Ask the Right Question

Just stumbled across this post from Yahoo about ocean acidification due to increased carbon levels in the atmosphere. I don’t want to argue the science of this right now, although as usual I have my opinion. I do want to make the point that we ought to begin more of our environmental commons debates by asking very simply “what is the right thing to do?” Sometimes, I believe that if we all thought a little more like well-brought-up children, with manners and all, that we’d spend a lot less time arguing the politics and details and costs of specific actions and spend a lot more time asking the simple questions about right and wrong outcomes. I think as adults we’d be better off if we could begin with the basic premise that polluting the atmosphere is bad, and while as adults we know we’re not going to cut ourselves loose from carbon today, it sure would be nice if we could all agree that we need to reduce our dependence on carbon for the very simple reason that we’re wrong – today, tomorrow, and generations down the line – to pump such pollutants into our atmosphere.

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