Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Another call for Optimisim

I think one of the main issues with trying to find solutions to problems is that very often, when you point out a problem, people think you're being overly negative and that the problem will work itself out before a crisis actually happens. I think that these people feel that by calling it a crisis before it clearly becomes one is risky and foolish. Yet in the problems we face today, given the scale of the system, we can't always afford to wait and see.

Al Gore has been on a campaign to bring more awareness about the threat of global warming for many years now. While, as a scientist I know that there is most definitely a growing possibility of a crisis tens of years into the future, I also have concerns about making the crisis real before its time. Part of the reason is because of the above perception, which helps skeptics dismiss the problem of global warming simply because the indicators being used are still too uncertain, even in spite of the mounting evidence.

Yet waiting until we can be certain is not only even more foolish, it misses out on a very real opportunity. Dealing with global warming is an opportunity to be forward thinking, an opportunity to be a leader, and perhaps more attractive to critics; an opportunity to make a ton of money.

Al Gore has retooled his message to try and bring this kind of optimism to the fore, and while it will likely still be lost on many, I thought it was very well done. I also thought it was interesting since it taps into the same vein of hope that Obama has sought out. See for yourself below.

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