Conversation among friends about public apathy on GW

by Ginosar  

Here is an unvarnished email conversation among five friends deeply concerned about GW, three with PhD in science, on the problems of public apathy and Congressional inaction on global warming:


In a message dated 10/28/2009 3:02:45 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time

Matania Ginosar writes:


We are idiots in the US, playing the game as if there is no urgency. We are trying to solve a serious global threat by old institutions and old thinking. GW is at least a hundred times graver than WWII. If we fought WWII that way we would have lost the war!

Do we think the rest of the world does not grasp our selfishness?


"Ultimately, members of Congress must be able to explain the impact their vote will have on monthly electric bills and a gallon of gasoline," said Jason Grumet, president of the Bipartisan Policy Center, a centrist think tank. The administration gave a nod to the economic trade-offs Tuesday when it sharply narrowed the number of facilities that would be subject to new emission-control rules. "


How ignorant of reality of GW can we be? And these are the good guys, our liberal Federal Gov. claiming to be eager to fight GW



From: Van

Matania  -- The US population is very far from seeing this as 100x WW2. But you know that and your job is to try to get people to see it.  I think the disappearance of arctic ice, glaciers, and polar bears are the most likely to convince people in US, but those are not Pearl Harbor.  Before Pearl Harbor, the US was 50/50 for or against getting in, maybe even 70/30 against.


On the quote about costs: Yes.  That is very bad view of a lot of our fellow citizens and consumers.  To fix the world, energy (electricity and also fuels) will have to cost more (30% more?) and food too (20% more?  40% more?)



From: Jerry

Subject: RE: Politics as usual re GW - Poll by Pew Research Center


One indication of the view of the U.S. population on global warming is discussed in the articles referenced below. A recent poll by The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that:

"There has been a sharp decline over the past year in the percentage of Americans who say there is solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. And fewer also see global warming as a very serious problem - 35% say that today, down from 44% in April 2008."

The poll was conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 4. It included 1,500 adults reached on cell phones and landlines, and it claims a margin of error of +/- 3%. According to the Associated Press article on the poll, Jon Krosnick of Stanford University was surprised by the Pew results and described them as "implausible". Krosnick has been conducting surveys on attitudes about global warming since 1993.

Andrew Weaver, a professor of climate analysis at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, in commenting on the poll results said that politics could be drowning out scientific awareness. "It's a combination of poor communication by scientists, a lousy summer in the Eastern United States, people mixing up weather and climate and a full-court press by public relations firms and lobby groups trying to instill a sense of uncertainty and confusion in the public."

See the following URLs for more information:

Associated Press article on the poll results:

Survey Report from the Pew Research Center:



From: Matania Ginosar

One of the reasons is because our politicians are talking about job creation, green energy, about the insignificant cost the energy bills would cost individuals. They have trivialized it.

The media is to blame too since it is sensation oriented.

Who control the media, a small amount of well off people, very few now.

The president to Congress, even the best ones such as Boxer and Waxman, are trivializing it together. They think using the sell methods of small lies by the Republicans is a road to success. "Frame the issue right".....


Tell the truth to the people even if it will shake them-it should shake them. Global warming is real immaterial how much we make it a green-jobs issue.

You can lie to some of the people some of the time but you can not lie to most of the people most of the time. And that what we are doing now.



From: Howard

Remember Boxer @ Waxman are running for re-election in 2010. It's Platitude Time! Only when you are running against an incumbent is the Earth going to hell in a hand basket if you retain that person.  When one is in office all's well that ends well if you re-elect me. (I'm just full of clichés)


From: Matania Ginosar

A person with integrity and wisdom knows that he/she are not the center of the earth and this issue is more important than their position. But very few of us are so dedicated and willing to give our power and comfort. But that is the essential cause of the global warming problem. Every one think about their own benefit and the hell with the rest of the world. Remember the financial and housing crises? Me first the hell with the rest.   We will go down the drain with  GW if we proceed this way. And it is very possible that we are on this path already.  Human are very limited creatures.



From Jim:

Mat, it sure is hard to ignore these emails.  You have discovered the true "cause" of human caused GW.  To use one of Howard's pithy sayings, "We have met the enemy and they is...US!"


I think you hit the nail on the head when you asked, "Who among us is so dedicated and willing to give (up) our power and comfort?"


I think Buddhist psychology would say that we tend to personalize this problem and then it is all about "me" and not about "us".  You are saying that the "default" position of humans is to be self-centered and not compassionate.  I hear you.  I understand what you are saying.  So now that we both "know" this and both believe it to be more or less true, what can we do about it, or can we do anything about it?  Or is it mainly dealing with ourselves and those around us, since we can't really influence these others that we don't come into contact with to change their behavior?  I guess I am thinking of climate change in Buddhist terms.




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