My First Thought Was: This Must be Monty Python
A few days ago I was flying back from a vacation in Austria. On the first leg of the journey home, from Vienna to London, I flew on British Airways and, walking on to the plane picked up a couple of British Sunday Newspapers. When reading â€œThe Sunday Telegraphâ€, evidently a respected paper, I was floored by the advertisement on page 12 of the main news section. The ad was placed by SPURT, which is an advocacy group supporting â€œunlimited aviation growthâ€. It had a picture of the CEO, and obviously was lobbying for airport expansion. Some of the language of the ad, and I quote verbatim:
â€œAccording to the World Health Organisation, 150,000 people die each year due to climate change. Thatâ€™s a risk weâ€™re prepared to take. The uncomfortable truth is that aviation is good for the environment. Iâ€™m taking my cheap holiday and telling the climate whingers to get stuffedâ€
The ad went on to say:
â€œEnvironmentalists only worry about things that will happen in the future â€” but many of us wonâ€™t even be around then.
Nobody wants to hear about climate change, flooding and people dying in Africa, itâ€™s depressing and doesnâ€™t even affect most of us
Everyone wants a holiday in a hot place, so whatâ€™s the problem?â€
I looked back at the picture of the CEO to see if it was perhaps one of the Pythons, as my first reaction was â€œThis Must be Monty Pythonâ€. The Institute of Funny Walks came to mind. Is this a real ad? Then a few pages on I read an editorial that challenged global warming. The editorial spoke of the lack of true scientific data concerning global warming, that same old tired argument that has now become worthy of the best Python programs.
As it turns out, when you go to the web site, it is humorous, so since the language is so absurd, the only conclusion is that this is an environmental group with a great sense of humor, and a lot of money to pay for a full page ad. They really do skewer the stupidity of the anti- global warming folks.
What absolutely hit me was that, this was in a mainstream London newspaper with a strong editorial challenging the science behind global warming. As an American I see the total absence of leadership coming out of Washington in the areas of environment and energy issues that are related to our survival. Somehow I assumed that the British perhaps we more advanced. Certainly not The Daily Telegraph.
The point here is that to question the science around global warming is ridiculous and ultimately ostrich stupid. The conversation should be, whether global warming is or is not real, we have to assume that it might be, and what are we going to do. If humanity does nothing and it proves to be real, then we might well be done here on Earth, or at least life as we know it will radically change. If it is not real, then at least we will be addressing the urgent issue of finding alternatives to petroleum. Since we are passing through Peak Oil right now, it is quite possible that our children will see the end of oil, at least oil that is globally available. If we do not use intelligence, leadership, economic incentives, science and innovation to wean ourselves from petroleum in the next twenty years, humanity, and Americans in particular will be in deep trouble, trouble that could tear society apart.
If anyone is challenging the science behind global warming they have some vested interest in petroleum either directly or indirectly. They also have some misguided perception that supporting global warming is not supporting economic growth. As I have stated here before, the economic opportunity of green technologies and alternative fuel is the greatest economic opportunity in the history of humanity.
[I apologize for the absence of posts these past ten days. I decided to actually take a complete break from work while in Europe on a special vacation. I appreciate those of you who emailed me to see if I was ok and to those who let me know that you were missing posts on this blog.. Loyal regular readers like you are all I could ask for. Thank you!]