The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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March 23, 2001 Issue

Unfortunate decision

We should wager other way on gasses

By Tony Staley
Compass Editor

Pres. George W. Bush's decision last week not to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants was unfortunate. Not only did it reverse a campaign promise, it could have far-reaching dire effects on the environment.

While the President had a valid concern about guarding against increases in energy costs, the no-regulation solution was not necessarily the only way to achieve that end. A better solution would have been to apply some of the projected budget surpluses - even if it means cutting back his proposed $1.6 trillion tax cut - to curb these emissions. Such an approach would take into account a community-wide approach to a problem and our responsibility as a society to do what is right.

There are legitimate differences on whether we're facing global warming. What to do? We can learn from Blaise Pascal, the 17th century French physicist, mathematician and philosopher, who decided it was wise to believe in God. Basically, he said, if we live a good life it means heaven if God exists and we're not out anything if God doesn't exist. If we don't lead a good life and there is no God, it doesn't matter, but if there is a God then we'll end up in hell.

We need to apply the same logic to global warming. It is irresponsible to live as though it's not even a possibility.

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