Do the Math

Do the Math

2013, Environment  -   46 Comments
Ratings: 8.37/10 from 166 users.

Like most people, Bill (environmentalist and co-founder of, is not an activist by nature. There's really not that many people whose greatest desire it to go out and fight the system. His theory of change was that he'll write his book, people will read it and they'll change. But that's not how change happens. What is required is to make a little noise, be a little uncomfortable, and push other people to be a little uncomfortable. The moment has come where we have to take a real stance, because we're reaching limits.

The biggest limit that we're running into may be that we're running out of atmosphere into which to put the waste products of our society, particularly the carbon dioxide that is the ubiquitous byproduct of burning fossil fuels. We burn coal, or oil, or gas, we get CO2 and the atmosphere is now filling up with it.

We know what the solutions for dealing with this trouble are; we know many of the technologies we need to get off fossil fuel and onto something else. The thing that is preventing us from doing it is the enormous political power wielded by those who have made and are making vast windfall profits off of fossil fuels.

One of the things that humanity is facing is the need to dramatically reduce its carbon footprint over the next 40 years. We're no longer at the point of trying to stop global warming. It's too late for that. We're at the point of trying to keep it from becoming a complete and utter calamity.

The most important climatologist, Jim Hansen, had his team at NASA do a study to figure out how much carbon in the atmosphere was too much. The paper they published may be the most important scientific paper of the millennium to date, said we now know enough to know how much is too much. Any value for carbon in the atmosphere greater than 350 parts per million is not compatible with the planet on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted.

That's pretty strong language for scientists to use. Stronger still if you know that outside today, the atmosphere is 395 parts per million CO2. And rising at about 2 parts per million per year. Everything frozen on earth is melting. The great ice sheet of the arctic is reduced by more than half; the oceans are about 30% more acidic than they were 30 years ago because the chemistry of sea water changes as it absorbs carbon from the atmosphere. And because warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere is about 5% wetter than it was 40 years ago. That's an astonishingly large change.

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46 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Josh

    I just don't understand how such smart people can be so stupid. The government isn't going to help us, they are the ones allowing this and profiting from it!

  2. Environmentalist

    I can't still understand why is focusing the 2nd and 3rd problems of global warming (energy production, transportation) instead of addressing MAIN cause, which is ANIMAL AGRICULTURE. (i'll prove below)

    The key points they mentioned are:
    —"Let's get more renewable energy source" (The problem is that we need AT LEAST 20 years and AT LEAST 14 trillion dollars to develop. We don't have time and money tho)

    —"without fossil fuels we can win this fight?? " (The problem is that ONLY raising and killing animals for food we will still exceed our maximum carbon emissions, 565 gigatons by 2030, without burning fossil fuels)

    —"Fossil fuels companies are destroying the world??" (The problem is that we are destroying Earth by still driving car, using electricity or burning fuel to warm our houses. To solve this we MUST internalize those costs to make every person who buys fossil fuels pay part money for environmental damage, etc. )

    To know more about MAIN problem and damage to our planet, I honestly recommend you to watch film "Cowspiracy".

    For more questions please, comment down below.

  3. GoodCO2

    I'm no fan of big corps but ADM had a slick way of making energy and using the CO2. Their Ethanol making process creates CO2 which they piped over to green houses which made stuff grow quite well.

    What? Me worry about CO2? I like stuff to grow.

    The nice thing about that ADM process is no heavy metals, oxides of nitrogen, Petrol Hydrocarbons, particulates, nor coal fly ash to deal with. Just some tasty food that you didn't need to spray INSECTicides on because the CO2 filled green houses suffocate any critters that snuck in.

    Multiple wins because you can recycle the remnants of the food processing well as the human effluent if you didn't depend on ridiculous city planners to hire those firms who design and install river polluting sewage systems.

    Both likely get long term kickbacks from the chemical treatment companies those systems are tied to. Same for the chlorinated water systems.

  4. DustUp

    From storyline: "The most important climatologist, Jim Hansen..."

    Laughing. There is no most important anyone. If by chance a plane crashes into or a big truck runs over someone, like an agenda driven govt scientist who would get canned or defunded if he didn't stick with the global warming BS narrative, the climate will do what if this most important dude is gone? Clearly drivel in an attempt to add credibility to something that lacks it.

    Also in the storyline they talk about things changing in 40 years. There are cycles that are longer than that.

    The sad thing is that as we enter into another cold cycle or ice age, whatever the case may be, people are believing these so called "scientists" disproven claims of global warming (no, its not my job to waste my time citing opposing studies of yesteryear, you would ignore them anyway, and can easily find them yourself if you wanted rather than blaming your excuse filled mind on others). Significant areas on the coast would be under water by now if what Al Gore, supposedly quoting scientists, was true. Was found to be BS based on erroneous computer models, and they knew it.

    No, I'm not a fan of pollution. I view Hydrocarbons, Heavy metals, Toxic chemicals, Radioactivity, etc. as pollution. CO2 not so much. The plants seem to like it. If you cut back on spewing the bad stuff, there will be much less CO2 being spewed as well, if that is your concern.

    When you finally figure out that their modus operandi is to scare you into giving them more central power and control over you... more socialism-communism you will no longer be confused about what the New World Odor is about and how they are incrementally getting you to fall for it. Same for gun control. They really cannot do to you what they really desire until they get the guns.

    Don't wait for scientists to save you. They won't. They already have sold you out. Make your own energy via an old Nikola Tesla or similar patent or make your own fuel via an ethanol still. Much cleaner burning, carbon neutral, mixes with water, takes power out of the hands of the big corporations.

  5. mikem

    j stuf
    ur not smart

  6. Jay Steff

    Cimate change has been part of the environment since the begining of time. It shows in geology!!!! That is long before there were HUMMERS or other SUV'S or back yard fire pits. Grow up and don't let environauts convince you otherwise!

  7. ally

    yes, the planet will refresh and take care of itself. Unfortunately that refresh constitutes an extinction event, the human race will be wiped out. Its a misnomer to say we are saving the planet, we are not, we are saving the human race. Yes the planet has warmed before and the oxygen levels have grown and fallen but always as a consequence, once again the planet is warming and once again oxygen levels will change and in doing so we will die. It is that simple. We can control the CO2 we add to the green house gas effect which has no natural effect to counter it. The rest of the CO2 levels and green house gas levels are a perfect symbiotic balance with what is naturally created naturally cleaned. The human effect unfortunately has no natural way to be cleaned. Its all very simple but people are being misled by a very strong powerful group who are only interested in their monetary gains and we or more likely our children will pay the ultimate price.

  8. Thomas Lee

    Global warming IS the #1 problem facing the planet, and going after the CEO's of big oil are fair game...They must be stopped. The fundamental problem with our government (US) is the private bank called the Federal Reserve. You revamp this back into a government controlled gold-backed system and it will be an excellent start. Cutting military spending by about 80% is another. Now you can have free medicine, infrastructure fixes, and an education system for all who want/.need it. We might do a lot better if we begin to have employee-owned businesses rather than corperation giants with CEO's having little or no regard for the little guy or the environment.

  9. Redd

    This Climate Change Propaganda is just one of the propaganda's of the these "Elites" designed....just like Terrorist Propaganda to create Wars....Inflation Propaganda to create financial collapse...etc. they are designed to make humanitary crisis in the whole achieve their goal, to control the world under "New World Order" Policy.
    Climate Change is a part of the "Earth's Life Cycle"....which means self self healing process by means of balancing. Just like H2O cycle....Carbon cycle....even every living thing's life cycle.

    1. Monty Henry

      "Climate Change is a part of the "Earth's Life Cycle" Prove it!

  10. Bubba Bong

    typical al gore propaganda film. carbon credits are not the answer. legalize hemp and the worlds problems will be solved.

    1. edgedweller

      how many bongs do we need to smoke for the problem to go away?

    2. DigiWongaDude

      Just one, but perseverance is essential.

    3. Airvaulting for Girls

      Just be blunt, why don't you?

  11. Colleen Farrell

    Great video! This was the first one I watched from this site. Thanks!

  12. truk

    Any idea of a "movement " needs to be updated; the only movement is one where we all find ourselves paying a lot more for fossil fuels during this transition. Together, all of us are going to be a lot poorer for awhile. How's that for solidarity?

    Divestment? Who buys up all that stock when you sell yours off? Divestment is a new transfer of wealth and power that we will have to contend with during this transition. I think the emotional idea of a "movement" is a distraction, and quite false, and perhaps more about nostalgia for a movement that never really happened. The young people I know don't buy it. They see a world of deep contradictions , where talk is cheap.

    Where is the conversation about our complicity in supporting big oil? Why is it us against them? Until this complicity and responsibility is dealt with, this message is just superficial and relatively meaningless. These types of messages have a new function, but its not to deal with the gravity of the issue.

    Now I am going to go back to using all the cheap fossil fuels and materials that are readily available in my immediate environment. My wealth as an American has made it so hard choices are difficult to even consider. I, like everyone reading this, take the path of least resistance, continuing to enjoy relative peace and prosperity-detached from the actual consequences of my actions, regarding our current economic/energy paradigm.

    1. Ozurr

      Some people are doing something but it takes a very long time to change things with the individual's practices. Time is running out and we really need some top-down decisions that will let us living a fossil free life.

  13. Wayne Siemund

    Every year Kansas has more and more wind turbines installed and capturing the gift from Canada and the Gulf. That interaction of cold northern air with the warm southern air.

    Even that is only a beginning. Wind turbine technology and energy storage technology are advancing every year. It is also ironic that the effects of climate change on the jet stream may be assisting the production of electricity from these turbines by stalling and keeping the wind circulating in the same area at greater speed.
    Tornado alley may offer a greater source of energy than the coal plants in the area.
    It also seems the migratory effects that we were warned of has not happened. Birds are not being killed by those blades in great numbers. In fact, it appears birds are adapting to their motion and using the backwash as flight assistance.

    1. systems1000

      And your point being, problem solved lets go back to sleep?

  14. Ilija Prentovski

    For centuries, real value has been extracted from the Earth and converted into a fiction called money. Depleted tangible resources cannot be further monetized, so a new “ingenious” idea is brought into spotlight – let’s cover up our bulls*it and make everyone pay for an invented threat. Check out "The Story of Cap & Trade" online to see what I mean.

    Hence a massive disinformation campaign, that has been going on for at least a decade, and no mention of the REAL dangers:
    - Wide scale contamination of the food supply from GMOs
    - Clandestine weather modification and geo-engineering programs
    - Disruption of eco-systems and food chains on a massive scale
    - Ongoing destruction of all life in the Gulf of Mexico, Alberta/Canada, and elsewhere
    - Grave worldwide pollution from depleted uranium and nuclear power-plants

    Capitalism, socialism, communism... or any other "ism" are mind constructs, made by tossing around meaningless words. They are all based around raping our habitat, extracting every last bit of life-supporting value and not giving anything in return. What is different is the distribution of that value among the rapists.

    Let us not fight each other. Let us not be distracted from the single most important task we all have in common - unf--king our world! Today is a great day to start. The “visionary leaders” of yesterday are gone down the memory hole. It is up to us. All of us.

    1. systems1000

      What you say sounds right and true,and a lot of people have a lot of good ideas.But when they get power these good ideas seem to morf into something else.Can we really expect man to over come being the beast with good intentions.

    2. Don Stewart

      "Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest reasons will somehow work for the benefit of all" - John Maynard Keyes

  15. systems1000

    I admire optimism but I think (and by no means all alone) that any renewable source of energy will only be par for the course.To little to late.

  16. systems1000

    There is no renewable source of energy. At least not to sustain the high living and simple thinking of the west,not to mention the emerging nations. dog,your life is slowly trickling away like an opened vein in the wrist.

    1. charliefin

      Yes there is. The earth is a giant capacitor refreshed 24/7 by that big electric ball (that some think is a nuclear reactor) we call the Sun. We just have to tap it instead of letting it discharge through lightening.

    2. Klaus-bud Oracle-kaczor

      It's so easy to dream of solutions, compared to actually making them work and installing them, eh?

    3. systems1000

      We just have to tap into it? Good luck with those people whom so far will not let you.And they have billions to stop you.

  17. john ford

    That Corporate interests are destroying the environment for a quick profit shows the psychotic mindset that rules at the top.
    Rape a planet for profit and see what you get..

  18. fhade

    Co2 is good for the plants increases their growth rate.

  19. RickRayFSM

    We're running out of fresh water to drink! It's wasted for nothing and the fact that we'll all die of thirst will come before we can't breathe anymore. We know the oceans are being polluted alongside the air. Hell, bottled water is much more expensive than gasoline.

  20. Grant Connolly

    This is NOT about politics. It's about our survival. Why do people always bring politics into the discussion? I want my children to have a home and a good opportunity to stay breathing. What's so difficult to understand about that. If I have to learn to speak pig Latin to do so I will.

    1. David Griffith

      Politicians make it a political issue. Aside from grossly overstating the facts to the public, they use it as a political platform. It serves as a great distraction tactic in political debate, helping to shy away from real matters, and moreover our governments feel compelled to 'solve' the problems by recommending great 'solutions' like 'Carbon Taxes' and 'Carbon Credits'.

      The question to them isn't how to save the environment, it is how many rights are you willing to waive, and how much cost are you and then your children willing to absorb to survive, if the public perceives there is a threat. It is distortion of reality.

  21. systems1000

    @Exton: Enjoy both your flood & drought.

    1. David Griffith

      Enjoy your propaganda. The media does a great job at providing you a skewed view of reality.

      If a change in climate were as powerful and as moving as the political agendas which back the idea, you wouldn't have as much resistance from the independent scientific community. If the fact that the Earth has slowed warming in the past 15 years, which is just *baffling* to climate scientists, doesn't make you question your position, maybe the reality that there still even exists controversy over this issue so many years after first word came around should give you reason to pause.

    2. systems1000

      We do have much resistance from the independent scientific community. You and your four friends must have fallen a sleep during this doc as well as hundreds just like it. And I suspect you,ll have much more then 4 friends.Bring on the denial mail.

    3. David Griffith

      Quite awake and lucid my friend -- there is real information out there amongst the disinformation.

      Just take a study or two on climate change, and check out the backgrounds of the people and institutions saying the sky is falling.

  22. ChefBryn

    Isnt it disgusting a few people rule what happens in our society. Never understood lobying, surely its fundamentally wrong as all it does is protect the Company and not the civilian. US politics is very very corrupt

    1. mmt63

      Yes, lobbying should be illegal, and the supreme court's judgment deeming corporations personhood is so obviously unjust that I can't even imagine how it came to pass, other than blatant corruption on their part and ignorance on our part. It's time to wake up before it's to late for us all.

  23. Exton

    This video is about BIG GOVERNMENT. The government spends over $5 billion on pushing this garbage. This is just Marxist propaganda.

    “No matter if the science is all phony; there are collateral environmental
    benefits... [C]limate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.”

    —Christine Stewart, Canadian Environment Minister.
    [Environmentalism equals changing the world.]

    “I think if we don’t overthrow capitalism, we don’t have a chance of saving the world ecologically. I think it is possible to have an ecologically sound society under socialism. I don’t think it’s possible under capitalism.”
    —Judi Bari, Earth First! member.
    [Environmentalism equals replacing capitalism with socialism.]

    “[W]e have to offer up scary scenarios [about global warming and destruction of the environment], make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts one might have... Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”

    —Stephen Schneider, Stanford University environmentalist.
    [Environmentalism equals lies “if necessary.”]

    “I would freely admit that on [global warming] we have crossed the boundary from news reporting to advocacy.”

    —Charles Alexander, Time magazine science editor.
    [Environmentalism equals indoctrination.]

    1. TheDanishViking

      See? Right there - you did it again.

      Capitalism can be great. After WWII several hundred million Europeans and Americans experienced a substantial increase in living standard. If we had gone the other way - the socialist way - we would have been poor nations today, just like the East Block was poor (and to a large extent still is poor). Capitalism won, socialism lost.

      But! During the last couple of decades there has not been the same producitivity-based growth in Western economies. There has been bubbles, and, not least, there has been the increasing US debt that has carried the world economy. Meanwhile, capitalism has moved to China where it have improved the living standard of hundreds of millions of people (and after that capitalism will move to India and Africa). So capitalism is doing great it just doesnt live here anymore...So what it my point? Well, could you please stop this "capitalism vs. socialism" bulls*it. That debate belongs to a past time. Now the time is to make the right decisions based on pragmatism. If you do not believe in global warming that is another debate.

    2. dmxi

      The mistake of equaling the term 'socialism' with failed active societies that practiced communism renders a lot of voters baffled at what the term actually represents. In its core the motif is to supply every citizen with its right for a substantial education, labor, options, healthcare, an adequate pension, a representative legal system & most important a direct interaction between voted officials & their employee's:"the public"!

      If you sustain a system which operates via pressure through debt slavery, thriving due to a consumer profile of short living products & the glass-pearls of the 21 century: cheap labored needless products overpriced through aggressive advertising, socialism sure sounds threatening & should be demonized for the sake of exploitation....just logical ,if self preservation for oppressing is aimed!

    3. Useful Eater

      Capitalism is not necessary for nations to advance, its just the only vehicle to get there that isnt immediatley crushed by er...capitalists.

      Capitalism at its core is just profiteering,payng people less than the value of their work where the only chance to "advance" is to do the same to somebody else,a shitty pyramid scheme thats failing right in front of your eyes.

      Oh and it sounds like you are talking about manufacturing ie: pillaging,poisoning and getting the natives to get loans off the IMF so they can build factories to make Nikes and refineries to turn all that lovely land into garbage the post industrial west can buy haha.

    4. systems1000

      Yes,capitalism is doing well now in China,India and Africa. But only for the very few eliet.Oh i,d say about 1%? Yes,the power and the grandure of the feudal system from the past is once again rearing its ugly head.
      PS.Walmat has its eye on you.

    5. TheDanishViking

      Wow!? Did you guys even read the above posts in this thread? The point I was making is that people should stop placing every political question into a "right vs left" perspective. And what happens!? My post is followed by three posts doing exactly that.

      Fact: Several hundred of millions of chinese have experienced a dramatic increase in living standard over the last couple of decades. They have gone from living for one dollar per day, to having a small apartment, etc. This is the work of capitalism, like it or not (sure, on top of that you have the 1% super-rich)

      If you ignore this, you are ignoring the facts, and the only people who will listen to you are people who already agree with you.

      Third, China is not 100% capitalism. It is also socialism - as is the US and the EU. The world is not black and white. So why do we get stuck in this socialism vs capitalism debate again and again? It is not very constructive. That was my point.
      Of cause my post will now be countered by another person arguing against capitalism once more, or a person giving a lecture on the difficulties with defining "capitalism vs socialism" while at the same time not being aware of how this problem of definition so clearly and exactly prooves my point... jeeeesus...

    6. gopalrajkumar

      Capitalism has been in India since the dawn of man. I think you mean foreign investment of hot money that comes in creates a bubble a trend, consupmtion and consumerism to the nth degree tall glass brass buildings 4x4 vehicles and credit cards. Thats not going to happen in India in a long time. Once bitten twice shy. The Chinese like the former Soviets are a different breed. They have been locked up for so long anything goes.

  24. 1concept1

    Good Doc.!

    One never wins over a mind set by first stating, "Your a s*upid id*ot, now let me tell you why" The mind shut down at "your a st*pid i*iot", and could hear nothing else, (are you listening),

    Yes big oil etc. is about money! Its also about how meany people are employed in this industry? The oil company's are entideled, (they like this word now, don't they:-) to compensation or should be the system in force that process the Alternative energy supply? Now we TOGETHER protect the vested interest of the stock holders and many jobs? plus the ECOSYSTEM!

    This is one big ship were in together and if we continue to punch holes in our own boat.............

    This does not fall under "The Haves And The Have Not's this falls under


    My concept above is not carved in stone?

    So can we start from here? I am all ears:-) xxxXXXxxxoooOOOooo..... ... .. .