Mark Morford has another nicely sarcastic entry this morning. It parallels the notions we had here when we first heard about Coke repackaging their beverages into smaller 'serving' size portions. We have thought the same thing about the drug industry which changes the shape, or color, or binding agent in their formulations and then files for a patent extension as though they had really created something new. Or some of the food processors who present us with a 'new' smaller package with grand hoopla while charging the same price. If we look closely those 7.5 oz cans of Coke probably cost more per ounce that the old ones did.
Grist has a more complete coverage of a story I saw on the morning news--a new poll says that Americans are much more skeptical about whether 'global warming' is real I don't trust polls for one of the reasons mentioned in the Grist article--the wording of the question can change the results dramatically. I wasn't terribly surprised on the general results. As the article mentioned, we in the midwest and northeast have had an unusually cool summer and, as I have noticed in my trips around the blogosphere, many people don't distinguish between weather and climate. I am in a strange camp as to the whole issue--there is plenty of evidence for climate change and there is plenty of evidence that a large part of the conditions leading to the change are the result of human activity. What I am skeptical about is whether 1) we can acquire the political will, globally, to act on a global scale and 2) we can do that in a time frame that will make any difference. Just take a look at the differences between the positions of the various national players at the Copenhagen conference. Does that give you any confidence that either of those conditions will be met?
Just in case you think I am overly pessimistic take a look at this Grist article. Developing countries, led by China and India, want access to large amounts of cash from developed countries and a large transfer of technology that is mostly privately owned by companies in the developed world. I don't know if anyone else watched ABC's 'Earth 2100' earlier this year but one of the scenarios presented was one in which the negotiators for various countries staked out exactly these positions and the negotiations failed because neither side felt they could give much on these positions.