A couple of Thanksgiving Day editorials prompted me to offer my thanks.
The New Jersey Star-Ledger posted For progress on climate, we give thanks. The editors cited what it considered progress on climate change policy, such as the U.S.-China carbon emission-limiting agreement. The editors also trotted out their old stand-by—a call for carbon taxes or cap & trade. But this comment really caught my eye:
The recent agreement with China, which leads the world in carbon emissions, is a milestone as well, the first time that China has agreed to limit its emissions. This fight can’t be won without China and other developing countries, like India. So China’s agreement to at least stop its growth in emissions by 2030 is a turning point.
It is not enough, granted. But most of the carbon in the atmosphere today came from wealthier countries, which now have a special responsibility to clean up the mess. And China, while growing fast, remains a poor country where more than 350 million people live on less than $2 a day. It’s up the West to take the lead.
I left these comments:
“[M]ost of the carbon in the atmosphere today came from wealthier countries.”
Yes. And consider the lives of people in those countries compared to non-carbon emitting countries. People live much longer, healthier, and more rewarding lives. This is so because they emit carbon dioxide, which results from burning the fossil fuels that provide most of the energy that powers our industrialization. Today, third world countries emit more carbon than Western countries. The result? Rising prosperity and more protection from climate dangers there.
The connection between carbon emissions and prosperity is obvious.
So, this Thanksgiving, when my turn comes at the family dinner table to announce what I’m thankful for, I’ll give thanks to the men and women of the fossil fuel industry for their vital, life-enhancing work and investments. They truly represent one of the most noble industries in the history of the world.
The Hunterdon County Democrat chimed in with Even in difficult times, there is reason to give thanks. Here, the editors whined about all of the things that should allegedly get us depressed, and then urged us to focus on and give thanks to all of the good things we still have. This caught my eye:
Thanksgiving . . . is a time to give thanks. Americans are finding that increasingly harder to do. . . .
Among other things:
Americans don't believe politicians are capable of narrowing a great divide and working for the good of the country rather than special interests. Climate change weighs heavy, as do the daily repercussions of a global economy.
But failing to feel gratitude for what we do have can add another woe to the list: decreased health.
So, among other things:
We are thankful for ancestors who figured out for us delectable dishes such as apple pie, cheesecake, stuffed mushrooms, lasagna and cranberry-and-orange relish.
I left these comments:
This Thanksgiving, as always, we have a lot to be thankful for.
Take the most basic necessity of survival—food.
The food we’ll feast on today is brought to us by the farmers, seed companies, fertilizer companies, farm equipment companies, and trucking companies that deliver crops from the farmer to the processing companies, and then to the supermarkets. All of these people’s work feeds America, and we should be thankful for them. But their work all runs on energy, most of which is provided by fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas. Fossil fuels make the food producers possible, as well as the electronic media gadgets we need and enjoy; the clean running water from our faucets; electrification; the heating systems and other technologies that keep us safe from the cold and other climate dangers; the cars that get us to supermarkets and churches and bowling alleys, and that bring our families and friends together on holidays—and, of course, keeps our military strong.
So yes; this Thanksgiving, as always, we have a lot to be thankful for. But this Thanksgiving, when my turn comes at the family dinner table to announce what I’m thankful for, I’ll highlight the men and women of the fossil fuel industry for special thanks. These economic and moral heroes make most of the other things we’re thankful for possible—including our very lives. Thank you, fossil fuel industry.
A Thanksgiving Message