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O'REILLY: Green is good, but not if the economy fails

At the opening of the climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, this week, they showed a video of children trapped by onrushing water. One little girl was left hanging on to a tree limb. Chicken Little had to be proud.

But I am not here to run down the global warming industry; I am here to explain it. My take is that only the deity knows for sure whether the planet is in danger from warming, but the cleaner the Earth, the better. I feel that position encourages positive environmental behavior without going into hysteria land.

However, you should know that Al Gore and others attached to the warming industry are making tens of millions of dollars by investing in companies trading in new technologies. There is big money in play here, as governments are paying billions to clean up dirty industries. T. Boone Pickens has invested big money in wind energy. While that's nice, I do believe the savvy Mr. Pickens wants a return on his investment.

The recent scandal involving British warming researchers burying facts that challenge climate change is disturbing. And now we have Dr. William Gray, one of America's best hurricane forecasters, saying the fix is in: ‘‘There has been an unrelenting quarter-century of one-sided indoctrination of the Western world by the media and various scientists and governments concerning a coming carbon dioxide-induced global warming disaster. ... (This is) but the tip of a giant iceberg of a well-organized international climate warming conspiracy.''

Wow.

But it does make sense. When huge companies like General Electric invest heavily in green industries, there is serious pressure to convince the world to abandon fossil fuels and use more natural products like sun and wind. The problem is that the technology is not there yet, and conversion costs are through the roof. Thus, the bitter debate.

The right is wrong to reject global warming outright, but is correct in being skeptical. This week, Sarah Palin wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Post calling for a boycott of Copenhagen because, she believes, the whole thing is hooey. Gore quickly responded that physics proves that manmade global warming is a reality.

And the beat goes on.

All this disagreement does not help the polar bears or the little girl hanging on to the tree. Climate change is one of those issues that will never be settled beyond a reasonable doubt, no matter what Gore says. So the sane thing to do is for the world to develop cleaner energy options but not ruin economies in doing so.

The free marketplace is a great thing. If you develop a product that is better and cheaper than competing products, you will win. I'd love to heat my house with solar panels that are affordable and easy to use. So let's get that in motion.

A little girl in peril is counting on it.

Veteran TV news anchor and author Bill O'Reilly is a host on Fox News.