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Al Gore's new commerical

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Submitted by chicago dyke on

and as most americans understand their world via teevee, i suppose this is a 'good' thing to have out there. (no asians or latinas in it that i could see, oh well)

but i have a serious quibble with the ad's claim: "we" can't "solve" the climate crisis, not until the rest of the world gets equally serious as i believe Al is. specifically: china. looks around nervously for sean-paul kelley i don't mean to be a china-basher; i have nothing but awe and respect for the vast accomplishments of the chinese people over the long, impressive history of the Middle Kingdom. but the bottom line is their gov't right now is as pig-headed and foolish as ours. so while i'll accept their "what makes you think you have a right to make any moral claim, bush american?" i will at the same time remind everyone: giving 20K chinese folks cars every month, people who up until that time rode bikes, or bringing online one new coal burning plant lacking true environmental standards and regulations every get my drift.

the formerly developing world has developed. they are doing lots of stuff we have learned not to do, and the truth is that they are suffering the growing pains we did 50-100 years ago in energy matters, in terms of things like pollution, regulation, corruption. obviously we still have those problems. but, we're not a consumerist nation of over a billion people. our environmentalists at least have some small chance at affecting policy here. there, well, i know that in many ways the chinese are utterly kicking our asses when it comes to the latest "green tech." but it won't be enough. not if they continue to fuel that growth with coal, and give dated, environmentally incorrect technologies like cars to their exploding middle class, or consume an ever growing share of petro-products which in turn lead to the very things Al wants the US to stop exacerbating. yes, we can and should and must "do our part." but "solve" the coming environmental crisis? sorry, that's not really avoidable. the chinese aren't going to be told to they can't have these things, and by the time they have the political will to stop, much damage will already have been done that can't be undone.

bottom line: teach your grandkids to expect a vastly different environmental reality by the time they die. and even more so for their grandkids.

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Submitted by gmoke on

I made some PSAs for my local solar association in the early 1980s. They were 15 second pieces. One was "A southfacing window is already a solar collector. Learn how to use it. Contact your local solar energy association." Another was "A southfacing porch can become a greenhouse or sunspace. Learn how to do it. Contact your local solar energy association."

In the early 1990s, I made another series of PSAs. These were 30 seconds. One was a review of solar history from the Greeks and Romans up to the then present day. The point was that solar has always been available and always been used as an energy source. Another compared the 400,000 btu's a square foot of Boston receives from sunlight to its equivalent in gallons of fuel oil, watts of electricity, and cords of wood.

Recently, I did a nearly two minute piece using WWII posters about energy and resource conservation. It shows how we fought WWII using our Homefront advantage and compares that to how we are fighting our wars now.

The 1990s PSAs and the WWII piece are available on youtube. Just search for "gmoke".

Gore's commercials are all about attitudes. None of them promotes immediately useful practice. The fact that Obama seems to have won the tire gauge battle has led me to promote the idea of practical energy commercials. Why not an ad that not only promotes proper inflation for tires but also changing oil and air filters, getting a tune-up, keeping the wheels aligned, all those simple things we are supposed to do but generally don't? You could do that in the same amount of time that you show people pulling Gore's big switch. What about a commercial that shows exactly how to tighten up a window, add an interior storm, use curtains and valences to reduce heat loss, put on insulating shutters or shades? That would teach people to do something that would help them save energy and money as well as keep them more comfortable this winter.

That's what I'd like to see. I'd like to see one on Solar IS Civil Defense too.

But I've been advising this tactic for thirty years now and nobody has listened yet.