This is what global warming looks like

A great NRDC video:

This is what Global Warming looks like from NRDC Broadcast Videos on Vimeo.

30 Responses to This is what global warming looks like

  1. Ben A says:

    What’s with that music?

  2. Very well done and especially helpful for those of us who spend most of our time trying to get the word out!

  3. Lori says:

    How about holding all polluters responsible?

  4. Richard Brenne says:

    Great video! Nat Geo quality photography (whose, I wonder?), great editing, music, message.

    Technically the loss of 160 square miles of the Peterman glacier isn’t leading to less Arctic Ocean sea ice, but that’s a quibble. (I’d love to see CP used as a clearinghouse in such cases – they send us their copy in a post and we make such small corrections.)

    Overall this is exactly the quality of product with emotional images and punch that is needed. The courage to conect weather events into their proper context, as CP and McKibben have also done is key. We each need to do this in our own way (talking about what weather events are parts of what trends).

    Go NRDC!

  5. paulm says:

    Three people in a unique Pacific Island community face the first devastating effects of climate change, including a terrifying flood. Will they decide to stay with their island home or move to a new and unfamiliar land, leaving their culture and language behind forever?

  6. catman306 says:

    Will this excellent video be seen on network TV or cable TV?

  7. Daniel Ives says:

    That had to go up on my facebook, hopefully it gets a lot of views, it certainly deserves them!

  8. “It’s time to hold carbon polluters accountable?” Okay, fine.

    Give up your cars. Then give up your big-screen TVs, your air conditioners, your endless strip malls, your mountains of plastic, and your red meat.

    Anybody interested in tackling global warming now? Anyone? Bueller?

    This isn’t a matter of getting your politicians to sign off on a cap-n-trade, or a tiny rise in the gas tax. The lifestyle itself is the problem. And the consumer, throwaway society we have built will have to be changed. Unfortunately, people (and especially Americans) never want to sacrifice anything, or inconvenience themselves in any way, for any cause. No, just tell yourselves that all you need to do about global warming is drive a car with slightly better gas mileage than a Model T. Tell yourself to change the light bulbs.

    Big fuckin’ deal. Meanwhile, in the real world, CO2 is still rising. Demand for fuel and electricity is still rising. Consumption is still rising. We’re not even slowing down — this civilization is slamming its foot on the accelerator.

    This really is the thing that gets me. This is what leaves me with no hope. The humans on this planet [b]simply do not give a fuck[/b]. As Jello Biafra famously said, “Give me convenience or give me death!”

    My advise is to just start apologizing to your grandchildren right now.

  9. Had difficulty getting beyond the first few seconds so I tried searching for another copy. Almost identical — I finally was able to watch the copy you pointed to afterwards. Biggest difference seemed to be the music. Maybe a couple of details. Same length.

    This is What Global Warming looks like

  10. Gnobuddy says:

    @9: Daniel Thomas Macinnes says:

    The lifestyle itself is the problem.

    ..just tell yourselves that all you need to do about global warming is drive a car with slightly better gas mileage than a Model T. Tell yourself to change the light bulbs.
    Sadly, I would agree with your basic position. However, it’s not just the 307 million Americans who are responsible, even though they play a significant role. The remaining six and a half billion people on the planet have something to do with the complete collapse of the environment that we are facing, too, through sheer force of numbers, even if they individually lead less wasteful lives. Americans didn’t empty the ocean of fish singlehanded, nor drink most of the fresh water available on the planet, nor destroy entire island habitats like Madagascar or the Galapagos islands.

    The root problem is the global population – any way you look at it, there are at least ten times more people on this planet than is sustainable. And it looks like a population correction is imminent. Tragically, this will likely involve the deaths of billions of humans, something entirely unprecedented on this planet.

    I agree completely, however, about hybrids and CFD’s. Straws in the wind, and not about to stop the planet from setting itself on fire (an all-too-literal metaphor, if you look at what happened in Russia or Australia this summer).

    Don’t misunderstand me, I switched to CFD’s in the second half of the 1990’s, when they first came on the market and an individual bulb cost up to $20. I can’t afford a hybrid, but my car is rated at 37 mpg, about as high as you can get in the USA. Unfortunately, I realize all too well that these are trivial changes; even two or three 20 W CFD’s consume as much power as one human metabolism, and spew a corresponding amount of C02. A 100-horsepower car consumes as much power as a thousand people, and spews a thousand times as much C02, roughly speaking. AND it’s carbon that’s been stored underground for hundreds of millions of years, instead of carbon stored by plants that grew this year.


  11. MapleLeaf says:

    A good effort by the NRDC, but they really should have had someone check their facts. They state at the end that Arctic sea ice is at an all time low, that would only be true if they were referring to volume.

    That and what Richard said @4 about the Peterman glacier tongue break-off,

  12. Eve says:

    I dont have an air conditioner (or a car or a big screen t.v.) but, ironically, it was so hot here (Jerusalem) this summer, I wished that I did.

    The video is excellent and I am sending it to friends and femiily,

  13. JeandeBegles says:

    Daniel Thomas.
    I completly share your statement. It is convenience against survival (what a scandal!). Gore got it right with an inconvenient truth.
    So it is up to us, citizen, to save our honour, and try to awake our society: we know we have to change, and we have to do it before the desaster forces us to leave our convenient but CO2 wastefull way of living.
    The 10/10/10 day is an opportunity for raising awareness of the urgency to act.
    The polluters are not the others, there are all of us, specially all the developped country citizen who have to drastically cut our CO2 emissions (CO2 emission is in direct proportion with our personal wealthy, it bis a basic fact).

  14. Ben@1,

    re: “What’s with that music?”

    Rodrigo y Gabriela’s 11:11, just one of many Nuevo Flamenco artists with legions of acoustic aficionados across this hot & steamy planet.

    Great NRDC video, Joe. We need to see more like it more often on the tube, or better yet, in movie theaters the teens & 20-somethings frequent.

  15. … interwoven with the trailers & concession promos.


  16. _Flin_ says:

    @daniel thomas macinnes:
    I think the “Change your lifestyle” mantra is a wrong one. That is just grist to the mills of the denialists and oil lobbyists.
    Neither do people want to change their lifestyle nor do they have to.

    People want to live in house with reasonable temperatures. An insulated house is as cold as one that is not insulated. The only difference is that without insulation you need more energy and actually cool your front lawn.

    People want to plug in their stuff, switch it on, voila. Noone cares whether the power comes from Oil, Gas, Nuclear, PV, Wind or Biomass. It needs to be there, and it needs to be reasonably priced.

    Cars is something different, because it is very emotional. Only chance I see there is a long term regulation forcing the car companys to gradually lower CO2 output, so noone needs to relinquish his SUV or truck. Where the main issue is power again, not the fact that it burns lots of gas.

    And that is really the tragic of the whole thing.
    Reducing CO2 output is easy, affordable and if you actually do it (like Germany) it is hard to notice negative consequences. There are positive developments (like jobs, or energy exports, or reduced CO2), there are negatives (like higher power prices). But overall you hardly notice a difference that you could easily attribute to the efforts to reduce CO2.

  17. John Mason says:

    Here’s a video, put together by a Hawkwind fan around their song “The Damage of Life”. This is a powerful montage of scenes of war, climate chaos and pollution cut with crowded offices, trains, motorways – everyday life and its consequences in various parts of the world. Some of the war footage is fairly graphic.

    Cheers – John

  18. BBC has a really cool map tool that shows the sizes of things. One enables you to enter the name of a place and it superimposes the Pakistan floods on the map — enter washington DC and youll see the floods stretch from Montreal to Georgia.

  19. dbmetzger says:

    Here’s another news video on Extreme weather which makes some of the same points. Including the token denier…
    Scientists Warn Severe Weather to Increase in Near Future
    US climate scientists say they expect more heavy rains and droughts in the near future. The Pakistani ambassador to the US has said that extreme weather in Pakistan this year is creating security concerns that could extend beyond their borders.

  20. Robert says:

    Flin #17 – except that Germany are not doing all that well. About the same as the UK and much worse than France. Emissions need to plummet, not gently fall over many decades.


  21. paulm says:

    #21,#17. Yes. Europeans give the North Americans a hard time. But they are not that far behind in being responsible for this situation, even today with their relative better efficiency.

    I am afraid the true solution (as far as reducing the severity, not the occurrence) is for our modern societies to move to sustainable models. This shouldn’t be as hard to do as it is. But an underestimate of human nature and culture which have been major contributions to our success as a species up til now makes it so.

    To truly ‘save the planet’ will mean that we must reduce consumption, manage our numbers and switch to renewable resources. Can this be done in the window of time left to us – very low probability. Unless other events arise which fouce the situation on us. But obviously that path is going to be painful and uncertain.

  22. paulm says:

    There needs to be a cascade of these types of videos. Heres an interesting sequence….
    Simple discusion with family member about these extreme events….
    Me: “Wow, look at what GW is prompting….we have to do something about this….”

    Him: “Could this not just be better reporting. Global communications means we hear about these more often. They probably always were happening.”

    Me: “No. Go and look at the figures. Here have a look at this resources and this article on it…”
    Answer: “Haven’t got the time to read all that. The government is looking into it”
    repeat above conversation every month.

    2009/2010! Tipping year for sure. Will this start to repeat ever few years now. Looking likely.

  23. Robert says:

    The evidence so far is that it cannot be solved within a democratic, capitalist system. Every minute of every day we are bombarded with messages telling us to do the opposite of what needs to be done.

  24. Robert says:

    paulm – the conversation goes more like this in my family:

    Me: I have just read a piece on the internet saying the artic is in a death spiral and will be gone within a few years.

    Wife/son/daughter: (pause…silence…) have you heard what’s going to happen in Eastenders tonight? Kat and Alfie are back in it.

    Me: Did you see the piece about opening the largest offshore windfarm in the world on the BBC?

    Wife/son/daughter: You need to stop wasting time on the internet and get a life. Who cares about the arctic. I never watch the news it just depresses me X-factor’s back on on Saturday…. (etc, etc)

  25. paulm says:

    #25 Robert. Yup! Ditto. Easter Island Syndrome.

  26. Peter Sergienko says:

    Hate to come in so late, but the lifestyle change issue that Daniel raises is currently on my mind.

    I’m organzing a 10/10/10 work party. In setting it up, one of the things I heard at our organizational meeting frequently was the lament that environmentalists (for lack of a better word) generally lack credibility to seek change, whether systemic or in others as individuals, because we’re very aware of the magnitude of the problems and we all know that we can and should do more as individuals to change our lifestyles commensurate with the scope of the problems we’re keen to address.

    This attitude seems incredibly disempowering. It pushes us toward silence and inaction based on a perceived personal failing or inadequacy. It probably also reflects a fear that we’ll be attacked if we speak out because we’re not living like No Impact Man (see Al Gore).

    I think at least part of the answer to this problem lies in understanding the difference between downstream and upstream solutions to problems. The consumer end is way downstream. Individuals can change consumption patterns and sources of goods, but we’re mostly stuck with all the inefficiencies and GHG emissions that are systemic in our energy generation and tranport systems. Lewis from Wales has cogently and succinctly explained the magnitude and urgency of needed actions in recent threads here, as has Joe from the beginning with the “wedges” concept. We understand that changes in personal lifestyle are not enough.

    However, given the choice of acting or not acting at a personal level in the face of long odds, I think most aware people prefer to act. At the same time, there seem to be many obstacles that keep us from acting or from always acting in ways that are consistent with our awareness. When we fail to act or we act inconsistently with our awareness, we feel guilty and small.

    To the extent that these mostly personal and internal struggles keep us from advocating for the systemic changes that are so clearly and urgently needed, it’s a big problem. The dynamics of all this at the grassroots and personal level now seem very complex to me indeed. I’d really welcome thoughts from persons with experience organizing and empowering volunteers. Our 10/10/10 organizing is going well notwithstanding my new awareness of these issues. Since I suspect this is the first of more organizing efforts ahead, I want to get better at it and to learn from others.

    Thanks in advance.

  27. William P says:

    Good video, but like most messages on global warming it does not go all the way to state what the final chapter of warming will be. Many Americans think the last stage is we lose polar bears and have a bit more rain – somewhere else.

    The final act according to the best, most serious scientists is human extinction, probably through loss of food crops.

    Are we allowed to say that? Is it too big a story for our “news” folks to tell? Perhaps not cheerful enough? But people should be told. I realize, like telling someone their loved one is terminal, there will be anger, denial, rage – but maybe finally people will unite to force big oil and governments to actually do something.

    The vast majority of people have never heard and have no idea where global warming is leading. Let’s tell them now!

  28. If we have to rely on this over-edited, too viciously cut video with its upbeat cheerful music then we are doomed.