How long will the debate over climate change endure? Considering it has taken almost 50 years since the 1964 Surgeon’s General’s report to sway public opinion on the dangers of smoking, I’m sure the climate debate still has a few years to go. Just like “big tobacco” before them, “big oil” will spend millions on propagating myths specifically designed to debunk the accumulated data of what the international science community takes as fact.
In many ways, it’s perplexing how climate change came to be so politicized over the past 20 years but when the financial well-being of a multi-billion dollar industry is at stake, rest assured a battle was always eminent. While some suggest that our free market system may ultimately serve as the foundation to address and ultimately reverse CO2 emissions, others argue that to delay is perilous.
Might we set aside political ideology long enough to come to a consensus on one basic fact that we all can agree on? Our planet and the natural resources it contains are finite and dwindling. If the largest oil reserve ever found was somehow miraculously discovered tomorrow, one would presume we could soon look forward to $2 gasoline. The reality is though, like any and all resources, at some point that well would dry up and we would be back to where we started.
Some seem to think that postponing to address a difficult task today will somehow make it simpler to solve tomorrow. In the case of climate change, that argument doesn’t hold true. With this issue, we don’t have the luxury of kicking the can down the road for future generation to address.
The time to act is now!