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For a long time, the fossil fuel companies and their political puppets have denied global warming.  Some spokesmen even declare that people loved warm weather--that's why they took vacations in the tropics.  So if it turned out that the temperature was rising, what was your problem?

An excellent PBS documentary, "What's Up With The Weather," interviewed a spokesman for Western Fuels Association.  He said:  "I understand that people get uneasy over the concept of more CO2 going into the air, but you can't live your life based on speculation. And we know today that using fossil fuels is a good thing. It leads to economic growth. It allows more people to live longer on Earth. These are- there are positive goods that come from using fossil fuels. There's a speculative `bad' that people are holding out there, saying, `Therefore, let's stop using fossil fuels.' And I think that's an imprudent approach."
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/warming/etc/script.html

When Big Coal doesn't like the weather report, it mounts an aggressive public relations approach.  This is still going on, and it has been so effective that people actually believe "clean coal" is a reality and are unaware that mining and combustion and coal ash are still releasing vast quantities of pollutants and greenhouse gases.  People don't see black smoke coming out of stacks so are unaware of the invisible gases:  mercury vapor, radon, and, worst of all for the atmosphere, carbon dioxide--billions and billions of tons of it.  People are unaware of the public health studies by respected outfits have determined that 32,000 Americans die prematurely as a result of power plant coal combustion.  This does not include miners. Coal waste, allowed to remain out in the open and get into the water table, contains toxic heavy metals and other pollutants.

The Deniers in Chief are the oil executives in the White House.  Bush comes from a state in the grip of the oil industry and the biggest open coalmines in the US are in Wyoming.  

For a long time the administration denied the existence of global climate change.  Its motto: " If you don't like the weather, hire Frank Luntz, bafflegab expert." He told the Bushies not to refer to global warming because it was too scary and to keep people's minds off the present and focused on a rosier future.
http://www.ewg.org/briefings/luntzmemo/

Someone in the administration announced that global climate change really did exist, and before the election in an interview Bush was asked about that.  He had not heard the news.

Meanwhile, the US has continued to pump out more greenhouse gases than any other nation.  China, even with all its smoky coal-fired plants supplying the electricity that makes our cheap WalMart goods, remains a distant second.    

Now a climate expert who the Bush people chose with the assumption that he would be a sock puppet has stood on his own two feet and broken ranks.

Global Warming Approaching Point of No Return, Warns Leading Climate Expert
by Geoffrey Lean

Global warning has already hit the danger point that international attempts to curb it are designed to avoid, according to the world's top climate watchdog.

Dr Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the official Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told an international conference attended by 114 governments in Mauritius this month that he personally believes that the world has "already reached the level of dangerous concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere" and called for immediate and "very deep" cuts in the pollution if humanity is to "survive".

His comments rocked the Bush administration - which immediately tried to slap him down - not least because it put him in his post after Exxon, the major oil company most opposed to international action on global warming, complained that his predecessor was too "aggressive" on the issue.

A memorandum from Exxon to the White House in early 2001 specifically asked it to get the previous chairman, Dr Robert Watson, the chief scientist of the World Bank, "replaced at the request of the US". The Bush administration then lobbied other countries in favor of Dr Pachauri - whom the former vice-president Al Gore called the "let's drag our feet" candidate, and got him elected to replace Dr Watson, a British-born naturalized American, who had repeatedly called for urgent action.

But this month, at a conference of Small Island Developing States on the Indian Ocean island, the new chairman, a former head of India's Tata Energy Research Institute, himself issued what top United Nations officials described as a "very courageous" challenge.

For more, see
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/environment/story.jsp?story=603752

What are you in the reality-based community doing about this crisis?  We may have different ideologies, but what about scientific fact?

Where do you get the electricity from that enables you to operate your computer and go online and light up your home?

Originally posted to Plan9 on Mon Jan 24, 2005 at 10:10 AM PST.

Poll

I get most of my electricity from

12%7 votes
19%11 votes
28%16 votes
33%19 votes
3%2 votes
1%1 votes
0%0 votes
1%1 votes

| 57 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Forgot natural gas in the poll (none)
    Natural gas is replacing coal combustion to some extent and the US has plans to increase imports from the Middle East and elsewhere of huge amounts of gas frozen to liquid (LNG).  

    Just in case you think you are being a good citizen of the earth by championing natural gas, remember:
    --While natural gas is cleaner than coal, it produces over 5.5 billion metric tons of waste per year in the US alone. Plenty of that is carbon dioxide gas.

    --The amount of explosive potential contained in the nergy of one mile of a natural-gas pipeline three feet in diameter is the equivalent of two thirds of a kiloton.  Number of miles of natural gas pipelines in the world that are three feet in diameter:  over one million.

    --People are killed annually in the US from natural gas explosions, and LNG cargo poses a ready terrorist target.

  •  You forgot... (none)
    "The socket on my wall, and otherwise I could really give a damn" in your poll, for any Rethuglicans that might be visiting today.

    The Cognitive Dissonant... "Bringing Marshmallows to the Firestorms of Freedom!"

    by Dood Abides on Mon Jan 24, 2005 at 10:20:05 AM PST

  •  If useful to you... (none)
    ...please recommend and pass along this diary so that more people learn what's going on with global atmospheric warming due to human pollution.

    Learning where your watts come from is a good place to begin practical thoughts about what to do next about global warming.

    Thanks.

  •  I live in California. We buy ours from all but (none)
    the Amish.

    Just finished a great book "Eye of the Whale" by Dick Russell, talking about the reduction in the number of grey whales migrating up and down the West Coast. Changes in the ice caps, longer length of ice coverage resulting in less food (amphipod production), changes in water temperature, and illegal hunting by the Japanese have reduced the numbers of grey whales (still protected) to critical numbers, again, over the last 6 years.

    We must do better!

    Most Americans are a lot dumber than we give them credit for- George Carlin 2004

    by maggiemae on Mon Jan 24, 2005 at 11:22:00 AM PST

  •  I wonder how different this might be (none)
    if Gore had been our president the previous 4 years.

    The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

    by TXsharon on Mon Jan 24, 2005 at 12:16:42 PM PST

  •  Kudos (none)
    A "4" and recommended.  Not for bringing up the subject (which needed bringing up) or for such a thoughtful article, oh no...you get a 4 for this:

    Now a climate expert who the Bush people chose with the assumption that he would be a sock puppet has stood on his own two feet and broken ranks.

    BWHAHAHAHA...sock puppet...!

    There are bagels in the fridge

    by Sychotic1 on Mon Jan 24, 2005 at 12:18:57 PM PST

  •  Great find. (none)
    I'll recommend, and thanks for linking this in my diary re global warming. This is a pretty critical admission from BushCo that should be getting more play - esp. given the fake "crisis"-mongering they've been doing lately with Social Security (and also with WMD, etc. etc.)
  •  For the next "This Week in Fascism" (none)
         Bald Andy added another scientist where the Bush regime is trying to fire a whistleblower scientist. This time the target is Dr. Jonathan Fishbein, who was hired in 2003 to improve patient safety practices in the NIH related to AIDS research. Fishbein was targeted for firing within days of raising allegations last February of interference and a hostile work environment against AIDS Division Deputy Director Jonathan Kagan. Fishbein was recommended for a cash award for his job performance, and all was well until he started talking to Congress about shoddy practices and poor patient practices.
    I am sure everyone has an opinion on the report by Dr Rajendra Pachauri concerning the need to do something immediatley or face uncontrollable climate change. There were at least 6 Diaries on this Monday morning.
    • Take Action: Countdown to global catastrophe by S. Basaman which concentrated on the lack of RWCM coverage.
    • Bush Appointee: Cut Pollution ASAP or Adios to Humanity by Plan9 which got little attention
    • Bush's Leading Climate Expert: Global Warming at Critical Moment by G factor that was almost totally missed
    • Want to see a real crisis? Global Warming heating up by Virginia Dem which got a whole lot of attention
    • 10 Years to Armageddon. by Expat Briton which was missed due to Virginia's popular diary
    • Want to see a real crisis? A partial counterpoint by Yertle, who is an actual climatologist, presented an excellent method of framing the issue that uses both divergent viewpoints and still provides an effective call for action. I recommend both Yertle's and Virginia's. I will hold my commentary till we see if we get a reaction from the Republicans.

    This Week in Fascism is now on Thursday and due out at 20:00 PST.

    "It's about the accountability, stupid." Thomas Davis 2005

    by Tomtech on Thu Jan 27, 2005 at 04:56:26 PM PST

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