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Time Magazine on Global Warming
Jon Lebkowsky, 26 Mar 06

Knowledgeable scientists and people who were paying attention have been saying for almost a decade that global warming is not a maybe but an omigod; now Time Magazine is publishing a cover story that says "Be Worried – Be Very Worried." The issue (and an online special section at Time-Warner's CNN.com) says global warming is the real deal, we're beginning to feel its effects, and we should be in crisis mode because "the climate is crashing." What we need now is a serious, mainstream global focus on mitigation.

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Comments

In my not so humble opinion, "Be Worried – Be Very Worried" is not the greatest message to spur skillful action although it will sell magazines.

I'd rather we showed people how they can mitigate things before telling them how bad things are.


Posted by: Daniel Haran on 27 Mar 06

I disagree, Daniel.

The practices and alternatives have been around for years . . . decades. People know about hybrid cars, windmills, solar power, florescent bulbs and all that.

People know, but don't feel the need to change.

The palpable reality of shrinking glaciers, rising seas and honking big hurricaines might change that.

In other words, fuck being polite and measured and carrying around a stack of peer-reviewed papers. It's time to call bullshit on the astroturf campaigns. It's time to metaphorically grab the fossil fuel flaks by the collar and slam their heads into lockers when they say something stupid and self-serving. It's time to show people what is at stake.


Posted by: Stefan Jones on 27 Mar 06

Hi Stefan,

I've been calling BS on the flaks for a while now. My concern is dealing with people that are intelligent, educated, caring - and yet despairing that we will be able to avoid catastrophe. So many give up in despair, or pin their hopes on fusion to save us.

Besides telling them to read this website on a regular basis, I find it difficult to reach out to those people.


Posted by: Daniel Haran on 27 Mar 06

I'm not so sure that despair isn't the natural and necessary reaction for this kind of thing. I come here because I hope to God that we can change things in time, but beleive me despair fills me sometimes too. Better that people know the reality and begin to work it through. Hopefully they'll come to the same conclusions most of us have - we have to change, now whats the best things that I, personally, can do?


Posted by: Daniel Johnston on 27 Mar 06

There are actually a dozen articles that make up TIME's cover package--all of them free until Sunday. CNN links to just the first of the stories. Several talk about the positive things that people, cities and some corporations are doing from Seattle to Delhi--and what remains to done. You can see the index of all of the articles, including the one I wrote on the health effects of global warming, at this site:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/0,9263,1101060403,00.html


Posted by: Christine Gorman on 27 Mar 06

There are actually a dozen articles that make up TIME's cover package--all of them free until Sunday. CNN links to just the first of the stories. Several talk about the positive things that people, cities and some corporations are doing from Seattle to Delhi--and what remains to done. You can see the index of all of the articles, including the one I wrote on the health effects of global warming, at this site:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/0,9263,1101060403,00.html


Posted by: Christine Gorman on 27 Mar 06

I really don't see the TIME article as pushing despair. I see it as a kick in the pants.


Posted by: Stefan Jones on 27 Mar 06

I'll reiterate the last sentence of my post:

"What we need now is a serious, mainstream global focus on mitigation."


Posted by: Jon Lebkowsky on 27 Mar 06

I noticed somewhere in the Time pages an ad for a special this week on ABC News that also addresses climate change. It is good to see a few mainstream media sources taking a serious look at the issue, appearing (on the surface) to address the concerns of the majority of science without the usual "equal air time" for the minority who disagree about climate change.


Posted by: Stephen A. Fuqua on 28 Mar 06

They say "History is a good teacher".How many times in the past we have seen that leaders have led not just people but an entire civilization into distruction by making them bielieve and pursue wrong values ,intentionally or otherwise.We need to learn our lesson from history and act before it is too late.


Posted by: wellwisher on 28 Mar 06

I have to say. The vast majority of people on the planet do not have the time or inclination to read white papers or even get remotely involved in the climate "debate".

Sadly - we need to scare the shit out of them. If they we reasonable and paying attention - they wouldn't need that- because they would already be having the sleepless nights most of us have had - having done our homework.

We need Madison Avenue to do it's -yes- manipulative magic until massive numbers of people change their everyday behavior for good.

As important as I think it is to reach one's conclusions through critical thinking - no one is paying attention to the average attention span and critical thinking muscle expressed (not inherent) in most people.

MOST people are very caught up in who is winning American Idol.

(OFF to watch Wife Swap podcast now)


Posted by: eam on 29 Mar 06

Reminding myself that everyone has a little wee fascist in themselves trying to get out.


Posted by: eam on 29 Mar 06

Though a step in the right direction I have only this to say.

'Duh'


Posted by: Sean on 29 Mar 06

It's difficult to tell what the best tactic is in getting through to the mainstream public. I must agree with "EAM"; the general public obviously isn't listening, since consumer trends (in North America)indicate SUV sales are still high, energy consumption is still soaring, and aside from a few mutterings, increasing energy prices don't seem to be doing the trick to promote conservation. Is the scare tactic necessary? I'm not sure it is - when it comes to environmental issues, scare tactics almost seem to take the opposite effect and make people roll their eyes and grumble about treehugging hippies. But the straight facts aren't having an impact either. As I have no marketing education, I will leave it up to the magazines and newspapers to decide which tactic will work best, and hope they're right. In the meantime, I'll keep doing what I can in my own life and convincing as many as I can of the real implications of climate change.

Something needs to be done, and soon.


Posted by: Jennie on 31 Mar 06

Great thread. Sound's like we have to scare the crap out of people and show what we can do, in concert.


Posted by: Will on 2 Apr 06

the only thing that works is making people pay for their pollution. In America, this would mean multiplying gas prices by about 4 or 5, and pumping the proceeds back into alternative energy solutions.

The problem is, nobody has the political will to do this, and 9 Americans out of 10 would hit the roof, protest, go on strike, and vote out whoever passed this law (see California pre-Arnie).

In the meantime, the only thing to do is buy a pushbike, take the train, stop taking the plane, and turn the thermostat and a/c down. About 1 in 20 at the moment are prepared to do this, the rest are too lazy. Oh, and for the more radical, I suggest blowing up SUV retailers. (at night, don't want to cause any unnecessary injuries).


Posted by: froglet on 5 Apr 06



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