Yielding the Moral High Ground – Part II

In Part I, we saw how conservatives were turning their backs on the moral issue of our time-global warming.

Here we'll examine the many reasons conservatives should share ownership of this issue. Global warming and its solutions involve issues that are important to conservatives, progressives, Independents and even political agnostics. For example:

National security: "Climate change can act as a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world, and it presents significant national security challenges for the United States," 11 retired admirals and generals concluded in a security analysis last April. "The increasing risks from climate change should be addressed now because they will almost certainly get worse if we delay."

Jobs: The global need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is arguably the biggest entrepreneurial opportunity the United States has known. Billions of the world's people need access to clean energy, a market of unprecedented scale. Here in the United States, according to an analysis by the Management Information Services in Washington, D.C., energy efficiency and renewable energy can create 40 million jobs by mid-century, at skill levels stretching from entry level to the highly technical.

Competitiveness: Two of the fastest-growing renewable energy technologies today - solar electric cells and wind turbines - were invented in the United States, but we gave up our lead to Japan, Germany and Denmark - and China! We need to get it back. America remains the world's top innovator; unleashing that talent is a key to our economic security in a post-carbon world. If we want to be the global market leader in green technologies, little steps and tentative leadership won't do the job. As Sam Walton said in building his business empire: "Incrementalism is innovation's worst enemy. We don't want continuous improvement; we want radical change."

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