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Environment - June 3

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


Critics Blast Al Gore's Documentary As 'Realistic'

The Onion
NEW YORK— The Al Gore-produced global-warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth is being panned by critics nationwide who claim the 90-plus minute environmental film is "too disturbingly realistic and well-researched to enjoy." "I found it difficult to suspend my disbelief in man-made climate change for the first half-hour—and utterly impossible after that—which makes for a movie-going experience that's far more educational than it is enjoyable," said New York Post film critic Skip Hack. "Gore's film overwhelms viewers with staggering amounts of scientific information until nothing about global warming is left to the imagination, and that's just not good entertainment. Two stars." Some critics have called the film's claims that sea levels could rise 20 feet somewhat sensationalistic, although most agree that this is not enough to save the film from being unwatchably factual.
(31 May 2006)
Please note: satire.

Related from BBC (not satire): Gore in Hay climate change plea:

Former US vice-president Al Gore owned up to failing to get his climate change message across as a politician when he appeared at the Hay Festival...."I will own up to shortcomings in my ability to communicate," said Mr Gore, who ran against President Bush in 2000. "But I'm not through with this yet and I am devoting myself to it".


Run a “Global Cooling” Snow Cone Stand

College Republican National Committee
Freeze out cataclysmic environmental scare tactics with a little humor. The Oklahoma University College Republicans gave out free snow cones to students for an event they called "Global Cooling Day."

Stage an event like this one to grab the attention of your campus and raise awareness on the falsities of the global warming phenomenon. Engage with students and debunk some of the myths and cool the hyperbole surrounding the issue.

OU CRs simultaneously used the event to promote their first meeting, sign-up members, and sell CR shirts. A tent and tables were set up at the busiest spot on campus, and OU CRs gave away nearly 1,000 snow cones each day.

Prior to your "Global Cooling Day" event, arm your College Republican chapter with solid talking points on the issue, and then kick-back and enjoy the sun. The facts are on your side.
(June 2006)
Sorry, this is not satire. Commentary from syndicated columnist Ed Flattau of Global Horizons:

Whatever happened to the Republican Party of Teddy Roosevelt, a political party distinguished by its forward-looking environmental policy? Today, we have the College Republican National Committee (CRNC) urging its 200,000 student members on 1500 campuses to hold beach parties to mock the threat of global warming. If this is representative of the generation that is going to inherit the earth, the earth is in trouble big-time.


America's obsession with that green patch in the yard

Brian Black, Christian Science Monitor
An environmental historian ponders the cultural significance of the lawn in suburban America.
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Review of "AMERICAN GREEN: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn" by Ted Steinberg
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... "As bizarre as the lawn fanatics may seem," writes historian Ted Steinberg, "their behavior is just a slight exaggeration of what has come to be seen as normal."

Steinberg finds in each of our lawns (and his own), a view into the soul of something particularly American. His careful study of this pseudo-nature that covers 40 million acres of the United States makes American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn an insightful read for suburbanites who face the start of a season of mowing. Additionally, though, Steinberg's sense of humor makes "American Green" an enjoyable read even for apartment dwellers and lawn-o-phobes. His insight turns this book into a fascinating window on some of the deeper meanings of this most peculiar portion of Americans' ongoing relationship with nature.

Steinberg is an environmental historian who possesses a unique insight on the cultural role that nature plays in the lives of Americans in the past. "American Green" refrains from asking big questions about the lawn's ecological significance in an era of increasing American artificiality. In fact, at times, Steinberg seems to go far out of his way not to condemn our lawn habit. In his account, the preference of Americans for this managed natural form that is not native to North America has been an elaborate construct of the culture of conspicuous consumption that dominates our lives in the second half of the 20th century.

In its natural form, our Kentucky bluegrass, actually, is not deeply rooted. Its role in our cultural history, though, clearly is. Although "American Green" is part environmental commentary and part cultural history, Steinberg appears most comfortable when recounting the lawn's 20th-century history and accentuating it with his startling wit.

He specifically ties the lawn aesthetic to roots in post World War II conformity and consumerism and spends very little time discussing the lawn's roots in 19th-century gardening. In fact, his story entirely emphasizes the cultural history, eschewing the horticulture, planning, and architecture that informs other scholars' treatment of the lawn.
(30 May 2006)

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