Year 3, Month 7, Day 25: “We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.” (H.L. Mencken)

The Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot reports on a new poll that offers a sort of good news:

A majority of Americans say they think climate change is real, according to a new poll on Friday.

Six in ten believe weather patterns around the world have been more unstable in the last three years, The Washington Post/Stanford University poll found, and almost as many people said it has been hotter on average in that time than ever period. And as for what the two presidential candidates want to do about climate change, almost half of those polled say that President Barack Obama wants to take a lot of government action on global warming, while just 11 percent say they feel that’s a goal of Mitt Romney.

Just over half, or 55 percent, told pollsters they think a “great deal” or “good amount” can be done to combat future global warming, but 60 percent disagree.

Seven in ten Americans say they are not in favor of tax increases on electricity or gas, and 66 percent want tax breaks to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the Post reported. But 20 percent say they would like the government to not be involved at all with regulating greenhouse gases.

Just one problem….Sent July 14:

The laws of chemistry and physics were operating long before human beings began understanding them; indeed, they were operating long before there were human beings at all. Those same laws govern the greenhouse effect which now poses a significant threat to our species and the civilization we’ve developed over our countless millennia on Earth.

From a scientific perspective, it’s irrelevant that more people “believe” in climate change; whether we accept the data or not, it’s happening. From a political perspective, it’s irrelevant that the scientific consensus on climate change is overwhelming; what matters is what people believe to be true.

American energy and environmental policies must be firmly founded on measurable scientific reality, not blown this way and that by the endlessly changing winds of public opinion. The climate crisis is real, and humanity’s future hinges on whether our politicians can recognize that the emergency isn’t affected by electoral exigencies.

Warren Senders

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *