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Posts Tagged ‘Al Gore’

Over duck confit and sea trout, Prad and I engaged into a passionate conversation with Hong, the woman sitting next to us, at ‘Le Pied de Fouet’, one of my favorite little restaurants in the Latin Quarter. We quickly learned that Hong is involved in big carbon trading and energy deals all over the world.  Hong’s friend was listening quietly, then brought up her niece, a chemist. ‘My niece says global warming is a natural thing, and there is nothing we can do about it.‘ The chemist had been convincing enough, that Hong’s friend did not feel any urgency and took a passive stance towards climate change. ‘Have you heard of “An Inconvenient Truth”‘, Hong asked. No, her friend hadn’t, but she was willing to check it out. 

Climate deniers and their naive followers know no frontiers. The deniers are a hard bunch to reason with. Their followers, on the other hand only need to be shown the real truth, to understand.

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I will be following with great interest the progress of the recently launchedTogether” citizen engagement campaign on climate change.

A UK import from The Climate Group, “Together” comes on the heels of Al Gores disappointing “we” campaign. I like that it is a true collaborative effort between environmental organizations, major American cities, media organizations, and big businesses. Whether the citizens will respond is another story.

Also, I couldn’t help but think, what would happen if the “we” people, and the “Together” team worked towards a single, unified campaign? Environmental organizations have this deplorable tendency of fragmenting their efforts.

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Pangea Day was a remarkable event in many ways. A live demonstration that it is possible to use Internet technology to bring together, in a participatory manner, millions of people from all over the world, using the power of film, and creativity. 

In the spirit of the event, I would like to share with you, my top three picks.

#1. Papiroflexia. An animation feat. If movies could be poems, they would look like this:

#2. The Ball. I will never be able to throw away any one thing after seeing the video. 

#3. Pale Blue Dot. Makes you think about the big questions . . . I had flashbacks from Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth.

Thoughts, feelings?

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All the Earth Day circus put me in no mood to celebrate. Still, last night I attended an Earth Day event, sponsored by E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), two organizations that I am very proud to support. Robert Redford was the main speaker. He was one of my idols, growing up, and I did not want to miss a chance to meet the man in person. Mr. Redford did not disappoint me. I came out of the evening with a renewed sense of commitment, and wishing that more people could have heard him live. Here is a video of a similar talk that he gave for the Apollo Project:

During his Earth Day speech, Robert Redford emphasized again the power of optimism, and of dwelling on opportunities and solutions. ‘America doesn’t do well with doom and gloom. Let’s get off how bad it is. Let’s get on with what can be done.‘ Robert Redford’s new push is on water and the need for quick solutions to the unfolding worldwide water shortage. For those of you also interested in water, click here.

Robert Redford is the perfect eco-hero, someone with the power to inspire through his example, and who has walked his talk for forty years. I can’t help but compare him with Al Gore. Although I am a big fan of Al, my response to his discourse is very different. Al Gore appeals to my intellect. Robert Redford grabs my heart and inspires my whole being to go further and to act.

The power of example.

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Framing Science is using comparison between two years ago‘s Time Magazine special issue on global warming, and this year‘s special issue on same topic, to make a point on shift that is taking place in the media and the collective consciousness:

From fear of global threat and helplessness, to hope and interest in personal solutions. As I look inside, I certainly have made that travel as well. This is also confirmed by latest Nielsen research.

I am curious to know. Does this match your personal experience as well?

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Just published by Reuters, the following update from Lord Stern, the author of the now famous 2006 Stern Report. I am reproducing the Reuters interview in its entirety, as this is critical information in my opinion:

Climate change expert Nicholas Stern says he under-estimated the threat from global warming in a major report 18 months ago when he compared the economic risk to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Latest climate science showed global emissions of planet-heating gases were rising faster and upsetting the climate more than previously thought, Stern said in a Reuters interview on Wednesday.

For example, evidence was growing that the planet’s oceans — an important “sink” — were increasingly saturated and couldn’t absorb as much as previously of the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2), he said.

Emissions are growing much faster than we’d thought, the absorptive capacity of the planet is less than we’d thought, the risks of greenhouse gases are potentially bigger than more cautious estimates, and the speed of climate change seems to be faster,” he told Reuters at a conference in London.

Stern said that increasing commitments from some countries such as the European Union to curb greenhouse gases now needed to be translated into action. Policymakers, businesses and environmental pressure groups frequently cite the Stern Review as a blueprint for urgent climate action.

The report predicted that, on current trends, average global temperatures will rise by 2-3 degrees centigrade in the next 50 years or so and could reduce global consumption per head by up to 20 percent, with the poorest nations feeling the most pain.

Some academics said he had over-played the costs of potential future damage from global warming at up to twenty times the cost of fighting the problem now, such as by replacing fossil fuels with more costly renewable power.

Stern said on Wednesday that increasing evidence of the threat from climate change had vindicated his report, published in October 2006.

People who said I was scaremongering were profoundly wrong,” he told the climate change conference organized by industry information provider IHS.

A U.N. panel of scientists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), writes regular summaries on climate science and last year shared the Nobel Peace prize with former U.S. vice president Al Gore for raising awareness.

Its latest report in 2007 had not taken detailed account of some dangerous threats, including the falling ability of the world’s oceans to absorb CO2, because scientists had to be cautious and that evidence was just emerging, the former World Bank chief economist added.

“The IPCC has done a tremendous job but things are moving on,” he told Reuters.

“The IPCC’s (cautious) approach to this is entirely understandable and sensible, but if you’re looking ahead and asking about the risk then you do have to go beyond.”

Stern said that to minimize the risks of dangerous climate change global greenhouse gas emissions should halve by mid-century. He said the United States should cut its emissions by up to 90 percent by then.

Will world leaders listen, and take action, quick?

 

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From Media Curves, interesting new research on level of agreement with “we” campaign ad, amongst different age groups:

I have voiced this before, I am not a great fan of this particular ad. The research seems to validate my feelings. It also confirms something else we knew from previous research, that the younger generation is most likely to respond to calls to climate action.

Mark, you are right, the AGW brigade is very active, as evidenced once more by the types and quantity of comments left on the YouTube site for this particular video. I did try to restore a bit of balance by leaving a comment, but that’s only one voice!

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