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Live climate broadcast is a reality show worth watching | Science Matters | David Suzuki Foundation

By David Suzuki with contributions from Ian Hanington, Communications and Editorial Specialist

Most reality TV has little to do with the real world. But here's an online show that will reflect what is happening in and to our world: 24 Hours of Reality will feature 24 presenters in 24 time zones talking about the climate crisis in 13 languages. It starts September 14 at 7 p.m. local time in Mexico City and wraps with a live multimedia presentation from New York City by Nobel laureate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore at 7 p.m. on September 15.

Climate change is reality. It's happening in front of our eyes, and massive volumes of research from climate scientists around the world confirm that it will get worse if we fail to do something about it. The facts are no longer in dispute. Greenhouse gas emissions, mainly caused by humans burning fossil fuels, are warming the planet. And the consequences aren't pretty: health problems caused by pollution; increasing extreme weather events leading to floods, droughts, and storms; shrinking glaciers and related impacts on water supplies and agriculture; insect infestations; conflict over dwindling resources; threats to the survival of plants and animals... the list goes on.

Some people don't recognize how serious the problem is, delaying efforts to resolve it. And the longer we put off finding and implementing solutions, the harder and costlier it will be to overcome the impacts. Former World Bank chief economist Lord Stern estimated that keeping heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions below levels that would drive climate change to catastrophic levels could cost up to two per cent of global GDP, but failure to act could be economically disastrous.

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People accuse me and other environmentalists and scientists of being "alarmist". But the situation is alarming, and it's even more alarming that some people ignore it, perhaps believing it will go away — or that the crisis doesn't even exist. In part, this disconnect with reality is because industrial interests spend billions of dollars sowing doubt and confusion, continually promoting discredited theories — just as they've done with issues including the dangers of tobacco smoke and the harmful effects of chlorofluorocarbons on the ozone layer. They tell us climate change doesn't exist, or that it's caused by volcanoes or the sun, or that it's part of a natural cycle — even that God will regulate the climate to the advantage of humans.

But as Al Gore points out, "The deniers may have millions of dollars to spend, but we have a powerful advantage. We have reality." That reality includes mountains of published, peer-reviewed research by close to 98 per cent of the world's climate scientists, as well as real-time observation.

The David Suzuki Foundation's executive director in Quebec, Karel Mayrand, will deliver the 24 Hours of Reality French presentation at 7 p.m. French Polynesia time (midnight Montreal time). He'll be joined by two more Canadians, Peter Schiefke in Victoria at 7 p.m. Pacific Time on September 14, and Carl Duivenvoorden from New Brunswick at 7 p.m. Greenland time (6 p.m. New Brunswick) on September 15. They and others will show there is no debate among scientists and knowledgeable people over the existence of human-caused climate change. If there is to be debate it should focus on what to do about it. Doing nothing, as some of the industry shills argue we should, is not a viable option.

Solutions exist, although the cost and severity of the challenge is greater now than in 1988 when climatologists first called for emissions reductions. As more people become aware of the problem and its causes, and learn about the motives of the deniers, it becomes more likely that we'll find ways to reduce the consequences and put humanity on a path to healthier lives on a healthier planet.

We can't argue with people who deny reality. All we can do is to make sure the voice of reason speaks louder and that those of us who care about humanity join together to find better ways to live on our Earth. Please visit ClimateRealityProject.org to find out how you can tune in to 24 Hours of Reality. Choose the presentation and time zone you want, or take part in the entire event. You can even set up viewing parties with family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues. And spread the word. We need to speak up for the future of humanity.

The time to act is now.

September 7, 2011
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/science-matters/2011/09/live-climate-broadcast-is-a-reality-show-worth-watching/

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5 Comments

Sep 10, 2011
7:02 AM

James Carruthers: life does not move forward perfectly — that's not how we evolved, it's too inefficient.

Instead of attacking each other, why don't we all come together and respond to the subject matter? We'll never get anywhere like that. The message of climate change is not any less untrue by the vehicle this message is using to come to us.

Sep 10, 2011
6:56 AM

Awesome, my family will tune in.

Sep 09, 2011
7:14 AM

Re Mr Carruthers comment: You must really be conflicted then with pharmaceutical companies that profit from cancer-curing drugs, or multi-millionaire brain surgeons and …and… and… well, the list could go on for days…

I would suggest that had it not been for the courage and conviction of Mr Gore while in the Senate, the VP office, and even more so after being robbed of the Presidency by slick Grand Oil Party operatives, that we wouldn't even be having this discussion about global climate change.

A little credit where great credit is due, please.

Great thanks to all at the David Suzuki Foundation. Just when I think I couldn't adore you guys anymore, the "Force of Nature" DVD I ordered arrived in the US and I sat weeping over many of the heart-touching stories all over again. Thank you for a wild life well lived and filled with wild service!

Sep 08, 2011
1:04 PM

Thanks for your letter, James. Your comment that “the causes of climate change and global warming are still hotly debated among scientists” is not entirely accurate. The vast majority of the world’s climate scientists and oceanographers, and the world’s legitimate scientific institutions, agree that the Earth is warming, mainly because of greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels.

Among the very few dissenting scientists are some who receive funding from the oil industry and who have argued in the past on behalf of the tobacco industry that links between smoking and health were not proven.

A number of the dissenters have also signed on to “An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming”, which states: ” We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception.” That may be a sincere opinion, but it is not very scientific.

For more information about the true consensus among scientists, please see this link:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-intermediate.htm

Sep 08, 2011
10:31 AM

I am concerned about the condition and future of our environment, and I actively support environmental causes.

However, I am also concerned a proponent of one side or the other of a scientific debate stands to profit from its arguments.

IMHO, presentations like this, which are produced by someone who stands to profit so much from the sale of carbon credits, as Al Gore does, would be so much more credible without his involvement/association. He lives exorbitantly and then buys carbon credits from his own company to justify it.

Sure, perhaps it's smart to invest in "green energy" initiatives — good for Al for putting his money where his mouth is. But let's face it: Al Gore has a (strongly) vested interest.

As long as the causes of climate change and global warming are still hotly debated among scientists, then an authentic proponent of either side can't be seen to stand to profit. Until the science examining the causes is irrefutable, then an unadulterated positioning of scientific findings can only be made by parties without a vested interest.

This program, 24 Hours of Reality, would have so much more credibility if Al Gore was not involved. I appreciate the power of celebrity endorsement, but I think you've chosen the wrong partner.

Allow me to stress this: I really admire the Suzuki Foundation, its work and all that it stands for. Except for this one thing: Your partnerships with Al Gore and his related companies.

Dear Suzuki Foundation, please don't take sides with vested interests. It corrodes your authenticity.

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