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Posts Tagged ‘environment

What Will it Take For Us to Get Serious About Global Warming? Serious Global Warming

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hope y'all like swimming

hope y'all like swimming

Let’s start with a little history of something totally unrelated. Cigarettes.

Smoking and global warming have very little in common, except this. They both show that human beings are not too great at getting a message. It was in the early sixties that a definitive link was made between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer. And yet here we are forty-five years later with people dying in their droves the world over. Sure, communication is better than ever, as are the scare tactics, let alone the evidence, but cigarettes are still a very profitable business.

There’s only one reason for that, and it can be summed up in a few very simple words. “It ain’t gonna happen to me”.  Humans are eternal optimists. Half a million people a year are dying of smoking-related diseases each year. But it ain’t gonna happen to little old me. Right.

Now let’s take global warming. For years a vast preponderance of experts have been telling us that global warming is coming. Only a few days ago, the Intergovernmental Panel and Climate Change (IPCC) said that they’d got it wrong in their earlier reports which they pretty much said were politically watered-down to make their recommendations even remotely workable. Turns out that they’d figured we’d be more energy efficient by now, and stop with our coal addiction. But efficiencies flattened out and coal is now the fossil fuel du jour for China and India. Their forecasts for serious global warming just got way more dire. Read the rest of this entry »

Green Doesn’t Stop in a Recession

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own a prius. cough it up, chump.

own a prius? cough it up, chump.

In the midst of US preparation for the upcoming Copenhagen Treaty on climate change you’d think that we were all laser-focused on trying to combat global warming for once and for all. Uhh, no.

Despite the fact that the lower fossil fuel demand is a boon for reducing emissions it seems that at lower levels of government, reducing our carbon footprint is thrown out with the bathwater when it comes to paying our lowly state and city bills.

I live in Los Angeles. As I drove to drop off my son at school, I heard two news stories. First, the national story – a stirring presentation at the Senate by Al Gore urging Senate support for the Copenhagen treaty. The second was a local story about how money was so tight that the City of LA would no longer offer free meter parking downtown for Hybrids. The amount of money they’ll save will be negligible, but the message is clear. The City of LA doesn’t care if you buy hybrids anymore. Read the rest of this entry »

Recession Is Good For The Environment

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getting kinda hot in here

Houston, and everywhere else in the nation, we have a problem.

In the latest “Direction of Country” Gallup tracking poll, 87% of respondents said we were on the wrong track.

In another recent Gallup poll about the level of environmental concern, 61% said we should be doing more on global warming, and 68% continue to think we should act even if other countries, like China, do less.

Driving less would be one way to improve matters. And yet the recent news from the US Department of Transportation estimates that Americans will drive nearly 80 billion fewer miles in 2008 than we did in 2007 is greeted as a sign the country is on the wrong track, not the right track. Read the rest of this entry »