Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Are we killing our planet?

The aftermath of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. The trees are pushed over with a bulldozer and left to dry before being burned.

We're launching a really cool and ambitious undertaking I want to tell you about....it starts tonight with Anderson in the Amazon rainforest. But I want to begin with what I think is an interesting disconnect.

We've all seen the disturbing stories of polar bears drowning because the ice floes they depend on are melting. We've also heard about the very recent emergence of a new island on the tip of Greenland. It had been thought to be a contiguous part of Greenland, but the receding (melting) ice sheet over Greenland has revealed it to be an island.

All of this seems to be heading toward the final round in the global warming debate: Are warmer conditions in the Arctic and elsewhere due to a cyclical climate pattern or are we (the "we" all over the planet) actually causing it?

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently pointed a big finger at "us" when it issued a comprehensive assessment on global warming and rising sea levels. Here's the bottom-line: The report concludes it is 90 percent certain that human activities are the primary cause of global warming.

So where is the disconnect? It largely seems to be political. While 57 percent of the general public believes global warming is a proven fact, according to a recent poll, roughly 61 percent of Republicans believe global warming has not been proven.

And that brings us back to this new undertaking for our show. Over the weekend, Anderson and team flew from New York to Miami to the city of Belem in Brazil and then to Araguaina in the Amazon rainforest, where we expect Anderson to broadcast from tonight.

This marks the first of a series of reports called "Planet in Peril" that we plan to produce throughout the year from all over the world. Anderson may well turn up in Madagasgar, China, the Arctic, Cambodia, the Florida Everglades, and perhaps some other locations as well. Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin is joining Anderson on most of these trips.

Our plan is to go and examine in person many of the places and issues Al Gore mentioned in his film, "An Inconvenient Truth." If his film is a classroom lecture, this is the field trip.

We don't think you can understand one piece of this environmental puzzle without also looking at the surrounding pieces. They are all interlocking: global warming, deforestation, population growth and species loss. This project promises to generate a mass of information on these subjects that we'll try to sort out as we go along.

As we follow these issues around the world in the next few months, we very much welcome your thoughts.
Posted By David Doss, "360" Executive Producer: 2:23 PM ET
  83 Comments
While this is a noble intent and certainly will be an interesting broadcast it won't help as the problem in my opinion isn't the lack of knowledge but the fear of the things which have to be done.

I think that most people who still deny that humans are the cause of global warming do this not because they actually believe that, but because if they acknowledge it they have to do something against it. And that means a big reduction of living standards on a small scale and a weaker economy and unemployment on a large scale including falling behind countries who disregard the environment like China.

So the choice is either a leading a worse live without any guaranties that this will change anything or denial which at the first glance has no real disadvantage as the destruction it causes happens to slow.
Posted By Anonymous Christian Maier, Aalen, Germany : 3:58 PM ET
Good topic, but don't forget the US Plains and ground water, the Colorado, the irrigation of the US desert and it's impact, Mexico... US coastal erosion. There's lots of gee that's happening right here, as well as the far reaches of the planet.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista,ar : 4:09 PM ET
Thanks for bringing attention to this important issue.

(Thank you for not spending extensive time on Anna Nicole or the astronaut love triangle.)

I'll be watching.

Linda
Boulder, Colorado
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Boulder, Colorado : 4:33 PM ET
"Disconnect" is an apt comment on what the average American understands, too bad it is so hard for the masses to grasp.

We, as American's, need to step up to the plate and show the world we are serious about cleaning up our act. How about adding a story on Clean Technology options? Don't just show us how we and others are messing with the environment, show us how some are making things better.
Posted By Anonymous Tim S, Chicago, IL : 4:34 PM ET
That sounds very exciting. I can't wait to see Anderson in the rainforest! I hope he can show the viewers how beautiful the rainforest is and how important it is to preserve it.
Posted By Anonymous Jess, Paris, KY : 4:34 PM ET
Cool. What an extraordinary idea. An issue, no matter how important, is easily ignored if not shouted from many roof tops. We need to keep shouting otherwise the rest of the political "noise" and misdirection will drown out the impending implosion.
Posted By Anonymous Sharo, Elma, New York 14059 : 4:34 PM ET
Dear David,

I can't thank you and Anderson enough! As an avid supporter of environmental and animal issues, and a believer in global warming, I am more than excited about your series "Planet in Peril!"

I was glad to hear the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change conclude that global warming is "very likely man-made;" however, I am disheartened that there are still many who do not believe it has been proven. Although George Bush did recognize "global climate change" in his State of the Union speech, he still rejects mandatory limits on "greenhouse" gases. It is obvious that we still have a long way to go.

Al Gore is right when he calls global warming "a moral issue." In my opinion, those who deny the existence of global warming seem to have an economic incentive to do so. They are selfish individuals who refuse to consider anything beyond their own lifetimes. Since you will be covering many of the places and issues mentioned in "An Inconvenient Truth," I hope Anderson will interview Mr. Gore sometime during the series. I am sure he will have much to add that has developed since the release of the film.

Environmental issues always remind me of a quote I learned in a class on American art:

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature; he finds it attached to the rest of the world."- John Muir

If everyone would keep this sentiment in mind maybe we would make better choices. Thanks again!

Take care,
Jo Ann
Posted By Anonymous Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : 4:40 PM ET
Not to show off, but according to a recent report in the Jerusalem Post, Israel is the only country in the world has more trees at the end of the 20th century than it was at the beginning of the century. Really proud - we do encourage everyone to plant A tree once a year. It works. Even the forest up north destroyed by the 2006 summer war, we are now looking to taking the opportunity to "re-green" the whole area,of course, and even to improve the previous unsuitable structure. I think determination is one key to "cool the globe down."
When Anderson goes to China, possible to take a look at the Herbal medicine and business which are so much connected to the mountains and forests?

Really exciting and meaningful project - thanks, and good luck.
Posted By Anonymous Nitza, Jerusalem, Israel : 4:41 PM ET
This is awesome! I can't wait for the broadcast tonight. Re the connection between the destruction of the So American rain forests and global warming, friends long ago encouraged my support for Solar Box Cookers, an organization that encourages the use of solar box cookers esp in countries with endangered rain forests. The idea is to use the sun to cook rather than further depleting the forests for fire wood. It is a women's issue as well since women in the affected areas are killing themselves walking several miles each way to gather enough wood to keep the cooking fires going. I confess that while I provided financial support to Solar Cookers, taking all day to cook dinner was not something I was willing to commit to so I did not install a solar box cooker in our backyard. Way to go 360. I wondered where Anderson was last night and now I know. (And I hope Al Gore wins an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth. I guess it would put him in the Guiness book of Records--the only former VP to win an Oscar. Am I right?)
Posted By Anonymous Charlotte D, Stockton Ca : 4:43 PM ET
The earth has survived crippling climatic catastrophes in the past. Giant tsunamis, asteroid impacts, volcanic eruptions that prompted ice ages and so on.

The Earth is not in peril.

Humanity however, is not so robust... and requires the Earth's ecosystem and stable climate to maintain our society.

We as a species, are in peril
Posted By Anonymous Rick. Eugene, Oregon : 4:43 PM ET
Excellent initative! It is good to see CNN address environmental issues, and in particular climate change, in a meaningful way. It seems very likely that climate change will be one of the most important challenges faced by humankind in the coming years, and its effects are already felt in many places. It would be great if you could do a report on the effects of sea-level rise on Pacific island countries, many of which are very low-lying and face an uncertain future. The local communities on these islands are essentially witnessing the potential disappearance of their ancestral lands, which is a heartbreaking situation to be in. I think that this is a story that deserves to be told.
Posted By Anonymous Kristiina, Vancouver, British Columbia : 4:50 PM ET
Are we killing our planet? Of course we are. And we die right along with it. Are we all blind, deaf and brain dead? One need not be educated in such matters, this is hard to ignore.

Look and tell me what you see. Wildlife of every form, coming to our cities, our homes, living under our decks. Species dropping off the earth at an incredible rate. Could you go for weeks without food, knowing full well your life is in danger if you try to find food, for yourself, and your children.

This doesn't happen as long as our waters, forests, air and land are pure. Make the tiniest change in anything and it will never again be the same.

How sad! I know Anderson has a special love for his Brazil, I feel the same about my mountains. How long will it be before we have neither? How can we just sit by and watch it die?

If we gave our children our greatest treasures and they treated them the way we have treated ours, would we not refuse to give them another? Shame on mankind.

Maggie
Posted By Anonymous Maggie, Grain Valley, MO : 4:51 PM ET
I think this is a tremendously important issue. And I hope Anderson Cooper will reach to people who are still in denial about the catastrophic effects on what we do. However, what I really want to see in every report is what we can do about it, today, now. The seemingly inconsequential actions multiplied by a million can do wonders.
Posted By Anonymous Anna, Whitestone, New York : 4:52 PM ET
THANK YOU!!!!!! This topic is crucial. It's about time global evidence is exposed to all on television. Is there a way to entice Republicans to watch this segment? Too bad snippets won't appear on Entertainment Tonight prior to your broadcast. Joann
Posted By Anonymous Joann, Kuna ID : 4:58 PM ET
polluting factories, gargantuan SUV's, massive glutenous homes, overwieght human methane dispensors, me me me, go go go, get out of my way butt-hole. fourty lights on in a 5000 square foot 75 degree house with no-one home! recycle..why? we're better than those worries. toss it out the car window, no-one's looking! faster! faster! buy that cheap chinese crap...who cares about American jobs! It's cheaper...me...me. their pullution doesn't affect us!! no turning back, the human self-eradication program is too far advanced. go out for an all you can eat buffet and don't worry. its too late!
Posted By Anonymous Frank Marion, Cedar Rapids IA : 5:00 PM ET
No, we are not killing the planet. We are are killing ourselves. This planet will correct what we have done to it, and some living this will survive and new ones will arise. even if it takes a 1000 years. The planet will survive. It will be too late for us, but the planet will survive.
Posted By Anonymous Don, Rio Rancho NM : 5:02 PM ET
"It largely seems to be political."

It would be a difficult task indeed to locate any group of people that were adequately trained in all of the components that affect our planet...very difficult. That any one body or person or political affiliation would profess to understand the many sciences and the complete outcome of their interaction with one another would be folly.

Just looking at tides, ocean currents, solar radiation reflectivity, atmospheric currents, vulcanology, subsidence, and the list goes on until you have accounted for the respiration rate of the most minute critter on the bottom of the deepest ocean, there is no way to judge their cumulative impact on each other, muchless their impact on the rising waters of Venice. We can hypothecate and prognosticate but in reality we really are not at that level of understanding of our environment. The one thing that all can agree on is that our environment is dynamic and not static. Things are always in a state of change, some times the changes are quick and sometimes they are very slow but there is always change. Just because you have a condo on the coast of Florida doesn't mean that things aren't going to change.

Indeed everything is connected to everything else and no one thing is responsible for everything. It is the cumulative effect of the activities of all inhabitants and the geophysical interactions to those effects that account for what we may witness...incredibly complex science. I seriously doubt that Mr. Gore has any scientific credentials that would give confidence in his assessments nor would any body of experts given the lack of even the simplest concensus on the topic.

The key understanding here is that mother earth doesn't care. Almost all life was destroyed when the dinosaurs passed yet we have beautiful rain forests, crystal clear waters teeming with wildlife...no indication that at one time all we see was wasteland. The planet will do just fine with or without man and his accomplishments, mother earth doesn't care. The only one that should care about this is ourselves. The butts we save by limiting pollution will be our own!

Don't buy that silly science, just use a little common sense. If you degrade your little corner of the world too much, you will cease to be a factor. If you fill the atmosphere with particles, radiation, noxous elements then things will get bad (a duh moment?). If we allow our water to be polluted and toxic, things will certainly not be good for humans or animals that can't adapt.

Don't use silly science or political agendas when considering our fate, just use a little common sense. But you know, in the end, it's all about the money. Why else would we tolerate the destruction of our environment by businesses?
Posted By Anonymous Mike from Houston : 5:06 PM ET
I don't know if we are the primary cause of global warming or not, or if global warming is even more than an normal cycle of warming and cooling. I am sure that nobody really has a definitive answer. It seems though that CNN has definitely determined that global warming exists. The field trip that Anderson Cooper is taking us on is only aimed at supporting a presumptive position, not for investigating a very complex issue.
Posted By Anonymous John, Dublin Ohio : 5:08 PM ET
Global warming is poppycock. It's a cyclical climate pattern that will cycle back the other way again soon. Temperatures rarely swing to extremes of heat or cold nor do we record highest or lowest temps consistently, only once in a while. Even if it does start to cycle off on a tangent, in a hundred years, I'm not going to care unless medicine advances faster than the environment does.

Of course, the media will blow this as well as other insignificant stories out of control just to get the ratings numbers but at least this is a little more palatable than more dead celebrities.
Posted By Anonymous Em, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 5:10 PM ET
What a great idea. I'm so glad that 360 and CNN work hard at not just cover things like Anna Nicole but also work to bring us important stories that no other network is trying to do. The reports from Africa and now this just show what a "real" journalist Anderson Cooper is. I'm looking forward to the show tonight.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa Tampa, Fl : 5:13 PM ET
I am looking forward to your global exploration of and education about the major issues threatening the planet. I trust that you will place front and center the ecological systems science behind these planetary changes. And you also show the interconnectedness among human societies all over the planet, whether in Iowa, Groznyy, Jinan, Mumbai or Belem.

Of course human activities - biological, economical and social/political are all part of the same global ecosystem. So high-volume production of carbon dioxide and other particulates, deforestation, poverty driven human land use practices, lack of potable water for large population segments, explosive population growth (remember the Tragedy of the Commons?) wars and weapons of war, and political denial of resulting planetary changes are all interrelated and each play a significant role in destructive planetary changes.

Are you aware that satelite imagery reveals riverbeds below the earth's surface in the Sahel Region of Africa that indicate an earlier existence of water? I hope you can do a whole show on this ecologically devastated region - might be eye opening.

Finally, hope you cover what we can do at the individual, community, national and global levels to reverse the trend if it's not too late.

Do diligent field work, be safe and enjoy the journey.
Posted By Anonymous Doro, Portland, Oregon : 5:13 PM ET
Cyclical climate pattern or are we killing the planet? I believe it�s a classic example of �cause and effect�. Of course we are polluting our environment, and politicians are polluting our minds with ignorance. What we fail to see, is the planet is a living entity. It will do what it needs to do to remain in balance. I think we started the change, and the planet will take action to this change. Perhaps it can be reversed, and even improved upon. But the real change has to start in the minds of these politicians, before we can move forward. The issue must be addressed, and people need to know. So we can work together, and make a difference.
Posted By Anonymous Mike, New York : 5:16 PM ET
All one has to do is look at the drastic (and tragic) weather changes in the past 20 years and one could see what we are doing to this planet. When Bill Clinton was in office big steps were being taken and then Mr. Big Oil, aka George W. Bush took office and stopped all progress. He cut funding for all research into global warming and methods to improve the environment. Pretty hard to convince an oil man who believes an illusive figure in the sky determines our existance. Even if you believe that, the bible says, God helps those who help themselves.
Posted By Anonymous Katherine Green, Woodland Hills CA : 5:18 PM ET
What a good idea -- so much more worth our time (& yours) than celebrity scandals. I know you'll do the subject justice & I'm really looking forward to it -- thanks very much.
Posted By Anonymous Mac -- San Jose, Calif : 5:21 PM ET
As much as I applaud your efforts I believe your series may be mis-named. I do not believe that "we" will survive long enough to actually destroy this planet. The planet is not in peril, "we" are! We're destroying all of the systems that make this planet habitable for humans. I think other life on the planet will survive and in a very, very long time perhaps become habitable for humans again. But we'll be long gone.
Posted By Anonymous Cheryl, Huntsville, Alabama : 5:22 PM ET
Anderson/360 team

Thank you for once again covering a story that means so much to so many people. This is such an important story that needs to be told and I can't wait to hear all the stories from this series and see all the places that Anderson and the rest of the team will go.
After watching Al Gore's documentary "An Inconvient Truth" this is a story that not only effect us now but the future generations to come. So thank you all again
Posted By Anonymous Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada : 5:26 PM ET
Anderson in the ARTIC?? That I've gotta see!
Posted By Anonymous Cheryl, Johnston RI : 5:27 PM ET
The "planet" will be fine. We need to stop talking about the planet and start taking responsibility for regarding the earth as a mere money machine. It is a living, breathing entity that will sustain us only to the extent which we respect and nuture it.

How can we as a species possibly survive when the very system that maintains us is under constant assault on more fronts than can imagined? Our collective behaviour is tantamount to mass suicide.

Only when the greed associated with the dollar is eradicated will we be in a position of true power. Call me a pessimist, but my bets are on the planet pushing the ejection button on mankind. Time for a more intelligent species.
Posted By Anonymous Robert Ciccolini Annandale, NJ. : 5:29 PM ET
I've been all around the world, and I honestly think that if you want to stop global warming, it isn't neccessarily the US and countries that are as well of as ours, although you still need to continue educatating world powers, it is the 3rd world countries that need education. You think places like LA and New York are bad? What about Hong Kong, Thailand (not neccesarily with vehicles, but they dump anything and everything into the water there).

Hopefully, we can do something to save our planet and provide a beautiful place for my children and on down the line for many many many more years to come.
Posted By Anonymous William Scheff, Everett, Wa : 5:30 PM ET
Global warming exists, but it is not going to destroy the planet, the media is.
Posted By Anonymous R Johnson, Detroit, MI : 5:37 PM ET
Great idea, this series. I really hope it makes people realize the situation, especially those politicians who continue to choose to ignore it.

I can't help but think of those movies about aliens invading our planet for its resources after they had squandered their own. Now, here we are looking at a dire situation on Earth and we've got our eyes on Mars!
Posted By Anonymous Al, Manhasset, NY : 5:38 PM ET
I think your undertaking is too ambitious to be useful and will be too easy to dismiss as leftist rhetoric.

I think the question unanswered by the UN report is, "So what?" If global warming is the result of human activities and will result in average temperatures some number of degrees warmer and sea levels some number of inches higher over the course of some number of years, I think the question is, why does it matter to me? Why is it a problem if temperatures are warmer or sea levels are higher? Why is it a problem if we don't have ice caps at the poles? Because polar bears will drown? Because storms will be stronger?

American consumers won't change their lifestyles until they have to, either because they're required by law or because there's nothing left to consume.

An Inconvenient Truth did a good job of suggesting some of the possible impacts of global warming, but coming from Al Gore, it was easy to dismiss as pandering to the environmentalists or politicking.

It would be more useful if you were to focus on the probable impacts of global warming to Americans, simply critiquing and reinforcing, if appropriate, the scenarios raised by Mr. Gore. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think the only thing most Americans will find impressive about your flying all over the planet is your travel budget.
Posted By Anonymous Dale, Woodstock, GA : 5:42 PM ET
Hi David,
Jared Diamond recently wrote in his great book, "Collapse",..."most
"knowledgeable scientists" now agree that the atmosphere really has been undergoing an unusually rapid rise in temperature, and human activities are the or a major cause". He also states in the book that Bush believes we need more research. Bush's focus on allowing big business to flourish at the expense of our planet is an outrage to me.
If we wait for this administration to act our planet will be doomed. Thanks to CNN for covering this very important issue.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Stage Brooklyn, MI : 5:48 PM ET
"Are we killing our planet?"

Yes. Next question, please?
Posted By Anonymous P J, Chatsworth, CA : 5:52 PM ET
Too many people, pure and simple. However, nature and/or man has always had a way of taking care of this in the past. Unfortunately and tragically, life has become cheap. And yes, too many people are killing the planet.
Posted By Anonymous M Frost, Atlanta, GA : 5:53 PM ET
It is amazing how evident weather changes, recurrent environmental disasters and species loss is and yet people are willing to overlook it in favor of their political convictions. I spent 6 years in Banaglore, India where I watched the local weather change drastically over the period I was there but still people claim ignorance.
Posted By Anonymous Nikhil Prakash, Newport, New Jersey : 5:59 PM ET
For centuries, until 1900, the world population was under 2 billion. I would love to see Anderson address the underlying issues of enviornmental destruction - too many people. How can the earth support a projected 10 billion humans by 2050? We may be able to find a substitute for oil based products, but what about drinking water?
Posted By Anonymous Karen, Los Altos, CA : 6:03 PM ET
Ignorance is the biggest threat to this planet. Sadly, I work with people who say, "I don't pay attention to that stuff. It doesn't affect me." and want to run out and buy the latest Hummer. Can they afford the gas to put in it (let alone the cost of destroying the planet)? I doubt it. But the bottom line is that people want to impress others with what they have, and the uber rich want to keep that fat cash flowing into their pockets. It doesn't matter if you have to destroy an entire species of animals/plants/insects/vegetation to keep that money coming, as long as it keeps coming. Cut down enough trees, and we'll all be gasping for breath.

Some people really do believe they can buy their way out of death. I would love to be there when they finally find out they can't.
Posted By Anonymous Barbara, Columbia MD : 6:04 PM ET
David/Anderson

This is a valuable undertaking, who better to pair up with Anderson than " Animal Planet's" Jeff Corwin, regardless of political persuasion, the global manifest of adverse effect on our enviorment and wildlife is undeniable,.. kept wondering where Anderson was off to? he may be hanging out with a few lemer's" hope we get to see them.

Maritza,
Posted By Anonymous Maritza Munoz San Jose Ca : 6:05 PM ET
Oh, please. The planet was cooling and warming long before humans showed up and it will do the same long after we've moved to Mars. This "global warming" hysteria is soooo stupid. Go talk to India and China first.
Posted By Anonymous Steve M., Hollywood, CA : 6:07 PM ET
Hi David,

Seriously...GOD BLESS you guys!

It is about time that we all start to take these issues seriously and I always look to y'all at AC360 to get to the bottom of critical issues that no one else wants to touch. Hugely important undertaking CNN...hats off to you.

Words cannot express how thrilled and excited I am about this series! You are totally following my heart with this one. I will be watching with pleasure. Safe travels to Anderson and crew. You guys are amazing!

PS. Wish I could come along! If you need an extra pair of hands, holler!
Posted By Anonymous Pati McMillan, Camp Hill, PA : 6:07 PM ET
Anyone who doesn't believe in global warming surely has their head buried deeply within their own ass-or maybe in that of our beloved yet intellectually challenged president ( and his whack political party). I've read that the Earth has actually become a degree warmer over these past few decades. That's pretty terrifying to me. Antarctica is slowly thawing out. And it's hard to deny that we've progressively had warmer winters, with the exception of a few weeks of torrid snow compliments of El Nino or La Nina-whatever the case may be. We are killing this planet in so many ways. The last time I voted for President was to vote for Al Gore. After he "lost" that election (insert snide comment here), I decided it would take someone very special to encourage me to vote again. I believe him and I'm so grateful that he has contributed so much to this cause. And I have a lot of faith in CNN and Anderson Cooper to continue to force people to think about the unthinkable.
Posted By Anonymous Debbie Darby, Denham Springs, LA : 6:09 PM ET
If we are to do anything except talk about this subect, we must have worldwide acceptance and compliance with whatever remedy is determined. The U.S. alone can not bear the brunt of implementing the remedy once it is determined. It must be be shared equally by every country on earth.
Posted By Anonymous John, Powder Springs, Ga. : 6:10 PM ET
Anderson and David,

This is really wonderful. I'd have thought it would have taken place a long time ago, especially since that film came out a while ago. Was this is the works for a while??? It sounds pretty awesome. I'd love to report this way.

I look forward to watching tonight, as always, and getting a new perspective on this issue, which is really a thousand issues under one umbrella. The arguments that get raised about global warming being imaginary confuse me and seem so counter intuitive. We cut the trees, kill the amimals by stealing their habitat, pump endless amounts of poisons into the environment, cause new diseases and disorders, yet according to some we haven't made a negative impact? I don't think so.

I can't wait to see what you all find around this crazy world of ours. Good luck and have fun!
Posted By Anonymous Sarah Anne, Toronto, Ontario : 6:12 PM ET
I am very glad to see that this issue is not heavily discussed in the mainstream media on a daily basis (thanks Mr. Gore). I think the challenge is to let people know the things they can do to help solve the global warming issues - things like changing to energy efficient lightbulbs, very fuel efficient cars, living in walkable neighborhoods where you don't need to drive everywhere, and eating more local, organic foods. We can only solve the climate change problems if people are willing to change their individual habits. Especially in America, where we comprise something like 5% of the world's population, but account for 27% or so of the world's carbon dioxide emissions.
Posted By Anonymous Eric Fredericks, Sacramento, CA : 6:19 PM ET
Wow, sounds fascinating! I can't wait to watch. I just have one question, where do I sign up for the AC360 travel expedition?
Posted By Anonymous Kelly, Toronto, Ontario : 6:25 PM ET
Kudos, Andy!

This is a great idea. While in Brazil, ask about "terra preta". Terra Preta is a special soil found in the Amazon that has a special ability to sequester surplus carbon. There has been substantial research done on it by scientists in Brazil and elsewhere.

Most of it originated in pre-Columbian times when native Brazilians practiced a special type of intensivist agriculture. Cultivation of Terra Preta may help us substantially cut our atmospheric carbon at minimum cost and with minimum expense.
Posted By Anonymous rob NY NY : 7:32 PM ET
Anderson,

I am so impressed with the fact that you and the 360 team are taking up this issue. I am a grad student and I just read two different books on enviormental history. The first is on the enviormental history of the early-modern period called The Unending Frontier by John Richards, and a book on the enviormental history of the 20th century called Something New under the Sun by J.R. Mcneill. By reading these too books, I can see how we have really devasted the enviormental in the last few hundred years with things such as deforestation. I highly recommend these books. Thank you for doing a story on this. Maybe people will finally realize that they need to start making changes, and not just talk the talk, but walk the walk.
Posted By Anonymous Alma Irvine, Ca. : 7:35 PM ET
I find it humorous that your idea of helping the environment is to fly around the world, burning tons of fossil fuels. It would appear that the true goal here is to do nothing more than fuel the propoganda aimed at influencing an environmental agenda that is based on not only incorrect data, but a faulty model. It has been proven conclusively that Mann's "hockeystick" graph predicting massive warming in the 21st century (first seen in Nature Magazine) is based on a data set that eliminated the now proven Medieval Warm Period, and that the model he developed to estimate the warming pattern would develop the same shaped graph no matter what data was put into it. This is the same model that the UN council used in their 2001 report, and never once made a correction to the report to state that the graph and model were erroneous.
Why not investigate the science behind the theory, and bring to light that we have taken a very narrow approach to the actual science when discussing global warming. It appears to be more of a convenient truth, rather than a factual, scientific quest to determine if CO2 is increasing the earths surface temperature to a catastrophic degree. There are many forcing factors that may be more of an influence, solar irradiance is one. Try reading an article by Christopher Monckton in the London Telegraph (5/06). It quickly demonstrates how liberal some "scientists" are being with data to move forward this agenda and free up research dollars.
Good luck with your show. I hope you are flying in a non-carbon dioxide emitting aircraft, or we are going to be that much closer to the apocolypse.
Posted By Anonymous Thomas - Providence, RI : 8:00 PM ET
How I wish, we have a magic wand to swipe away the haze, the flooding, the cold storm, re-attach the fallen ice sheets/bergs, reforest the rainforest, bring back the wild life etc..
With the same magic wand, I would also swipe away the greedy profits from globalisation, the investment bankers, the hedge and private equity funds that are responsible for pushing for 30% ROIs Y-O-Y, undo the mega mergers, the unreal valuations, the excesses of corrupt financial markets, the unrelentless building of capacities and developments that consumed so much more energy.

I am not sure if someone would also have a bigger magic wand that would create more profits, from this paradigm shift to "Eco-friendly" regime, that is at its nascent; that would spell disaster as it wil result in a lot more circumventions through sweet deal policies or outright expliotation of the weaken structure of check and balance.
Posted By Anonymous Kenneth Yeung, Singapore : 8:02 PM ET
Is our Earth in peril? Many scientists believe that each day, Earth becomes more like planet Mars, and oxygen levels are in decline on Earth.

Earth is a living, ecosystem-dependent planet and is alive because of the natural cycles, energy, biological diversity and life-support systems of Earths ecosystems, i.e., the physical body of Earth. Earth is dying because mankind has been chopping, disturbing, paving, thinning, deforesting and slathering Earth with concrete, dead wood, asphalt and introducing, transporting, unnatural, non-native animals and plants from alien ecosystems around the world. Civilization is one monsterous killing machine.

Science has a label for it and not all scientists carry this vital label: Ecological literacy or the understanding and acknowledgement of the ecology of Earth.

Here is the answer to the enigma of global warming: How much oxygen can a parking lot pump into the atmosphere and how much water vapor does a housing tract evapotranspire into the atmosphere like a thick, dense, lush ecosystem that produces oxygen and water while cooling the immediate, ambient climate, which impacts the regional and global climates? Years ago, the father of ecology noted, when Spain deforested and killed its ecosystems on its march to civilization, Spain's climate grew dramatically hotter. European grass/lawn, golf courses, ornamental, tame plants, landscaped parks, second growth forests and domesticated, tame animals are as life giving as slabs of concrete.

The thicker, taller and denser the native brush and trees of an ecosystem, the more rain clouds produced, and the energy used by these wild, native trees, i.e., biological diversity, cools the immediate climate. which impacts regional and global climates. Can a slab of concrete or apartment building provide Earth with this vital, life-supporting system like a healthy, stable, diverse ecosystem?

How much more heat does concrete, asphalt and the dead wood civilation uses for its dead artifacts, reflect back into the atmosphere than a living, cool, dense ecosystem, teeming with life, with biological diversity, i.e., the living animals and plants that create, support, maintain and sustain the very life and systems of ecosystems and Earth? The more biological diversity and healthy, sustainable populations of biological diversity, the more healthy and stable the ecosystem, the more alive the planet. Think in terms of living, of life. What is alive on Earth and what is an ecosystem. "In WILDNESS is the salvation of the Earth and the Preservation of ALL LIFE, LONG KNOWN AMONG MOUNTAINS AND WOLVES BUT SELDOM PERCEIVED BY MAN.

An ecosystem is one living organism, one unit, created and given life by its biological diversity, working altogether with soil and water and linked irrevocably altogether like links in a chain or strands in the web of all life.

The artifacts of civilization and its flawed worldview are as life-giving as the jumbled rocks on Mars. Does Mars boast of oak trees, wolves, flowers, butterflies, gorillas, deer, birds and lizards? And marine ecosystems, which are dependent upon riverine ecosystems, which are dependent upon its native plants and salmon and fish and whales and wolves and mountains because it is all one, a living Earth. Any agent that kills biological diversity like fungi and bacteria in the soil and trees and coyotes and whales and shrimp also kills wild landscapes and wilderness, i.e., ecosystems. Any agent that kills ecosystems, kills Earth.

Can a burger joint or taco stand create and give life to the soil or fix nitrogen into the soil from the atmosphere or participate in the nitrogen cycle?

Do tame animals and plants maintain the gaseous composition of the atmosphere? Does a shopping mall pump oxygen and while in that process, cool the climate? What about the ecological function of checking and balancing the populations of insects that consume man's crops and ecosystems with ecosystems' insectivores, i.e., birds, spiders, lizards and frogs? Does a car store many pounds of CO2 in its living body? Does a school house balance and check the populations of disease pathogens like viruses and bacteria that are in the food chain with man and cause wipe-out epidemics? The bird flu pandemic of 1918 began in USA in the wake of the extinction of biological diversity and death of U.S's ecosystems. In the wake of ecological destruction and death, new diseases are spawned.

Ecological illiteracy is killing Earth. "IN WILDNESS....." Teri Parsons
Posted By Anonymous teri parsons, San Diego, CA : 8:06 PM ET
It is so good to see global warming addressed in the media. I believe that climate change is an issue that has long been ignored by the media, who has the power, and I believe a responsibility to report on it. We may have a tendency to ignore our natural environment because it has always been a constant presence around us, and because the magnitude of the earth is so large that the changes taking place in it appear to be gradual and innocuous. But the changes we are seeing are happening extremely fast in earth's time and history. If we don't take action now, it will become the biggest story that will not be limited to nations or politics, but will affect us as a whole, and we will need to respond as a whole on earth's scale, as the human species. We can begin responding now by bringing awareness to the issue to every person on this earth. And I'm glad the media is starting to take on that responsibility.
Posted By Anonymous Cindy, Flushing, NY : 8:09 PM ET
David~
THANK YOU for addresing the environmental issues!!!!! This is long past due. We don't hear near enough about our stewardship to the planet we live on. Why is it that 61% of Republicans believe global warming has NOT been proven? Self serving possibly?!?! How cool that Anderson, CNN and 360 are bringing this much needed series of "Planet in Peril". I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE THIS!!!!! Maybe, just maybe it can still be saved. God Bless you all~
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches TX : 8:13 PM ET
To oversimplify, there are two types of people: believers and thinkers. Believers think, and thinkers believe; it's a question of which takes priority. History has shown that when the believers have held the power, the world suffers. The thinkers are the ones who have shaped the face of civilization. Unfortunately, the believers seem to be in charge on most fronts today, whether they be neoconservatives or muslim fundamentalists. They are all the same in their shared reliance on belief. Let's hope things don't get much more screwed up before the thinkers can pull us out of it. The stakes are absolute this time around.
Posted By Anonymous Richard Firebaugh, Eagle, NE : 8:21 PM ET
Regardless of whether human-caused Global Warming is real or not (it is), who can argue that reducing our emissions will be a bad thing? When was the last time you sat at a stoplight and enjoyed sucking on bus fumes? People in Hong Kong have to wear gasmasks for crying out loud. Of course we're harming our planet. Our consumption obsessed society isn't slowing down, and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger...

I just wanted to adress a few of the tired arguments a few of the skeptics have brought up here... of course climate change is cyclical and has happened a lot in the history of the world. And there was no correlation to CO2. But who says there can't be multiple causes? There's more than 1 way to skin a cat... And as far as it not being a big deal, the planet has gone through smaller temperature changes across far longer time periods, and seen mass extinctions. The problem isn't that it's happening... the problem is that we're not giving ourselves enough time to adjust. We could be screwed if the IPCC is right in their projections.
Posted By Anonymous Brian, Columbus Ohio : 8:23 PM ET
OUR Planet! What a profound thought. Is is really ours? Did we as human being create this wondrous terra firma on which we cohabitate. What a gift we have been given --- yet as caretakers we have fallen short.
Anderson---Godspeed on your journey around the world. May your ability to enlighten us all on the perils of our planet cause an enviornmental awakening. Certainly we all need a bit of educational awareness in this area. Our Earth doesn't need a bandaid or a quick fix it needs a lot of TLC from it's inhabitants. This is the only planet we have. Making wise choices today may insure a better future for our children and the generations to follow. It's never too late to open our minds to the possibilities before us. Enviornmental efforts put into place today may ultimatley increase the opportunity of planet earth surviving in the future.
Be safe there in the Rainforest!
Posted By Anonymous Zann -- Martin, Tennessee : 8:26 PM ET
The simple answer: yes.

This sounds like an excellent and important series!!! (See, just when I am getting all cranky with you guys at 360 for something like the excessive coverage of Anna Nicole Smith, you seem to redeem yourselves)

We the people (Gee... where have I heard that before?) need to force the politicians to obtain the political will they seem to be lacking. Congress reps won't do something until we all get together and contact them and tell them that this needs to be a priority.

We can also write into local and national media and thank them when they do cover this topic (speaking of which, thank you, 360) and asking them to cover it when they don't. Ask that the media tie as many stories as possible to what can be done politically on all levels (local, state, national, international) as well as what we can do as individuals, so that the information provided is concrete and actionable.

We can make change locally by voting for people who believe global warming is real (it is) and, even more importantly, are going to do something about it (and what SPECIFICALLY they are going to do about it). Get involved in local issues that affect the environment. One big thing I have noticed in New York City, Philadelphia, and West Chester is that a lot of businesses are supposed to be recyclying but aren't. Imagine the waste! You can talk to the building where you work and ask them to comply with the law. If they don't, then report them.

We can also make changes both great and small in our homes and work. One simple thing I ask all my students to do (and have posted signs around the school about) is to shut off the computer screens when they leave. Not only does this save energy, but it also saves us money.

There is a lot of info on www.sierraclub.org and www.lcv.org. A friend of mine worked with the Sierra Club on a great project at www.truecostoffood.org.

I have been trying to be more environmentally aware in my life. As someone who really enjoys nature photography and gets so much from nature, it seems like it is the least I can do.
Posted By Anonymous Norah, West Chester, PA : 8:26 PM ET
I just wanted to comment on the post by the person in Jerusalem, Israel....you must be proud about planting trees, but what about all the trees (olive) that have been around for hundreds of years that your Gov't tears out of the ground....simply because they're on Palestinian soil? Who replants those?
Posted By Anonymous Barbara, Columbia MD : 8:37 PM ET
I am happy to hear you are doing the Planet in Peril series. I understand Richard Branson is offering $25 million to the person or group to 'suck poisons' out of the air. I hope your program indicates that if we restore the Amazon Forest as well as plant more trees around the world, it would 'suck poisons' out of the air.
Posted By Anonymous Maria El Paso TX : 8:38 PM ET
David/AC360:
Outstanding! The "Planet in Peril" series will allow a consistent forum on the state of this planet's health. Unfortunately, it's not feeling well.

AC360 going to the Amazon rainforest first is a great choice. Considered a main source of oxygen for this planet, this shrinking life force is a result of industrial and economic progress without consideration for delicate eco-systems or global ecological ramifications.

Also, including Jeff Corwin as a critical guest with Anderson will only bring attention to the tough topics the series will undoubtedly face.

As for politics, let the 61 percent continue to stick their heads in the sand. The "us" is beginning to listen to the issues of global climate change but also feel burdened with the "global war with oil".

In addition, I like the idea of Anderson's field trips in correlation to Al Gore's documentary "An Inconvenient Truth". The next generation will be making decisions about this planet and need to be educated NOW not later about the issues they will be facing. It would be ideal if teachers and educators would provide broadcasts such as AC360's "Earth in Peril" as well as access to "An Inconvenient Truth" to students from K - 12.

As stewards of this planet, the human inhabitants should receive a failing grade. But like any failing student, recovery is possible if one is willing to work hard and admit responsibility to past errors in judgment.

Again, outstanding!
Posted By Anonymous Sharon D., Indianapolis, IN : 8:39 PM ET
Global warming does exist and concensus for the source has been reached. Education is no longer necessary, people all over the world know what they need to do, Europe leads in demonstrating and China defiantly trails all but an equally blithe America. What is really required is the action recommended by common sense. Until the US ratifies Kyoto most internationally-focused effort is wasted, and until you (personally) start practicing energy efficiency then YOU are not doing enough, no mistake. People who live in glass houses and all that, it's a simple truth and that's why people don't like it, they just can't stand to suck it up and do the right thing, and until they do our eventual demise is hastened.
Posted By Anonymous Ian, Edmonton, Alberta : 9:09 PM ET
Anderson,
I hope you actually do the story with an open mind and no pre-concieved notion of fact vs fiction. It seems odd to me that the US Geological survey of the 50's reported that the Earths climate as we know it has only been stable for the last 10,000 years. In geological terms, 10,000 is the blink of the eye. Will you look at what scientist theorize took place to create the last ice age? How about former tropical regions that are now in cold climates? What role has volcanic activity played in our climate changes in the past & what about solar activity? I'm not saying that it's a good idea to disregard the effects of our modern day pollution but overall, this planet has been evolving & changing for millions of years. We as a species tend to think alot of ourselves, but sometimes I wonder if we over estimate our power to influence things as compared to nature.
Posted By Anonymous Jeff, St. Louis, MO : 9:12 PM ET
Hi David,
Are we killing our planet? We probably are and have been for decades. It certainly is not reality to assume it all just happened under President Bush. That said, I think we need to do all we can today not tomorrow to do our part to stop the destruction. That includes ALL the world. We can't save anything without a commitment from everyone, and that's a real tall order. I guess all you can do is make people aware, stop the blame game and tell us how we can help. That's really all any of us can do. Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 9:41 PM ET
Thanks for focusing on this issue. I think that most people that will tune in already agree that global warming is real, so it's not necessary to convince them that there is a problem. What people need to see is what THEY can do on a personal level to make a difference in reversing this problem. We all know we're supposed to limit trips, carpool, and buy fuel efficient cars. We need to know what else we can do to make a difference. I'd also love to see some stories on new technology that looks promising - advanced hybrid cars capable of nearly 100 mpg (there is a company in California that is developing "hotrod" kits for the Toyota Prius and getting phenomenal mileage), geothermal energy used to heat buildings (Iceland and parts of Europe already utilize this), electrical power generation from ocean wave action, efficient and visually pleasing wind power (the Great Plains states and North Dakota in particular, have been called the Saudi Arabia of potential wind power generation), efficient rooftop solar panel systems that are affordable to homeowners and are visually acceptable to home owners associations, etc. If we took all the money we are spending on the war in Iraq and pumped it into grants for our scientists and engineers to come up with working solutions to outdated technology that produces greenhouse gas emissions, we'd have the problem licked. But that's not likely to happen under an administration that has personally profited from the oil business. I am a patient person. 2008 is not that far away. The voters sent a message to Washington in 2006 about the Iraq war. In 2008, we need to send a message that global warming is important to us too. Thanks for covering this. Anderson and company, take care of yourself out there; lots of bugs, snakes, and diseases in the jungle - we'd hate to lose you.
Posted By Anonymous Julie San Diego, CA : 9:59 PM ET
I am happy to see a series focusing on these very important issues. In my opinion, the global warming is one symptom of a larger issue which is that the human race has expanded beyond the carrying capacity of the planet. the human population of the planet has increased exponentially in the last century along with extended lifespans which have stressed the ability of the planet to support our species past the breaking point. not only is the atmosphere at risk. the food supplies will also soon collapse as we harvest more plants and animals than can be replaced. The only real solution in my estimation is to curb the birth rate in the world. the alternative is warfare, famine, and disease as people inevitably fight for survival. This will bring the human population back to a point where we can once again support us, but at a cost noone would like to see
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Wightsville, PA : 10:04 PM ET
Oh boy. Another "if it bleeds, it leads" ratings contest. Super. I'm sure we'll be treated to a never ending stream of bs trying to convince the US to live like stoneage Borneo tribesmen.

You really think people can maintain a 1000 year attention span? Hahahahahahaha!!!!! Because according to the IPCC that's how long it will take to reverse the CO2 to what it was 200 years ago. Get real. And enjoy your trip. Bring me back some exotic timbers.
Posted By Anonymous Gene, Monroe, MS : 10:12 PM ET
PS: Hey Anderson. How are you and your crew getting to all these places? Betcha ain't walking. In fact, I'll bet you've got a chartered jet, a fleet of 10mpg trucks, and assorted other amenities that don't do the planet any good. How about it. Care to confess?
Posted By Anonymous Gene, Monroe, MS : 10:23 PM ET
I lived and worked in the Brazilian Amazon for eight years. My daughter was born there. Please investigate things such as the raising of cattle in land that is not suitable for this as well as the logging and the incidences of violence in Para for example. While there check out the "environmentally-friendly" oil refinery Petrobras is operating in the heart of the jungle, with some international investment. They promised jobs to the people of Coari. what they got was a tripling of the population in less than five years and no infrastructure to support it, increased child prostitution and drug use. Just yesterday the city's mayor was allegedly convicted of defrauding the government of "milhoes" of reais, while close to one billion in royalties has come to the city cofers and used for what??? Look at the "forest" they are replanting to replace cut down trees that take centuries to grow... I dread the thought of an oil spill....
Posted By Anonymous Louise dos Santos Toronto Canada : 11:05 PM ET
I hope all vaccination shots for malaria, filaria, biharzia and dengue are taken and those nasty tasting malaria tablets have been eaten to protect the AC360 crew. And also don't skimp on those musquito gels and candles. Does Anderson, Jeff Corwin and Ac 360 crew sleep in hammocks?
Posted By Anonymous Ratna, New York, NY : 11:06 PM ET
Anderson:

Thank you for focusing attention on the value the Amazon provides the planet. Please look into the puzzle of how the ancient Amazon was able to support a large population sustainably, before being "discovered" by European explorers. The answer to managing our current greenhouse gas buildup can be found in the man-made two thousand year old terra preta (black earth) soils. Dig down where you are in the jungle and you will find the top soil is thin and very poor quality. Yet in areas where mankind worked with nature thousands of years ago, the black topsoil is up to several feet thick. Terra preta storing massive amounts of carbon and has become some of the most exciting and hopeful news that we can create fertile soil from some of the worst and reverse global warming. We have the potential to follow Brazil's lead in renewable energy and the ancient methods of reducing greenhouse gases. There are a growing group of researchers who see a future for our children,..if we move quickly.
Posted By Anonymous Danny Day, UGA-Eprida Bioconversion Center, Athens, GA : 11:10 PM ET
Thank you so much for this information and I will definately be tuning in on this special programming. I just can't believe how some people can be so closed minded and try to make their own assumptions and not even open their narrow minds to the fact that something is going on that makes me look to the future and not see something I would want my family to endure.
Posted By Anonymous Alicia San Leandro, CA : 12:06 AM ET
Good topic! This is one issue that needs a lot of discussion.
Posted By Anonymous H. San Francisco, CA : 1:57 AM ET
Well you definitely will have many angles to cover on this topic! Glad you are devoting the year to this issue.

The term deforestation seems like such an ambiguous term to me and it is alarming to know that it could all be gone by the end of this century.

Perhaps some "Raw Data" would be helpful to understand the deforestation rates across the regions (i.e. Brazil, Africa, Mexico, US, Indonesia, etc). It would be interesting to know which forest has the highest deforestation and reforestation rates or which forests we need to focus more conservation on.
Posted By Anonymous Jolene, St. Joseph, MI : 2:18 AM ET
Anderson's broadcast from the Amazon Rainforest was awesome. I only wish you could do more of the program from there. I'm glad you are undertaking this "field trip", it's time someone took this subject seriously and presented it from all the angles.

I believe there is global warming or climate change might be a better term, considering last week we had temperatures in the single digits. From when I was a little girl, I remember adults around me saying "this crazy weather!" Now as an adult, I agree. For example, the single digit temperatures: it used to be a few days and a couple of nights during the winter, the weatherman would forecast bitter cold, down to 1 or 3 degrees, and tomorrow night it might even dip to 0. Now, we have single digits a week or more at a time. Now we even get frostbite warnings! In western-central Pennsylvania? When I was in school, the only time I heard of below 0 temps and frostbite was when I was reading about expeditions to Antarctica.

Summers now are hotter and more humid than ever. We never get gentle summer showers, just violent thunderstorms. The leaves stay on the trees until mid November, when just 5 years ago I could rake them off the grass in time to fill up the pumpkin bags for Halloween. By Thanksgiving, the trees were bare, the cold had set in and we've already had at least some snow flakes. This year we didn't get any snow at all until after Christmas.

When you live somewhere all your life, you know what the weather is normally like, and you notice when it changes. Now it's definitely changed.

For those who don't believe in global warming, think of it this way; if it doesn't exist and we take precautions, no harm will be done and we might even have a better, cleaner planet to leave our grandchildren. If we wait to have definitive proof, it will be too late to do anything about it. Isn't it better to error on the side of caution?

Thanks Anderson and 360 for doing this.
Posted By Anonymous Christina, Windber, PA : 4:33 AM ET
Oh well, someone stole my thunder. I wanted to know what the requirements would be to go one of your field trip. Does one have to get straight As on one's last report card ?

Unless, the situation really hits home, there will be little change on the part of many Americans. As a native of Louisiana, I have read and watched so many accounts disparaging(to put it mildly) to our area prior to and after Katrina. Our wetlands are disappearing at an amazing rate, part of it due to development on land that was inappropiate, but large portion of it was due to channels cut into swampland to bring petroleum to the American public faster. For years, we have been talking about this issue and for years we were ignored. Many of the roads around SE LA were impassable after Katrina due to fallen trees on the highways. So now the federal solution is not to have any trees within 500 feet of the highway. How many tress will be destroyed? How much oxygen could they have given to our environment?

The hope may lie with the children of our country. I took a group of students to NO 7 months after Katrina and they came back impassioned citizens( mind you it was about the pets left behind). If there is some way live feed could be brought into the classrooms and engaging activities planned, the children of this area and hopefully other areas will become concerned environmentalists. And the first will have been taken.
Posted By Anonymous Ruth Brewington, Metairie, LA : 6:50 AM ET
Tell BIG Al to come to my house south of Rochester N.Y.. It's -3 degrees this moring, my newborn lambs are covered in ice and have to be brought in my cellar to keep warm. Tell Al if he thinks we can -alter- GODS plans he must be the- socond coming-
Posted By Anonymous Gary Gropp ,Mt.Morris N.Y. : 8:46 AM ET
Humans need to stop believing they are not a part of their environment. Face it! We ARE a part of it! If money is the issue then, it's a lame excuse, because there is money to be made with new, better technologies too. We need to change now, because it's going to be harder and more painful the longer we wait. It is NOT wrong to drive a more efficient car, own a better smaller house, reducing waste, saving, and cleaning water, cleaning air, helping the animals, and the children. Who told us that driving a SUV was neccessary? Who told us that a big huge house was neccessary? Who said the we need extra gadgets to live? It is going to be pretty hard to justify to the future humans that we couldn't change our behavior, because we had ego problems. Imagine not having any water, and having some selfish jerk say, "Well atleast, I have my mp3!"
Posted By Anonymous K. Beaudoin, Corinth TX : 10:17 AM ET
The show in the Amazon Rain Forest was great last night. I just wish the show could have spent more time with the Rain Forest issue and less of ANS. Why couldn't Anderson and Jeff do an entire show on this issue for Animal Planet to cover it more thoroughly? Also, Anderson afraid of a little spotted frog, wow, he seems to have his priorities of what to be scared of totally confused. He never seemed to flinch while reporting in Iraq.
Posted By Anonymous Marian, New London, MO : 10:34 AM ET
Why don't people use common sense to see that it's a myth - not FACT - that once a rainforest is gone, it is gone forever. Not true.

Civilizations lived for centuries in the rainforests, clearing land for agriculture and towns. Where are the ruins of those towns? They're forested over. In Mexico you will see ancient Mayan ruins that have been only recently discovered because they were SWALLOWED UP BY RE-FORESTATION! Doesn't it make sense that an area such as Amazonia, with its lushness and excessive rain, would replenish even more quickly?

Am I the only person who thinks that the rainforest can be better used to help Brazil's many millions of poor people? Much of that land can be farmed to provide food for people, and the mineral deposits developed to give them a better life.

Instead of putting an iron fence around the rainforest with a big KEEP OUT sign, why don't we see how man and nature can work together for the benefit of both?
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 12:06 PM ET
Science has proven that CO2 actually helps to trap some of the heat that is absorbed by the earth. Science has also proven that the salinity of the ocean is undergoing change as the temperatures rise all over the globe. The abundance of life on our planet is threatened by these large-scale, and relatively immediate changes. For many people who choose not to believe in science as an explanation of so-called "Global Warming"... Your only hope is that you can pray this all away so that your great grandchildren are not living in a world of hurt. Be mindful that matter can neither be created nor destroyed on our planet, however it can be altered. As we affect this environment we live in, we are changing the system of checks and balances that has governed nature for all of the time that this planet has been inhabitable for humans. Everything you do represents your vote for or against the bio-diversity that our planet has required for subsistence up until today. If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is around to hear it... Does it make a sound?
Posted By Anonymous Kendall, West Orange, NJ : 12:23 PM ET
Dear Anderson,
I would like to thank you SO MUCH for the comedy relief you provided last night. I don't believe I have ever laughed so hard as when watching you scream and back up from a poor little frog! Like Jeff said, you're going to have a hard time if bugs creep you out, and frogs scare you, and.... I'm seriously waiting over here to see what else. I realize, of course, that the topic itself is serious, but, dang, boy! That was funny!!
Posted By Anonymous Sharla Jones, Stratford, NJ : 12:25 PM ET
Someone here hit the nail on the head...or almost.

The rise of America and capitalism has had an affect on the entire world that doesn't seem to be included in this discussion.

This rise has brought to the world the the idea that everyone should have the right to life and do business.

If we are to uphold these beliefs, there MUST be adjustments made in the way we ALL live our lives.

The freedom that comes along with the American idealogy must be tempered with responsibility. If it is not, those who are ignorant, greedy and/or under educated become intoxicated by such freedoms and lay waste to the land, if not much more.

As the United States started the world down this path and is the world's largest polluter, it is OUR responsibility to lead the world in cleaning up the mess we now are starting to find ourselves in.

Most doubters argue that global warming is a natural cycle. I don't think those who support the idea of global warming argue that fact. The points trying to be made are, let's not make it any worse than it already is, let's not intensify the impact of such due to plain ignorance or greed, and by all means let's do everything we can to lower our contributions to global warming. Since the year 2000, we have been obviously doing the opposite.

Most doubters will also argue that in doing something about global warming, our economy will be ruined. That's true if we are not smart in the way we do so. Two simple examples should dispell this to a point. If U.S. car companies gradually transitioned their focus from traditional gas powered vehicles to those that are considerably more fuel efficient and powered by alternative fuels, the impact could be much less than expected if planned properly and if the workforces were kept along for the ride. The same holds true for "big oil". Couldn't "big oil" transition itself to "big ethanol" for example. With all the profits they are collecting, saying they couldn't afford such would be laughable. Most of these companies even have TV adds portraying such a shift. The time is NOW to start the these transitions.

Lastly, let's not crucify the messanger here either. Al Gore deserves all the praise bestowed upon him. At no point have I heard him say he's a scientist. He has become the voice for those scientists who belive global warming is being made worse by our civilization. That's what he's good at and he has been following the issue since college. Being a politician (or former) does not mean the man has no heart or a passion to make things right.
Posted By Anonymous Keith Cutler, Wake Forest, NC : 12:44 PM ET
Very important that this is a topic for such detailed coverage, at this point in time.

A comment after Tuesday night's show: I find it ironic that Brazil boasts 60% of automobiles on the road using 100% ethanol (grain-based fuel), and has been a world-leader in the search for such innovative technologies to replace dependence on carbon-producing fuels since the oil crisis in the early 1970's, yet is the culprit in the Amazon rainforest's depletion.

Is it the Brazilian goverment behind ruining the forests or private enterprise? I read that the Brazilian govt was behind pushing for alternative fuels for the last 30 yrs, so odd that they would be at fault for depleting the rainforest.

Jayne
Posted By Anonymous Jayne Calton, Harper Woods, Michigan : 1:02 PM ET
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• 12/24/2006 - 12/31/2006
• 12/31/2006 - 01/07/2007
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• 01/21/2007 - 01/28/2007
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• 02/18/2007 - 02/25/2007
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• 09/16/2007 - 09/23/2007
• 09/23/2007 - 09/30/2007
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• 10/07/2007 - 10/14/2007
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• 10/21/2007 - 10/28/2007
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• 12/02/2007 - 12/09/2007
• 12/09/2007 - 12/16/2007
• 12/16/2007 - 12/23/2007
• 12/23/2007 - 12/30/2007
• 12/30/2007 - 01/06/2008

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