Monday, January 14, 2008

Cost vs Truth

No cost is too great if the current alarm over global warming is correct, but it would be an incredibly foolish—and harmful— waste of money if it is not.

With the healthy debate that is still resonating around the world, one would be wise to further establish some scientific truths everyone can agree on prior to making a huge economic gamble with peoples lives.

Race for '08: Voters split on global warming cost
Some fear businesses will be hobbled
By Peter Hecht -
Published 12:00 am PST Monday, January 14, 2008

SANTA MARIA – In this former industrial town built on grime, grit and California crude, Republican voter Bob Engel sees the past and the future.

Engel & Gray Inc., which Engel runs with his older brother Carl, provides labor and construction services for Santa Maria's oil fields – the working remnants of a petroleum town that in the late 1950s once numbered 1,775 oil wells.

Now, Santa Maria is known as much for new subdivisions and bountiful coastal California wine vineyards. And Engel's family has diversified, opening Harvest Blend Compost to renourish soil at former oil exploration sites and transform residential and agricultural "green waste" into eco-healthy compost.

"We've had a very balanced thought process," Engel says.

That's why he is torn on the presidential candidates and the environment and what to do about global warming blamed for climate change.

Engel, an undecided voter, is uncomfortable with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's self-proclaimed California crusade against global warming and by the state's decision to sue the Bush administration for blocking California's effort to impose the nation's first greenhouse gas emission limits for cars and light trucks. He's willing to make environmental changes that make sense for his company but doesn't want California businesses to bear an unfair burden.

Along the lower Central Coast, an environmental consciousness was born and a debate over America's petroleum use was triggered back in 1969 when 35 miles of beaches were soiled by a massive oil slick from an ocean rig off Santa Barbara.

Today, from Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo, the discussion is reinvigorated. As the Feb. 5 California presidential primary approaches, voters are tuning in as candidates debate reliance on fossil fuels and embrace or dismiss climatologists' warnings about melting polar ices, disrupted weather patterns and related environmental threats.