Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.

 

Assumptions and Questions

Part 4. Climate and Energy Series A clarification from the last post in this series: I was not in Santa Barbara, nor did I overhear a conversation on plastics. Those were letters from readers. I have already received several more responses to the series, which has thrown off my congenitally subpar planning, and which I intend to publish in the future. I will print or withhold names, as you wish, so if you want credit for – or censure of – your thoughts, let me know. And welcome to the club.

I begin with the assumption that global warming is real because the vast majority of scientists, as well as the national science academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Great Britain and the United States, are united on that. I mean, you do have to start somewhere.

I do not assume, however, that the last 50 years of warming is due primarily to human activities. While most scientists do believe that is true, I think it raises different issues from the first assumption, and it demands a different solution – adapting ourselves – so let’s talk about it.

Some other matters I hope we’ll discuss:

  • Major technological innovation ( Bill Gates) vs. values change (cf. Bill McKibben).
  • The real prospects for alternative energy in an energy-dependent world.
  • The role of nuclear power.
  • Fracking: transition to what?
  • Population vs. consumption: too many people or too much stuff?
  • The historic connection among energy growth, economic prosperity, poverty reduction and human wellbeing.
  • Environmental and social justice for the poor and dispossessed.

A Case for Wood

Out of the Darkness