April 17th, 2007

Beem-Ur the Destructor

Getting It

On Friday, I went to two talks about global warming. The first was over at CU, part of the Conference on World Affairs, by former congressman Tim Wirth. What I found really interesting about it was that he spent a few minutes at the beginning going over the whole (by now very tiresome to me) "global warming is bad" thing. What I found remarkable is that he then stopped talking about it, and spent the rest of his time talking about what we can do about it. Moreover, he really emphasized that we need to not regard it as an insurmountable challenge, but as a situation where necessary change is also an opportunity.

The second talk was here at work, by Amanda Staudt, who works for the National Wildlife Federation, and was about the recent dramatic shift in U.S. attitudes toward climate change. Among other things, she talked about hearings about the subject on Capitol Hill, and already this year there have been, like, ten times as many congressional hearings on the subject as there used to be in a typical year. (I know of three people in my department who are flying to DC this week for hearings.)

So, that's an impressive and dramatic shift.

More impressive? Even folks like Newt Gingrich get it now. (Boston Glob article, registration and linkrot warning)
"Gingrich praised Kerry's recently released book about environmentalism, acknowledged that global warming is real, and offered what amounted to an unexpected apology for his party's inaction on curtailing greenhouse gas emissions."



I think it's going to take a little while to get over the shock and move on to discussing what to do about it. We're not used to having people actually listen...