Just as John McClaughry did not do a good job distinguishing between the distinct ideas of whether or not there has been general overall global warming, and whether or not man-made factors make the planet warmer than it would be without those factors, so did the Frontline PBS program that McClaughry criticized as phony, not do a good job.
If Frontline was phony, so was McClaughry. In science not even Newton’s laws of motion are absolutely true, yet in the day-to-day world, we consider them true enough that we routinely stake our lives on them. Mr. McClaughry seems to be suggesting that we wait until it is absolutely scientifically demonstrated that specific human activity precipitously affects the climate before we take any action whatsoever to abate that activity or to even prepare for it in case it is true.
During the first two years of the Obama administration, when there was a Democratic Senate and House, Congress couldn’t pass a “cap and trade” measure, which no one seemed to be able to explain in simple English. Then perhaps we ought to start working on electing a Congress that will put into place a simple tax on carbon to discourage the burning of petroleum and coal.
Congress has an obligation to take actions that it believes promotes the general welfare. It doesn’t have to wait until the John McClaughrys of the world agree; because if that were the case, Congress would still be debating whether it ought to admit Vermont as the 14th state, the National Road would have never have been built nor would have Louisiana been purchased from the French.
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