HEAT

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Do you think the world will be able to act in time to avoid the critical threshold we're approaching with global warming?

Dear FRONTLINE,

HEAT was great, amazing, something everyone should see. Valuable insights at every turn. Thank you.

When I hear about the plug-in electric car, however, I wonder if the cost in dollars and carbon from transporting coal with diesel locomotives to power the cars will exceed the savings the cars provide?

n champion
rock river, wy

Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you for taking a hard look at the mechanics involved in the economic and political side of action to stop global warming. Your profile of the Lieberman/Warner Bill was admirable, but as you depicted, the Senate has failed to offer real solutions to this crisis. We must now look to the US House of Representatives to pass a strong global warming bill. To do this, the message must reach voters that, as important as presidential leadership is, we must be asking our candidates for Congress what their plan is. We need to know if our next representatives are going to support strong solutions. As a next step for the executive branch we need the president elect to go to the international negotiations in Poland this December and show the world that America will lead. Thank you for your investigation.

John Deans
Elmira, New York

Dear FRONTLINE,

There are ways that we can help our global problems at the local level too.

Challenge your state and local government to be proactive. They need to set the example for all citizens in finding ways to reduce CO2 emissions and reducing energy consumption. We need to get more people off the roads by implementing flexible work schedules and reduced work weeks.

Sactown, CA

Dear FRONTLINE,

I have never felt compelled to post any comment before about anything until I watched "Heat". It was like watching something so horrific and repugnant that you undergo the phenomenon of being too fascinated to stop. My skin literally crawled and my stomach churned throughout the entire program with an almost overwhelming sense of grief and fatalism over what has been and is happening yet I could not turn away.

I remember watching, as a child, the science program with Dr. Baxter and Richard Carlson and, with the innocence of the time and my age, dismissing the prognostications for the environment's future as too remote to ever be possible. If only!!

I agree with your other "posters" that a follow-up is demanded offering us some hope and citizen solutions. I cannot be left with the sense of horror, dread, and hopelessness. We must have hope and as Jerry Brown so beautifully spoke "with humility".

Bravo to PBS, Frontline, the writers and producers and anyone related to presenting this award worthy documentary. The standard of excellence in reporting and presentation is beyond words.

milpitas, ca

Dear FRONTLINE,

Please Please consider a follow up to Heat - it could be called "Heat - Citizen Solutions."

As one of the emails stated, Heat left them "with a feeling of helplessness," and this is exactly what I was concerned could be a common feeling after watching it. Yes, of course we need leaders in government and corporations to be a major part of reducing carbon emissions, but I believe, just as important, if not more, we need all citizens to take responsibility for the dozens of choices they make every day that contribute to over 1/2 of the emissions - from our mode of transportation, to our energy use in our homes and work place, to our food choices, to our purchases of goods, our home location and size and efficiency....

There are so many great examples out there to create another film about what individuals are already doing to make a difference - this would inspire people to know that they can be a part of the solution.

And to all those nay-sayers who either don't believe the earth is warming or that it's human caused, there is reason enough to reduce our wasteful ways so that future generations of both humans and wildlife will continue to have the beautiful places still left on this planet. Thanks for the great work that you do!

Jacquelyn Corday
Missoula, MT

Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you for airing the HEAT program. All sides of the issue of global warming need to be heard so that there can be a distilling to the most factual, and therefore helpful information. Over the past few years we have read or heard information about, and coming from the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado. The founder of this institute, Amory Lovins, is a voice worthy to be heard. The institute's work to date proves that moving beyond petroleum and nuclear to new, clean, renewable methods of energy generation for powering commercial and residential buildings is absolutely possible - safe, cost-effective, and available now.

We hope that you will consider including the technical expertise found at this organization in future broadcasts on this topic.

Thank you once again.

C. and G. Bottje
Roselle, IL

Dear FRONTLINE,

Great work!

Two comments: 1. ExxonMobile is one of the worst carbon polluters by continuing not to change their policy and funding on renewable energy research and development which the piece exposed; however, the Ad time right after the program and as I was watching was filled with ExxonMobile commercials.

2. I never heard anything about voluntary 'carbon offsets'. I put together this site so consumers can view a hundred or so carbon offset providers from around the world... www.carbonoffsetreview.com

Oliver Danner
Bakersfield, CA

Dear FRONTLINE,

I thank you very much for this informative exposé on global warming. However, I have to completely disagree with the final comment that was made in this report.

The person who said that changing a couple of lightbulbs and buying a Prius wouldn't make a difference is completely wrong. The truth is, with the amount of energy being used by lights whether they be in households, on billboards or in office buildings, just imagine the decrease in electrical demand that it would generate if all of those lights were energy efficient.

The fact is that because this is a societal problem on a global level, individual actions are going to make the biggest impact. Instead of giving money to the big corporations (and I'm sure that Canada does the same kind of thing considering we also got out of Kyoto) to find solutions which they won't even implement, governements should be sending out coupons for free energy-efficient lightbulbs and should offer tax breaks to people who choose to buy energy efficient vehicles and appliances as well as to people who choose to use public transit or walking or biking.

There are so many things we can all do to change this and I think that trying to go through big companies is misguided at best as their first allegiance is to making profits for their shareholders and not making the planet a safe place for all of us especially considering some of their biggest solutions (ie the dumping of CO2 into underground pockets) are the equivalent of sweeping it all under the rug.

Thank you again for this great program,

Marc Poulin

Marc Poulin
Montréal, Québec

FRONTLINE's editors respond:

You might want to read Michael Bloomberg's interview published here on this web site. As mayor of New York City, he's issued a plan to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. He explains how this can be done by starting with "the low-hanging fruit..and you work your way up."

Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you for an excellent program on the current problems we face with global warming and our energy sources. However, while I understand that the primary focus was on business investment in energy, you did not really mention energy efficiency other than as regards vehicles. Since this is an important facet of reducing greenhouse gases in a cost effective manner, I regard this as a significant oversight.

Don Ferber
Madison, WI

FRONTLINE's editors respond:

Two hours wasn't enough to address the many topics surrounding a problem of this scale, global warming. Producer Martin Smith talks about the hard choices he had to make in his interview (video) on this site.

Dear FRONTLINE,

I was deeply disappointed in the 'documentary', HEAT. Very one sided.

1). More and more professionals (such as the PhD Chemist commenting earlier), state that anthropomorphic (man-made) global warming is No Big Deal. He didn't say, but my guess would be the total change would be no more than 1/5 degree Centigrade.

2). HEAT was very deceptive in saying that 'CO2 causes asphixiation'. It has only done that in the neighborhood of Volcanos in the process of erupting, and then only for small animals and children, who breathe at the ground's surface. Full grown adults are unaffected.

3). Carbon Dioxide is always beneficial, and the EARTH will be a better place when there is much more of it. Google David Archibald if you dont believe me. It is plant food, and is especially beneficial for 'strained growth' (water shortage) such as is common in Australia. Plants grow from 20-40% more, using less water.

4). HEAT was deceptively edited. CO2 is a colorless, odorless gas at atmospheric pressure. To show billows of water plumes coming from cooling towers I'm sure is meant to deceive people and help confuse them that carbon dioxide is the same as carbon monoxide, which everyone knows is dangerous, and the 'sleight of hand' here is to deliberately confuse the two.

I'm especially disappointed in the "Casper Milquetoast" responses from Corporate America. Some, Like GE, have drunk the KoolAid since they figure they can make $Billions on Carbon Sequestration and other Wild-Goose-Chases, using plenty of taxpayer dollars no doubt. T Boone Pickens invests in Wind mills, and then - Surprise, he wants tax dollars to support his investment. Not exactly an objective source of information there.

Im very sorry to report that I used to TRUST the information given in FrontLine reports, but cannot any longer. The first Horrid program was the one "Proving" Oswald killed J.F.K., when everyone knows he was on the first floor watching the parade. As far as Congress goes, why is Arlen Specter still respected after coming up with that silly "Magic Bullet Theory"?

This program is your second worst.

Bill Howland
Kenmore, New York

Dear FRONTLINE,

Congratulations on an excellent program! Dingell and Johnson are classic examples of Government standing in the way of progress. They should both be run over repeatedly with a Chevy Volt. As long as Government officials exercise control over producers of fossil fuels -- both are heavily interested in how much money they can siphon from the public, with hardly a care for the environmen -- then NO, we will never see an end to the energy crisis OR global warming. Until the U.S. and other nations stop pumping billions of dollars into fossil fuels, this world will be doomed to a slow and painful economic and unhealthy death. It's time to get danged serious about CLEAN FUELS. I propose an intense focus on the development of "on-demand" hydrogen systems for automobiles, which use water as fuel, have zero emissions, and actually clean the air as you drive. So what if the Polar ice caps melt, use the water as fuel! Drive an SUV and clean more air faster. As rediculous as it sounds, it is happening right now, being inspired by a group of environmentally conscious grassroots 'tinkerers' just as 'hell-bent' on informing people of healthy and viable alternatives. Government created this problem over 30 years ago, and as you can see, they're not interested in fixing it. Don't hold your breath! If we want to reverse the current trend, it will be by the individual efforts of thousands who are fed up with BIG OIL, BIG GOVERNMENT and all the bullcrap they feed us. Dingell is DEAD WRONG! The technology IS here! We just need the government and oil companies to 'back off' so it can be developed and mass produced without fear.

Dave Harris
Orem, UT

Dear FRONTLINE,

HEAT is the kind of excellent program I've come to expect from Frontline.

One interesting fact which is on your website but which was not in the program itself is that while politicians advocate nuclear, clean coal, and ethanol, the venture capitalists are funding solar power. While politicians see good political reasons to back coal and corn, capitalists see good economic reasons to invest in solar.

Private industry is unwilling to spend serious money on nuclear or clean coal without massive subsidies and guarantees from the government. The most successful nuclear power system is run by the French government.

Because the US government is much more fractured than European governments, solar and wind technology may be a better choice. Solar and wind can be developed in small private-sector firms, and do not require our government to suddenly become rational and decisive. The US can throw away most of its money on corn and clean coal subsidies, without completely derailing the progress of solar and wind power.

Brian Dunstan
Bellevue, WA

Dear FRONTLINE,

All throughout the campaign I hear promises of investments in "cleaner fuels". I naively nod in approval without really knowing what this and similar promises mean. I keep hearing that global warming is threatening the life of the planet without getting a close look.

This program has finally put a face on global warming and what we are/aren't doing about it. I commend you for your collectifve perspective, from considering countries to individual politicians. Thank you.

Mr. E
los angeles, california

Dear FRONTLINE,

As usual, the program was excellent, but I was disappointed that the only source for the position of the major presidential candidates on global warming was what they were saying in the campaign. One came away with the impression that there is no difference between the two major candidates.

League of Conservation Voters has reported on the voting records of both and shown that Obama's record is far better than that of McCain. LCV and Environment America have also shown that the lifetime voting record on environmental issues is far better for Barack Obama than for John McCain.

Louise Walker
Downingtown, PA

Dear FRONTLINE,

A terrific and informative show-I wonder if the candidates watched it?I am a professor at a midwestern university teaching a courseon renewable energy-this week we are discussing global warming.Your program couldn't have been more timely. I only wish I could show it to my class-By a recent declaration, my university forbids showing anymaterial that might imply a pro or con stance against current political candidates or the current administration.I'm afraid no matter how pertinent and factual your program is,if I showed it to my students I might get fired.Its amazing we are quibbling over politics when the planet is at stake.

Elisha Polomski
Stevens Point, Wisconsin

FRONTLINE's editors respond:

HEAT can be watched in streaming video - and full screen - on this web site. It will be available for online viewing for several years.

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posted october 21, 2008

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