Hey, Climate Change Deniers, Deny This!

You simply don’t want to make changes to our economy because you’re selfish. You’re a bunch of angry anti-government, “conservatives” who want to be able to drive your gas-guzzling cars. You want to leave your energy-gobbling incandescent lights on all night, keep your thermostats at 72 degrees in the summer and crank them up to 78 degrees in the winter.

You want to burn carbon and pollute the planet like your parents and your parents’ parents. You want to continue to use up a disproportionate share of the planet’s resources – to hell with the environment. You want to continue to carry your groceries in plastic bags because it’s too much trouble to remember the reuseable ones. You want to use disposable everything because it’s too much work to recycle. And you certainly don’t want Al Gore and a bunch of pointy-headed liberals to tell you what you can and can’t do.

You look at the findings of the scientific community and scoff. After all, you won’t be around to suffer the consequences if the scientists are right.

Who cares if the glaciers are melting at an alarming rate? Who cares if the planet’s CO2-consuming forests are dwindling? Who cares if hundreds of species are becoming extinct? (You’ve seen plenty of videos of them on Animal Planet and Discovery Channel anyway. Right?) Who cares if our sources of fresh water are disappearing or becoming polluted?

Think I’m exaggerating? In my community of mostly retirees, this is the attitude I hear all the time. The only environment that concerns these people is the condition of the golf course. Of course, it’s terrible that those poor people in Louisiana, Alabama, Oklahoma, Iowa and Kansas are suffering more floods and severe weather. But the weather is cyclical. It’s God’s will. (Until it affects them or their families.)

I find this degree of selfishness insufferable. Don’t you climate change deniers ever ask yourself, What if the scientists are right? What will happen to my children and grandchildren and all of the millions of young people I don’t even know?

What makes the position of the deniers so unfathomable is that, rather than disrupt our economy, climate change legislation could be good for it. Providing real incentives for the development of solar, wind, wave, biofuels, nuclear and other alternative energies could provide tens of thousands of new manufacturing jobs in the U.S. We could create even more jobs by developing new infrastructure to recharge electric cars and to develop high-speed rail. We would have cleaner air and water. And we could stop sending billions of dollars to places like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and even Iran. We might even avoid a few wars.

Seriously, folks, what do we have to lose?

Yes, I know you deniers don’t like change. I know it would be painful to admit that the liberals are actually right. And I know that the heads of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly would likely explode. But that, alone, would leave the planet a better place.

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