By Paul Quigg, columnist
I have chosen the word “Tomorrow” for my column’s title because I believe in tomorrow. I am an optimist for many reasons, but mainly because globally humanities condition has improved by leaps and bounds during my long lifetime. The prognosticators of impending doom have been wrong to such a degree that their predictions are ignored by rational thinkers.
I have been deeply involved in the environmental movement since the late 1960’s, striving to consider the many sides of the issues involved. Over the years I have hiked, jogged, climbed, skied, paddled and floated on several continents.
I study findings of the United Nation Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(UNIPCC), the International Energy Agency(IEA), the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Agency(EIA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency(NOAA), World Meteorological Organization(WMO), and other government entities. I don’t have any time for deniers because they have nothing to offer.
The earth is warming and we have contributed to that warming and we will continue to contribute to the warming because there are not enough alternative, non-polluting fuels to replace our fossil fuels. The global economy and our daily needs are energized by the burning of fossil fuels, and we will not give them up.
How will this situation be resolved and what will the future be like? I don’t know and anybody who says they do is only speculating. The climate activists and the deniers are both pursuing their own agendas, with the activists winning the media consensus, but predictions of conditions 50, 75 or 100 years in the future are not worth the paper they are printed on. The complexity of future events, the complexity of future climate, any clue of future technological discoveries, medical discoveries, pandemics, etc. are beyond human comprehension.
In future columns I will try to pick a current environmental concern and express my opinion of its validity and present some background on its evolution and possible future.
Mr. Quigg, a University of Virginia graduate and resident of Luray, has practiced architecture in the Mid-Atlantic region since 1962. As a lifelong environmentalist, in the 70’s he was appalled at the polluted air and water and has dedicated much of his time since in studying and commenting on the environment. He has been published in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and other publications.