Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Spiderman is real. And, he's French. I know that is a blow to some of you, but you're just going to have to deal with it. His name is Alain Robert. He climbs tall buildings with the greatest of ease and he doesn't even need web junk spewing out of his palms. He uses a chalk bag on occasion instead.

Alain Robert has been climbing the world's tallest buildings for some time now. He does not ask permission (because he's Spiderman) and when wants to climb one he simply goes to the city that has the building, finds the building, and up he goes. He generates quite a spectacle, and people tend to gather down below, or stop working to watch him climb from a nearby office building. Typically when he reaches the top the police are waiting there for him. However, to date, no one has prosecuted him (you can't prosecute Spiderman).

So a couple days ago he climbed the New York Times building carrying a banner about global warming, and our impending doom if we didn't do something. The banner read, "Global warming kills more people than 9/11 every week." Well, it's one thing if Spiderman is saving Mary Jane and attacking Doctor Octopus, but when he starts going political I start to lose respect, especially when you start comparing global warming to terrorism. The only way he's going to gain it back is if he carries my banner about global cooling to the top of the Petronas Towers in Malaysia (which, consequently, he has already climbed).


squirrelyearl said...

I'd rather see him climb this, which he probably will.

Wendy Peffercorn said...

i agree... when spiderman goes political... it is just wrong. but i do think it's funny that the police are usually waiting for him at the top whereas spiderman usually delivered people to the police.

Anonymous said...

I was impressed with your french spiderman.. until he started carrying global warming banners around. what a pity shame.

Anonymous said...

michael - you mean 'malaysia', right

it's good that spiderman hung that banner ... sure, it's great just to see him climb, but we all need to wake up to the consequences of global warming and play our role ... global warming has personal dimension as well as a political one ... i don't see alain making his message overtly political

he's trying to do a good thing and should be applauded for that

well done alain and keep on climbing

Michael Powers said...

Being good stewards of the environment is our responsibility, but global warming is not anything more that the fluctuation of the earth's temperature over time. A couple decades ago it was global cooling, now it's global warming...the fact is, we need to moderate our consumption and recycle and be smart. But the correlation between the global temperature and CO2 is spurious at best. The real correlation is between solar activity and temperature. However, there are other non-natural gases that are produced that we should be more concerned about than CO2.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Michael Powers is wrong -- the relationship between CO-2 and warming is directly proportionate, and was proven theoretically in the early decades of the last century by Swedish physical chemist Arrhenius (don't know his first name).

Moreover, the vast majority of scientific research shows this _actually_ happening, not just in the lab, as Arrhenius established, but in actuality. Check out any issue of NAture, Science, the Journal of Geophysics or other academic, scientific publications. Science does work by using the weight of accumulated evidence, so simply producing some crankpot funded by Exxon Mobil whose studies can't stand up to peer-review is not convincing.

Unfortunately, this will not interest Mr. Powers. We all know that Mr. Powers' position on this -- and those who agree with him -- is essentially theological, and will not be swayed by any amount or kind of evidence, no matter how overwhelming, of anthropogenic global warming, but I thought I would note this for those of us who read this blog and engage with reality rather than right-wing fantasy when it comes to science.

More scientific literacy, please.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Power's view is not theological at all. CO2's effect is minimal at best, and if it's such a problem then stop breathing and cap all flatulence.

Here's a look at some peer reviewed and well published information on the subject:












Jarvie said...

My Take:

Maybe spiderman should have had a footnote at the bottom of his banner to state how he came to his conclusion. :)

But it sounds like he did what he set out to do... Make people think.

But he no longer is a Spiderman (Never was Thee spiderman)... He is now a political activist...
The real spiderman had a specific set of beliefs (they were different)

Doesn't make what these two different spidermen did a bad thing... just a different thing.

He now opposes some people's beliefs (Such as Mr. Powers) and supports others. He has set himself as a symbol of ideology for one side.
He is no longer simply a guy climbing buildings.

The problem now is that when he is arrested for doing something (he never was supposed to...) it will now be seen as an attack of his ideology... and that's the shame.(Or is it)

Tricky? Yes. But he is stirring things up (not bad)
For his sake I hope he's ready for the consequences.

As for Global Warming/Cooling
I think we should be good/better stewards of the world... that is my stance.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what definition Jacques Pierre's using for "peer-reviewed," but opinion pieces in right-wing newspapers doesn't cut it. Maybe I should be more specific: scientific articles peer-reviewed by _scientists_, rather than Conrad Black.

On what basis are you saying CO2 has no effect? The work of Arrhenius _proves_ it does. Indeed, it's ironic that in a post intended to refute the theological character of Michael Powers' bizarre global warming beliefs, Mr. Pierre cites no evidence for this statement about CO2, instead simply asserting, in the manner of theology (that is, to be accepted as though taught in the catechism rather than illustrated w/ regard to evidence), that it has no effect.

My point about scientific illiteracy (whether willful or otherwise) stands.

Anonymous said...

Just remember that scientific opinions change frequently. Some theories last longer than others, but all are awaiting further knowledge, and are rarely absolute. Take that into account before you become too comfortable in your reliance on science.

Michael Powers said...

Science comes and goes, as does everything else except God, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be responsible individuals. Taking either side to the extreme is foolish. That is my point. There is no impending global catastrophe, but we should pay more mind to the little things and do our part.