Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"Al Gore Screens His Global Warming Message"

Al Gore was on NPR's Fresh Air yesterday(?), interviewed by Terry Gross. I listened to it as a podcast on my way home. It is quite a long interview, and the best interview I have heard with Al Gore. Get it on iTunes, or go to the website to listen to the realmedia or windowsmedia audio.

While we are speaking of Al Gore, here is the trailer for An Inconvenient Truth:

By the way, I don't agree with the sensational shocking, terrifying, marketing for this. It sounds even more affected next to the faux blasé word "Inconvenient". Don't get me wrong. Global warming is very likely to be true, and even if we aren't sure of it, we should err on the side of not roasting the planet. Ice ages have extended ice caps nearly to the equator in the past. At other times, Antarctica was ice-free. Only 10,000 or 15,000 years ago, sea levels were over a hundred meters lower, and most of what is now land was ice. Industrial-scale activities are having industrial-scale changes, changing global climate. Events like Katrina may happen every few years, drowning cities just as 20th century cities were once prone to burn down. (Tokyo burned to the ground in 1923 and again in 1945, twice in a century.) We should not have so much trouble getting our heads around the reality of climate change. (The IPCC says the polar melting will span the next 1000 years, so there will be some time to move house.) However, I think the emotional and apocalyptic language of this trailer adds emotional distance, makes it more unreal, harder for people to accept. I also disagree with the arrogance in the idea that we will kill Gaia. Every species that has lived on the Earth has eventually died. Gaia is a tough chick, and will shake us off long before her own wounds are fatal. I believe Gaia is kind enough to give us a good kick in the teeth first, maybe knock us down for a century or two while she sops up some of that CO2. That doesn't change the need to make our own adjustments, like Alan Greenspan soft-landing the economy, in order to avoid Mother Nature adjusting us.
"Aw, c'mon Mom, give Fire Monkey another chance!"

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