July 9, 2013 – In this speech on the Senate floor, Senator Whitehouse talked about what’s at stake in the climate change debate using a series of rhetorical questions. He concluded that “many of the answers carry stakes so high, that they plead for prudent and rational choices. The down side is so deep, that the balance has to be towards precaution, if we are indeed a rational species.”

Comments

  1. #1 joyannah Lonnes
    Santa Rosa, CA
    July 13, 2013

    I deeply hope and pray that Senators and Representatives from red states who have been too afraid to accept the reality of climate change will hear this and become more afraid of the terrible judgment against them from their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It seems that many men in this august congressional body of community leaders are paralyzed by fear or motivated only by a greater fear than that of upsetting some of their less well informed constituents.
    Gentlemen, are you so terrified and paralyzed that you can not be reliably informed of the looming dangers by a simple process of measurement? As Senator Whitehouse says, a mathematical process more simple and basic than the scientific process, supports the conclusion that, even if one doesn’t believe mankind’s burning of fossil fuels is “causing” the clearly measured and documented rise in global temperature, doesn’t it stand to reason, given the increasingly destructive weather patterns and acidification of the oceans, to STOP contributing to it in any way? Why not err on the side of caution and safety? Doesn’t it stand to reason to “conserve’ in as much as humanly possible, our current natural resources? Isn’t that what the term “conservative” really stands for? Conservative doesn’t mean “paralyzed”, does it? Conservative doesn’t mean holding the value of “greed” beyond all else, does it? Doesn’t it mean, to cherish what God has given mankind live from, and to protect it? God didn’t command Moses or anyone else to value industry and the resulting waste products above all else, did he? Where did conservatism go off the rails? Well, it really doesn’t matter does it? What matters is realigning with the real core values of conserving. That’s right, conserving the resources of the planet, which, if you like breathing, it must be admitted, includes the air and climate that surrounds our beautiful and only home in the universe. If the average temperature rises too much to support life as we know it, the planet itself will surely survive. It doesn’t need mankind to survive. On the contrary, mankind needs certain habitual conditions to survive and thrive. Doesn’t it stand to reason to do everything possible to arrange our lives so as to support the continuance of those habitable conditions? To conserve those habitable conditions? Just a thought. What do you think? Really.

  2. #2 Larry Olson
    July 14, 2013

    One thing that annoys me is the almost cult like nature of the AGW crowd. While I totally agree with regards to pollution being despicable and must be addressed, the mixing of the two topics is off-base.

    As a Meteorologist I want to shake the people who take science and make it into a political debate.

  3. #3 Leslie Downey
    Silver Spring, MD
    July 16, 2013

    Thank you, thank you, Senator Whitehouse.

  4. #4 Donald Campbell
    November 6, 2013

    Politics without sound science is like trying to guide a rudderless ship, or like medicine without biochemistry. Science is part of politics, whether appreciated or not. Politics has always been a debate, unless in dictatorships. For many clear-cut scientific reasons, we must immediately curtail the use of carbon-based fuels. How do you want to do this?

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