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An Inconvenient Truth 1033

Posted by jamie
from the conveniently-packaged dept.

There's a movie teaser line that you may have seen recently, that goes like this: "What if you had to tell someone the most important thing in the world, but you knew they'd never believe you?" The answer is "I'd try." The teaser's actually for another movie, but that's the story that's told in the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth": it starts with a man who, after talking with scientists and senators, can't get anyone to listen to what he thinks is the most important thing in the world. It comes out on DVD today.

The scariest horror film of 2006 was a documentary.

The first thing everyone wants to know, or at least to argue about, is whether Al Gore has his facts straight. The short answer is yes, he does. There are minor errors. They don't detract from Gore's main point, on which the scientific debate has ended.

And the main point is scary, and almost too big to think about or talk about. The earth is warming, because of us. Sometime in the next hundred years, our environment is going to change in big ways. We can't predict it with much accuracy yet, but the best estimates we have are that it's going to be -- measured in lives and dollars -- really bad.

In a way this film isn't really about that story. It's about a man telling that story -- someone who, after suffering a bit of a setback, asked himself, well, what can I do now? What's important to me? How do I want to spend my time?

What's important is a question a lot of nerds may be familiar with. We like to talk about important things. But how do you respond when you try to say something serious and the cool kids laugh at you? What do you do, when you put yourself out there, try to engage people's minds, and instead they make fun of your clothes?

The good news for anyone who's had a prom invitation rejected is that people can come back from worse disasters. His presidential bid didn't go so well in 2000. Gore had given talks on global warming before; after he was forcibly retired from public service, he took a Powerbook and Keynote on the road, sharpening and expanding his slideshow talk in airports and hotels.

Half of the film is that talk, and it's an engrossing talk. There are charts and diagrams and footnoted stats (and a Futurama clip) and it's about as fun as numbers and chemicals get. Turns out Al Gore has a sly sense of humor (but not a nasty one -- the film's only two political nudges are pretty gentle). Unless you're a climate scientist you'll probably learn something too.

But the other half, interwoven with the lectures, is a man picking up the pieces and rediscovering something important in his life, a message that he has to tell. That succeeds as a film.

And Gore's lecture succeeded too. Somehow, I'm not sure how, this documentary changed the way Americans look at global warming. In early 2006, global warming was still seen as one of those things that may be true or may not. Pundits were fairly evenly divided and both positions were routinely heard. It's now late 2006 and the debate has moved from "is global warming happening?" to "it's happening, we've caused it, and what if anything should we do about it?"

Most of the warming-deniers left are the real extremists out in Rush Limbaugh territory. We're not yet all the way to a serious, scientifically-informed debate, but somehow, overnight, this film pulled most of the fence-sitters over to where the scientists were years ago.

As for actually fixing global warming, it will take a miracle. Maybe two miracles. I think in the next few decades we're going to need to start an Apollo moonshot-type miracle of technology and engineering to beat back the greenhouse effect. Nanorobots. Reflective dust in the stratosphere. Giant mirrors at the Lagrange point. Bioengineered plankton to sink carbon or change the oceans' albedo. Something. That's just a guess.

But meanwhile, though we hope someone can build us an airbag before we crash the car into the tree, that doesn't absolve us from stepping on the brakes. Right now, we need a change in attitude, in our community and our politics, to start slowing the damage we're doing every day to our grandchildren's Earth -- to buy them time, and give them more options. The only way that happens is when the governments of industrialized and developing nations decide this is a priority.

And the only way that happens is for people everywhere to stop listening to the cool kids and, once again, pay attention to the nerds.

Go buy the nerd's DVD.

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An Inconvenient Truth

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  • by goldspider (445116) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (97ekardra)> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @11:35AM (#16931218) Homepage
    The popular belief here is that all climiate scientists agree with Gore's conclusions about Global Warming. It would seem that is not the case. From this article [canada.com].

    "I can assure Mr. Gore that no one from the South Pacific islands has fled to New Zealand because of rising seas. In fact, if Gore consults the data, he will see it shows sea level falling in some parts of the Pacific." -- Dr. Chris de Freitas, climate scientist, associate professor, University of Auckland, N.Z.
    - - -
    "We find no alarming sea level rise going on, in the Maldives, Tovalu, Venice, the Persian Gulf and even satellite altimetry, if applied properly." -- Dr. Nils-Axel Morner, emeritus professor of paleogeophysics and geodynamics, Stockholm University, Sweden.
    - - -
    "Gore is completely wrong here -- malaria has been documented at an altitude of 2,500 metres -- Nairobi and Harare are at altitudes of about 1,500 metres. The new altitudes of malaria are lower than those recorded 100 years ago. None of the "30 so-called new diseases" Gore references are attributable to global warming, none." -- Dr. Paul Reiter, professor, Institut Pasteur, unit of insects and infectious diseases, Paris, comments on Gore's belief that Nairobi and Harare were founded just above the mosquito line to avoid malaria and how the mosquitoes are now moving to higher altitudes.
    - - -
    "Our information is that seven of 13 populations of polar bears in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (more than half the world's estimated total) are either stable or increasing..... Of the three that appear to be declining, only one has been shown to be affected by climate change. No one can say with certainty that climate change has not affected these other populations, but it is also true that we have no information to suggest that it has." -- Dr. Mitchell Taylor, manager, wildlife research section, Department of Environment, Igloolik, Nunavut.
    - - -
    "Mr. Gore suggests that the Greenland melt area increased considerably between 1992 and 2005. But 1992 was exceptionally cold in Greenland and the melt area of ice sheet was exceptionally low due to the cooling caused by volcanic dust emitted from Mt. Pinatubo. If, instead of 1992, Gore had chosen for comparison the year 1991, one in which the melt area was 1% higher than in 2005, he would have to conclude that the ice sheet melt area is shrinking and that perhaps a new Ice Age is just around the corner." -- Dr. Petr Chylek, adjunct professor, Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax.
    - - -
    "The oceans are now heading into one of their periodic phases of cooling.... Modest changes in temperature are not about to wipe them [coral] out. Neither will increased carbon dioxide, which is a fundamental chemical building block that allows coral reefs to exist at all." -- Dr. Gary D. Sharp, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study, Salinas, Calif.
    - - -
    "Both the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps are thickening. The temperature at the South Pole has declined by more than one degree C since 1950. And the area of sea ice around the continent has increased over the last 20 years." -- Dr. R.M. Carter, professor, Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.
    - - -
    "From data published by the Canadian Ice Service, there has been no precipitous drop-off in the amount or thickness of the ice cap since 1970 when reliable overall coverage became available for the Canadian Arctic." -- Dr./Cdr. M.R. Morgan, FRMS, formerly advisor to the World Meteorological Organization/climatology research scientist at University of Exeter, U.K.
    - - -
    "The MPB (mountain pine beetle) is a species native to this part of North America and is always present. The MPB epidemic started as comparatively small outbreaks and through forest management inaction got completely out of hand." -- Rob Scagel, M.Sc., forest microclimate specialist, Pacific Phytometric Consultants, Surrey, B.C., comments on Gore's belief that the mountain pine beetle is an "invasive exotic species" that has become a plague due to fewer days of frost.
  • by jamie (78724) * <jamie@slashdot.org> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @11:40AM (#16931308) Journal

    I have no idea whether Al Gore or anyone affiliated with the film bought advertising on this site. The content/editorial side and the advertising side are kept separate on Slashdot as well or better than any other news website out there.

    And it already is filed under both politics and science (check the icons near the top of the story). Both are clearly applicable.

  • by jamie (78724) * <jamie@slashdot.org> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @11:44AM (#16931380) Journal

    This isn't news its an Advertisement

    Incorrect.

    Want to know my favorite part of the movie? When at the premier, the entire "cast" got into big Lincoln SUV's.

    I would suggest you actually watch the movie.

  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @11:57AM (#16931614) Homepage Journal
    >Science has been wrong several times about climate change in the past few decades (The big chill never happened, a

    Here's a bibliography of 1970s era scientific papers about climate change [wmconnolley.org.uk].

    >We may or may not have a role in the warming.

    If it's possible to put as much CO2 in the atmosphere as we have and *not* get a climate effect, that would be one of the most astonishing scientific results in history.
  • by Martin Blank (154261) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:17PM (#16932062) Journal
    The US Senate signaled in 1997 that it would reject ratification of the treaty by a vote of 95-0 before it was even signed (essentially symbolically) by Al Gore in 1998 . The Clinton Administration never even bothered to submit it to the Senate for a ratification vote, knowing it would never pass. The Bush Administration did little more than indicate that it would never submit it for ratification, because -- as before -- it would never pass.
  • by Sqwubbsy (723014) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:20PM (#16932166) Homepage Journal
    it was the Bush administration which refused to ratify it that's all.

    And the Clinton administration. Kyoto protocol was passed on December 12, 1997. Clinton never submitted it to the Senate for ratification.

    Bush has problems with China and India (two of the top polluters) being exempt. This is not a Republican issue, although I encourage you to yell at Reid and Pelosi to pass it.

    Relavant wikipedia section:
    On July 25, 1997, before the Kyoto Protocol was finalized (although it had been fully negotiated, and a penultimate draft was finished), the U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95-0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98)[37], which stated the sense of the Senate was that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing as well as industrialized nations or "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States". On November 12, 1998, Vice President Al Gore symbolically signed the protocol. Both Gore and Senator Joseph Lieberman indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations.[38] The Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification.

    The Clinton Administration released an economic analysis in July 1998, prepared by the Council of Economic Advisors, which concluded that with emissions trading among the Annex B/Annex I countries, and participation of key developing countries in the "Clean Development Mechanism" -- which grants the latter business-as-usual emissions rates through 2012 -- the costs of implementing the Kyoto Protocol could be reduced as much as 60% from many estimates. Other economic analyses, however, prepared by the Congressional Budget Office and the Department of Energy Energy Information Administration (EIA), and others, demonstrated a potentially large decline in GDP from implementing the Protocol.

    The current President, George W. Bush, has indicated that he does not intend to submit the treaty for ratification, not because he does not support the Kyoto principles, but because of the exemption granted to China (the world's second largest emitter of carbon dioxide [39]). Bush also opposes the treaty because of the strain he believes the treaty would put on the economy; he emphasizes the uncertainties which he asserts are present in the climate change issue.[40] Furthermore, the U.S. is concerned with broader exemptions of the treaty. For example, the U.S. does not support the split between Annex I countries and others.

  • by Bassman59 (519820) <andy@l[ ]e.net ['atk' in gap]> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:21PM (#16932204) Homepage
    When at the premier, the entire "cast" got into big Lincoln SUV's. Drove Four blocks. And then went to movie.

    That's completely false. Stop repeating Rush Limbaugh's lies.

  • An article (Score:3, Informative)

    by TerranFury (726743) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:24PM (#16932302)
    Please see this [salon.com].
  • by FhnuZoag (875558) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:29PM (#16932406)
    That's because there's a difference between *weather* and *climate*. I might not be able to tell you if it'd be raining this time next month, but I can tell you if it'll be cold in winter, or, more apropos, what things are going to be like averaged over the entire earth with error bars to qualify my prediction.
  • by CapeBretonBarbarian (512565) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:43PM (#16932828)
    "Both the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps are thickening. The temperature at the South Pole has declined by more than one degree C since 1950. And the area of sea ice around the continent has increased over the last 20 years." -- Dr. R.M. Carter, professor, Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.
    - - -
    "From data published by the Canadian Ice Service, there has been no precipitous drop-off in the amount or thickness of the ice cap since 1970 when reliable overall coverage became available for the Canadian Arctic." -- Dr./Cdr. M.R. Morgan, FRMS, formerly advisor to the World Meteorological Organization/climatology research scientist at University of Exeter, U.K.
    - - -


    How old are these quotes?

    Up here in Canada we're very concerned (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2006/11/08/environ ment-poll.html [www.cbc.ca]) with global warming despite the fact that the ruling Conservative minority government is falling in line with George Bush's views(http://www.cbc.ca/cp/national/061019/n101958 .html [www.cbc.ca]). There have been alarming recent reports on the warming trends in the Arctic (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/st ory/2006/11/17/tech-arctic.html [www.cbc.ca],http://www.cbc.ca/ canada/manitoba/story/2004/11/09/mb_arctic20041108 .html [www.cbc.ca],http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2004/06 /14/nun-Ivorygulls06142004.html [www.cbc.ca]) and the thinning of the ice (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2005/07/29/a rctic-ice-29072005.html [www.cbc.ca],http://www.cbc.ca/canada/n orth/story/2003/09/23/sep23wardhuntice23092003.htm l [www.cbc.ca]) and it is causing great concern.

    Either your sources are inaccurate or woefully out of date.

  • by Retric (704075) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:52PM (#16933074)
    FYI: Oil is not the primary source for global worming. So it's not just about oil.

    Next look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_body [wikipedia.org]

    Basicly heat radiates as the cube of the temperature change in kelven so going from 60 degrees f (288.7 in kelvin) to 65 degrees f (291.48 in kelvin) = (290.37 ^ 4) / (288.7 ^ 4) = 1.039 or 3.9% more incoming energy. Or ~3.9% increase in insulation.

    Now increasing CO2 will provide more insulation and drive up the temperature. The question is only complex when you try to find how important CO2 is. Afterall painting roads black also increases the temperature.

    PS: Venus hotter than Mercury even though it get's ~1/4 the heat from the sun.
    Note: The pressure of Venus' atmosphere at the surface is 90 atmospheres and it is composed mostly of carbon dioxide.
  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:53PM (#16933096) Homepage
    If you want to prove a hypothesis - you need evidence.

    Nice, you just illustrated the GPs point.

    You *can't* prove a scientific hypothesis! All you can do is provide more and more evidence to back it up. Even General Relativity isn't "proven" in the scientific sense, and as far as theories goes, it's as rigorously tested as they get.

    So, the question is, at what point will there be enough evidence to convince you? Personally, I think the answer is "never", because you have your beliefs and you're unwilling to deviate from them.
  • by Rei (128717) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:04PM (#16933410) Homepage
    Why the heck won't this myth die? Here's what he actually said:

    "But it will emerge from my dialogue with the American people. I've traveled to every part of this country during the last six years. During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system."

    He did *not* say that he "invented the internet". He said that he "took the initiative in creating the Internet." That he did. [wikipedia.org]
  • by Randgalt (1030234) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:28PM (#16934036)
    http://www.oism.org/pproject/ [oism.org]

    No, there isn't a consensus among scientists. The above link is a petition signed by 17,000+ scientists who believe: There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

  • 747 "efficient?" Ha! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kombat (93720) <kombat@kombat.org> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:33PM (#16934174) Homepage
    Actually, in terms of fuel used, jumbo jets are the most efficient way to move large quantities of people.

    You have it exactly backwards. Commercial aviation is the least fuel-efficient way to move people. Maybe you meant to say jumbo jets in particular are more fuel-efficient than other jet aircraft? You might be correct in that case, assuming that the jumbo jet is always completely filled with passengers, which of course is not true.

    A 747 burns 3300 gallons of fuel per hour and cruises at 490 knots. Neglecting to consider takeoff and landing, that means that over a 5 hour flight, the plane will have burned 16,500 gallons of fuel and traveled 2450 nautical miles (2821 statute miles). Assuming the plane is completely booked and is carrying 524 passengers (actual seating capacity varies by model and airline), then each passenger is responsible for 31.5 gallons of fuel.

    A Cadillac Escalade gets 20 miles per gallon in highway driving. Filled to capacity (as our 747 was. Fair is fair, after all), it seats 8 people. Traveling the same distance (2821 miles) at 20 miles per gallon, this "gas-guzzling SUV" will suck down 141 gallons of premium. Each passenger is responsible for 17.6 gallons of fuel.

    The 747, operating under ideal conditions, is barely half as "efficient" as the much-maligned, gas-guzzling Cadillac Escalade. And you want to hold it up as the pinnacle of efficiency? Better check your numbers. Be glad I didn't bring up busses or trains.

    And I didn't even go into the fact that the 747 is spewing its exhaust directly into the thin, upper atmosophere, where it can do the most damage.
  • 'Most efficient way'? I guess it depends on how you calculate. Here's my calculation, let me know if I missed something. I'll use a Boeing 777 as an example since it is more efficient than most jets:

    777:
    Gallons used to travel 3000 miles (cross country): ~20,000
    Average number of passengers for cross country trip: 400
    Gallons per traveler: 50

    Car:
    Highway MPG: 30
    # of gallons to travel 3000 miles: 100
    Average # of travelers: 2
    Gallons per traveler: 50

    So as long as there are more than 2 people in a car or a 2 passenger car achieves greater than 30 miles per gallon on the highway, the car is more efficient, right? Of course, not many people would want to take a car cross country over a plane ... which is why the relatively fuel inefficient planes usually win out.

    That being said, Boeing is certainly far more cognizant of the need for fuel efficient airplanes than Airbus (particularly with your pending introduction of the Dreamliner). That's why I specifically singled out Airbus. ;)
  • by SpinyNorman (33776) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:14PM (#16935234)
    I've seen the movie, and it's well done. There's a single slide in it that really tells the whole story, that I've recreated here in hand-drawn version.

    In a nutshell:

    • The global population, in absolute numbers, was relatively small untill the last few hundred years, since when it's been growning exponentially
    • Global CO2 levels follow a natural cycle, but are recently WAY above the natural cycle level due to industialization caused by population growth
    • Global temperature naturally tracks CO2 levels (greenhouse gas effect), but lags it. Global temperatures are currently close to the natural cycle level, but we only need to look at the CO2 and population curve to see where they are headed - into disasterous territory

    The natural cycle timeline here (per Gore's graph) is very long - these are the last few ice ages we're looking at, with data derived from artic ice cores etc.

    The inevitable conclusion is that global temperature follows CO2 level and CO2 level is already way above normal due to industrialization. The vertical/horizontal axis here are about in correct ration (showing how far above the normal range the CO2 level is).

    http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/8480/globalwarmin gua0.jpg [imageshack.us]

  • by Gadgetfreak (97865) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:20PM (#16935398)
    I figured I'd chime in... it bears noting that aviation fuel is still leaded, unlike roadgoing vehicle fuel. There are 2 main aspects to using fossil fuels: emissions and the economics of waste & dependency. In the case of aviation, the emissions per gallon burned, regardless of how economically it's used, can be a lot worse than those burned by a road vehicle. Newer cars and catalytic converters really do an excellent job on the emissions front. Aviation emissions have really only been reduced as a by-product of engineering efforts to improve combustion efficiency of the engines. They still lack anything to clean up their fully leaded exhaust.
  • by Kombat (93720) <kombat@kombat.org> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:36PM (#16935808) Homepage
    Basically, 747 gets between 69.8 to 100mpg passenger miles per gallon.

    HowStuffWorks fudged their math a bit. Their numbers actually work out to 76 miles per gallon per person, not 100 as they claimed. If you take the speed they use (550 mph), that's actually a mile every 6.55 seconds, not every 5 seconds. Burning 3600 gallons/hour, that's 6.55 gallons per mile, or 0.0131 gallons per person per mile (they claimed 0.01), or 76 miles per gallon per person. However, you concede that it ranged between 69.8 and 100, so that's fine.

    My problem is that both you and HowStuffWorks insist on comparing a full airplane with an almost-empty roadgoing vehicle. The Cadillac Escalade, as I said, gets 20 mpg highway, or 0.05 gallons per mile. Split among 8 passengers, that's 0.00625 gallons per person per mile, or 160 miles per person per gallon, which is still well above HowStuffWorks' optimistic calculation of 100 miles per person per gallon for the 747.

    I'm not denying that flying isn't faster. I'm saying that there is absolutely no way you can manipulate the math to try and portray it as anything better than what it is. And "what it is" is the absolutely least-fuel-efficient way to travel that is possible.
  • by Pentavirate (867026) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:05PM (#16936558) Homepage Journal
    New Orleans happened because the funds weren't used to shore up the levies like they were supposed to. I know it is popular to blame Huricane Katrina on global warming but we've had a lower than average year on hurricanes this year. I don't think it's conclusive.
  • by cliffski (65094) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:12PM (#16936718) Homepage
    Nice impartial study you quoted there:

    Pity that 'think tank' is funded mostly by oil companies isn't it?

    "Competitive Enterprise Institute has received $2,005,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998."
    source:
    http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php? id=2 [exxonsecrets.org]
  • by Stephan Schulz (948) <schulz@informatik.tu-muenchen.de> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:38PM (#16937360) Homepage
    Piltdown Man was not accepted as totally valid, although it made it into a few textbooks. Pluto's alleged warming is based on a grand total of two datapoints (each corresponding to it crossing in front of a star and its atmosphere distorting the light in different manners, with the density of the atmosphere (sampled along one line!) assumed to correspond to the temperature), and would be not really surprising, given that Pluto has passed its closest point to the sun only recently, and should still warm up if it has any thermal inertia. Triton's warming likewise is attested via a comparison of 15 year old data with recent earth-bound observations. We know nothing about it's climate cycle. The Saturn article does not mention any warming, just a storm. The Jupiter article does not mention any warming, just a storm that causes regional climate change. The "global" warming on Mars is a 3 Martian year local trend, influenced by the frequency of dust storms. Mars is very hard to compare with Earth anyways, as its orbit is much more eccentric and hence orbital cycles have a much higher influence.

    Anything more I can help out with?

  • by zdavek (75457) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:10PM (#16938060)
    ... giving a tremendous market advantage to local farmers who produce food in smaller amounts and with less impact on the environment.

    Do you have any idea of how much fuel is used by family farms? I do. Tractors, combines, farm trucks , irrigation wells: all use a lot of fuel. A good percentage of farming expenses come from fuel costs so anything that inflates fuel costs would tend to drive more family farmers out of the business and leave it to the big conglomerates who get savings on the scale of their operations.
  • by Sqwubbsy (723014) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:20PM (#16938270) Homepage Journal
    What about the need to balance that harm against the potential harm warming could cause? I think we should be able to reasonably agree, as a society, to take out an "insurance policy" in the form of reduced emissions in order to gain more security in the future from radical climate change.

    Crop failures, water shortages, regional refugee crises, loss of biodiversity... all those things would also harm our economy.


    Ironically, Bush has implemented almost all of the protocols via the EPA (or at least as much as is reasonable) without having actually signed the document.

    He has also drastically pushed alternative fuel and fuel saving tax credits to the point that hybrids are becoming a common sight on the roads and folks get tax credit for replacing inefficient heaters/windows/doors and adding insulation.

    I would not, however, expect anyone to notice. The news is too busy pushing that Ken Lay met with Cheney during this planning than actually reading the report or reporting on how it is changing society.
  • by RexRhino (769423) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:21PM (#16938284)
    Yes, but you are jumping from "There is consensus that global warming is real", to "There is consensus that the Kyoto protocal will help stop global warming", or consensus that "Free Markets cause enviornmental destruction and we need more central planning and socialism". Al Gore has a political agenda, and it is part of an anti-free market pro government central planning political agenda that pre-dates knowledge of global warming and the enviornmentalist movement.

    0 of 928 scientific studies suggest a cetain political solution to the problem. The Kyoto protocal has some terrible flaws:

    1. It doesn't allow nuclear power to be used as a substitute for greenhouse gas emitting power - meaning we can't meet the Kyoto protocal by adopting nuclear power like France has done. Therefore, nuclear power, the single most promising substitute for fossile fuels, is handicapped by Kyoto.

    2. It doesn't allow for forest conservation and replanting to be used as a method of reducing greenhouse gasses to keet the Kyoto protocal... The United States, because of it's massive amount of uninhabited land, is in a perfect position to reduce CO2 by planting and conserving carbon sinks.

    3. The Kyoto protocal places no limits on the "developing world", which means that instead of an overall decrease in world CO2 emissions, what will happen is that all CO2 producing industries will move to India, China, Indonesia, and places without an Kyoto obligations where the lax enviornmental laws mean they will produce EVEN MORE EMISSIONS AND POLLUTION!!! So while U.S. emissions may go down, they will go up by orders of magnitude somewhere else, and the jobs will follow emissions!

    4. The Kyoto protocal doesn't provide any penalties for breaking the Kyoto protocal. Which means that countries that "fully adopted" the Kyoto protocal like Canada, are much farther away from meeting their obligations than countries like the U.S. who rejected the protocal. Kyoto provides an economy incentive to break Kyoto - As countries that follow Kyoto will be economicly handicapped while countries that violate Kyoto will gain advantage.

    The Kyoto protocal is utterly retarded, and will cause CO2 emissions to rise instead of decline. And most of Al Gore's uber-government totalitarian solutions won't work to stop CO2 emissions any more than the uber-government War On Drugs has done anything to stop the drug trade (it actually increases the drug trade because by limiting supply it drives up price - The U.S. government is the OPEC of the illegal drug trade!).

    There is absolutly no consensus on what political solutions will help solve global warming. But the solutions that are being presented by so-called enviornmentalists have nothing to do with solving global warming - the "solutions" predate knowledge of global warming, and are the same solutions that were presented 50 years ago as being the solution to creating a "workers paradise". There is a totalitarian agenda that is exploiting the consensus on global warming to make us think that there is a consensus on pro-totalitarianism as well!
  • by mister_tim (653773) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @07:05PM (#16941368)
    I live in Australia, so have no idea what $15/gallon translates to in our terms, but...

    Petrol is quite expensive here at the moment (the price per litre has gone up by more than 50% in the last couple of years) - it's been a big issue in the media/public consciousness. Petrol is also taxed fairly heavily here, but that was also true before the price sky rocketed.

    Since petrol has become so expensive the price of food doesn't appear to have dramatically increased (in fact, the general inflation rate is more or less unchanged) - but people are tending to buy smaller cars. The most popular cars in Australia used to be 6 cylinder family sedans with 3.8 to 4 litre engines. There seems to be a trend at the moment towards smaller cars with lower fuel consumption.

    Now, I don't have hard data on this - I'm talking on the basis of various conversations I've had and what I can observe of the public mindset - but I believe there is a trend in this direction. In short, it's too simplistic to say that a major increase in petrol prices wil lead to massive inflation - it's not actually that simple.
  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @09:24PM (#16943402)
    as a welcome source of underrepresented criticisms
    Yeah, 0.1% or less of the scientific community (if we're really generous) that doubts global warming is given 50% airtime and their extreme minority views compared to the overwhelming scientific consensus are titled "debate". That is SO underrepresented.
  • Please. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Run4yourlives (716310) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:27AM (#16945482)
    Here's a graph including the "significantly warmer" middle ages.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:2000_Year_Tempe rature_Comparison.png [wikipedia.org]

    Insightful my ass. How about incorrect.
  • by WalksOnDirt (704461) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:35AM (#16946214)
    It is not leaded.

    I would have thought so myself, but since I don't know everything I checked. He appears to be right, according to this Jet-A does contain lead to raise its flash point:
    http://encyclopedia.quickseek.com/index.php/Jet_fu el [quickseek.com]

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik

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