Sunday, May 21, 2006

On being right

Being right is handy. The National Climatic Data Center tells us that April was the hottest April ever. Al Gore's new movie is making headlines and touring the country. Global warming is real. I was right about it a decade ago, and I'll be right a decade from now.

A report due out soon in Field & Stream finds that more than half of sportsmen have noticed local shifts in climate, and 70% think climate change poses a serious risk to fish and wildlife. This is the part of being right that stinks.

In the end, it isn't enough. It may be a start, but it's just not enough. And in 50 years, when Kansas' winters are too warm to sustain winter wheat, and coastal cities require commuting by boat, it'll be too late to say "I told you so!"

Climate change will wreak havoc on our economy, will further erode rural America, but most importantly it destroys the world around us and undermines our future as people, as a nation, and as a world. The economic effects can be managed, but the destruction of our children and grand-childrens' wilderness can't, and it's flat-out immoral. By the time the damage is done, it'll be centuries until it could possibly be fixed, and decades until any plan for improvement could be implemented.

So it's encouraging to see Al Gore's movie and the buzz it's generating, and it's nice to see the Center for American Progress backing a proposal to simply increase the availability of E85 fuel. The ethanol in the fuel is essentially a carbon-neutral energy source (if ethanol can be produced efficiently enough), is renewable, and can be produced domestically. It's a good start, and it's the right thing to do.

Go sign the petition, encourage Congress to save the wildlife and wild places that we all enjoy. Being right in the end isn't enough.

Congress needs to get behind the Clean Edge Act, and more people need to get involved with the Apollo Alliance. I'd rather be wrong about the future because people make changes than be able to say I was right.