Yesterday, I experienced the full Kathleen Parker effect of lowered public discourse in the responses to my entry about Palin's latest gaffe, saying that the cause of global warming "Kinda doesn't matter." Readers suggested that I was a hack for picking on Palin for a phrase that, in the words of reader Captain America, was "the way normal people talk—Mom's [sic] not politicians."
Many commenters agreed with Palin that the cause of global warming didn't matter. But here's why it does. Whether you agree with studies about global warming or not, the cause of the problem—and of any problem that Palin will face in office—will be what determines the solution. Will a lackadaisical attitude about a problem facing our country bode well for the other challenges she may face? What will she take seriously? These are all legitimate questions to ask of someone running for public office. Other bloggers have addressed why the cause of global warming kinda matters, too.
Said Eoin O'Carroll from the Christian Science Monitor: "If greenhouse gas emissions are changing the earth's climate, then efforts to protect ourselves from the effects of climate change should include curbing these emissions. If global warming is caused only by natural cycles, then curbing emissions will do nothing and humanity should focus on adaptation."
Said Climate Progress: "It kind of does matter whether man's activities are to blame or not, because, you know, if we're not the cause then we're, kind of, not the solution either."
Said Dan Shapely from the Daily Green: "If we're causing it, we can solve it. If it's natural and cyclical, we can't. Believing that our influence on the climate is nonexistent, insignificant or uncertain is wrong, if you believe in science—that is, if you believe in repeatedly testing a hypothesis with real-world experiments until scientists agree that they have defined a theory that explains the world and can't be disproven by further experiments."