Speaking on CNN's Crossfire last night, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich argued that a hotter planet may be just fine — because dinosaurs and perpetual Caribbean vacations.
Describing himself as an "amateur paleontologist," [ahem] Gingrich rhetorically asked Crossfire co-panelist Van Jones what the right temperature of the planet should be.
"Assume for a minute that we have the capacity to actually decide the planet's temperature," he said. "What kind of hubris does it take to say, 'I know exactly what this planet's temperature ought to be and I'm going to manage it to that effect?'"
Jones responded by stating he would prefer to see the Earth's temperature remain within the average that it has been for the last 10,000 years of human civilization, adding that humanity should explore alternatives to the use of carbon-based fuels.
"The problem is, if we put the foot on the accelerator with this experiment we're doing — we're the only planet that we know — and we're wrong, and we end up cooking the planet, that's a bad outcome you can't recover from," Jones said. He also pointed out that humanity did not exist in that era.
To which Gingrich responded: "The age of the dinosaurs was dramatically warmer than this is right now and it didn't cook the planet," Gingrich responded. "In fact, life was fine." He also said that Minnesotans escaping to the Caribbean during this current frigid winter shows that "slightly warmer wouldn't be a crisis."
So there you have it. Forget about superstorms, mass extinctions, rising sea levels, and the spread of tropical diseases. And let's conveniently ignore the fact that we're dealing with anthropogenic global warming — an unprecedented global phenomenon that could produce completely unpredictable and catastrophic results.
[h/t Raw Story]