Despite all the attention Al Gore and his global warming awareness campaign the past several years, the average American is no more worried about global warming than they were years ago.
Gallup reports the percentage of Americans who worry a great deal about global warming is no higher now than it was 19 years ago.
Americans have reacted to the ever growing emphasis on global warming in the media:
Americans now are more likely than they have been in the past to claim understanding of global warming, to recognize that global warming could be a threat in their lifetimes, and to say the effects of global warming have already begun.
Gallup Poll Editor in Chief, Frank Newport, summarizes the recent findings in the following video report:
In recognition of Earth Day, the BBC reveals the real agenda behind the global warming movement -- abolishment of capitalism.
Speaking as the keynote speaker at the UN meeting on the rights of indigenous people, the socialist president of Bolivia, Evo Morales said capitalism should be scrapped:
"If we want to save our planet earth, we have a duty to put an end to the capitalist system," he said.
Morales has it all wrong. Two years ago the Heartland Institute issued a report stating that the nations that have the best track records on environmental protection and improvement are those with the highest amount of free-market capitalism:
Nations with the freest economic systems are the ones whose citizens can afford the luxury of protecting their environments. Conversely, persons living in command-and-control economies barely surviving on life's necessities of food, clothing, and shelter use their natural resources to the absolute limit. They have no other choice in providing for themselves and their families.
As family incomes rise, the improving quality of life allows people to devote more resources to solving environmental problems. Thus, with expanding societal wealth under free-market economies, environmental degradation is first arrested and then reversed. Society goes through a form of "environmental transition." After the transition, greater wealth and technology improve environmental quality instead of worsening it.
Glenn Reynolds, better known as Instatpundit, has a column in the New York Post today on global warming, the environment, and what to do about it. Reynolds says we should focus on nanotechnology and solar energy:
But nuclear power is just a stopgap - as more advanced technologies like nanotechnology offer much greater prospects via solar energy and reduced energy consumption.
MIT's Vladimir Bulovic calls nanotech a potentially "disruptive technology" in the solar-energy field, offering a complete shift from today's fossil-fuel environment. And famed inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil projects the current rate of progress in solar power forward and argues, "The power we are generating from solar is doubling every two years; at that rate, it will be able to meet all our energy needs within 20 years."
Solar research is progressing rapidly, and recent research suggests that "quantum nanodots" may offer dramatic improvements, perhaps on the order that Kurzweil predicts.
Nanotech offers dramatic improvements on the side of energy consumption, too: As computing and other devices become smaller, they become more efficient - and nanotech will allow drastic improvements in both size and efficiency.
Nanotech is starting to yield super-strong, super-light materials, too. Imagine how much more efficient a family car could be if you cut the weight in half, even if you kept burning gas. But nanotech is also likely to produce better batteries and better motors, meaning that your lighter car may also be electric, powered ultimately by those nanodot solar panels.
All of these things are in the works now to greater and lesser degrees, but they could happen faster if there were more research and development support.
Ultimately, we're probably better off putting our energies into promoting cleaner, more advanced technologies like these than in trying to get people to reduce the scope of their lives through "hair-shirt environmentalism."
As Glen is fond of saying, read the whole thing.
In the meantime, we should practice the "conservative" approach to global climate change by using free market principles and property rights to develop the technologies which will enable us to become green and smart.