05
Dec
08

On air: Is it too late to save the planet?

Live from the Eden Project. Photostream updated here.

So you recycle, you try not to use your car and you switch off your lights as much as you can. (i appreciate this is a very western picture but bear with me). You follow the green debate with a mixture of helplessness and fear and you wonder if it’s all a bit too late ….


Tonight’s programme comes from a very special venue to discuss this.

The Eden Project is a converted old mine in the far south west of England. Its highlights are two large domes which recreate two complete climates: tropical and mediterranean, and Ros – completely gimmick free – will present from the top of one of them.

The Eden Project

The Eden Project

He’ll be with Eden Project founder Tim Smit who’ll debate with Ross Gelbspan , who’ll be in Boston.  They’ll discuss whether only drastic action can work and whether there is any real signs of that drastic action happening.

Is it too late to save the planet ?

View from within the mediterranean biome

View from within the mediterranean biome


109 Responses to “On air: Is it too late to save the planet?”


  1. 1 Fenias
    December 5, 2008 at 10:23

    I do not think that it is too late to do something, surely we can all change our energy intensive life styles, specially in the northern hemisphere, after all most of the polution takes place in the north and we in the poor nations of subsahaharan africa surely will also be affected, but small local initatives like not leaving your lights on, switching off your geaser, plant trees will have aa major impact if done at a large scale.

  2. December 5, 2008 at 11:28

    The planet and life has been here for billions of years. It has survived major metorites and earthquakes and volcanoes. The planet and life here in general doesn’t need saving as the damage humanity can inflict is minor compared to some of the horrors it has endured over time.

    The question is is it to late to save ourselves from ourselves?

    No, we’ll find a solution to whatever mess we make so that we survive in some form. It is likely however we will be impacted by what we have done, but to the extent we destory our entire lifestyle no.

  3. 3 roebert
    December 5, 2008 at 12:07

    There are no good reasons for being optimistic about our future, by which I mean the next 50 to 100 years. This century could spell the end of life as we know it, leaving us with a barely liveable planet. There are a number of contingencies that may act together to cause suffering and deprivation on an unprecedented scale. To list them would require a long essay. A very brief outline would include: catastrophic climate change, nuclear and biological warfare, terrorism with nuclear and biological capabilities, destruction of the biosphere through species diminution, new diseases brought on by genetically modified pathogens,destruction of marine life, rivers and aquifers drying up, mass famine in underdeveloped countries, global migrations, religious wars…

    If possible, it would be good to speak to people at the James Martin School of the 21st Century at Oxford University. They are analysing these questions and suggesting future scenarios and remedial steps. James Martin himself (author of “The Meaning of the 21st Century”, which is an Eden Project book) would be a very informative guest to have on the show.

    Much of the literature I have read suggests that we have simply run out of time. Too little too late will leave us surviving on a planet that cannot sustain us without some sort of technological bubble to live in, and what kind of life will that be? A highly unnatural one for one thing; a very unhappy one for another.

  4. 4 Roberto
    December 5, 2008 at 13:16

    RE “” The question is: will this be only way in the future we get to see nature in action? “”
    ———————————————————————————————————————–

    ——————With half or more of the world’s population packed and stacked in big cities, most are seldom if ever exposed to nature already.

    Sun will rise and set tomorrow regardless of whether we exist and there will be some life on the planet until the sun explodes blasting everything to bits.

    What’s at stake is human civilization. The thin veneer has been stripped away and what we are left with is the gold standard that the punters can always bet on, war, famine, slavery, fraud, bankers and politicians.

    At every point of large gatherings of humanity, they have completely befouled their nest. You can cross over massive overpasses over the East River and see below the “sludge” packing the river and the banks that has oozed out of NYCs leaky sewer system.

    Hard to believe that the area was one of the truly beautiful places in the world 400 yrs ago.

  5. December 5, 2008 at 13:22

    The planet will be just fine. Maybe not the way it was before we got stupid and started endlessly reproducing and polluting, but the planet will go on twirling away in space.

    Is it too late to save us from our own ignorance and greed? Unfortunately for the future majority, probably so. I doubt the human race will become extinct anytime in the forseeable future, but we will be faced with an ever-increasing rate of crises due to our pollution and overpopulation. Nature will regulate itself and the population will eventually stabalize, either by our behavioral changes or by ‘natural’ (yet somehow of our own making) deaths.

    We are very careless with our planet, I think we need to remember our planet can be just as ‘careless’ and unforgiving with us.

  6. 6 Vernon
    December 5, 2008 at 13:23

    It could be a serious concern especially for those who see nothing beyond the physical realm. However this is a kind of temporary place anyway and the best way to save the earth is to save the world (biblically speaking), and so people will behave more responsibly.

  7. December 5, 2008 at 13:26

    On a somewhat related note, I watched Bio-Dome from 1996 yet again a few weeks ago, at a glance, Eden reminds me of it… God I love that movie lol.

  8. December 5, 2008 at 13:31

    @ Vernon:
    However this is a kind of temporary place anyway and the best way to save the earth is to save the world (biblically speaking), and so people will behave more responsibly.

    From my experience, biblically ‘saved’ people are some of the worst behaved from an environmental perspective…
    How do you think we can get religious people to stop thinking that the earth is a “temporary stop on the way to heaven so it doesn’t really matter what we do on it in terms of pollution”, or the argument I love from some of the religious people I have had discussions with, “Well God gave us the earth to do what we want with and use it for our benefit”
    The main feeling I get is that many religious people feel ‘entitled’ to do with the earth as they see fit, since God gave it to them and since they’ll be going to heaven anyways so why worry?

    How can we change this perspective (biblically speaking)?

  9. 9 gary
    December 5, 2008 at 14:04

    No, it isn’t. No, we won’t. Though many of us can envision the solution, few of our number are brave enough to embrace it. We hoard wealth, and discard value. We see ignorance in others, yet remain blind to our own vacancies. In both instances, we fail to educate. We answer death with more death, as if relatives will not notice the smoking corpses. Across which (of the many) “front lines” would you likely hear: “Friend, I know you are a human too. I don’t want you or your progeny to die any more than I wish that fate for me and mine. More connects us than separates us. We must talk while we still exist.”
    You see how simple? You see how improbable?
    g

  10. 10 Steve
    December 5, 2008 at 14:35

    I was watching a TV show about illegal gold mining in the Peruvian amazon a couple of nights ago. Basically they cut and burn the rainforest to clear land so they can look for gold in the water. So long as humans are greedy, which is what humans are, we will destroy the planet.

  11. 11 John in Salem
    December 5, 2008 at 14:35

    That depends on what you mean by “saving the planet”. If humans disappeared tomorrow the changes we have put in motion over the last hundred years would continue their work for millennia to come. The oceans now contain an estimated 42,000 pieces of plastic per square mile, the CFC’s in our atmosphere will continue to break down ozone for decades and thousands of species pushed to the brink of extinction are too untenable to survive no matter what we do.
    We can’t go back. The best we can hope for is to slow the process and, given the projected rate of population growth for this century, I’m not optimistic we can do that.
    Natural selection has no conscience and no mercy and it doesn’t give a damn how we think about ourselves. We’re an experiment, pure and simple, and at the moment we resemble an uncontrolled chain reaction with only one logical conclusion.
    And if it doesn’t work out for us then nature will try something else.

  12. December 5, 2008 at 14:42

    The Planet hasn’t yet reached a catastrophic level despite the warnings and evidence of climactic change. There is still hope that things can be redressed despite – among other things- the depletion of the ozone layer and forest surface across the world.

    With technology, there can be drastically reduced dependence of fossil fuel energy. Even with more machines and vehicles, the air can remain clean if there are environmentally clean energy. The biggest danger can be the uncontrollable population increase which surely will be a great strain on the planet resources.

    However if climactic change is the result of nature and not human beings, there is little science can do as it can never have the power to direct among other things the level of heat and cold which give the earth the image it currently has.

  13. December 5, 2008 at 15:26

    Who really knows if it’s too late to save the planet? But it sure as heck isn’t too late to try everything we can.

  14. December 5, 2008 at 15:31

    We’ll narowly escape disaster for our civilization (the planet will do ok) if we reduce CO_2 emissions drastically over the next few decades. We’ll get 2 to 3 degees C of warming, we’ll face a lot of problems, but our civilization will not collapse.

    If we are not able to significantly reduce CO_2 emissions, then our civilization will collapse. We cannot survive 6 degrees of warming. It will turn large parts of Europe into a desert. It is then not sure if the impact on Nature will be so severe as to trigger a mass extinction, see e.g. here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2002/dayearthdied.shtml

    The best way to drastically cut CO_2 emissions is to aim for zero emissions.

  15. 15 chris in austin tx
    December 5, 2008 at 15:34

    It is not too late to save the planet. In order for us to be effective and successful we need to work together. The plethora of l environmental groups the world over need to join forces and create a massive block of citizen activists that will work together to make the changes that are necessary. It is time to stop the free ride that industry has been on wherein they have been polluting without penalty.

    Change is possible only if we work together like we did to elect Barack Obama.

  16. 16 adrian
    December 5, 2008 at 15:40

    Economic growth = increased pollution, increased use of raw materials and destruction of natural space.

    Governments are now encouraging us to spend more in the hope that the economy will begin to grow again whilst setting unrealistic targets to cut pollution. If the economy grows, pollution increases.

    People need to be encouraged not to spend on things they don’t really need. The trend for economic growth has to stop.

  17. December 5, 2008 at 16:22

    The human activity does not have anything to do with the change in climate if there is a chance, it is all a natural cycle or caused by the sun, which is just the nature. There is no green house effect, it is all a myth invented by liberals and fake scientist. Environmentalists and people like Al Gore and his alike are going to destroy the economy with their wacko’s ideas. There is no global warming, it is a hoax.

  18. December 5, 2008 at 16:48

    Hiam:
    The human activity does not have anything to do with the change in climate if there is a chance, it is all a natural cycle or caused by the sun, which is just the nature. There is no green house effect, it is all a myth invented by liberals and fake scientist. Environmentalists and people like Al Gore and his alike are going to destroy the economy with their wacko’s ideas. There is no global warming, it is a hoax.

    Aside from you ignoring facts on global warming and living in what seems to be a conspiracy theorist mindset where the bad bad libs are out to destroy the world… Are you also denying that along with the issue of global warming (whether fake or real) there is a massively increased problem of pollution which accompanies economic growth?
    That not only CO2 emissions will be the downfall of our civilization, but our complete and utter neglect for the environment is the issue at hand here.
    What are your beliefs and stances on humans poisoning the planet and environment in which we live in with other substances other than CO2 for economic benefit and growth? Is that a hoax as well?

  19. 19 Katy
    December 5, 2008 at 16:55

    As an American currently working in development in rural Morocco, I am astounded at how little it takes to get by versus what is normal for me and my lifestyle back home. My monthly electric bill is about $5; this pays for lightbulbs, my laptop, and my fridge. Whenever I travel here, 6 passengers fit in a normal-sized 4 passenger sedan taxi, or up to 45 people from my village ride in a 15-passenger van. It’s far from perfect; there are no emissions standards, for example, but people here want their own cars, want indoor AC and heating, bigger fridges, more televisions, and the list goes on. I don’t think most people in the West would be willing to live the rest of their lives at this very tolerable level– I don’t think I could handle it for more than the two years I will stay. Is it necessary to make cut-backs this drastic? I hope not, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

  20. 20 Anthony
    December 5, 2008 at 17:16

    Well, I don’t there is a way to reverse over population gently, so either war, famine, or disease will have to help earth “fix” itself.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  21. 21 Robert Evans
    December 5, 2008 at 17:21

    Here is what I do

    Recycle

    The local council where I live collect the sorted household waste in two boxes which we keep every monday

    Compost kitchen waste

    These two composters are at the bottom of the back garden

    Energy saving light bulbs

    These are expensive but they do last for a very long time.

  22. 22 natalie sara
    December 5, 2008 at 17:28

    it isn’t too late to change attitudes to face the reality of climate change. look at the floods in venice, the sea level is bloody rising and of course we’re going to get afraid for our survival as mother nature’s signs become more drastic and super scary.

    though we know the consequences of ‘not saving the planet’, the little we do or we try to do may not completely save the planet. my sis and i switch off the aircon for 2 days a week, a system we only concocted this year and this act of awareness may just be insignificant to help the dying earth.

  23. December 5, 2008 at 17:31

    @ Katy:
    Is it necessary to make cut-backs this drastic?

    In my opinion, in the unlikely event you would ever see America make cutbacks like this it would only be for one of two reasons… If they were made into law, which we know would not happen as what, maybe 1-5% of the population may vote for a politician which supported such drastic cutbacks. Or through economic pressures if it were no longer affordable to live the lives we currently lead. It will not be a choice, because the American citizen has shown time and time again, they are unwilling to make the right choice, only the self-serving one UNLESS it is convenient or beneficial.
    So when the cutbacks come, it will be out of necessity, either to stay out of trouble with the law (which again, is unlikely such legislation will be passed, we value ‘freedom’ over everything, freedom to pollute is included in that), or to survive.

  24. 24 vijay
    December 5, 2008 at 17:35

    Is it too late to save the planet?
    The only thing western is the patronising attitude and hypocrisy,sorry mate not going to bear with you .
    Recycling,reusing,alternative energy,energy conservation and not using a car is the norm in most of the world .

  25. 25 Peter Gizzi UK
    December 5, 2008 at 17:38

    The Planet will continue O.K. Humans may become extinct, so what. Micro organisms make up the majority of life on the planet and they will survive. Let us not forget it is from them we are descended. New species may arise as a result?

    I live a fairly “green” life as I only havee a small income. I get very annoyed by MPs and MEPs telling us to be green while none of them practice what they preach. Damned hypocrits!

  26. 26 vijay
    December 5, 2008 at 18:09

    Is it too late to save the planet?
    Oh,Of course not ,environmental awareness and behaviour modification is necessary,rabid ecohysteria and fear mongering is not.

  27. December 5, 2008 at 18:18

    Hi WHYSers!

    There is much that can be done to alter the pace of global warming/ climate change, notwithstanding doubts about the integrity of the scientists who make such claims and the politicians who give them audience, as per at least one of the entries above. Signing onto the Kyoto Protocol, as well as developingn and making more accessible ‘green technologies’, adhering to good air quality standards and empowering governments like Brazil’s to be able to act in the best interest of all re cutting down the Amazon, are but some of the solutions.

    People need to get real (honest) about the fact that very dramatic changes in weather systems have occurred over time, caused, in part, by the increased use of fossil fuels by man. This rightly concerns all of us, but especially countries like the US in terms of signing on to the Kyoto Protocol.

  28. December 5, 2008 at 18:19

    While the name escapes momentarily, there is at least one country (in the South Pacific?) that has seen a dramatic rise in sea levels caused (?) by melting ice caps, due to global warming induced by man. Venice also continues to sink further and further beliow the tides because of a similar reason. Are these scary enough to get us to think and act in the interests of the world? Or are we just making this stuff up (because we have nothing better to do)? I sincerely hope not!

  29. 29 vijay
    December 5, 2008 at 18:20

    A global recession is good for the environment in the short term,chinese factories shut down and Americans drive less,however investment is needed for research and development in ecology,environmental geography and meteorology as well as alternative energy

  30. 30 Joel Salomon
    December 5, 2008 at 18:24

     It’s not too late yet—but it will be if the anti-development doom-and-gloom folk have their way. Forget the idea of moving the species back to some agrarian lifestyle; even if the U.S.A. and Europe cut back, there’s no way to convince the billions living in India & China that they can never have what we’ve had. Especially since it isn’t true.
     We need to industrialize space: an orbiting solar power station can provide as much energy as the entire human race can use in the foreseeable future—say a world population of 20 000 000 000, every one commanding ten times the energy output of the most “wasteful” American.
     It all comes down to energy, though. Want to break down chemical pollutants? It’s an energy-intensive process. Non-CO₂-emitting cars? Run ’em on hydrogen (which takes energy to produce from water) or put the carbon back into fuel—again, requiring energy. Want to increase food production? Ammonia is the basic element of fertilizer and it takes vast amounts of energy to produce—and the Haber process needs lots of hydrogen; see the previous item.
     The only way forward is, well, forward.
     (See Dr Jerry Pournelle’s A Step Farther Out and Another Step Farther Out for more on this topic; see especially his essay Survival with Style.)

  31. 31 Tom D Ford
    December 5, 2008 at 18:25

    The planet will survive humanity. The question is will humanity survive itself?

    One way I look at it is that the earth is a big science laboratory that over billions of years has tried huge numbers of experiments, many of which failed, some of which are still ongoing and may fail, and many of which had achieved a diversified and stable dynamic balance.

    We humans have perturbed that diversified stable dynamic balance and endangered ourselves and many other species by doing so.

    I have come to respect the accumulated wisdom of the earth and I think that before we humans consider modifying what nature has established, we ought to do a great bit of thinking about the consequences of our actions, past, present, and future. Looking back over many of our human modifications of the planet, I see that nature was a heck of a lot smarter in establishing the things that we modified than the humans who did the modifying.

    I think we need to modify ourselves to learn to live on and with the earth and other species and get rid of our outdated ideas of dominating it and trying to modify it to fit us.

    As smart as we may think we are, I keep in mind that nature bats last and she has batted many many more innings than we humans have.

  32. December 5, 2008 at 18:34

    Robert

    The question is is it to late to save ourselves from ourselves?

    That is the crux of it!!!!

    As many know I live in the boonies in Canada, BIG logging country – I have the benefit of seeing mother nature upfront and personal. I have seen the photographs of, what was, farming land 25 years ago, it is now full of ‘natural’ forest with trees as high as houses. The logging companies are applying for licenses which will take effect in 10 years time.

    The planet will survive when we are gone, she is doing a great job of it now. What we do need to do is get rid of the amount of waste there is in this world. With this recession we have the opportunity to come out of it with new jobs and new industries – will the banks back those? Not in my experience.

  33. 33 Andrew in Australia
    December 5, 2008 at 18:42

    don’t think it is too late to save the world. We could IF we wanted to. Unfortunately there is to much inertia to overcome – it is too expensive, we will ruin our economy, it will disturb the lifestyle we enjoy. So from that perspective it is too late as not enough is being done or any true sort of desire on the part of humanity.

    Sadly, if we do not act we will have no economy left, no wealth and when things crash what good will your HD plasma screen be? That is the reality of it all.

    People delude themselves by thinking that separating their paper from plastic is the answer or to change a lightglobe, yet waste electricity relentlessly by bedecking their houses in silly Christmas lighting. Eventually a crash will come, I think in my lifetime. But complacency and the attitude that flick a switch turn on a tap and it still works, then I’m alright jack!

    But we cannot continue to consume as we do, to pollute as we, to destroy our environment as we do. I do not think it is just selfishness on the part of the developed world and its peoples, but a mix along with sheer ignorance and stupidity that is leading us down this path and we will not truly realise what we have done to the planet until it is too late and until the damage will be well and truly devastating towards to so called advanced species. Simple fact, live in a sealed system and destroy it, the balance it has developed, dirty it and soon enough you will perish. No one wants to think like it, but it is simple physics and chemistry that we cannot avoid or wish away.

    Andrew

    Australia

  34. December 5, 2008 at 18:46

    It is not too late to save our planet, we have no real control over that. The question is, do we posses enough of a mind set to change our ways? We can reduce our own pollution, we can put in place safeguards for companies, but it will come down to what the earth wants to do. If it gets bad enough natural selection, fight or flight, and adapatation will win over anything we can do.

    Side not @ Brett- Bio-Dome was an awsome movie! ;^)

  35. 35 John in Salem
    December 5, 2008 at 18:55

    This is a link to the PBS Frontline report “Heat” which aired in October and can be seen in it’s entirety online. It presents the latest scientific data, the most current forecasts and is riveting to watch as well.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/heat/view

    We’ve got ten years to turn this around, and that’s being optimistic.

  36. 36 Peter liu
    December 5, 2008 at 18:56

    All this talk about global warning is a western conspiracy to prevent China from achieving economic success. Maybe to stop Oil producing nation
    from achieving economic growth. Whatever , excessive consumption is a western malaise..

  37. 37 Devadas. V from Kerela, India
    December 5, 2008 at 19:01

    hello ros,
    this type of market economy will see to it that planet earths survival years will be shortened for sure at that rate is the destruction of natural resources going on ..in our district kannur which has 15%of our states wetlands and mangroves all are destroyed and filled up to construct huge resorts,malls and villas in spite of knowing that during 2005 tsunami it was this mangroves which actually saved some part of our region .added to this are the destruction of trees and natural vegetation in the name of development .
    ros,as i earlier wrote to you 4500hectres of wetland agricultural cultivation which is unique in this part of kerala are all destroyed by erecting a dam thus stopping the flow of saltyseawater which is essential for this type of wetlandcultivation .now this area were there was mangroves ,migratory birds ,and area rich in biodiversity all are being filled up by realestate mafias for cheapcash caring less about the future planet ..
    this is the story of our small district this kind of activities are all going around kerala and less said the better at national level with the narmada dam project which is being supported by the central state government ,and supreme court by raising the height of the dam nearly 400villages were submerged thus eradicating rare biodiversity once and for all .at the international level be it in amazon ,usa and other states in the name of development nature is being plundered without a concern for the future .
    do well remember at this crucial time GANDHIJIS GREAT QUOTE”NATURE PROVIDES FOR EVERYONES NEEDS BUT NOT FOR HIS GREED”
    ALSO ALLOVER HUMAN BEINGS JUST REMEMBER THAT WHEN THE LAST MOUNTAIN IS DESTROYED,ALL RIVERS DRIEDUP,ALL FISHES AND OTHER CREATURES DEAD WE WILL REALISE THAT HOW USELESS IS THE MONEY WHICH CANT BUY ANYTHING THEN?
    SO NOW ITS BETTER LATE THAN NEVER SITUATION .LET ALL AROUND THE WORLD SIT AND THINK WHAT CAN BE DONE TO SAVE THIS PRECOCIOUS PLANET EARTH?

  38. 38 BB Borowitz
    December 5, 2008 at 19:06

    i’m always amused when people talk about ‘saving the planet’ . . .
    whatever we do or don’t do, the planet will be fine . . .
    it’s PEOPLE/HUMANITY we need to save !!

  39. 39 Syed Hasan Turab
    December 5, 2008 at 19:12

    Why not we invest in solor energy projects to resolve enviremental puzels. We may introduce Global Enviremental taxation system over heavy polution producing industries of the world, like Iron & steel industries etc.
    I remember during my stay in London over Kingstion upon Tames area, because of Helicopter Manufacturing Industry Immediate resident’s were faceing steel dust problem in the air & usually in the morning street parked vehicals coverd with metal dust, obiously immediate resident inhail same metalic dust too. I notice same kind of problem in LINZ Austria too because of Steel Manufacruring plant. I dont know about Chemical Industries impact over our health.
    We need to exchange our knowledge & skill in this regard, which will improve our living condition in this world.

  40. 40 Brent
    December 5, 2008 at 19:15

    Yes, it is too late. All the chemicals that we have pumped into the atmosphere are just starting to work their devious magic and they will continue for the next 100+ years even if we stopped all polluting now. It is too late for the world and for mankind.

  41. 41 Scott (M)
    December 5, 2008 at 19:17

    MAYBE IT SHOULD END…

    I am willing to do everything I can to have a low impact on planet earth, and I do so (mainly because it causes me no harm)—however, there is really no valid philosophical reason I can see for “saving the planet.” It seems sentimental, to suggest that human life must continue, perhaps it is meant to end—perhaps evolution has put us at the precipice of extinction and that is where we belong.

  42. 42 Colleen in Oregon, USA
    December 5, 2008 at 19:21

    I hate that everyone keeps mentioning that certain countries (especially America) doesn’t care about climate change. Here in Oregon we’re and extremely progressive state in green technologies and living. Just keep in mind although our federal government may not be making steps in the right direction at the moment, doesn’t mean our country isn’t making progress.

  43. 43 Vikram
    December 5, 2008 at 19:23

    How arrogant of us to think that planet is in peril. It is not the planet but our species that is in peril. Earth has supported many life forms and will continue to do so for next 3-4 billion years it is the us and only us that will drive our species to extinction.
    If we decide not to save ourselves we have no one else to blame.

  44. 44 Kaui
    December 5, 2008 at 19:25

    Regardless if it is too late or not to save the planet, we should do all we can to not create additional harm to our world. Even the little things can add up to a significant difference.

    Kaui
    San Diego

  45. 45 Andrew in Oregon
    December 5, 2008 at 19:26

    What I am most interested in hearing someone talk about is why consumers are asked to carry a majority of the burden in changing things. If environmental sustainability and the end-of-life products and processes were included in the bottom line, a vast majority of businesses would be unable to function. So they pass the cost on to us without taking responsibilty for their actions.

    In addition, I would like to suggest that under our current environment, if one company saves energy, that left over energy will eventually be consumed by someone else, making little difference in the big picture. Climate change (whether its warming or cooling or both) are the environmental consequences of the material capitalist paradigm– the same sermon that gave indulgences to western powers to rape the land and native peoples around the world.

  46. 46 vivek sharma
    December 5, 2008 at 19:27

    I think it’s almost late and so we must act quickly. We will not succeed if it remains a economic issue. At a very fundamental level Global Warming is a morality issue. It is science catching up with morality. Who would have thought of that convergence?

  47. 47 kate
    December 5, 2008 at 19:30

    The whole discussion is very human-centric and myopic. We are not going to either destroy or save the planet. What we are doing is changing it. The problem is that we seem to be a non-climax species; IE we create an environment that is hostile to ourselves, but something out there loves what we are doing – bacteria, cockroaches, rats, whatever.

    What we need to do is think like a climax species. Each one of us, individual, community, society and nation should be asking ourselves, “Does the way I’m living create an environment that will sustain me and mine?”

  48. 48 physal
    December 5, 2008 at 19:33

    Im a petroleum engineering student in Saskatchewan Canada. I think we need a new approch to tacling climate change. Even the canadian Govt failed to ratify the kyoto protocol. The biggest polluters are doing nothing but wat happened to the ingenuity of science. We need an aggressive approach to tackle this problem.

  49. December 5, 2008 at 19:34

    Hi
    Just wanted to ask that you stop saying “Can we save the world” – it is so anthopomorphic to keep saying that. Basically what we should be saying is “Can we survive as a species”. Perhaps if we started to say it is this way people would begin to understand the immediacy of what is happening. By saying “Can we save the world”, it is affirming that the world is something exterior to ourselves, which of course it is not – and that way of thinking is what has caused the problems we face in the first place.
    Great show.
    Thankyou.
    Rosie

  50. December 5, 2008 at 19:35

    Some moderate global warming might not be a bad thing, at least in temperate and subarctic regions. But we’ve mostly locked that in already. Average atmospheric warming will likely almost double due to thermal inertia. Then we have the question of amplifying feedbacks that apparently dominate on sub-millennial timescales. What people need to realize is that with the persistence of a CO2 accumulation and the lagged climatic response to it, we can’t delay any longer. Risking more rapid, lasting change is the foolish thing. That means risking centuries of disruptive change to coastal cities and billions of people who depend on intensive agriculture, reliable water supplies, and ecological resources like forests and oceans.

  51. 51 Martin
    December 5, 2008 at 19:40

    I’m afraid that the current economic crisis is used as an excuse for not dealing with the equally current and more dramatic climate crisis. THis is the wrong way of looking at it. The current economic crisis begs for a change in the way we do business and the way industry and our society works. There are huge opportunities at this point in time to use the economic crisis to really re-think our modern society and the driving forces behind it.

  52. 52 Kent in Iowa (US)
    December 5, 2008 at 19:41

    I would like to mention that the “Go Green” culture is thrinving in Iowa also. Every place I have worked in the last 2 years has plans to help with the company’s sustainability.. They all have footers on their emails that say don’t print out this email unless it is absolutely necessary. They clean with products that have been designated as “Green” products. Every place has intensive recycling plans in place not only including papers and things of that nature but even as far as recycling old computer equipment. I know that the U.S. has a long ways to go but at least we’re making an effort.

  53. 53 eric greene
    December 5, 2008 at 19:44

    i take issue with the speakers who said global warming is not a threat to man kind
    for example, ocean acidification will eliminate calcium based marine life that will impact all the way up the food chain; if the oceans warm enough to release their load of frozen methane global warming would accelerate
    these changes may take several generations, maybe less but nonetheless put in this context whether we walk or live in cold huts is irrelevant to our basic survival

  54. 54 Listener
    December 5, 2008 at 19:52

    When people can live like animals, planet saved forever-or maybe still won’t?

  55. 55 Tom D Ford
    December 5, 2008 at 19:53

    Thing is, it is not just Global Warming, it is also the strip mining of the Oceans species and all the other things that come from human populations getting out of control.

    I think we need to change from the constant demand for economic development to the benefit of a very few incredibly wealthy, to a constant demand for development of human beings, in the form of education, alternative sustainable energy infrastructure, family planning and contraception, and the like.

    We need to control population growth or nature will do it for us and she is a very harsh and uncaring taskmaster.

    And we need to revise all of the religions for the future world, because their past helped cause our current problems.

  56. 56 Natalie
    December 5, 2008 at 19:55

    Just to add to the question of the part developing countries have to contribute. From my experience as a Westerner now living and settled in Sri Lanka – they are far ahead of us, because of sheer necesity. Every product is reused, every resource is maximised.

  57. 57 Amar
    December 5, 2008 at 19:56

    its not late but we need to act fast. The governments should take actions instead of just talk about it. My take is, the developed nations which had done lot of damage should take the responsibility and do something to the world. Also the developing nations should start taking small steps ( need not spend much ). All the people should understand that if they dont do anything they leave a worst world for their generations.

  58. December 5, 2008 at 19:56

    Who now that people is responsiblke for global warming?
    For example in my country last 1000 years was much more warm and without any industry :o
    People who lies like Al Gore make many things much more worst that make nothing !!!

  59. 59 Steve
    December 5, 2008 at 19:57

    For those pushing compact fluorescent bulbs, let’s not forget that they contain mercury vapor in them. This makes disposal, and if the bulb should break, you’ve got a mercury issue to deal with.

  60. 60 Mariano
    December 5, 2008 at 19:58

    It seems that we are playing within a dichotomy: does the government or the individual have the capacity to improve our chances of future prosperity? But isn’t it more effective to bring this dichotomy together as individuals within communities to push our governments to make appropriate changes? It seems to me that government action will not originate within governments who have varying interests.

    Mariano
    La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA

  61. December 5, 2008 at 19:59

    @ Steve:
    For those pushing compact fluorescent bulbs, let’s not forget that they contain mercury vapor in them. This makes disposal, and if the bulb should break, you’ve got a mercury issue to deal with.

    http://thoughtsfromrva.wordpress.com/2008/12/02/cfls-and-mercury/

    That same issue was bugging me the other day so I blogged a bit about it.

  62. 62 Mandy
    December 5, 2008 at 20:00

    I think the problem comes in conviction and real belief that there is a problem. In the US we just elected a president that many of my peers hope will put us back on a better environmental track. But now with the major car companies failing we are considering indebting ourselves further for a system that is not sustainable economically, environmentally or socially. I am saddened that there is not more encouragement to put that money into systems that might actually benefit us.

    Also, I think the idea of conservation needs to take some precedent over new developments and products. While these things are important, production lines of any form are not environmentally friendly.

  63. 63 Jennifer
    December 5, 2008 at 20:04

    Re: Is it too late to save the planet ?

    “i’m always amused when people talk about ’saving the planet’ . . .
    whatever we do or don’t do, the planet will be fine . . .
    it’s PEOPLE/HUMANITY we need to save !!”

    I have to say I agree with the above statement. People should be mindful of what they do, purchase, and etc to reduce their impact on the earth whenever possible. However, to meet the demands for goods for the increasing amount of people we must use nature to ensure our survival.

    Re: “I am willing to do everything I can to have a low impact on planet earth, and I do so (mainly because it causes me no harm)—however, there is really no valid philosophical reason I can see for “saving the planet.” It seems sentimental, to suggest that human life must continue, perhaps it is meant to end—perhaps evolution has put us at the precipice of extinction and that is where we belong.”

    Reason-political leverage. And, not for the future; just to get someone elected in the present day.

  64. 64 Tom D Ford
    December 5, 2008 at 20:06

    The owners and operators of the fossil fuel industries, Oil, Natural Gas and Coal, made an economic bet and they are very resistant to letting go of their monopoly control of our energy systems. I think that they will have to extend the lifetime of their investment payoff horizon because burning any fossil fuels are a threat to humanity.

    We need to immediately cut back on Fossil Fuels and change to non-polluting sources like windmills and the Fossil Fuels people are going to have to take the downside of the risk they took with their economic bets.

  65. 65 roebert
    December 5, 2008 at 20:06

    Don’t know why I fell into the spam with my post on religion and environment. Nothing offensive was meant by the first line. It’s a fact that Christians regularly get shot down by bloggers on WHYS. Let a Christian send in a Christian viewpoint, and within a minute it’s being blasted. So predictable it’s actually amusing in a sardonic way.

    Or maybe my post was just boring.

  66. 66 Chris
    December 5, 2008 at 21:13

    With the credit crunch depressing the economy, there is no better time than now to invest in alternative energy. This will provide employment, a feel-good-factor, and kick the hydrogen economy past the critical upward-spiraling threshold the PC, DVD and Flat-Screen technologies went through. Its up to governments to do the big work, but its up to the individuals to put pressure on those leaders to make the changes!

  67. 67 Thomas Murray
    December 5, 2008 at 22:36

    The base reason for the world’s fluttering financial markets is our planet’s burgeoning population.

    We are beginning to experience a situation where we have more people than resources to keep us comfortable and healthy, just as we urbanize dwindling arable land and water resources to keep the cost of food and clean water rising indefinitely.

    In Africa, it seems, they manage over-population with the edge of a machete.

    The Americas, Europe, Middle Europe and Asia should take heed of the plight of Sub-Saharan Africa.

    By the end of this century, we could be looking more like them.

    Is it too late to change the world? Not yet. But I don’t see anybody facing up to the right answers.

    –Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  68. 68 Roberto
    December 5, 2008 at 23:23

    RE “” And we need to revise all of the religions for the future world, because their past helped cause our current problems. “”
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————

    ———– Be more useful to revise the relationship between science, engineering and global corporate business model which is the primary engine of man made global warming and pollution.

    I don’t disagree with the development of human beings, but like democracy, you can’t suddenly declare that people will be developed when the overwhelming history has been explotation of humans. The development has to be part of the culture, and the current culture in Africa is a nonstarter. The current culture of the west is consumption. You’d be more likely to change course of the Titanic in a minute’s time to avoid the iceberg than change the global culture to halt manmade global warming by 2020..

    It’s already a done deal. What’s not done is our reaction.

  69. December 6, 2008 at 00:25

    House Hearing on Global Climate Change

    Bjorn Lomborg, of the Copenhagen Business School and author of a book titled, The Skeptical Environmentalist.
    3/21/2007: WASHINGTON, DC: 1 hr. 54 min.

    http://lomborg.com/publications/the_skeptical_environmentalist/reviews/

  70. 70 DENNIS
    December 6, 2008 at 02:10

    It is never too late to save the planet…..

  71. December 6, 2008 at 02:33

    According to a world respected and serious scientist of note, explorer, oceanographer, documentary and TV programme maker – Jacques Cousteau, who sadly died some years ago it was too late then and so it is obviously too late now. If he’s right and some already believe we have set ourselves upon a path of no return where increasingly all aspects of this debate will become beyond human control and intervention of anykind will be futile and utterly useless, then the battle is already lost.

    I hope against hope he’s wrong. But all I would say is that the writing’s been on the wall for some considerable time, and all we’ve done is repeatedly and continually ignored it.

    If we all just stopped filling our empty lives with more and more material wealth and goods and looking above and beyond those constraints of so called living, then we might, just might all make a difference.
    People have the power if they truly want to use it for a positive and a valuable purpose, not governments, not multi-national businesses, vast corporations, global business and media empires. What we do is allow them that power and control over us. If we all took time to think outside the box occasionally, we would realise that people can affect change and stand up and be counted. Lie down and let them walk all over us, and it’s simple they win. When at the end of the day if we are marching forward into chaos, cataclysmic and seismic events, then we will have nobody to blame but ourselves, while we all idly stood by and didn’t do anything to try and challenge the accepted and the so called norm! And we all will have lost and for what? A bigger house, a better car, an acquired lifestyle, in with in crowd, fashion junkies so on and so on ad finitum. THE END!!!

  72. December 6, 2008 at 04:28

    Please reconsider the difference between science sociology & politics & begin to accept the possiblity that sunspots are a sure sign of a localised lack of hydrogen fuel which overall is highly likely to be responsible for the minute increase in the overall heat output from the star we call our sun which is having a far greater effect on global warming than carbon dioxide…

    The only trouble with telling the truth about this is that it’s considered to not be staying “ON MESSAGE” & with the political psychology of over the top control that we’ve drifted into there seems to be no space for anyone simply telling the truth anymore because it might upset someone’s precious agenda…

  73. December 6, 2008 at 12:00

    I desire to make a few comments on the polluting trajectory of human race that commenced with the age of discovery.
    As soon as the white world became aware of the possibilities of science and technology they set their volitions powered by greed on acquisition of wealth and power. They set about expansion and empire without regard for Natural Law.
    Little Britain wanted the whole world.We are all today victims of the greed of that time and nothing has been done to symbolically corrrect the errors their volitions anchored in Creation. New America has become the world’s number one power. It has no business aspiring thereto. All parts of the world are uniquely endowed bby nature to contribute to the whole of humanity and the global system. We have through greed polluted creation and set it on course of premature ripening. It must die out of our inadequacies to manage it for the welfare of an undivided humanity.

  74. December 6, 2008 at 12:41

    Sounds like all talk and no action in the end to me…

  75. 75 Robin
    December 6, 2008 at 14:17

    Why to save the planet ? What an anthropocentric wish !!!
    The planet DO NOT need any human intervention to be saved, it changed, it is changing and it will change. As for the biodiversity, glacial ages already were more destructive than any human activity.
    To save the planet is a lie, a folding screen, we only want to keep up planet as it is and preserve our own species.

  76. 76 steve
    December 6, 2008 at 14:46

    I personally don’t think econobox cars like in europe would sell in the US. When I was in germany 2 weeks ago, I rented an Opel that had a 1.2 liter engine, and quite honestly, I was frightened to drive it because it had absolutely no power, and I had to rely on the goodwill of others to let me merge, whereas my car here, I can do whatever I want because the car has enough power. It would take a giant change in manners to survive driving here with a weak car.

  77. 77 Syed Hasan Turab
    December 6, 2008 at 19:34

    Brent:-
    It sound like you have some knowledge about impact of chemicals over enveriment & human health, please explain us some more.
    I just know about UNION CARBITE accident in India & ACID RAIN with 150 deaths. Beside that Nuclare power plants accident’s in USA & Russia.

  78. 78 rick
    December 7, 2008 at 00:34

    I don’t think it is too late but according to Al, we are almost at the tipping point. However there is an overwhelming momentem of human activity going in the wrong direction. Nobody wants to sacrifice their own jobs, profit and development and we are all hoping someone else will fix the problem. Even as I type this the Europeans are watering down there climate change commitments to let the eastern states off the hook.
    The new Australian government elected on a green platform, is busy watering down their targets, scared of unions and the mining lobby. They are giving every family and pensioner a thousand dollars tommorow in the hope that we consume, consume and consume in order to kick start the economy. Lets all go out and buy stuff and everything will be ok! How un-green can they be?
    Didn’t Bush already try that and fail?
    Frankly, I think our children and grandchildren are going to live in a much degraded world because of our stupidity and greed.

  79. December 7, 2008 at 11:58

    Nature is perfect. Every thought or volition we express, connects us to a pool of similar thoughts and volitions. We are stifled by the fruits of wrong volitions powered by greed. It compels us to destroy nature and satisfy our inordinate greed. Nature has an inviolable string of consequences which our volitions attract. The current wave of insurgence world wide is evidence that the cycle to greed and power is closing. The mighty shall fall thunderously. The simple shall rise. Uniqueness shall be restored. All wrong principles shall cancel themselves out leaving a clean slate for the few to start anew a process of millennial evolution into more salutary existence.

  80. December 7, 2008 at 14:47

    Is it too late to save the planet? I think not. Humans have been on this planet realtively speaking only for a vary short time in geological terms, say a 2-3 million years, but it’s not the same as saying of modern humans in the past few hundred years after the industrial revolution which has witnessed the most man-made changes. Remember ‘Silent Spring’, which has brought a sea change in the way we should look at environment and its responses to man-made changes as a result of pollution.Humans have altered micro-environments as well as its sum total resulting macro-environments. I believe global warming is now accepted to be also due to human effects via the pollution route while chemical pollution may be both reversible and irreversible, depending on the nature of the chemicals in question. In nature too, its the same story, say, in respect of population explosion, deforestation, desertification, species extinction and the like. What we do is what we inherit. The need of the hour is to be better informed and make the wisest possible decision to do minimum damage and restore/rehabilate lost environments at various levels. The Eden project helps us to be better informed with regard to particular environments but they are artificially created ones to mimic nature as far as possible. We can all do our little bit in our own way to save the environment, if the will is there. There is a lot of information out there.

  81. 81 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    December 7, 2008 at 17:28

    It’s too late to do it on “today’s” program, anyway.

  82. December 7, 2008 at 23:16

    I don’t believe in conspiracy theories and never or ever believe in them, I just believe in facts, causes and results.

  83. 83 Angela Benson
    December 8, 2008 at 01:26

    I think the rise in temperature over the next twenty years will be greater than has generally been predicted and this will lead to many deaths through hyperthermia and droughts, perhaps about ten million killed in these ways. Over the course of the next 50 years there may well be wars as people try to migrate from areas which suffer from intense drought, heat or flooding and the “haves” refuse to share with the “have nots”. Many people will be killed in the fighting. Within 100 years I think the world human population will fall by a third or more. Perhaps it is nature’s way of dealing with a population whose size produces “waste” to the extent that it becomes toxic. Many animals will perish too. I hope I am wrong, but I can only see the situation changing if something unpredictable happens – such as a pestilence that curbs human numbers. A lurgy such as the Black Death of the thirteenth century would probably spread much faster than previous lurgies which did not have the benefit of air travel.
    However, I comfort myself with the thought that throughout history people have predicted doom and disaster, the end of the world, etc., and they were all wrong. So I’m probably wrong too.

  84. 84 Jack Hughes
    December 8, 2008 at 02:20

    Can I have a straight answer, please.

    What would an eco-lifestyle look like:

    Would I have a car ?
    Would I have a job ?
    Would I be allowed to use a PC and surf the internet ?
    Would the internet be allowed – think of those power-hungry servers and routers ?
    Would I get new clothes and how often ?
    What would my meat ration be for the week ?
    How about my petrol ration.

    Please guys – I don’t want “more of X and less of Y”. I want some real idea of what we are signing up for.

  85. 85 Brian Larson
    December 8, 2008 at 05:34

    I think your question may reflect the human dominated landscape in which you live. If you go to the vast open spaces in this world, you will see we are far from dominating anything. I live in a place were “there ain’t no telephone poles”. As far as the eye can see no people s**t with the exception of the road in and out. So, my reflection is that your relationship with nature may be dissatisfying, and to pack up your essentials and move to say to Alaska or the Sahara or NZ or the Highlands or another less peopled locale. You will make less cash but be happier which is the point after all.

  86. 86 Robyn Lucienne
    December 8, 2008 at 08:09

    Thirty years ago when I was a an environmental activist sitting in trees and locking myself to huge machines, working on campaigns like ‘no to plastic bags’, dioxins, DDT, nuclear testing, alternative power sources, then I didn’t think it was too late.
    Since then I have a psychology degree, produced environmental radio shows for four years, attained a law degree and worked making policy in Government for 8 years, been admitted as a solicitor and people are still being arrested for protesting against logging old growth forests. I’m cynical because the new line of jobs in climate change and sustainability are given to people with little or no environmental credibility and it appears that it is about values.

    If you ask the wrong question, the answer doesn’t matter and the questions that I think should be posed are
    ‘is it too late to save human life on the planet? or

    ‘do humans have the courage to give up their decadence?’

    ‘do politicians and private enterprise have the courage to appoint people with non materialistic values to positions of power to influence decion making, for the good of everyone, and for the benefit of every living thing?’

    The answer depends on whether we are prepared to action the sentiment and reduce excess to save the the food sources and animals to

    The planet will survive, albeit uninhabitable by humans, species will survive, never mind Iraq try fighting a hurricane. We all know we are only depriving our children, not the planet, it could do with less of those who survived best in the human society.

  87. 87 Pete
    December 8, 2008 at 11:27

    We are beautiful…but not sacred. There is of course the possibility that there is some purpose to human; maybe even, all sentient life, something on the lines of Peter Russells ‘global’ brain. If this is the case well we will not know/sense/be aware of the sum until all the parts are in place. On the other hand it maybe that there is absolutely no reason for our existence but a series of compromises between all the forces at work, here or somewhere else in the totality (by that I mean time, space, dimensional etc), in which case there is little value in just plodding on…hoping. Rather like a child moving through adolescence we have been distracted by ‘whats happening over there’ but moving towards the threshold of maturity maybe we have a chance to make a collective effort to decide on our future….find a goal, not necessarily ‘the ultimate goal’ but a purpose towards which we can generally all focus…inclusion does reduce feelings of conflict. The alternative would seem to be a diaspora of needs, feelings, ideas and even instincts which might be met by a physical transit to other inhabitable planets but which seem a long way off at present. Of course the option we have if we remain and refuse to consider any composite purpose is continued power/wealth accumulation by the few and control of the many.

  88. 88 A. M.
    December 8, 2008 at 11:39

    The planet Earth got an illness. The type of illness: cancer. The specific name of illness: mankind. Now the cancer cells are talking to each other in order to save the body they are living in. In order to survive ourselves, clearly. I have never heard this was ever taking place, i.e. that the cancer cells will succeed in curing the body they are living in.

  89. December 8, 2008 at 12:22

    i dont see anything to suggest that this project is a save the planet project.i think its a project of bringing foreign conditions to foreign areas.its like having an ice rink project in the kalahari or sahara.

    david lulasa
    tambua,hamisi,kenya.

  90. 90 david
    December 8, 2008 at 14:28

    did this not happen outside of Tucson,Arizona ? Or is this different ? if so how?

  91. December 8, 2008 at 16:00

    I should’ve said this earlier. For the single biggest issue affecting all our lives and our very existence, no matter what your take on it is, the response so far has been pitiful! It just goes to show that we’ve allowed ourselves to become transfixed on “The Global Terrorist Threat” in relation to the huge number of posts, 250 plus re. “Must Muslims now accept that Islam has a problem with terrorism?” Mumbai sent us into the associated panic that Western governments, the powers that be and who have influence over us all, manipulating the way we react and prejudge the situation and therefore subsequent actions that be willingly condoned and the authorities will take in relation to it. But we won’t know the half of what they do in reality in India and elsewhere, as an act of reprisal. You seriously think that the Indian government and others will open themselves up to investigation as how they will handle this and be candid with their people and the world’s media. You’ve got to be joking! For the very few die hard journalists that will seek out the truth of a story and endeavour to present evidence from all sides as to who is responsible, why they did it, the long history of regional and territorial conflict, and what made them want to commit such a terrible wanton, reckless act without conscience or display remorse of any kind for what they have done.

    You can draw a similar parallel with those who will not allow you and I access to just how they administer and have sole control of all the world’s sources of power and fuel and exactly to what extent have they have repeatedly raped the planet so far of it’s natural resources and left it bleeding and begging for mercy for all our soulless actions!
    But the world will transform and protect itself from us in another way and wear a guise probably not to our liking whatsoever. At the end of the day we don’t have a God given right to exist and survive within the Garden of Eden, as we are so quick to assume that we do. We are secondary, entirely expendable and will become just an afterthought if indeed it is too late to affect real change.

  92. December 8, 2008 at 16:01

    If we all came together with a common aim and purpose, and realized that what separates us and divides us as a species can possibly also mould us as and unite us a species. There is no higher power and source of redemption other than that of God, life force, a universal energy, journey of the soul, call it what you will and whatever label one deems appropriate to the cause. Even atheists believe in something, otherwise what would be the purpose in their daily existence. If you ascribe to nothing of value or purpose in your lifetime then what is the point. Happiness, love, relationships, friendships are all transient in the end. If you draw upon nothing of substance from this life, then you can not readily offer anything back. So theirs is not really a finite honesty is it?

    There is evidence of earlier cultures and societies that sought each other out in order to learn and teach one another. There was far less an automatic and immediate air of suspicion and aspect of perpetual conflict occurring. Due to wanting to gather knowledge and understanding, the normal code of human conduct and behaviour when confronted with or subject to being in a foreign land was removed. But something happened and allowed the law of dominance and suppression to take over form which empires grew out of and has influenced history and human behaviour to such an overwhelming extent that we have been this way for so long now, that we don’t know how to change, establish a different mindset, create a wholly different structure of community and society. Without a coming together, engendering cooperation and mutual respect, then what? Current thinking is that the planet is our sole domain and we can act of our own free will with no consequences. I don’t think so. If we try to preserve and not willfully destroy our environment then the legacy we all pass to each succeeding generation for many years to come will be a legacy of huge and lasting value.

  93. December 8, 2008 at 16:02

    Unless we take a different course and choose another path, then religion, political ideology, Us versus them, and a world whereby that what we don’t understand or runs counter to the way we think and act in our 1st world frame of mind will be the undoing of everything we hold precious and dear in our lives. We need to divorce ourselves from the belief that is only those who are in direct conflict with our advanced and superior civilization understood that to further their cause is to tow the line of and welcome the construct of western capitalism and overindulgence. What has happened to the global economy may all be a salutary lesson to us all and a gravely needed wake up call to respect and advance forward to much higher levels of co-existence within the world we live in. I can hear many of you say “Pie in the Sky”, wishful thinking, not living in the real world, a dreamer, stuff and nonsense. Absolutely fine by me… So ask yourselves what you do want? More of the same? The same tired and repetitive died in the wool attitude. Naive and irresponsible! The world needs a good dose of naivety, space to dream, disassociate itself with the accepted and the norm. What’s on the line OUR SURVIVAL that’s all!

  94. December 11, 2008 at 02:37

    I want to reiterate the point that the single most important issue that will affect all our futures, no matter where we live on planet earth, has received such a paltry response in relation to the issues of “terrorism”, “Islam and its wicked religion” “evil suicide bombers”, Islam versus the West, and so many more cliches whipped up into a veritable frenzy by the UK and international news networks and global media’s stranglehold on our daily thought processes. Fear of Al Qaeda has wrestled control from us of our own lives. And with each succeeding incident we bury our heads in the sand and allow ourselves to become hypnotised and transfixed by the “fear factor” that is inculcating itself in our very souls and being.

    If we are going to pass on anything of great and lasting value, and leave behind a positive and worthwhile legacy to the next generation and beyond, then its time terrorism became a secondary issue and steadily dropped lower down the scale of problems.

    People really should post more comments about such an issue of such immense and staggering consequences. The planet needs to get a new pair of lungs to breathe with and a chance of survival at the very least.Every other factor is irrelevant, and of no consequence at all.

  95. 95 Ed Addis
    December 12, 2008 at 10:55

    These are the facts:

    1 There has been a slight warming (about 2/3 deg C) over the past century.
    2 There has been no significant warming since the mid 1990s
    3 The radiative absorption energy levels of CO2 are near saturation – almost all of the energy available in these energy bands is already being absorbed by the existing CO2, so that adding more CO2 can make little difference
    4 The historical climate records show quite clearly that CO2 changes do not lead to temperature changes
    5 All of the planets in the solar system are currently in a warming phase

    Climate change is happening. It always happens – we live on a planet with a naturally variable climate. We are not causing this, and there isn’t anything we can do to ‘combat’ it.

    Stop wasting time and energy on pointless schemes and agreements and protocols which can have no effect. Stop making taxation changes that can have no effect on climate, but can seriously damage already weakened economies and needlessly spoil people’s lives.

    Now watch for the ‘climate scientists’ and environmental lobby nazis responses to this! And remember that no matter how loud they howl and how they try to rubbish these facts, that doesn’t alter the facts. They’re starting to lose the argument as people start to see sense. The whole bandwagon will have run its course and will be dead in the water in five years from now.

  96. 96 Kristina
    January 12, 2009 at 19:31

    Well, according to the Mayan calendar, the wolrd as we know it will end in 2012 (only 3 years from now)

    Different historians and scientists don’t really know how to interpret this, however, all come to one conclusion that the planet has been going through its natural, evolutionary process, and some sources from the past have predicted a major even in this century.

    I have read some comments where people are a bit pessimistic about the human nature and say that we are greedy. This is absolutely true, only those who reach a certain level of spirituality can cross over this unpleasant nature that makes us human. The majority of people are just living their daily life, with little thought about their own nature or the life span of our planet.
    I do think that it is encouraging to take small steps in daily life and think about what one is doing to his immediate environment. At the same time, we have nuclear weapons, chemical and biological. We have seen natural disasters in this century like never before. It is believed by historians that previous civilizations existed and were destroyed by natural disasters.

  97. 97 Kristina
    January 12, 2009 at 19:32

    We have modern day threats, like non-state terrorism, which seems to be accepted by some states. So, I mean, that’s not very encouraging, and history tends to repeat itself in cycles. Greed, it is said has destroyed one of the great civilizations, the Mayan, and its important to learn lessons from the past.
    At the fear of sounding too pessimistic – I still have hope for human kind. Warfare, of course is not helping our cause. So, maybe we can begin paying more attention to non-state actors who as predicted have become a real threat for this century.

  98. 98 Thiernah
    January 12, 2009 at 21:58

    We do not need to ‘Save the Planet’. History has shown that under all conditions – the planet itself survives. Earth is not at risk – but human habitat is. Therefore, it is truly ‘save our habitat’. Considering what is happening in the world today, Maybe the planet has decided it’s time for a habitat cleaning out of that pesky human species that seems intent on self destruction.

    The problem is – every society is sure it will survive anything that happens until natural and man-made forces eliminates it. The planet history shows cataclysmical changes happening before humans were here. It takes millions of years, humans have just sped up the process so it will take decades instead. Many said ‘acid rain’ didn’t exist and wasn’t destroying forests etc, until it was almost too late. They too put their head in the sand pretending humanity had no impact on environment.

    Habitat for Humanity takes on a whole new meaning in this context.

  99. 99 ~Dennis Junior~
    January 13, 2009 at 05:02

    It is not to late the save the planet, if the people in society are willing to make some concessions about using the earth resources…..

    ~Dennis Junior~

  100. January 13, 2009 at 13:11

    Our population is exceeding the carrying capasity of the Earth. Now we are being advised to conserve even water which is the most abundently available natural resource,what to say about the others which are nonrecyclable.Our population is totaly based on ptrolium products for its food security and many others requirements.Think about those days when all ptrolium deposits will get exhosted.So it is better to accept that our development for the last post industrilization era has been unsustainable that will certainly lead us to total collapse.I wonder that even educated lot is still asking evidence and indulging in a debate on climate change issue.In this prevailing scenario only nature will get chance to restablish its balance with us through its cruel mode ie. through mass extiction as it has done in the past.

  101. January 16, 2009 at 03:52

    The concept of our extended family has to be imbibed in the mind of each and every resident of the earth and accordingly we have to leave those places which has been occupied by us due to our technological might.We have to confined our population only to the Ideal human habitat by reducing it to the carrying capacity of the earth, which is merely 2.6 bilion according to Atlee (1947)

  102. 102 ANIL TEWARI
    January 27, 2009 at 12:49

    It is amazing that no one has reacted so far against my comments.Is it universally accepted or requires to be treated as rubbish?

  103. 103 Ricardo
    January 27, 2009 at 15:28

    Is it too late to save the planet? The question is fundamentally wrong. The planet will survive. There have been drastic changes from the earth inception millions of yeras ago. The planet will survive another million yeras. We are part of the planet earth. If our actions or inactions contribute to changes, then is actually a natural part of the planets evolution as a consequence of th existence of the human race. That of course does not mean that the human race can adapt to the changes it has induced. Many other species have already died due to man made changes. So the question should be more precise:I s it too late to save the human race from becoming a victim of man made change?

  104. 104 Steven J
    January 28, 2009 at 16:40

    We all have a many choices available to us. The question is do we want to evolve to become more noble beings? If we do the planet and humanity will rise to a wonderful world we could hardly believe possible. We only need do one thing and its not too late. We have 2 years before catastrohic events will take the lives of those who are not willing to live a more human(e) life. Humanity has been warned. We must follow the basic law of love. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Therefore we simple must stop all killing, of humans and animals, 65 billion animals are murdered every year. The law of cause and effect from this should have destroyed the human race long ago if it were not for heavens grace. But grace has limits also and now the grands of sand have almost run out…two years. Be Veg, Go Green and Save the Planet.

  105. 105 A.K.Tewari
    January 29, 2009 at 07:15

    @Steven

    We have to realize these facts otherwise nature will compell us to follow the ideals you have stated in your post.

    Thanks

  106. 106 Sabastion
    February 4, 2009 at 23:13

    Is it to late to save the world? Will we be able to overcome the massive water shortages, dramatic fluctuations in weather, general depletion of resources big and small? Who cares? The question is irrelevant. I don’t care, my friends don’t, my family doesn’t, nor do any of you if you’re honest with your selves. The fact is we will try… With our last breaths, to the last drop of blood, with our final thoughts, we all will do everything and anything we deem necessary to survive. No matter how futile, no matter how late it may be. If we found out that the planet was going to be rendered unlivable next year, next week, tomorrow, how many of you would just give up? The question isn’t, is it to late, the question is are we brave enough, smart enough, and just plain stubborn enough, to refuse to give up, and try. We are the human race, ordained by evolution, chance, God, whatever, to stand here today survivors of all that has come before.

    Retreat, advance, die in place.

    Those are our options we only get three. It’s echoed in every board room, practiced on every battle field, and taught to every child before they even see the light of day.

    Choose.

    Of course it’s not to late, if it was, we wouldn’t be here to ask the question.

  107. 107 Etyang Bernard Okoit
    February 6, 2009 at 11:11

    The world does not need any assistance from us! Hell NO! Are we becoming scared that our body cells have stopped being wise? Are we in a way of admitting that the theory of evolution was and still is a farce? I thought we will just evolve or is evolution dead?

  108. 108 Kaitlin
    February 6, 2009 at 15:13

    I think, as some have addressed, that it is more a question of whether the human race can be saved – the earth is going to be here with or without us. I do not understand how anyone can presume to know whether or not it is too late – either way we could possibly be overlooking or underestimating something and end up contradicted. Comparing our current environmental status to millions/billions of years ago, this is just a transitory state – and whether or not the choices we make lead to our downfall, the world will not miss us.
    We should still attempt to improve the bad situation we have accelerated, and hope for the best for ourselves.

  109. 109 Bill
    March 6, 2010 at 00:26

    I wish it were not, but I think that it is. As an American, it is very hard for me to feel good since my government is so dysfunctional towards the concerns of ordinary people and so beholden to wealthy interests.


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