Global Warming: The movie

Today is Earth Day. A good day to take stock of where we are going with our caretaking of our big blue marble. Image borrowed from Tom Guarriello’s excellent recent post "If not now, when?" on climate change and it’s impact on our earth.


He writes about a documentary about to be released An Inconvenient Truth; which he was priveleged to see recently. Having recently written about my own growing unease about the lack of measures being taken to halt this roller coaster ride to environmental destruction, I found his three key points extremely powerful. Here are they in full:

Gore believes there are three key psychological obstacles preventing Americans (in particular) from demanding action on global warming:

  1. There is controversy about the science.
    – Anyone who only watches TV and reads major news outlets (read: most
    of us), probably believes global warming is either an unproven
    hypothesis or a reflection of "cyclical changes" that have occurred
    before. That’s because a study Gore cites found that while every single one of 938 articles published in peer-reviewed journals supported the rise of global temperature as a result of human activity, 53% of pieces presented in popular media expressed skepticism 
    about warming. So, there is no controversy about the climate crisis
    science: the planet is warming (10 of the hottest years ever recorded
    have occurred in the last 14 years); this warming is a result of
    unprecedented CO² levels in the atmosphere due to human behavior
    ("unprecedented" is not hyperbole, as current levels are higher than
    any found in polar ice samples going back at least 400,000 years).
  2. We have to choose between the economy and the environment.
    – Hobson would have loved this one. The argument goes as follows: in
    order to restrict emissions we need to cut power consumption which
    means losing jobs. In fact, alternative energy innovation and
    development will create jobs, especially as the economics of $71/bbl
    oil (as of today, stay tuned) increase fossil-fuel-based energy costs.
    By the way, the auto industry’s leaders have shamefully fought gas
    mileage standards for decades, only to find themselves in the bizarre
    position of being unable to sell automobiles in China today because out vehicles cannot meet today’s Chinese pollution requirements. So, the economic impact of not producing environmentally sustainable products will soon become an issue for more and more American industries.
  3. The problem is too big to fix. – As Gore
    puts it in the film, "this is when we go directly from denial to
    despair." Fact is, we have the technology today to reduce CO² emissions
    to 1972 levels, significantly stopping environmental  deterioration.
    The website (about to be re-launched with enhanced
    features) details many things
    that ordinary people like ourselves can do to reduce our "carbon
    footprint" and slow warming. Granted, the scenes of huge chunks of ice
    calving off Arctic, Antarctica and Greenland iceshelves is
    disconcerting. But not as disconcerting as it would be if we were to do
    nothing and see something like the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf completely break up.

In my own post last week, I highlighted matters that support what Tom is saying, pointing out the discrepancies between what needed to be done and what was actually happening. In fact with respect to his first point alone "There is controversy over the science", imho, there is no controversy, there is an attempt to create confusion, well documented.

And instead of even evaluating whether the "problem is to big to fix", here are some recent news articles, from my previous post:

Indeed, a clear indicator of the denial stage exemplified by a "what the heck, it’s dirty anyway, let’s dirty it some more, I’ll be dead and gone in the 20 to 30 years it will take the problems to become severe".

Tom, if this goes on, there won’t be any grandchildren left to ask "What were they thinking?" – it’s time to ask "ARE they thinking?"

This entry was posted in Business, India/China/Asia, Personal. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Global Warming: The movie

  1. Razib Ahmed says:

    There can be debate about global warming but denying the problem of environmental pollution is a foolish idea. Many people are dying from air pollution related diseases alone in the world and their number is increasing every year.

  2. niti bhan says:

    Yes, its the denial that is the problem.

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