Mark Brandon is the Managing Partner of First Sustainable (http://www.firstsustainable.com), a registered investment advisory catering to socially responsible investors. In addition to Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), he may opine on social venturing, microfinance, community investing, clean technology commercialization, sustainability public policy, green products, and, on occasion, University of Texas Longhorn sports.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Alarmism in Climate Change Circles?

Many reasons exist for the lack of urgency among politicians and the general public about Global Warming. One of them is a sense that they've all seen predictions of doom in the past, some of which are laughable now. Senator James Inhofe, who is the leading skeptic in Congress, recently held up a 30-year-old Newsweek article warning us all of the coming Ice Age as a result of Global Cooling. The theory was that aerosols in the air would reflect the sun's heat back into space, resulting in cooler temperatures and a return of the North American glaciers. The increased glacier cover would bounce more of the sun's radiation back into space, creating the feedback loop of cooler temperatures and more glacier coverage. Back then, we were coming off several back to back years of cooler-than-average temperatures.

A few weeks ago, I saw a PBS documentary on television about Global Dimming. In this scenario, man-made atmospheric particles such as coal soot from power plants absorbs the light from the sun before it gets to the surface, causing a change in growing seasons, shifting monsoonal rainfall, and cooling the earth's surface. The worst type of manipulation was used in this documentary, showing images from the 1980's Ethiopian famine with emaciated children and dead cattle. The show concluded with a demonstration that the solutions to Global Dimming could easily be implemented, except that eliminating the cooling effect would exacerbate Global Warming. Switch to pictures of oceans on fire, stranded polar bears, and collapsing glaciers.

This morning, I read a story of one lone scientist who has a theory that the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs was actually only the final straw in a wave of species extinction caused by tens of thousands of years of warming. Not much weight is given to this theory in scientific circles, yet it deserved a spot in our morning newspapers.

Predictions of Armageddon, including your "run-of-the-mill" global catastrophes and the actual Armageddon apocalypse of the Bible, have always sold newspapers and magazines. Educated, and not-so-well educated, readers have come to regard them with fatigue. With all due respect to Al Gore, a politician makes a living by predicting doom and gloom (which can only be avoided by electing me). Why should the general public accept him as the spokesperson?

Now we have panels of virtually all respected climate scientists and numerous Nobel laureates saying that we really are facing a catastrophe from Global Warming. Here is where this cause departs from the other two. There is virtually no argument that Global Warming is happening and that humans are causing it. The questions are only what will the consequences be and how bad will it get.

Anybody who reads this blog knows that I am not a denier of Global Warming, and I even appreciate Al Gore's efforts. I am not qualified enough to know if those other theories hold water. However, I feel like a strategy change is in order. Thus far, we have been relying on manipulative pictures and video of doom and gloom. Even "An Inconvenient Truth" was guilty of this (by the way, I do believe this is a great film). The advocates need to take a page from Ronald Reagan and profess eternal optimism that we can invent our way out of this mess. Demonstrate the technologies. Show how cleaning up the atmosphere can be both helpful and profitable. Relive how multiple countries were able to come together to help eliminate CFC's, thereby actually shrinking the hold in the ozone layer. Above all, hammer home at every turn how THERE IS SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS. The naysayers need to be marginalized as the kooks (or worse) that they are.

Of course, I realize that this is all easier than it sounds, and that many good people are already working on these fronts. One writer who does this extremely well is Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute. His book, Natural Capitalism, is one of the reasons I am in this business.

3 Comments:

Blogger qishaya said...

is one of the labels that never become outdated. Designing by ed hardy sale one of the best tattoo artists that ever lived, these clothes will clearly deposit the suffering of time- trend sensible. cheap ed hardy Being able to buy clothes that are considered to be forever in tailor is indeed challenging. ed hardy online shop The key to this feat is actually unadorned. ed hardy swimwear You must forever reminisce that in shape, ed hardy hats it is very important that the designs are well-thought of, ed hardy sunglasses and reflects all types of personalities. ed hardy belts If a consumer relates to the mode, then you can be assured that the individual will always feel at diminish with what he is tiresome. ed hardy mens This is the debate why you should actually christian audigier think about what clothes fit your own form before selling them.

8:50 PM

 
Blogger DiSCo said...

Really trustworthy blog. Please keep updating with great posts like this one. I have booked marked your site and am about to email it

to a few friends of mine that I know would enjoy reading..
seslisohbet
seslichat
sesli sohbet
sesli chat
sesli
sesli site
görünlütü sohbet
görüntülü chat
kameralı sohbet
kameralı chat
sesli sohbet siteleri
sesli chat siteleri
görüntülü sohbet siteleri
görüntülü chat siteleri
kameralı sohbet siteleri
canlı sohbet
sesli muhabbet
görüntülü muhabbet
kameralı muhabbet
seslidunya
seslisehir
sesli sex

10:11 AM

 
Blogger Sesli Chat said...

Really trustworthy blog. Please keep updating with great posts like this one. I have booked marked your site and am about to email it

to a few friends of mine that I know would enjoy reading..
seslisohbet
seslichat
sesli sohbet
sesli chat
sesli
sesli site
görünlütü sohbet
görüntülü chat
kameralı sohbet
kameralı chat
sesli sohbet siteleri
sesli chat siteleri
sesli muhabbet siteleri
görüntülü sohbet siteleri
görüntülü chat siteleri
görüntülü muhabbet siteleri
kameralı sohbet siteleri
kameralı chat siteleri
kameralı muhabbet siteleri
canlı sohbet
sesli muhabbet
görüntülü muhabbet
kameralı muhabbet
birsesver
birses
seslidunya
seslisehir
sesli sex

6:21 AM

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home