Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 47

Dear Mr. President,

*insert poorly-reasoned joke about global warming here* Thomas Friedman writes in today's NY times about the disappointing lack of understanding, and the inevitable bad jokes that result, with regards to the nature of climate change. Friedman proposes that the experts release "a simple 50-page report. They could call it “What We Know,” summarizing everything we already know about climate change in language that a sixth grader could understand, with unimpeachable peer-reviewed footnotes." While former Vice-President Gore has gone a long way towards making climate change data simple and accessible to the larger public, he is too contentious a political figure to ever convince the people who don't already agree with him. Friedman may be on to a reasonable alternative.

You've made clean energy a clear priority for your administration. The concessions you've made with regards to nuclear energy, which I personally find concerning, should be enough for those still drinking the Lyndon LaRouche kool-aid to take down the pictures of you with a Hitler mustache. Nuclear energy, like some areas of foreign policy, is an area where I am willing to defer my judgment to your own, if only because I have faith in your administration's superior access to experts and information. That being said, I know that nuclear energy has its limitations, and I hope that your administration continues to push for the safer, more sustainable sources of energy.

Sadly, until then, you, Thomas Friedman and the rest of us who recognize that the decades of research backing up climate change will not be undone by one snowstorm, will probably have to put up with a number of jokes, tweets, and other self-congratulation from climate change-deniers. I think that it would ultimately be in our interest if something like the report Mr. Friedman proposes were funded and published in a thoroughly non-partisan way. As much as I'd like to pretend the deniers are irrelevant, we're still Democrats, and persuading those who disagree with us, rather than just legislating around them, is really more our style.

Anyway, enjoy the "snow-ver kill" or whatever they're calling it these days.

Respectfully yours,


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