It's my opinion that since we can't go back, the only way out of this mess is forward--that is to say, new technology is our only hope. The voice in the media that most closely coincides with my views on the environment is, ironically, Robert Samuelson. (I say ironically because I disagree with him on almost everything else.)
In the wake of the recent international report on global warming, Samuelson has taken the opportunity to once again inject some much-needed sanity into the debate:
The dirty secret about global warming is this: We have no solution. About 80 percent of the world's energy comes from fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas), the main sources of man-made greenhouse gases. Energy use sustains economic growth, which -- in all modern societies -- buttresses political and social stability. Until we can replace fossil fuels, or find practical ways to capture their emissions, governments will not sanction the deep energy cuts that would truly affect global warming.
Considering this reality, you should treat the pious exhortations to "do something'' with skepticism, disbelief or contempt. These pronouncements are (take your pick) naive, self-interested, misinformed, stupid or dishonest. Politicians mainly want to be seen as reducing global warming when they're not. Companies want to polish their images and exploit markets created by new environmental regulations.
Read the whole thing.