Warm Planet…Cold Heart?

From Mike’s Mud Room on Discovery.com

Q: But in the grand scheme of things to feel grouchy about, it just seems so very small.


Hi Jeanine

Small? What if – and I know this sounds nutty – but what if our warming planet has nothing at all to do with fossil fuel and carbon output, or any other man made thing? What if the planet is simply doing what it does, irrespective of our presence? Many scientists believe this to be the case. Many others do not. So let’s not start quoting and cutting and pasting all of the endless conflicting sources. Let’s just assume, for a moment that the jury is still out, and consider – What if the man-made contribution to global warming turns out to be a fiction? Can you think of a greater misconception so universally accepted? Would such a revelation not amount to fraud on a colossal scale? As in, “what do you mean the world isn’t flat!” colossal?

The difference of course, is that back then, people weren’t profiting from the belief that the earth was flat. But today, people are building entire businesses and movements around the belief that we are warming the earth. I’m not saying the belief is mistaken. I don’t know. I’m just saying that thousands of scientists are at odds with each other. And if some new Columbus comes along and definitively proves that mans contribution to global warming is irrelevant, look out. They’ll be a backlash against all things green. A big one. And that would be a shame.

The mufti-billion dollar Bear Stearns debacle, the billions to Halliburton in no-bid contracts, rampant profiteering from post 9/11 security issues….that all makes me a lot grumpier.

I believe an accurate understanding of our relationship to the environment is more important to our economy than any of your examples. If I were asked to comment on Wall Street, cronyism, or post-war exploitation, I would have passed, for the simple reason that I can’t make a link between those issues and dirty job. The environment however, is different, because Dirty Jobs is the greenest show on television, in my opinion.

Compared to the relatively small greenie-palooza, it’s David and Goliath in terms of total effect on the economy.

Long term, I would respectfully disagree. Time will tell, and I hope I’m wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time.

And that’s the burr under Mike Rowe’s saddle? Not sure I get it. But I don’t live in San Francisco.

There are many burrs. This is simply the one I’m being grilled on presently.

Building a better planet is going to produce some better people. The two go hand-in-dirty-hand.

Historically, it seems to me that a healthy planet has nothing to do with healthy people. How far back would you care to journey to make the point? The 1900’s? The 1800’s? The middle ages? The Renaissance? Ancient Rome? My friends in Greenpeace and Earth First tell me that the planet was better off in every earlier period. But today, our species has a life expectancy that’s never been higher. Infant mortality has never been lower. So many diseases that killed millions are now cured. And yet, our planet is portrayed as sicker than ever. I don’t see how the two have ever been related.


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