Tuesday, December 10, 2002

What Does It Mean? I guess, in the end, I'm asking whether there is enough evidence to hit the panic button, particularly since we do know that emissions and greenhouse gases continue to decline. There will no doubt be another uptick, when the third world industrializes. But their transition will be quicker than ours. (They won't have to go through years of gas guzzlers to get their Hondas, to use a clumsy metaphor.) Technology is beating the pollution problem, just as it beat disease, starvation, and exposure in so much of the first world. It is not without its drawbacks. But either you embrace progress and enjoy the ride, or you go back to hunting and gathering (and, incidentally, freezing, starving, and dying at 30 years of age). I don't see how we can put the progress genie back in the bottle, and I certainly don't see how it can be done cafeteria-style (yes to whompin' home theaters with subwoofers, but no to pollution).

Side note: Shouldn't anyone who has ever uttered a note of concern about global warming be pelted with heads of lettuce if they ever drive an SUV? I know several people who would be in line for that pelting, and I bet you do too.

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