New Movie Coming Soon: “The 11th Hour”

July 31, 2007

I’m not a huge movie-goer, but I saw a trailer today for Leonardo DiCaprio’s new documentary “The 11th Hour” that looks pretty intriguing.   I’ve known for a while that DiCaprio was one of the ‘green’ celebrities out in Hollywood, and that he had read Thom Hartmann’s “Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight,” but wasn’t aware that he was that much of a believer in Climate Change, Peak Oil and the like.

The trailer itself is pretty short, but looking through the move website, it appears that DiCaprio has lined up an impressive number of experts for the film.  Here’s a short list of names you may recognize:

  • Lester Brown
  • Mikhail Gorbachev
  • Paul Hawken
  • Steven Hawking
  • Thom Hartmann
  • Richard Heinberg
  • Bill McKibben
  • Matthew Simmons
  • David Suzuki
  • Joseph Tainter

There are 50 or more people appearing in the film, but those are some of the names that jumped out at me.   I’ll be curious to see what the overall message of the film is, since there’s a mix of viridians/technofix types along with some pessimists.   Based on the trailer, it appears to be trying to inspire Generation Y and the Millenials to take action as a sort of new ‘greatest generation.’    As a Gen-Xer myself, I think we’ll be shouldering plenty of the load as well, but we’re apparently too old to be lumped in with the cool kids..

The movie opens on both coasts on August 17th.


Bill McKibben’s “Deep Economy”

April 16, 2007

I was fortunate enough to check out Bill McKibben’s latest book, “Deep Economy” from my local library before the wait list started filling up. I take it as a positive sign that new books covering subjects like these are sought after among other members of the community.

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NAE Attempts to Remove “Creation Care” Proponent From Board

March 4, 2007

Here’s another great example of right-wing ideological chuckleheads giving Christians a bad name:

“More than two dozen evangelical leaders are seeking the ouster of the Rev. Richard Cizik from the National Association of Evangelicals because of his “relentless campaign” against global warming.”

Apparently anything that would slow down the arrival of the rapture is verboten, especially when it also takes evangelicals’ focus away from persecuting homosexuals and telling women that they don’t have the right to make critical medical decisions on their own.

Richard Cizik is hardly some left-winger, for what it’s worth, but apparently his showing concern for God’s creation is troubling some of his compatriots on the NAE.

“We believe that some of that misunderstanding about evangelicalism and its ‘conservative views on politics, economics, and biblical morality’ can be laid at Richard Cizik’s door.”

Somehow, trying to preserve what they admit the Lord made is somehow immoral… go figure.

Another Reason Why Climate Change Won’t Be Fixed In Time

February 14, 2007

Syndicated columnist Jonah Goldberg wrote a whopper of an op-ed that was printed in the Strib this week.   Goldberg, who is also a writer for the conservative/neocon magazine National Review, wrote that the prosperity we can gain by not fixing global warming is worth a degree or two rise in global temperatures.  The wealthy can sit in their climate-conditioned bunkers in the future and revel in their good fortune, counting their gold while the rest of the planet swelters.

I’ll give Goldberg points for laying out his argument in plain and simple language, but I still think he’s off-base.   I would venture to guess, though, that his line of thinking is probably popular among big business, since the effect of future profits is eaiser to gauge than the effect of a numerically small rise in temperature.

Once again, the mindset of short-term gain trumping long-term sustainability rears its ugly head.

Moving From Prevention to Mitigation

February 8, 2007

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released their latest report last week. As expected, they declared that the planet is warming, that there’s a 90% chance that it’s due to human activity, and that no matter what we do, we are going to experience significant changes in our environment within our lifetimes. The focus, they state, should move from preventing change to trying to mitigate the worst effects. Good luck to us on that.

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Will Steger Write-Up at Groovy Green

February 1, 2007

I went to see Will Steger at the Saint Paul Winter Carnival last weekend.  The event was outside, and it was pretty damn cold, which seems fitting for the Winter Carnival after we Minnesotans have enjoyed unseasonably warm temperatures for the entire winter up to that point.

I posted a short note about the experience over at Groovy Green.

Krauthammer – Energy Nonsense?

January 26, 2007

Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer has a pretty interesting article today both skewering President Bush over his SOTU remarks about ethanol and outlining the US’s various options for “energy independence.”   Whether you agree or disagree with his ideas, he presents one truth that we all need to consider in the constant debate over how to keep the lights on without burning up the planet:

“There is no free lunch. Producing energy is going to produce waste. You pick your poison, and you find a way to manage it. Want to do something about global warming? How many global warming activists are willing to say the word nuclear?

So much easier to say ethanol. That it will do farcically little is beside the point. Our debates about oil consumption, energy dependence and global warming are not meant to be serious. They are meant for show.”