November 03, 2012

Please, if we are to stand a chance, we must not allow the fight for less environmental damages to be politicized

Sir, with respect of the threat of climate change, or, ‘the just plain huge environmental damages of which we do not know what consequences these will have though we might presume these will not be overly positive’, I do not agree with Clive Cookson’s conclusion that “a second Obama administration seems certain to do more [reducing carbon dioxide emissions] than a President Mitt Romney”… that is unless he considers taking a baby aspirin is a solid way to fight a tumor, “It shouldn’t have taken Sandy for US to debate science”, November 3. 

In fact given that the environmental challenge needs the cooperation of everyone if we are going to stand a chance, including by the way that of the poorest of the poor, the worst thing we can do is to politicize it, or allow the solutions to become the exclusive domain of some self defined especially conscientious high income earning groups. 

That we need accurate forecasts no one doubts; that governments are the best fitted to provide these services is probably true, but, as citizens it behooves us to always and continuously explore alternatives, like what if all money publicly spent was used for premiums to the 100 most accurate and important weather prognosis provided to the public each year… with a charge to all service providers for the 1o most important weather prognosis mistakes. 

When Cookson writes that “Mismanagement and under-investment threaten the US weather satellite programme”, I am quite sure that neither he nor I, have the faintest idea of how much of the threat corresponds to each of the two factors he lists. 

On a more personal note, for many years now, I have expressed surprise over the fact that those who seem most concerned about the environment, and thereby as I see it should be the most concerned with how scarce resources are used to meet the challenge, seem the most willing to throw resources at it with no contemplation at all given to how do that more efficiently.