I have three items for my write-up today on A Contract with the Earth, by Newt Gingrich and Terry Maple.
1. Why do Newt and Maple believe that we should be concerned about the environment? One reason is that the earth and its biodiversity are treasures that provide human beings with "inspiration, knowledge, and perspective" (page xi). Second, Newt states on page xv that our Creator provided us with the earth, and so there is some religious motivation for Newt's environmentalism. A third reason is that lives are endangered when the air and the water are not clean. Newt appears to be skeptical about doomsday scenarios, for he criticizes science having a political agenda, which I interpret to be a swipe against scientists who lobby about climate change. But Newt and Maple do acknowledge that a bad environment impoverishes our lives and our heath, spiritually and physically.
2. On page 11, Newt and Maple propose modifying fossil fuels for carbon recycling. I don't entirely know what this means, for I thought that fossil fuels were non-renewable. But this may be relevant. This also is probably what Newt and Maple have in mind.3. So far, Newt and Maple emphasize incentivizing the private development of technology that can help the environment. I guess my question is this: Can the government encourage private businesses to do something that they either do not want to do, or that they're not overly enthusiastic about doing? My impression is that the enthusiasm for green technology in the private sector is not entirely there, which may be why, if we want clean and green technology, we should look to the government to create it. Any thoughts on this?