Tuesday, February 08, 2011

See you in Aspen!

Join Nobel lariat (we are in the West, after all) Gore-Al, former Colorado Gov. Bill Bennet and a bunch of other yebs in Aspen February 18 to discuss the horrendous effect Global Climate Disruption is having on Colorado forests: FORESTS AT RISK (isk-isk-isk-isk)!

Naw, don't even try. It's already sold out. The no-doubt sober and unhysterical environmental group For the Forest, among others, is sponsoring the event. Here's their

Symposium Overview

Across the American West, forests are imperiled. Recent studies reveal that the death rate of the West’s old growth forests has doubled, that dying forests in British Columbia are releasing 990 megatons of CO2 into the atmosphere, and that the western wildfire season is 78 days longer now than two decades ago. Some scientists now predict the loss within this century of half the West’s old growth forests.

What’s going on with our forests – and what’s the connection to climate change? What happens when forests change from carbon sinks to carbon sources? How do warmer temperatures affect forests, and does increased forest mortality feed back into climate change? Are forest ecosystem changes affecting the intensity of wildfires? Do tipping points exist that could accelerate the rate of change? And will our grandchildren enjoy the same healthy forests across the West that we have taken for granted?
Don't worry. These questions are merely a rhetorical device. They have all the answers. Read the whole thing or For the Forest will creep into your bedroom as you sleep and place a mountain pine beetle in your ear, where it will sit for a while, confused, then crawl away to find a mountain pine to eat.

Update: Night Gallery: "The Caterpillar." Part one of four.

Update II: BBC Radio 4 will air a piece Thursday exploring why your average gink-on-the-street isn't as frightened about "climate change" as they are, and how to make him so:
Something strange is happening to the climate - the climate of opinion. On the one hand, scientists are forecasting terrible changes to the planet, and to us. On the other, most of us don't seem that bothered, even though the government keeps telling us we ought to be. Even climate scientists and environmental campaigners find it hard to stop themselves taking holidays in long haul destinations.

So why the gap between what the science says, and what we feel and do? In this programme Jolyon Jenkins investigates the psychology of climate change. Have environmentalists and the government been putting out messages that are actually counterproductive? Might trying to scare people into action actually be causing them to consume more? Are images of polar bears actually damaging to the environmentalists' case because they alienate people who don't think of themselves as environmentalists - and make climate change seem like a problem that's a long way off and doesn't have much relevance to normal life? Does the message that there are "simple and painless" steps we can take to reduce our carbon footprint (like unplugging your phone charger) unintentionally cause people to think that the problem can't be that serious if the answers are so trivial?
Update 2/13/11: Listened to the show. How original. It's the messaging, not the (self-evident) message.

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