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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Sunday, June 16, 2002

Don't Cry For Me, Alaska

Alaska is warming, and the consequences are dire. How dire, we ask Republican Senator Ted Stevens?:

"(He) says that no place is experiencing more startling change from rising temperatures than Alaska.

Among the consequences, Senator Stevens says, are sagging roads, crumbling villages, dead forests, catastrophic fires and possible disruption of marine wildlife.

These problems will cost Alaska hundreds of millions of dollars, he said.

"Alaska is harder hit by global climate change than any place in the world," Senator Stevens said
. "

Is this due to global warming? The Times delights and surprises us by hedging their reply:

"In Alaska, rising temperatures, whether caused by greenhouse gas emissions or nature in a prolonged mood swing, are not a topic of debate or an abstraction. Mean temperatures have risen by 5 degrees in summer and 10 degrees in winter since the 1970's, federal officials say. "

Well, no whining, Senator. If this is due to carbon dioxide and global warming, please remember that your state with its North Slope oil has been a huge beneficiary of our nation's oil habit. So don't come looking to the Lower 48 for a Federal bailout. Of course, if it's not due to global warming, but just bad luck, maybe we should help.

Not to suggest that you might have an incentive to discredit the carbon dioxide theory. You are a Republican and I am sure that your heart is pure, you objective seeker of truth, you. But now I'm wondering... hmm, is that a crack opening up in my neatly closed-off mind? Where the heck did I leave that putty and caulk?

UPDATE: Never fear, Andrew Sullivan is here, and he is not buying this. Nor are his readers.

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