Al Gore tells Bali what they've all been thinking...

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by bigandy, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. bigandy macrumors G3

    bigandy

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    #1
    Al Gore has spoken out at the Bali climate talks, at last saying out loud what everyone's been thinking...

    The UN are saying that co2 emissions need to fall between 25-40% in the next ten years. Obviously a difficult goal to achieve, but for the US to turn around and attempt to remove any mention of specific limits? I'm afraid that in my mind, and the minds of many others, that's not only ridiculous, but shows an utter lack of caring about the environment we all have to share.


    Linkityness 1.

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  2. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

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    #2
    Our government is actually probably scared to death and doesn't know what to do. Making Americans change their way of life drastically just plain won't go very well. I see this as more of a copout by them so that someone else can take care of the problem. Only the next people in line aren't going to want to do it either. Finally, those who come after us will be cleaning up a huge mess.
     
  3. bigandy thread starter macrumors G3

    bigandy

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    ...by which time, it'll be too late, probably.

    I understand the aversion to change - you find that commonly, right around the world - but this is something that really needs dealt with, before it gets out of hand. And damn it, out of hand is coming up quick. People need to move away from the opinion that they'll sort it when it breaks, but this isn't something that can be dealt with that way. And there's a handful of nations that just can't seem to understand it.

    I'm not blaming all you guys over there (no finger pointing), but what we're seeing over the pond, in the UK, is that there's growing opinion among the public in the United States that global warming is important, and something should be done, but the politicians just keep trying to bat any treaty for six.

    Are we going to end up with another Kyoto? Are the US going to sit this one out, just like they did the last, probably because it'd hurt industry, or the economy, or car sales?
     
  4. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #4
    Our country knows what to do. They have known for many years. The problem is that it will force automakers to achieve much higher standards in emissions. It will also force the government to draft standards for diesel emissions. These were omitted long ago, due to extreme lobbying by the trucking industry. The rationale at the time was that diesel does not travel high enough into the atmosphere to be harmful. We would need to invest considerably more in alternative, and clean energy sources. But, the world's largest, and most powerful lobby is international oil. All of these things would take a bite out of their revenue stream, and profit margin.

    These are some of the major issues, which can be combined into the general heading of corporate profits. This is why America 'sees no evil, hears no evil, and speaks no evil'. It is all about the bottom-line and greed. America is the result of completely unchecked capitalism. While it is generally a good system, it has also created a nation based on materialism, selfishness and greed. These will be the things which ultimately creates our downfall. It is already beginning to happen.

    If I were a citizen of another country, I would be 'pointing some fingers' this way, bigandy. As I am sure you know, this is an 'earth' issue. This belongs to all of us. A country like America should have long ago taken a leadership role in this. Instead, we have assumed an obstructionist's position. This was one of Gore's points (as you mentioned). But, Gore did something rather clever (to my mind anyway). He told the assembly (paraphrased), "The current administration will be gone in a year and eight days (standing ovation). Draft and ratify your regulations based on a different administration being in power soon".

    It would not hurt to have your governments put considerable pressure on the US to 'get with the program'. You have that right. I live in the foothills of the mountains. Each family in my community lives on 5 acre wooded lots. A stream runs through the middle of my property, and I get much enjoyment from sitting near it on Summer evenings. A new neighbor moved in (upstream) and decided to dam it on his property, making a small lake. I was able to resolve this eventually. I use it as an example of how one persons selfishness can impact others, especially when it is a shared resource.
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Nobody in the US is willing to ask Americans and corporations to make a drastic change in the way things are now, nor oversee this drastic change, because if they do, they know their popularity will drop and the other party (which ever one didn't make this call) will be in power by the next election.

    Every government will wait for the next government to take the "blame" for agreeing to mandatory cuts in CO2 emissions, but the next government will never do it, so it just keeps getting passed from one government to the next, with no political party in power willing to make a move.

    So which party will be the one willing to take some of the comforts away from the Americans and tell them they need to change? :confused: I don't think it'll happen unless a "Green" Party member disguised as a Democrat becomes President, as nobody ever votes for the Green Party (in any country). This President could have been Gore, but the Americans messed it up. :eek:
     
  6. juanm macrumors 65816

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    #6
    In Germany, Greens have a huge influence.
     
  7. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #7
    It has weakened somewhat over the past few years. I think green parties are going through a process of reinventing themselves. It'll be interesting to see what the end result is.
     
  8. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #8
    I have seen this with many environmental organizations, especially those which rely heavily on volunteers. After awhile, the organization becomes more focused on being an organization, than it does on its mission.

    What happens is volunteers want to come in and 'make a difference', actually work on the issues. Instead they spend a great deal of time fund-raising. Soon they loose interest in just stuffing envelopes, and leave.

    I worked as a volunteer for river conservation in the Pacific Northwest. A local attorney, and whitewater enthusiast/author founded the Northwest Rivers Council. It dealt with a variety of river issues in WA, OR, MT and ID. Eventually our organization attracted national attention from American Rivers. Their President came out to meet with us, do an assessment, do some hand-shaking/back-patting and finally the 'call to arms speech'.

    What he spent the majority of time talking about was building the organization and raising funds. I was disappointed. Afterward, I began to do some biography research on many of the professional environmental people. It became obvious they were mainly involved for a job. So, someone might work river issues for a couple years, then they would doing growth management, or shoreline conservation. So what you end up with is an impassioned volunteer base. These people want to accomplish things and then move on with their life. The leadership is also volunteer as a 'board of directors'. They too are focused on the mission. Finally, there is the Executive Director and the paid staff. They may, or may not feel much sense of mission. For them, it is a job.

    I observed that organizations with a narrow mission focus, are usually more efficient. For example, the Nature Conservancy has a very narrow focus. They look for environmentally sensitive land parcels, and they acquire them for the public trust. Habitat for Humanity focuses specifically on building low-income housing for Americans. Other groups have a very broad focus. To me, they become somewhat bloated and bureaucratic. It is easy for them to lose focus.

    When the environmental movement first began, there was a tremendous need for public education. All of the various organizations had education at the top of their mission statements. Well, there is not as much need for education anymore, with one major exception. Someone still needs to keep people informed about what is going on. The organizations still play a vital role in that. But, I think we are at a crossroads where we know what the problem is, what the issues are, and in many cases what needs to happen to solve them. Now we need direct action to move the solutions forward.
     
  9. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

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    #9
    That's kind of what I meant actually. They know what to do about the environment, but not about how to do it without making a large part (well, the wealthy part) of the population upset. It means smaller profit margins, less "convenience", and more responsibility. We will need to build better and actually think long term instead of only with a 20-30 year mindset.

    We are such a profit driven society that it will need to be more profitable to be less harmful to the environment than it is today. I can't really see that happening until it gets to be too late.
     
  10. Queso macrumors G4

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    #10
    I see this as a result of growing environmental awareness. Major parties are now including the moderate Green Party policies in their own manifestos, which of course leaves the Greens with only their more extreme positions to fall back on for attracting support.
     

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