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153 An Example 2009-11-20

fall leaves

From the Boulder paper, the Daily Camera,

The conservative columnist George Will said Thursday "the city’s valiant efforts to reduce its carbon footprint are a gesture designed to make the good people of Boulder feel virtuous."


"The answer is, ’I don’t know,’" he said. "What distinguishes me is that I know I don’t know. Lots of other people don’t know, but they don’t know they don’t know."

Mr Will is an intelligent man. He speaks with authority. He is a voice for the conservatives.

It is obvious Mr Will was trying to ruffle some feathers and he succeeded. He gains readers by being controversial. The people "for" him, read to gain fodder for their arguments and the people ‘against’ him, read to have something to be mad about.

I believe the answers to both of his statements are true, but his stance is not the answer.

If Boulder was the only city in the United States that reduced it’s carbon footprint, then it would be a mere gesture. But, there is more to this story. If you owed $10,000 and you could only pay back one dollar right now; then should you claim bankruptcy or should you start repaying the loan and budgeting for future payments. If, by Boulder being an example, other individuals, families, communities, cities, counties, states, and nations began to also repay their debts, then there would be a change in the co2 levels. Boulder alone cannot make a difference in the world’s co2 levels, but they can be one of the leaders, examples in proving that "zeroing" can be done.

No one knows what the future holds. In weather, one hurricane might be said to be an impending disaster, but then misses. The second might be forecast to be benign yet is disastrous. And a third hurricane might be predicted to be catastrophic and is just that. The same weather personnel predicted all three hurricanes and their potential consequences. Should the people living along the coast, not have taken the warnings seriously because, when it comes down to it, they were inaccurate?

To continue with the same analogy, Mr Will, if there is a hurricane forecast to hit your home... Are you going to board up, secure your house, and evacuate; or go sit on the beach as the storm surge comes ashore?

Everyone is an example. We can be good examples or bad examples. The citizens of Boulder by trying to lower their carbon footprint are trying to be an example. Whether it helps to prevent global warming or not, no one can be certain. What is certain is the forecasters are warning us of what is coming our way. The ice cap is melting and the seas are rising. It is time to be examples. It is time to convert the world. Of course we could also choose to sit on the beach, not believing the forecasters as the storm surges closer and closer.

Happy trails.


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