This article is about finding a common ground between the political left and right on the issue of climate change. Talking to my conservative friends, they are apprehensive when it comes to governments that look to impose rules and restrictions on personal freedoms and businesses. I think we all agree nobody wants unnecessary, ineffective or counterproductive rules placed upon people and business.
When it comes to the issues concerning the climate and environment, I have heard many conservatives echoing the same concerns; that warnings from “alarmist” environmentalists could lead governments to “overreact” and make quick “knee-jerk” decisions, concentrating more government power over free people.
Again, I think we can all agree that no one wants measures implemented based on sudden reaction. All government action should be based on proper study, planning and debate, as to the best course of action. In the past, our most effective laws have been debated upon by both parties, which resulted in policies that benefited the majority of Americans.
And now we need to focus our attention on a slew of recent events occurring around the world and in the U.S., that have forced governments to impose emergency controls.
The first event that comes to mind is unfolding in southern Brazil, which has one of the world’s largest fresh water supplies. São Paulo, one of the world’s largest cities is currently under government mandated water rationing, along with numerous other cities throughout the country. Many people in these places are only receiving 2 days of water a week. The rest of the time, the Brazilian government is having the taps shut off. This has been going on for several months now due to extreme drought and historically low reservoir levels.
These are events that are unfolding right before our very eyes. Over the past few decades science has been warning us of these worsening droughts and floods. It is hard to deny that these unprecedented stories all have a common cause: Climate change perpetuated by the burning of fossil fuels.
Instead of continuing to deny the science and facts, we invite conservatives to join the discussion, to help plan the best strategy that will benefit everyone. We need Republicans and Democrats working together. If we are to effectively tackle the problems related to climate change, we need everyone’s ideas, input and participation to come up with the best solutions for everyone.
But, if we continue down a path of denial and political obstruction, we will be left with an increasing number of emergencies, where governments will have no choice but to respond with sudden knee-jerk, reactionary measures that nobody wants.
Then there is another point to be made that should make conservatives want to tackle the issue of global warming; budgets and economics. While estimates vary, the most conservative economic studies show that for every dollar spent mitigating the effects of climate change, $4 would be saved in disaster relief and health costs. That’s a 4:1 ratio, which should make any true conservative stand up and demand action.