A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!
If you stop in at the Town Square, you'll find more than one discussion clearly dividing members of one church against members of another.
I'm talking about the Church of Global Warming versus the Church of Free Enterprise. I wish I could claim credit for that idea, but it belongs to conservative columnist Cal Thomas, who says they are both cults. And "Cultists," he reminds us, "never allow contrary evidence to challenge their beliefs."
Thomas thinks Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize is a bit of a mockery, if not an abomination. For one thing, Gore violates his own small carbon footprint ideas through extravagant personal use of fuels for transportation. The global warming fundamentalists, Thomas says, want to control others through the power of government. And the science is off as well, he claims, citing a British court finding of nine scientific errors in the film "An Inconvenient Truth."
That's sounding a little religious, too. The 12 Apostles. The 95 Theses. The 10 Commandments. The 7 Deadly Sins. The 9 Egregious Errors.
But I digress. In the Town Square discussion are a few true believers in the Gospel According to Gore. There are a few true believers in the Gospel of Rush Limbaugh.
You've all heard the basic arguments on both sides. One side warns the end of the earth's climate is at hand, the other warns that the end of personal freedom looms. Those farthest out on the Limbaugh Limb actually argue that global warming is not only the law of Nature or God, but it's a Good Thing. After all, it allows late backyard barbecue and may turn Tosa into the next winter leisure frontier.
Thomas doesn't tip his hat to the conservatives, however. He says that members of that church missing a great opportunity to join forces to fight a battle against a more universally acknowledged evil: reliance on foreign oil.
If we would launch an energy independence program with the intensity of a Marshall Plan for Europe, or a man-on-the-moon project, to liberate ourselves from the petroleum despots by developing synthetic fuels and finding new energy sources closer to home -- especially nuclear power -- we could strike a blow against the Islamofascists more damaging than bombs and bullets.
This will require leadership at the highest level, and it will require a conservative of sufficient stature not to be labeled a compromiser or a fool. Anyone out there who meets the test? And would Al Gore bring his legions with him to the table?
Most liberals will balk at the nuclear power notion, and maybe even synthetic fuels. But those aren't the only options. What a great thing it would be to come together to find a few big steps we could all take together.
Meanwhile, the Town Square discussion has a number of moderate voices. JiveTurkey wrote:
I think whether global warming is man made or natural is a debate that will go one forever. But it is an issue that we and more importantly our kids are going to need to deal with. If it is just some sort of natural cycle that's fine, but so was the ice age and look what that did. It's an issue that the whole world will have to deal with and I do believe that Al Gore did raise people's awareness that there is a global issue at hand.
Sometimes we talk about meeting face-to-face across a table with coffee and donuts. Anyone interested in a sort of ecumenical council to talk about common ground on big issues?
No food fights allowed.