Climate Denial Hits the Fan

Al Gore’s 24 hours of Climate Reality has been running online since 7:00 pm yesterday. If you  haven’t had a chance to tune in yet, there’s still time to tune in for a good dose of climate reality, as well as a good look at the climate deniers and their spin, and real answers to the dilemma that we’re in together as a global community.


My favourite quote so far – although there has been lots of great discussion – is  from a climate scientist,who said his response to the question “Do you believe in climate change?”, is “Do you believe in thermometers? If you believe in thermometers, then you believe in climate change, as the increased global temperature is measurable.”

Don’t miss it!

To watch the last 2 hours, go to

Why We Resist The Truth About Climate Change

While I’m away on a canoe trip this week, I will be posting articles from the 350orbust archives. This was first published in June, 2010.

Via “Nothing New Under The Sun“:

Sometimes facing up to the truth is just too hard. When the facts are distressing it is easier to reframe or ignore them. Around the world only a few have truly faced up to the facts about global warming. Apart from the climate ‘sceptics’, most people do not disbelieve what the climate scientists have been saying about the calamities expected to befall us. But accepting intellectually is not the same as accepting emotionally the possibility that the world as we know it is heading for a horrible end. It’s the same with our own deaths; we all ‘accept’ that we will die, but it is only when death is imminent that we confront the true meaning of our mortality.

– Clive Hamilton, Requiem for a Species: why we resist the truth about climate change (Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2010), viii.

These are the opening words of Hamilton’s new book. In case you hadn’t picked it up from the title, it’s no exercise in optimism. Hamilton believes that we have largely missed our opportunity to respond in time to climate change and now all we can do is minimise the damage and salvage what we can. However, reaching that conclusion involves a willingness to face the full scale of the threat rather than watering it down through a variety of coping mechanisms. (To read the rest of Byron Smith’s article, go to Nothing New Under The Sun.)

Another reason it is difficult for those of us in North America to face the truth about climate change is that our system is working desperately to save the old way.  Big Oil and Gas want to keep us either in denial or overwhelmed by this issue. The result of both is the same –  inaction. That’s why ads like the following from Natural Resource Defense Council are important. They start to lift the veil of denial and addiction we are struggling under:


To take action on climate change, go to my “Action not Apathy” page for some steps to take.  Even baby steps in the right direction are better than continuing down the wrong path.

It’s Time To Enter a Twelve-Step Program For Our Oil Addiction

This was first posted on July 28, 2010. Unfortunately, it remains just as accurate a year later, despite the promise of the leaders at the 2009 Pittsburgh G8 to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. President Obama is expected to make a decision on whether or not a second Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil to refineries in Texas, can go ahead. People are gathering in Washington DC over the next few weeks to send Obama a clear message – President Obama, just say no to releasing the carbon bomb of the tar sands!

Is anybody else getting tired of being told that we have to continue on the destructive oil-dependent path we’re currently on? There seems to be a large and vocal part of the population that believes because this is way we’ve been doing things for the last 100 years or so, give or take a few decades, it is the only possible path to maintain our standard of living. The truth is, unless we take a sharp turn and start living and doing business sustainably, our standard of living is going to come crashing abruptly and painfully down. You just can’t live indefinitely like there are 5 more planets like earth, like we currently do in North America, when in fact there is only this one.

If you aren’t convinced that oil is a dirty fuel after the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, one that is getting filthier all the time due to our growing dependence on the Alberta tar sands, go to’s “list of oil spills” page. It is a reverse-chronological  list of oil spills that are currently happening, and that have happened since the early 1900s. Hundreds of thousands of tons of oil have been spilled in 2010 already (remember we’re only halfway through the year) by seven spills around the globe.

And yet, here we are in 2010, and governments around the world are using our taxpayer money to subsidize Big Oil and Gas to the tune of $500 billion a year!  As I wrote previously, we are all subsidizing Big Oil’s war on our grandchildren!

Yet, it turns out, it didn’t have to be this way. Henry Ford’s Model T came right from the factory, in 1911, with flex-fuel capacity; it could run on alcohol and gas. And in the 1930s and 1940s, Henry Ford developed a car body that was made from hemp fiber that also ran on hemp biodiesel. According to the YouTube video clip that features it, the resulting material was “lighter than steel, but could withstand ten times the impact without denting”. It seems clear that Henry Ford did encourage hemp cultivation to use as a fuel and as a manufacturing material. This was before hemp growing was banned in the U.S. in a strange twist in their war on drugs (hemp has no hallucinogenic properties although it is related to the marijuana plant).

Here are some videos that demonstrate how we could have gone down a different path to fueling and making our vehicles, and how, if we act quickly enough, we might still be able to change direction:

Ford’s first flex-fuel car, the 1911 Model T:


Archival footage of Ford’s 1941 hemp car (the quality is quite poor, but it gives you the general idea):


Take Action and become a fossil fuel abolitionist:

Participate or organize a “Moving Planet” event on Sept. 24th. Initiated by, people all around the world will be rallying to demand solutions to the climate crisis, and a move beyond fossil fuels.

Join or start a Citizens Climate Lobby group in your community. CCL is focused on creating the political will for a stable climate, and empowering individuals to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power.

For more ideas, check out my Action Not Apathy page.

More links:

B.C. Carbon Tax a Winner: The shift has been an economic boon for the province’s taxpayers and is projected to lower greenhouse gas emissions by five per cent

100 days of oil: Gulf life will never be the same again

Oil Pipeline Leak Pollutes Major Michigan River