I traveled to Washington D.C. a few weeks ago and spent several whirlwind days on Capitol Hill meeting with an assortment of Cabinet Members, Senators and Congressmen on pending climate change legislation. Thanks to climate and energy advocate extraordinaire Susan Glickman for putting the trip together,
Before anyone says anything–the irony of the snow falling on me as I made my way up the Capitol steps did not escape me.
My involvement with the pending climate change bill stems from an innovative program my firm launched to accept carbon offset credits as partial payment for legal fees. Our firm’s program was the subject of a Wall Street Journal article, which you can read about here.
While others may not follow my lead, that’s quite all right—I’m beholden to a much higher authority: my 15 month-old daughter.
Although the meetings went smoothly, it appears less likely that the pending legislation will make it to vote this year. But I’m glad to see that interest in this heated debate only continues to build.
Famed internationalist and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote a proactive op-ed piece on the subject today.
In the article, Global Weirding is Here, Mr. Friedman proposes, among other thins, that we abandon use of the term “Global Warming” and adopt the term “Global Weirding.”
I’ll allow Mr. Friedman to explain:
Avoid the term “global warming.” I prefer the term “global weirding,” because that is what actually happens as global temperatures rise and the climate changes. The weather gets weird. The hots are expected to get hotter, the wets wetter, the dries drier and the most violent storms more numerous.
The fact that it has snowed like crazy in Washington — while it has rained at the Winter Olympics in Canada, while Australia is having a record 13-year drought — is right in line with what every major study on climate change predicts: The weather will get weird; some areas will get more precipitation than ever; others will become drier than ever.
More importantly, Mr. Friedman also proposes that, wherever you sit on the issue, population growth alone will be reason enough to demand renewable energy and clean water. He also points out how China is way ahead of the game:
Even if climate change proves less catastrophic than some fear, in a world that is forecast to grow from 6.7 billion to 9.2 billion people between now and 2050, more and more of whom will live like Americans, demand for renewable energy and clean water is going to soar. It is obviously going to be the next great global industry.
China, of course, understands that, which is why it is investing heavily in clean-tech, efficiency and high-speed rail. It sees the future trends and is betting on them. Indeed, I suspect China is quietly laughing at us right now. And Iran, Russia, Venezuela and the whole OPEC gang are high-fiving each other. Nothing better serves their interests than to see Americans becoming confused about climate change, and, therefore, less inclined to move toward clean-tech and, therefore, more certain to remain addicted to oil.
These are valid points. What are your thoughts on the issue?
Leave a comment below and let’s get this issue rolling.