Saturday, February 24, 2007

The embarrassed American

Almost a month after the IPCC report on climate change came out and it's still a hot topic here. Global climate change and CO2 emissions have come up in almost every conversation I've had with Europeans of many nationalities over the past few days without any provocation from me. One conversation, in particular, comes to mind.

A Portuguese man raised the topic at a table including Americans, Germans, French, and Bulgarians. What began as a high-minded scientific discussion soon devolved into an argument between the EU citizens and a lone, very outspoken American. Global warming is rhetoric, it's kitsch for puritans who, having realized there is no God have turned to a force of nature to bring forth destruction and doom, said a man from Denver. And if humans are indeed the cause of climate change the only natural conclusion would be to exterminate humans, he continued. He doesn't see any real solution to the problem aside from human extinction and therefore it shouldn't be addressed, especially not by government regulation.

The EU faction of the table was shocked by his statements.

Not all Americans think this way, I was quick to point out.

Yes, but what about your vice president?

I couldn't deny it. Cheney had just spoken out against the IPCC report. It's difficult to argue that Americans have a real concern for global climate change when our elected leaders at the highest level still refuse to acknowledge what the rest of the world has now accepted.

1 comment:

stpeter said...

The man from Denver comments here.