Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Paris Climate Accords

I want to talk to my conservative friends today. Especially Trump supporters. I want to talk about Virtue. 

There is an old fable that speaks directly to the virtue that I want to address and it is about ants and a grasshopper. I bet you remember it.

All during the spring and summer, the ants are busily working for the coming winter and the grasshopper plays and sings the whole while. Neither understands why the other side acts the way they do. In the end, winter comes and the grasshopper is in trouble.

The lesson Aesop was trying to convey is that you should prepare for the bad times while you are in the good times. This is about as conservative a virtue as you can find, I think. I mean, isn't that how rich people get rich? They treat money as scarce even when it isn't. Warren Buffett famously eats McDonalds every morning and only treats himself to the extra patties if the market is up.  That's the best way to build wealth.  Treat the resource as scarce even in times of plenty.

This is where we are with the environment.  It seems like times of plenty, but we know winter is coming. We cannot treat our environment as though there will always be plenty of reserve for our pollution and our consumption. We need to be virtuous stewards of our resources. Pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords is the move of a grasshopper who cannot believe that winter will ever come.  Even if it doesn't, which I believe it will, shouldn't we be growing our reserves wisely instead of consuming it all now?

Now, more than ever, we need our virtue at the forefront. Let our leaders know we expect them to be virtuous if they want to lead us. 

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