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Jewish World Review
Feb. 14, 2007
/ 26 Shevat, 5767
Global Warming: What Are you willing to do?
Proponents of the theory (they would say "fact") of man-made global warming are in the middle of a full-court press. The media are filled with stories on the subject, public service announcements have hit the airwaves, and politicians are climbing on the bandwagon.
Now, I'm not a scientist and I don't even play one on TV but there are some gaps in the logic of it all that make me skeptical. I'm not suggesting we're not in a warm cycle, because that, at least, is somewhat quantifiable; but, as I argued in an earlier piece ("Is it Just Me, Or is it Warm in Here?") the direct link between man and the warming is much more tenuous.
However, there's another level on which I have trouble with those who are the true believers. Why aren't they doing more to stop it? I don't mean offering ideas for regulations to tell the rest of us what to do; I mean what are they doing personally. If I'm driving an SUV or living in a big house, they can accuse me of callous disregard for the problem, but at least the callousness is based on my non-belief. What about them? Why are they still driving that big car or living in that big house? In fact, why are they driving at all? Why haven't they moved into a minimalist home within walking distance of their office? Talk about callous!
Imagine being absolutely certain we are the verge of a man-made catastrophe and not doing everything within your power to help reverse it. Anyone who truly believes it and still uses anything more than the lowest-wattage single bulb or drives one mile more than absolutely necessary is nothing short of a monster! A skeptic's actions can be blamed on ignorance; a believer's can only be chalked up to a shocking disregard for his children's futures.
Take the case of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Since 9/11, the Speaker (whoever he or she might be) has been provided with a private jet for security reasons. I happen to think that's right and proper and prudent. However, she's arguing for a larger jet which would accommodate family and others and would allow for non-stop travel to her California home. I think that's probably reasonable, too. But wait a minute! How can a believer in man-made global warming be so utterly unconcerned about accelerating the coming catastrophe? Is the convenience of a non-stop flight more important than helping to prevent the rising seas from destroying coastal cities? Shouldn't she be arguing against a private jet and perhaps closing down one of her homes or moving her family within a few blocks of her office? She, of course, is perfectly willing to champion regulation of others, but, again, I ask, what is she willing to do personally.
I can be accused of being blind; however, anyone who is convinced of the impending disaster and is not doing everything humanly possible to adjust his or her life to that "reality" is not only a callous human being, but the worst kind of hypocrite.
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JWR contributor Pat Sajak is the recipient of three Emmys, a Peoplesí Choice Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He's currently the host of Wheel of Fortune.
© 2007, Pat Sajak