Reporter's Note: The president went to Denmark and says he got a good deal on global climate change. I once went to Mexico and got a hammock for five dollars! And considering all the snow on the east coast, a hammock in Mexico sounds pretty good right now. Anyway, here’s my daily letter to the White House.
Tom Foreman | BIO
Dear Mr. President,
Forgive me, but I can’t help laughing over the idea that Nancy Pelosi had to leave the global warming summit early because a major snowstorm is bearing down on D.C. I know that this is a big, serious issue and all, but you’ve got to admit that is some fine irony. These are the things that make me believe God has a sense of humor.
I’m not sure what to make of your announcement of a “meaningful” deal with China and all the others on the climate over there in Copenhagen. Some people are giving you pats on the back, and others are saying it’s a sham. I have to admit it sounds kind of vague, but what do I know? Seems like the only way any of us will know for sure is to wait thirty years and see where we stand. Kind of like marriage.
I was once told that a hummingbird’s metabolism is so fast, that we appear to that little critter to be moving as slowly as a cloud…or an act of Congress. That’s how they can fly away from us so easily. Even when we run up, we look like enthusiastic glaciers. I don’t know if it’s really true. If I ever meet a talking hummingbird, I’ll ask.
In the meantime, I have been thinking about how that notion applies to a lot of issues we face. Global climate change, the aging of the population, the deficit, the management changes for the Washington Redskins; no matter how fast these matters may be moving on the grand stage of history…they appear to be absolutely creeping on the human scale. And of course that’s your whole problem. It’s just way too easy to push off dealing with long-term issues, when we have pressing short-term ones staring us in the face. Have you ever tried to discuss retirement planning with a 19 year old who wants lunch?
You asked for advice long ago, and that’s mine for today: For as much as you feel that global warming is an urgent matter; you need to remember that not even everyone who believes in the science of it, necessarily thinks we have to take action immediately. They’re hummingbirds, and they see the trouble creeping up on us with plenty of time ahead in which it can be addressed. They are on your side, but be careful. If you sound the alarm too loudly suggesting that all is lost unless we do something today, then what reason would they have to pay attention tomorrow?
I presume as you read this I will be trapped by snow, like a marmot in the Yukon. But I assure you, I won’t be trapped for long. Have cross-country skis, will travel! Call if you get a moment…guess who has a new Blackberry?
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