Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Environment

Reconciling the Planet's Needs with Humanity's

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorApril 6, 2009 10:15 AM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Andrew Sullivan is convinced that global warming is real, but he also belongs to the reality-based community, so he poses this dilemma:

Should we bear the heavy economic and social costs of trying to mitigate it in the teeth of a global depression? Or should we find creative ways to adjust to and live with it and hope that the faster growth of a less green world might be the long-term key to developing the new energy resources and technologies to restrain it?

Some orthodox climate advocates would surely berate Sullivan for even thinking like this aloud. Yet given the cratering economic landscape, this either/or prism may well become the preferred viewing lens for politicians. Read Sullivan's entire piece in the UK's Sunday Times to see how he thinks through the dilemma and where he ends up. It's worth noting that Sullivan, at one point, says that "a lack of certainty does not seem to me to be a crippling disadvantage in this debate." Only someone with as nimble a mind as Sullivan's can make a statement like that and then offer a plausible argument that follows from it.

3 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In