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March 30th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Are humans 'too stupid' to prevent climate change?

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An enormous iceberg breaks off the Knox Coast in the Australian Antarctic Territory. Australia's CSIRO's atmospheric research unit has found the world is warming faster than predicted by the United Nations' top climate change body, with harmful emissions exceeding worst-case estimates. (PHOTO CREDIT: TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A new climate bill that would cap carbon emissions, increase offshore oil drilling and expand nuclear power generation may soon be making its way to the Senate floor.

Senators John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham - a Democrat, Independent and Republican respectively - are reportedly drafting legislation with broader appeal than the last climate change bill, which stalled in the Senate in the fall. The hope is that more conservatives and moderates will get on-board this time.

But it doesn't really matter, according to one of the biggest names in climate change. James Lovelock, a British scientist at the forefront of global warming research, says humans are too dumb to prevent climate change and that democracy is partly to blame.

In a new interview published in the British paper "The Guardian," Lovelock says climate change is an issue that may be as severe as a war and that "even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being." Lovelock says that may eventually be necessary when it comes to global warming. He also claims only a catastrophic event now could persuade people to really take the threat of climate change seriously.

Here’s my question to you: Are humans "too stupid" to prevent climate change?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: Global Warming
January 13th, 2010
12:37 PM ET

Has this winter affected your belief in global warming?

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Cold temperatures have endangered Florida's citrus crops. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As the debate continues about global warming, the month of December was the 14th coldest in 115 years in the United States... and some scientists insist the earth is entering a cooling trend.

  • Wind chills brought temperatures in the Dakotas to 50 degrees below zero, while record cold in parts of Florida is damaging some of the orange crops, and South Carolina called an early end to shrimping season.
  • Parts of Canada have seen actual temperatures of 30 below zero... And freezing temperatures and record snowfalls are pounding parts of Asia and Europe too.
  • Britain has experienced the worst snowfalls in half a century.
  • In India - it's estimated at least 100 people have died due to the cold temperatures... with dozens more killed in Bangladesh.
  • In China and South Korea, heavy snow and unusually cold weather have brought chaos to travelers - blocking roads and trains, canceling flights. After one recent blizzard in Beijing - officials had more than 300-thousand people clearing the streets.

Meanwhile some of the world's top climate scientists suggest this winter is only the start of a worldwide trend toward cooler weather, which could last for 20 to 30 years. They base their predictions on changes in water temperatures in the oceans.

The scientists say much of the global warming in the last century was actually caused by these oceanic cycles when they were in a "warm mode"... as opposed to the current "cold mode." They suggest there will be cooler summers ahead too.

It's the kind of research that could undermine lots of what we've been told about the warming of the Earth being caused only by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

Here’s my question to you: How has this winter affected your belief in global warming?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: Global Warming
December 17th, 2009
04:45 PM ET

Chaos and failure legacy of climate summit?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The clock is ticking down in Copenhagen with some suggesting the legacy of the two-week long climate talks will be nothing but chaos and failure.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech in Copenhagen on the 11th day of the COP15 UN Climate Change Conference.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech in Copenhagen on the 11th day of the COP15 UN Climate Change Conference.

Things pretty much ground to a standstill yesterday: Thousands of protesters clashing with police outside the meetings - While inside, negotiators expressed frustration that they would likely leave empty-handed. At best - a weak political agreement that wouldn't do much about combating global warming. One key meeting ran 18 hours behind schedule.

The plan was for the 115-plus world leaders to show up today and tomorrow and bargain over the final details... Not gonna happen. There are still no answers about how much to cut carbon emissions, how to prove the cuts are made and which nations should pay for these changes... along with a stand-off between China and the U.S.

Although some are still holding out hope - others are already talking about holding another international climate summit in Mexico City next summer - months ahead of schedule. One UN official says without a real deal in Copenhagen - it would be better to put off big decisions until the next summit.

Meanwhile after racing to wrap up business in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is headed to Copenhagen, leading a 21-member bipartisan Congressional delegation. Pelosi - who's reportedly using at least two Air Force jets to get this posse to the climate summit - says the meeting is all jobs ... creating millions of new clean-energy jobs for Americans. Sure.

Here’s my question to you: Are chaos and failure the legacy of the Copenhagen climate summit?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Global matters • Global Warming
December 11th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Mandatory population control to fight global warming?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While world leaders talk about combating climate change in Copenhagen - some say population control is the only way to really fight it.

Newborns lie on a hospital bed in Beijing.

Newborns lie on a hospital bed in Beijing.

The Chinese instituted a policy limiting the number of children each family can have 30-years ago. And they claim that since then, it has prevented 400-million births - and saved carbon emissions to the tune of 18-million tons a year.

And it's not just the Chinese. There's a piece in the Canadian newspaper The Financial Post which suggests: "The real inconvenient truth" is that humans are overpopulating the world.

It suggests that every nation should adopt China's one-child policy; because if we don't control the earth's population, we will eventually destroy or run out of everything - from other species to vegetation, resources, the atmosphere, oceans and water supply - and that's whether the globe overheats or not.

This piece points out that despite China's dirty coal plants - it is a world leader in creating policy to combat the destruction of the environment.

One study shows that if from now on, every woman gave birth to only one child - the world's population would drop from 6.5 billion now... to 5.5 billion in 2050. If we do nothing - the population could soar to an unsustainable nine-billion in that same time.

Needless to say there are lots of people who disagree with population control - like fundamentalist leaders who oppose birth control or politicians from emerging economies.

Here’s my question to you: Should mandatory population control be a part of the fight against global warming?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Global Warming
December 7th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Is the global warming summit much ado about nothing?

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Protesters gather on City Hall Square in Copenhagen to call for carbon emissions cuts during a global warming demonstration. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jasper Carlberg/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With the global warming summit kicking off today in Copenhagen, Denmark - some are wondering what the point of this whole exercise really is.

The British newspaper The Telegraph reports that more than 1,200 limousines have been booked by VIPs. Also, an extra 140 private jets are expected during the peak period of the summit - this far exceeds the capacity at Copenhagen's airport - so some planes will fly to regional airports, or in some cases Sweden, to park; and then come back to pick up their passengers.

All this for the 15,000 plus delegates, officials, journalists, world leaders, politicians, celebrities, etc. attending these meetings meant to reduce the planet's carbon emissions.

This little get-together will produce more than 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide - which is more than Switzerland produced in all of 2006.

To make matters worse, the summit is taking place under a cloud of suspicion - thanks to those leaked e-mails from climate scientists. Critics suggest the messages show researchers are ignoring data that questions whether global warming is real.

Now that President Obama has changed his schedule to attend the later part of the summit, some see this as a sign that an agreement may be closer to happening.

The U.S., India and China have all come out with specific proposals for the first time; and world leaders hope to come up with a deal that includes commitments on reducing emissions. But a legally-binding treaty to combat global warming? Never gonna happen.

Here’s my question to you: What do you expect to come out of the global warming summit in Copenhagen?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Global Warming
December 2nd, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Has scientific community been honest about global warming?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Al Gore called global warming "An Inconvenient Truth"... but suddenly a lot of people are asking what the truth really is. It's been dubbed ClimateGate.

Former Vice President Al Gore gives a speech about climate change.

Former Vice President Al Gore gives a speech about climate change.

A climate scientist at the center of a growing controversy over hacked e-mails is stepping down from a British University's climate research unit under a cloud of suspicion.

Critics point to a thousand pages of leaked e-mails and documents between this scientist and others which they say prove that global warming is not a threat. They say researchers are ignoring data that questions whether global warming is real, and have conspired to discredit those who question the phenomenon.

Here in the U.S., some members of Congress are demanding a hearing into research done by the climate change panel of the U.N. to find out if it "cooked the books" on global warming.

This is all coming to light right ahead of the global climate summit in Copenhagen. What's the old expression? "Timing is everything."

The scientists who believe in global warming say their case is based on "all kinds of evidence," like what's happening to the ice in the Arctic. The White House insists that "climate change is happening," adding they don't think the science is "in dispute anymore" among most people.

But not everyone is convinced.... A recent poll shows the percentage of Americans who believe global warming is happening has dropped from 80 to 72 percent in the past year.

Here’s my question to you: Do you think the scientific community has been honest when it comes to global warming?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Global Warming
November 3rd, 2009
06:00 PM ET

What's Al Gore's real motive when it comes to global warming?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While Al Gore warns about the dire consequences of global warming, apparently one of those consequences is that he's filling his pockets - big time. The New York Times reports that few stand to profit as much from the green energy revolution as the former vice president does.

Critics say he could become the world's first "carbon billionaire." They suggest Gore is profiteering by promoting government policies that would drive billions of dollars into companies he's invested in. Some say he's fattening his wallet by what they call alarmism and exaggerations about global warming.

Gore insists that he's just putting his money where his mouth is. He says his investments are consistent with what he's been advocating for years.

The Times reports that Gore has invested millions of dollars in environmentally friendly energy ventures; things like carbon trading markets, solar power, electric vehicles and waterless urinals. Actually - we could probably do without those.

The former vice president has also given away millions to a nonprofit he started and to another group focused on climate change. Plus he's invested in areas like technology and media with no ties to the environment.

Bottom line here: Al Gore is not a lobbyist, and has never asked the government for funding or a specific law that would directly benefit one of his investments. But, he has advocated relentlessly for policies that would get the country off using coal and oil... while investing in companies that could make this happen.

Here’s my question to you: What is Al Gore’s real motive when it comes to global warming?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Al Gore • Global Warming
July 29th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

More or less concerned about global warming than 1 year ago?

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Icebergs float off the coast of Greenland. Scientists believe Greenland - with its melting ice caps and disappearing glaciers - is an accurate thermometer of global warming. (PHOTO CREDIT: URIAL SINAI/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Global warming has become a religion among the "First World urban elites."

That's just one of the explosive charges made by Australian geologist Ian Plimer, who says man-made global warming is little more than a con on the public perpetrated by environmentalists and politicians.

According to the Vancouver Sun - the controversial geologist says that global warming is not caused by human behavior, rather it's an entirely natural phenomenon.

By looking at a time frame going back thousands of millions of years - he says the changes in the Earth's climate are cyclical and random. For example - polar ice has only been present on Earth for less than 20-percent of geological time; and animal extinction is a national part of evolution.

Plimer shoots down the current logic that global warming can be reversed. He gets especially worked up about carbon dioxide, saying it's actually at the lowest levels it's been for 500-million years.

Critics have slammed Plimer's book - saying he makes a lot of basic errors and manipulates data.

Here in the U.S., it depends on who you ask about global warming. The city of Chicago is seeing its coldest July in 67-years. The average temperature has been 68.9 degrees.

On the other hand, ask the people in parts of Texas, melting under a blazing sun and suffering through one of the worst droughts in many years if they think global warming is real.

Here’s my question to you: Are you more or less concerned about global warming than you were a year ago?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Global Warming
May 26th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Are you willing to change your diet to combat global warming?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The headline reads: "Burping of the lambs blows roast off the menu." In one of the more bizarre articles on global warming, the London Times reports that government officials are urging people to give up lamb roasts and save the planet. And it's not just lamb. Government advisers in the U.K. are taking steps to remove other so-called "high carbon" foods from menus as well.

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We're used to doctors and nutritionists telling us we need to change our lifestyle and diet to combat obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Well, now climate-change experts are singing the same tune, saying a change in our diets is a crucial step to cutting carbon emissions.

Lamb, alcohol and tomatoes are among the biggest carbon-producing foods, while those that produce fewer carbon emissions include potatoes, seasonal vegetables, pork and chicken.

But what are we really talking about here? Well, according to a study on greenhouse gases that was sponsored by the British government, producing 2.2 pounds of lamb releases the equivalent of 37 pounds of carbon dioxide.

As The Times points out, sheep and cows burp a lot and that produces the greenhouse gas methane.

When it comes to tomatoes, 2.2 pounds generate more than 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. Compare that to just one pound of carbon dioxide produced by 2.2 pounds of potatoes.

Like I said...bizarre.

Here’s my question to you: How much are you willing to change your diet to combat global warming?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Global Warming
May 4th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Why is global warming last on list of 20 issues that worry voters?

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Greenpeace protesters hang with a banner from a construction crane in DC.(PHOTO CREDIT: MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Stop calling it "global warming"... that's the message coming from some environmentalists.

And apparently it's because the term turns people off and brings to mind shaggy-haired liberals and issues like gay marriage, economic sacrifice and complicated scientific arguments.

The New York Times got a hold of a memo sent by a group called EcoAmerica that's been conducting research for years on how to best frame environmental issues.

So instead of global warming, the firm recommends talking about our deteriorating atmosphere - instead of haggling over carbon dioxide - they suggest talking about "moving away from the dirty fuels of the past." Instead of energy efficiency, try - saving money for a more prosperous future. And instead of the word 'environment' - talk about "the air we breathe, the water our children drink."

But it's unclear whether using different words will actually make people care more about the environment. A recent Pew Research Center Poll shows global warming finished dead last among 20 voter issues; behind things like moral decline and decreasing the influence of lobbyists.

One expert points out that partisans on both side of the issue are essentially doing the same thing - they're using advertising techniques to try to manipulate public opinion. He calls the approach "cynical and ineffective." Maybe so, but the term 'global warming' apparently isn't getting it done.

Here’s my question to you: Why does global warming rank last on a list of 20 issues of concern to voters?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Global Warming
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