Reconciling the Planet's Needs with Humanity's

By Keith Kloor
Apr 6, 2009 10:15 AMNov 19, 2019 9:54 PM


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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.

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