Conversation with Jeff in Cambridge

I met Jeff while I was walking along the Charles River path in Cambridge. He is a self described conservative Republican.

Jeff: So what are you up to?

David: I’m walking across the country to raise awareness about climate change. I think it’s become too partisan in the past few years. Prior to 2008, Republicans like John McCain and Newt Gingrich were working with Democrats to find solutions to climate change. Now it seems that no Republican can get re-elected if he/she even mentions that climate change might be a problem worth considering. The discussion of climate change is almost non-existent in the political arena.

Jeff: But you know the Democrats have done their part to stifle the discussion of climate change. They keep saying that the debate is over.

David: I agree with you that’s a problem. From a scientific perspective the debate should never be over. We will always need scientific debatet closer to the truth. But I think people have confused scientific debate with the need to act on the evidence we have. A recent study of over 10,000 scientific papers found that about 97% of those papers agreed that climate change is a real problem and that it is human caused. That seems like enough evidence that we should be addressing ways to remedy the problem.

Jeff: So you’re a liberal?

David: I think it’s too bad that we have labels like ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’. If I told you I was a ‘liberal’ you would assume many things about me all at once and you would assume you know my stands on a large number of issues. But it’s not as simple as that.

Jeff: It’s the same with the term ‘conservative’. I am ‘conservative’ but that doesn’t mean I agree with all of the ‘conservative’ positions. Unlike many ‘conservatives’, I do think that climate change is a problem.

I like what you’re doing. I’ll talk with some of my friends about it. Good luck to you.

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