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YouTube Emissions

By Rob Mitchum & Jake Reimer | 5.21.07

Sure, there’s currently lots of debate in political and scientific arenas over global warming, its existence, and its impact upon mankind and Mother Earth. But as the improbable box office success of Al Gore’s film  lecture An Inconvenient Truth shows, global warming has been the rare scientific issue that has crossed over to the realm of pop culture, becoming a talk-show punchline, water-cooler discussion point, and souvenir industry. Here’s a toe-dip in the melted ice-cap waters of the global warming discussion raging everyday on the battlefield of YouTube.

1. The Myth of Man-Made Global Warming (sorry, embedding is disabled on this clip for some reason)

When history looks back on the War Of Global Warming, they will observe that it was fought not with guns, and not with legislation, but with Powerpoint presentations. Here’s a rebuttal to Gore and colleagues that rocks what sounds like a John Carpenter movie score and helpfully UNDERLINES and CAPITALIZES its important points, as with the important question: ARE THE SCIENTIC FACTS IN LINE WITH ALL THE … SCARY MODELS?

2. What's Going On?: Global Warming and My Chemical Romance

Maybe I’d be more convinced if the previous slideshow had instead used a My Chemical Romance soundtrack, a bunch of blurry pictures from Google image search, and edgy font. The credit sequence is worth sticking around for.

3. Silent Resolution: The Amazing Secret About Global Warming

For your own health, this YouTube is better listened to than watched, lest you’re driven to epilepsy by the rapid-fire sentence fragment graphics. This clip fills the alien-conspiracy niche for global warming, as the narrator, an “investigative reporter” speaks of his interviews with a humanoid alien named M about how we can stop this environmental threat. Turns out aliens are basically hippies.

4. NY Times - April Fools 2007 - The Global Warming Rapture

Hey, what’s with the conspiracy theorist aversion to quality cinematography anyway? Here’s another guy who ignores the visual potential of YouTube while reciting what’s either an off-the-cuff editorial about “the global warming fraud” or the worst freestyle rap ever.

5. NRDC at Bonnaroo - Stop Global Warming!

I have to admit, I wasn’t convinced about the danger of global warming until I heard G. Love rap about it. Here, the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Dan Lashof (who I’m not entirely convinced isn’t a David Cross character) bores rock stars and rock crowds with his hip tips for reducing energy use. Stop breaking down my mother, yo!

6. Will Ferrell as George W. Bush - Global Warming Commercial

Just the facts on global warming from the man who brought you George Bush on Voting during the last election. There’s nothing more inspiring than watching one highly-respected public figure imitating another highly-respected public figure, and Ferrell does an excellent job in staying true to our president’s vision of global warming.

7. Britney and Paris Debate Global Warming

Respected public figures, take two. This one looks like a school project gone bad. But it’s worth watching just to ask yourself – what if these two actually squared off on something as substantial as this?

8. Boxer to Inhofe - Talk to the Gavel

Luckily we can count on our real public servants to conduct themselves in a more dignified manner. This exchange between Senator Inhofe and Barbara Boxer is priceless. Not that he doesn’t deserve it, but you can almost hear her singsonging “nyah nyah, I’ve got the gavel.”

9. Inhofe Interview on Fox and Friends: Weather Wars

If there’s anyone qualified to discuss the meteorological subtleties of global warming, it’s the gaggle of jackass ex-weatherpeople that make up Fox News’ incessant Fox & Friends morning show. Here Sen. Inhofe hauls out his usual talking points (i.e. “The media is crazy! Except for this media I’m speaking on right now, of course.”), including the role of that diabolical organization, the Weather Channel, in promoting this liberal agenda.

10. The Great Global Warming Swindle



This sleek controversial UK documentary comes down strongly against anthropogenic warming. It’s a sharp contrast to the staid Power Point rebuttal by a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, but we believe him because he’s got a better accent.

Mass Spectator

Science is no longer exclusively found in dusty old journal pages and highlighter-saturated used textbooks, it's made the transition to other media as well. From the much-neglected science networks in the triple digits of your satellite lineup to the low-bitrate landscapes of YouTube, from the dry, stodgy documentaries to the pretty faces and flimsy facts of TV medical dramas, science's noble pursuit is now one more food group of content for the insatiable entertainment machine. In Mass Spectator, we corral some of that showbiz science for your discerning edutainment.

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