×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Americans Gearing up to Fight Global Warming

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the war-on-melting-icecaps dept.

1104

TechnoGuyRob writes "Global warming has been one of the most controversial and debated issues in the political and scientific sphere. A recent poll published in the Chicago Sun-Times now shows that 'An overwhelming majority of Americans think they can help reduce global warming and are willing to make the sacrifices that are needed, a new poll shows. After years of controversy, 71 percent of Americans now say they think global warming is real.'" (Jamie adds: and all it took was twelve years of overwhelming scientific consensus.)

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

There's a lot of potential (5, Insightful)

yog (19073) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057012)

This is clearly a situation where strong federal leadership is needed. If Americans are on board with reducing global warming, then let's make reduced fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions a reality by:
- mandating higher MPGs in automobiles
- granting huge tax credits for solar heating/electric panels on private and commercial buildings
- mandating solar equipment for ALL federal buildings
- mandating a switch to ethanol or methanol biofuels for federal fleets
- grant tax breaks for anyone switching to biofuels
- aid to cities that want to build or expand public transportation
- aid to cities to convert existing buses to biofuels
- massage research into alternative energy
- end the war in Iraq to free up the funds for the above initiatives
- Wind mill farms granted more eminent domain power (e.g., to overcome NIMBY opposition by estate owners in Marblehead, Massachusetts because "it ruins the view").

Germany during World War II switched to hydrogen for its cars when its petroleum supplies were cut off. Brazil has switched to domestically produced alcohol. It's all do-able with a strong federal leadership. This is clearly a situation where the market economy is going to favor lower prices, not (necessarily) environmentally desirable results. The federal government is the agent that can mandate the conditions necessary to make this stuff a reality.

Re:There's a lot of potential (4, Insightful)

uniqueUser (879166) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057061)

mandating higher MPGs in automobiles

I do not want our government mandating what types of products I can sell or buy any more than they do now. If you want to cut the amount of fuel that Americans consume, raise the tax on fuel. As much as I would hate to pay more at the pump, this is the fairest way to do it. Don't tax people on what they drive, but how much energy they consume.

Re:There's a lot of potential (3, Insightful)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057162)

Exactly.

I recently bought a new car. I was on the hedge about getting either a super-efficient car or a larger car with a sporty engine. I picked the larger car that gets around 20MpG with suburban-area driving (better on the highway).

However, my commute is only 10 miles (through the suburbs) each way and I don't go very far during the weekends. Meanwhile, I know people who drive 4-cyl Civics that drive about 4-5 times as much as I do commuting alone; lord knows what their weekend travel is like. Meaning they use at least twice the fuel I use.

If I have to pay more at the pump, then fine. But if I want to buy a bigger car with a sporty V6 then I should be able to without having to worry about the Fed crippling it.

Sure, my next car will probably be a more efficient car (possibly a hybrid) but for now this is the car I wanted.

However, I'm all for gas-guzzler tax. I just think that margin shouldn't be raised much more than it is. If you have a newer vehical that can't even break 15MpG on the highway (and it isn't a commercial truck/transport) then getting hit with a tax is acceptable.

Re:There's a lot of potential (1)

NialScorva (213763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057202)

I've always thought some stepped price based upon your fuel milage would be interesting. For example, set the current goal at 25 mpg, so a gallon of gas for the a 25mpg car would cost the same as it does now. If you half that milage, double the tax. If you double the milage, halve the tax. Of course, the mechanics of making such a system work are a practical impossibility.

Re:There's a lot of potential (2, Interesting)

VikingDBA (446387) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057067)

And yet, everything the feds touch turns to shit. Regardless of who is in power the gov't will bow to the lobbies and big oil has a big lobby. Hydrogen will happen, but it will happen when big oil figures out how to make lots of money off of it.

Re:There's a lot of potential (2, Insightful)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057118)

And yet, everything the feds touch turns to shit.

Don't confuse the incompetence of the current party in power with the idea that government is neccessarily incompetent. That's exactly what they want you to do anyways.

Re:There's a lot of potential (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057179)

So wait, the years from FDR to 1994, when the Democrats had total control of congress, wasn't long enough for everyone to establish that both (of the big 2) parties exist purely to serve their own power interests?

Surely, you must still think it is April 1?

Re:There's a lot of potential (1)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057197)

So when has any large-scale government effort not been handled incompetently when looking over a longer period of time?

Re:There's a lot of potential (2, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057205)

Don't confuse the incompetence of the current party in power with the idea that government is neccessarily incompetent. That's exactly what they want you to do anyways. HAHAHA spoon feed much? You havn't delt with many local governments have you. Generally local governments run by the left are wasteful and mismanaged, local governments on the right are .. well wasteful, mismanaged (though by a slightly less degree), and overly authoritarian. Sure there are exceptions on both sides in many districts. But the exeptions are rare. A good government only exist when its people care enough to get involved. The people are too seperated at the federal level, and in general Americans don't care enough anyways. You will never see an effective federal government again. Atleast not until the next revolution.. in which you will be the first against the wall! :)

Re:There's a lot of potential (1)

groot (198923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057083)



- mandating a switch to ethanol or methanol biofuels for federal fleets
- grant tax breaks for anyone switching to biofuels

- aid to cities to convert existing buses to biofuels



I don't a switch to biofuel or other carbon based fuels will help; carbon dioxide is release just a much (if not more; less pollutants) which is the primary green house gas. What is probably needed is more electric based engines that can be recharged with non carbon dioxide release energy production such as wind, solar, thermal, and yes nuclear.

-gr00t
 

Re:There's a lot of potential (1)

dylan_- (1661) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057192)

I don't a switch to biofuel or other carbon based fuels will help; carbon dioxide is release just a much (if not more; less pollutants)
Yes, but the CO2 from biofuels came from the air in the first place (recently, I mean) so they don't add anything to the current amount.

Re:There's a lot of potential (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057201)

a switch to biofuel or other carbon based fuels will help; carbon dioxide is release just a much (if not more; less pollutants) which is the primary green house gas.

Is this an example of how Americans are gearing up to fight global warming? I guess these mythical Americans had better start with basic education, if you are any inidication of population.

So, did you ever study the carbon cycle at school? Ever even heard of it?

You seem to have forgotten ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057096)

- building nuclear power stations.

Re:There's a lot of potential (1)

siwelwerd (869956) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057110)

This is clearly a situation where the market economy is going to favor lower prices, not (necessarily) environmentally desirable results.

Doesn't that imply that people aren't on board with reducing global warming, as if they were they'd be willing to pay higher prices to reduce emissions? People are only in favor of reducing global warming as much as they can pass the costs of reducing it on to others (via the State).

Jamie Adds... (1)

oldwarrior (463580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057128)

(Jamie adds: and all it took was twelve years of overwhelming scientific consensus.)

Most global warming sceptics were willing to accept that warming was occurring, but were sceptical about human responsibility. This is the part that has been near impossible to prove. Milankovich cycles probably have more to due with global climate change but human activity now seems likely to affect the rate over a measured period of time.

Re:There's a lot of potential (1, Flamebait)

Kamel Jockey (409856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057161)

end the war in Iraq to free up the funds for the above initiatives

The cost of the Iraq War, along with all other DoD-related expenses (including funding the entire military) is small potatoes compared to spending on social programs. If you really want to free up money in the Federal budget, make real cuts to programs like corporate subsidies, personal welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other such programs.

We won't see any of these things happen though, given how elected Republicans have become indistinguishable from Socialists with regards to reckless, unending and out-of-control Federal spending.

Re:There's a lot of potential (5, Insightful)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057173)

All of these are good alternatives, but I'd say that we really need to SHUT DOWN coal plants. Yes, nuclear power is fine. More radioactive material is sent into the air via a coal plant's emmisions than nuclear power. I agree completely that solar equipment must be fully utilized, but these coal plants are atrocious. I first learned how bad these plant were a few years ago when I was watching the Discovery channel reporting on those massive dumptrucks at coal mines. An engineer was holding an eight pound chunk of coal and say, "This is just about enough power to turn on a laptop computer." I was appaled.

I'm not saying there isn't other things to worry about, but nuclear power isn't going to spew waste and carbon into the atmostphere. America could also take a look at the design of Frances 11 or so rebirthing power-plants that re-use radioactive matierial.

I'd rather see wind, solar, and hydro power riegn supreme, but where these are unavailable, we shouldn't be burning fuel like coal.

Re:There's a lot of potential (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057184)

Let's see. If greenhouse emmisions were stopped *today*, temperatures would continue to rise for 100 years to something between 1 - 5 degrees higher than present, which is enough to cause widespread coastal flooding. Since most of the world's population/economy is near the coasts, my guess is that the economic impacts will be staggering, and that's if everybody conserves perfectly. As such, I think the debate should be mode focused on how to bridge the period of time between now and when fossil fuels become too expensive to burn. IANACM (I am not a climate modeler), but I think serious study should be going into exploring the ramifications of things like solar shields [bbc.co.uk] ...

Re:There's a lot of potential (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057213)

It's all do-able with a strong federal leadership.

So more regulation is good when it accomplishes what you want, but bad otherwise? I'm confused...

And yet (1)

farker haiku (883529) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057014)

In my philosophy class last night someone was just saying that they didn't believe in that "global warming nonsense". I guess they fall in the 29% bracket.

Re:And yet (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057050)

In my philosophy class last night someone was just saying that they didn't believe in that "global warming nonsense". I guess they fall in the 29% bracket.
Back in college during one of classes the guy sitting next to me refused to believe the Moon Landing actually happened. I wonder what percent-bracket he falls under.

The odd thing was, he actually knew his Astronomy and his physics were pretty good too. Until then I never really thought a well informed people could actually not believe in the landing.

And yes, he was being 100% serious.

Re:And yet (1, Interesting)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057177)

Isn't 29% the same percentage that still approve of the President's performance? Interesting...

Re:And yet (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057186)

They didn't believe which "global warming nonsense"? That the temperatures are rising or that the temperatures are rising because of human activity?

Can someone show what effect the Saddam 1991 Gulf War oil fires had on the planet. Carl Sagan speculated at the time that we could end up like 1816 without a summer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_A_Summer [wikipedia.org]
Nowhere in the ballpark.

Actions speak louder than words (2, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057016)

What else can I say?

Good news everyone! (1)

horngod25 (520622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057018)

Global warming? Why don't we just instigate a nuclear winter to cancel it out?

Bad News Everyone! (1)

jrmcferren (935335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057130)

Nuclear Winter is a Myth.

Re:Good news everyone! (2, Insightful)

reverend_rodger (879863) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057157)

We're working on it. If you didn't notice, a lot of the world is kinda miffed at the U.S. right now. Just be patient.

Well the majority doesn't matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057022)

Only one person matters who lives in the white house.
And he doesn't seem to gear up.

Missed the Mark (5, Insightful)

ExE122 (954104) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057023)

"Politicians finally came up with a cheap, last-minute solution to control Global Warming: dropping a giant ice cube from the Halley's Comet in one of Earth's oceans every now and then. This fix worked for nearly a millennium, and so by the year 3000, Global Warming was considered by many a scientific fraud, like secondhand smoke."
~The Futurama Encyclopedia [gotfuturama.com]

It's wonderful that so many people are willing to say they want to make a difference. That's just as good as actually doing it! Studies also show that 74% of all Americans also say they want to start excersizing regularly, continue their education, spend time with their families, and find a cure for cancer. That's a load off my mind, I'll definitely sleep better tonight.

Regardless of that, the real problem isn't with the masses, its with the elite. My father is a plumbing and mechanics inspector in one of the richest counties in America. He recalls one house he inspected that had 7 heated swimming pools joined together with hottubs. The owner would keep them heated year-round just in case a random party broke out. He also had 10 furnace and airconditioning units in his 35,000 sqft. house that I'm sure he ran the hell out of. He also had a 6 car garage, one spot for each of his SUVs.

The real problem is, there are no limits on how much gasoline, electricity, or natural gas one person is allowed to use. Supplies are being wastefully depleted and turned into greenhouse gasses, and people are blaming the average consumer.

So when gas prices go up by 80%, this rich bastard probably won't even think twice. Meanwhile, an average person is being asked to "turn thermostats down in winter by 2 degrees, caulk around windows, combine driving trips when running errands... wash clothes in cold water, turn down water heater temperature, buy energy-efficient light bulbs, buy energy-efficient appliances, and buy energy-efficient cars." And this is a solution?

It's like having some large corporation lower 100,000 sub-management employee wages by $5 an hour instead of laying off one CEO who is making $500k per year.

Whoever said one person can't make a difference. --
"Man Bites Dog
Then Bites Self"

Re:Missed the Mark (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057056)

It's like having some large corporation lower 100,000 sub-management employee wages by $5 an hour instead of laying off one CEO who is making $500k per year.

In that situation they're saving $500k per hour, rather than per year. Makes a big difference.

Re:Missed the Mark (5, Insightful)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057082)

Regardless of that, the real problem isn't with the masses, its with the elite.

I'm not so sure. You ever go look at the energy usage of appliances in any store? The low-end budget models tend to use the most power, and those are the ones people getting hourly wages are buying. The Energy Star rated ones you'll pay a premium for.

Look at washing machines, for example. The ones that use the least water and electricity--by far--are front loading models. Now just try to find a front loading washing machine in a U.S. store that doesn't cost $800+.

Math Check (0)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057093)

I like yr stuff and was going to mod you up but instead I'll issue a gentle correction:

You'd have to fire a CEO who made $500K per hour.

Re:Missed the Mark (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057100)

It's wonderful that so many people are willing to say they want to make a difference. That's just as good as actually doing it! Studies also show that 74% of all Americans also say they want to start excersizing regularly, continue their education, spend time with their families, and find a cure for cancer.

Exactly! As long as someone else has to do the cutting back everyone is all for it! *I* would *love* to be able to take mass transit to work daily -- problem is that it's just not possible as the transit system here (from the suburbs) was intended for suburb A city rather than being able to go from suburb A suburb B.

We need the local, state, and Federal governments to be able to help a bit and allow us the ability to help -- especially for those of us that really want to.

Re:Missed the Mark (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057144)

Regardless of that, the real problem isn't with the masses, its with the elite.

Problem is, you believe the elite is someone else. If you live in the US or Europe, you are the elite. If you live in China, you are going to be part of the elite.

It's not just the people who don't care if fuel cost $1.50/gal or $5.00/gal.

Re:Missed the Mark (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057193)

The real problem is, there are no limits on how much gasoline, electricity, or natural gas one person is allowed to use.


Sure there is. It's "How much one person can afford."

That's a pretty strong limit. And unlike government/society imposed limits, very difficult to cheat or bribe your way around.

Re:Missed the Mark (1)

alras (858101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057218)

You are sort of missing the point here really. To "solve" the global heating problem, just raising the fuel price is not what makes the diffrence. Structural changes is what does, structurally reducing the output of cars, factories and other CO2 producing sources. Finding and start using alternative energy sources, even if they are more expensive then the ones we use today. The smaller changes start at your own home, cycling to a friend who lives two blocks away. Buying a car that does not have 8 cylinders and burns through fuel faster then you can top it off. They will not have the greatest results, change only starts in the big picture. And there it doesnt matter if somebody is rich or not they still have to obey to the same rules.

Re:Missed the Mark (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057226)

"The real problem is, there are no limits on how much gasoline, electricity, or natural gas one person is allowed to use. Supplies are being wastefully depleted and turned into greenhouse gasses, and people are blaming the average consumer."

Lets not go overboard, do you recall the USSR and its bread lines, all that leads to is a black market for restricted goods, it even happens today, recall the French selling weapons to Iraq for oil. Restricting supplies is not a way to stop abuses giving the consumers a greener way to power their homes, cars ... is a better alternative. The elite as you call them must like to look down at others so let them by alowing them to purchase their electricity from a green power source then the only worrie is the smug clouds from the elite.

Interesting considering.. (3, Informative)

liliafan (454080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057024)

Bush has only just denied global warming is manmade [theregister.co.uk] .

Re:Interesting considering.. (-1, Flamebait)

Photon Ghoul (14932) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057038)

Global warming is simply designed intelligently.

sarc (1)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057047)

Bush has only just denied global warming is manmade

He's right, its actually caused by the products of man. Kinda like how guns kill people.

Re:Interesting considering.. (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057060)

That didn't sound like a denial to me. Maybe I missed something, but it looked more like he was posing an oft-overlooked question.

Statistics (1)

Photon Ghoul (14932) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057026)

Are these the same 71% that voted in a leader who doesn't believe (or says that he doesn't believe) that global warming is real? Or are these the 71% that voted for the other guys or didn't vote at all?

Re:Statistics (0, Flamebait)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057178)

Are these the same 71% that voted in a leader who doesn't believe (or says that he doesn't believe) that global warming is real? Or are these the 71% that voted for the other guys or didn't vote at all?

I'm not sure whom you're referring to. Bush didn't get 71% of any vote, either time. IMO, the votes he got came mostly from fear. The Repugs did a good job of painting the Democrats, and Mr. Kerry in particular, as unpatriotic cowards, despite Kerry's multiple decroations and honorable service in Vietnam, earned at the same time Bush was, variously, safely home in Texas, serving in the "Champagne Unit" of the Texas Air National Guard, or desserting to work a Senate campaign.

But i think he is partially responsible for this change of heart on the part of the public.

Remember, for a long time, people doubted it was even POSSIBLE to change the environment... largely because the only "evidence" they were given was being shovelled down their throats by politicians who told them what they wanted to hear... i.e. That they could continue to drive giant-S.U.V.s getting 6 MPG, get a tax cut, and not cut any government programs, with no negative consequences in perpetuity throughout the universe. Now, that those lies, and the politicians who told them are being unmased as the filthy, lying swine that many of us suspected them to be all along, the people are in doubt of everything they've been told.

If they lied about Iraq/War On Terror/Civil Rights/Wiretapping then maybe they're lying about global warming too. After all, if a President is willing to hazard the members of the armed forces for a political win, you'd have to think his moral-compass was so cuckoo-banannas that something as trivial as the destruction of human civilization might also be considered a "reason to lie."

Oh, hooray (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057031)

Now that the WMD's have been taken care of, we're going to spend billions tackling another nonexistent threat. Wonderful. I look forward to receiving the tax bill.

Can we, and should we? (3, Insightful)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057045)

We've spent so long talking about global warming that I don't think anyone has stopped to consider some possibilities.

First, is it even our fault? Is global warming really a man-made disaster, or is it part of a climatic or solar cycle? It always seemed to be simply assumed that what we have documented is because of something humanity did...what if it's not? If this is a natural occurence, then wouldn't we be doing even more harm to nature by fighting it?

Second, what happens if there's nothing we can do? Action plans are great and all and we need to do everything in our power to reverse any damage we've done, but we need to get our heads out of the sand and have a Plan B. It's very possible that anything we do now will be too little too late, that we have already hit critical mass and warming will accelerate even if we climbed back up in the trees tomorrow.

Re:Can we, and should we? (4, Insightful)

dsci (658278) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057098)

If this is a natural occurence, then wouldn't we be doing even more harm to nature by fighting it?

Probably not. If you are in the camp that the planet is more resilient than we give credit for, than taking action against a phantom problem probably won't matter.

The place for potential damage, with AGW real or not, is to the economy. We've spend about 100 years building a petroleum based economic engine, and that cannot changed overnight.

Its not too late (2, Interesting)

arcite (661011) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057099)

I'm working in Kenya right now. They have massive deforestation here, with only 1.5% tree cover. Right now in the north of the country there are about 5 million people who are starving (or will be in a few weeks). These are the kind of disasters that will happen everywhere in the world if nothing is done. Desertification, crop failures, extreme weather, flooding. What are simple solutions? How about reducing soil erosion? Re-plant forests. Stop building massive houses on sandbars that trigger flooding. Use more friendly power generation to reduce smog and acid rain. ALL of these solutions would have immediate impacts and improve the quality of life not only for the earth but us humans as well. There is a reason why cancer rates and respiratory disorders are increasing. We are quickly poisoning ourselves, and if we don't ack NOW,it will only get worse. (cue Bladerunner opening sequence)...

Re:Can we, and should we? (3, Interesting)

Gunzour (79584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057138)

How about third: Is global warming actually a bad thing? Or are there benefits as well? I think we should stop wasting our time trying to stop global warming and instead learn how to adapt to it.

Re:Can we, and should we? (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057139)

I'm on the climatic and solar cycle bandwagon. Not driving cars today will not put snow on the Artic Circle tomorrow and nobody is going to stop driving cars, especially the Chinese and Indians.

Greenland used to be green 1400 years ago, I guess it was either cow or ocean flatulence or we had an enormous population of UFO drivers spewing CO2 that left a while ago. Or climactic cycle.

We'll survive it. It's our nature.

Re:Can we, and should we? (1)

Balthisar (649688) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057147)

Moreso, does it matter if global warming is happening or not? We can't just arrogantly try to keep the world exactly as it is today. [i]That's[/i] what's unnatural.

Climatic change is a fact of this planet, and it's been happening for millions and millions of years.

Economically, it's better to prepare for the change (whatever it ends up being) than to foolishly try to prevent change or even steer change to some "ideal" that's really quite impossible to define. Nature will do what nature's always done as well. Species will go extinct. New species will replace them. Ecology will change. Geography can change.

This is all mother nature or God's will or the result of atoms bouncing off other atoms or whatever you believe.

Now before I'm flamed, I'll offer this: sure, that's not a justification to be wasteful. But then if you accuse me of being wasteful or hurting the third world or whatnot, then what's your real beef?

If US don't seriously tackle it, will it matter? (2, Insightful)

arcite (661011) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057046)

For all the BAD things the US does (ie.Iraq invasion) they are undoubtably the best in the world at selling ideas. If the US could SERIOUSLY adopt more environmentally friendly ways of living/working and in industry, is there little doubt that new technologies and practices would be exported to places such as India and China? Isn't this obvious??? And why did it take disasters like Katrina to wake people up?

Re:If US don't seriously tackle it, will it matter (2, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057065)

"is there little doubt that new technologies and practices would be exported to places such as India and China?"

Given their current rate of industrialization, increasing demand for energy, and pollution output, I'd say there's plenty of doubt.

Re:If US don't seriously tackle it, will it matter (1)

keithu73 (699622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057117)

Um, so, don't credit Katrina to global warming unless you want to employ the same fraudulent fear-mongering techniques that everyone accuses the administration of. Read your New York Times. Katrina was part of a new, natural cycle of hurricanes and not part of global warming, per se.

Re:If US don't seriously tackle it, will it matter (2, Insightful)

uniqueUser (879166) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057164)

If the US could SERIOUSLY adopt more environmentally friendly ways of living/working and in industry...


Two words:Kyoto Protocol

Gearing, eh? (3, Insightful)

karolgajewski (515082) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057051)

...so they're still not going to actually DO it, just prepare and get ready? (that's the meaning of "gearing up" that I'm familiar with)

Rather than gear up, why not start right now? Sales of Hummers were up 174% from last year. If that's not going in the exact opposite direction, I don't know what is.

Remember the Global Cooling Scare? (3, Informative)

Getzen (549982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057058)

I do.

And so does the Washington Times which recently reprinted this 1794 Newsweek piece. The kind of language used is eerily similar to the global warming talk today.

There are ominous signs that the Earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production -- with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now.

The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas -- parts ofIndia,Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia -- where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.

The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree -- a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.

To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world's weather. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. "A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale," warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, "because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century."

A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972.

To the layman, the relatively small changes in temperature and sunshine can be highly misleading. Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin points out that the Earth's average temperature during the great Ice Ages was only about seven degrees lower than during its warmest eras -- and that the present decline has taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average.

Others regard the cooling as a reversion to the "little ice age" conditions that brought bitter winters to much of Europe and northern America between 1600 and 1900 -- years when the Thames used to freeze so solidly that Londoners roasted oxen on the ice and when iceboats sailed the Hudson River almost as far south as New York City.

Just what causes the onset of major and minor ice ages remains a mystery. "Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change is at least as fragmentary as our data," concedes the National Academy of Sciences report. "Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions."

Meteorologists think that they can forecast the short-term results of the return to the norm of the last century. They begin by noting the slight drop in overall temperature that produces large numbers of pressure centers in the upper atmosphere. These break up the smooth flow of westerly winds over temperate areas. The stagnant air produced in this way causes an increase in extremes of local weather such as droughts, floods, extended dry spells, long freezes, delayed monsoons and even local temperature increases -- all of which have a direct impact on food supplies. "The world's food-producing system," warns Dr. James D. McQuigg of NOAA's Center for Climatic and Environmental Assessment, "is much more sensitive to the weather variable than it was even five years ago." Furthermore, the growth of world population and creation of new national boundaries make it impossible for starving peoples to migrate from their devastated fields, as they did during past famines.

Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.

"The Cooling World": From Newsweek, April 28, 1975. ?1975 Newsweek Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.

Re:Remember the Global Cooling Scare? (1)

Getzen (549982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057069)

Obviously, replace 1794 with 1974!

Re:Remember the Global Cooling Scare? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057122)

Not only that, the "hockey stick" graph is a lie. You can run rand() through the formula and get the same graph. Global warming is a full-employment scheme by climate scientists. It's the hard-science equivalent of never commenting your code.

Thinking and doing are not the same thing (2, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057063)

71% may believe global warming is an important issue but I haven't noticed
71% going out and buying efficient cars. I haven't noticed 71% of companies
switching off their lights after dark or turning down the air con / heating
a notch.

Its easy to say you're concerned about something , its quite another matter
to prove it.

Bush's Response (1, Funny)

Matilda the Hun (861460) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057071)

In response, Bush finally agrees that the threat against global warming is real. He declares a "War against Heat" and immediately draws up plans to bomb the Bahamas.

The poll was from an advocacy group (5, Interesting)

nincehelser (935936) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057077)

From the article:

>After years of controversy, 71 percent of Americans now say they
>think global warming is real, according to a telephone survey of
>1,200 people for the advocacy group Environmental Defense

So this result has some built-in bias.

Re:The poll was from an advocacy group (4, Funny)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057127)

No, you must believe. It's scientifical! It's slashdot doctrine! Any technique used to validate it is, by definition, valid.

finally (1)

Fedarkyn (892041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057078)

since USA is the direct responsible for most of the gases that cause the greenhouse effect, it's reasonable that they do something.

Signing the Kioto protocol would be a good start.

Re:finally (1, Informative)

TummyX (84871) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057109)

since USA is the direct responsible for most of the gases that cause the greenhouse effect, it's reasonable that they do something.

And the USA is also directly responsible for producing products and technology that benefits the world.

Signing the Kioto protocol would be a good start.

I'm not suprised you don't understand the Kyoto protocol since you can't even spell it properly. Have you even read a single thing about it?

Useless polling (4, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057079)

"Between 80 percent and 90 percent are willing to take these energy-saving actions: wash clothes in cold water, turn down water heater temperature, buy energy-efficient light bulbs, buy energy-efficient appliances, and buy energy-efficient cars.
70 percent are willing to drive less, and walk, bike, car pool or take mass transit."


BS. When it comes down to it, people will do what is cheapest and most convenient. It's very easy to tell some pollster you're willing to do something, but when push comes to shove, forget it. There is a social factor in polls that causes people to answer the way they want to be perceived, not the way they actually are.

I take mass transit daily (by choice), and I have lost count of all the people I know who've tried it but given it up as too inconvenient.

And as for energy-efficient appliances, the sticker shock is too much for many people, even when the appliance is cheaper in the long run.

You want real reduction in greenhouse gasses from US people? End the light-truck exemption for mileage standards. Increases mileage standards for all vehicles. Bring mass transit funding levels up to highway funding levels -- if it's pervasive enough, it WILL be convenient. Reducing consumption of power by 15% at home is not going to make near enough of a dent -- it is not enough, and it's irresponsible to let people believe it will be.

Amen (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057137)

Until it hits people HARD at the bottom line, it means nothing. Me? I live in the North. It's hard not to support global warming.

Fighting Global Warming Good, FUD bad... (2, Interesting)

ursabear (818651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057088)

If called upon, I will undoubtedly help to reduce emissions and make an environmental difference. Actually, my family does already. We carpool, telecommute (when possible), walk when we can, recycle everything we can, and use gas-powered tools as little as possible (I love power tools, though).

I have to say that the whole media/government FUD over whether or not global warming actually exists really rings a bell with me. The dis-information campaign (about emissions and pollution) reminds me very much of the decades of time when industry and government were disseminating information that smoking hadn't been proven to cause cancers. Decades of mis-information about nicotine addiction and cancer risks was backed up by industry-paid doctors and lawyers who lulled us to sleep on the issue. The same thing has been going on WRT pollution and global warming.

Humans accelerate climate change - whether it is clear-cutting ancient forests, industrial pollution, wasteful production, or emissions... To me, the real question is, "When will we take a responsible stance/take action on helping the Earth begin to heal?"

Mankind is insignificant, yet doesn't realize it. (0, Flamebait)

mslinux (570958) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057091)

The sun is going to burn out in a few billion years. As it does so, it will cool and expand slowly enveloping the earth. The 'global warming' we are experiencing today will be nothing in comparison. The earth will be cooked until it is very well done and once that's over and the sun is completely burned-out, the earth will be frozen solid.

The moral of this story is this: the earth will heat up and cool down based on what the sun is doing. It's pretentious and incorrect to think that something as insignificant as mankind is the main cause of global warming.

You sir are insignificant - atleast I hope so (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057204)

Do you not like this thing we humans have invented called 'civilization'? Name a problem in human history that was once thought unsolvable or impossible - and we have solved it. If humans are capable of causing the extinction of thousands of species of animals, we are surely capable of causing weather changes by such things as deforestation and billions of tons of pollutants into the atmosphere. Your view is just fatalistic.

Oil has peaked right? (1)

imrec (461877) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057095)

I was thinking about this the other day... If oil production has peaked, and we are now pulling less oil/fossil fuels from the ground to burn... won't their be a rough maximum damage/change that we can do to the atmosphere? We are going to run out of these fuels soon (well, not run out, but it will be too expensive to use them like we do now), a hundred years maybe? I'd be interested to see an approximation of the worst possible impact we could have while sloppily burning everything we've got left.
 
  I guess what I'm saying is, it doesn't look like global warming due to pollution from combustion of fossil fuels will not be around much longer no matter what we do.

A great statistic, but... (2, Insightful)

multiOSfreak (551711) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057107)

I think it's great that so many people are interested in becoming better stewards of the Earth. However, voicing an opinion is easy. Actually living up to those convictions is much more difficult. I'd be willing to bet, just from my own anecdotal experience with people in general, that *maybe* half of those that say they want to act more responsibly actually will do it.

It's just so much easier to keep doing what you're doing. Change is hard.

Ready for Fast Trains, but Will Anyone Build Them? (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057111)

70 percent are willing to drive less, and walk, bike, car pool or take mass transit.

Mass transit, what a great idea! Too bad no politician in our Republican-controlled government is willing to invest, or even talk about in a mass transit train system that can easily and quickly move people to and from work/home. This is just one of many solutions that you may never see when Oil barons are running the country.
Exxon/Mobil is #1 on the Fortune500 and for a simple reason - we all drive hugely inefficient vehicles.
The air temperature over the Antarctic has risen significantly, how long will it be before the ice melts and we are up to our ears in water?
SOMETHING has to be done soon, otherwise we may be rowing our boats to work.

Evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057112)

How does this percentage compare to the percentage of people who "believe" in evolution?

Isn't global warming a good thing? (1)

GreedyCapitalist (559534) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057123)

Even if global warming is real, and humans are contributing to it, and we can do something about it, why is it a bad thing? Historically, ice ages have been the biggest threat to humanity and life on earth. It seems like turning a large part of the earth's habitable surface (tundra) from a frozen wasteland to habitable ground would be a *good* thing. Sure, there will be transition costs, but humans are becoming ever more adaptable, and creating living space for several more billion people seems great to me.

I seem to remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057125)

In the 1970's, there was a ton of hype and fearmongering about "Global cooling" and "the next Ice Age!". That was proved to be a bunch of BS. The same thing is going to happen here.

  People are stupid and short-sighted, and they forget that the Earth's orbit around the sun varies enough to cause these symptoms of "global warming". The Earth also wobbles on its axis. This is more than sufficient to cause temperature variances of several degrees. It's all cyclical. It's happened before, and it will happen again.

12 Years is Pretty Quick... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057131)

... considering the amount of scaremongering that comes out of the "scientific community".

So far, I'm supposed to have been killed by:
- global warming
- global cooling
- global climate change (hows that for waffling?)
- Hong Kong Flu
- Bird Flu
- AIDS
- Ebola virus
- Andromeda Syndrome
- Mercury Poisoning
- Arsenic Poisoning
- Ozone depletion
- Cancer from drinking water
- Cancer from eating food
- Cancer from breathing air
- genetically modified vegetables
- nuclear weapons
- biological weapons
- chemical weapons
- car bombs
- atomic zombies

Either I am one bad-ass dude to have survived all THAT... or the dangers were mildly overstated.

You forgot... (0, Offtopic)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057219)

Deadly Africanized "Killer" Bees (tm)

Polls are invalid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057132)

How can this poll be valid? They only asked 1200 people. Probably 1200 people from the same region or area. That's like having a poll in San Diego and asking people if they like the weather. 1200 people is by no means an accurate representation of how the millions of people in the country feel. People just use these "polls" when they want to get normal people into thinking, "Well the majority of people think this is right I think I'll agree." Personally when it comes to global warming I'm in the boat that believes that humans do not understand the planet they are living on and are assuming that we are damaging it when most likely the planet is going through a normal warming up period that happens after an ice age. And this will keep happening until nature takes its course and starts to cool off the planet. Humans need to stop thinking they are causes and solution to all of the planets problems. We are insignificant(sp?), a single volcanic eruption has the power to kick start an ice age and destroy millions of animals and acres of forests. We can't come close to the power that the planet is capable of. A normal volcanic eruption will put out more greenhouse gases then the last 100 years of human industrialization.

Global warming AGAIN? How boring, slashdot! (0, Offtopic)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057135)

And while we're on the subject this doesn't really belong in the "Science" section anymore but into politics. I wonder if Anderson Publishing / VA Software or whoever is behind slashdot gets paid extra whenever they carry one of these articles.

Fight global warming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057136)

Shouldn't that read "The War on Global Warming"? Or even better, "War on Terra"!

Actions ? (3, Insightful)

sane? (179855) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057143)

So "between 80 percent and 90 percent are willing to... wash clothes in cold water, turn down water heater temperature, buy energy-efficient light bulbs, buy energy-efficient appliances, and buy energy-efficient cars."?

So how many are actually DOING any of those things? And did you notice they were good little capitalist consumption-enhancing options? Buy this, buy that. The idea is to *reduce* consumption.

I believe it when I see the first SUV manufacturer file for bankruptcy. There are practical things that *could* be done, like increasing tax on fuel to promote efficient usage, setting real requirements for home insulation, reducing coal burning. However its much easier to say you'll maybe think about buying a new SUV with 2mpg better economy, some point in the future.

Changing mindsets takes much more positive action than this - and I see no sign of a change there.

What Global Warming? (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057151)

About 3-4 years ago, while in college, I wrote a paper on global warming and the professor bashed it and argued with me about his personal view on it as well as giving it low marks. I hadn't taken a radical standpoint, and it was all centered around facts and research. Looks like I wasn't so wrong after all.

While I personally don't believe humans have any great effect on this planet long-term, we can cause ourselves problems short-term and that is the real crux of global warming. In a million years the Earth will return to stasis either by a massive change or by our own actions exterminating ourselves so that the Earth can slowly recover.

What pisses me off are the folks who claim that they are "saving the Earth." You are not saving the Earth, you are saving your own ass. The Earth could care less, and it and a large number of species will easily survive our worst damage and come back and flourish with no problem.

While I'm on my soapbox, SUV's and 8-cylinder engines should be a relic left in the past. Technology has advanced to the point that 4 and 6 cylinder engines can do just about anything except extreme situations... which is fine for larger engines to be used. I don't care about your political affiliation, or the standard rants against SUV's... what I care about are common sense issues and problems. We have technology, USE IT. The auto industry hangs on to outdated and inefficiency at every chance it can, and the large profit margins of the SUV are the only reason they exist. But Joe Consumer eats it all up and has to have a 3-row seating Yukon XL (because bigger has to be better, right?) to spend 50% of it's life carrying 1-2 passengers max. And the smug assholes who think they are so special and priveledged to drive these vehicles need to be shot. They ruin it for everyone, they cause the gas prices I pay daily, they cause a growing number of traffic accidents, and they are generally unsafe drivers. I spend a large amount of time on the road and can easily back up my claims. Tax cuts should not go to SUV drivers, tax cuts should be going to drivers of fuel efficient vehicles of 30+MPG. With no penalty, or incentive to change we are on a collision course with disaster. I'm not talking about wanna-be "green" hybrids that average out to be just above normal efficient 4-cyl engine cars either, just damn COMMON SENSE. Amazingly there were always large families and they managed just fine before SUV's, we can easily get back to that point if only some things would change. /endrant

Meaning less (2, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057154)

This was a telephone survey of 1200. What kind of people agree to be surveyed over the phone? I bet half of the Slashdot community would tell the pollster to get stuffed. So how valid are the results?

And besides, actions speak louder than words. Somehow I don't think many Americans are going to all stop driving their big cars and start taking the public bus any day soon, no matter what they tell a telephone pollster...

Re:Meaning less (0, Offtopic)

propertechdotnet (932592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057220)

I bet half of the Slashdot community would tell the pollster to get stuffed.

Au Contraire. I believe we attention starved nerds would keep the pollster on the phone for a good thirty minutes trying to provoke a lively discussion about how every Star Trek series following the original falls short. With the possible exception of "Next Generation".

Fair and balanced reporting (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057160)

That's impossible! Fox News says so! [newshounds.us]

Last Saturday morning, Steve Forbes said this about global warming: "There are no real facts to back it up. It's now become a religion instead of science and great fundraiser for extreme environmentalists. I don't think it's a hoax, just bogus science, like eugenics was decades ago.

Well, the extreme environmentalists, like the Kyoto Protocol, want to put a straightjacket and impose socialism which they can't do with red so now they do it with green.

As countries get richer, the environment gets better.

There you have it. America's most popular news station says that global warming is a religion, compares it to eugenics, and claims it's a filthy commie plot. And even if it isn't, it's the poor countries' fault, not America's.

Gearing up? (1)

Glock27 (446276) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057165)

I hope the US fights global warming (assuming it is largely anthropogenic, which is not given) with more efficient vehicles, a massive buildout of nuclear power plants, and a move to solar/wind/geothermal/hydrogen over time. Those things simply make sense, with or without global warming. Much more research is needed to understand what is happening, what is the correct response, and how quickly it must happen.

All that said, the biggest problem is the developing third world which wants planes, trains and automobiles. Already just the cooking fires from SE Asia are a major source of pollution.

America may be ready to fight global warming, but America doesn't have control over the major upcoming sources of greenhouse gasses.

Re:Gearing up? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057225)

America doesn't have control over the major upcoming sources of greenhouse gasses.

In Russia, Greenhouse-Gasses U. has just completed a study of this.

Oil Money (0, Flamebait)

i_am_the_r00t (762212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057180)

Is it a surprise that a huge amount of the U.S. Presidents personal fortune is in oil?

The entire Bush family exhibits "blatant business cronyism" with their ties to big oil.

Asking Bush to stop Fossil Fuel pollution is akin to asking Bill Gates to stop OS pollution.

American finally believe in Global Warming... (1)

Turbofish (585771) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057185)

...and all it took was twelve years of lies and propaganda. Next goal, convince the Americans that 70% taxation and no property rights is good for them. Pretty soon the US will be just as stupid and inept as most of western Europe.

(Oh, don't get all upset, it's just cheap hyperbole. I'm not going to waste my time actually trying to convince people of what should be completely obvious. Reason matters little to environmental zealots.)

Really? (1)

fufubag (935599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057187)

(Jamie adds: and all it took was twelve years of overwhelming scientific consensus.)

According to The Leipzig Declaration, "There does not exist today a general scientific consensus about the importance of greenhouse warming from rising levels of carbon dioxide. In fact, many climate specialists now agree that actual observations from weather satellites show no global warming whatsoever--in direct contradiction to computer model results." It adds, "based on all the evidence available to us, we cannot subscribe to the politically inspired world view that envisages climate catastrophes and calls for hasty actions. For this reason, we consider the drastic emission control policies likely to be endorsed by the Kyoto conference--lacking credible support from the underlying science--to be ill-advised and premature". This would mean that there is a possibility that global warming could happen, but right now there is no real evidence already happening.

Oh, this again? (1)

WheelDweller (108946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057188)

Every time someone declares "Americans are willing to do..." we wind up with useless (and pocket-lining) standards, a'la: R12 refridgerant, low-gpf toilets, and a whole host of other crud, much like in 1973.

First, considering the amount of CO2 that's belched out of a single lava blast, I don't think changing my life or muzzling my cat will do a lot of good.

Second, people seem to think we're mighty on this planet; that we're crowded. In fact, it's been estimated that if all 6b people were shoulder-to-shoulder in a square, we'd occupy the state of New Mexico; we're not THAT crowded, it's a media perception.

Third, I don't want another bandwagon.

Mark my words: we're all going to start doing dumb things in the name of "saving the planet" which will make other people rich and not reverse the problem at all. (Besides; it's not the planet we're saving, is it?)

Enough with the April Fool jokes! (0)

hedleyroos (817147) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057195)

Title says it all...

Ad council campaign -- We're gonna win this one! (1)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057203)

There is a great new Ad Council campaign on global warming. There are two ads available online, here [youtube.com] and here [fightglobalwarming.com] . What's even cooler is that every single one of the scientific claims made in the ads is documented at fightGLOBALwarming.com [fightglobalwarming.com] . The campaign itself is non-political, the goal is to teach people what actions they can take themselves without the government needing to pass new laws.

Also of note, there is a new movie starring Al Gore coming out soon. It features him traveling around the country giving talks on climate change. Anyway, as Salon said this morning, all revolutions begin with hope, not despair. And there is every reason to be optimistic here.

If Brazil can do it, Why can't we? (2, Insightful)

Papi99 (870417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057206)

In the 1970's, Brazil's government set up an energy plan to reduce the dependence on petroleum. They kept the price of gas high to subsidize the research and implementation of new technology to combat global warming. They now have cars that run on ethanol and passed legislation to ensure that every new buliding constructed is built with solar panels for water heating. If Brazil can do it, why can't we? It took them 30 years after the government took serious action to tackle the problem.

The real issue (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057207)

Every time the issue of global warming comes up both sides never seem to get to the real issue of whether global warming is the result of mans activities? We know that global temperatures are rising. The data shows it. What is in dispute is how much have mans activties contributed to this rise. There are three possible scenarios:

a) mans activities are the direct cause of global warming
b) global warming is a natural phenomenon, unaffected by mans activities
c) global warming is a natural phenomenon but mans activities have incresed the speed at which it occurs

If we assume a is correct then the data from ice core samples and elsewhere should show an increase in global tempertaures coinciding with the industrial revolution. This has been shown to be true.

If we assume b is correct then the data from ice core samples and elsewhere should show times in Earths past when man wasn't present that the temperature increased. This has been shown to be true.

If we assume c is correct then the issue becomes how much has man influenced the rise in global temperatures. In my opinion this is where the real discussion should lay. Since both a and b have been shown to be true then c is the real answer and we must look for ways to counteract our influence while realizing at the same time that nature will do what it wants and we will have to adapt.

For example, we know for a fact that cities produce their own microclimates [wikipedia.org] . They produce excess heat due to the concentration of paved roads and heat from buildings in a small area which do affect local weather patterns.

We also know that deforestation has lead to increases in local weather temperatures whereas the planting of trees on rooftops [epa.gov] has lowered temperatures (not to mention helps suck up some of the excess CO2). Deforestation also has an impact on streams and rivers since the removal of foliage allows the water temperature to rise which prevents certain species of fish and other wildlife from reproducing or significantly reduces their breeding areas. Deforestation also leads to exess silt flowing into waterways which clouds the water and kills off wildlife.

Again, the issue isn't whether global warming is occuring, we know it is, but rather what is causing it? Is it natural, manmade or a combination of both. Data seems to point to a combination of the two. As stated earlier, the real issue is what can we do to minimize our impact on this process?

This will play out just like gas taxes (1)

stomv (80392) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057212)

We Americans (generally) don't think it's fair that Exxon/Mobil had record profits while we were paying more at the pump, and think the government should do something about it.

Except raise gas taxes.

We want the government to fight global warming, unless it might hurt job growth, or reduce our ability to drive an SUV, or mean the price of homes go up, or mean we have to take public transportation, or impose fines on individuals making behavioral choices that increase global warming.

About the only think politicians feel they can do is give tax rebates on CF bulbs and hybrid cars. That alone isn't going to get it done.

So yes, Americans want to stop global warming, but we don't want to take personal responsibility, and we don't want to feel like the government is restricting or freedom to be selfish dirty consuming pigs.

A drop in the bucket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057215)

The ice caps on mars and neptune have been melting steadily the last few years.
Global warming isn't just happening here on earth.
Maybe we can make a small impact by limiting our own emissions, but in the end it won't amount to much.
I suppose it is human nature to do SOMETHING though.

Wind Power (1)

optimusfan (965981) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057224)

I finally decided to switch my house over to 100% wind power last week. Now instead of killing the environment I just kill birds!

we do our part (2, Interesting)

J05H (5625) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057230)

I don't necessarily agree with all the top-down government solutions proposed. I support revising CAFE, but am leary of what/how they get things done. My wife and I put our money where our mouths are. We do this for the environment:

- Drive a high-MPG car, our Matrix gets 34-36 mpg on the hiway.
- ride bikes whenever possible.
- have 1.7kw photovoltaic solar panels on our house, piped into the grid
- other hippy stuff like compost and recycling

I'd also like to say how stupid all the NIMBYs on Cape Cod are. We desperately need wind farms in New England. They complain about the windmills blocking the view, but if there's orange smog over everything you won't even be able to see the water. I've been to Holland and the modern windmills there are elegant and non-intrusive despite the size.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?