Monday, March 31, 2008

Raise the Bar

Having been blessed with a four day news hiatus, we drove out of the airport today and noticed that it was exactly five.

"What will the lead story on NPR be," I asked?

Before we could guess, the now well known trumpet intro blared.

It was Iraq.

The second story was the administration's new initiative to place some kind of regulation on the financial folks who are once again privatizing their profits and socializing their losses. Asking an "R" to design new regulations for banking is like asking Willie Sutton to be in charge of bank safe combinations.

Next, was the resignation of Alphonso, who like so many others in his shoes, now sees the wisdom of spending more time with his family.

Curiously, there was not a mention of Clinton or Obama.

Nor, was there a mention of this story:
(it was on 60 Minutes)

Gore launches $300 million climate change campaign
Mon Mar 31, 2008
By Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Al Gore, former U.S. vice president, Academy Award winner and Nobel peace laureate, on Monday launched a $300 million, three-year campaign to mobilize Americans on climate change.

"We can solve the climate crisis, but it will require a major shift in public opinion and engagement," Gore said in a statement.

"The technologies exist, but our elected leaders don't yet have the political will to take the bold actions required. When politicians hear the American people calling loud and clear for change, they'll listen," he said.

A longtime environmental activist, Gore chairs the Alliance for Climate Protection, which unveiled the "We" campaign with a series of videos, a Web site -- -- and a television advertisement set to air during such programs as "American Idol," "House," and "Law & Order."

The first ad likens the battle against climate change to U.S. troops storming the beaches at Normandy during World War Two, the struggle for civil rights and the drive to send humans to the moon.

"We didn't wait for someone else" to tackle these historic problems, the actor William H. Macy says in the spot. "We can't wait for someone else to solve the global climate crisis. We need to act now."

Future spots are expected to feature such "unlikely allies" as civil rights activist Al Sharpton and conservative preacher Pat Robertson, and country singers Toby Keith and the Dixie Chicks speaking together against climate change.

"What's different about this (campaign) is for the first time ever, we're going to be able to reach the general public in their daily lives through television, through media, through community-based organizations ... and online," more

Meanwhile, another study shows a dangerous trend for the American West:

US West Warming Faster Than Rest Of World

LOS ANGELES - The US West is heating up at nearly twice the rate of the rest of the world and is likely to face more drought conditions in many of its fast-growing cities, an environmental group said on Thursday.

By analysing federal government temperature data, the Natural Resources Defence Council concluded that the average temperature in the 11-state Western region from 2003-07 was 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit (0.94 degrees Celsius) higher than the historical average of the 20th century.

The global average increase for the same period was 1.0 degrees Fahrenheit (0.55 degrees Celsius).

In the Colorado River Basin, which supplies water to big and fast-growing cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas and Denver, the average temperature rose 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit (1.21 degrees Celsius), the US group said. (clip)

Study author Stephen Saunders of the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization said there were signs of the economic impacts throughout the West.

"Since 2000 we have seen $2.7 billion in crop loss claims due to drought. Global warming is harming valuable commercial salmon fisheries, reducing hunting activity and revenues, and threatening shorter and less profitable seasons for ski resorts," he said.

Like the poet singer of our age once said,

You don't have to be weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Nor, do you need to be a climate scientist.

Maybe Gore can once again raise the bar.

But most of us would rather just belly up to it.

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Oz Note: this first one seems lame to me.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

A note about the NOTE posted about the video by OZ:
The visuals and the voice over are okay on the first 30-second spot, however, the music background is awful. I think that is why you commented that the first spot was lame. More dramatic music would help the spot tremendously. Susan C.

8:03 AM  
Blogger oZ said...

I just looked at the spot again. Better music would help a lot, but it seems like a sales pitch to join a campaign, instead of mobilizing to actually solve the problem.

They'll get better I suppose.

1:47 PM  

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