George Schultz was Secretary of State for Ronald Reagan’s administration from 1982 to 1989.
I voted against Reagan twice, having lived in California while he was governor and not being impressed with the results. Reagan went on to become a conservative hero. George Schultz is one of the reasons why.
Here’s a picture of him with a friend:
From Wikipedia: “George Pratt Shultz (born December 13, 1920) is an American economist, statesman, and businessman. He served as the United States Secretary of Labor from 1969 to 1970, as the director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1970 to 1972, as theU.S. Secretary of the Treasury from 1972 to 1974, and as the U.S. Secretary of State from 1982 to 1989. Before entering politics, he was professor of economics at MIT and the University of Chicago, serving as Dean of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business from 1962 to 1969. Between 1974 and 1982, Shultz was an executive at Bechtel, eventually becoming the firm’s president. He is currently a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.“
George P. Schultz has an article in the Washington Post about climate change. (Thanks, Marty, for bringing it to our attention.) It is perhaps the most cogent and common-sensical article I have read about the subject this year (sadly including my own writings… sigh…)
Schultz is not a starry-eyed liberal. Heck, he’s now with the Hoover Institution. He’s a hard-nosed economist, pragmatic and solutions-oriented.
As a Lukewarmer, most of my ‘opinion’ pieces are about the harm done to the goal of understanding climate and climate change by lobbyists and NGOs who exaggerate the threat of CO2 and focus on it to the exclusion of all else.
Often lost in my tweaking the noses of these people (who very badly need their noses tweaked) is the very real fact that the globe is warming and despite a recent ‘stall’ (as James Hansen characterized it), there is no indication that our planet’s climate is ready to cool off.
Our changes to land cover, the black carbon from our smokestacks, our production of cement, all are causing artificial changes to our climate.
So are our emissions of CO2.
Even with lower calculations of sensitivity of our atmosphere to a doubling of the concentrations of CO2, our emissions, added to our other impacts on the climate, point towards a problematic future–not a Waterworld, not a catastrophe, but an expensive and time consuming adaptation to new conditions.
It could cost trillions of dollars over the course of this century.
As Schultz points out in his article, there are things we could do to lessen our impact on the climate and its subsequent impact on our children’s lives.
We could spend more on research into energy storage and distribution. We could help China get scrubbers on all their coal plants. We could remove many–even most–of the regulations for nuclear power plants and settle on a standard design allowing mass production.
Over there in the U.S. (I’m writing from Taipei), many have reduced the climate conversation to a partisan political issue–and there’s no doubt that part of the impact of Schultz’s article stems from his stature, but also from his standing on the conservative side of the political fence.
Those opposed to any action on climate change who also happen to be Republicans, if your opinion on this issue is based on study of the climate, I have no problem with you. However, for those who side with the skeptics because they are true conservatives or anti-Democrats, I urge you to at least see what some on your side of the fence have to say.