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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Global Warming: The Real Issue Is Future Of Energy

Proper analysis of a situation, whether as a lawyer analyzing or investigating a situation or as a business analyst trying to negotiate a deal, requires getting at the hidden but true motives of the target. You see, the best arguments across a conference room table or even in the courtroom are the ones which identify and then address the actual -- and often intentionally well-hidden -- issue at stake.

The global warming issue is no different. 

The global warming debate -- and a degree of hysteria on both sides -- is not really about whether climate change is occurring or likely to occur as predicted. 

The paradigm holding that global warming has occurred, is continuing and is even accelerating (and this is all open to much legitimate debate) is really about justifying restrictions on the exploration for, production of and use of fossil fuels, on the premise that fossil fuel use is causing global warming.  One can reasonably predict the issue will lead to the eventual ban on -- or confiscation of -- fossil fuels. Such goals may even be the "end game" of the environmental crowd arguing that global warming has occurred.  

My point here is not to take a stance either for or against the global warming argument. It is to question why we are hearing little about the true concern that bedevils industrial society: the gradual depletion (at whatever rate) of a nonrenewable resource upon which the world is increasingly dependent. Raise your hand if you remember the last time you heard anyone talk about subjects such as the "peak oil" theory. Better yet, ask someone to define the theory. 

Once you identify the real issue (if you agree), then you see that the global warming debate for its true role in the larger, the real and the frankly quite difficult debate that industrial economies have yet to address.

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