Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sobering documentary exposes root of climate crisis: Greed

The globe is warming. Man is responsible. We know what needs to be done to stop it. In the near run, cutting back on waste (recycling, reusing); longer term, paying a lot more for energy.

So why isn't anything being done? A brilliant episode of PBS' Frontline digs in deep and shows us it's good ol' fashioned greed. (
Watch the full episode at their site.)

First of all, to demonstrate how critical this crisis is, Frontline takes you to the Himalayan Mountains, where all glaciers will be wiped out by 2035. So what? Half the world's population depends on water that originate from those glaciers.

Given the United States' role on the global stage, not to mention how much of the CO2 swirling in the atmosphere we're responsible for, we should be leading the way on reversing global warming. But we're not, because we're focused on short term profits, the narrow self interests of the groups we belong to, and big business is too skilled at getting what it wants from the government.


Beating climate change means someone needs to stand up and take charge, probably step on a lot of toes. Eric Pooley, former manageing editor for Fortune Magazine told frontline, "We have to overcome our natural way of doing business. If [a climate change solution] is all just a compromise between various special interests, we're not going to get it done."

No more compromises, people. Some people are simply going to lose when it comes to saving the planet. Compromise and special interest is partially what got us into this mess.

"Everything that's happened wrong in energy in the United States has happened because there was a group of voters that put their own parochial needs ahead of our nation," said Rice University's Amy Myers Jaffe, an energy policy expert. "West Virginia coal miners. Michigan auto workers. Farmers from Iowa. None of these groups have thought about our nation. They're thinking about their small, local community. We have to think as a nation. We need a leader who is going to stand up and say, we need to do this together."

(Global warming map by
Robert A. Rohde)

8 comments:

Skeptic said...

You're absolutely right. The cause of climate change is greed. But it's the greed of politicians' desire for expanded government power and additional revenue streams, namely the carbon tax. If those who spout off their concerns about global warming truly believed, they'd take leadership and not still fly across the country and the world in their carbon-spewing jets and idling in their air conditioned automobiles.

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