Saturday, May 27, 2006

Saving the frog

If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it'll jump right out. If you put a frog in an unheated pot, it'll sit there. If you turn the heat up, the frog will continue to sit there. And it will keep on sitting there until the water begins to boil and ... you save the frog. It's important to save the frog.

So this is Gore's metaphor for his lifetime in public life as related in An Inconvenient Truth. We're the frog, the aggressive obfuscation of the reality of climate change is the heating, and rescuing the frog is why, in the framing of this movie, he ran for Congress. I didn't hear anything about Climate Change until Carter became President, but Gore apparently picked it up from Roger Revelle, who first clued an oblivious nation in in 1957.

We've known about Anthropogenic Climate Change for 50 years. Fifty.

Mr. Gore's movie is great -- if you know someone who' s "willing to listen to both sides," or some such crap, send them to the movie. The former Vice President repeatedly and firmly makes the point that there is no question we are in a time of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change. There are some funny parts. Mr. Gore shows a chart about how variations in global average temperature track variations in CO2 concentration amazingly well, as if there were no other influences. And we've only recently been putting more effective global warming gases in the atmosphere in serious quantities, so that's imaginable. But, then he shows the CO2 curve shooting up, as it has recently.

And talks about how foolish it is to go from climate change skepticism directly to despair without every standing in the place where you do something. Well, I think that was a viable stand in the 80s, or even in the 90s. But, the water's been heating up around this frog for 50 years. It's pretty much cooked.

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