DC Trawler

Global warming is just like Sputnik, when you don’t think about it

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Let’s see if you’re smart enough to follow this argument from Russ Blinch, writing at HuffPo:

Is the United States facing another Sputnik moment and will it rise to the challenge?

In 1957 the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world’s first earth orbiting satellite, touching off a tsunami of concerns that the Communists were winning the space race. But the United States pulled together as a nation with big investments in its future that eventually sparked technological advances, including the Internet.

President Barack Obama is set to announce new measures on Tuesday to battle climate change in what many are hoping will be a big, broad plan that will stand as his legacy for his final years in office…

Obama will no doubt outline how the planet is in crisis from global warming, which it is. But he also needs to sell Americans on how tough new standards for carbon polluters can lead to innovation in the broader economy. And in his Sputnik moment, he needs to say the United States risks falling behind its modern-day competitor, China, if it does not act.

Blinch, please. There’s one big difference between the space race and the global-warming race:

Space exists.

It’s not a computer model. We’ve been there. We’ve seen it. That’s settled science.

And I’m not worried about disagreeing with Obama about this publicly. I’ve been saying the same thing about globalwarmingclimatechange in phone and e-mail conversations for years, so he knows my opinion already.

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Jim Treacher