When the history of AGW is written, I believe that three occurrences will have been crucial in setting the stage for CO2 emissions reductions:
- Hurrican Katrina - we can argue about the effect of AGW on hurricanes, but there's no question in my mind that Katrina had an affect on how many view AGW
- Drowning polar bears - images play a key role in policy debates, and images of so-called charismatic megafauna can quickly become iconic. These images appeal to the obligation many feel for stewardship of the planet.
- Al Gore - Love him or hate him, his movie has had a huge effect on the debate --- not on the hard-core Gore haters, nor on the AGW believers, but on the undecided middle of the debate. And not necessarily because they went to see his movie, but because his movie has kept AGW in the news and on the public's radar.