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NYTImes op-ed pans Gore's movie - What do you think of it?
13 years ago
Gore Pulls His Punches

If Al Gore's new movie weren't titled "An Inconvenient Truth," I wouldn't have quite so many problems with it.

He should have gone with something closer to "Revenge of the Nerd." That's the heartwarming angle to global warming. A college student is mesmerized by his professor's bold measurements of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Our hero carries this passion into Congress, where no one listens to him, and then works up a slide show that he inflicts on audiences around the world, to no discernible effect.

But then his slide show becomes a horror movie — and it turns into a cult hit. The nerd becomes the toast of Hollywood, Sundance and Cannes. He is cheered at premieres across America. Audiences sit enraptured through a film starring graphs of CO2 concentrations and close-ups of ice cores.

The documentary doesn't open in theaters until tomorrow, but it's already a cinch for an Oscar, and deservedly so. Getting anyone to voluntarily endure 100 minutes of Al Gore and his slides is a historic cinematic achievement.

Gore isn't exactly likable in the film — he still has that wooden preachiness and is especially hard to watch when he tries to be funny. Yet you end up admiring him for his nerdly persistence. He turned out to be right about something important: global warming is a problem worth worrying about.

But the story he tells in the movie is hardly "an inconvenient truth." It's not really true, and it's certainly not inconvenient for him or his audience.

In his morality tale, global warming has been an obvious crisis-in-the-making for decades, and there are obvious solutions that could have been adopted without damaging consequences. But supposedly America, almost alone among industrialized nations, has refused to do anything because the public has been bamboozled by evil oil companies and Republicans — especially one villain who, we're reminded, got fewer popular votes than Gore did in 2000.

As therapeutic as this history may be for Gore, it has certain problems. Scientists recognized the greenhouse effect long ago, but the question was how much difference it would make. And until fairly recently, when evidence of global warming accumulated, many non-evil economists doubted that the risks justified the costs of the proposed remedies.

Gore calls such cost-benefit analysis a "false choice," as if the remedies really weren't expensive, and he castigates the U.S. for refusing to sign the Kyoto Protocol. But most nations that did sign aren't meeting their goals because cutting emissions turned out to be so difficult. Global warming is a genuine long-term risk, but it's not easy persuading voters anywhere to make short-term sacrifices.

Gore's cinematic strategy for rousing them is to present doomsday scenarios and ignore the evidence that civilization may just survive after all. You could argue that the ends justify the means — that only by terrifying the public can you rouse politicians into doing the right thing.

But even as propaganda, the film is ultimately unsatisfying. Gore doesn't mind frightening his audience with improbable future catastrophes, but he avoids any call to action that would cause immediate discomfort, either to filmgoers or to voters in the 2008 primaries.

He doesn't propose the quickest and most efficient way to reduce greenhouse emissions: a carbon tax on gasoline and other fossil fuels. The movie gives him a forum for talking sensibly about a topic that's taboo on Capitol Hill, but he instead sticks to long-range proposals that sound more palatable, like redesigning cities to encourage mass transit or building more efficient cars and appliances.

Gore shows the obligatory pictures of windmills and other alternative sources of energy. But he ignores nuclear power plants, which don't spew carbon dioxide and currently produce far more electricity than all ecologically fashionable sources combined.

A few environmentalists, like Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace, have recognized that their movement is making a mistake in continuing to demonize nuclear power. Balanced against the risks of global warming, nukes suddenly look good — or at least deserve to be considered rationally. Gore had a rare chance to reshape the debate, because a documentary about global warming attracts just the sort of person who marches in anti-nuke demonstrations.

Gore could have dared, once he enticed the faithful into the theater, to challenge them with an inconvenient truth or two. But that would have been a different movie.


what is your response to this?

13 years ago

I think John's a bit too caught up in the politics... and the movie isn't about politics - global warming is everyone's problem.  I'm sure he won't be alone though in his criticisms - the unfortunate reality is that Gore is such a political figure it's hard for many people to see past that. And that really is unfortunate, because the movie and the message are outstanding and incredibly important.

That said, I think it's probably fair to say the movie could have gone further in suggesting solutions. But that's why we at Care2 set up our Global Warming site - to facilitate that discussion and help people make a difference.

13 years ago

BTW, here are some quotes from others in the media who have seen the movie:

  • every American should see this movie....a powerful movie with a real hero. - (Gayle Fee & Laura Raposa - Boston Herald)

  • one of the most important films ever.  If this does not move you to change, nothing will. - (Larry King)

  • you will be captivated, then riveted, and then scared out of your wits. - (Richard Cohen - The Washington Post)

  • should be seen by everyone who cares whether or not the human race will still exist in 50 years. - (Evgenia Peretz - Vanity Fair)

  • one of the most important films of our time  - (Jeffrey Lyons - NBC's Reel Talk)

  • Al Gore is the only real super hero at the movies this summer. 'An Inconvenient Truth' is the most relevant, important, thought provoking, and powerful film I have seen in years. Seeing this movie will change your life for the better, and hopefully it will change the world......" - (Ben Lyons - "The Daily Ten" on E!)
NY Times Grinds Bush-Cheney ax
13 years ago
The article could have been written by a Cheney hack. He suggests another tax on gas as an effective solution?!!! Oh yeah, let's hit the poor people with another tax on their way to work. On the one hand, the NY Times holds itself out as the most intellectual rag in the country while on the other ridiculing Al Gore for trying to have an intelligent discussion of a topic that really does threaten us all. What's with that? And by the way, I've seen Al on SNL a number of times and he's always very funny. He has great timing and is a master of the self-deprecatory jokes they give him. As far as I'm concerned, he should have been President, would have made a far better President, and he can talk about it as much as he wants for the rest of his life. That election was the disaster this country may not recover from in my lifetime. Let's stop bashing the few intelligent leaders we have and start implementing real changes in our demand for oil and contributions to global warming...
Obviously had his mind made up in advance
13 years ago
This writer clearly walked into the theater with preconceived notions about the subject, not about to let himself be diverted from them. Other countries' failure to reach their Kyoto goals is hardly relevant to our failure to even attempt to - these other countries weren't nearly as wasteful of energy to begin with. Cutting U.S. emissions is much more critical, and should be much easier as well; we have the most waste that could be trimmed, and we have an abundance of alternate resources we can tap to replace fossil fuels.
alternative technology
13 years ago
I have been researching alternative technology to use personally and to review in a monthly journal that I publish. Has anyone read Troy Helming's book, "The Clean Power Revolution"?  I did. The plan is for more wind turbines which can convert waste water to hydrogen which can use existing pipelines. There has been a great deal of progress towards hydrogen cars and airplanes with light weight carbon frames. The timeline is 10 years and it is plausible. There is another item available now called a Fitch fuel catalyst that claims to reduce car emissions by about 25% and has on at least one test reduced the emissions from a big truck by 68%. If this is such a good product why isn't it mainstream?  We put one on our Van 2 weeks ago and are getting better gas mileage.  Does anyone else have experience with this product or would you like to try it and report?  If it really works it needs to be out there. The US Navy put 7000 units on their ships last summer. Mercede Benz is putting them on their new cars. Seems like a good immediate step with wind and solar a quick follow up. We need to stop the wars and start working together.  Louisa
13 years ago
CEI Founder on Global Warming: ‘It Looks Pretty Good…We’re Moving To A More Benign Planet.’

Josh Marshall linked to our earlier post on the Competitive Enterprise Institute – a front group funded by big oil – and their attack on Al Gore’s new movie. Josh mentioned he remembered that CEI’s founder, Fred Smith, was on Crossfire years ago talking about how “global warming was actually a good thing because of all the cool new crops we could grow.”

Here’s the transcript from Crossfire, 3/27/92:

Mr. SMITH: Look, the point- what we do know and don’t know, we know that carbon dioxide is increasing. We know carbon dioxide is a plant fertilizer which is a positive benefit to the peoples of the world. We know that there are these elaborate computer models that have never been right before, may be right this time, that suggest climate changes, possibly good, possibly bad. Most of the indications right now are it looks pretty good. Warmer winters, warmer nights, no effects during the day because of clouding, sounds to me like we’re moving to a more benign planet, more rain, richer, easier productivity to agriculture-

KINSLEY: Wait a minute.

Mr. SMITH: We’re basically to a world now that’s a lot closer to heaven than hell.

Here’s a summary of the real consequences of global warming from

Filed under: Global Warming

Posted by Judd at 4:54 pm

13 years ago
Comparing Al Gore to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels


Sterling Burnett, a man who works for an organization which takes huge amounts of money from Exxon Mobile went on "Dayside" today to smear Al Gore. These people are beyond shameless. He compared Gore and his new film, "An Inconvenient Truth" to the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

            Video-WMP Video-QT

Notice how the segment ends just as Jeremy Symons was telling the audience that Sterling is a paid, Big Oil shill. Being a Big Oil shill isn't too popular these days.

Burnett: That's the problem. If I thought Al Gore's movie was as you like to say, fair and balanced, I'd say, everyone should go see it, but why go see propaganda? You don't go see Joseph Goebbels’' films to see the truth about Nazi Germany. You don't go see Al Gore’' films to see the truth about global warming...

Symons: Sterling is an odd one to be casting aspersions on what Al Gore's motives are, after all the oil industry has been giving him hundreds of thousands of dollars to his organization, just like tobacco companies used to do to try undercut...

Host: That's a whole other subject guys and we're up against a hard break.

I think a man who just compared Gore to Goebbels and is a Big Oil shill has relevance to this debate.

Off topic but somewhat relevant ...
13 years ago

"on June 2, they're going to explode 700 tons of a simulated nuclear bomb in the nuclear test site in Nevada."


On the surface?

Does anyone know what the "fallout" will be?

The long term consequences to "living beings" as well as the environment?

End Time for Cheap Oil
13 years ago

If Al Gore's documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" has a single message, it's that global warming is bad—very, very bad. Floods, droughts, famine, disease . . . a miasma of End Times calamity caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

Even at that, Gore is—at the risk of paraphrasing—a candy-assed optimist, according to James Howard Kunstler, author of "The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century."

Whereas Gore and other prophets of climate change believe we still have the time and means to avert the worst consequences of anthropogenic global warming—hybrid cars, solar panels!—Kunstler argues with hellish persuasion that we are basically toast. Why? The entire edifice of American civilization—from our mega-scale methods of food production to our great repositories of national wealth, that is, the equity invested in our sprawling suburbs—is propped up, trembling as if balanced on matchsticks, on cheap oil. And there is no substitute for cheap oil.  Glass Onion -> End Time for Cheap Oil

Try These Incovenient Truths
13 years ago
1. It is entirely possible that we will onlly see another degree or two of warming over the next 100 years. There are very few models which predict more.
2. We may not have any more warming, and may move back toward cooling, as we have very, very little data on clouds, and almost no way to predict Solar activity.
3. Al Gore and others who are trying to scare us into action such as voting for them, providing funds for them, or at least loving them, only point to negative effects of warming. There is every reason to believe that many effects of warming will be very beneficial to the planet, to many life forms that now exist, and to some that may come into existence in a warmer ecosystem.
4. Local and global ecosystems are always changing. The issue is not whether we will get warmer by 1 or 8 degrees or cooler by 1 or more, but how do we adapt. This is true whether the change is caused by butterfly wings, earthquakes, or man.
5. There are far more serious issues facing this planet and the people on it that are much more likely than catastrophic global warming. Iran with nukes comes to mind. People like Al Gore with power is a close second (only kidding.)

For more on this topic Http://
13 years ago
Does anyone know if Al Gore divested himself and his family  of their holdings in Occidental Petroleum yet?
13 years ago

The Changing ClimateHow worried you should be.

By Chip Giller and Katharine Wroth
Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2006, at 6:07 AM ET

This week, Al Gore makes his action-hero debut in the movie An Inconvenient Truth. For a moment, let's not call the subject of the film climate change, or even global warming. Let's call it the most extensive science experiment of all time. It's been going on since the start of the Industrial Revolution. The entire planet serves as the lab. And you and 6.5 billion other people are the citizen-scientists working on it—oh, and the guinea pigs, too.

So hey, take a moment to be amazed that you're part of something big! Now adjust your goggles and focus on the details.

Over the last century, the planet's average surface temperature has risen by about 1 degree Fahrenheit. That may not sound like much, but it makes plenty of experts nervous. The increase is due to an overabundance of carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere, which trap too much of the sun's heat. These gases can come from natural sources, including volcanoes, decaying plants, and flatulent farm animals, but humans are a major culprit. That's because we "burn fossil fuels"—by driving, heating our homes, using computers, buying goods that have been manufactured and shipped, and doing many other routine things.

Detractors say the temperature increase and the changes attributed to it—the fact, for instance, that 19 of the 20 hottest years on record have occurred since 1980—are part of normal patterns. While most have abandoned the argument that climate change isn't happening at all, they still insist that scientists disagree about humanity's role. But scientists apparently don't disagree: A 2004 review of 928 papers published on the topic in peer-reviewed journals between 1993 and 2003 found no article arguing against the notion that we are contributing to this trend.

Even President Bush, slow to jump on any bandwagon that doesn't run on oil, has acknowledged the reality of climate change. (Pay no attention to that Sharpie-wielding flack behind the curtain.) Prominent coverage in Time, USA Today, and other publications has recently added a layer of mainstream legitimacy. The question now is not whether the climate is changing, but when and where and how—and what we should do about it.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—created in 1988 by the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization—has estimated that the Earth's average temperature will rise between 2.5 and 10.4 degrees by the year 2100. The oft-used phrase "global warming" suggests that the world will roast, but the changes in store are more complex. The added heat will throw the whole system out of whack. We're in for heat waves and droughts, yes, but also cold snaps, floods, severe storms, and the spread of infectious diseases. As Gore puts it, the whole scenario is like "what someone has called 'a nature hike through the Book of Revelation.' "

The panoply of possibilities, all those "coulds" and "mights," is another reason doubters like to doubt. But this unfolding story is not all hypothetical. It's happening now. In the far north, Inuit hunters have fallen through ice, and villages have lost ground to swelling seas. In the tropics, deluged islanders are making plans for permanent evacuation. In Europe and India, heat waves have killed thousands. Climate-change models predicted these kinds of developments.

If that all sounds far from home, consider Hurricane Katrina. When it first reached Florida, it was a Category 1 storm. While traveling across the warmer-than-usual surface of the Gulf of Mexico, it brewed itself into a Category 5 then actually weakened to a Category 3 before causing the destruction still so fresh in our minds. Why were the Gulf's waters warmer than usual? You guessed it—and models had forecast this type of change, too.

Consider that seas worldwide have risen 4 to 8 inches in the last century, causing Massachusetts alone to lose 65 acres a year. They're expected to rise another 3.5 to 34.6 inches by 2100. Even moderate estimates allow for an 18-inch increase. More than half of U.S. residents live in coastal areas. We're not in Kansas anymore, but maybe we should be.

To brace for these changes, 141 of the world's 192 countries have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, which outlines emissions cuts for developed countries. The protocol isn't perfect—it's just a first step—but if nothing else, it serves as recognition of ...

13 years ago
Ask Mr. ScienceThe moral flaws of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.

Relax: The Al Gore movie has no sex scene. Gore is the only presidential candidate who has made out on national television, so this was a legitimate worry. Otherwise, An Inconvenient Truth could use some action. Maybe a chase scene through the winding streets of Davos. Maybe Gore parachuting off a skyscraper as he shoots at American Petroleum Institute commandos aboard a helicopter. Instead, we get a 100-minute PowerPoint presentation interrupted by outtakes from campaign ads, plus shots of Gore apparently rendered despondent by the weight of his environmental knowledge.

As someone who has come to the view that greenhouse-effect science is now persuasive, I'm glad Gore made a movie that will help average voters understand the subject. An Inconvenient Truth is worthy in content, admirable in intent, and motivated by the sense of civic responsibility Hollywood on the whole has abandoned. About two-thirds is a quasi-documentary of Gore presenting to an audience the greenhouse slide show he's been giving for nearly 20 years. (I attended an early effort, in the late 1980s.) Mostly we see Gore talking and pointing at charts, interspersed with detours into the former vice president's political career: the Florida recount, Gore's stump-speech telling of his son's auto accident and his sister's tragic death from lung cancer. The political sequences have all the heft of a video press release: Time and again we are shown crowds looking adoringly at Gore, or cheering him on. And Katherine Harris may be a natural disaster, but what's she doing in a movie about climate change? If director Davis Guggenheim wanted to film a biography of Gore, he should simply have done so.

When Gore isn't being applauded, Guggenheim presents him as alone and melancholy: walking alone, musing alone, standing alone in a darkened barn. The scenes are meant to convey our inability to imagine the burden the former vice president bears. But they make the political part feel contrived, since Gore scarcely suffers solitude; he has a wonderful, loving family and participates in many public causes.

As a motion picture, An Inconvenient Truth has a lot to say, but contains little imaginative cinematography that might have made global warming engaging at the suburban cineplex. The picture the movie paints is always worst-case scenario. Considering the multiple times Gore has given his greenhouse slide show (he says "thousands"), it's jarring that the movie was not scrubbed for factual precision. For instance, this 2005 joint statement by the science academies of the Western nations, including the National Academy of Sciences, warns of sea-level rise of four to 35 inches in the 21st century; this amount of possible sea-level rise is current consensus science.

Yet An Inconvenient Truth asserts that a sea-level rise of 20 feet is a realistic short-term prospect. Gore says the entire Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets could melt rapidly; the film then jumps to animation of Manhattan flooded. Well, all that ice might melt really fast, and a UFO might land in London, too. The most recent major study of ice in the geologic past found that about 130,000 years ago the seas were "several meters above modern levels" and that polar temperatures sufficient to cause a several-meter sea-level rise may eventually result from artificial global warming. The latest major study of austral land ice detected a thawing rate that would add two to three inches to sea level during this century. Such findings are among the arguments that something serious is going on with Earth's climate. But the science-consensus forecast about sea-level rise is plenty bad enough. Why does An Inconvenient Truth use disaster-movie speculation?

An Inconvenient Truth spends too little time on what audiences might do about global warming, too much time trying to impress us with the Ask Mr. Science side of Gore's personality. Fewer details might have made the movie more effective, especially given that some details are off. For instance, Gore spends a while saying Earth's atmosphere is relatively thin, then somberly declares, "The problem we now face is that this thin layer of atmosphere is being thickened by huge quantities of carbon dioxide." Thickness is not the issue. Carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas produced by fossil-fuel combustion and forest fires, has molecular bonds that vibrate on the same wavelengths at which infrared energy radiates upward from Earth's surface; the vibration warms the CO2, trapping heat. The main atmospheric gas, nitrogen, does not absorb energy on those wavelengths. It is the chemistry of carbon dioxide, not its density, that matters. (See this chemistry page maintained by the carbon dioxide study center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.) Anyway, you don't really need to know how greenhouse gases function. Why does Gore insist on giving a wrong explanation?

The movie takes a wacky side-trip into a conspiracy theory about Philip Cooney, who was a lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute and then ...

13 years ago
If we do care about our grandchildren then we have to do something
Sir David Attenborough
Naturalist Sir David Attenborough has said climate change is the biggest challenge facing the world.

The veteran broadcaster said scientific data clearly showed that climate change was now beyond doubt.

13 years ago

Yes, They Really Are This Desperate

by DarkSyde

Tue May 23, 2006 at 08:44:50 PM PDT

Big Energy shill Sterling Burnett went on Faux News today and compared Al Gore to the late Nazi Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels:

[Crooks and Liars w/video] That's the problem. If I thought Al Gore's movie was as you like to say, fair and balanced, I'd say, everyone should go see it, but why go see propaganda? You don't go see Joseph Goebbels'' films to see the truth about Nazi Germany. You don't go see Al Gore'' films to see the truth about global warming...

Dang, that's not even the usual scary right-wing lunacy, it's just funny in a pathetic sort of way. So anyway, who is Sterling?

NCPA--H. Sterling Burnett , Ph.D. is a Senior Fellow for the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA). While Burnett works on a number of issues, he specializes in issues involving environmental policy.


Exxon Secrets--National Center for Policy Analysis has received $390,900 from ExxonMobil since 1998 ... The global warming "experts" on the [NCPA] team are climate skeptics who opposed the Kyoto Protocol and continue to oppose any regulation of greenhouse gasses. Global warming "experts" include Marlo Lewis and Christopher Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)

Ahh yes, bingo.

Incidentally, the CEI is the group which made the hilarious oily-fuzzy disinfomercials explaining that greenhouses gases are the breath of life. We're going to see more and more of this general behavior as the right-wing lunatics panic in the face of their failed ideology. I hope at least some of it is this comical and relatively benign.

Vote with your wallet: See Al Gore's new movie, An Inconvenient Truth.

Stupid one
13 years ago

I'm the stupid one.

With that out of the way it may then be possible to communicate something that one might consider as a significant factor concerning any human threat of any kind.

Independent power is inevitable. What then will 'the people' do with independent power?

Will they warm up the globe until we all die? If the answer is yes, then, look in the mirror at the guilty stupid one. Blaming others leads to giving power to others who promise to save you from yourself. That power transfer is warming up the globe.

The power transfer is moving the other way, slowly but surely, and before someone suggests putting an end to that flow toward individual power production, in any form whatsoever, like “vote for me”, or ‘give me power to fight big oil’, or yes: give me power to stop global warming, before giving up individual power to send it to a concentrated power in any concentrated form of absolute power of any kind, before doing that, consider looking into ways to suck all the concentrated power back into your little genie bottle for your own home usage.

Here are a few links that may open your eyes some:

Those links sell something like “Global anti-warming”. You send money to them and they send a product right back to you. Take the first link for example. Send money to them. They get power. They send a unit that installs in your car and you get the power back – with interest.

If it sounds like I’m a nutcase economist, then, you may want to learn something about economy. The experts are full of %#&!*%. Take the last link for example. Send them money and they send back a unit that turns %#&!*% into fuel – with interest.

Here is where the economists really blow chunks:

An independent source of energy production, like a solar panel, windmill, electric %#&!*% to fuel generator, automobile water to hydrogen fuel generator (on demand), or any independent source of productive fuel, creates value and utility at the source like having a money tree in your back yard or an oil well in your back yard, and or a gold mine in your back yard.

Economists, every one I’ve tried to communicate with, will not see this:

Energy is ideal money. Economists may see it last. Meanwhile it doesn’t take a genius to see how it works.

Example: One solar panel can pay for itself in about 90 months. From that moment on for the next 30 years sun light turns into free electricity at your independent house and no costs are lost through miles and miles of wires between your house and the electric companies coal or whatever burning electric plant.

About 180 months later a second solar panel is paid for and installed on your house for free (The sun paid for all the costs). The Sun is the banker and lender of last resort. The sun demands no interest payment (just high paying jobs to make and install more solar panels). When the second panel is installed on your house, then, the electricity flow doubles while the rate of savings can double (or one can buy beer with the savings on electricity).

It then takes half the time to install the third solar panel (if one saved the savings and invested the savings in more solar panels rather than investing in beer). In 15 years the entire electric bill is gone as 3 solar panels become enough solar panels and the electric money savings for the next 15 years is enough money flowing from the sun to pay for a whole second unit installed on another house.

In other words the independent production of usable energy finances all the energy requirements in time.

Now that seems like a long time to wait around to fix the global warming problem.

Economists have this term that they may wish to use as they look in the mirror. It is called time preferences. Economists are selling short when they refuse to see energy as ideal money. It is money that can never reach an oversupply. If it does reach oversupply, then, energy will cost nothing.

Imagine that; every home generating personal wealth to a point where the Sun and Wind become the lenders of last resort and the Global Banking Interests have no more need for economists or politicians – because – the Global Bank is the Sun.

water/fuel emulsion fo reduce engine emissions
13 years ago
Hi i'm new here. Thought some of you might be interested in this site with info on mixing water in fuel to reduce greenhouse gasses produced in engine emissions.

Yay nukes?
13 years ago
Most revealing I think is his parrot like touting of nuclear power as and 'safe clean rational' answer. (*awk* "republican!') It still amazes me that anyone still spins this yarn. Especially now in the supposed age of terrorism where we are increasingly neverous about these plantes providing means of access to fuel for nuclear weaponry. That's just what we need, more places on american soil where people can make a dirty bomb!

Never mind the facts that nuclear planets are only clean in that they don't give off air emissions. No, it's just nuclear waste, which unlike air pollutants doesn't go away for hundreds or thousands of years, and is more cancerous and deadly than anything a coal or oil plant can ever muster. Never mind that nuclear plants still reply on an unrewable resource that only gets more expensive with rarity. And never mind that the only thing making them any bit economical are huge subsidies that leave the tax payer paying for most of their construction. There is a reason we haven't built any nuclear plants on American soil for over 20 years. And the only thing that would allow them to be built again is that it's been 20 years, and over that time we tend to forget a few things. Though I think some forget on purpose...and it's on us to refresh their memory.
Nuclear power is uneconomical
13 years ago
About 30 miles from here, they just imploded the cooling tower from the closed Trojan nuclear power plant. Do you know what shut that plant down? It wasn't environmentalists, though they tried; the cost of keeping it running proved prohibitive! The tubes in the plant's steam generator deteriorated much faster than expected in the high heat/pressure/radiation conditions they operated under, and the steam generator needed to be replaced, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. So, having operated for only a fraction of its projected lifespan, the plant was decommissioned.

Is there some magic new material that maintains its structural integrity in such conditions? I haven't heard of any, and as long as components like these require regular replacement, nuclear power will remain horrendously expensive.

Also, the idea that Gore is being alarmist because the concensus of lots of
 government scientists is less extreme is laughable. Top government scientists from whatever country are always very conservative in their predictions; they have a pathological fear of creating panic and economic losses. They wouldn't have risen high in government service without that. I recall all too clearly the prelude to Mt. St. Helens big eruption in 1980 - every senior government scientist downplayed the possibility of a major explosive eruption, even as the mountain bulged dramatically. Even though they lacked adequate data to make a good prediction, and prudence would dictate that you take great caution, the closed "red zone" that was established extended only 5 miles from the peak. That was inadequate even according to government hazard assessments that had been perfomed previously, based just on the risk of mudflows. This did leave timber company lands open for logging, however - no doubt just a coincidence.

The moral is that when economic interests are aligned against mitigating a hazard, don't bet your life on government scientist's assurances that it's not that bad.
the op ed
13 years ago

I like it. It gives me an opportunity to plug two of my groups.

He doesn't propose the quickest and most efficient way to reduce greenhouse emissions: a carbon tax on gasoline and other fossil fuels.

A few environmentalists, like Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace, have recognized that their movement is making a mistake in continuing to demonize nuclear power.

All welcome.

Green Tax Shift

The nuclear option?

13 years ago
NY Times Reviews 'An Inconvenient Truth'

"An Inconvenient Truth is a necessary film."

CANNES, France, May 23 --

[Al Gore] is, rather, the surprisingly engaging vehicle for some very disturbing information. His explanations of complex environmental phenomena — the jet stream has always been a particularly tough one for me to grasp — are clear, and while some of the visual aids are a little corny, most of the images are stark, illuminating and powerful. . .

I can't think of another movie in which the display of a graph elicited gasps of horror, but when the red lines showing the increasing rates of carbon-dioxide emissions and the corresponding rise in temperatures come on screen, the effect is jolting and chilling. Photographs of receding ice fields and glaciers — consequences of climate change that have already taken place — are as disturbing as speculative maps of submerged coastlines. The news of increased hurricane activity and warming oceans is all the more alarming for being delivered in Mr. Gore's matter-of-fact, scholarly tone. . .

As unsettling as it can be, it is also intellectually exhilarating, and, like any good piece of pedagogy, whets the appetite for further study. This is not everything you need to know about global warming: that's the point. But it is a good place to start, and to continue, a process of education that could hardly be more urgent. "An Inconvenient Truth" is a necessary film.

"An Inconvenient Truth" is rated PG (Parental guidance suggested). Some of the subjects discussed might be upsetting.

An Inconvenient Truth -- Opens today in New York and Los Angeles.

Read the whole thing

See the trailer

Global Warming Politics Al Gore Democrats 2008 Election President Gore Tennessee Gore in 2008

Global warming is a fact not theory
13 years ago

I am always amazed at people who have tidbits of knowledge think they know the global warming is some kind of lie. How would you feel if you knew 2 large corporations started a campaign in the early 1990's and their own documents have statements like and I quote it " encourage people and reposition the view on global warming as a theory rather than fact". These companies spent millions of dollars each year on this campaign. Why spend millions on such a campaign if global warming was some kind of a theory? Simple because it is not a theory.

Scientific Fact; Global warming occurs naturally and keeps our planet warm enough for people to survive.

People confuse weather with climate; although related they are 2 different systems.

Our climate system depends on the artic ice caps, why? Well Ice reflects the sun's heat back into outer space. Less ice means more heat stays here. Another problem  is greenhouse gases are making it harder for the ice to do its job and the gases hold the heat in our atmosphere. Siberia permafrost is melting and this was never realized, when permafrost melts it is gone forever and it gives off methane which is much more stronger than carbon dioxide. Due to the melting permafrost in Siberia lakes and streams are forming that have never before been there.

Ask yourself what is the importance of an average of 2 degrees? Of 1 degree? Water freezes at 32 degrees, not 31 and not 33. It is precisely 32 degrees. Water boils at 212 degrees (i think did not look it up) but the point is it is a precise point, which makes it important. We know scientifically wheat crops will Fail if it is just 5 degrees colder then normal. We also know scientifically the ice caps are melting off like never before as far back as scientist can look at ice cores which give us a time table into millions of years ago. We also know scientifically that if the ice continues to melt it will affect the salinity of the ocean, which inturn will affect the Gulf Stream which brings warm water from the south to the north. (Gulf stream is the flow of water that flows south to north, only place in the world this happens the flow comes around Florida and heads north) If the Gulf streams shuts down due to too much fresh water, the north atlantic Will freeze without the warm tropical waters. We know scientifically, if the ice caps continue to melt at this rate, there is not enough ice to reflect out the sun's heat, and the ocean's blue color will instead obsorb such heat making it warmer. Warmer oceans mean worlwide failure of reef systems, and then loss of thousands of marine species that depend on these reef systems.

You must ask yourself, why would 2000 scientists from around the global form the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change). One reason is too keep American politics and agendas out of scientific truth. They formed this panel so there would be so many different scientists who would not be pressured or swayed by large corporations, media, or politicians with agendas other than the truth. Who do you believe? Scientists who say we are changing the planet, or some politician, or some friend who thinks it is not real.

You must also ask yourself, is it right to stand by and wait for the truth to be so obvious before we act? While we do this those who will be affected first are the poorest people who live off the lands. The suffering of so many people on such a mass scale, is so unfair when we could act now to change the future.

Is it fair not to act now because many think it will be 20 years before we see the real affects where we live? Is it fair to leave a mess for our children and their children, when we simple could work for better technology that is out there waiting to be developed? It is not being developed because those who are filthy rich off of oil, and cars, and logging are fighting it, they are seducing our politicians with gifts that I call bribes, but they call lobbying. These are the people who want to strip whatever they can for money, plain and simple, money, greed, money. Most of us who do not have this kind of money do not understand that people who are this rich, will do whatever to keep this lifestyles of yachts and servants and luxury beyond our imagination. Their whole life revolves around getting more money and keeping what money they have. No Matter the cost. Their lawyers look over laws for loops and ways to get around playing by the rules and their money buys politicians who sell out their country for luxuries.

Ask yourself this simple question. Who wins if we switch to cheaper sources of renewable and clean energy? The working class American has cheaper fuel, cheaper heating and electric bills, cars that get more MPG. So who wins? We do of course. So then who loses? The car makers lose their comfy purks from oil companies for making sure cars only get so many MPG, oil loses because they sell less oil, energy companies lose because they must provide cheaper alternatives.

If you just use common sense and reason, it is easy to see what this fight is really about.

One other thing, the most destructive natural disasters feed on heat. Tornados and hurricanes feed on heat, the hotter it is the stronger these storms are. While global warming will not affect the amount of storms we get, it will affect the strength of such storms.

You can make this whole debate very easy and simply say do I trust scientific evidence, or do I trust the idiots who are part of this "skeptic campaign" that has been going on and is still being funded since the 1990's when we first had proof of climatic problems.

I must say I trust the 2000 scientist whose only agenda is the truth without pressure or influence.

focus on message not messanger
13 years ago
Don't blame the mesenger 9:05 PM

Don't make the issue about Gore. He is only trying to wake us up. What he meant by over representations was how films try to show what we can expect in the extreme, if everything was to be like say a perfect disaster.

Common sense tells us if trees provide oxygen, and if we need oxygen to live, should we slow down destruction of our forests and stop logging old growth forests? Come on, you cannot be that thick.

Solar wave or Solar what?? You are quite wrong on this matter, the sun's activity peaks every 11 YEARS, and not until 2011 do we expect a peak in solar storms. So make sure you have your facts correct before you talk about something you half listened to. It is a fact solar storms peak every 11 years and these storms wreak havoc on technology not weather or climate and remember weather and climate are 2 different systems. Climate depends on ice caps, gases in our atmospere, and ocean temperature as well as other issues.

Already in the artic the inuit indians are losing their homes since the ice pact that protected their island for years has melted, and now the sea is taking back their island as well as hundreds of homes which have been lost to the sea since the ice pact is gone and now erosion has forced them to move.

Just because we do not see the affects where we live does not mean it is not happening. Polar bears are starving and dying because they need the freeze to hunt for seals, now the freeze the used to arrive early October does not arrive till late november. We have proof of unprecident activities occurring all over the world, but without media coverage most people are unaware unless they must research such information, Like I had to for my college paper. What I uncovered was the biggest cover-up I could have ever imagined. While most of the world signed on to reduce emissions, the USA or Bush, refused to sign on and reduce emissions even though we such down 50% of the world's oil, no other country even comes close to us. We also are the largest pollutors of greenhouse gases. Venus is a perfect example of global warming, look it up. The planet is so hot due to so much carbon dioxide, the heat cannot escape.

Stop focusing on the messenger and really look at the message.

13 years ago
The article makes me think Gore wants to run for president again. He is focussing on what people can easily agree on - that something needs to be done - and avoiding what people wil disagree on - what we should actually do. The biggest barrier to tackling the greenhouse effect is people who whinge about petrol prices. That's why Gore didn't mention a carbon tax.
13 years ago

Gail - I'm with you. It's too bad so many people focus on the messenger and can't get beyond this.  Trying to paint it as some disingenuous plan that Gore's using to run for president is ludicrous.  Trying to cut down the value of the message because you think he's got some ulterior motive is short sighted.  Saying that he's unwilling to suggest certain tough solutions because it's politically unpleasant... well, we can all ponder that one for ages and never get anywhere.

The point is, global warming is happening, we need to take action now, and the movie will help wake up the public to the importance of this.  Whether you like Gore or not, you should be glad he's had the fortitude to get the message out there when no one else has managed to get the buzz we're hearing now about this issue.  And if you think he's not helping enough, then tell us who is doing a better job and let's help them too.

13 years ago

In 'A Test of Our Character,' Paul Krugman contends that "the right's panicky response to Mr. Gore's film ... reveals for all to see the dishonesty and fear-mongering on which the opposition to doing something about climate change rests," and asks whether we are "ready for political leaders who don't pander."

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