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,

Congratulations for producing another incredibly good documentary. I am so impressed with your work and have looked forward to seeing this particular film this week.

I also was very impressed with how Charles Smith created such a clear, honest picture for us. His questions were always on point, and he does not get swayed, but stares directly at the interviewee. His face and manner clearly give the message to the interviewee that he expects the answer to his question and will not be turned around by a change of subject. I loved watching him ask questions.

The film gave me so much information, and I want to see it again. Thank you Frontline! Bravo!

Corbina MancusoOakland, CA

Corbina Mancuso
oakland, california

Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you for this excellent program that clearly presents the challenges of human caused climate change. Alas, after witnessing the selfishness of the powers that be, I'm left with a feeling of helplessness. As it has been since the birth of the planet, nature will determine our fate.

Terrell Holder
Louisville, KY

Dear FRONTLINE,

. This subject matter was brought to the audience in a very appropriate manner. The statistics you presented were very valuable. This program is a great resource for all of us looking for the truth.You presented both sides of the story. Excellent work.... i look forward to more programs on this topic.

Timothy Cusick
Shell Lake , Wisconsin

Dear FRONTLINE,

I agree, in part, with what Glenn Nesbitt said in earlier reply. I had addressed this in a post in one of my blogs. I am just simply going to say that instead of printing more money to make it happen - reduce the subsidies that are encouraging non-action.

Regarding a response by another watcher/reader about "solar pavement" it is a nice idea, but like anything else, think deeper. Where is all of that piping going to come from? Will we need to dig up more of the Earth to create the pipes? What about the additional energy required now to make it happen? Etc. Don't jump on something because it is nifty without considering what all is involved (or at least a good portion.)

If you would like to read my post from a few months back go to http://news-worthy.yourwebreference.com and click on "1 Trillion."

All in all it was a good program showing that showed what some of the forces at work in our dilemma are doing. Most of it lip service. Thank you FRONTLINE.

Curt Siters
Asheville, North Carolina

Dear FRONTLINE,

I have found a novel way to assess a technical discussion. HEAT is a program centered on technology, energy, generation, fuel consumption, propulsion, emissions, etc. I perused both the people who produced it, the "experts" they interviewed, and the comments. With one or two possible exceptions, there is zero input from engineers, professionals who are technical experts.

I have engineered a score of nuclear power plants (BWR, PWR, ISFSI, etc.) two score fossil power plants (IGCC, FBC, supercritical cycles, etc.) and spent ten years assessing advanced technologies (superconductivity, fuel cells, nanotechnology, ultracapacitors, etc.). This program is largely nonsense. It offers no real societal solutions, just fear, and hype. I do not fear global warming: I fear a grid collapse, for a month, during a New England blizzard.

R. L. Hails Sr. P. E.
Olney, Md

Dear FRONTLINE,

I felt that this program was very informative. It really provided me with a greater understanding of the global crisis. Thanks PBS!

Chicago, IL

Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you Frontline for "Heat". I live in Whiting, Indiana where BP is refining tar sands from Alberta. The 100 year old refinery is on Lake Michigan and polluting our drinking water and releases pollutants by flaring toxins into the area every day.

I particularly liked when you showed the ads by the automobile industry to sell gas guzzlers that dominate the environment, the over the road vehicles that tear up beaches,grasslands, and wetlands.

We could institute a national system to ration per person gas, electricity, water, etc. We don't need a 24/7 society. Shut the malls down at 8 p.m to save energy for starters. The waste is killing the planet.

Carolyn Marsh
Whiting, IN 46394-1725, Indiana

Dear FRONTLINE,

One of the key messages, which warrants repeating over and over, came from Frank O'Donnell of Clean Air Watch. He spoke of GM's EV-1 and asked a simple question: "Why are we reinventing a proven product?" THAT electric car and battery worked...THAT is the car, which should be resurrected. Force GM and the oil company that bought the patented battery, to regurgitate. GM would have the option of putting it into the market, or the project should be offered to another company to complete.

Enough of free enterprise for the 'bailout failures'...think of the environment and the consumers. No pollution...no combustible engine with many moving parts to be "maintained and serviced," no continuing obsolescence for the benefit of a few. America fears socialism as its finances slip into that realm. Do what O'Donnell suggested...lest we forget!

Byron Bona
North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Dear FRONTLINE,

Many of these posts, and these types of discussions in general, place the onus for solving these global problems on the individual. As long as we rely on personal behavior to solve issues such as energy use and recycling, such efforts are bound to fail. What CAN work is revolutionary technologies coupled with national and international policy to provide for the public in a relatively invisible manner. If this is seen as giving license to irresponsibility, that's a value judgement that has no pragmatic weight in this debate. If public policy & technology can be coupled to solve the problems regardless of individuals' behavior, then let's leave the issues of personal virtue out of the discussion.

If such an approach is taken, then humanity can have all the energy and resources it needs to provide a comfortable standard of living even to the projected 9 billion to come. How? Take a look at this: http://tinyurl.com/4koplr . It can all be quite painless and more inexpensive than business as usual. Learn about it, then ask your politicians why they're dragging their feet.

Nicole Couture
Davis, CA

Dear FRONTLINE,

This program could have been much more thought-provoking had it approached this topic from Bjorn Lomborg's perspective, i.e., assuming anthropomorphic global warming is occurring now, does anybody really know the extent of its effects?

If we do not know the extent of the effects, then does it really make sense to spend potentially trillons of dollars on unknown programs that might not have any long term impact on climate change? Wouldn't we get more value for our dollar if we spent money on prgrams dealing with climate change (e.g., mosquito nets in impoverished countries to reduce malaria; genetically modified crops to improve food production in moderately arid areas), rather than trying to reverse its effects?

Jay Robinson
Pomona, California

Dear FRONTLINE,

Dear Frontline,Your documentary,'Heat' was accurate in most of it's substance but it didn't really attack the problem of 'Alternate' energy sources. You describe how it takes a train load of coal to feed one Power Station for 12 hours. And the coal mine extracts the equivalent of one years Alaskan oil in one day. How can the 'alternate' reusable energy sources match this energy level?One of the biggest renuable energy sources in the US is Hydro-Electricity but these huge Dams supply only 5% of our energy needs. And did you know that it would take about 21000 wind turbines working at full output to match the Grand Coulee Dam.Oil,Gas and Coal are the ONLY sources of energy that can sustain our current world growth rate.The only way to reduce the consumption of these fuels is to cut back on our frantic desire for more and more goods and services.

How anything like this can be achieved is beyond my imagination.We will do as we have always done; ignore the problem until the fossil fuels run out and/or the planet becomes uninhabitable.

Roger Sayer
Seattle, WA

Dear FRONTLINE,

There are those who question whether or not anthropogenic global warming is even occurring. There is a long term warming trend that we are experiencing, however it began well before the industrial revolution. In the short term, the Earth has actually cooled. According to two satellite surveys, weather balloon and ocean buoy data the Earth hit a high temperature in 1998. Then it proceeded to cool with the cooling accelerating from 2003 to the present.

There are people who question the assumption that warming would be catastrophic for humanity. A warmer world would result in longer growing seasons and more precipitation. An increased amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, currently at 385 ppm, would result in faster growing plants. Is this really such a terrible result for a planet with a human population measured in the billions.

Finally there is the assertion that those big, bad oil companies are conspiring against renewable energy. Those oil companies are working hard to try to keep up with an insatiable demand for energy. Remember energy is defined as "the ability to do work". Their corporate existence as well as that of the societies that we have built, depends on energy staying affordable. Any shift that causes the price of energy to climb separates people from food, water, shelter and each other. Renewables will have their day, but it is not necessarily today.

I realize that I should fill you in on my background before submitting this letter. I have a PhD in Chemical Engineering. My thesis was in fire suppression, which involves a fair amount of work with mass and energy balances as well as heat transfer. I do not now nor have I ever worked in the energy industry.

James Watson Ph.D.
Golden, CO

Dear FRONTLINE,

The earth has remarkable abilities to heal itself if it is allowed to rest and return to it's natural balances. But with the endless extraction and disruption needed to keep six and a half billion people alive and supplied with stuff that can never happen. What is needed is a worldwide educational program on the benefits to the planet and humanity of having fewer offspring. With worldwide water and food shortages predicted for coming decades it would be wise to voluntarily begin limiting the size of our families before it's too late.

Greg Hughes
Moscow, ID

Dear FRONTLINE,

Tom Friedman of the New York Times is way ahead of everyone on this issue in his book "Hot, Flat, and Crowded." Read it and you will find that he has framed the problem in the most thoughtful way.

Tom backs up his thesis with extensive research and interviews with a host of credible sources. As he puts it (paraphrased), in a world that has a warming climate, a rising middle (consumer) class, and overpopulation; climate change is inextricably linked to every major problem facing us in this new century? The problems: Energy Supply and Demand, Petro-dictatorship (national security and the loss of freedom in the world), Climate Change, Biodiversity Loss, and Energy Poverty. And the best way to address these problems is through a Green Technology Revolution, a top-down AND bottom-up approach that gets us off fossil fuels and into a leadership position in Green Energy Technology.

I challenge Frontline to dig deeper!

Dallas, Texas

Dear FRONTLINE,

I see that the New World Order is using the program and this comment section to promote the Eugenics program to try and "reduce" the population from 6.5 Billion to 400 million. Sounds like genocide to me, and is.

If you have driven through Alabama, Mississippi and Texas you know that there is no population problem. There is a leadership problem. We burn our fossil "fuels" instead of use them to build with Carbon fiber. And we kill Free Energy Inventors to keep the fossil fuel in use. Insanity, Insanity, Insanity.

Michael Couch
Brooklyn, New York

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posted october 21, 2008

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