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Old 03-19-2007   #1
Mike Harvey's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 805
Help me light this editorial up...

So the local newspaperman wrote this gem of an editorial in a recent issue. Now normally I am not the guy that runs to the computer to write a letter to the editor everytime the local paper says something dumb....I have a life. That said this one is too bad to avoid. So give me some good background info to quote. I know this stuff exists in other threads, but how about, one sentence zingers that blast this weak sauce out of the water....please... thanks

I am reading the Intergovernmental Panel of Cimate Change summary report so I am not just asking you to do my homework for me...just think of it as a joint rebuttal piece from the boaters of this great state.

An inconvenient fact
Shock of shocks - Al Gore's movie on global warming won an Academy Award! Who could have predicted it?

The award follows on the heels of a recent report claiming that additional and new "scientific evidence" leaves no doubt the planet is warming and if earth's current residents don't do something about it quickly we'll either be swamped by the oceans or shrivel up in newly created deserts. Take your pick.

As stated here before, we have two problems with this issue. One is the failure of ideologues to recognize that not all scientists agree with the global warming theory.

A joint report by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine and the George C. Marshall Institute of Washington, D.C., states that increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have not produced negative effects upon global weather, climate, or temperature.

In fact, the report states increased carbon dioxide has increased plant growth rates. "Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in minor greenhouse gases like CO2 are in error and do not conform to current experimental knowledge."

The report adds, "The empirical evidence actual measurements of Earth's temperature shows no man-made warming trend. Indeed, over the past two decades, when CO2 levels have been at their highest, global average temperatures have actually cooled slightly."

The second issue is that most theory proponents are intent on reducing carbon dioxide emissions so long as it doesn't infringe on their own lifestyles. The question is, who is supposed to do the conserving to reduce emissions? Certainly not Al Gore or the Hollywood stars who idolize him, who live in 10,000-square-foot mansions and fly by private jet across the country and around the world. The inconvenient fact is there are no role models here.

Rather, it's you and I who are supposed to scrap our SUVs, buy new $25,000 hybrids, use only compact fluorescents for lights, heat with candles and stop traveling on vacations.

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Old 03-19-2007   #2
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
I really like the idea of issuing a collective statement about river runners' concern about climate change (for those that believe the science, that is). There are many other users besides kayakers that we could draw from, including some of the millions of tourists that enjoy commercial rafting every year. That would be a powerful statement; similar to some of the press that the ski industry has gotten from its efforts to draw attention to climate change. Hell, we should be joing the ski industry anyways- we're all talking about declining snowpack averages and shorter fun seasons.

That being said, rebutting this guy is not going to change his mind or that of the 20% or so of Americans that have their heads in the sand and will damn-well keep them there.

No reason not to think bigger.

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Old 03-19-2007   #3
Mike Harvey's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
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The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM) describes itself as "a small research institute" that studies "biochemistry, diagnostic medicine, nutrition, preventive medicine and the molecular biology of aging." It is headed by Arthur B. Robinson, an eccentric scientist who has a long history of controversial entanglements with figures on the fringe of accepted research. OISM also markets a home-schooling kit for "parents concerned about socialism in the public schools" and publishes books on how to survive nuclear war.
The George C. Marshall Institute (GMI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1984. The Institute's mission is to "encourage the use of sound science in making public policy about important issues for which science and technology are major considerations." The "program emphasizes issues in national security and the environment."
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest: "The Marshall Institute investigates facts concerning global climate change. The Institute also studies the implications of the Kyoto Protocol upon national security. The Institute is partially supported by the Exxon Education Foundation and American Standard Companies.
here is what I found on the two sources he quotes. This was from the Center for Media & Democracy.

I agree with your point about the 20% of people that don't want to believe this is an issue. I have no intention of changing his mind or anything that lofty. For me it is more like I can only tolerate a certain amount of bullshit in my immediate airspace and this particular editorial put me over my quota for the month or whatever...
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Old 03-19-2007   #4
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
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I hear ya.

I came across one retort that works really well when someone mentions how cold a particular winter day was & how that somehow disproves the concept of global warming (Rush's favorite was when Gore got snowed out of one particular speaking event). The answer is:

"Weather is a current event, Climate Change is history".

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Old 03-23-2007   #5
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 498
It seems we have 2 diffrent thoughts. Thought 1 they found a disenter with a checkered history and rode his science hard. it shouldn't be hard to find 5 to refute. I also would find a scientist who says "We will experience big extremes in weather" . I have in the past saw those quotes. Very beleivable becuse in my yard anyway in the last 3 months have had more snow than anytime in the 13 years I have owned my house. Yet my bulbs and trees have bloomed 3 weeks earlier than anytime in the 13 years.

Thought #2 they are right. Gore and crew expect us to sacrifice while he burns more fuel to heat his home in 1 month than I do in a year for 2 homes. W and co fell partly due to Arrogance and hypocracy lets not make the same mistake in the Enviornmental movement. sj
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Old 03-23-2007   #6
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 120
This message arrived in my daily digest of the Ecological Society of America's discussion list. At my workplace (a federal research lab in aquatic ecology and hydrology) we study effects of climate change on aquatic systems, but as a work group we also talk about what we can do in our personal lives to lessen our ecological footprints. At the moment we have a "carbon conservation contest" going on in the lab, where we're each trying to reduce our individual "carbon footprints." Anyways, I found the message below interesting. It states very eloquently that we need to attack this problem at the national policy level. Read on if interested, the most relevant part is in bold:
Fellow ESA members,
I have been watching ECOLOG with great interest. Two things are
especially noteworthy. First, with regard to the prospects for an ESA
position on economic growth, the recent thread on consumption is
enlightening. Not too long ago, there was a similarly well-developed
thread about population growth. So now we’ve seen the twin forces of
economic growth – population and consumption – both addressed with
great enthusiasm on ECOLOG.

But that brings me to the second interesting development: The "troll"
(as a subsequent participant pegged him) quite quickly and almost
completely derailed the thread on consumption, which was veering more
toward economic growth and macroeconomic policy. Who knows if the
fella was just a poor devils advocate or a professional
monkey-wrencher, but he may have set a record for quickness of dispatch.

Those of us who will be seeking the development of a position on
economic growth by the ESA should keep the "trolls" in mind, regardless
of whether or not we were truly visited by one in this case. I’ve been
studying and advocating the steady state economy for over 10 years now,
and have I ever seen my share of them. I’m saving most of the stories
for the book I’m writing, but they are DEFINITELY in these professional
societies, just as they are in political parties.

What I’d like to refocus on here instead is offering an opinion on the
consumption discussion. The basic question was how to become economic with our time and efforts toward sustainability. No matter how much we recycle, ride our bikes to work, and take public transportation, it’s akin to shutting the bathroom lights off at a Las Vegas casino. The Vegas casino, in this case, is macroeconomic policy (fiscal, monetary, and trade policy) in which the levers are set at 3% or 3.2% or even higher GDP growth. Interest rates, money supplies, tax codes, federal budgets, fractional reserve quirements... good luck to us, curbing consumption, with the juggernaut up the hill.

So I submit that we should continue to ride our bikes to work and such, but not waste much time talking about it. Rather, we need to be
uniting with the other professional natural resources societies that
are taking or considering positions on economic growth that refute the rhetoric that "there is no conflict between economic growth and
environmental protection." For some years these position statements
will make no difference in the macroeconomic policy arena, but as the
positions do their work to educate publics and policy makers, the
policy levers will be less monopolized by growth interests and more
conducive to adjustment for the sake of reducing consumption in a real, significant manner.

If anyone would like more information on this approach to the
consumption problem, shoot me an email. Otherwise, there is more
information at the Action page of Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy.

Brian Czech, Ph.D., President
Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy
"Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart..." Confucius
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Old 03-23-2007   #7
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Thanks Ms Buns. It's hard trying to find what works and what will sell to the General Public. I liked the keep riding your bike anology. sj
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Old 03-24-2007   #8
Edwards, Colorado
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Beware of my long rant...this is a sore spot for me. If you don't want to hear me rant on my soap box, please stop reading now.

I agree with the post from Mountainbuns but want to add something. I agree that small changes may not add up to much but if you get enough of those small changes they can add up to something big. Shutting off one light in a Vegas casino does little but shutting off 100K lights in all of Las Vegas can add up to something big.

I think that the only way we are going to get the politicians to change policy is to show them that the people want that change. The only way to show them that people want that change is to make that change in your life and spread it to others. This is going to be a grass roots movement. Washington is way to stuck in their ways to see that this change is needed.

I think that Al Gore did a great service by getting global warming into the mainstream. How many of us would be talking about it if he hadn't? Where he failed is that he is talking the talk but not walking the walk. His energy usage has really hurt his message.

To quote a often used but true statement "Actions speak louder than words." Lately there has been a lot of talk about what we can do to stop climate change but in my opinion that talk is just adding more hot air to the environment. Be mindful of your decisions, do your research and implement what change you can in your life. If nothing else, you will feel better about your decision and it might save you a little money in the long run. Good intentions go a long way.

People used to think that the sun revolved around the Earth because that was the science of the day. Maybe CO2 doesn't cause global warming but I'd rather err on the side of reducing it back to levels that we know don't hurt anything rather than finding out later that it does. Those people that don't want to take this approach will get caught behind the curve someday.

Rant over...thanks for listening.

Mike, I hope that this may have helped your reply. If you'd like some more hard evidence, let me know. I could dig some up. I agree that one can only take so much crap in their life and when you get to that point it usually boils over.
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Old 03-24-2007   #9
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I totally agree outdoormikeg... at the end of an Inconvenient Truth they show some calculations of how much CO2 emissions would decrease by doing simple things like using renewable energy sources and driving more fuel efficient cars, and when added together for all Americans, it's a huge effect! Remember that Czech's post was on a message board for profesional ecologists who were talking about being efficient with their efforts and what is the biggest bang for our buck. I also agree with the point that even though Gore may have a big carbon footprint himself, with big house and lots of air travel, the man has had a huge positive effect on getting this into mainstream discussion. I think his net positive effect should be recognized rather than nitpicking whether he has a bigger house than average. When you really think about it, the people whoprobably make the biggest difference in addressing this problem are those who choose to not have any biological children, but I wouldn't condemn those of you who have had kids. This should be a supportive discussion recognizing that a lot of finger pointing could be done but that doesn't get us far in finding a solution.

I'm love that this discussion is happening among paddlers!

"Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart..." Confucius
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Old 03-25-2007   #10
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 855
I hate to be the one to say it: but I think on the surface level to get the national environmental policies to change will require them to be PROFITABLE. Until this happens "big business" will just keep on spreading disinformation and side-stepping any policies that might impede on their profits. (This example can be shown by Harvey's second quote where it turns out that the scientist who is against climate change is actually funded by oil companies and big business) Right or wrong, it is just how our capitalist society works. The other way, I think, to change our national policies will require the change to come on a much deeper level.

Below is a great quote by Chomsky. I've posted it before but I think it is kind of relevant to the deeper level change I am speaking of, and also of what outdoormikeg was talking about with that change will only happen through what the people want and not from what the politicians or the people in power want. Because in case you haven't noticed America has turned more into a corporatocracy rather than a true democracy.

"Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate – even praise worthy – on the grounds that private vices yield to public benefits in the classic formulation. Now, it’s been long understood – very well – that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself, in time. It can only persist with whatever suffering and injustice it entails as long as it is possible to pretend that the destructive forces that humans create are limited, that the world is an infinite resource, and that the world is an infinite garbage can. At this stage of history either one of two things is possible: either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community interests, guided by values of solidarity and sympathy and concern for others, or alternatively there will be no destiny for anyone to control. As long as some specialized class is in a position of authority it is going to set policy and special interests that it serves. But the conditions of survival – let alone justice – requires rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole, and by now that means the global community. The question is whether the privileged elites should dominate mass communication, and should use this power as they tell us they must – namely to impose necessary illusions to manipulate and deceive the stupid majority and remove them from the arena. The question in brief is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured. They may well be essential to survival.”

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