I will watch the documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth" this afternoon. This is of course Al Gore's film on global warming. I honestly have not read too much about it but know that it got very good reviews and that the premise is that global warming is real, it is a threat, it is man-made, and that we (humankind) must do something about it.
I have some thoughts on global warming prior to viewing the documentary. It will be interesting (to me at least!) if and how they change after seeing the movie.
Thoughts on global warming:
1) Global warming may be a natural earth process that has little to do with human activities. The geological record indicates nearly constant (in geological terms) fluctuations in climates. Had the warming happened to happen a hundred years ago, it would not have even been measured by humans. I recently read part of "Collapse" by Jared Diamond and so the case of the Vikings in Greenland comes to mind. At that time (around the 11th century I think), Greenland was warmer than it is today and so habitable to the Vikings who built long lasting settlements there. A few hundred years later it got much colder in Greenland and the settlements were eventually abandoned.
2) If it is in fact related to human burning of carbon fuels, the market will eventually provide a correction. Once there is enough money to made from it, the market will drive innovation into alternatives and other cleaner energy technologies. It seems that most of the projections and the like I have seen seem to assume a constant state of technology. I am quite confident in mankinds ability to innovate a solution to this. If in fact, #1 above is true, it is still a good thing to clean up the air of course (especially as a resident of China).
I'll write after I see the movie to see if there are any major changes in my thinking.