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I am deeply grateful that there is a "Speaking of Faith" and likewise very thankful for the efforts of Krista Tippett and her producer and staff who make the show happen, and the organizations who empower it financially.


The excellence of knowledge in this morning’s Speaking of Faith (about Global Warming) was matched only by the guest’s (Bill McKibben) excellence in arrogance when recommending that people think smaller and find greater comfort and inner gratification in the place they live … and Googling (yes: using Google) to visit places that might otherwise enrich their lives … rather than burning carbon fuel (directly or indirectly) to go there.

That kind of solution is both shameful and the ultimate intellectual cop-out.

It may work great for the fortunate few living in Middlebury Vermont who by the luck of the draw were born into families and social networks that allowed them to understand and acquire the essential tools for making smart choices on how to enrich their life. I’m just as lucky (live in Washington, D.C., though).

In point of fact, McKibben’s solution, so logical in its wording, is SO out of touch with the lives of people living in Anacostia or East St Louis or parts of Oakland - and in so many other places in America no less the world - as to defy any notion that its roots lie in REALISTIC rational, thoughtful, and empathetic thinking.

Perhaps Mr. McKibben should live with a broken family in East St Louis or Detroit for a year … on the same budget they do. He might then better meet the moral and ethical challenge of formulating a cognitive solution that works for more than just us well-off, too-often-white select few.

Global warming is SUCH a critical issue, one that cries out for multiple solutions big (Copenhagen) and small (how the interests of real live people living in my city will be served directly). Those tasks may be very hard to do, especially the second one. But a solution that fails to solve the toughest objective and instead revels in solving the easier ones (no matter how "tough" they are) is no solution at all.

Nor is delivering up prescriptions that work in the abstract but not where the rubber meets the road for most people.

Such remedies are instead no more than a slap in the face of not-so-lucky people who WOULD respond, if only they were offered (or made a part of designing) tools that were realistically relevant to their actual lives.