To the Editor:
When did niceness become a scare commodity?
In Avinash Ghandi’s scathing critique of my article on global warming, he chides me for not doing my research on the issue. As a sophomore at Yale with nine classes under his belt, Ghandi’s audacity to talk down to me is truly surprising. He seems to have missed the economic nature of my proposal, as well as the humor. (He was supposed to imagine polar bears in swimming lessons wearing bathing suits with unflattering large flower prints. Oh well.)
While I did not learn environmental economics from a member of the Awesome Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, I certainly learned it from an esteemed colleague of theirs named Robert Mendelsohn. A quick bit of research shows countless papers and books that reference the reports of that committee with Mendelsohn side by side. So maybe he can make outrageous claims in tawdry rags like The New York Times — like when he postulates that global warming won’t drown all United States citizens in the next 30 years as the polar ice caps melt. Unlike other panic mongers might have us believe.
And it is the alarmism that these panic-mongers deal in that was the point of my article. By creating an environment of sensationalism instead of a dialogue on facts, they do a disservice to the cause. If Ghandi had read my article (which I hope he would before publishing such a scornful letter) he would notice that my issue was with the leadership of the climate change movement promoting a clueless panic rather than actually giving us straight facts. Now that it is seasonably cold outside, where is your precious Al Gore now?
In closing, let me remind everyone that global warming is a real threat that we need to take seriously, but the solution isn’t slideshows, committees or canvas totes. It is each of us taking responsibility to conserve energy and recycle. Just being a decent person will make an impact. Then just kick back and relax as technology comes to save the day (but know that while doing so you are “sadly naive,” according to some …)
Brian C. Thompson
Thompson is a senior in Branford College. He is a staff columnist for the News.