presents a sufficient danger that something needs to be done about it.
He goes on to put forward a proposal that would engage foreign governments, provide market incentives to drawn in participation from developing countries, invest in green jobs, and take steps to reduce U.S. reliance on fossil fuels. As he lays out his argument, he attempts to tie his suggestions to his self-described conservative principles. Are these the right solutions for conservatives confronting climate change? I am not sure. However, I give DeCanio a great deal of credit for trying to further the conversation.
While many conservatives in the political limelight have shown little interest in addressing climate change, ducking this issue--while convenient--is irresponsible. As silly as this sounds, think of it this way, in the off chance that the vast majority of relevant experts in the world are not part of some vast conspiracy to bake the science on this one, shouldn't conservatives have a contingency plan other than denial?
Climate change is a challenge facing all of us. Our system of government can't work with such partial engagement. To rift off of a line often spouted by a conservative radio talk show host, grappling with this problem can't be done effectively with half our brains tied behind our backs. Here's hoping that more conservatives will add their Mega Dittos to this sentiment.
-- Brigham Daniels