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MCCULLOUGH: Easier to cast blame than find solution to global warming.

Nate McCullough

Nate McCullough

Easier to cast blame than find solution to global warming

Earlier in the summer, Romney said he believed humans had some effect on climate change. Wednesday, he decided eh, not so much.

Romney said he wasn't sure that people were to blame, and then used that as a segue into talking about the number politicians love to throw around these days -- trillion.

"What I'm not willing to do is spend trillions of dollars on something I don't know the answer to," Romney told a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, meaning he is against limiting emissions and other measures aimed at curbing global warming. Romney's goal is seemingly two-fold: 1) Draw voters who don't believe in global warming and 2) draw voters who wish government would quit spending trillions of dollars, which is nearly everybody.Why global warming is a political football is no mystery, of course. Added regulation and expense in the name of the environment cut into profits, so the GOP -- defender of big business -- has to toe the line when it comes to denying global warming and preventing regulators from robbing a red cent from corporations.On the flip side, the Democrats -- defenders of Mother Earth -- seemingly won't be happy until everyone is powering their cars with one of the Professor's contraptions from Gilligan's Island.

A solution, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle. But to get to a solution, we have to agree on a few things first:

1) The world is getting hotter and it has been for years. This part can not be argued. Scientific study after scientific study reports the same thing, and we have the data to prove it. Also, when I walk outside, I start to melt.

OK, maybe I don't, but the polar ice caps did. And this anecdote is true: When I was a kid, by the middle of September you were wearing a jacket to school, and not just because your mother thought you would freeze to death if you didn't. You needed it. Nowadays no one puts their short britches away until at least October, and sometimes it's November.2) Carbon emissions are bad for our atmosphere. Ever sit behind a big truck belching smoke at a red light and have that sucked into your car's air conditioning? And what's the first thing you did for relief? You rolled down the window. Well, there are millions of cubic tons of that crud going into our atmosphere every year, trapping more heat, and the earth doesn't have any windows to roll down.3) Oil will eventually run out. It's another fact. The stuff that runs all of our machines is a finite resource. Ten, 20, 50 years -- at some time in the future, it will dry up. And then we'll have to find something else to use for fuel.

4) The economy is, shall we say, a mess.

So, if we can agree that all those things are true, isn't it kind of silly to continue to argue about whose fault it is that it's getting hotter every year? Wouldn't the more prudent move be to create the proper economic incentives for corporations to find alternatives to oil, the kind of incentives that actually get the players with the big money to spend millions on research in hopes of reaping billions in profit later on? That's the kind of spending that creates jobs, which helps the economy. And finding the alternatives would reduce or eliminate emissions, which would in turn (hopefully) bring global temperatures down.We can do those things, or we can spend more time pointing fingers. Unfortunately, I'm fairly certain which one the politicians will do.

Email Nate McCullough at nate.mccullough@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.