Saturday, November 24, 2007

Caring for our "home"

Anyone who really cares about people, urban areas and the future needs to read Bill McKibben's essay in the October 2007 edition of National Geographic ("Carbon's New Math," pages 33ff) or go to this link:

Lots to think about.

Convicting to me on several levels: my love of fast, muscle-type automobiles (I drive a Hemi!); my gluttony of energy on many other fronts; my thoughtless use of non-biodegradable products; my love of air conditioning to the extreme. . .the list goes on and on.

We are insatiable consumers, as evidenced by another wild and crazy "black Friday" just yesterday. The sales numbers aren't in, but if the video footage is any indicator, Americans continued the grand tradition of spend, consume and waste.

One thing seems certain: we are all connected on this one planet as never before. And, urban dwellers, no matter where, share lots in common.

We all need to go "green."

Maybe a first step is to take the problem and the challenge a bit more seriously than we do at present here in Texas!


chris said...

In the seventies there was supposed to be a coming ice age. What makes you think global warming is anymore "scientific" than that? God said in Gen. 8:22 that seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter would not cease.

The religion of global warming is a scam to instill fear and guilt for one reason; so Americans accept curtailed freedom. If you think there is poverty now, just wait until the church of global warming has its way. The whole idea is to blame America for the bulk of the problem, to bring our lifestyle down to that of Africa and other third world countries.

Have you ever noticed the ones that shout the loudest are the ones that pollute the most? When Al Gore rides a bike to work and John Edwards lives in a 2,000 sq. foot house I MIGHT pay some attention.

The earth is not fragile and American prosperity and progress are not sins. We should tell them where to stick their compact fluorescent bulbs.

I am not a insatiable consumer. My family did not shop yesterday, in fact we barely give gifts at all to each other at Christmas. We are more likely serving in a soup kitchen. However, if you want to shop till you drop, well that keeps the economy going. More power to you! Who is anybody to say you shouldn't? We live in a free country, let's keep it that way.

Politics & Culture said...

Perhaps we should follow This Woman's example.

I certainly agree that we should be good stewards of God's creation. My family tries to be less wasteful. We recycle, etc.

But extremists like the woman mentioned above, as well as Al Gore and others have zero credibility -- especially when they won't even discuss alternative viewpoints on climate change.

This is still my Father's world...

Anonymous said...

National Geographic is not a political magazine. The Nobel Peace Prize is not awarded to inidividuals with no credibility. The Intergovenmental Panel On Climate Change is no bogus collection of people. Serious, peer-reviewed scientists all.

Say what you will about Al Gore, you cannot dismiss with a wave of your right-wing worldview serious members of the scientific community. You both make this sound as if it is some sort of left-wing conspiracy, when, in fact, almost the entire scientific world recognizes and reports serious issues with the environment.

I find it amazing that both of you seem to hide behind some notion of religion. If it is "my Father's world," as you say, then it would seem all the more reason to take care of it.

Amazing comments and attitudes. Amazing!

Larry, glad you posted this. It is obvious that your readers need to be exposed to these ideas.

chris said...

anonymous 9:47

It is obvious that you need to be exposed to the fact that the Nobel Peace Prize is a fraud. Let's see, a murdering thug Yesser Arafat won in 1994, in 1992 literary fraud Rigoberta Menchu, whose autobiography was largely fabricated won. Then there was Jimmy Carter, who never met a dictator thug he didn't like. Al Gore sooths is conscious by buying carbon offsets from himself and everytime someone else buys them he gets richer. What a game!

chris said...

For an in-depth discussion of this subject I suggest "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming," by Christopher Horner.

Frank Bellizzi said...


The whole idea is "to bring our lifestyle down to that of Africa and other third world countries."?Really? Who's arguing for anything like that?

Larry James said...

Frank, you gotta be enjoying this conversation! The extremes, wherever they are found, are amusing and frightening all at once, huh?

Charles said...

Without getting into the politics, I'm unaware of any seriously dire predictions from global warming that have come true (I've heard the example of El Nino's effects being mispredicted for most of the last decade), and I've heard non-dire predictions have come true with about the same frequency as random chance, much like weather forecasts. It seems that what we heard in the 80s and 90s was that we'd all be suffering from it by now, but I know Texas has been much cooler and wetter.

Can someone link me to further information in a more concise format than Al Gore's campaign movie? (Sorry to get into the politics - I just don't like the way he's gone about things.) I'm open to offline resources like books and journals too.


chris said...

What's frightening is bigger government, more restrictions, with the global warming crowd in charge.

Wonder why China is seldom mentioned for its environmental sins?

Larry James said...

Chris, forgive me, but do you listen to the news? Every story I've heard in the past two years notes that China is the biggest problem and will only get bigger.

chris said...

That's true, Larry in the news. But when have you heard the environmental crowd discuss it? Since environmentalism is the modern home of the socialist movement and China is communist, they don't usually take on a fellow traveler.

Larry James said...

I've heard Al Gore discuss it, along with the group that won the Nobel this year. It is hard for any American to discuss it given the posture of the present administration toward environmental concerns and international treaties. But, I can honestly say that I have not heard anyone who was serioiusly discussing the issue that did not mention the growing threat of China. For environmental and national security reasons we need to find viable, scalable alternatives to fossil fuels and we need to do so quickly.

Anonymous said...

Want answers? Try Climate Change: A Guide for the Perplexed on the New Scientist web site.

Or try How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic on Gristmill.

These debunk the most common skeptic arguments. Once you read this material, you can continue to debate politics, but you shouldn't doubt that almost everyone who understands the science expects the earth to warm, with catastrophic consequences for many people.

The resources are out there. Do you have the will to learn?

Jeff W

Charles said...


I'm disappointed in your post. I'm reading through your links (although I'd really rather get links to my actual questions instead of an admittedly-impressive overview), but do you think the best way to convince someone is to question whatever it was you meant by "the will"? I'm trying to meet you halfway by trying to understand your viewpoint and I'm getting slammed for not being on your side anyway.

The other side does it too - this is just what makes people stop caring who's right if people always resort to attacks. Good luck demonizing the next skeptic.


Anonymous said...


I recently read Lynne Truss's book on punctuation, Eats, Shoots & Leaves, where she writes on Woody Allen's Small Time Crooks (incorrectly punctuated itself, by the way):

"The trouble with all of these grammar books is that they are read principally by keen foreigners; meanwhile, native English-speakers who require their help are the last people who will make the effort to buy and read them. I am reminded of a scene in Woody Allen's Small Time Crooks when an oily Hugh Grant offers to help ignoramuses Allen and Tracey Ullman (newly wealthy) with any sort of cultural education. 'Is there anything you want to know?' he asks Allen, who has been sullen throughout the interview. And Allen says reluctantly, 'Well, I would like to learn how to spell Connecticut.' What a great line that is. I would like to learn how to spell Connecticut. If you've similarly always wanted to know where to use an apostrophe, it means you never will, doesn't it? If only because it's so extremely easy to find out."

I've made it easy for readers to find climate-change info, but my experience tells me that most won't bother. I didn't aim the comment about the "will to learn" at you, Charles. If that shoe doesn't fit, then we can both thank God that you're more responsible than a lot of folks.

Not knowing what your "actual questions" are, I can't offer any additional help. If you read the linked material, though, it will disabuse you of at least two faulty notions expressed in your first paragraph.

I'm sorry if my post prompted you to react defensively, Charles. I have no desire to "demonize" or otherwise "attack" climate-change skeptics; I hope that you can re-read my previous post and see that I didn't do so. My aim was to pointedly confront any know-nothings (and I know they're out there in abundance) about their irresponsibility.

Jeff W

Karen said...

I tried and failed not to get into this, as there are those doing a much better job here than I could. But I just can't resist asking...

Is the unbelievable and willful (yes, 'WILL'-full) ignorance and denial of reality expressed by 'chris' in this post in any way particularly strong in Texas, being an 'oil' state? Because it absolutely boggles the mind.

Yep, 'chris,' I let you rope me in. My bad.

Anonymous said...


You're in luck! Check out the NPR web site for a brand new series of stories on Texans' slowness to environmental action.


Karen said...

Thank you, Jeff. I'll check it out. Karen