Feeds

Wake me up when Global Warming's over

Pollution, conservation bigger worries than climate

Business security measures using SSL

It looks like Al Gore is going to need every cent of the $300m war chest he's amassed for climate persuasion. Americans polled by Gallup for 'Earth Day' value "traditional", bottom-up environmental issues such as pollution and conservation as being more worrying than Global Warming. Remarkably, the level of concern about greenhouse gas emissions has barely wavered in a generation. Recklessness, or Huck Finn-style American common sense?

A third of Americans think "Global Warming" is a serious concern - a figure that's effectively unchanged since 1990, when the question was first asked. Ominously for the climate doom-mongers, it ranks 10th on a list of 12 environmental issues. OK, so what are Americans worried about?

Water pollution issues are three of the top four areas of concern, with over 80 per cent of people registering serious concern. Waste contamination comes third, and the loss of natural habitat for wildlife fifth, with 77 per cent expressing concern. Then there's rainforests (69 per cent), bio-diversity (68 per cent). Greenhouse emissions come in 10th - above urban sprawl and acid rain.

And when's the last time you ever heard anyone mention acid rain?

(If you add up the "great deal" and "fair amount" worrywarts, then Global Warming comes even lower, 11th out of 12th prompted issues).

Public concern over greenhouse gas emissions 1990-now

An Inconvenient Flatline

Maybe Americans don't trust dodgy computer models, on which the predictions of global catastrophe are based? Or maybe polar bears just aren't cute enough? Either way, it can't be for lack of "awareness", as the mass media goes on about little else.

Top down vs Bottom up

But perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that traditional issues which affect one's children and family, such as pollution and conservation, are rated as more urgent. Grassroots, bottom-up environmental groups once built their support on bringing these issues into the media - before abandoning them in recent years for the "top-down" agenda of Global Warming. As Gallup shows, the groups have moved away from reflecting the everyday environmental concerns of citizens, onto an agenda largely been driven by a handful of scientists, expensively backed by powerful quangos. Perhaps if you're an NGO, this ensures a better Darwinian option for funding survival - but is this what citizens' groups are supposed to be about?

Google Earth Day logo

"And this is what it looked like before we built our data center..." Google gets into the Gaia spirit for Earth Day

Today's climate warrior will have performed a 180 degree turn from twenty years ago: rainforests are now being felled in the rush to create biofuels, a strategy which is causing the world's poorest people to go hungry, and toxic substances banned from the home are creeping back in. The justification for each move is CO2.

No wonder Greenpeace's co-founder Patrick Moore wrote recently that "the environmental movement I helped found has lost its objectivity, morality and humanity." Moore frowns on using the term "environmental" for the Global Warming campaigners. I can see his point.

Perhaps it's time hear from "traditional" environmentalism for a change, instead of its successor, the Carbon Cult?

Your mail, as ever, is welcome

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.