Monday, March 12, 2007

Tom Brokaw joined the Church of Global Warming (Praise Gaia and her anointed prophet Al Gore! Hah-men!) with his documentary called "Global Warming: What You Need to Know, with Tom Brokaw." Some of the show I agreed with: recycling using energy saving lights, using public transit, buying more fuel efficient vehicles, and so forth. But what convinced me he had joined the Church are two tiny things.

First, in outlining the CO2 contributions a family of four makes to Global Warming, they mentioned the cost of transporting food. They neglected to mention the cost of transporting their clothes, their TVs, the furniture in their house and they completely ignored the CO2 contribution made by Fido, their dog. If it's a good idea to buy locally grown produce to cut down on CO2 emissions, wouldn't it be prudent to buy clothes made in the United States as opposed to those made in China, say? China is industrializing rapidly, opening a coal fired power plant every week and will continue to do so until 2020, according to NPR. The Norwegian Polar Institute says concentrations of carbon dioxide emitted largely by burning fossil fuels in power plants, factories and cars, had risen to 390 parts per million from 388 ppm a year ago, mainly caused by rising emissions from Asian industry led by China. Isn't it odd that the country we get most of our household products from is ignored in the CO2 calculations. Also ignored is the CO2 footprint required by pet ownership: food manufacture, accessories and trips to the vet. How much would the family have saved in CO2, Tom, if they didn't have a dog? He told us how much we could save by changing one normal light bulb for a florescent model--enough to equal the output of 1000 cars! Why, that should allow them to have two SUVs! Isn't that a bit like having a diet soda so you can have another cookie? But he didn't mention how much Fido adds to the CO2 footprint, what with the manufacture and transportation of pet food and accessories.

The second thing that convinced me Tom has been converted is an interview with a "Global Warming expert." The talking head said that if we all took this steps we could "stop Global Warming." I shit you not. He said we could STOP GLOBAL WARMING! Bullshit! According to The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850 by Brian Fagan, a Little Ice Age hit the world in 1300 causing global temperatures to fall, on average, 7 degrees. In the middle of the 15th century, wine production in the English Midlands was abandoned because it became too cold to grow grapes. As a result, England and Germany turned to cereal based alcohol, and, incidentally, is why Americans drink beer. According to Fagan, global temperatures since 1300 have risen about 4 degrees, and they're still not growing many grapes in England. If this talking head Brokaw talked to is to be believed, had the Industrial Revolution not come along and began spewing CO2, it would still be 4 degrees cooler; that man is the only reason the climate has changed? Bullshit, I say again. We could no more stop Global Warming than we could start it. This talking head is using false information to get you to support his action plan. Bush did that in Iraq and it was ethically wrong. Gore did it in "An Inconvenient Truth" and it was ethically wrong. And it's ethically wrong here.

Should we recycle? Hell, yes. Should we drive smaller, more fuel efficient cars? Hell, yes! Will we? No. You and I don't have the economic muscle to go against the big corporations that own our elected officials, Republican and Democrat. We will continue to tilt at the corporate windmills while people like Gore and Brokaw keep our attention off the real threat to the world's climate: China.



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