an inconvenient truth

this is a great movie by al gore. frightening and informative. very well put together.

as designers we could potentially have a very important role in solving the problem of global warming. i was wondering who has seen it, and what they think of it.

i have some questions but want to hear what you all think first.


Haven’t seen it yet, but look forward to checking it out.

I’m just throwing this out there, but the last ice age was about 10,000 years ago. I’m told that if you subtract the rate of the average temperature the Earth is warming yearly, you get an average Earth temperature below freezing about 10,000 years back… or an ice age, so it seems the Earth has been warming for 10,000 years. The question is have we contributed to it?

just throwing it out there…

Global warming is a fact, but does the movie lay out a good case that it’s the result of mankind (as the poster alludes?)

This documentary received rave reviews everywhere, I’m planning to see it too. For a nicely summed up historical perspective on where our planet is going (environment-wise), you may like “A Short History of Progress”, forget the author’s name now. This book at least offers some hope.

What is there to say.

This movie will make you really upset. If it doesn’t open your eyes I would be surprised.
As an American, we have made a serious set of stupid, selfish, and reckless mistakes. I just hope that the average Wal Mart shopping, Nascar watching citizen has enough common sense to see this movie and try to make some kind of difference. But I’m sure that people will just go out of their way to make sure that it gets bad press and is discredited as Liberal Nonsense…

And we can go back to watching Nascar on the dash mounted Televisions in our giant SUV’s.

has anyone here also seen the gore documentry on the wholpin DVD packaged with the previous McSweey’s/Believer mage/book? Great. a good inside look and a fresh perepective on a man who got totally slaughtered in the last US politics media race…


hahaha. Please show me the empirical scientific evidence that it is true. Seriously. Don’t just regurge what you’ve been fed. Yo had a great point. The climactic record shows that we’ve been in a warming period for long time and this is just another of earth’s cycles. The idea Gore puts forward that we are causing hurricanes because of global warming is incredibly laughable. It’s like saying that my bad breath is killing the ficus tree in my office. Hurricanes too go through an ebb and flow of activity. There is record of it.

Is anyone old enough to remember prior to this theory there were frenzied news stories about ‘the coming ice age’ etc etc.? Remember ‘acid rain’? Remember how that was going to be the ruin of mankind? What about the ozone hole? How come no one talks about how by now we were supposed to be burnt to a crisp?

The truth is man is too shortlived and dumb to ever truly understand the earth’s natural forces. But man is dumb enough and opportunistic enough to use theories (unproven, all) to scare people and further their own causes (usually political in seed) such as we are seeing today.

Someday you’ll look back and go, “how come no one ever talks about global warming anymore?”

And I promise you that when Al Gore sees that he will have no effect on ‘big oil’ and/or becomes president due in part to his overexposure on this issue, he’ll drop it too because it’ll have served it’s purpose. That or someone will tell him about the ‘theory’ of photosynthesis.

Think back, do some digging. You’ll see that environmental causes based on unproven and usually shaky theories are like fashion and fitness trends. Here today, gone tomorrow.


Why not state your position with empirical scientific evidence? I assume you saw the movie. So which points were laughable? As I’ve little doubt Gore and others of like mind are aware of your points re: cyclic systems, I assume they address this issue and also that you disagree with their reasoning at that point of departure. How about laying out their position and then refuting it properly?

Being old enough to know the things to which you refer, I understand the position you take. However, I don’t see you doing any of what you demand of others. I recall laws put in place to deal with the ozone problem back in the mid-80’s and recently heard that those laws had been beneficial. The problem was not ignored as you suggest. I also recall laws put in place to deal with acid rain which reduced power plant emissions. So again, something was and continues to be done. So the real reason no one talks about the ozone hole or acid rain are because action was taken.

I suggest you do some digging as well.

The ozone hole over the Antarctic is likely to begin contracting in the future and may disappear by 2050 because of a reduction in the release of chlorofluorocarbons and other ozone-depleting gases, according to a team of Japanese scientists.

Chlorofluorocarbon levels in the earth’s atmosphere have been declining since the mid-1990s due to international efforts to reduce emissions.


“Acid rain” is a broad term used to describe several ways that acids fall out of the atmosphere.

Scientists discovered, and have confirmed, that sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are the primary causes of acid rain. In the US, About 2/3 of all SO2 and 1/4 of all NOx comes from electric power generation that relies on burning fossil fuels like coal.

Acid rain occurs when these gases react in the atmosphere with water, oxygen, and other chemicals to form various acidic compounds. Sunlight increases the rate of most of these reactions. The result is a mild solution of sulfuric acid and nitric acid.

source: Acid Rain | US EPA

Title IV of the Clean Air Act set a goal of reducing annual SO2 emissions by 10 million tons below 1980 levels. To achieve these reductions, the law required a two-phase tightening of the restrictions placed on fossil fuel-fired power plants.

Phase I began in 1995 and affected 263 units at 110 mostly coal-burning electric utility plants located in 21 eastern and midwestern states. An additional 182 units joined Phase I of the program as substitution or compensating units, bringing the total of Phase I affected units to 445. Emissions data indicate that 1995 SO2 emissions at these units nationwide were reduced by almost 40% below their required level.

Phase II, which began in the year 2000, tightened the annual emissions limits imposed on these large, higher emitting plants and also set restrictions on smaller, cleaner plants fired by coal, oil, and gas, encompassing over 2,000 units in all. The program affects existing utility units serving generators with an output capacity of greater than 25 megawatts and all new utility units.

The Act also called for a 2 million ton reduction in NOx emissions by the year 2000. A significant portion of this reduction has been achieved by coal-fired utility boilers that will be required to install low NOx burner technologies and to meet new emissions standards.

Detailed information about emissions reductions is available on the emissions data & compliance page.


Whenever a problem is solved quietly by “men in rooms”, people think the problems never existed. Global warming, admitedly, has been talked about since the 1960’s at least, so it would seem as though it is not a real problem…we’re all alright. However, it is alarming to me how much we have changed the atmosphere.

The long term trend on planet Earth is a gradual reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere. This is because the oceans and plants absorb CO2. This process has occured for the last billion years and has been verified as best science can by looking at ice samples and studying ancient life.

However, the last hundred years has seen a sharp reversal of this trend:

BBC News has learned the latest data shows CO2 levels now stand at 381 parts per million (ppm) - 100ppm above the pre-industrial average.

The research indicates that 2005 saw one of the largest increases on record - a rise of 2.6ppm.

source: BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Sharp rise in CO2 levels recorded

That level of change concerns me, even if I don’t fully understand the science behind it.

Science is not like other fields. Journalists like to report “balance” in their stories. So, when writing about science, they will express the opionion of one group of scientists and another group that disagrees. Both sides will tend to be reported as being equally valid. This is not true. Science is about verifying data with repeatable experiments, it’s about experimenting to disprove theories. Many things can never be proven to be absolutely true (laws such as gravity, conservation of mass and energy etc.), but it doesn’t mean these theories are on shaky ground (evolution, global warming).

Lastly, I don’t think that humans will do anything about global warming in time. I think it’s time we start looking at the decisions we will have to make in the next environment. Such as, do we want to build a giant levee to protect Florida from disappearing? How about NYC? How will we deal with the desire to immigrate to cooler climates? Will we still produce enough food to feed ourselves? Luckily for Americans, the War Department already started thinking about this:

Feeble, you obviously haven’t seen the movie.
If you have, they maybe you we’re out getting popcorn during the part where they addressed the hole in the ozone layer.

I’m just not really sure how you could see this and not take something away. But go on, regurgitate your rhetoric back. The fact of the matter is, that there are going to be some major changes in the way things are done. One way or another. Unfortunatly, people like you tend to be the type that lack foresight enough to think long term. Something like this has to be beating down your door, before you’ll want something done about it. It’s too bad, because I’m sure you’ll also be the first ones to cry: “why didn’t somebody do something about this sooner?”

I was reading this and remembered all the bug-eyed fear and ignorant finger pointing that went on here. Hee Hee. Still makes me giggle. Let’s discuss again in 10 years.

You’re linking to Inhofe? Often called a blithering idiot by his constituents (I know some) and probably one of the people who has the most to gain from debunking Gore and the rest (fyi: Tulsa, Oklahoma was once the “oil capital of the world” and is still headquarters to some large petroleum companies).

The report Inhofe cites is available online. I just read it. Only it doesn’t dispute Mann the way Inhofe claims. In fact, it doesn’t “refute” anything at all! It merely calls attention to some of the data that Mann included (the first to do so, iirc): potential error in his calculations.

Included in the report was the following comment:

"The same general temperature trends emerge from different reconstructions." (in other words, it’s not just Mann, it’s other scientists coming up with the same graphs).

Importantly, since Inhofe seems to miss this, the report also says this in it’s Overall Findings and Conclusions:

Large-scale surface temperature reconstructions [like Mann’s] yield a generally consistent picture of temperature trends during the preceding millennium, including relatively warm conditions centered around A.D. 1000 (identified by some as the ‘Medieval Warm Period’) and a relatively cold period (or ‘Little Ice Age’) centered around 1700.

Well, so much for Inhofe’s amazing revelations that Mann has been debunked in the report. Not only are the hiccups accounted for, but they’re derived from the very data Mann provides which supports only one obvious conclusion: we don’t have very good information from 1000 years ago. Odd how it’s Mann that provides the information which shows this. Not the kind of thing you do if you’re interested in propaganda.

The rest is apparent from the very data provided - including the statistical errors that Mann volunteers - and none of it appears to conflict with anything I’ve heard from those concerned with global warming. The NAS doesn’t say global warming is hype and actually says that Mann’s reconstruction technique is supported by a different kind of analysis.

I like this line from Inhofe though: “My skeptical views on man-made catastrophic global warming have only strengthened as new science comes in.

If my campaign coffers were filled by Big Oil and they threw more money at me as the new science came in, I’d strengthen my skeptical views too! Just look at where his money comes from: .

Think and speak for yourself, Feeble (and how about using your real log in instead of hiding?).

Dig deeper. And please don’t depend on the Inhofe’s of the world.

the average 2-stroke-scooter-driving industrializing, just-about-to-explode-as-a-consumer Indian, Indonesian, or Chinese has a lot to do with this too.

yuppies driving Prius and carefully separating their yogurt containers from their microbrew bottles is a drop in the bucket.

Inhofe’s speech is hardly the only place I get my info. I happen to be very good friends with a NASA meteorologist who happens to be major hippy. He’s a scientist though, and even he sees through the garbage politicians are feeding the weak minded.

I’m sure you’re constituents are real ‘middle of the road’ people. Typical to get a second hand opinion as strong as yours, based on no real personal experience- just repeating what your ‘constituent’ whomever they may be, say.

you get info from the “non-partisan” Hee hee hee. Next you’ll be citing dailykos.

If I had nothing else to do, I’d love to pick apart what you wrote, but anyone who does the research will be able to do it themselves.

This is a pointless discussion since some will discover the truth and others will see the “Truth”. It’s all opinion because it’s all junk science that we’re discussing.

So the NASA meteorologist sees through Inhofe’s garbage too, huh?

I’m sure you’re constituents are real ‘middle of the road’ people. Typical to get a second hand opinion as strong as yours, based on no real personal experience- just repeating what your ‘constituent’ whomever they may be, say.

I remember Inhofe myself and from what I recall I thought he was a dirty politician. That’s my personal experience from some time back.

Here’s the real problem: what IS my opinion?! I don’t provide an opinion on this topic, do I? So if I don’t give one, how can it be “strong”?!

All I’m asking you for is good information. Pulling an Inhofe out your arse doesn’t do it for me.

you get info from the “non-partisan” Hee hee hee. Next you’ll be citing dailykos.

Facts are facts. They may not be reporting them, but if they aren’t, please provide a link showing where his money is coming from.

If I had nothing else to do, I’d love to pick apart what you wrote, but anyone who does the research will be able to do it themselves.

Only you don’t do any research. Linking to oily Inhofe isn’t research. Did you even read the report?

This is a pointless discussion since some will discover the truth and others will see the “Truth”. It’s all opinion because it’s all junk science that we’re discussing.

Interesting. One minute you use Inhofe’s speech which uses the new science to solidify his so-called position, and the next you call it junk. That’s pretty lame, imo. When it goes your way it’s worth something, but when it backfires it’s junk.

How about providing something unbiased? Just the facts, Feeble.

{You can start by entering “Inhofe” into the Federal Election Commission .gov website search to see where he gets his money: . Then figure out which one’s are oil/energy companies - like the El Paso Corporation and Exelon; it’s easy when they’re ConocoPhillips, OG&E, and Kerr-McGee. Then add them up and compare them to the opensecrets site. I suspect they might be off a bit. But will the big picture change? I doubt it.}

What is happening in our societies is a case of the “prisoner’s dilemma”. Each member of society has a choice, let’s say to take their car or to take mass transit. Here’s how the outcomes break down:

  1. One takes their car and society takes their cars. The individual is happy but the planet is doomed.
  2. One takes their car and society takes mass transit. The individual is happy and the planet is saved.
  3. One takes mass transit and society takes their cars. The individual loses out on the benefits of taking their own car (possibly quicker commute, greater comfort, whatever), but the planet is doomed.
  4. One takes mass transit and society takes mass transit. The individual loses out on the benefits of taking their own car (possibly quicker commute, greater comfort, whatever), but the planet is saved.

According to a post-modern thinker and most Americans, they would decide to take their car. Since most people do, that ends in result 1 or 3. However, the obvious best case results are 2 or 4. This also results in an advantage to free-loaders. We all know that it doesn’t matter what we do, but whatever society at large does. So why not take the Excursion, and hope everyone else doesn’t?

Some think that it is possible to debate our way into outcome 2 or 4, but this is doubtful. At the end of the day, people are lazy, they will choose to take their car. Plus, as individuals on a day-to-day basis, we don’t see any negative outcomes. That makes it even harder.

The only way out of a prisoner’s dilemma like this is to change the rules of the game. That means legislation.’s_dilemma

… isn’t a general design discussion.