Karl Koehler: Do your homework
October 25, 2013
I'm at an age where I consider whether various activities truly merit my time given the limited amount I have left. Cooperatively engaging in a staged exercise in propaganda reinforcement like the Environmental Protection Agency's listening tour regarding carbon pollution control measures, well-intentioned or not, doesn't make the cut.
Nor does beating around the bush. I used to assume an attitude of polite deference when encountering poorly informed opinions pertaining to global warming; everyone's entitled. I'd probe a little, trying to understand which distorted factoids seemed to hold sway, and then offer counterinformation that usually was dismissed with a mixture of surprise, suspicion, subject changing, etc. — anything but logical engagement with readily available information. I've found it's exceedingly difficult to disabuse people of their "beliefs" in this regard. So, I no longer bother.
What I'll do now is simply tell people they're wrong. If you think CO2 must be regulated in order to avert or mitigate some perceived significant threat, you're wrong. And no I don't have a degree in climatology or atmospheric science that gives me credentialed standing to make that statement. Nor do I need one.
What I have is what any rational individual needs to come to an informed conclusion when it comes to carbon dioxide and global warming: a willingness to be objective, the courage to think for oneself, common sense and an appreciation that this exceedingly complex question takes a significant investment of time and thought to begin to grasp — an investment that I've made having followed the issue carefully since 1987 and that most flippant observationists have not.
Do your homework. Then we'll talk. Until then, all I have to say is you're wrong. In the meantime, our debate is over.
In short, I have what EPA as an agency apparently lacks. But more importantly, EPA has something I lack — a politically driven agenda and the vast resources of the federal government at your disposal to pursue it. And this is where things get dangerous. This is where members of our community and our country find themselves uncomfortably at odds with their very own government. This is where EPA is demonstrating a willingness to sacrifice the very livelihoods of citizens that have worked hard to provide affordable energy to our country. For what exactly? For politics.
Any CO2 control measure the agency proposes will have no discernible impact on the environment. None. EPA knows this. So what are you up to? To those moved to respond along the lines of, "But the longest journey begins with a single step…" I remind you, our debate is over.
Miners and power producers have been in our communities for years working to utilize coal while providing good livings for their families. Secondary benefits have accrued as the resource was utilized: even more jobs and an essential building block for the country's continued prosperity affordable energy.
In their spare time, miners and their families have been your neighbors, your friends, your kid's coaches, your kid's friends, your community's volunteers, your customers, your clients, etc. From my perspective, it's unsettling to now see so many willing to cast them adrift without a second thought or to remain silent as selectively advanced, incomplete and mostly misunderstood concerns for the environment outweigh the immediate concerns for people living in our own communities.
You may decide that is indeed the price that must be paid for progress. But I'm going to insist you make that decision with your eyes wide open. "First they came for the communists."