Reading the headlines these days, I can’t help but repeat this truism: If you jump off the top of an 80-story building, for 79 floors you can think you’re flying. It’s the sudden stop at the end that tells you you’re not. It’s striking to me how many leaders and nations are behaving today as though they think they can fly — and ignoring that sudden stop at the end that’s sure to come.I Believe I Can Fly
Closer to home, America’s climate-deniers mounted an effective disinformation campaign that made “climate change” a four-letter word in the Republican Party. This undermined efforts to get a clean energy bill — the sort that might break our addiction to oil and take money away from the people our soldiers are fighting in the Middle East. And all of this happened in 2010, which is on track to be the Earth’s hottest year on record. So here’s the math: 98 climate scientists out of 100 will tell you that man’s continued carbon emissions pose the risk of disruptive climate change this century. Two out of 100 will tell you it doesn’t. And “conservatives” today tell you to bet on the two. If the climate-deniers are right — but we combat climate change anyway — we’ll have slightly higher energy prices but cleaner air, more renewable energy, a stronger dollar, more innovative industries and enemies with less money. If the deniers are wrong and we do nothing, your kids will meet the sudden stop at the end.
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Our priorities now are to mitigate the recession that was set in motion under Bush and to put the country on a path to sustainable economic growth.Sustainable economic growth can only be achieved by development, not getting bigger.