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Ask the Expert

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How can Steve Lunetta sleep at night?

Posted: July 2, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 2, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

There’s nothing wrong with Mr. Lunetta questioning and challenging the assertions of the REMI report that a revenue-neutral carbon fee would have positive economic benefits as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions (June 26, “The carbon tax has flaws”).

There’s nothing terribly wrong with his heavy use of sarcasm, although it isn’t very helpful in establishing his credibility.

And even though his trying to win an argument through the use of emotionally laden terms (“far left,” “socialist,” “Marxist”) is a little sleazy, it’s his right.

But there is something seriously wrong with encouraging people to disregard the crisis posed by global warming.

It is real. It is scientific fact. There’s no legitimate debate to be made about it.

Doesn’t Mr. Lunetta care at all about human life and suffering?

Doesn’t he care that the people of Bangladesh are threatened with annihilation by flooding, that the citizens of Yemen are likely to run out of water soon, that Syria’s bloody civil war is fueled by drought, that rampant year-round wildfires are destroying much of the beauty of his native California, that people in cities like Los Angeles are dying because of extreme heat, that many people battered by Hurricane Sandy are still without homes, that our progeny will suffer greatly because of our profligacy and inaction?

Doesn’t he care about anything besides criticizing those who are trying to do something to help?

For Mr. Lunetta’s further education, I refer him to the article in Sunday’s New York Times by Henry M. Paulson, Jr. (conservative, Republican, secretary of the treasury 2006-09) in which he says, in part: “When you run a company, you want to hand it off in better shape than you found it.

“In the same way, just as we shouldn’t leave our children or grandchildren with mountains of national debt and unsustainable entitlement programs, we shouldn’t leave them with the economic or environmental costs of climate change.

“Republicans must not shrink from this issue. Risk management is a conservative principle, as is preserving our natural environment for future generations. We are, after all, the party of Teddy Roosevelt.”

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