Not everybody uses it, and this is a very important point. Even with just a billion people using it, a few decades back . . . and some of those billion using roll-on deodorant . . . the emission of chlorofluorocarbons still made a giant hole in Earth’s ozone layer.

And it was widening.

The global community was alarmed and took action and now three things are true:

  • More people than ever use deodorant (praise the Lord)
  • None of it emits chlorofluorocarbons (an alternative propellant was found – likewise for refrigerants)
  • The hole in the ozone layer gradually disappeared (but you should still use SPF 15 or higher this weekend)

Okay? Do you see my point?


My point is that if a little Right Guard can threaten our atmospheric equilibrium, isn’t it just really dumb to bet that the literally trillions of pounds of carbon dioxide we dump into the air each year will have no effect? Be honest: don’t you use more gasoline than deodorant?

I am amazed at all my Republican friends who read this page who seem to agree with the Administration that it’s no biggie.

David D.: ‘I won’t be seeing ‘the movie’ any time soon, especially since you’ve been pushing it so heavily, but the thing I find most interesting is that it was mostly made with Apple’s Keynote presentation software (as detailed here).’

Mike A.: ‘OK, so you can dismiss Lomborg’s arguments. How about picking on someone with a little more heft? Like the WSJ Opinion piece from Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospherics at MIT. Prof. Lindzen is no fan of Mr. Gore’s alarmism.’

☞ I already did.

To which Mike responds: ‘I, for one, am glad that President Bush is looking at all the scientific evidence, and waiting for a greater degree of agreement, before embarking on a costly crusade that may have no merit.’

Mike, like our President, is not going to see the movie. And perhaps Mike, like our President, believes the jury is still out on this Darwin stuff.

Yet the overwhelming majority of the scientists who follow this – like the overwhelming majority who thought cigarette smoking was linked to lung cancer and the overwhelming majority who think we are descended from apes – believe Al Gore is pointing out something we all need to own.

Indeed, if that overwhelming majority is right, yesterday’s 99-degree temperature in New York may – well, Mother Nature may be just getting warmed up. According to USA Today, the past six months were the warmest since we started keeping records in 1895.

The scientific case is based on records from ice cores going back 650,000 years. The natural cycles of carbon dioxide, followed by temperature, look like the teeth on the blade of a very long saw – except that suddenly after 650,000 years, in the last century, the carbon dioxide level is going through the roof (could those trillions of pounds of CO2 we emit have anything to do with that?) and the temperature level, if 650,000 years of history is any guide, seems likely to follow.

Want more? Watch Tom Brokaw’s 2-hour special on The Discovery Channel, which one of you writes in to say is ‘in some ways more impactful and alarming than the Gore presentation.’ It’s being run several times in the days ahead.

And don’t forget Who Killed The Electric Car?

If they made a movie about YOUR HOUSE, would you go see it? Well, they have.


Steve Benoit: ‘Peas saved my sore neck on a road trip this past Spring from Spokane to San Francisco. I froze a blue-ice-gel cold pack that got me to the Washington-Oregon border. From there, no one sold pre-frozen packs, and ice was too cold/messy. The peas were something I could buy at any grocery on the way, when I’d stop for gas or a meal. They conformed well, and stayed cold longer than the gel pack!’


Monday‘s column excerpted Paul Krugman on ‘Left Behind Economics.’ (The economy is growing smartly, the ultra-rich are doing very well, but median family income, adjusted for inflation, keeps falling.) I should have titled it: A RISING TIDE LIFTS ALL YACHTS. How did I not think of that?

Tomorrow: Real Estate


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