I rarely agree with anything George Will says in print, though in the 90s I used to like to read some of his columns about baseball. But lately his opinion pieces have become almost offensive, especially when he writes about anything having to do with women or climate change. Last week he wrote an especially heinous column about colleges and universities working to become more sustainable. Without stopping to think, I dashed off a letter in response, then decided to send it in to the Dispatch. To my surprise, they published it, on the Saturday page no less which allows letters to run a little longer. Here is the text:
Concern for climate is rational
I respond to the April 18 Op-ed column “Colleges now worship at the shrine of ‘sustainability,’ ” by George F. Will.
Will needs to check in with his fellow conservatives, as well as the business community, and get the facts.
He could start with Calpers, the largest American public pension fund, which with 60 other institutional investors has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to require oil and gas companies to publish detailed analyses of the risks posed by climate change to their business models.
He could then contact the 43 CEOs of international corporations who wrote urging world leaders to reach an ambitious agreement to fight climate change.
The heads of Dow Chemical, Unilever, Philips and Ericsson are among those who signed.
Next, he could call the Risky Business Project, which studies the economic risks of climate change in the United States. It is co-chaired by Hank Paulson, treasury secretary under President George W. Bush, and includes as board members the CEO of Cargill and former CEO of Goldman Sachs.
Will should look up carbon fee and dividend, a revenue-neutral, market-based proposal to address climate change supported by conservatives such as George Shultz, secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan.
A study by the forecasting group Regional Economic Models, Inc. found it would create 2.3 million jobs.
Finally, Will needs to understand that the science of climate change is in fact settled, as 97 percent of climate scientists say it is real and caused by humans.
There is nothing wrong with colleges acting to preserve the environment for students that pay their tuition.
This is not a religious cult. It is common sense.
CATHY COWAN BECKER