Future perfect

I read stuff like this and I think, no wonder we're getting nowhere selling lower carbon initiatives. Too much writing and blogging on the topic of global warming seems to consist of urban dwellers saying to everyone else "You're just going to have to accept the fact that your life is going to suck" in their best third-grade dragon-teacher voice, and then getting surprised and angry when the people they're talking to call them selfish, elitist loons.

Of course, a large portion of my blogging on the topic also consists of saying, "Well, I'm afraid your life is going to suck", and I should strive harder to avoid sounding like I'm happy as a clam that the rest of America has to lean into the strike zone and take one for the team.  I'm not.  I think that if the planet is warming up, you're going to have to give up driving so much, and I'm going to have to give up flying, and this is not fun.  I like driving as much as you do.  I . . . well, I hate flying, and would happily never do it again.  But I like being places that aren't Washington DC.

I understand that people's desires for large houses in leafy suburbs are every bit as valid as my ardent desire to live near the peaceful hum of traffic.  Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a policy that effects everyone equally, and the painful job of being an adult is doing things we don't like because they're the morally right thing to do.  Assuming arguendo that global warming is happening, and is anthropogenic, the right thing for our society to do is try to make our economy more efficient.  Unless we can figure out a better way.  But it isn't enough to say, "we ought to figure out a better way" and go back to making the icecaps melt, as so many libertarian think tanks do; until we actually do so, we should be striving for greater efficiency.

But having said all that, if I lived somewhere where long drives were mandatory, I'd be pretty hopping mad if a lot of city dwellers not only came along and told me I was going to have to use less gas, but did so without a trace of sympathy--indeed, spoke to me as if I really deserved to suffer for some unnamed environmental sins.  It sucks.  I feel your pain, as much as an urban dweller can, anyway.  If I seem to be saying otherwise, it's not because I am gleefully wishing for your destruction, but rather because I'm trying to show you that the changes won't be quite as dreadful as you perhaps imagine--it is possible to live a happy and fulfilling life at higher densities.  But I'm sorry you can't have your druthers.