Michael Gerson--Temptation and Virtues
Hope on Climate Change? Here's Why
By Michael Gerson Wednesday, August 15, 2007; A11
In the field of environmentalism -- where brows tend to be frozen in furrow and despair is a professional credential -- Gregg Easterbrook of the Brookings Institution is notable for his optimism. And one cause of his sunniness is smog in Los Angeles.
In 1975, Los Angeles exceeded the ozone standard 192 days out of the year -- meaning the choking smog was so bad that children, the elderly and the infirm were better off avoiding the risky practice of outdoor breathing. In 2005, the ozone standard was exceeded on just 27 days. Los Angeles has had 30 years of consistent improvement in reducing smog.
As conservatives would expect, these gains were largely the result of technology -- the catalytic converter in automobiles and reformulated gasoline -- and not by pedaling to work or undoing the Industrial Revolution. Smog was reduced mainly by innovation, not austerity.
Hysteria on the environment is a liberal temptation. Prudence, however, remains a conservative virtue, and it requires the issue of warming to be addressed. ______________________________________________________________________ The Washington Post has, for reasons absolutely unknown (other than Gersons self-aggrandizing stint as a Bush speech writer), given this twit a National forum. Hysteria is liberal--prudence conservative. A new low for WaPo's sense of editorial balance.