Why is it that what you are saying about global warming is so contradictory to everything else that most people read, see and hear in the media?
Well, there are several reasons. It is partly because they dont read the U.N. reports, which on many of these issues confirm what I am saying very clearly. And since the sensational always goes over better than the merely sensible, stories in the media play into the stereotype of global warming. There is much more sizzle in saying the world is going to come to an end than there is to saying, it is a bit of a problem and we need to fix it smartly, but that is it. The scary stories also appeal to the visceral hatred of materialism harbored by many, even when they are materialist in their own habits.
It is much easier to find a real person who died in the heat wave in 2003 in Paris, and tell that story. It is much harder to tell a compelling story about a person who didnt die from cold in Paris in the winter of 2003. So it is often much easier to show all the problems from global warming, and very much harder to show all the distributed benefits from pursuing more sensible policies.
Finally, politicians obviously garner a lot of support by saying we want to save the planet much more than they garner support if they talk about making smart, simple policies that might also be politically difficult to get through. Essentially, they get to promise they are going to cut emissions in 2020 or 2050 — when they are not going to be politicians any longer.
Al Gore talks about global warming as our generational mission. He asks how we want to be remembered by our kids and grandkids. Well, why would anyone want to be remembered for having spent $180 billion to do virtually no good a hundred years from now, when less than half that sum could fix virtually all major problems today? With better information, most of us would have no difficulty choosing how we want to be remembered.