Skip to main content

Debating global climate change

The idea that man made pollutants and carbon dioxide emissions are directly affecting our planet's climate is a highly controversial issue, one that's taken center stage across the globe.

This topic is still shrouded in debate. On one side, are those who have come to believe in a scientific consensus that says global warming/climate change is real and is undoubtably caused by humans and our industrial development. Another side claims there is no real scientific consensus on this issue, and that many dissenting opinions on the subject of man-made global climate change are being suppressed.

In fact, these global warming "deniers" say the changes in climate we constantly monitor are part of longer-term shifts in the earth's climate and environment that have occurred for as long as we can imagine.

As media coverage of the issue and the surrounding debate grows, one thing is certain; the rhetoric has become increasingly alarmist and ever more divisive. Will we be able to weed through the deceptive claims and find some measure of the truth?

For those of us who do not claim scientific expertise in the fields of physics and atmospheric science, it is imperitive that we try to seek out information from all sides and critically digest what we can. Some of what's being offered to us might pass the test of being easy to understand, but it does no good if what we're really taking in is sensationalism and propaganda. An interested person needs to sift through the garbage and the fluff to find real information.

I don't fully understand the issue of "global climate change" and I'm uncertain that I'll ever really know if these changes in climate are anthropogenic, or simply part of the normal pattern of events on planet earth. All I can do is try to understand what's in front of me.

So in the interests of kickstarting this learning process, let me offer up a couple of video clips that might spur your interest in uncovering both sides of this debate.

I'll start off with the efforts of our most famous global warming campaigner, Al Gore.

You can watch him in this interview with Charlie Rose on the subject of global climate change and the ideas presented in his documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth".

Here he is charming the crowd at the TEDtalks conference with his ideas on how to mitigate global warming. In a rather ironic turn of events, Gore has recently been attacked for his own energy-intensive lifestyle and his hypocrisy on this issue.

On to the skeptics. Here's an interesting video that's recently been making the rounds on Web 2.0 and fueling some debate: "The Great Global Warming Swindle". As this film asserts, "global warming has gone beyond politics - it is a new kind of morality".

So for some of us, the learning process begins, while for others, the debate has raged on for a long time. There have been reports of defections from both camps, "skeptics" and "believers", but one thing is certain: this debate is far from settled.

Popular posts from this blog

Seth Klarman: Margin of Safety (pdf)

Welcome, readers! Signup for free email updates at the Finance Trends Newsletter . Update: PDF links removed due to DMCA notice. Please see our extensive Klarman book notes below. New visitors, please check the Finance Trends home page for all new posts. Here's something for anyone who has been trying to get a look at Seth Klarman's now famous, and out of print, 1991 investment book, Margin of Safety .  My knowledge of value investing is pretty much limited to what I've read in Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor (the book which originally popularized the investment concept of a "Margin of Safety"), so check out the wisdom from Seth Klarman and other investing greats in our related posts below. You can also go straight to Ronald Redfield's Margin of Safety book notes .    Related posts: 1. Seth Klarman interviews and Margin of Safety notes     2. Seth Klarman: Lessons from 2008 3. Investing Lessons from Sir John Templeton 4.

Slate profiles Victor Niederhoffer

Slate's recent profile of writer/speculator, Vic Niederhoffer has been getting some attention from traders and finance types in recent days. I thought we'd take a look at it here too, to offer up some possible educational value from Vic's experiences with trading and loss. Here's an excerpt from Slate's profile of Victor Niederhoffer : " I've enjoyed getting your e-mails. It sounds like you've thought a lot about being wrong. Well, the reason you contacted me, to call a spade a spade, is that I'm sort of infamous for having made a big, notorious, terrible error not once but twice in my market career. Let's talk about those errors. The first was your investment in the Thai baht, which pretty much wiped you out when the Thai stock market crashed in 1997. I made so many errors there it's pathetic. I made one of my favorite errors: "The mouse with one hole is quickly cornered." That is key. There are certain decisions you make in li

Clean Money - John Rubino: Book review

Clean Money by John Rubino 274 pages. Hoboken, New Jersey John Wiley & Sons. 2009. 1st Edition. The bouyant stock market environment of the past several years is gone, and the financial wreckage of 2008 is still sharp in our minds as a new year starts to unfold. Given the recent across-the-board-declines in global stock markets (and most asset classes) that have left many investors shell-shocked, you might wonder if there is any good reason to consider the merits of a hot new investment theme, such as clean energy. However, we shouldn't be too hasty to write off all future stock investments. After all, the market declines of 2008 may continue into 2009, but they may also leave interesting investment opportunities in their wake. Which brings us to the subject of this review. John Rubino, author and editor of GreenStockInvesting.com , recently released a new book on renewable energy and clean-tech investing entitled, Clean Money: Picking Winners in the Green Tech Boom . In Clean