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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Sitting Out a Global Economic Shift

For the sake of argument, let's say I've become convinced that global warming is a bunch of crap. After all, it snowed this winter, which I guess is supposed to prove something. And it turns out that scientists haven't been conducting their research to non-scientists' liking. Of course, the facts don't really back up the "bunch of hooey" scenario. In 1960, the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere was less than 320 parts per billion. Today, that number is nearly 390. We're literally changing the chemical makeup of our atmosphere and some are seriously arguing that we can do that without consequence. Ice sheets are melting at an alarming rate, sea levels are rising, and we just lived through the hottest decade in recorded history. If these facts aren't good enough for you, then you're just uneducable - either because you're incapable of appreciating reality or because you've chosen not to.

Now, let's say I'm one of the fools; maybe I fell down the stairs and suffered a head injury. Maybe I lost my mind and decided to reject reality. Maybe I've started putting whiskey on my corn flakes. Whatever, I'm now totally convinced that everything's fine. There is no such thing as human caused climate change.

I'm saying we ought to play along with the dopes who believe it. Let's face it, the only places that this is even an argument are the US and UK -- the vast majority of the people on the planet believe it. And they're going to do something about it. That means they're going to buy stuff. They're going to buy solar panels and wind generators. They're going to buy trains and batteries. They're going to buy insulation and hybrid cars. Now, they can buy them from the US or we can stand on the sidelines, say global warming is a bunch of crap, and laugh at nations developing new technologies and new markets. We can sit this one out, cut ourselves off from this new green economy, let all that money and all those jobs go to other countries -- because we're so much smarter than all those other chumps and climate change is a hoax.

Does that sound like a good idea to you? If it does, then I'd say you weren't very bright. If global warming is big lie, who cares? So what? The world's going to change anyway and we can either lead, follow, or get out of the way. Will it be bad for some industries? Probably. Not burning stuff is bad for industries that sell stuff to burn, but so what? Go back and show me the time in history when we gave a crap what happened to the obsolete technology. CDs had to put a lot of vinyl presses out of business -- did that mean we should've stopped making CDs or did that mean the people who press records needed to catch up? Again, name the time we've ever cared about this before. You can't.

So if Exxon can't see that it's time to start researching batteries, then so long Exxon. Who cares? Companies will rise up to fill the void. And, if they're American companies, that industry will come complete with new jobs, offsetting the loss of the dinosaur industry. But only if we play along with this global warming scam. Necessary or not, the world is going to change. We can either change with it or let it pass us by.

The truth is that this is going to happen with or without us. If you think climate change is horsecrap, fine. So what? Does that mean that, when the world is clamoring to buy all this fancy-pants green stuff, we're going to refuse to make it or sell it? For what reason -- principle? At this point, it would be hard to tell principle from stubborn idiocy.

Of course, I suppose that we could be the one nation that doesn't change. Then we could be a sort of Heritage Village of a nation, where tourists come to see what it's like to have to churn your own butter and spin your own yarn. Doesn't seem like there's a lot of money in that, though. Somehow, a Hummer has less rustic charm than a horse and buggy.

But if you don't want to get in one this climate thing, then what's your plan? How does a coal-black nation compete in a green global economy? Tell us how you see this thing panning out in our favor.

Because it isn't so obvious when you think about it.


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doe said...

Well said, as usual.

The various, soon-to-be replaced “obsolete technology” businesses are sweating. They lobby and throw money up in a desperate attempt to mask the truth, knowing that once people are allowed to see clearly, the “dinosaur” industries will be left high and dry.

This race for greener technology is one that America can’t afford to remain blind to. Keep shouting it from the rooftops, Wisco. People are bound to listen.

Wisco said...


vet said...

"Obsolete" industries are a very strong lobby. They employ lots of people, they have lots of money and clout.

Look at the CD industry today. It's facing obsolescence because people have taken to trading music in digital form. And so it's lobbied hard for laws that have virtually banned exchanging or transferring music. This industry has senators and reps and judges and even presidential appointees bought and paid for. It's not going anywhere.

That's an example of an obsolete technology protecting itself. And it's doing an excellent job. Via ACTA, it's even exporting these demented laws to the rest of the developed world.

Just because an industry is obsolete, doesn't mean we can ignore it.