Tuesday, December 18, 2012

UC Berkeley professor: Ignoring Global Warming a "Sin" Akin to Manslaughter

Professor: Ignoring Global Warming Akin to Manslaughter
A prominent UC Berkeley professor recently linked ignoring global warming with watching people die during a guest seminar at Ohio State University.

Citing monsoons and other extreme weather phenomenon on the other side of the globe, Kirk Smith, a global environmental health professor, said climate change is “a moral issue.”

Smith told an anecdote to the audience of a professor who ignores a drowning child on campus as he rushes to teach a class. He then tells his students about ignoring the child, and they are aghast. Later at home, the hypothetical professor opens his mail and throws away a letter from the United Nation’s Children Fund.

“No one thinks that is immoral, and why not,” Smith said of throwing away the UNICEF letter. “What’s the moral distinction? … Today climate change is a sin of omission.”

What’s more, Smith argued, those who ignore global warming and climate change are not just guilty of a sin of omission, they’re also teetering on the verge of a sin of commission.

“Every time I come back from a site in the Third World, and a $16 pizza would feed a family in Guatemala for an entire month … we’re not going and shooting kids in the head, but we are moving in the distinction a bit to the commission side,” he said.
Ignoring Global Warming = Manslaughter? - YouTube
[At the 50-second mark in this video, a young woman says "if the entire planet burns up in 10 years, it's not going to matter what your tax rate is"]

1 comment:

JonJ said...

It's kind of hard NOT to 'ignore' someone who hasn't been around for fifteen years.