Saturday, December 13, 2008

Al Gore Supports 350 ppm Target for CO2 Levels

Addressing delegates yesterday in Poznan, Poland at a UN meeting on climate change, Al Gore told them that the present target of stabilizing atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide at 450 part per million (PPM) should be abandoned for a new target of 350 ppm. Present levels are about 386 ppm. Since many experts believe that even achieving the 450 target is beyond feasibility, achieving the 350 target might be thought of as just wishful thinking. However, if we don’t get back to 350 ice in the polar regions could just keep melting and melting with catastrophic consequences. According to The Independent, Gore said that to combat climate change the world needs to focus more on global warming and less on celebrities, naming three in particular, O.J. Simpson, Paris Hilton, and the late Anna Nicole Smith. That’s going to be difficult. Clearly advertisers are willing to pony up a lot more money to back shows featurings non-news about the three celebs Gore mentioned and many others than gloom and doom real news about global warming. It appears that the free press is a two-edged sword. You get to find out what governments are really up to, at least sometimes, but you also get endless drivel. It would seem that the climate change crisis is unfolding too slowly to have much chance of driving Brittany Spears out of the news. The Dr. J. TV ad for Dr. Pepper says that “slower is better.” Well maybe for sipping soft drinks, but not for getting the media to pay attention to serious problems. Based on where the world focuses its attention we will be lucky to hold the line at 600 ppm. And maybe even that is a stretch.

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