Tech Central Station Roy Spencer July 31, 2006
Technological advancements have elevated mankind to its healthiest and wealthiest level in history. Our lives are longer, our health is greater, our food is more plentiful, and modern conveniences are now so affordable that even the poor among us own what only the rich could afford 50 years ago.
It is against this backdrop that we now find ourselves debating the merits of many of these conveniences and advancements. From the chemical scares of the 1960’s and 1970’s (e.g., DDT, dioxin, food preservatives), to the fear of runaway population growth and rapidly dwindling petroleum supplies, the very people that have been blessed with the prosperity that unbridled human ingenuity brings are increasingly anxious about the world we have created for ourselves.
Fear of the ultimate environmental threat, global warming, is now striking at the very heart of modern life, casting doubt upon the future availability of inexpensive energy that is necessary to keep society running. Al Gore’s movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, Discovery’s recent special ‘Global Warming: What You Need to Know with Tom Brokaw’, and a deluge of media stories and editorials are all dedicated to convincing you that we need to be saved from ourselves.
And while it is true that there are potential negative side effects of our use of fossil fuels (as well as most other natural resources), little attention is ever paid to the practical question: what should be done about it? It is much easier to point out a problem than it is to actually fix it….and ‘fixing problems’ too often leads to unintended negative consequences.
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