Mark Trahant: The global warming debate
"If you want to orient yourself toward the future, read The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its Fourth Assessment Report Summary for Policymakers. The authors, more than 60 top climate scientists from around the world, are crafting definitions.

"Climate change in IPCC usage refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity," the report says.

This is an area of outright agreement. The climate is changing. The question of the cause for the change -- our old "why" -- has some relevance, mainly because it may influence how we and our governments act in the future. The real question for governments over the next century is a simple one: How much should we spend trying to reduce or delay human impact on the climate versus how much of our resources ought to be dedicated to what the IPCC calls "adaptive capacity" or "the ability of a system to adjust to climate change ... to moderate potential damages, to take advantage of opportunities or to cope with consequences."

We will need both mitigation and adaptation. Our only choice is the right balance to our approach and how fast we go.

But before we figure that out, the global warming debate -- the political one, not the scientific one -- has to move beyond slogans. We need to engage this democracy and talk about the next century, opening up ways for people to thoroughly explore our prospects, test scenarios and debate alternatives."

Get the Story:
Debate is between mitigating or adapting (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 4/15)

More Mark Trahant:
Mark Trahant: America's cycles of boom and bust (4/9)
Mark Trahant: Spring cleaning for the government (3/26)
Mark Trahant: The state of the changing news media (3/19)
Mark Trahant: Mismanagement of the Indian trust (3/12)
Mark Trahant: More gloomy prospects for economy (3/5)
Mark Trahant: An important vote for Seattle (2/26)
Mark Trahant: America headed toward credit meltdown (2/19)
Mark Trahant: Doom and gloom on global warming (2/12)
Mark Trahant: Americans unsettled over economy (2/5)
Mark Trahant: Too hard to ignore global warming (1/22)
Mark Trahant: Women finally take their place (1/15)
Mark Trahant: Raise taxes to pay for war in Iraq (1/8)
Mark Trahant: President Gerald Ford and Indian health (1/2)
Mark Trahant: Congress finds time to do nothing (12/11)
Mark Trahant: Wake up America and smell the bills (12/4)
Mark Trahant: States seek 'share' of tribal cash (11/20)
Mark Trahant: Critics wrong on affirmative action (11/06)
Mark Trahant: Yet another column on economics (10/30)
Mark Trahant: Voters look at the bigger picture (10/23)
Mark Trahant: Governments lie because politicians lie (10/16)
Mark Trahant: Americans know spending out of control (10/9)
Mark Trahant: Washington ignores huge debt (10/2)
Mark Trahant: Generation tested by challenges (9/25)
Mark Trahant: The bubble bursts on our credit (9/18)
Mark Trahant: Forget the rethoric about Iran (9/11)
Mark Trahant: Everyone can't be that good (9/5)
Mark Trahant: Immigration reform only solution (8/28)
Mark Trahant: What if scenarios of terror attacks (8/21)
Mark Trahant: Finding common ground on the issues (8/14)
Mark Trahant: A government program that works??? (8/7)
Mark Trahant: The anxious state of the economy (7/31)
Mark Trahant: An Internet-based democracy (7/24)
Mark Trahant: It's time for the U.S. to keep its word (7/17)
Mark Trahant: Immigration a solution for work force (7/10)
Mark Trahant: No economic paradise in America (06/12)
Mark Trahant: What went wrong at Fannie Mae? (6/5)
Mark Trahant: A hip, cool place in Washington DC (5/29)
Mark Trahant: Border fence a bad idea for U.S. (5/22)
Mark Trahant: It's time for U.S. and Iran to talk (5/15)
Mark Trahant: High gas prices a wake-up call to America (5/8)
Mark Trahant: Stark choices define American politics (5/1)
Mark Trahant: Hope for the best, plan for the worst (4/24)
Trahant: We should decide how our taxes are spent (4/17)
Mark Trahant: Entering the immigration debate (4/3)
Mark Trahant: America is a blending of cultures (3/27)
Mark Trahant: Unsaid debates dominate agenda (3/20)
Mark Trahant: Bush and human rights in Pakistan (3/13)
Mark Trahant: Hank Adams, Indian visionary (3/6)
Mark Trahant: Health care spending on the rise (2/27)
Mark Trahant: Future taxpayers will cough up dough (2/13)
Mark Trahant: Sooner or later, America will go broke (2/6)
Mark Trahant: Bush will tell us everything is great (1/30)
Mark Trahant: Abramoff turning into blame the Indians (1/23)
Mark Trahant: Cultural changes come, some slowly (1/9)
Mark Trahant: Starting new year off with correction (1/4)
Mark Trahant: How about a coin for Vine Deloria? (12/19)
Mark Trahant: The really great state of the economy (12/12)
Mark Trahant: America's numbers don't add up (12/5)
Mark Trahant: Few writers as powerful as Deloria (11/21)
Mark Trahant: Media sometimes isn't fair (11/14)
Mark Trahant: No one wants to talk about immigration (11/7)
Mark Trahant: The ultimate power of the Fed (10/31)
Mark Trahant: Is there no trust in the government? (10/24)
Mark Trahant: The next pick for Federal Reserve job (10/10)
Mark Trahant: I was wrong about voting by mail (9/26)
Mark Trahant: Rebuilding New Orleans, a unique city (9/19)
Mark Trahant: Katrina testing limits of charity (9/12)
Mark Trahant: Democracy an unfinished experiment (08/29)
Mark Trahant: You write the news, you pick it (8/15)
Mark Trahant: Tribal stories don't matter to science (8/8)
Mark Trahant: Congress focuses on real issues (8/1)
Mark Trahant: Judicial debate conceals big issue (7/25)
Mark Trahant: Wasting time at work can be productive (7/18)
Mark Trahant: Appoint Indian to U.S. Supreme Court (7/11)
Mark Trahant: Readers offer junk mail solutions (06/20)
Mark Trahant: Junk mail invades home, office (6/13)
Mark Trahant: Social Security needs new compact (6/6)
Mark Trahant: Readers upset over military cartoon (5/30)
Mark Trahant: Healing the world with totem poles (5/23)
Mark Trahant: We're all as young as we feel (5/16)
Mark Trahant: Social Security debate masks failures (5/9)
Mark Trahant: Public sees bias in the news media (5/2)
Mark Trahant: Few salmon left for tribal ceremonies (4/25)
Mark Trahant: Tax system unfair and complicated (4/18)
Mark Trahant: Our nation must pay its own tax bill (4/11)
Mark Trahant: Latest numbers on economy scare me (4/4)
Mark Trahant: C-SPAN just as important today (3/28)
Mark Trahant: Does democracy mean supporting Bush? (3/21)
Mark Trahant: Academic freedom for Churchill too? (03/07)
Mark Trahant: Journalism more interactive than before (2/28)
Mark Trahant: Social Security debate all about 'me' (2/21)
Mark Trahant: Social Security push ignores big issue (2/14)
Mark Trahant: Human beings only react during crisis (2/7)
Mark Trahant: Election tales usually one-sided (1/31)
Trahant: Public school system not good enough (01/24)
Mark Trahant: Three cheers for the First Amendment (01/10)
Mark Trahant: Did my vote count? Did yours? (12/20)
Mark Trahant: Bush plan leaves no room for salmon (12/13)
Mark Trahant: Two friendly faces on the news (11/29)
Mark Trahant: Mainstream media doesn't matter (11/22)
Mark Trahant: Do political endorsements matter? (11/8)
Mark Trahant: So what happens after the election? (11/1)
Mark Trahant: Vote early and avoid campaign sleaze (10/25)
Mark Trahant: Congress should abide by laws too (10/18)
Mark Trahant: Election changing as we speak (10/11)
Mark Trahant: NMAI must change the story (09/27)
Mark Trahant: Media's view of elections should change (09/20)
Mark Trahant: What happened to Pakistan? bin Laden? (09/13)
Mark Trahant: Payroll tax not fair to all Americans (8/23)
Mark Trahant: Bush's answer was slightly better (8/9)
Audio: Bush explains meaning of tribal sovereignty (8/6)
Mark Trahant: The one that didn't get away (08/02)
Mark Trahant: Living in a world of easy credit (7/26)
Mark Trahant: Congress still stealing Indian land (07/12)
Mark Trahant: Raising the next peace generation (7/6)
Mark Trahant: How far does 'terrorist' definition go? (6/28)
Mark Trahant: The big five-oh a good time to reflect (6/21)
Mark Trahant: Ordinary Reagan was extraordinary (06/14)
Mark Trahant: Indian girls team had game back in 1900s (06/07)
Mark Trahant: Voice mail filled with views on Iraqi war (05/17)
Mark Trahant: A familiar story of cultural change (03/22)
Mark Trahant: One Indian in Senate is wrong number (03/08)
Mark Trahant: Division marked another major war too (2/23)
Mark Trahant: We're still fighting the Cold War (01/26)
Trahant: Selling democracy to Indian Country (11/17)
Trahant: Can't trust Uncle Sam with Indian money (11/10)
Mark Trahant: Bush needs to note success and failure (10/20)
Mark Trahant: Technology and the news world (09/29)
Mark Trahant: Preparing for the unthinkable (09/22)
Trahant: When tribes succeed, someone changes rules (09/1)