Posted by: Marshall Sponder | August 1, 2008

It may be too late to save the planet, as we know it

I read Paul Krugman‘s column tonight in the New York Times OPED on Can This Planet Be Saved? and I’ve come to an awareness that it probably is too late the save the planet as we know it today because there does not seem to be a fundamental agreement on the political and economic side that Global Warming is happening because of our activities alone, and not on it’s own, or though earth events not connected with anything people are directly doing.   Krugman points out that….

…. It’s true that scientists don’t know exactly how much world temperatures will rise if we persist with business as usual. But that uncertainty is actually what makes action so urgent. While there’s a chance that we’ll act against global warming only to find that the danger was overstated, there’s also a chance that we’ll fail to act only to find that the results of inaction were catastrophic. Which risk would you rather run?

Martin Weitzman, a Harvard economist who has been driving much of the recent high-level debate, offers some sobering numbers. Surveying a wide range of climate models, he argues that, over all, they suggest about a 5 percent chance that world temperatures will eventually rise by more than 10 degrees Celsius (that is, world temperatures will rise by 18 degrees Fahrenheit). As Mr. Weitzman points out, that’s enough to “effectively destroy planet Earth as we know it.” It’s sheer irresponsibility not to do whatever we can to eliminate that threat.

I decided to use Radian6 and a new search engine called Twing ( see Twing Adds Brand Monitoring Features to its Forum Search in Web Worker Daily) to see if I could find influentials in this discussion of what to do about Global Warming.  I used a New Topic Cloud to see what keywords I might pick up (ie: that I could use in a Search Campaign or even for a Search Query):

For a Search campaign, I can envision a tool that would take every one of these words and combine them into phrases, you’d have several thousand and then you’d want to have a way to determine which one’s are being used more frequently and go with advertising or monitoring those terms.  Because I wanted to compare Radian6 to Twing, I pulled just the data from Forums, which is a new feature of Radian6.

I also looked at several of the keywords captured in the New Topic Cloud and charted them over time in the New Topic Trends Widget of Radian6

There’s a lot of concern about Global Warming that is bubbling up just now, esp in the last few days. buzz charts can capture up to 12 months of activity and can filter on media type and forum type, among other things – which should be a very interesting tool to play with.

There’s some bugs in Twing’s interface that interfere with my using it fully – (see below) – where I can’t select Categories to filter on because they appear behind the cart – but I’m sure that’ll be fixed soon.

Twing also shows you the top community Forum Boards where the discussion around the keywords I choose is happening

If I were going to look for places I could advertise – so I could, say, reach more people who are concerned with Global Warming – for say, some kind of political action – I’d look at each forum listed and find out which one’s run ads, then I’d make a decision about running my ads there.

I also found influentials by looking at my Zemanta Firefox plug in which suggests stories relevent to what I’m writing about and here’s one that fits right in with what I wrote – The final countdown in the Guardian.

… Because in just 100 months’ time, if we are lucky, and based on a quite conservative estimate, we could reach a tipping point for the beginnings of runaway climate change. That said, among people working on global warming, there are countless models, scenarios, and different iterations of all those models and scenarios. So, let us be clear from the outset about exactly what we mean.

Duh…  that sound like 2012 … maybe the world will change as we know it in 2012 as a result of Global Warming …….. or maybe not.

I think there’s more work to be done here to figure out how many people feel the world can’t be changed as we know it vs. those that feel it can be saved, and I’ll leave that for another post.

Zemanta Pixie


  1. Try using Omgili Graphs:

  2. “There’s some bugs in Twing’s interface that interfere with my using it fully – (see below) – where I can’t select Categories to filter on because they appear behind the cart – but I’m sure that’ll be fixed soon.”

    Yeah, we know. And yes, we’ll take care of it soon. The filters allow drill down into areas to cut out disambiguation issues, and the Category filter is important because it lets you do things like type in “bass” and select “Sports” so you can focus on the fish and not the shoe company, the ale or bass guitar. (Though jazz lovers may enjoy bass guitar with Bass Ale in which case they’d want to know about both. But hey, we just make the forum search available. How people use it is their business. : )


  3. it is never too late to give up
    cause happnens what happens we will all survive and so as the earth will.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: