Of course, during this area's coldest week in recent memory, I write on global warming. Really, I've been meaning to do so for a while, but I only think of it when I'm in the car. I probably think of it because it seems like everyone on the radio is talking about it...
I'm no climate scientist, but I'm certainly not convinced that all the hoopla about global warming has any basis. In fact, I'm not scared of global warming at all. It bothers me less than the threat of nuclear war bothered me during the Cold War, which is that I've thought about it, but it doesn't make me change my behaviors one iota.
I do have a problem with the whole deal, however. It seems that there has been a call to war, not on global warming, but on the issue of global warming. It doesn't seem to matter what one does; it is how one is positioned publically. The politicians and "journalists" who seem the most adamant that we need to do something (now!) about this "threat" are still consuming like crazy - driving their SUVs, flying their private jets, consuming, consuming, consuming.
On the other side, the "journalists" who don't believe that global warming is a problem are advocating more and more consumption. I actually heard Rush Limbaugh proclaiming this side yesterday. The thought seems to be: it's not a problem, so anyone who conserves is stupid.
Why does this have to be the dividing line? It seems artificial, and it seems like the only thing that is really done is that people get riled up and that the rhetoric gets increased.
On the other hand, much ado is being made of alternative fuels, and ethanol is being touted as the next big thing. Unfortunately, we are experiencing part of the backlash already as egg prices are raising (mainly because of the requirement for more space per egg-laying chicken, but also because of the rising price of grain, fueled by the demand for ethanol).
In Methodist history, we can look back to John Wesley, who was against horse racing and fancy coaches, not because he didn't like the thoroughbreds, but because the horses were eating so much grain while people starved (he also railed against the distillation of gin partly for the same reason).
Is ethanol a good alternative source of fuel if it comes from the mouths of the poor?