Friday, October 23, 2009

The Backlash

Hey, let's keep trashing the planet in case Al Gore is wrong!

According to a the Huffington Post, the number of Americans who believe that climate change is connected to human-caused pollution is at its lowest point in three years. Only 57% of Americans now believe this inconvenient truth -- down from 77% in 2006, when Al Gore's film was released.

Phelim McAleer is the director and producer of an anti-climate change film, Not Evil Just Wrong, that's been screened recently. In a nutshell, Gore made a few errors in the film, errors he addressed later, but McAleer jumps on some alternative scientific views such as, "Ice is the enemy of life," which make it clear to his followers that global warming will actually save us all.

Change is hard and terribly inconvenient, and we desperately want to believe it's all a big lie because that would be very nice, wouldn't it.

Suzuki was in town last weekend. I missed it because of a flu, but a colleague mentioned two things he said that are lingering with me this week. The first, demographers predict that we'll have 9.2 billion people by 2050, but Suzuki thinks we'll actually lose about 90% of our population in the next 100 years as we eradicate one eco-system after another. We can't survive if the oceans and forests are depleted. McAleer's film suggests Gore thinks the end of the world is coming. Not at all. It's just a dramatic reduction in the population of our species. The world will be fine without us.

The second thing Suzuki said was that the most important thing educators can do is to tell each student to go home and tell their parents, "If you love me, you will do everything you can to stop harming the earth."

I put this second message on our hallway display board. I leave the first message for classroom discussions.

And, of course, if people are wavering on the brink of inaction because they're not sure it's worth it, because we'll all die anyway or because it's all a big conspiracy created because Gore has money invested in solar panels or something, then watch Greg Craven's exploration of the issue using a Pascal's Wager type of analysis.

We're really making a huge choice between these worst case scenarios: If Gore's wrong, and we all stop driving as much, turn the furnace down, recycle the A/C, stop buying so much crap, eat less meat, insist on organic produce, etc., then we might have an economic depression for a time as some jobs are lost particularly in oil-dependent industries. But other jobs will be created in solar and wind power, on farms that will require more human power, etc. So in a matter of time, people will shift employment, and the economy will re-stabilize. It will likely never recover to where it was two years or so ago, but that was an unhealthy gain anyway - for obvious reasons.

The second option we have to choose from is, if Gore's right, and we all do nothing differently. If we choose this option, we will become extinct.

I'm having problems uploading the video, so you'll have to click here.

Then buy Greg's book which just about killed him to write!

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