Some Thoughts On Solving Big Problems

I enjoy reading Jonah Goldberg

He is a good writer and he is entertaining. His command of facts, vocabulary, and insight is profound. A recent article is representative.

Identifying the Problem

The article relates to global climate change and makes four cogent points.

  1. Expertise doesn’t necessarily transfer over from one field to another.
  2. Some problems cannot be undone simply by reversing the steps that led to the problem in the first place.
  3. Just because someone can identify a problem, doesn’t mean they know the best way to fix it.
  4. Some enormous problems have no immediate solution

I think it would be wise for all of us to revisit our thinking on the subject. If a true believer, notice the points above and perhaps temper your demands for economy destroying immediate solutions. If a true skeptic, notice that mankind does have an effect on everything with which they come into contact.

The long view.

People are very good at solving problems. Not all of the possible solutions work out, but eventually some do.

Patience is a worthwhile virtue. Governments cannot afford to wait because there is an election coming soon. They cannot afford patience because it looks like they are doing nothing. They would better doing nothing than something harmful.

All of the climate change solutions proposed so far involve money and power. We should expect the promoters of current methods to have a self interest on one or both of those scales. Objectively, both harm.

The current talking points are extreme on either side. Extreme thoughts are the only ones that get noticed in our hyper-connected world. As always, the truth lies somewhere between the extremes and we eventually come to that point. By then, it will be evident how to proceed.

Extreme actions reduce the resources available to solve the problem as it comes to be described. Maybe by then, there will be too few resources. What then?

The closing thought in the article.

“In the meantime, climate change is crowding out concern for, and resources from, all sorts of other problems that have far more immediate effects. I worry far more about eroding biodiversity, over-fishing, ocean acidification, plastic pollution, and the like than I do about climate change. Climate change contributes to some of these problems, particularly ocean acidification, but these are far more fixable right now. Elephants aren’t being wiped out by climate change. And a Green New Deal won’t save them.”

Moderation. Always moderation. Like the Hippocratic Oath, “First, do no harm.”


I help business owners, professionals, and others understand and manage risk and other financial issues. To help them achieve their goals, I use tax efficiencies and design advantages to acquire more efficient income and larger, more liquid estates.

In previous careers, I have been a partner in a large, international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.

Please be in touch if I can help you. don@moneyfyi.com 705-927-4770

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