Sunday, June 04, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

I went to see the new movie by Al Gore called An Inconvenient Truth which is a documentary about the destruction of the environment -- mainly focusing on global warming. I thought it was nicely made (even funny at times) and raised a lot of awareness. I highly recommend it. It was also pretty scientific (like a good Nova show). The summary is that we're already in deep trouble. The earth's temperature is increasing. And this has a domino effect on the ecology of earth. For proof, look at the pictures I took from Greenland (you can see cracks in 3 of them).

And with over $1T of oil left in the world, energy companies don't want to see the adaptation of better energy sources. About 50% of media references to global warming somehow question the level of fear that scientists are showing. But no scientific jounral in the past 30 years has questioned the facts. Countless studies have shown that the current trend is simply too dangerous.

Some sad facts:
  • 10 of the hottest years ever on earth have been the past 14. Increase in temperature raises sea levels, increases winds (2005 had the highest number of hurricanes and tornadoes worldwide), changes the gulf streams, and drys land (partly causing the famine in Africa)
  • A 20 feet increase in sea levels means that most of SF and the peninsula will be under water. There goes the Noe, Palo Alto, Googleplex, and Stanford. Most of Shanghai, Beijing, and Calcutta will also go under water. That's over 100M people!
  • US has lower standards for gas emissions than Europe and China! This is a disgrace.
  • California passed a law to increase the gas emission standard by 2010 to match today's standard in China. But our friends in Michigan are suing the state for trying to take the lead!
  • I was surprised to meet a few people this week who didn't know that the imports of Japanese hybrids in the US are restricted to protect our friends in Michigan. GM and Ford are so doomed in my opinion because their cars are simply crappy compared to their European and Japanese peers. I hate lobbyists -- government should be "by the people and for the people" and not "for the corporations". I don't think this policy will protect American jobs in the long-term.
  • Despite the US never signing the Kyoto Protocol, 10 states and 187 cities in the US are following the protocol. I love it!
  • This is so evil: Philip A. Cooney, the former White House staff member who repeatedly revised government scientific reports on global warming, will go to work for Exxon Mobil this fall. (NY times article)
Gore was a lot more charismatic in the movie than in the 2000 debates. Sadly, it's too late. I really liked Gore. He is a smart guy. Urrgh... Florida!

I have a couple of personal take aways from the movie. But on a funny note, I will never order beer that's in bottle again. By ordering beer from tap, one can save the environment one bottle at a time. Imagine if everyone did that! But seriously, go watch the movie.


Blogger ChinaLawBlog said...

The US may have lower STANDARDS for gas emissions than China, but it is a near certainty that China doesn't come close to meeting its own standards. China is a horrible polluter and energy waster.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree

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they should do more about pollution

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