I walk my kids to school most mornings. It’s a short walk, but I love having a consistent time to chat with them. Today it was frosty out, about 32 degrees. My son thought maybe it had something to do with the hole in the ozone layer. He had read that the ozone layer was the part of the earth that kept our planet from getting too hot or too cold.
I demurred because: a) weather is different from climate; and b) I didn’t think that accurately captured the function of the ozone layer. Still, it brought home in a more visceral way the potential effects of climate change denialism. For me, the climate change debate has largely been an abstract debate. I know the vast majority of credible scientists say that climate change is observable, say that it is caused by human activity, and predict grim things to happen on earth because of it in the not too distant future. I also know that there are some that wish to disregard such predictions because it would unduly interfere with short term profits. And, there are still others that want to ignore such predictions as a part of the culture war I don’t fully understand. Near as I can figure, they are willing to endure flooding and unstable weather because hippies suck. Or something.
Still and all, it’s been a pretty abstract debate for me. I generally have the sense that the worst of it won’t take place until I’m pretty old or dead. But, there is a better chance that my kids will have to deal with the fallout. And, why do you want my kids to be collateral damage in your psychotic war against Al Gore?