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post pubblicato in Varie, il 5 maggio 2009

La soluzione alle angosce di Silvio c'è: cambiare la legge sul divorzio.

Tag inseriti dall'utente. Cliccando su uno dei tag, ti verranno proposti tutti i post del blog contenenti il tag. Berlusconi Veronica divorzio

permalink | inviato da Mises il 5/5/2009 alle 9:22 | Leggi i commenti e commenta questo postcommenti (0) | Versione per la stampa
Forse Marcel ha mentito...
post pubblicato in Varie, il 13 maggio 2005

permalink | inviato da il 13/5/2005 alle 14:38 | Leggi i commenti e commenta questo postcommenti (1) | Versione per la stampa
Turkey was here...
post pubblicato in Varie, il 4 maggio 2005

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One's-Self I Sing
post pubblicato in Varie, il 21 giugno 2004

ONE'S-SELF I sing, a simple separate person,
Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-Masse.

Of physiology from top to toe I sing,
Not physiognomy alone nor brain alone is worthy for the Muse, I say
the Form complete is worthier far,
The Female equally with the Male I sing.

Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power,
Cheerful, for freest action form'd under the laws divine,
The Modern Man I sing.

Walt Whitman

permalink | inviato da il 21/6/2004 alle 12:3 | Leggi i commenti e commenta questo postcommenti (0) | Versione per la stampa
Loro hanno Lomborg, noi abbiamo Pecoraro Scanio...
post pubblicato in Varie, il 15 giugno 2004

Bjorn Lomborg: Entertaining discredited ideas of a climatic catastrophe


AUSTRALIANS have two reasons to be disappointed by Hollywood blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow.

Sure, the special effects make for 125 minutes of excitement. As sudden climate change threatens to extinguish life on Earth, breathtaking catastrophes abound: a 30m tidal wave engulfs New York, Manhattan is buried in 30-storey snowdrifts and Los Angeles is hit by 400km/h tornadoes. The story-line is fun, too – a fearless paleoclimatologist played by Dennis Quaid straps on snowshoes to trek from Washington, DC, to New York to rescue his son, who is enjoying a teenage romance and burning the public library's books to stay warm.

The first disappointment will come from the fact that the world's sixth largest land area has been left on the cutting-room floor. Although promotional images show the iconic Sydney Opera House buried in ice, the closest this movie gets to the southern hemisphere is Mexico, which reluctantly accepts North American refugees fleeing from the new ice age.

The second let-down is more fundamental: none of the movie's thrilling developments could happen.

The premise is simple. The day after tomorrow, global warming melts the polar caps and sends vast quantities of fresh water into the world's salty oceans. This torrent chills the Gulf Stream – a warm ocean current in the North Atlantic – precipitating a global storm that creates the new ice age.

The way the film-makers tell the story, the world has had plenty of warning. The bad guy – the US vice-president – has arrogantly dismissed the Kyoto protocol and rejected all concern about climate change as fearmongering. The scriptwriters save him from death to subject him to a mea culpa public address at the movie's climax: "We thought that we could affect the Earth's delicate systems without suffering the consequences. We were wrong. I was wrong." This state of the nation address is broadcast live on the Weather Channel.

If The Day After Tomorrow were just another cheesy Hollywood movie, we could forgive it for erring from the facts. But its makers promise something else. "There's more truth than hype" is the phrase being used to propel worldwide audiences into theatres from today. German director Roland Emmerich claims he tried to provide viewers with a lot of scientific information. The movie's website provides links to news reports from February about "a secret report prepared by the Pentagon" that warned climate change would "lead to global catastrophe costing millions of lives".

What the movie's promoters don't reveal is that the Pentagon report was a hypothetical worst-case scenario – one that has been thoroughly debunked.

Respected magazine Science has looked at the Pentagon report and the pseudo-science backing The Day After Tomorrow. Its review concludes: "It is safe to say that global warming will not lead to the onset of a new ice age" and finds "it is highly unlikely that global warming will lead to a widespread collapse" of the Gulf Stream. In Nature, a researcher finds that halting this current would be impossible: "The only way to produce an ocean circulation without the Gulf Stream would be to turn off the wind system or stop the Earth's rotation, or both."

Although it's not going to kill us the day after tomorrow, global warming is certainly a reality. So what is wrong with drastically overplaying the need for action? As NASA research oceanographer William Patzert says: "The science is bad, but perhaps it's an opportunity to crank up the dialogue on our role in climate change." Where is the harm in that?

The problem is that if we overestimate the risk that climate change poses, then we will pay less attention to the other challenges facing humanity. That appears to be exactly the aim of the movie's creators. Emmerich, whose previous hits include Independence Day, says his "hidden dream is that this film will force politicians to act". He believes global warming is "the only problem big enough to force all the countries of the world to stop fighting and work together to save the planet". Some lobby groups that believe in the risk of sudden climate change have jumped on to the bandwagon, planning events around this movie's opening to ostensibly educate shell-shocked viewers.

If politicians were to snap to attention, what would be achieved? Implementing the Kyoto agreement on climate change would cost at least $150 billion each year, yet would merely postpone global warming for six years by 2100. The family in Bangladesh who will get flooded will have an extra six years to move.

Even if the movie's creators are right – and the scientists are wrong – and the Gulf Stream does collapse within a decade, then Kyoto would have made no difference.

For the cost of implementing Kyoto in just one year, we could permanently provide clean drinking water and sanitation to everyone on the planet. Yet it is unlikely that Emmerich will cast Brad Pitt creating sewerage systems in Kenya for his next glamorous movie. Nor is he likely to tell us the tale of governments investing in malarial vaccines or global conferences removing trade barriers.

Yet these are the stark options that policy-makers face every time they spend a dollar destined to ease human suffering.

In an ideal world, we would be able to achieve everything – we should halt global warming and eradicate corruption, end malnutrition and win the war against communicable diseases. Because we cannot do everything, we need sound reasoning and high-quality information to defeat the hysteria of Hollywood. Such common sense is not to be found in this film. Watch it for the entertainment value, but do not take the director's claims to heart. Above all, remember: there is more hope in truth than in hype.

Bjorn Lomborg is director of Copenhagen Consensus and Denmark's national Environmental Assessment Institute. He is the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and was recently named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people.


permalink | inviato da il 15/6/2004 alle 17:0 | Leggi i commenti e commenta questo postcommenti (0) | Versione per la stampa
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