A Republican meteorologist looks at climate change. By Paul Douglas Paul Douglas, a Minnesota meteorologist and author, writes a regular weather feature in the Star Tribune.
This article first appeared Thursday on the Huffington Post. I'm going to tell you something that my Republican friends are loath to admit out loud: climate change is real. I'm a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment and sound science. I am not a climate scientist. To complicate matters I'm in a small, frustrated and endangered minority: a Republican deeply concerned about the environmental sacrifices some are asking us to make to keep our economy powered-up. Weather 2.0.: "It's a new atmosphere floating overhead. " These are the Dog Days of March. You can't prove that any one of Barry Bond's 762 home runs was sparked by (alleged) steroid use.
Here's what I suspect: the patient is running a slight fever. Some TV meteorologists, professionals skilled at predicting short-term weather, are still in denial. If fossil fuel subsidies were distributed to every person, we’d each get $58/year. Globally, every year fossil fuels get six times as much money in subsidies than renewable energy.
Given a world population of around 7 billion, that means every man woman and child on the planet is spending an average of $58 a year to prop this industry up, but only around $9 to support renewables. That might not sound like a lot, but keep in mind that 2 billion people on this planet live on less than $2 a day — to them, it’s a month’s wages. Here’s an idea: Instead of giving all that money to fossil fuel companies who are currently posting record profits, why not simply send everybody a check for that amount?
To paraphrase Dead Prez, “F**k subsidies — we say reparations.”