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Ethical Man - Justin Rowlatt

Now I am pissed off

  • Justin Rowlatt -
  • 8 Sep 06, 06:37 PM

I wanted to write about the controversy I caused by asking a child if he was “pissed off”. The problem is my editor got there first, which pissed me off. What made it even more irritating is that he’d called me into his office the morning after my report and given me a mild dressing down. “A word of wisdom,” he said, “don’t swear at children.”

ethicalgore203b.jpgGood advice, but in the meantime I need to blog about something else and this week I met (to steal his gag) the former future president of the United States.

There’s no question Al Gore would have been the most important man I have ever met if those hanging chads hadn’t done for his presidential hopes. But losing the presidential election seems to have been the making of the man.

If someone had asked you if you wanted to invest in a film of Al Gore giving a lecture on climate change you’d have thought you were onto a sure-fire loser. A rival once said of Gore that he is so boring that when he has a fireside chat, the fire goes out. But Gore’s film is unexpectedly compelling.

The new Al Gore is a man with a righteous fire in his soul, a man on a mission. He wants to warn the world of the perils of global warming and his film - based on the slide show he’s been touring around America ever since the Supreme Court decided Bush was to get the White House – is a rousing call to arms.

It is a surprisingly emotional film and Al Gore is a surprisingly interesting man and if that pisses you off don't hesitate to comment here.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 08:48 PM on 08 Sep 2006,
  • kamano wrote:

Dear Sir,
This comment may not be on appropriate place, but I feel I have to make a comment on your bicycle topic.

When you ride bicycle (or moter bike), you must fasten the buttons of your jackets. This is safety reason.
(therefore, you should not be able to the "green badge", in fact...)

It is also the case, when you play with small children, the buttons on your as well as children's clothes need to be fasten. For example, edge of your jackets may accidentally hit your kid's eye.

I am sorry if I am writing on wrong place, and useless.

Regards.

  • 2.
  • At 12:34 AM on 09 Sep 2006,
  • Rick B wrote:

I'm pissed off because I've seen a trailer for "The Path to 9/11" to be shown on BBC2 on Sunday. This "docudrama" has been discredited in the USA as being innacurate and of inventing scenes that never happened (and basically being neocon propaganda).

"ABC gets more pressure to toss 9/11 film": https://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060908/ap_en_tv/911_film_clinton_officials

I watched "An Inconvenient Truth" and it made me realise how totally shallow Dave Cameron is about his enviromnetalism.

Al Gore has done his presentation over a THOUSAND times. If my maths is working then Dave Cameron needs to do a two-hour presentation about how he is going to fix the planet every single day until the next election. That pissed ME off.

It also made me realise that no-one in the New Labour cabal has no idea about how to fix the climate change either.

Blair has his head up an oilman's arse, Gordon (is a moron) Brown is as stuck in the past thinking about Africa. That browned me off!

And the only party leader who even had a clue pissed off himself because he was pissed all the time and has been replaced by someone too old to care what the planet will be like in 2050.

  • 4.
  • At 03:58 PM on 09 Sep 2006,
  • Paul D wrote:

I am pissed off that Al Gore was not elected.

I feel bad that America does not have a Libertarian Green Govt.

  • 6.
  • At 01:25 PM on 11 Sep 2006,
  • Robert McIntyre wrote:

This is a bit of a rude blog.

Cameron is leader of the opposition so he's bound to have less time than Gore. Also, he has to have policies about everything whereas Gore can focus on the environment.

I watched the Path to 9/11 and agree that it rendered itself pointless by not being entirely factual as it had no dramatic merit it could only be viewed as a source of accurate information about happened which it wasn't.

  • 7.
  • At 12:11 AM on 12 Sep 2006,
  • Tim Wilkinson wrote:

Although the story uncritically confirms the official 'general inefficiency + Clinton's cuts' story - missing out all the obvious questions, the choice of John P. O'Neill as the Keitel character was, perhaps for unintended reasons, of great interest. I hope plenty of people are prompted to Google him.

  • 8.
  • At 02:54 AM on 12 Sep 2006,
  • Sheepish wrote:

Do you just have the one suit, or are you just recycling the same one over and over again?

  • 9.
  • At 08:16 AM on 12 Sep 2006,
  • Allan wrote:

Who was the cellist who played at the end of Monday night's programme and what was the name of the piece he played - it was beautiful and a fitting end to the programme...

  • 10.
  • At 01:01 PM on 18 Sep 2006,
  • Steevl wrote:

Continuing the theme of off-topic comments, I wanted to say something about those Eco-Balls you spent £35 quid on. I'm not sure if anyone else has pointed this out in the months since then, but I've just read over your ethical diary and noticed them.

They don't do anything. The reason people believe they work, as evidenced by your unscientific test, is that people always compare washing done with eco-balls with washing done with detergent, and notice that they work almost as well. No one ever thinks to compare it to washing done in pure water, which also works almost as well. You'd find the balls make no difference whatsoever.

In the interest of being ethical, I think it would be appropriate to mention this on the programme, as some viewers may have ended up shelling out £35 on the silly things after seeing you use them.

Proper information about them is hard to find, but I know James Randi at the JREF knows about them, so get in contact with them if there are any questions about it.

  • 11.
  • At 12:01 PM on 13 Oct 2006,
  • Roger Houghton wrote:

I noticed that the cycle instructors don't wear helmets but you and all the other trainees do. Are the instructors the only ones who've read the research showing that drivers go an average of 8.5 cms closer to helmeted cyclists?

  • 12.
  • At 06:34 PM on 19 Oct 2006,
  • Graham Tattersall wrote:

There are MILLIONS of things that really piss me off (about 999,000 of them relate to British and US Government Policy) but since this is "Ethical Man's" Topic, I'll have a moan about some of the CRAP given out about Global Warming and Energy Conservation.

Low Energy Light Bulbs are great ..... but every "so called expert" I have listened to on the TV makes GROSSLY EXAGGERATED claims about them. In the UK these devices will NOT provide the energy savings that many people claim.
The facts are quite simple. The "excess" energy consumed by conventional light bulbs is NOT wasted as all these "experts" keep telling us, but is given off as heat, and since we use light bulbs far more in the winter time when daylight is in short supply, this "waste heat" makes a significant contribution to heating our homes and workplaces etc.
Replacing all conventional light bulbs with Low Energy ones WILL reduce the energy needed to illuminate premises, but these premises will now be COLDER and therefore MORE ENERGY will need to be used by the heating system to compensate.

  • 13.
  • At 12:49 PM on 23 Oct 2006,
  • Simon Jessop wrote:


I am p***ed off because I have recently been diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD).My doctor keeps urging me to get something called a Britebox,despite the fact that it is neither endorsed by nor available on the NHS.I cant possibly afford to buy one outright(and I suspect it wouldn't be ethical)so I must either subscribe to a time share scheme or some arrangement similar to a car pool.I wonder if it will be worth all the dreary give and take,and it will probably play havoc with my electricity bills.I am beginning to think I should just change doctor.

  • 14.
  • At 10:35 PM on 25 Oct 2006,
  • caroline wrote:

Reply to message 12:
First off, isn't it a good thing that people over exaggerated claims? It works in advertising, doesn't it? It's getting people to buy low energy light bulbs.

We have low energy light bulbs in our house. When it gets cold, we wear warmer clothes. It's stupid when some people have the heating on really high, yet wander around in a t-shirt.

Also, them not producing much heat is a good thing in the summer. Yes, they won't be used as much, but we still need lights on in the evening. On a warm evening, with a high energy lightbulb on which is producing heat, people will turn on fans, air conditioning etc. etc. - using up more energy.

  • 15.
  • At 11:46 PM on 25 Oct 2006,
  • William Houghton wrote:

Discussion on parking charges on "large" cars is not based on
facts. The new jaguars and many larger vehicles have lower
ommisions than smaller cars such
as the Mondeo. Being "large" or "4 x 4 " is not always relevant when one
talks about pollution. Older cars are the worse but generally owned by the poorest memebers of society, which is not equitable.

Dear J... ustin,

I'd like to meet Mr. Gore too, one day. Soon(ish).
I think he could help me help him help everyone mend the planet.

Can you fix that for me?

Thank you very much.

Peter
(Aged 49)

  • 17.
  • At 09:43 PM on 18 Nov 2006,
  • Anne Jones wrote:

Al Gore explains that America feels it is being conned into making commitments to cut pollution. The idea most opponents cling to is that global warming is a normal evolution of climate change. The increase in extreme weather conditions such as drought,hurricanes and flooding is NOT normal. He just wants people to understand it won't hurt them to make some changes in how they use energy and it just might make a difference to the future of the planet if they carry them through. The price of procrastination is a warmer planet and higher sea levels. It's easy to understand and something we can all put into practise.

  • 18.
  • At 12:17 PM on 25 Feb 2007,
  • George Dutton wrote:

“A word of wisdom,” he said, “don’t swear at children.”

Don`t like bad language and try my hardest not to use it even if I keep hearing it in the street/everywhere really.I think it`s a sad reflection of society (in my opinion).The problem is that we all become immune to it.Years ago it would not have been tolirated anywhere to see it happen so often on the BBC goes to show that many things have happening to society that should worry us all.But there again how many people are left that care anymore?.

  • 19.
  • At 02:40 PM on 26 Feb 2007,
  • George Dutton wrote:

I feel that I must point out to you Justin that your Ethical Man was a waste of time and effort, sorry no VERY sorry.
Why...

Today mankind set a NEW record in his history for producing CO2.Tomorrow he will set another NEW record for producing CO2.As what we were producing 50/100 years ago was too much CO2 it will show you what mankind is against today his own greed.

I wonder?...
The oil companies have taken out the slippery part that goes into diesel fuel I have heard?.Now diesel engine lasted twice as long as a petrol engine because of the slippery part of diesel fuel given extra lubrication to the moving parts of the engine.They done this to REDUCE CO2 emissions great you might think but hold on that means that you will have to make a new engine and probably a new vehicle long before you have to as the life span of a diesel engine has bee cut by 50%.Now is the saving on taken out the slippery part that goes into diesel fuel REALLY a saving at the end of the day as you produce a lot of CO2 to make a new car/lorry or are the car makers and oil companies pulling a fast one to make more money???.

  • 20.
  • At 04:47 PM on 26 Feb 2007,
  • George Dutton wrote:

Got some more bad news for you Justin (very sorry again).

I see that President Bush has ordered for all intent and purpose to allow the logging off a great part of the vast Tongass forest in Alaska...

And somemore bad news the...Under the guise of simply changing federal regulations implementing the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), the Bush administration is planning to eliminate or seriously weaken vital environmental protections that apply to all of our national forests.

  • 21.
  • At 04:51 PM on 26 Feb 2007,
  • George Dutton wrote:

Got some more bad news for you Justin (very sorry again).

I see that President Bush has ordered for all intent and purpose to allow the logging off a great part of the vast Tongass forest in Alaska...

And somemore bad news the...Under the guise of simply changing federal regulations implementing the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), the Bush administration is planning to eliminate or seriously weaken vital environmental protections that apply to all of our national forests.

  • 22.
  • At 09:20 PM on 26 Feb 2007,
  • Christopher Kray wrote:


Am I alone in finding the whole debate about light bulbs just a little bit tame,not to say anal retentive?

  • 23.
  • At 09:32 PM on 26 Feb 2007,
  • George Dutton wrote:

22. At 09:20 PM on 26 Feb 2007, Christopher Kray wrote:

Am I alone in finding the whole debate about light bulbs just a little bit tame,not to say anal retentive?

Well Christopher Kray if you were to take your light bulb out of your anal you might not?.

19. At 02:40 PM on 26 Feb 2007, George Dutton wrote:

"I wonder?...
The oil companies have taken out the slippery part that goes into diesel fuel I have heard?"

I wonder if silicon was the slippery part that goes into diesel fuel?.It could be that they reduced the amount of silicon that goes into diesel? and not taken it out altogether???.

  • 25.
  • At 08:58 PM on 11 Mar 2007,
  • Daniel Rhodes-Mumby wrote:

George Dutton:
That was hardly called for.

About the whole light bulb thing though:
I believe most light bulbs are 40W, yes? That's 40 joules of energy per second being given out.
I believe that light-bulbs are generally about 90% efficient; that is, 90% of the energy given out is converted into light. The remaining 10% is likely nothing but heat.
That gives us 4 joules of heat energy per second.
It takes 4,200 joules of energy to heat up a litre of water by 1 degree Celsius. This 4,200 joules is known as its specific heat capacity.

Soooo...
That means it would heat a litre of water by 4*(1/4,200) degrees Celsius.
I am unsure of the specific heat capacity of air, but I imagine it would be more. So divide that answer by, say, 5.
We have a rough estimate of how much it heats up a litre of air in one second.
Now we must think about the amount of air in a house.
I'd imagine a thousand litres.
Let's just ignore energy loss to the surroundings such as the walls and objects and assume an even spread of the heat.
So that's (4*(1/21,000))/1,000.
That's around 0.0000001905 degrees Celsius per second increase of heat around the house, ignoring energy loss and time to diffuse.
There are 86,400 seconds in one day.
86,400*0.0000001905 = 0.016383.
That's how many degrees it'd rise in a single day, assuming a single light bulb is left on ALL DAY.
0.016383 degrees Celsius.

Not exactly much, is it?

Unless you're a physicist, don't make claims which can't be backed up.

  • 26.
  • At 09:26 PM on 23 Mar 2007,
  • Kathryn Taylor wrote:

In response to the above comment: you're just making up numbers!

An average light bulb is, say, 100W. Assuming 90% efficiency, that's 10W of heating. Over 24 hours, 10 Watts*84600 seconds = 846000 Joules of energy are used to heat up the room.

The specific heat capacity of air is about 1000 J/kg/degree Celsius (much lower than for water). The density of air is approximately 1.2 kg/m^3. An large room could be, say, 5m x 5m x 2m = 50 cubic metres, which contains 50*1.2=60 kg of air.

The temperature rise over 24 hours (assuming the door is closed and no heat escapes from the room) is therefore 846000/(1000*60) = 14.1 degrees Celsius.

(and yes, I am a physicist, still in the lab at 9.30 pm...)

  • 27.
  • At 12:58 PM on 14 Apr 2007,
  • Hippy wrote:

Bottom line:

In the real world many of us have left the lights on all day, and not just one bulb either, but a couple of bulbs. And guess what? Strange as it may seem, when you get home from work that evening, OMG!!! the house is EVEN COLDER than when you left for work in the morning! You can throw around any numbers you like, but a theory has to be verifiable through experimentation to have any merit, even I as a lay person know that, and this one isn't, as just demonstrated by me.

Lightbulbs do a crap job of heating up a house, so go and get some energy savers cos you'll be using the central heating just as much whether you get them or not.


And if you don't believe me, rather than bandying about even more numbers that will go ignored by most of us, try the experiment for yourselves. Wait till next winter, turn off your central heating, switch on all your lights and leave things that way for a week. Then, when you're tired of freezing your bits off, turn the heating back on and go and buy some energy savers. Why not, they might even do some good, and it couldn't hurt to try :)

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