Disparate Paths

>> Tuesday, March 2, 2010

People who frequent this blog, and you know who you are, would probably not be surprised to find I'm rather pro-environment. Not fanatic, mind you, but I do what I can to reduce my own consumption and favor opportunities to do more.

But it can't be done alone. I worry that we, as a nation, spent a lot of time not pursuing reducing our oil consumption (in fact, increasing it amazingly) instead of pursuing alternatives. And this isn't just a Bush issue. No one has done anything substantial on this for decades.

In general terms, on environmental issues, the "right" has generally been run counter to the environmental movement, favoring business now. At least two recent presidents have been oil men. As the current environmental issue generally revolves around the potential for man-made global climate changes as a direct result of our consumption of fossil fuels, belief in the scientists or the nay-sayers has dominated that argument.

I've found that frustrating. I have no trouble understanding the science side of the issue. Heck, the taught the greenhouse effect when I was in grade school and Venus is out there as a shining example of the effect gone hog wild. But what frustrated me was that, even if global warming was hooey, reducing our dependence on oil and coal was still a good thing, in fact, an inevitable thing.

Apparently, I am not the only to think so. Senator Lindsay Graham (R) of South Carolina says so, too. Now, as always, I won't quote the link here, but, in a nutshell, Senator Graham has recognized the need for changes in environmental policy. He doesn't embrace the notion of global climate change to do so, but he understands that our current path is unsustainable.

Truth is, folks, that's enough for me. His understanding that young voters are concerned (rightly so, in my mind) flavors his thinking, but I couldn't care less. I want congresspeople and senators to be responsive to their constituents. I want them to make some steps to help the situation. Is it as far as I'd like to see us go? As fast? No, but it's a step in the right direction.

And you know what, a step in the right direction is a far better thing than standing still.

If our goals are the same, we can still get there on disparate paths.

One reason I don't despair for this nation. Now, if we could just make this kind of thinking fashionable, we might get somewhere.


  • Shakespeare

    I'm with the fashionable thing, as long as that doesn't mean it soon becomes unfashionable.

    "What? You're green? But don't you know? That was so 2010!"

  • Stephanie Barr

    I was actually thinking of working together, but green's good, too.

    I've never really been into fashionable. How about smart?

    Smart's timeless, isn't it?

  • The Mother

    There were hybrid car designs in the 1950s. My dad designed one, actually. But fossil fuel was cheap and no one wanted to invest the time/money.

    I doubt you'll get much argument on this one, either. You don't have to agree with the consensus to see a need for planning for the future.

    But it's hard to remember global warming when Dallas is expecting another round of snow this week.

  • Project Savior

    If someone doesn't buy climate change, then Peak Oil is just as good a reason for "going green".

  • Relax Max

    Desperate paths? Why must our paths be desperate? Our condition does not have to be hopeless, if we would only work together. Senator Graham might well be desperate - desperate for votes in the next election, hampered because he is a moron for one thing. But that doesn’t mean the rest of us clearer-thinking folk need to be desperate too.

    Oh. “Disparate.” That’s very different. Never mind.

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