Apr 20, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
People want clean, efficient cars for many reasons, including reducing dependence on imported oil, saving money, saving jobs and saving car companies. But for many of us, lower greenhouse gas emissions is the primary motive. Global warming is emerging as the pre-eminent issue facing the world. It challenges each of us to do all we can to make changes and find solutions.
We make the case for the connection of plug-in hybrids to CO2 at our page with key resources at http://www.calcars.org/globalwarming.html. There you'll find many links, including one to the Socolow-Pacala "wedge strategy" document everyone should read to see how what it will take to reduce greenhouse gases. And our flyer, "120V+E85: Plug-In Hybrids Plus Ethanol: We Can Tackle Global Warming" is available at http://www.calcars.org/downloads.html.
But for Earth Day, it's a good time to catch up on the many recent resources that have appeared, so here are some, for you if you've missed them -- and for you to tell all the people who are still not paying attention. Here are a few -- and you can comment/add your picks at our blog, http://www.hybridcars.com/blogs/power/global-warming-resources.
-Vanity Fair Special Green Issue
-Renewus.org animation and Environmental Defense video ads
-New books on global warming
-Global warming websites
-TIME Magazine Special Report on Global Warming
-Science Magazine reports on ocean levels projections
VANITY FAIR MAGAZINE
Go to your news-stand and buy one or more copies of the Vanity Fair Special Green Issue. The cover describes global warming as "A threat graver than terrorism." Inside, keyed to its high-wealth and celebrity-watching readers, it "cuts through the hand-wringing, denial and confusion with an in-depth look at the challenge ahead, a 30-page portfolio of a passionately pro-environment new generation." It includes
Makowever says "The movie -- a 'documentary' told from 2056 -- tells the story of how '2006 was the year that changed everything,' when tens of thousands of citizens come together on the Internet to buy clean power. That unleashes a succession of positive changes, as utilities scramble to build wind and solar farms, individuals make fortunes investing in new clean-tech companies, and old dinosaurs like Ford and McDonald' find profit -- and salvation -- in clean, green technology. Even Martha Stewart gets involved.
People think concretely, so showing a picture of what could be can help us get there. That's why utopian (and dystopian) novels have had such a big impact in the past--think "Looking Backward" in the 19th Century and "1984" in the 20th. I hope this will mark the start of a succession of efforts that inspire people to act by showing them "future scenarios."
Free Range, the same people we worked with for http://www.bettah.org, produced the animation.
BEST BOOKS ON GLOBAL WARMING + MY TWO FAVORITE GREEN BOOKS
Two recently published books are among the best treatments of the subject:
- The Weather Makers : How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It
Means for Life on Earth
by Australian scientist Tim Flannery (Hardcover - February 28, 2006)
- Field Notes from a Catastrophe
by US journalist Elizabeth Kolbert (Hardcover - March 7, 2006) is an
expanded version of her New Yorker articles
Both these authors describe the social and material steps we can take to co-exist with nature -- as part of that, they are advocates of plug-in hybrids and supporters of CalCars:
- Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble by Lester R. Brown (Paperback - Jan 23, 2006)
- Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart (Paperback - April 22, 2002)
THREE TOP GLOBAL WARMING WEBSITES
http://www.realclimate.org leading climate scientists review and analyze cutting edge issues and questions http://www.stopglobalwarming.org the "virtual march" started by Laurie David. See preview of "Too Hot Not to Handle," premiering on HBO on April 22. http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/ The Independent when talking with people in the US, it can be very helpful to point to trends, debates and discussions in Great Britain (including statements by the government's Chief Scientist, Sir David King); this daily newspaper provides good roundups and links.
If you haven't seen it, the TIME Magazine Special Report on Global Warming dated April 3, is a must-see. At http://www.time.com/time/magazine/0,9263,7601060403,00.html it's available only to subscribers or by pay-per-view. The leading newsweekly's cover says, "Be Worried. Be Very Worried. Climate change isn't some vague future problem--it's already damaging the planet at an alarming pace. Here's how it affects you, your kids and their kids as well."
The infuriating journalistic "balancing" -- where the essentially unanimous scientific community is counterposed by a handful of individuals, many bankrolled by oil companies, is replaced by a simple paragraph: "Environmentalists and lawmakers spent years shouting at one another about whether the grim forecasts were true, but in the past five years or so, the serious debate has quietly ended. Global warming, even most skeptics have concluded, is the real deal, and human activity has been causing it."
Many well-informed people think this issue is the best presentation to general audiences they've ever seen, and can't find any significant technical faults. I've been hearing that it's had quite an impact among elected officials and other journalists. Try to get hold of a copy...hopefully, TIME will reprint aggressively. You can find a Word document with four of the main articles at http://www.calcars.org/time-globalwarming-excerpts-3april06.doc.
KEY NEWS DEVELOPMENT
The March 24 issue of Science Magazine caught everyone's attention with warnings that we need to act within 10 years, or ice thaws in Greenland and elsewhere this century could lead to sea level rises of up to 20 feet. (The report did NOT say that ocean levels would rise by 20 feet by 2100...but it did present possibilities of ocean level rises of several feet within decades that could be catastrophic for the more than half of the world's population that lives near coastlines, and for climate/agriculture/disease for everyone in the globe. One summary is by the Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0324/p01s03-sten.html.
Again, comment/add your suggestions at: http://www.hybridcars.com/blogs/power/global-warming-resources.