Thursday, February 15, 2007

July 7th: Climate Aid Concert

Save the date! On July 7th, Al Gore is holding a 24-hour worldwide concert for the earth!

Al Gore announced on Thursday a series of worldwide concerts to focus on the threat of climate change, with a powerhouse lineup from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Snoop Dogg to Bon Jovi.

The 24-hour event on July 7 is part of a campaign, Save Our Selves — The Campaign for a Climate in Crisis, that promoters hope will trigger a broad movement to address what the former vice president calls a global climate crisis.


Nathan said...

A few of questions for the man-made global warming crowd.

The sun is getting brighter, couldn't that be a factor?

If the polar ice caps are melting and it's caused by man-made global warming...what are we doing to cause the ice caps to melt on Mars?

China and India are major CO2 producers as well and China could actually out pace the US in greenhouse gas emission in 2 or 3 years. Why shouldn't they cut back on their CO2 production as well?

Capitalism really does work, why don't we find a solution using it?

If the Kyoto treaty is so great, why did a resolution stating that the US should not sign a treaty that would cause harm to the US economy pass the US Senate 95-0?

If Al Gore is so concerned about global warming, why is he flying a private jet that produces more pollutants than what the average American would produce?

There is global climate change. Couldn't this just be normal for the Earth?

Just curious.

alice said...

You beat me to it, smijer! Nathan, I'm not a scientist, so I'm taking the word of the experts here. I know not everyone agrees, but the two sides appear to be very uneven -- on one side, you have hundreds of impressively credentialed and peer-reviewed scientists agreeing that human activities are at least partly to blame for global warming (and that there is still time to possibly reverse and/or postpone the damage), and on the other side, there are a handful of scientists, some of whom are in the employ of ExxonMobil. Just because so many crackpots and dittoheads have set up an echo chamber giving the spurious spewings of those few scientists the appearance of authenticity, it still does not elevate their theories to the level of the real science presented by their more legitimate colleagues.

Your questions are an interesting distraction, but they hardly qualify as anything more than spitballing, and do nothing to dispute the huge body of scientific work that continues to grow as climate change scientists make constant new discoveries. Now, if you could assemble a panel of a few dozen scientists who can provide evidence that disputes global warming and none of them are connected to the energy industry, conservative press or the Republican party, that would be impressive.

Some facts are available here: Union of Concerned Scientists

alice said...

Keera, you're right on both counts.

1. Capitalism is dead. If it were still alive -- if we weren't spending the staggering amounts that we do subsudizing the auto and oil industries, for example -- we probably would have found some solutions to the globlal warming problem using it.

2. Nathan's questions are legitimate. Before smijer did such a great job of responding to Nathan's questions, I did a little reasearch in preparation for answering them myself. And lo and behold, Nathan's questions kept popping up on a bunch of freeper web sites. It's ok that I rolled my eyes at that point, but I shouldn't have dismissed them.

smijer said...

Nathan may or may not have been sincere, but those questions originate with people who knew or could have easily found the answers for them, but chose to put them out for consumers of right wing media (and as many other outlets as they can get their claws into) in hopes of muddying the waters. Honestly, someone interested in global warming, who is plugged in enough to dig up obscure studies of Martian polar caps, is smart enough to figure out the answer to that question. The fact that Nathan is repeating the question at all (sincerely or otherwise) is evidence that someone was purposefully trying to cast doubt using deceptive methods. Spitballing if you will. Probably not Nathan himself. I hope he returns to look for the answers.

Capitalism isn't dead. Economic systems don't die. They succeed or fail in certain environments for certain purposes. Capitalism, I would argue, is the economic system that does the most good for the most people who live under it. That said, it isn't the magic bullet that rightwingers believe it to be, and no economic system in reality matches completely to the Capitalistic theory. That's why there are oil subsidies on the one hand, and welfare plans on the other. Our system is only partly capitalistic. For some tasks, it works very well. For others, not so much.

My comment in reply to Nathan about "Capitalism working" was not meant to imply anything at all really - it was just a reflection back to him of his expressed view. There is some truth to it, though. As expensive to certain industries as it may be to correct their greenhouse emissions, it doesn't have to be bad for the economy to get started on it - through Kyoto or through other means. We are creative people and there are ways to do this and make it a bonus for the economy rather than a hardship. That was my point, using Nathan's language of "Capitalism working".

alice said...

Well, I guess I should have said that pure capitalism is dead. ;-P

Keera said...

Alice, I agree that some industries are currently limping along due to no incentive to change. Unfortunately, the Bush administration gave the car industry tax breaks for the wrong reasons. In spite of what happened to Chrysler in the 1970's, today's American automakers remain completely unprepared for the future. They aren't alone.

Capitalism isn't politics, any more than socialism is business. The richest countries - as in, the wealth gets around to everyone - combine the two. But we still all rely on an economic model where industry and agriculture are the most important sources of goods and income. And those are also the most polluting.

Here's where the necessity of subsidies come in. For example, we can't do without farming. Ecological farms produce less (if healthier) crops and so farmers earn less. If subsidies to agriculture encouraged organic farming instead, it would be a win-win situation: No longer creating the need for new chemicals to combat the effects of other chemicals and healthier food. For example.

If you really want to help the environment, shut down McDonald's et al, so we don't need so many cows who eat all that soy which is now grown in what used to be Amazonian rainforest.

Hell, just make people stay home and cook for themselves and convert modern supermarkets to outdoor markets. That'd take care of a lot of problems. ;-)

alice said...

Oh, and communities in the States could develop outdoor markets like the Naschmarkt, which I got to visit in Vienna last summer! Be still my heart!!!