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Tilting at Windmills

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April 20, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

GLOBAL WARMING....Laura Turner on the real issue that prevents conservatives from accepting the reality of global warming:

Thus the condundrum: accepting the reality of climate change is one thing....But accepting that Al Gore was right about climate change, well...hoo... That throws a wrench into the personality-based Republican justification machine.

Yeah, that would be a bitter pill, wouldn't it? But not to worry: there are plenty of new barricades to erect before conservatives have to swallow it. It may be getting hard to keep up the venerable and much-loved pretense that we still need more study on the question of whether rising CO2 levels are causing global warming, but that doesn't mean conservatives can't just switch gears and claim that a bit of warming might actually turn out to be good for us, or that hurting the global economy is too high a price to pay to save Bangladesh, or....well, something. There's always something, isn't there, when corporate interests send out their marching orders to the GOP?

And, anyway, we've heard this song before. As I recall, the Clean Air Act and the Clear Water Act were supposed to devastate the economy too. How could industry possibly put up with all those burdensome regulations just because rivers were catching fire and kids were dropping dead on football fields in Los Angeles? And yet, the economy did fine. Isn't capitalism amazing?

Kevin Drum 6:18 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (194)

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Yes, although "amazing" isn't always the first word that springs to mind.

Posted by: skimble on April 20, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

You forgot to mention the Biblical imperative that calls for Man to dominate nature and use it solely for his needs. Thus, the Religious Right has an interest in opposing environmentalists.

Besides, environmentals all wear sandals with socks, crow about their wilderness backpacking adventures, and lecture about the evils of gas-powered transportation with an ardor that would make Cotten Mather proud.

Posted by: CT on April 20, 2006 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

You forgot to mention the Biblical imperative that calls for Man to dominate nature and use it solely for his needs. Thus, the Religious Right has an interest in opposing environmentalists.

One might argue that, inasmuch as survival of humanity is a need of Man, a certain degree of environmentalism is not merely consistent with but actually demanded by such a command.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 20, 2006 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

Remember, Jesus says it's a sin to drive an SUV.

Posted by: GOP on April 20, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Tonight on The History Channel, Decoding the Past, edgar cayce predicts World War II, the death of US presidents and The Great Depression.

Posted by: cld on April 20, 2006 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, there are two other huge obstacles towards acceptance.

One is that ending global warming will require negotiations as equals between rich and poor nations. Even if the rich nations were stop all emisisions, the poor nations emissons may already exceed what is tolerable and certainly will do so within a few decades. If the poor nations were to stop all emissions tomorrow, the rich nations emissions alone would produce unacceptable results. So, on this issue, rich and poor nations have to bargain as equals. We can't bully the poor nations into assuming the entire burden for us; we can't go it alone and solve the problem without them. We have to do our share of the problem and solving and still negotiate with the poor nations besides.

Secondly this is not a problem that lends itself to fundamentally conservative solutions. Green taxation won' solve the problem by itself; you need regulation and public works as well. For one thing any solution to global warming will involve a lot more rail both for people and especially for freight. It takes about one tenth the fossil fuel to move a ton-mile of freight by rail that it does by truck. Containerization already lets us move cargo mostly by rail, then use trucks for the final 50 miles. But as rail infrastructure deteriorates we are doing the opposite, moving more freight entirely by truck, and in combination journeys, using trucks for more of the miles and rail for less. To reverse this we not only need to start maintaining our rail infrastructure; we need to add more lines, more locomotive and especially more freightyards and switchyards, so that there are more entry/exit points to and from the rail shipping system. Additional connections between lines (via new trackbed and new switchyards) could also cut hundreds of miles off many journeys, encouraging the use of more rail freight over truck freight.

Posted by: Gar Lipow on April 20, 2006 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

cld -- Didn't I read Arthur Schlesinger say something favorable about the History Channel? Guess he didn't see this program.

Posted by: David in NY on April 20, 2006 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

This just in from the looney Christian Right Wing:
Thursday 20th of April 2006 10:24:12 AM PDT

Rev. Sheldon Speaks Out On Earth Day
April 20, 2006 This weeks commentary by TVC Chairman Rev. Louis P. Sheldon is on the upcoming Earth Day on Saturday, April 22.

The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970 and was organized by leftwing anti-Vietnam War activists and environmentalists. Coincidentally or not, the date was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lenin, the brutal dictator of Soviet Russia who condemned millions to death.

As Rev. Sheldon points out, the founders and supporters of Earth Day were far left radicals, including David Brower. In later years, he openly supported the Fidel Castro-inspired Sandinistas in overthrowing Nicaragua. The current head of Earth Day is Denis Hayes, who served as the first coordinator in 1970.

Rev. Sheldon observes: Ironically, on the first Earth Day, radical environmentalists were ranting about the alleged coming dangers of global cooling. Today, theyre ranting about global warming. So, which is it? ... the jury is still out on how to interpret complex and incomplete scientific data on global climate changes.

Rev. Sheldon urges Christians to look to the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, the Heartland Institute, and the Acton Institute for reliable information on environmental issues. Junk Science is another good source of information on non-politically correct views on environmental issues.

The Interfaith Stewardship Alliance has published the Cornwall Declaration, a statement about environmental stewardship and the importance of balancing proper stewardship of the worlds resources with sound science, concern for the poor, and reasonable economic policies that do more damage than good.

The Alliance is urging church leaders to join the Cornwall Network to begin educating church members about environmental issuesfrom a non-hysterical perspective. By joining the Cornwall Network, individuals and churches will have access to updates about environmental stewardship issues; bulletin inserts for distribution in churches; scripture notes on stewardship; an electronic newsletter on the environment; and other materials for Sunday School. Several educational projects are in the works right now.

For recent writings on the facts surrounding global warming and climate change, read these articles: RealClearPolitics - Articles - Public Doesn't Warm to Doom and Gloom; RealClearPolitics - Articles - The Media and Reporting on the Environment; Climate of Fear.

Read and distribute TVCs report on environmentalism: Evangelical Environmental Group Funded By Pro-Abort, Pro-Homosexual Foundation

Posted by: Martin on April 20, 2006 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Jonah Goldberg's column in the LA Times today carries the same theme. My favorite piece of idiocy in it is when he claims Gore is wrong to blame the disappearing snows on Mt. Kilimanjaro on global warming, when a study indicated that it was the clear-cutting of the forests that were the probably cause.

Posted by: danno on April 20, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

But see, if we didn't have the Clean Air act and all those other onerous gummint regulations, the economy would be doing even better! Why, my studies show that without those durned regulations, we could afford to cut taxes in America. More money in your pockets, see?

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on April 20, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

And here is exhibit A

What especially cracks me up is that Jonah accepts that global warming is real, and that it is likely man-made - but then says, roughly, "why rush off and spend trillions of dollars on a threat that might not be existential anyway?"

Compare and contrast with Iraq. Try not to cry.

Posted by: craigie on April 20, 2006 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

A theologian friend of mine points out that the command for man to have dominion over all the earth occurred before the fall from grace. God pretty much changed all the rules after Adam and Eve tasted the apple.

Personally, if I was God, I would be pretty pissed at humans for trashing the planet I created for them.

Posted by: fafner1 on April 20, 2006 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

With gobal warming, conservatives don't have enough scientific information to choose, with intelligent design, they've proved that scientific data can't answer their questions. Too little data on one issue, no need for it at all in another. Just depends on the issue I guess.

Posted by: schmo on April 20, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it bizarre that the party that most equates itself with family and family morals and tradition, etc., seems to hate children? Their own children, no less? I mean, 50, 100 years from now things could be quite unpleasant, and while I'm sure the GOP fatbastardscum feel pretty sure their kids and grandkids are gonna be plutocrats themselves, why would they want the world they live in to be fundementally effed up? They truly care about nothing besides power and I think the probably figure being king in a dying world is better than not being king at all.

Posted by: The Tim on April 20, 2006 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

Al Gore was right about climate change

*snicker*

Yeah, right!

Posted by: Al on April 20, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

Cute thing about Al Gore, but basically it boils down to a war between the fossil fuel industry and everyone else on Earth. The profits of the fossil fuel corporations are already almost inconceivably huge. In the era of "peak oil" which we are now entering, with demand for oil and other fossil fuels growing while supply peaks and then declines, their profits stand to skyrocket even higher. Unless, of course, the world moves to rapidly reduce the use of fossil fuels. They just don't want that to happen.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 20, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

Well, that Vanity Fair special issue was lame--simply because of its stupendously shallow treatment of everything. I suppose if Julia Roberts' fatuous gushing about her brand-new habit of taking a metal cup to Starbucks inspires someone to do the same, I can put up with a little personal retching.

Martin: How hilarious that these two sentences are right next to each other:

For recent writings on the facts surrounding global warming and climate change, read these articles: RealClearPolitics - Articles - Public Doesn't Warm to Doom and Gloom; RealClearPolitics - Articles - The Media and Reporting on the Environment; Climate of Fear.

Read and distribute TVCs report on environmentalism: Evangelical Environmental Group Funded By Pro-Abort, Pro-Homosexual Foundation

Climate of fear indeed.

Posted by: shortstop on April 20, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

but that doesn't mean conservatives can't just switch gears and claim that a bit of warming might actually turn out to be good for us, or that hurting the global economy is too high a price to pay to save Bangladesh, or....well, something

Done that already, to be duly recycled as necessary, Kevin.

Best,

D

Posted by: Dano on April 20, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, you know how those homos are all over this global warming fraud.

Posted by: craigie on April 20, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, you know how those homos are all over this global warming fraud.

They'll find global warming, all right--IN THE FIRES OF HELL!

Posted by: shortstop on April 20, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

And, anyway, we've heard this song before. As I recall, the Clean Air Act and the Clear Water Act were supposed to devastate the economy too.

Yep.

And this is true for two reasons.

1) Corporate folks fear the building of better mouse traps.... as their wealth is predicated on the old inefficient mousetraps. Environmental laws force into being better mousetraps. That's bad.

2) The marketplace has always taken a free ride on the atmosphere. Anybody and everybody can hang out a tailpipe (or two or three) and blow smoke. The marketplace doesn't charge you to blow your wastes up into the air. In essence: the invisible hand of the marketplace freeloads off the earth's atmosphere.


Posted by: koreyel on April 20, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Dude, you're letting fake tbrosz get to you.

Posted by: toast on April 20, 2006 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

What new "environmental laws" in response to global warming do y'all propose?

(This should be fun)

Posted by: GOP on April 20, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

If conservatives remain true to form, it won't be long before you hear them saying "We never said global warming isn't caused by human activities."

Posted by: sc on April 20, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

I remember when the Democrats proposed putting nutritional labels on all food sold in the U.S., things like fat content, %age of protein, etc. - the GOP trotted out the old "it will bankrupt businesses" schtick. Well, it became law and who among us doesn't read and use this labeling (and benefit from it)? And, as near as I can tell, it didn't affect corporate profits one iota.

These conservatives and their silly, misguided arguments have become pathetic...

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on April 20, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

David in NY,

The History Channel does have some really good documentaries and programs, (they had a fantastic program about Julius Caesar a few months ago), but it's interlarded with the most egregious tripe giving a context of historical verity to the dimmer topics that attract the attention of the dimmer populace with a general intention of promoting, apparently, wide-eyed religious credulity and right-wingediness.

Posted by: cld on April 20, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

GOP wrote: What new "environmental laws" in response to global warming do y'all propose?

The state of Maryland, where I live, just passed such a law, which mandates reductions in CO2 emissions (as well as mercury, nitrogen and sulfur) from power plants, a major source of greenhouse gases. The law also requires Maryland to join the existing Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a consortium of eastern states committed to mandatory CO2 reductions from power plants.

The law was opposed by our Republican governor (soon to be ex-governor) Robert Erlich, but he signed it after it was passed by veto-proof majorities in both houses of the Maryland legislature.

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network, which campaigned for this legislation, says that Maryland thus becomes the first "coal state" (a state producing a majority of its electricity from coal) to join the RGGI, and that "No state in America has passed legislation that reduces all four power plant pollutants in such an aggressive way. It is our hope that other states will now follow Maryland's lead and that the federal government will quickly supercede all such efforts with its own tough and comprehensive greenhouse gas reduction measures."

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 20, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

What new "environmental laws" in response to global warming do y'all propose?

(This should be fun)

I'll go back to my old standby -- how about a fuel tarriff on imports (a function of distance, weight, bulkiness). It would encourage the development of more efficient trading practices for the coming energy crisis, encourage US manufacturing, and even favor agriculture in the caucus state of Iowa. The downside is that It would totally fuck box stores and apparel companies that outsource everything to east asia and people who rely on their cheap crap.

Posted by: toast on April 20, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

Remember the "coming ice age" of 30 years ago. Global warming- same crock.

Posted by: doc on April 20, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

No, "doc."

The global cooling talking point is nicely blown away here:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=94

Posted by: Stefan Jones on April 20, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

Tucked away on page 7 of its Summary for Policy Makers, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admits the following:

"The rate of increase of atmospheric O2 concentration has been about 1.5 ppm9 (0.4%) per year over the past two decades. During the 1990s the year to year increase varied from 0.9 ppm (0.2%) to 2.8 ppm (0.8%). A large part of this variability is due to the effect of climate variability (e.g., El Nio events) on CO2 uptake and release by land and oceans."

"Slightly more than half of current CH4 emissions are anthropogenic (e.g., use of fossil fuels, cattle, rice agriculture andlandfills)."

"The atmospheric concentration of nitrous oxide (N2O) has increased by 46 ppb (17%) since 1750 and continues toincrease. The present N2O concentration has not beenexceeded during at least the past thousand years. About a third of current N2O emissions are anthropogenic (e.g.,agricultural soils, cattle feed lots and chemical industry)."

So, of the three most common greenhouse gases, only about a third of one (N2O) comes from human activity, only about half of a second (CH4) comes from human activity, and increases in the concentration of the third (CO2) were observed to vary by a factor of four over a single decade. A "large part" of this variation "is due to the effect of climate variability."

This means that our ability to reduce or stabilize concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases by reducing emissions from cars, power plants and other anthropogenic sources is severely limited.

Posted by: doobie on April 20, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Listened to the drugged out whack job known as Lush Rimbaugh this morning speaking his piece about "global warming".

He thought we should quit worrying about the melting Arctic and the extinction of polar bears, wallowing in thought that we "might" discover more oil reserves, even making a joke about accelerating global warming.

Of course the fool forgot completely that his compound in south Florida would then reside some twenty feet underwater.

Typical Republican moron.

When one considers that, in 1965, the Mojave Desert in California could supply 100% of the energy needs of the fricking globe, an answer lies at our doorstep. Like the Bible directs we do with strangers at our door, all we have to do is invite it in.

BTW, to be in "command", as the Bible directs, one must first be a guardian. It is only then that one can direct. Basic part of military leadership 101, not that I would expect a side of well-marbled pork like Jonah to understand.

Posted by: Sky-Ho on April 20, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

"The state of Maryland, where I live, just passed such a law, which mandates reductions in CO2 emissions"

What level of reductions? 1%? 10%? 80%? And over what period of time? What is the expected cost of these reductions? How did Maryland determine that the benefits will likely outweigh the costs? Or didn't it?

Posted by: GOP on April 20, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

You're right, it's all about who supports the theory...that pesky data doesn't have anything to do with the right's rejection of the theory of global warming.

Posted by: Yankee Sailor on April 20, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Quite simply, the republicans are in denial.... on pretty much everything.

Posted by: BJ on April 20, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

The global cooling talking point is nicely blown away here

I don't know about "blown away." The gist of that article is "yes, a whole lot of people were talking about global cooling back then, but that doesn't really count."

Posted by: tbrosz on April 20, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

I remember the global cooling scare. The thing of it is, it had a lot of consensus among climatologist and intelligent people discussed it seriously.
I'm not saying there's not global warming, Im just saying I'll believe it when the nutritionists can tell me if salt/meat/dairy/sugar/ ect is either good or bad for my health. (I wish they would make up their minds)

Posted by: Fitz on April 20, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

No, the jist is global cooling was considered as a theoretical possibility back then on various timescales up to tens of thousands of years, taken out of context by various non-scientists, found to be very unlikely in the near term (hundereds of years), then taken even further out of context and used by dishonest and or ignorant people to cast doubt on later science.

Posted by: jefff on April 20, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

doobie:
It's the change in GG gasses like CO2, CH4 and N2O that matters. If there were no such natural emissions, the earth would be a frozen snowball. And the fact that the CO2 buildup has noise in it over small timescales is also of not that much relevance.

Would it make sense to stop saving for retirement because the return on your investments varies from year to year? No. It's the longer term average that matters.

GOP: If your doctor tells you that, in his judgement, you're headed for a coronary, I can imagine your response:

"Reduce my fat intake, stop smoking, and exercise more? Do you have any numbers for the drop in risk I can expect? No more accurate than a factor of two eh? What level of reductions in fat? 1%? 10%? 80%? And over what period of time? What is the expected loss of enjoyment of life in these reductions? Please quantify. How did you, Dr, determine that the benefits will likely outweigh the costs in terms of my probable lifetime after-tax-income?"

No, not so smart. Smart would be going "oh, well, what can I do to improve things? Tell me the easiest steps first, then what I need to do longer term."

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 20, 2006 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

Nice Bruce (ok Im buying)
What do I know about freaking CO2 anyway?
But what are we really going to do? Has someone invented a water engine I dont know about? I live here in Detroit and my folks next door neighbor was a V.P. for G.M. He was head of the electric car project that ran for 20 years. They finally came out with that EV1 (Ted Danson bought one)
This guy took me for a ride (pretty neat, quick little car) Hes sitting there telling me It was a colossal waste of everybodys money, his career, and political will. They cant beat the battery problem no matter how much cash they threw at research. Anyway, the car sat two and maybe a set of golf clubs.

You know how India & China are growing.. What up?
Seriously?

Posted by: Fitz on April 20, 2006 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

Has Kevin blogged about Robert Novak saying Fitzgerald isn't going to indict anybody for leaking Valerie Plame's name?

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on April 20, 2006 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Global warming as is currently going on is unstoppable. No state -- NONE -- has proven willing to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions by the 60-70% that is neccessary to stop and reverse today's global warming. We're bound for at least 2 degC of future warming, and likely at least about twice that, since no nation is likely to significantly reduce its GHG emissions by 2025.

These are facts.

Accept them.

We *might* prevent 4-6 degC warming if we take some action in the next 1-2-4 decades with alternative fuels. Fuel cells, wind power, NUCLEAR POWER, solar power. It will be far from easy, and FRANKLY IT WON'T LIKELY HAPPEN UNTIL OIL STARTS TO PEAK AND RUN OUT.

We've shown already that we will use all the oil we can, even at current prices and appx 2-3 times higher, and global warming matters not. WE WILL BURN ALL THE OIL.

That's another fact.

Cry now. But we're in for at least 3 degC of global warming. The seas will not cover Florida or NY, but people will be impacted. Also, people will benefit -- Canada, Russia. They'll become breadbaskets.

Others will suffer, as they should.

These things are (almost) already set in stone.

Posted by: Rufus on April 20, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

I think Kevin's last paragraph inadvertantly points to a problem everyone concerned about global warming is having. He mentions that this isn't the first time we've heard about how this or that environmental policy was going to destroy our economy, yet we've always done fine. Can't anti-regulation sorts say exactly the same thing about environmentalist doomsday scenarios of the past (e.g., global cooling)? When you couple the innate difficulty most everyone has with imagining the more drastic possible consequences of global warming, regardless of political persuasion, with a (partially justified) widespread suspicion that environmentalist groups have overstated the danger of other environmental catastrophes, you get a lot of apathy. Both industrial and enviornmentalist groups have great incentive to magnify the dangers and minimize the costs of policies they oppose. I'm inclined to trust the scientists, which is why I am concerned about global warming, but they tend to get lost in the crossfire.

Past history has shown that people will vote based on environmental issues that affect their lives in tangible ways (smog tests, clean water, etc.). Global warming is probably too big, too abstract in its effects (at least for now) to get enough people's attention. The far better route I think would use the soaring oil prices to attack a different aspect of the same problem. If you want to convince people to get off fossil fuels, stop talking about algae levels and glacier retreat, and keep mentioning how we'll fondly remember those $3 dollar a gallon days in a few years. And remind people who have normal-sized cars how much the SUV's cost them, in gas prices and safety, so we can get an SUV mpg law passed.

And one more thing, people who are serious about global warming need to accept a broad approach. I can't take seriously people who claim to be extremely concerned about GW who are nonetheless adamantly opposed to nuclear energy, which has much more managable drawbacks. I'd like to see a major increase in funding in R&D, and implementation, of solar, nuclear (both fission and fusion), hydroelectric, and wind energies, and any other credible prospects out there. Even if none of these alone is the solution, a combination might do the trick. A more heterogeneous energy policy will also damp price swings in the market.

Posted by: ChiSox Fan in LA on April 20, 2006 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

Rufus...
Could you perhaps be more definitive?
Whats going to happen? When do we stop buying oil?

Posted by: Fitz on April 20, 2006 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

"Others will suffer, as they should."

yea, those bangladeshis sure deserve it... for some reason.

Posted by: jefff on April 20, 2006 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

>They cant beat the battery problem no matter how much cash they threw at research.

A car company isn't a battery company - but now, Lithium polymer batteries are far better, more than enough for 95% of driving. And the EV1 was actually quite popular with its drivers; the company was not super eager to promote it, from what I've read. They pried the things out of the hands of the lease holders with a crowbar. (hydrogen is close to a dead end)

The real problem with EV's, in my opinion, is that with modern materials and so few moving parts, they'd last too long and require almost no maintenance. Not so good, if you're a car company.

Anyways, we could reduce vehicle CO2 output fully 50% with a decade or so just by such measures as moving to hybrids, and cutting the tax breaks and regulatory loopholes for "light trucks". Without even changing driving habits. Look at the gap, even now, between the bottom and top end of single-occupancy commuter's gas mileage.

>You know how India & China are growing.. What up?
Seriously?

First, we need to set a better example here, so we have a leg to stand on in criticizing their consumer/industrial habits.

Serious investment in next-gen power storage/transmission and generation in the developed world could create a path for the developing world, and we can sell them the expertise later.

Fusion research facilities, such as the materials component of ITER, badly need funding. Demo plants for anerobic coal burning and thorium fission would also be a good idea.

Governments could set aside say a few Gw of their electricity purchasing for solar, wind, and other renewables to create a seed-market for industrial scale pilot plants. Wind is already competitive, and when matched with hydro as a buffer, has no issues with intermittency.

Simply coming up with an solid-state lighting source could save 15% of our power plant emissions. Plenty of room there for R & D incentives.

We could make it a long ways without even touching land use. The gains from better land use planning and urban renewal, higher efficiency in residences and more efficient industrial motors, could double that again. Much of that change, such as American Superconductors large-scale motor, load-leveling and transmission technology, is again exportable.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 20, 2006 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

It's the change in GG gasses like CO2, CH4 and N2O that matters. If there were no such natural emissions, the earth would be a frozen snowball.

And the point of this observation to the argument I just made is....what?

And the fact that the CO2 buildup has noise in it over small timescales is also of not that much relevance.

Huh? A variation by a factor of four over a single decade is not "noise." As the IPCC said, a "large part" of that enormous range of CO2 concentration increases is climate variability that affects CO2 uptake and release by land and oceans. Changes in emissions over the same period of time cannot possibly account for more than a small fraction of the variation. This obviously means our ability to reduce or stop increases by reducing anthropogenic emissions is severely limited.

Posted by: doobie on April 20, 2006 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

Frequency nailed it!

Posted by: shortstop on April 20, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

>ven if none of these alone is the solution, a combination might do the trick. A more heterogeneous energy policy will also damp price swings in the market...

Exactly. Hit it all, now, instead of squabbling over the solution this early. Carbon sequestering technologies as well. The total cost would still be a fraction of a single resource war in the middle east.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 20, 2006 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

I can think of six avid Bush supporters who I have heard make the following statement regarding global warming and other environmental problems: "Well, I don't really think the world will be around that much longer anyway."

Bush and Rove know how to appeal to such folks.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on April 20, 2006 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce the Canuck,

"GOP: If your doctor tells you that, in his judgement, you're headed for a coronary, I can imagine your response ..."

Well, you might be able to imagine it, but you haven't stated it.

I'm not sure what your point is. Are you saying that we should pass laws that impose costly restrictions on businesses without making any serious attempt to determine whether the benefits are likely to outweigh those costs? That's a good basis for public policy decisions, in your view, is it?

Posted by: GOP on April 20, 2006 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz,

I'm not sure I know when we will stop buying oil. I can imagine us pumping gas at $5/gal, $6/gal, $8/gal.... Really, what choice do we have? We have to get to work, and public transportation in the US sucks. I can even buy $10/gal, oil about $200/barrel.... but above that it's difficult to imagine. I live in Portland, OR, which takes public transportation seriously. Almost nowhere else in the US is this the case. If you have to go to work at $10/gal, won't you? You'll spend $5K/yr to make $60K/yr, but you will.... I think the real turning point re: oil is the hard, natural limit where oil actually starts to run out -- supply can no longer keep up with demand. Personally I think that is already happening, though I'd a bit deficit on the proof. But by 2010 I think it will be clear -- oil production will be declining, and demand will be increasing steadily (China, US, everyone else). By 2010 it will be clear we're in a bidding war, I think. Then -- get out of the way.......

Posted by: Rufus on April 20, 2006 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

The only thing I have ever been "amazed" byis that the party of entrepreneurial revolution hasn't been able to see how entrepreneurial and how revolutionary it might be for American companies to come up with the technological solutions we need to deal with this - solutions the rest of the world would be likely to buy.

But they really aren't the party of entrepreneurialism, and certainly not the party of revolution (unless you consider the imposition of fascism "revolutionary") and beyond that, they're too busy being like Lucianne's little Jonah-the-whale, whining away about how the "academic establishment" won't allow "dissenting voices" on the subject. As witness his latest ravings in the Los Angeles Fishwrap, er, I mean the Chicago Tribune West, er what used to be the LA Times.

Posted by: TCinLA on April 20, 2006 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

PS: $10/gal by 2010 might be a bit much. Maybe it's only $6/gal by 2010, and $8/gal by 2015. Does it really matter in the long-term?

Posted by: Rufus on April 20, 2006 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

I don't often weigh-in on the global warming issue; too many "pat" answers to a very complex issue.

While I agree that reducing GHSE gases is a good thing I believe that we often overlook ways that our planet manages carbon. The oceans play a vital role in fixing carbon and it is for this reason that we need to reduce the amount of toxins entering our planet's oceans. What if some of the spike in atmospheric CO2 is partially due to diminished productivity of plankton, etc. planetwide?

While we could all drive less, planting trees is a more pro-active approach to fixing carbon.

Termites are a huge contributor to methane (CH4) and thrive where humans disturb vegetation in the tropics.

We should be covering the planet with vegetation, of all sorts.

In short, becoming better stewards of our planet just might be the only way to ensure our survival, regardless of what religion/political party/sports team we affiliate ourselves with.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on April 20, 2006 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce the Canuck,

"A car company isn't a battery company - but now, Lithium polymer batteries are far better, more than enough for 95% of driving."

Battery technology is improving, and we'll see some plug-in hybrids relatively soon, but even the most optimistic reputable projections do not envisage the mass adoption of hybrid technology for many years or perhaps decades. Fuel savings are also relatively modest. In fact, most of the newer hybrids, like the Honda Accord and the Toyota Highlander, are more about adding power than saving fuel.

"And the EV1 was actually quite popular with its drivers; the company was not super eager to promote it, from what I've read. They pried the things out of the hands of the lease holders with a crowbar. (hydrogen is close to a dead end)"

Absent some real breakthrough in battery technology (gradual improvements aren't good enough), electric is a dead-end too. The range is far too small, and there's no electric-charging infrastructure. The EV1 was a boutique concept vehicle that appealed to a very specialized market but isn't remotely realistic as a mass consumer product.


Posted by: GOP on April 20, 2006 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

GOP says "The range is far too small, and there's no electric-charging infrastructure."

How developed was the paved rural highway system in 1900? How many rural gas stations? Infrastructural development always trails the technology. There are certainly problems with electric car technology right now, but if and when those problems are solved, you'll see growth in urban markets, followed by entrepreneurs opening charging stations outside of cities, followed by greater market growth, etc. The current lack of infrastructure is not a serious or long term problem. The technical aspects may be.

Posted by: ChiSox Fan in LA on April 20, 2006 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Time is running out for reasoned discussion - that is, if you want to actually do something to mitigate the devastation that is going to prevent your children and grandchildren from surviving on the planet.

Posted by: Maven on April 20, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce the Canuck,

"Serious investment in next-gen power storage/transmission and generation in the developed world could create a path for the developing world, and we can sell them the expertise later."

What does this mean? How much investment? Who's going to pay for it? How are you going to persuade them to pay for it? What "next-gen" power systems do you mean?

"Fusion research facilities, such as the materials component of ITER, badly need funding. Demo plants for anerobic coal burning and thorium fission would also be a good idea."

Thumbs up for more nuclear fission. But fusion is a boondoggle. It might be realistic 40 or 50 years from now, but for the near-term future it's a joke. ITER, which is only an experimental system, isn't even projected to begin operation until 2016. And that's probably optimistic. For about half a century now, people have been claiming that large-scale commercial fusion energy is about 30 years away. It's always 30 years away.

"Governments could set aside say a few Gw of their electricity purchasing for solar, wind, and other renewables to create a seed-market for industrial scale pilot plants. Wind is already competitive, and when matched with hydro as a buffer, has no issues with intermittency."

Hydro sites are pretty much tapped out, and environmentalist opposition makes large new hydro power sites very unlikely, at least in the developed world. Wind is intermittent, highly restrictive geographically, and is visually polluting. Try getting planning permission to plaster a pristine valley or mountainside with ugly giant windmills. Wind might one day supply 10 or 20 percent of energy needs, but it's not really feasible for anything beyond that.

Posted by: GOP on April 20, 2006 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

"How developed was the paved rural highway system in 1900? How many rural gas stations? Infrastructural development always trails the technology."

No one except a few EV1-style enthusiasts will buy the technology as long as its performance and convenience dramatically lag those of conventional motor vehicles. Electric vehicle technology isn't remotely close to being competitive, and the lack of a charging infrastructure is one of the basic problems.

Posted by: GOP on April 20, 2006 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

Try getting planning permission to plaster a pristine valley or mountainside with ugly giant windmills.

Oh yeah, that would ruin their plans to plaster it with another cookie cutter housing development and strip mall.

"Visually polluting", that's gotta be the lamest excuse ever. I guess that's the only type of pollution the GOP actually cares about.

Posted by: haha on April 20, 2006 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz,

The Swedes are planning to have their entire economy non-dependent on oil within the next 15 years or so - without building new nuclear plants:

The attempt is being planned by a committee of industrialists, academics, car manufacturers, farmers and others.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is worried that oil supplies are peaking, shortly to dwindle, and that high oil prices could cause global economic recession.

"Our dependency on oil should be broken by 2020," said Mona Sahlin, Sweden's minister of sustainable development.

Gee, do you think the US could learn anything by seeing what Sweden is up to? Or would a Swedish solution, by definition, be 'socialist' and therefore unAmerican?

Posted by: floopmeister on April 20, 2006 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Visually polluting", that's gotta be the lamest excuse ever.

Yeah, that's it. Just tell all the people who object to having a giant ugly wind farm built in their community that they're being "lame." I'm sure they'll come right around to your point of view and thank you for disabusing them of their previous notions.

"I guess that's the only type of pollution the GOP actually cares about."

I guess lefties think that copping an attitude of imperious moral superiority and talking down to the very people they need to persuade are effective means of achieving their goals. That's why they're always on the political margins (well, that and the sheer stupidity of so many of their policies).


Posted by: GOP on April 20, 2006 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

Gee, do you think the US could learn anything by seeing what Sweden is up to? Or would a Swedish solution, by definition, be 'socialist' and therefore unAmerican?

the conservatards can't even bring themselves to support hybrid or electric vehicles because it seems to much like a "liberal environmentalist" solution.

only something else that's dangerous and polluting is acceptable to them.

Posted by: haha on April 20, 2006 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, that's it. Just tell all the people who object to having a giant ugly wind farm built in their community that they're being "lame."

the only one calling it a "giant ugly wind farm" is you, dipshit. Try convincing them that a giant nuclear power plant is better. Yeah, they'll love that, it's so much more soothing.

Posted by: haha on April 20, 2006 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

"Gee, do you think the US could learn anything by seeing what Sweden is up to?"

Yeah, maybe. I see from this other BBC News report, that Sweden gets half of its electricity from nuclear power, and that polls indicate that 80% of the population wants to keep nuclear power.

Posted by: GOP on April 20, 2006 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Conservative aversion to the fact of global warming runs a lot deeper than resentment of Al Gore. A conservative philosophy linchpin is "small government". The idea of small government fits with their economic philosophy individuals, each acting in their own best interest, will create conditions that will result in the greatest good for us all. Small government also ties into their idea of freedom -- lack of government interference in their lives is the key to their idea of freedom. However, global warming is not a problem that is solved by short term individual choices, nor even choices made by a single country. To confront the problem of global warming successfully requires cooperation at local, national and international levels. This is anathema to how conservatives see the world at a very basic level.
It has always amazed me how conservatives appreciate science and scientists when science does not challenge their idea of how the world works. Like most of us, they use computers, fly on airplanes, drive cars that have gps, and make a lot of money selling these things to each other. But when scientists inform them of things like global warming, or some subset of them, that life has evolved, hackles are raised.
Historically, America has had a pragmatic streak that has worked as a kind of bulwark against the various kinds of idealism that have caused so much trouble in Europe and the rest of the world. I am worried that it is leaving us now as I see various groups of
Americans strike out against the real world when it conflicts with the world as they imagine it should be.

Posted by: patrick on April 20, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce-

I'm going to have to throw a yellow flag here on your "cut vehicle CO2" by 50% within a decade figure.

Here's the reality: The current average fuel economy in the United States is approximately 20 mpg. You can verify this information at the EIA web site:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/rtecs/nhts_survey/2001/tablefiles/t0464(2005).pdf

Suppose we eliminated all SUVs. That would bring up the average mileage to 23 mpg (same source), and that's assuming some people who used to drive SUVs go out and buy Echos.

Then, we replace everything with hybrids. EPA mileage goes up 50-100% with today's hybrid technology, but actual users are experiencing closer to 40% improvement due to actual driving conditions. You can verify this from multiple sources. That brings the fleet up to 32 mpg, and this figure corresponds approximately to an average EPA mileage of 40 mpg.

Counteracting this increase in efficiency is the increase in miles driven per year. On average, it's been around 2% per year:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/rtecs/nhts_survey/2001/tablefiles/eo0464(2005).pdf

In a decade, that will increase our vehicle CO2 output by 21%. Net result: only a 25% reduction.

-Mev

Posted by: Mev on April 20, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

"the only one calling it a "giant ugly wind farm" is you, dipshit."

No, that's what the people you want to force it on will call it, fartbreath.

Posted by: GOP on April 20, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

No, that's what the people you want to force it on will call it, fartbreath.

Last time I used that insult I was 8 years old.

BTW, if you read the report on Sweden you'd see that they're are planning to do it without building more nuclear plants. You could think about the issues, or you could continue to raise strawmen.

Hell, you might even want to call me 'stinkypoo' or 'fart face'. That'll definitely impress me.

Posted by: floopmeister on April 20, 2006 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

"Last time I used that insult I was 8 years old."

When was the last time you used "dipshit?"

"BTW, if you read the report on Sweden you'd see that they're are planning to do it without building more nuclear plants."

Right. But as the other report says, they already get about half of their electricity from nuclear energy, which makes it much easier to satisfy their remaining needs from renewable sources. Maybe there's a lesson there for the U.S., which currently gets only about 20% of its power from nuclear energy.

Posted by: GOP on April 20, 2006 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

When was the last time you used "dipshit?"

I didn't.

Right. But as the other report says, they already get about half of their electricity from nuclear energy, which makes it much easier to satisfy their remaining needs from renewable sources.

Which means that they'll be getting 50% of their energy from renewables.

Impressive, no?

Maybe there's a lesson there for the U.S., which currently gets only about 20% of its power from nuclear energy.

And how much is currently from renewable sources?

Posted by: floopmeister on April 20, 2006 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

"Which means that they'll be getting 50% of their energy from renewables. Impressive, no?"

Perhaps, but I suspect that they have a greater supply of renewable resources for their population size than does the U.S. The point, though, is that it's much easier to satisfy your remaining needs from renewables if you already get 50% of your electricity from nuclear energy, as Sweden does, rather than a mere 20% from nuclear energy, as the U.S. does.

Posted by: GOP on April 20, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

Still waiting for evidence of all those people who actually would prefer a nuclear power plant on their pristine landscape as opposed to some windmills.

Of course, such people only exist in GOP's moronic fantasy world.

Posted by: haha on April 20, 2006 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

What do they call this? A high signal-to-noise ratio?

Electric cars aren't that hard to buy. There are companies that make electric trucks for resorts and industries. Conversions aren't that hard to find, and typical performance is 60 mile range driving at normal speeds. These are just done with the regular batteries you find today.

And why not demand a 60-mpg average for the passenger car fleet? All this takes is a top speed of about 50 and intelligent design. I've been driving cars that get over 30 mpg for 40 years now. If you look around it's not hard to find a 45-mpg car today for a reasonable price.

Being childless, I have no dog in this fight, but all the family-value types might ask themselves if they really want to condemn their children to a terrible death. (I know, I know, the answer is all too often "yes" in the family of the true believer.) I truely do not understand how people with children can contemplate the end of life on earth with equanimity.

Posted by: serial catowner on April 20, 2006 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

The point, though, is that it's much easier to satisfy your remaining needs from renewables if you already get 50% of your electricity from nuclear energy, as Sweden does, rather than a mere 20% from nuclear energy, as the U.S. does.

Sure, but the real point is that the Swedes are putting together a comprehensive plan, appearing to involve all the relevant national stakeholders, to do something about an issue that they have recognised as being serious.

It's all so novel, isn't it.

:)

Posted by: floopmeister on April 20, 2006 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

floop,

"Sure, but the real point is that the Swedes are putting together a comprehensive plan,"

If you approve of an energy plan in which 50% of the nation's electricity comes from nuclear energy (two-and-a-half times America's current percentage), terrific.

Posted by: GOP on April 20, 2006 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

Out in my backward rural county people are putting solar on their roofs and making a deal with the PUD to put power into the grid when they have too much and get their bill reduced. Apparently this also increases the value of your home- who'da thunkit?

There's also a company making turbines for wind generation on the roof of your house. When you put this together with conservation and other forms of passive heat-tempering, you can really reduce your energy use.

It also makes it a lot more pleasant if you have neighbors, because they're a lot harder to hear when you have good insulation.

Posted by: serial catowner on April 20, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

"Still waiting for evidence of all those people who actually would prefer a nuclear power plant on their pristine landscape as opposed to some windmills."

Well, of course that isn't the choice. Nuclear plants can pretty much be built anywhere, and are usually situated some distance from population centers. Wind farms have to be built where the wind is. According to Wikipedia, a wind farm capable of producing the power output of a conventional power plant would need to cover an area of 200 square kilometers.

"Of course, such people only exist in GOP's moronic fantasy world."

Only in haha's mentally retarded world do nuclear power plants have to be built in the same location as wind farms.

Posted by: GOP on April 20, 2006 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

Note to GOP- those initials remind a lot of us of a political party that hasn't been any help on the environment since 1908.

Am I missing anything there? Maybe a national park that Ike created or something? Can the GOP claim even partial credit for any environmental improvement in the past century?

Just sayin', y'know...

Posted by: serial catowner on April 20, 2006 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

Am I missing anything there? Maybe a national park that Ike created or something? Can the GOP claim even partial credit for any environmental improvement in the past century?

Nixon made some solid accomplishments on the environment, though I'm too tired to google the particulars at the moment.

Posted by: P.B. Almeida on April 20, 2006 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

Global warming is an actual problem that has to be confronted and dealt with and not left for future generations to cope with.

It would be amazing if the Republicans actually start doing something about it instead of ignoring the problem.

Posted by: Jesseaw on April 20, 2006 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Can the GOP claim even partial credit for any environmental improvement in the past century?"

Er, there's a little thing called the Environmental Protection Agency. Maybe you've heard of it. Created by Richard Nixon.

There's a difference between respecting the environment, and fetishizing it. Lefties are often incapable of distinguishing between the two.

Posted by: GOP on April 20, 2006 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, in fairness Ruckelshaus was good and the Clean Air Act &tc passed with Republican support. I'm not sure but I think Bryce National Monument may be an Eisenhower creation.

And I'm betting that clean-air legislation didn't pass in Maryland without Republican support- even though I know absolutely NOTHING about Maryland politics. I'm just feeling generous.

Posted by: serial catowner on April 20, 2006 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

There's also a fine line between degrading the environment and totally destroying it. Best to err on the caution side with that one.

Posted by: serial catowner on April 20, 2006 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

catowner,

Oh dear, now you've done it. You actually said something about Republicans that wasn't a condemnation. That is not acceptable here in the comments section of Kevin's blog. The group-think orthodoxy that Republicans are evil incarnate must be maintained at all times.

Posted by: GOP on April 20, 2006 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

Richard Nixon was the last one. The present conservative Republican position on the environment and global warming is an embarrassing intellectual disaster. It may be irrecoverable for a generation or more.

Not only do they not care to learn the present state of the science, they depend upon a very few scientists like Mr Lindzen who appear to have personal axes to grind; and parrots like Messrs Will and Goldberg, who are suddenly worried about the plight of the poor.

Indeed they are certain that the economy will suffer damage from climate mitigation: conferring a reliability upon economic models which they will not confer upon the climate models! Yet the climate science is more solid and predictable than the economics -- no big mystery there, since one is made up of physics and chemistry, the other of creative human beings. And the climate is far more fragile than the economy, for precisely the same reasons.

This is an intellectual failure of the highest order, and it is coupled with the implosion of their economic policy theories -- making a mental double-bind that that may be difficult to escape without a radical reorientation of worldview. Anathema!

Posted by: Lee A. Arnold on April 21, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

The group-think orthodoxy that Republicans are evil incarnate must be maintained at all times by everyone except the 33% who actually think this admin is doing a good job.

If you approve of an energy plan in which 50% of the nation's electricity comes from nuclear energy (two-and-a-half times America's current percentage), terrific.

Of course I do - I'm Australian, and our continent has the world's largest supply of uranium. We'll be the Saudi Arabia of the nuclear age - but you'd better be quick, because we've already signed large deals with China, and India is next in line...

All joking aside - I still don't think you get my point. Those nuclear plants have been built already. Done deal. The Swedish population doesn't want to remove them - fine.

The US is doing diddly squat about it's rapidly developing enrgy crisis, leaving aside the environmental concerns for the moment. Which economy will do better when (not 'if') oil hits $100 a barrel? $150?

Sweden is looking ahead. The US is faffing around with more of the same.

"The Fates lead those who will. Those who won't, they drag". Seneca

Posted by: floopmeister on April 21, 2006 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

There is no need for nuclear. Solar and wind are quite enough. One gigawatt per 200 square kilometers, is 5 terrawatts per million square meters. That's about the size of Iran. Wind is only $10,000 per KW. Solar will be less expensive. Spend the money on solar and wind not nuclear.

Posted by: bblog on April 21, 2006 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

I also question the 200 square kilometer figure. A German company has one megawatt generators now. I doubt that a thousand of these would occupy 200 sq. km.

Posted by: bblog on April 21, 2006 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

"The group-think orthodoxy that Republicans are evil incarnate must be maintained at all times by everyone except the 33% who actually think this admin is doing a good job."

Palpable nonsense. Otherwise it would not have once had a 60% approval rating. When independent thinkers turn against you though, it must be "groupthink!"

Posted by: Lee A. Arnold on April 21, 2006 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

From Turner's post:

As climate change has come closer to its political moment, there has been, in the past couple of years, some competition for the role of head climate change issue-wonk among liberal political figures. Well, I guess about as much competition as there was in the 2000 Democratic primary. How did Al Gore win this time? It's not that he's more charismatic than, say, Robert Kennedy, or more politically promising than, say, Eliot Spitzer, both of whom have prioritized the issue. It's the sheer, indisputable, quasi-messaniac purity of his wonkery.

I just realized one more sign of an approaching dogma: a messianic prophet, preaching the end times.

I really don't want to hear any more about how the Republicans use fear as a political weapon.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 21, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

mev: "Counteracting this increase in efficiency is the increase in miles driven per year. On average, it's been around 2% per year:"

Among the things we could do--you know, if we actually wanted to deal with global warming--is establish a national goal of reducing the number of miles driven per year. Other nations--Sweden, Brazil, China--are already figuring out that they need to find substitutes for oil. It is only the US that is mired in its addiction.

We need to change how we live. Turn off your office lights during the daytime if you have a windowed office. Learn to live in hot weather without AC. Drive slower.

I wish someone would invent a refrigerator for northern homes that could use cold air from outside to passively chill food, rather than using electricty.

We could have a huge economic boom if we started retooling the US for a post-oil energy era. My family needs to figure out how to warm our house during winter without natural gas. It would be fantastic to have government experts to provide advice and incentives. But no. The conservatives won't play. The free market will provide.

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 21, 2006 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

I really don't want to hear any more about how the Republicans use fear as a political weapon.

If climate change is a "political weapon", what's the goal? Republicans could blunt this "weapon" by simply saying "yes, we think pollution is bad too." But they don't. Instead, as they have for 150 years, conservatives resist improving the lives of human beings because "it's too expensive."

Slavery? Can't live without it.
Minimum wage? it will bankrupt business
Food safety laws? they will bankrupt business
Workplace safety? that will bankrupt business
Taxes? those will bankrupt everybody
SEC regulations? Those will bankrupt business
Air and water regulations? Those will bankrupt business
Lead-free gas? That will bankrupt the oil companies

On and on and on, and wrong every single time. Every single time. And you want me to believe that you've suddenly got this one right?

Did I mention that you've been wrong every single time?

Posted by: craigie on April 21, 2006 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

I really don't want to hear any more about how the Republicans use fear as a political weapon.


Tell it to New Orleans, Venice and Tornado Alley.

Posted by: cld on April 21, 2006 at 1:04 AM | PERMALINK

The estimate of global warming caused by CO2 was 0.8C per century. There will of course be swings above and below this, caused by things such as the current peaks of the two solar cycles.

Meanwhile, there is increased worldwide investment in nuclear power, increased US investment in biofuels, increased worldwide investment in solar and windfarms, and increased world wide investment in energy efficiency. And there is increased worldwide investment in CO2 sequestration. In US red states there is considerable interest in nuclear power.

There is also increased worldwide investment in carbon for manufacturing. Not just hockey sticks and golf clubs, but automobile engine parts and structural pieces can be made of carbides; and electrical conductors can be made from carbon nanotubes. by 2050, the average auto will be made at least 50% of carbides and weigh half what a same-sized car weighs now. For that, the C recovered from reforming liquid fuel to H2 will be a resource, not a pollutant.

The real problems are malaria, HIV, MDR TB, and the Islamist/Jihadist insurgencies all over the place.

If it is true that conservatives don't like hearing about problems, it is equally true that Kevin Drum is resistant to solutions.

Mars and Venus are also experiencing a warming trend, for what it's worth, and that warming trend is completely independent of human activities. If they are still warming in 2050, then maybe I'll start to worry.

Posted by: republicrat on April 21, 2006 at 1:04 AM | PERMALINK

Considering that every global warming for the last 800K years has been followed by cooling/ice age, the following from a relative in Sweden might be of interest:
"We still have snow (sc. just the othr day) and this is very unusual.
> Hasn't happened since 1898. Part of the global warming?
> Good question. We got the first snow in the beginning of
> November and the last in april. 6 months of snow. I would
> like to say a new ice age rather than global warming."
Since I live below sea-level in Katrina country, the rising sea levels are much more of a short term concern than a glacier eventually (again) covering Boston.

Posted by: Brian Boru on April 21, 2006 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

...the Islamist/Jihadist insurgencies all over the place.

Yeah, if it wasn't for the islamists in Louisiana New Orleans would never have flooded.

Posted by: floopmeister on April 21, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

WHAT IF WE PASS LAWS TO COMBAT GLOBAL WARMING and the bulk of scientific opinion turns out to be wrong? Let us say global warming is eventually discovered to be just a natural cycle. What have we lost?

Nothing. In fact, we still have a net positive. It is very much in Americas economic interest to keep up with the green technologies that are sweeping the globe. Without legal coercion, many American companies will never take their heads out of the sand and compete in this area, which is becoming a big global market. Of course well also get cleaner air and water out of the deal, which is unimportant to a hardcore Repug, but a damn fine thing to the vast majority of the people.

WHAT IF WE DO NOT PASS LAWS TO COMBAT GLOBAL WARMING and the bulk of scientific opinion turns out to be right? What have we lost? Only the whole damn planet!

The choice is incredibly obvious. How can there be a difference of opinion on what we should do?

Posted by: James of DC on April 21, 2006 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

The choice is incredibly obvious. How can there be a difference of opinion on what we should do?

Because the conservative mindset, by definition, resists change.

Democracy was originally derided as inefficient and impractical by the conservative Athenians of their golden age. Someone upthread mentioned slavery, but there's a whole raft of progressive ideas including votes for women and the 8 hour working day (a product of the union movement in my home town Melbourne, actually - it's the memorial day today).

Every single one was fought by the conservatives of the day. If they hadn't fought them, they by definition wouldn't have been conservatives.

Conservatism, in it's most hidebound and extreme form, is nothing more than the figure of Canute ordering the tide to not come in.

I usually put my money on the tide, actually.

Posted by: floopmeister on April 21, 2006 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

It seems like 16 sq. miles for one gigawatt is reasonable with one megawatt turbines. That's about 200 yards by 200 yards for each turbine. World capacity then seems to be well over 300 terrawatts.

Posted by: bblog on April 21, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

I really don't want to hear any more about how the Republicans use fear as a political weapon.

So long, Bud.

We're gonna miss ya.

Posted by: obscure on April 21, 2006 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK

craigie:

If climate change is a "political weapon", what's the goal?

For the politicians, what it usually is. Destruction of political opponents, and gaining and keeping political power. On that, yes, I'm right. For the radical environmentalists, its a holy war against capitalism and industrialism, but that's another story.

Republicans could blunt this "weapon" by simply saying "yes, we think pollution is bad too."

Wouldn't matter if they did (and they have). The last thing the Democrats want in an election year is for Republicans to come up with something that works. On any issue.

Remember the great "spoiler move" in the House on illegal immigration that Kevin admired so much? If Bush came up with a plausible and effective plan for energy, Democrats would kill it on the spot.

This article is typical of many I've seen. Of course, someone who makes solar energy systems stands to gain quite a bit from an "Apollo-scale" renewable energy program.

Do you think the Democrats are fighting that hard against ANWR because they love caribou? The price of oil on the futures market will drop like a rock when the fields are opened up and the first bit hits the ground, and they damn well know it. ANWR isn't about oil or the environment for the Democrats. It's about not losing a political battle. No oil from ANWR for ten years? Did they know that when Clinton vetoed it ten years ago?

Posted by: tbrosz on April 21, 2006 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK

For the record, I support alternative energy. I also support safe nuclear energy, and other reasonable ways to get us off of hydrocarbon fuels, which, CO2 or no CO2 are, frankly, too valuable to burn. They are also produced in too many loon-controlled nations (no, Canada, not you).

In other threads, there have been long and productive discussions of technologies and solutions.

We are going to gain nothing by generating panicked national or international "fixes" for global warming. Particularly fixes by politicians whose knowledge of science and technology is less than comprehensive.

Last thing we need is an "Apollo-style" program, a new "energy czar," another "cabinet-level" agency, or any of the other dumbass things our government does when it thinks it needs to be seen by the voters to be Doing Something Right Now.

You think Homeland Security needs work? Wait till you see the National Department of Energy Independence.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 21, 2006 at 3:37 AM | PERMALINK

A theologian friend of mine points out that the command for man to have dominion over all the earth occurred before the fall from grace. God pretty much changed all the rules after Adam and Eve tasted the apple.
Posted by: fafner1 on April 20, 2006 at 6:56 PM

There was also this St. Francis guy who had quite a different take on the proper Christian relationship between man and nature.

Nixon made some solid accomplishments on the environment, though I'm too tired to google the particulars at the moment.
Posted by: P.B. Almeida on April 20, 2006 at 11:36 PM |

You mean, accomplishments like the Clean Air Act of 1970, authored by Senator Edmund Muskie (D-ME), and signed by Nixon because he feared the repurcussions of opposing such popular legislation? The same Muskie who was a victim of Nixon's "dirty tricks" in the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972?

For the radical environmentalists, its a holy war against capitalism and industrialism, but that's another story.
Posted by: tbrosz on April 21, 2006 at 3:28 AM |

What's this, tom brosz declines to enlighten us with a link to a story which, when checked, does nothing to support his point? What a wasted opportunity! You'd then have another chance to tell us "I'm too busy to check, but it doesn't matter because I'm sure I'm right."

Posted by: keith on April 21, 2006 at 4:12 AM | PERMALINK

Could we just start by rolling back the tax break that subsidises Navagators and Hummers for real estate agents?

Posted by: Jim 7 on April 21, 2006 at 4:35 AM | PERMALINK

republicrat> Mars and Venus are also experiencing a warming trend...

Haven't heard about Venus. Re mars, that talking point is bunk, the trend is only three years and mars has other stuff going on with its climate.

GOP was dissing limited new hydro sites for load-balancing wind power.

You don't need new sites. Wind and hydro are often geographicaly coincident enough to use existing hydro dams, which tend to have excess generating capacity (or can cheaply add it) in comparison to their yearly average capacity. You can thereby effectively store energy at a low infrastructure cost, without pumping uphill. Hecate straight in BC is a good example of such a potential wind-generation site.

Re electric cars, what performance limitations? The only one is range, and that's less of a limit than you think - around 200 miles per charge. The new battery systems are talking about 6-8 minute charge times (yes, megawatt charge terminals, a little scary). System efficiency is much higher than most hydrogen concepts I've seen.

Re other "performance" measures, modern brushless electric motors tend to be capable of extremely high short-term power, and don't need a transmission. The result is that an electric can be designed for super-bike like acceleration. Regarding interior room, in-wheel motors and compact lithium-polymer batteries remove the need for driveshafts or an engine compartment.

But hey, maybe north american companies and governments should just diss the idea for another decade, as the technology matures and offshore manufacturers eat our lunch - again. How's GM doing, btw?


tbrosz> For the radical environmentalists, its a holy war against capitalism and industrialism, but that's another story...

Gee, can you post your answer to the "protocols of the elders of zion" for enviros again tbrosz?

Give me a break. I actually count myself as a "radical" enviro, and I'm more interested in saving scientific progress, industrialism and the vibrancy of the marktet than ending them. The way I see it, the exciting stuff is long term. We will never get to the point of interstellar probes the way we're thinking now.

Look at GOP up there pissing on the idea of funding a wide variety of pilot plants, as some of them might not be workable commercially for 50 years. 50 years! oh my, that's forever. Not so much. Thats exactly how we need to be thinking. An eye on 10, 20, 50, 100 years, as best we can. Working all the time.

As I see it this is not an issue subject to cost-benefit analysis as the winger's keep demanding. How much is the future worth? Do you put a dollar value on the life of your child? Should there have been a cost-benefit analysis to the apollo program, or entering WW2 to stop the nazis?

Let's say, just for fun, that preventing a societal collapse in 50 years means cutting consumer extras today. An economist, doing such a cost-benefit analysis, would discount the value of future life and wealth based on the expected average rate of growth. Figuring a 3% rate of growth, that means a cut of 25% isn't worth saving the world 50 years out.

Hmmm. So much for that "economic cost-benefit analysis" idea applied to future quality of the world, even ignoring the arrogance in expecting to put a numeric value on life. Do children make sense economically for their parents? Not so much.

This is a character issue. Issues such as energy dependence, resource depletion, and global warming test our moral worth , adaptability, capacity to innovate. The sort of thing that decides who we are as a people.

Are we the sort of society that turns away from science and reason, degrades the future, takes ugly risks with our heritage? Or the kind that isn't afraid of change, solves problems, leads by example, and show itself deserving of leadership?

Lately, it seems like we're the first kind. Canada too, sadly.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 21, 2006 at 4:55 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz, your double standards on environmental science vs aerospace are amusing. If one asserts that Time's article on possible global cooling is enough to damn the entire field of climate research to a purgatory of "Stupid scientists were wrong once, can't be trusted again." Then one must equally assert that the aerospace community can't be trusted to lift a rock off the ground because early rockets preferred explosive dissassembly over their launch pad to actually doing their job.

I find your distaste for big government works in science/engineering to be rather amusing. After all, the Manhattan Project was a resounding success in going from theory to controlled nuclear reaction to uncontrolled nuclear reaction in a relatively short period of time. Apollo fulfilled Pres. Kennedy's challenge and Corona (the first orbital imaging reconnaisance program) proved that the Soviet Bear was more growl than bite (saving a lot of money on strategic weapons). So Big Government can and does work well in science.

As for your jab at fixes by politicians who aren't trained scientists/engineers, I seem to recall a couple of cousins with the last name of Roosevelt did some mighty good work in conservation/environmental restoration.

Government works, deal with it.

Posted by: mphysopt on April 21, 2006 at 5:53 AM | PERMALINK

PTate: I'm just refereeing people's figures here. Bruce says we can hit 50% "without even changing driving habits." The EIA says otherwise.

Posted by: Mev on April 21, 2006 at 7:49 AM | PERMALINK


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Posted by: shenshen on April 21, 2006 at 7:52 AM | PERMALINK

The price of oil on the futures market will drop like a rock when the fields are opened up and the first bit hits the ground, and they damn well know it.

Is this the real Tbroz? If it is this is one of the dumbest things I have ever read. There are two reasons this is utter bullshit. First of all there is an upper limit on the amount of oil that can be shoved down the Alaska pipeline. The "theoretical" limit is about a million barrels per day and the practical limit is anywhere from 10 to 30% lower then that. 900 Bpd is not enough to move the world market.

The proof of this is the fact that in November of 2002 there was an earthquake in Alaska that had the pipeline shut down for almost three days during which they didnt have any idea if there was serious damage to the pipeline that would shut it down for a longer period of time. The 300k barrels that are sent though the line each day was slowed to a trickle. Here is the interesting part, despite the fact that the 300,000 barrels of crude that are pumped out of the Alaskan pipeline each day was slowed to a trickle, world oil prices did not even blink. In fact they went down! Why is this interesting? Well for two reasons, first it is a practical demonstration of how world oil markets work. Even though the biggest domestic oil-producing region was shut down for better then two days, spot prices were not affected. In other words the amount of oil coming out of Alaska doesnt affect the price of oil and has no connection to our dependence on Middle-East oil.

So Tbrozs claim is thus proven to be untrue by this example.

Read about the earth quake here:

Posted by: Rick DeMent on April 21, 2006 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

Please read "Collapse" by Jared Diamond - especially the last chapter, which demolishes the cliches used by anti-environmentalists.

One of Diamond's main points is that political unrest, civil wars, terrorism, etc. most commonly flow from some kind of envirnmental breakdown. A hint of what we and our children are in for.

Posted by: virginia dutch on April 21, 2006 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

Fitz on April 20, 2006 at 8:14 PM

I remember the global cooling scare. The thing of it is, it had a lot of consensus among climatologist and intelligent people discussed it seriously.

Apparently, I remember the "global cooling scare" of the early-to-mid 1970s a bit better than you do. There wasn't really a scare. Some climatologists hypothesized that the earth was overdue for another ice age, based solely on the periodicity of ice ages from the geological records. They did not take into account the possibility that there might have been a perturbation due to human activity, and they most certainly did not base their hypothesis on any actual climate data.

Posted by: raj on April 21, 2006 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting show on Nova the other night (Apr 18) on another big pain-in-the-ass climate problem. Seems that all the air pollution we've had has actually resulted in less solar energy reaching the Earth than would be true without pollution. One effect may be the decades long drought in the Sahel--to get monsoons, you need very warm equatorial waters, and the solar dimming has lessened that. The damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't point is, as we cut down on pollution (thus increasing longevity by curbing health effects and improving rainfall patterns in drought-stricken areas), we allow the atmosphere to get even hotter, compounding the effect of global warming. Damn, I knew I should have sold my house (500 feet from Long Island Sound) when the market peaked. Better rip out the blueberries and start building that levee.

Posted by: Dan S on April 21, 2006 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

One of the cliches Jared Diamond demolishes is the "false alarm" meme. As he points out, if we considered a history of false alarms to be a reason for complacency, we would have abolished all fire departments long ago.

Posted by: virginia dutch on April 21, 2006 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

Clinton was right on Haiti.

Clinton was right on Bosnia.

Clinton was right on Kosovo.

Clinton was right on Iraq.

Gore was right on Global Warming.

Liberals were right on the Prescription Drug Bill.

Liberals were right on Social Security.

The GOP was right on none of the above.

Lots of bitter pills to swallow.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 21, 2006 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know about "blown away."

Of course, you don't. We'd have had a heart attack otherwise.


The gist of that article is "yes, a whole lot of people were talking about global cooling back then, but that doesn't really count."

Not among atmospheric scientists. Y'all are trying to get an awful lot of mileage out of a relentlessly misquoted Newsweek.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 21, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Mars and Venus are also experiencing a warming trend [...]

Want to elborate on that?

Didn't think so.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 21, 2006 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

republicrat: Mars and Venus are also experiencing a warming trend, for what it's worth . . .

Mars and Venus are also experiencing erosion activity, for what it's worth, independent of any human contribution.

Therefore, according to republicrat's logic, man-made erosion on Earth is irrelevant and affects no one.

LOL with your logic course, republicrat!

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 21, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

Global Warming and melting ice means even bigger rivers (and you thought I was big already). Get ready for Really, Really Big Fiiver, Dems!

Posted by: Big River on April 21, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:
Remember the great "spoiler move" in the House on illegal immigration that Kevin admired so much? If Bush came up with a plausible and effective plan for energy, Democrats would kill it on the spot.

Umm, since Repubs still control both House and Senate, how would this work exactly?
Or is it that Bush is incapable of coming up with such a plan?

Posted by: Tony on April 21, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Someone wrote: Absent some real breakthrough in battery technology (gradual improvements aren't good enough), electric is a dead-end too. The range is far too small, and there's no electric-charging infrastructure.

The range of 100% electric cars, including pluggable hybrids which can run on 100% battery power for short-range trips and switch to their flexible-fuel (gasloline, ethanol or biodiesel) engines only for long trips, is 60 miles per charge or better. That substantially exceeds the typical daily mileage that most American drivers actually drive. So these cars are a practical alternative for the vast majority of drivers.

The charging infrastructure is already in place. These cars charge overnight on ordinary house current.

Moreover, a pure electric battery powered car could be extremely inexpensive, because of its extreme simplicity (e.g. an internal combustion engine has hundreds of moving parts; an electric motor has one), particularly if the cars are designed and built the way personal computers have been designed and built, using standardized parts and industry-standard interfaces. You would be able to upgrade the battery pack or the motor with new technology (thereby increasing range) as easily as a personal computer's hard drive or memory can be upgraded. You just swap out the old components for the new ones.

Flexible-fuel engines (which I mentioned above) that can run on any mix of gasoline/ethanol (including 100% ethanol), or any mix of petro-diesel and biodiesel (including 100% vegetable oil) are also a promising solution that requires no new technology.

And it also requires no new technology to dramatically improve the fuel efficiency of conventional gasoline-fueled internal combustion engines. I drive a 1991 Ford Festiva (designed by Mazda, built by Kia, sold by Ford) that gets nearly 40MPG around town and nearly 50MPG on the highway. That's with 15-year-old technology. With today's technology, new materials, etc, there is absolutely no reason that Detroit cannot be producing a fleet of conventional gasoline-fueled cars that gets 60-75 MPG or better.

Meanwhile, the DOE is running a program to develop low-cost zero-net energy houses, that produce all of their own energy for electricity, space and water heating. They are connected to the grid, and draw energy from the grid when needed, and feed energy back into the grid when they are producing more than they need. On an annual basis, they consume zero net energy from the grid, or actually less than zero by generating a surplus. The DOE is working with Habitat for Humanity to design houses like this that can be built cheaply for low-income families.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 21, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, we used to have "refrigeraters" that ran off the cold air outside. We had two in a house I lived in as a child- we called them "coolers"- they were enclosed to prevent freezing and had air inlets top and bottom.

We also had apple trees that produced "keeper apples". These we wrapped individually in newspaper and packed in boxes, and they kept all winter in the coolers or in the basement. Tasted a lot better than today's apples too.

Posted by: serial catowner on April 21, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Raj said it earlier but didn't provide the link to PBS on Global Dimming. An interesting feedback loop theory that helps explain why earlier global warming models could never agree. Not that they do now either.
Happy Reading

Posted by: jimijam on April 21, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, we're pretty close to a Big Solution coming from the Decider-in-Chief himself.

Say Bush attacks Iran. Hey presto, big fuel shortage. In desperation, a 50-mph speed limit is imposed nationally.

Well, if you didn't need that extra horsepower to outrun the gas-guzzling pigs in their SUVs, you might be a little more interested in a 60-mpg vehicle. Especially with gas prices above $10/gallon and long lines at the gas stations.

Let a smile be your umbrella...in every cloud, there's a silver lining.

Posted by: serial catowner on April 21, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

conventional gasoline-fueled cars that gets 60-75 MPG or better.

I totally agree, but so far the killer as far as consumers go is that:

1. These cars aren't BIG.
2. These cars don't go 'zooom' when you stomp on the gas pedal.

But it is amazing what high gas prices can do to consumer preference.

This is my prediction - we'll see more and more resentment of Hummers and the like. We'll carpool more. We'll have more fuel thefts. We'll have lukewarm increase in support for mass transit.

Americans will switch to smaller but zoomy cars with locking gas caps first. Then small no zoom. Then car pool. Then mass transit as the last resort.

Posted by: Tripp on April 21, 2006 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

catowner,

If Bush attacks Iran you forgot the draft. A draft and oil crisis together - that will go over big. Not!

Posted by: Tripp on April 21, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Trust Kevin to keep on weighing in -- even as his legs get knocked out from under him:

From the National Geographic,
Climate Less Sensitive to Greenhouse Gases Than Predicted, Study Says

Debate over, Kevin?

And you wonder why I think you're a moron?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 21, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a funny story about a Hummer. I was at a stoplight - on my Zuma scooter. Yeah, I wish it was a 'real' motorcycle but what are you going to do?

A yellow Hummer making a right swung wide, because I suppose it had to, and came pretty close to hitting me. Close enough for me to read the "For sale - call XXX-XXXX" sign on the back window.

I considered calling the number, politely asking if they had the Hummer for sale, and then laughing long and loud.

Sadly I've matured enough not to do such a thing but I considered it.

I didn't do it. I take my small pleasure when I walk into the gas station and pay $2.50 to fill up my scooter. I never pay that at the pump. I want people to see me do it.

Last year I could fill up for less than $2.00 so I'm kind of pissed this year, but I'm starting to see $75.00 purchases on the pump when I ride up, so I guess it is all good.

Posted by: Tripp on April 21, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers,

The study's results refute recent research suggesting that the climate may be susceptible to extreme increases in temperature. But Hegerl cautions that the findings do not diminish the threat of global warming.

"[The finding] means the climate does react significantly to greenhouse gases," she said.

"In other words," she added, "we have really detected greenhouse warming, and we are really concerned it is not small."

Do you even read the stuff you link to?

Yeah, the debate is over. There is global warming and it is increased by greenhouse gases. It will be bad, but maybe not as totally bad as some people predict.

Norman you make it to easy. Keep finding links that refute your case. I appreciate the work you do helping me.

Posted by: Tripp on April 21, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Lee Arnold,

"Yet the climate science is more solid and predictable than the economics"

Er, that's not saying much. Economics is the "dismal" science, and long-term economic predictions are extremely unreliable. So are long-term climate predictions. No one knows with any confidence what temperatures, rainfall patterns, storm patterns, etc. will be 50 or 100 years from now. That is why different climate models predict different results depending on the assumptions and scenarios built into them, and no one knows if any of those assumptions or scenarios is correct.


Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"And it also requires no new technology to dramatically improve the fuel efficiency of conventional gasoline-fueled internal combustion engines. I drive a 1991 Ford Festiva (designed by Mazda, built by Kia, sold by Ford) that gets nearly 40MPG around town and nearly 50MPG on the highway. That's with 15-year-old technology. With today's technology, new materials, etc, there is absolutely no reason that Detroit cannot be producing a fleet of conventional gasoline-fueled cars that gets 60-75 MPG or better."

Yeah, if they're the size and power of golf carts. No one would buy such a vehicle. If you're happy with your 15-year-old Ford Festiva toy car, good for you. The rest of us want real cars, though.

Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

"...when corporate interests send out their marching orders to the GOP..."

Wasn't the Clean Air act actually passed under Nixon?

Posted by: aidan on April 21, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers wrote: Debate over, Kevin? And you wonder why I think you're a moron?

From the National Geographic article that Norman linked to (emphasis added):

In 1979 meteorologist Jules Charney made the first modern estimate of climate sensitivity using two climate models. He concluded that the Earth would warm within a range of 2.7 to 8.1F (1.5 to 4.5C) if carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubled.

That range has become the generally accepted value of climate sensitivity and is used in international climate-change research.

But some estimates over the past five years have suggested that the temperature change may be much higher.

Several studies have found that the temperature change may be higher than 16.2F (9C). One estimate put it at 19.8F (11C).

[...]

When the team combined the two estimates, the researchers found that the climate sensitivity range narrowed even further to 2.7 to 11.2F (1.5 to 6.2C).

[...]

The top of the range found in Hegerl's study is higher than that found in 1979, Schlesinger points out.

"[That] means climate sensitivity is larger than we thought for 30 years," he said. "So the problem is worse than we thought. This doesn't give us any solace."

So this study gives an upper range of a 6.2C increase from a doubling of CO2 concentrations, rather than the 4.5C increase that has been the accepted estimate for 30 years.

The debate is over. Global warming is real, it is caused by human activities, principally the burning of fossil fuels, it is rapid, it is accelerating, it is already triggering self-reinforcing feedbacks, it is already having dramatic effects on the Earth's climate and ecosystems, and if it continues per "business as usual" it will have catastrophic effects on life on Earth, not to mention human civilization.

From Thomas Friedman's column in The New York Times today, which he addresses to college students:

Al Gore eloquently argues that our parents' generation, the Greatest Generation, turned back the black tide of fascism. They fought the war and built the institutions that preserved peace and freedom for a lot of people on this planet. Today's young people, Mr. Gore argues, have a parallel task. Yes, he means you college students.

You need to become what the writer Dan Pink calls "the Greenest Generation," and build the institutions, alliances and programs that will turn back the black tide of climate change and petro-authoritarianism, which, if unchecked, will surely poison your world and your future as much as fascism once threatened to do to your parents' world and future.

This is your challenge. Who will rise to it?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 21, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

It's the conservative Hippocratic Oath: First, do nothing.

Posted by: SqueakyRat on April 21, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Norman, Norman, Norman---

NO one cares whom you think to be a moron. NO ONE spends so much as one NANOSECOND thinking about what you do, or do not, imagine, about any person, place, thing, or subject.

And you wonder why I think you're completely insignificant?

Posted by: jprichva on April 21, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

GOP wrote: If you're happy with your 15-year-old Ford Festiva toy car, good for you. The rest of us want real cars, though.

If you are happy spending $40,000 for a piece of shit "toy tank" SUV, good for you.

I bought my Festiva used 13 years ago for a total of $5000, and that includes all the interest on the three-year loan, and it has served me well and needed virtually no maintenance for 13 years. In addition to getting 40-50MPG, it comfortably seats 4 adults (plus luggage), I have hauled a half-ton of bagged compost and mulch in it on numerous occasions, it will cruise at 75MPH for 8 hours at a stretch on the highway, I can drive nearly 400 highway miles on one tank of gas, and by its responsiveness and maneuverability, it once saved my life when the Firestone tire on a Ford Explorer exploded three feet in front of me at 80MPH on I-81 in Pennsylvania and the Explorer started fishtailing wildly and then flipped over. The only reason I didn't plow into that wreck and become a statistic is because my Festiva was quick, maneuverable and zippy.

Which one is the "real" car? Who is the "real" conservative here?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 21, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"The range of 100% electric cars, including pluggable hybrids which can run on 100% battery power for short-range trips and switch to their flexible-fuel (gasloline, ethanol or biodiesel) engines only for long trips, is 60 miles per charge or better."

There are no commercially available plug-in hybrids, and prototypes and conversions have more like a 30-mile EV range. The extra weight and cost of the batteries significantly offsets the gains from potential EV-only operation.

Plug-in hybrids are coming, but the technology isn't ready for prime time yet. It will be many years or decades before such vehicles comprise a substantial fraction of the nation's motor vehicle inventory. Recent applications of hybrid technology have been more about adding additional power than about saving fuel.

Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"If you are happy spending $40,000 for a piece of shit "toy tank" SUV, good for you."

Yes, I'm perfectly happy to spend $40,000 on a SUV or car or truck. So are lots of other Americans. We don't want tinny little death-trap toy cars like your Festiva.

Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

GOP wrote: We don't want tinny little death-trap toy cars like your Festiva.

Like I said, when a "death-trap" SUV flipped over on the Interstate at 80MPH three feet in front of me, the maneuverability and responsiveness of the Festiva saved my life.

Yes, I'm perfectly happy to spend $40,000 on a SUV or car or truck.

Well, I think you are a fool, not to mention being anything but "conservative" for doing so, but it's your money to waste.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 21, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"So this study gives an upper range of a 6.2C increase from a doubling of CO2 concentrations, rather than the 4.5C increase that has been the accepted estimate for 30 years."

The IPCC's Third Assessment Report predicted an increase in global mean surface temperature by the year 2100 of between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees celsius, but did not offer any probability estimates for different temperatures within this range. A team of climate scientists at MIT has made such estimates. It estimated that there is only a 1% chance of a temperature increase as high as 5.8 degress. The most likely temp increase, according to their estimates, is a mere 2.3 degrees.

Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, that would be why Detroit had to get laws passed banning fuel-efficient cars, on the pretense of "safety", and Bush had to give SUV-buyers a huge tax-break to keep GM afloat- because we "love" our gas-guzzling pigs.

Frankly, I don't. When some child in a man's body charges up behind me with $3000 worth of chromium buck teeth on the grill of their pig-truck, I slow down. I'm tired of being bullied and if I ever get a chance to do something about it at the ballot box, I surely will.

And I don't think I'm the only one who feels that way. Who knows, we might even wrap ourselves in the flag and suggest that people with big cars are unpatriotic, even if they do have lots of bumperstickers. Because they are.

Posted by: serial catowner on April 21, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"The debate is over."

The debate about whether the planet is warming is over. Yes, it's warming. The debates about the magnitude of global warming, about the geogrpahical distribution of warming, about the effects of different magnitudes and distributions of warming, about what fraction of warming is caused by natural vs. anthropogenic factors, and about what we can and should do in response to global warming, are just beginning.

Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

catowner,

"Yes, that would be why Detroit had to get laws passed banning fuel-efficient cars"

Huh? What laws banning fuel-efficient cars?

"And I don't think I'm the only one who feels that way."

Probably not, but you seem to be in a small minority. When I'm driving around, I see lots of trucks, SUVs, minivans and medium-size or large cars. I see few scooters or Ford Festiva-style sub-compacts. And most of the small cars seem to be driven by younger people, who probably buy them more because they can't afford a bigger and more powerful vehicle than because a small vehicle is what they really want.

Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

GOP>It estimated that there is only a 1% chance of a temperature increase as high as 5.8 degrees.

"Only"? Are you a complete idiot, or just ignorant? That kind of warning in a century would be catastrophic, civilization-ending stuff. 1% is WAY too much risk of that just because ammoral, head-up-ass hogs like yourself need to drive personal tanls to feel like a man.

>The most likely temp increase, according to their estimates, is a mere 2.3 degrees.

Right, which is merely a total disaster, that would severely amplify the current species extinction pulse underway, and disrupt our civilization and the quality of life on our one and only world for hundreds of years.

History is littered with civilizations that ended via relatively minor local climate shifts, and at the bottom of things, we are *still* an agricultural civilization. 5.8c would be outside the range of our ability to even predict where it would go after that, the planet hasn't seen that kind of temperature for millions of years.

You're totally ignorant of natural history if you think that's remotely acceptable as a risk. Far from making a point in your favour you just scared the crap out of me, I had no idea the risk of that had been quantifie. 5.8c could be worse than a nuclear holocaust.

That's in the range of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, which is not something we ever want to take the slightest risk of having to live through. It would mean signing on for a 100 millenia roller coaster and mass-extinction event. It's one of the few things that could literally drive us to extinction. You're a fool.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 21, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleocene-Eocene_Thermal_Maximum

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 21, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce the Canuck,

""Only"? Are you a complete idiot, or just ignorant?"

Yes, "only." Are you are a complete moron, or do you just play one here?

"That kind of warning in a century would be catastrophic, civilization-ending stuff."

Tee hee. Do you please show me your scientific analysis in support of the claim that a 2.3 degree temp increase would "end" our "civilization."

"which is merely a total disaster,"

How have you determined that a 2.3 degree increase would be a "total disaster?" Define "total disaster" in concrete, empirical terms.

"History is littered with civilizations that ended via relatively minor local climate shifts,"

You offer no evidence to support this claim, and it's so vague anyway it's hard to know what it's supposed to mean (define "relatively minor" climate shift). In any case, historical civilizations, lacking our modern technology, were much more vulnerable to environmental changes than we are. Show me your scientific analysis in support of the claim that a 2.3 degree temp increase would "end" our "civilization."

" You're totally ignorant of ... You're a fool."

Feel better now? Back at ya: You're a fool, a moron, an idiot, an ignoramus, and a cretin. I had thought you were one of the more thoughtful and civil liberals here, rather than the venom-spewing variety that is so common, but I see I'm going to have to revise that opinion.

Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

GOP AT 12:30 PM: "Er, that's not saying much... no one knows if any of those assumptions or scenarios is correct."

This is misleading. Climate prediction is in much better shape than economic prediction, and is improving continuously.

No one knows whether it will rain in ten days from now. But global mean temperature can be projected to 50 or 100 years from now, with logical inference and statistical confidence that are unavailable to economics.

Some climate projections are based upon the economic projections of CO2 production, and that gets loopy. So yes by golly, they do have different scenarios. But at any other level you take it, from about 1991 on, long-term climate predictions have had much better science behind them, than long-term economic predictions.

Indeed, some economists have begun to debate whether their own science, a huge collection of mathematical abstractions with less and less real-world import, and built upon a foundation of psychological premises which is imploding experimentally, is making any real progress at all.

Therefore, anyone who or implies an equal imperfection in the two sciences -- or who complains about damage to the economy, preferring the global warming instead -- is not paying attention.

Posted by: Lee A. Arnold on April 21, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffrey Davis: Mars and Venus are also experiencing a warming trend [...]

The sun has oscillations in how much radiation it emits. The sun spot rhythm has a period of 11 years, and the other main oscillation that I have read of has a period of somewhat over 100 years. the sunspot rhythm peaked a year or two ago, and the hundred year rhythm is near its peak. How much of the common warming of Venus, Mars, and Earth is due to these peaks in the solar oscillations isn't known for sure. However, the evidence that some of the observed warming of the earth is due to the solar oscillations. This particular force driving the warming of the earth will wane.

I provided a link to some of the science a couple months ago, in one of my recurring off-topic posts on climate change and energy.

CO2 accumulation is a real problem, but it isn't a disaster, and won't become a disaster if present technological improvements continue. Think how many hybrids will hit the market in the years 2006-2015; then how many pluggable hybrids and fuel cell cars in the years 2006-2025. The cost per watt of generating capacity of PV cells falls by about 30% per year. And so on.

The leader in clean electricity might be India, with its massive investments in nuclear power and solar power. Let's hope that they continue to move rapidly, because they are massive contributors to global CO2 and soot.

Back to the solar cycles: they are as well documented as CO2 accumulation.

Posted by: republicrat on April 21, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

No. 2.3 degrees would make a long-term mess of things, we would eventually lose many coastal cities. And the species extinction pulse would be very hard to contain as so much remaining habitat is constrained by our development, and so many natural populations are already under stress.

5.8 degrees, on the other hand, would be like getting wacked in the head with a shovel. I would be surprised if we survived that. All bets would be off as to where the system would go from there.

>>"History is littered with civilizations that ended via relatively minor local climate shifts,"
>You offer no evidence to support this claim

I am not responsible for your education. Go read a book by Diamond if want a primer.

>historical civilizations, lacking our modern technology, were much more vulnerable to environmental changes than we are.

Where's *your* evidence? We could easily be more fragile, not less. We haven't been tested yet.

>Feel better now?

Not really, I'd just arrived at the conclusion that you don't actually care about the future at all, which is more than a bit creepy.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 21, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce the Canuck,

"That's in the range of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, which is not something we ever want to take the slightest risk of having to live through."

Then we'd better kill ourselves now, because such an event is possible regardless of what we do, as are many other forms of natural environmental catastrophe, from a large meteor impact, to a sterilizing gamma-ray burst, to the appearance of deadly new infectious diseases.

I'm not sure what you think the PETM has to do with the what we're debating here. Are you claiming that a 2.3 degree (or even a 5.8 degree) mean global surface temperature increase by the year 2100 would trigger a comparable event? If so, please provide your scientific analysis in support of that claim.

Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp: [Does Norman] even read the stuff [he links] to?

No, Norman can't read.

He gets all his info from Rush Limbaugh and cutting and pasting from NRO.

republicrat: CO2 accumulation is a real problem . . .

But lets ignore it anyway until it does become a disaster and then try to figure out how to deal with it.

Same lapse in logic as before.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 21, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

I can see that GOP's rural base roots are just as phoney as his "truck".

Here's a newsflash- in ruraltania, people are poor, and they drive small cheap cars.

And those young people driving small cars- we like to call them the future.

Some of us were even young in the 70s when the gas pumps stopped working- and Detroit iron went belly-up. Then as now, Nader was their savior, with his "safety" schtick that keeps small cars out.

Next time you watch a foreign movie, take your eyes off the women (they're just prettier because they walk more and they're slimmer) and look at the cars in the background. Or look in some big federal shipyard like the one at Brmerton. They're exempt from their own rules, and from the ferry dock you can see small cars and trucks we can only dream of.

Posted by: serial catowner on April 21, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

GOP wrote: The debate about whether the planet is warming is over. Yes, it's warming.

Good for you. Some of your "GOP" colleagues will still not admit that.

The debates about the magnitude of global warming, about the geogrpahical distribution of warming, about the effects of different magnitudes and distributions of warming ...

At this point the debate about the eventual magnitude of warming and its effects on climate and ecosystems and sea levels, if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase (and US greenhouse gas emissions during 2004 increased by 1.7 percent from the previous year, the biggest annual increase since 2000, with total US emissions up 15.8 percent from 1990 levels), is about how catastrophic it will be. Will it merely kill hundreds of thousands of people through flooding, droughts, famine and disease? Or will it lead to the extinction of the human species and perhaps a mass extinction of most life on Earth, comparable to those of the Permian-Triassic mass extinction 251 million years ago when 70 percent of land species and 90 percent of marine species became extinct?

...about what fraction of warming is caused by natural vs. anthropogenic factors

There are no known "natural factors" that can account for the rapid, accelerating and unprecedented global warming of recent decades. Nor is there any need to invoke any such unspecified and entirely hypothetical "natural factors" to explain it. The anthropogenic increase in the atmospheric concetration of greenhouse gases entirely explains it.

... and about what we can and should do in response to global warming

There is no serious debate about the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nor has there been for quite a while. The IPCC stated in 1990, sixteen years ago, that an immediate 60% reduction in CO2 emissions would be needed to stop the buildup of carbon dioxide. That conclusion has only strengthened since then, and of course, since greenhouse gas emissions have been steadily increasing since 1990, the necessary reductions from 2006 levels would be greater.

While there is no serious debate about the big picture of what we should do -- dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible -- there is, of course, a vigorous debate about how that can best be achieved. But as pretty much every discussion of that question on this site has shown, there is an abundance of solutions -- both large scale and small scale, implementable by everyone from individudals to corporations to governments at all levels -- available.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 21, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

GOP: Then we'd better kill ourselves now . . .

Please do before you (the GOP) senselessly kill more Americans.

If so, please provide your scientific analysis in support of that claim.

Cite your scientific evidence that it won't.

I'm not sure what you think the PETM has to do with the what we're debating here.

Well, the GOP thought that circumstances existing in 1995-1998 were relevant to the then-current conditions in Iraq in 2003, so why not go back to the Paleocene-Eocene boundary.

Oh, that's right, the GOP gets to pick arbitrary time periods for assessing current conditions, but nobody else does.

Nevermind.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 21, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

GOP, You are correct in noticing that climate prediction is a complex-systems business, and that statistical uncertainty INCREASES in regard to long-term local and regional effects. But at the same time, statistical uncertainty DECREASES on the question of whether some of these will be catastrophic -- due to the existence of positive feedback loops in all other complex systems examined so far. And that is why many of the debates you list in your comment at 1:21 pm will become irrelevant to political decisions on climate change mitigation policies.


republicrat: Did you see the list discussions of recent findings on the sun-earth connection:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/category/climate-science/sun-earth-connections/

Posted by: Lee A. Arnold on April 21, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce the Canuck,

"2.3 degrees would make a long-term mess of things, we would eventually lose many coastal cities."

How long is "eventually?" 10 years? 100? 1000? And how do you know this, anyway? Why couldn't we protect those cities against rising sea levels? How much would sea levels have to rise to cause us to "lose" these cities, and over what period of time? How do you know? You just keep making these vague, wild, unsubstantiated claims. Ditto for your claims about species extinction.

Do you have a serious, sober, scientific, evidence-based argument to make, or are you just going to keep throwing out these wild chicken-little scenarios about possible adverse effects of global warming?

"Where's *your* evidence?"

Huh? Our technology allows us to survive under a much greater range of environmental conditions than historical civilizations.

Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP/conservative view:

When it comes to waging pre-emptive war, the slightest suggestion of WMD or ties to Al-Qaeda is enough reason to invade and bomb the hell out of a country.

When it comes to saving our planet from enviromental disaster, we need unequivocal undisputed proof before we can even begin to think about doing anything.

Posted by: virginia dutch on April 21, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

It's lucky we have Republicans like GOP and George Bush to protect us against wasteful and unnecessary spending like levies and dikes to protect low-lying cities.

Remember the bad old days when we spent our money protecting New Orleans, and never had any ready cash when we could have picked up a country like Iraq on the cheap? With our technical know-how we could fight a war on Tuesday and have the National Guard home by Friday to rescue people from rooftops.

Oh well- maybe they can rescue some people from rooftops in Baghdad pretty soon.

Posted by: serial catowner on April 21, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"At this point the debate about the eventual magnitude of warming and its effects on climate and ecosystems and sea levels, if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase ... is about how catastrophic it will be."

No, one of the debates is about whether global warming will be "catastrophic" at all. But the word is so vague and subjective it's not very meaningful in this context anyway. There is no scientific consensus about the environmental effects of various different increases and distributions of temperature. There are lots of different scenarios, based on lots of different assumptions, and lots of different computer models. There is no consensus amoung either scientists, policymakers or the general public, about how we should respond to global warming.

"There are no known "natural factors" that can account for the rapid, accelerating and unprecedented global warming of recent decades."

The IPCC has concluded only that "most," not "all," of the more recent warming is likely to be due to anthropogenic factors. It does not claim to know what proportion of recent warming was caused by human activities, and what proportion was caused by natural climate variability. A large proportion (two-thirds of N2O, and half of CH4, for example) of greenhouse gas emissions come from natural sources.

"There is no serious debate about the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nor has there been for quite a while. ..."

There is broad agreement that it is desirable to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but no consensus at all about how much to reduce them or over what period of time. If you dispute this, show me the alleged consensus.

"While there is no serious debate about the big picture of what we should do -- dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible"

More nonsense. There is a very serious debate about how much we should reduce greenhouse gas emissions and how quickly to do it. There is no consensus on these questions at all.


Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

GOP: Our technology allows us to survive under a much greater range of environmental conditions than historical civilizations.

Our medical knowledge allows us to survive far more diseases than our forbears, so lets not worry about any potentially new virulent strains of flu or other diseases that might spawn epidemics in a world of global travel, which our forbears also did not exprience.

Ooops!

I guess GOP forgot to include that our technology also makes us potentially more susceptible to the effects of global catastrophe than our ancestors, what with our dependence upon interconnected markets and communications networks, to mention only two things.

Damn logic!

BTW, I want to "just survive" in a world completely darkened by massive atmospheric dust, with no vegetation that isn't grown in big vats underground using thermal energy and where most of the worlds people have died, because technology is great, if you are one of the survivors of course, and who cares about quality of life.

Heck, technology can keep the body alive virtually indefinitely after brain death, so let's just put everybody in a coma and on life support machines that repair themselves because merely surviving is enough!

(I think I see a plot for a movie in here somewhere, but I just can't figure it out . . .)

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 21, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

GOP: There is no consensus on these questions at all.

Yes, there is, at least in the GOP: Do Nothing

There was less evidence for WMDs in Iraq (and even evidence of just the opposite), but Bush and the GOP jumped in head first without a plan.

Why are they hesitating here?

Is there a CIA report that says global warming is a highly unlikely threat as there was for Iraq stating that transfer of Iraqi weapons to terrorists was a highly unlikely threat?

Is the Bush administration hiding that report too?

No, it's because they (the GOP) haven't yet figured out a way to funnel profits from any planned response to Halliburton and GOP campaign contributors.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 21, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

In her interview Wednesday, Harris acknowledged for the first time that Wade had paid for the dinner at Citronelle, reversing a statement from her congressional spokeswoman earlier this year.
But in the interview, Harris also said her campaign had, at some point, "reimbursed" the restaurant.

When asked how she could have reimbursed a business that was owed no money -- Wade paid the bill that evening -- she abruptly ended the interview and walked off.

Her spokesman called back an hour later and asked a reporter not to publish anything Harris had said Wednesday night about the dinner.

The heroine of conservatives everywhere shows why: conservatives love anyone who can lie, cheat, and steal with a straight face.

Just. Don't. Get. Caught.

Then conservatives will rip you to shreds while they pretend to be horrified by your actions.

GOP: More nonsense.

Are you sure you shouldn't be posting under "GOD" instead of "GOP"?

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 21, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

THE REASON WHY CLIMATE CHANGE WILL ACCELERATE THE EXTINCTION OF SPECIES

The following has been compiled from articles in ecology journals starting from the early 1970's. (See, for example, Robert L. Peters and Joan D.S. Darling, "The Greenhouse Effect and Nature Reserves," BIOSCIENCE 35:11, pp. 707-717 (1985).

[i.] REGULAR CIRCUMSTANCE OF WILDLIFE ECOSYSTEMS :

(1) Ecosystems have at least a two-step-fractal CLUMPED distribution, local and regional, and at the regional level they are divided by ecotones or geographic features.

(2) Wild genetic health is some statistical description of regional-level species populations, usually pegmarked at over 500 individuals.

(3) (Unimportant supposition.) There is an ecological genetics which would describe how the condition of interacting with all the other relevant species in the rest of the ecosystem, affects the survival and thriving of wild genetic health in any single one of the populations.

(4) Normally, species populations go extinct all the time. Not the entire species, but locally or regionally an entire population. Why? A bad winter, no food, new disease, new predator, etc.

(5) The rest of the ecosystem frequently re-equilibrates to new sizes of the other populations, depending on the importance of the missing species to the food web, and other things.

(6) The missing species is returned by immigration. All ecosystems are throwing-off stragglers and adventurers always, and if a male and a female make it over the river or through the woods, --and they find each other,-- they will restart the missing species.

(7) The rest of the ecosystem will then re-equilibrate to what it was before,although not after too much time, or if other different things have happened.

(8) Most plant and animal species thrive well only within small ranges of moisture and temperature. As the climate changes, the species move to other areas. It may take several seasons to initiate a noticeable response.

(9) In the previous rapid climate changes, we may assume that the wildlife ecosystems were spread out, continuous and contiguous,enough for many fortuitous circumstances of species preservation, in the slow-motion tumult.

(10) If and when there is a massive extinction, then there are niches to fill, and the surviving weeds (tough plants and animals) spread-out to evolve and re-biodiversify the whole place. Among the smaller animals, new speciation takes a period of time somewhere around the order of ten thousand generations -- for each new species.

[ii.] WILDLIFE ECOSYSTEMS AFTER FRAGMENTATION BY HUMAN HABITAT:

(11) Human development now encircles all the wildlife areas, which are greatly reduced in size.

(12) This fragmentation of wildlife habitat effectively seals-off ecosystems, for many different species. They do not venture out into the human habitat due to conditions, or chemistry; or they are killed when they do so. This goes for both plants and animals. Some others are not affected at all.

(13) The Reduction in Size of the Ecosystem has an Immediate Consequence. One of the few truly reliable ordinal numerical relations in ecology is the species-area law, which finds that smaller areas have a smaller number of species, and bigger, bigger. There are different reasons for this. Consider the reason, that a fewer number of individuals in each population (fewer, because of less resources overall,) makes a local species populations random extinction (always happening at 4) statistically MORE PROBABLE. The fact that it is more probable to lose whole species is called that areas extinction debt, which gets paid in the number of species that eventually disappear from that area.

(14) The Isolation of the Ecosystems Borders has an Immediate Consequence. The blockage of migration, by human habitat, ends or greatly slows down the reconstitution of missing species (which would have happened at 6.)

(15) As the remaining ecosystem re-equilibrates over and over, in response to successive losses of species, larger oscillations of the simplifying food web serve to accelerate the local extinctions.

(16) The only way to correct this is to build and preserve wildlife corridors, land and river connections, between and among wildlife areas.

(17) In addition, many existing wildlife areas need to be greatly expanded. Why? Because AS THEY ARE NOW , they do not accommodate the pegmark number of individuals (at 2,) in a full interacting ecosystem (at 3,) for continued genetic health. Saving two animals in a zoo will not provide the ecological sharpness for species definition. Among many reasons for this, you can find: changes in the act of predation; density-dependent reproduction; etc.

[iii.] FRAGMENTED WILDLIFE ECOSYSTEMS DURING RAPID CLIMATE CHANGE

(18) As the plants and animals change their geographic places in response to the different moistures and temperatures (in 8,) many will be extinguished at the contact with human habitat (in 12.)

(19) This accelerates the extinction rate that is ALREADY ACCELERATED by the reduction in ecosystem size (at 13) and the isolation of ecosystems from each other (at 14.)

(20) The global warming hockey-stick graphs, whatever their cardinal inadequacies, all show a temperature change far, far beyond the comfort zone of many plants and animals. And realworld evidence abounds, that they are changing their ranges.

[iv.] CONCLUSION

(21) We have just embarked upon one of the greatest mass extinctions in history, and it is a profound and extra-millenial tragedy, and a spiritual disaster.

(22) Since humans are creative and economic growth could happen along many paths, it is an intellectual scandal, and needless.

Posted by: Lee A. Arnold on April 21, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

I think that "GOP" is Don P, posting under yet another handle and using a fake email address to hide his actual identity, since everyone long ago learned that Don P does not argue in good faith and will not waste their time on him if they know who he is. "GOP" exhibits the same arrogant belligerence, willful ignorance, reliance on repetitive dogmatic assertions for which he offers no support whatever while demanding evidence from others which he then refuses to examine, ignores, or absurdly and dishonestly pretends is irrelevant.

GOP wrote: "There is broad agreement that it is desirable to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but no consensus at all about how much to reduce them or over what period of time. If you dispute this, show me the alleged consensus."

In 1990, the IPCC said that an immediate reduction of 60% in greenhouse gas emissions would be needed to stop the buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere. I will leave it to you to look that up. That consensus (taking into account that emissions have increased since then, so the reductions from 2006 levels would be correspondingly greater) has only strengthened since then.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 21, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the Republican consensus approach to global warming:

You are sitting on the sofa watching TV. You feel the need to urinate. But rather than get up and go to the bathroom, you think, "I'm not sure I really feel anything at all. Well, I guess I do. But maybe I don't really need to urinate. Maybe there is some other cause for this feeling. It would be a lot of trouble to get up and go to the bathroom, and it's comfortable sitting on the sofa, and I'm not 100% certain that I really do need to urinate, so I'll just sit here." So, instead of going to the bathroom, you piss in your pants.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 21, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

GOP: If you dispute this, show me the alleged consensus.

A total of 163 countries have ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

Are you saying that 163 countries is not a broad consensus?

Does "broad consensus" in your lexicon mean only a consensus in which the US joins?

I suspect it does.

Arrogance. Self-centeredness. Self-importance.

Defining characteristics of the GOP.

Along with mendacity and corruption, of course.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 21, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

here's a nice supplement. US can do this too. Not a solution to CO2 accumulation yet, but there is no single solution.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2006/04/21/story_21-4-2006_pg7_44

Lee A. Arnold, thanks for the link. I get most of my information from the journal Science and from American Scientist. Another unknown is the net effect of ozone depletion (cooling of stratosphere, warming of lower layers), and whether the controls on CFC production will eventually reverse the depletion.

Posted by: republicrat on April 21, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist: So, instead of going to the bathroom, you piss in your pants.

Pretty much a description of the Bush strategy on Iraq and terrorism also.

I hope Bush has a lot of adult pampers!

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 21, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce the Canuck wrote: "2.3 degrees would make a long-term mess of things, we would eventually lose many coastal cities."

GOP replied: How long is "eventually?" 10 years? 100? 1000? And how do you know this, anyway? Why couldn't we protect those cities against rising sea levels? How much would sea levels have to rise to cause us to "lose" these cities, and over what period of time? How do you know?

GOP, you need to start paying attention to the news. And I don't mean Fox News.

It's interesting that you are not enough of a risk-taker to drive a small, allegedly "death-trap" car yourself, but you are more than willing to subject all of humanity to risks like those described below.

Global Warming Is Rapidly Raising Sea Levels, Studies Warn
John Roach
National Geographic News
March 23, 2006

Water from melting ice sheets and glaciers is gushing into the world's oceans much faster than previously thought possible [...] which scientists say could eventually submerge island nations, flood cities, and expose millions of coastal residents to destructive storm surges.

By the end of this century the seas may be three feet (one meter) higher than they are today, according to a pair of studies that appear in tomorrow's issue of the journal Science.

"After that we'll be committed to multiple more meters of sea level rise that will occur at rates of up to a meteror three feetper one hundred years," said Jonathan Overpeck, an earth scientist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, who co-authored the studies. "And it could go faster," he added.

[...]

The finding complements a study published in Science last month that found some of Greenland's glaciers have doubled in speed over the past five years, said Jay Zwally, a glaciologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Zwally added that both findings are "alarming" given that Earth has only experienced the full effects of greenhouse gases for about a decade.

[...]

About 130,000 years ago, global sea levels were 13 to 20 feet (4 to 6 meters) higher than they are today [...] When the team used the same climate model to predict what will happen over the next 140 years from increasing greenhouse gases, they found that by 2100 the Arctic will be at least as warm as it was 130,000 years ago.

But unlike 130,000 years ago, today's atmospheric warming is global. "So it will be even more conducive to melting parts of the Antarctic ice sheet in the future than it was 130,000 years ago," Overpeck said. "And indeed that jibes nicely with a lot of observations coming in that suggest parts of the Antarctic ice sheet are already melting."

According to Zwally, the NASA glaciologist, humans can limit the effects of global warming by acting now to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

But if we continue to pollute at the current pace, he says, by the end of the century the Greenland ice sheet and part of Antarctica could be undergoing irreversible decline.

"Man is doing an experiment with the ice sheets, which is a scientifically interesting experiment, except it is going to have some serious consequences," he said.

"And the longer we wait to do something about climate warming, the more serious it's going to be."

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 21, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

An example of GOP's dishonest debate tactics:

At 2:55PM, he wrote: There is broad agreement that it is desirable to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but no consensus at all about how much to reduce them or over what period of time. If you dispute this, show me the alleged consensus.

This comment from GOP was in direct response to my 2:31PM comment, in which I wrote: There is no serious debate about the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nor has there been for quite a while. The IPCC stated in 1990, sixteen years ago, that an immediate 60% reduction in CO2 emissions would be needed to stop the buildup of carbon dioxide.

I had already "showed" GOP the "alleged consensus" about how much to reduce GHG emissions (60% from 1990 levels) and over what period of time (immediately), namely the judgement of the IPCC -- a source with GOP himself cites as representing the scientific consensus -- and he responded by pretending that I had not.

GOP wrote: I'm perfectly happy to spend $40,000 on a SUV or car or truck. So are lots of other Americans. We don't want tinny little death-trap toy cars like your Festiva.

I think that GOP is performing a public service by demonstrating what it means to be part of the problem: to insist that your desire to drive a huge gas-guzzling chrome mountain trumps everything, and in support of that sociopathic infantile solipsistic greed, to engage in willful ignorance and denial of the science on global warming and the grave danger that it presents.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 21, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

I have a suggestion that may help address the proliferation of SUVs, "light trucks" and not-so-light trucks in the US.

Subsidized penile enlargement!

This will be far less expensive to federal coffers (and thus to taxpayers) than the present subsidy structure.
If we limit the offer to persons who trade in their existing vehicle for a compact or sub-compact vehicle, it has the added benefit of removing the existing fleet from the road quickly, as many drivers of large vehicles are already looking into replacing them with something more fuel efficient.
Free boner pills until retirement for anyone who makes the switch from a motor-driven to human-powered vehicle, or mass transportation.

Posted by: kenga on April 21, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

kenga: Subsidized penile enlargement!

Just what Dickless Cheney needs!

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 21, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Gore in '08!

Posted by: Dave Bob on April 21, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

The sun has oscillations in how much radiation it emits. The sun spot rhythm has a period of 11 years, and the other main oscillation that I have read of has a period of somewhat over 100 years. the sunspot rhythm peaked a year or two ago, and the hundred year rhythm is near its peak. How much of the common warming of Venus, Mars, and Earth is due to these peaks in the solar oscillations isn't known for sure. However, the evidence that some of the observed warming of the earth is due to the solar oscillations. This particular force driving the warming of the earth will wane.

Sorry. That's bilge. "...Several independent indices on solar activity which are direct modern measurement rather than estimations - indicate that there has been no trend in the level of solar activity since 1950s."
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/03/solar-variability-statistics-vs-physics-2nd-round/#more-277

As for warming on Mars, "... inferring global warming from a 3 Martian year regional trend is unwarranted. The observed regional changes in south polar ice cover are almost certainly due to a regional climate transition, not a global phenomenon, and are demonstrably unrelated to external forcing."

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/10/global-warming-on-mars/#more-192

**************

You guys can't just fling poo any more. There are too many smart guys checking up on that kind of thing.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 21, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"I had already "showed" GOP the "alleged consensus" about how much to reduce GHG emissions (60% from 1990 levels) and over what period of time (immediately), namely the judgement of the IPCC"

You didn't "show" anything. You made an unsupported assertion of an alleged IPCC estimate of the emissions reduction that would be needed to "stop the buildup of carbon dioxide." You provided no evidence to back up this assertion. You provided no evidence regarding the effect the stated reduction would have on temperature change. And you provided no evidence that the IPCC actually advocated the stated level of reduction as a feasible or cost-effective policy goal. Your posts are full of this kind of non-sequitur.

Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

And your evidence regarding the economic damage certain to be caused by developing and switching to newer technologies and modes of travel and lifestyle is -where- exactly?

Posted by: kenga on April 21, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Do you agree that penile enlargement is less costly than SUV tax rebates?

Posted by: kenga on April 21, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"Here's the Republican consensus approach to global warming ..."

Here's the SecularAnimist approach to global warming:

Behave like an unscrupulous insurance salesman trying to scam a potential customer into buying an overpriced insurance policy by bombarding him with worst-case-scenario possibilities of what could conceivably happen if he doesn't buy your policy. Pay no attention to how likely it is that such scenarios will actually arise. Pay no attention to whether the price of the insurance premiums is justified from a rational cost-benefit analysis of the nature and magnitude of the risks. Pay no attention to alternative ways of mitigating or accommodating the risks. Just try to scare the client into buying what you're trying to sell.

Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

If GOP is the old Don P, at least he's dropped the pretense of not being a Republican.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 21, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

GOP wrote: You didn't "show" anything.

Yep, it's Don P, posting as "GOP" and using a fake email address to hide his identity, with his usual dishonesty: misrepresenting what I wrote, lying about what he wrote, making absurd claims that my direct responses to his demands for supporting evidence are irrelevant non sequiturs and that he is "still waiting" for the evidence that I have already provided and which he is completely unable to respond to, pretending that a direct citation to a 1990 IPCC report is an "unsupported assertion", engaging in willful ignorance by his refusal to click the mouse a few times and verify that my reference to the IPCC is correct, and making his dogmatic pronouncements without ever offering any support for them.

Everyone who ever attempted to "discuss" anything with Don P in this forum came to the conclusion that he does not argue in good faith, that he is nothing other than a bullshit artist who likes to impress himself with his ability to waste people's time with his pointless argument for the sake of argument and his endless rubbish.

That's why he now has to hide behind a variety of handles and fake email addresses to get anyone to engage with him. But his characteristic phoniness and pretentious rhetorical posturing soon enough makes it clear who he is.

Well, perhaps not "soon enough" -- I wasted a substantial amount of time on him earlier this week in the "Emerging Environmental Majority" thread before I realized was dealing with that same old fraud. I won't repeat that mistake here.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 21, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

"A total of 163 countries have ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Are you saying that 163 countries is not a broad consensus?"

No, I'm saying the Kyoto Protocol does not represent a consensus about how much to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or over what period of time. All the KP specifies is a set of near-term goals for emissions reduction. Many of the countries that ratified the KP did so for political or competitive reasons, either because they are exempt from the emissions reductions (China and India, for example), or because the KP allows them to sell emissions trading credits to other countries. There is no consensus amoung economists or public policy experts that the KP is justified under a cost-benefit analysis. Even amoung those who think it will be beneficial, there is no consensus about what the magnitude of the benefit will be, or about whether and by how much emissions should be reduced over and above the KP targets.

"Arrogance. Self-centeredness. Self-importance.
Defining characteristics of the GOP. Along with mendacity and corruption, of course."

Ignorance, stupidity, dishonesty, corruption--defining characteristics of liberals.

Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"... direct citation to a 1990 IPCC report ..."

You didn't provide any citation. You just asserted, "The IPCC stated in 1990, sixteen years ago, that an immediate 60% reduction in CO2 emissions would be needed to stop the buildup of carbon dioxide." No citation. No reference. Not even a document name.

And as I said, it's a complete nonsequitur anyway. The statement "We must reduce emissions by X to achieve a carbon dioxide concentration of Y" is an empirical claim about the relationship of emissions and CO2 levels, not a policy prescription that a reduction of X is necessary, feasible or justified. As I said, your posts are full of this kind of irrelevancy.

Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

"I think that GOP is performing a public service by demonstrating what it means to be part of the problem"

I think SecularAnimist is performing a public service by demonstrating just how out-of-touch he is with the society in which he lives. His revelation that he chooses to drive a tinny little death-trap of a car like a 15-year-old Ford Festiva is just one of many illustrations of this.

Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Something is wrong with Don P (a.k.a. "GOP") that goes beyond the usual arrogant, ignorant obtuseness of the typical online blowhard, and beyond the rabid Republican partisan's passionate devotion to regurgitating scripted, programmed talking points (e.g. "there is no scientific consensus on global warming").

I think he is mentally disturbed. Perhaps dangerously so.

One more reason -- besides it being a waste of time -- not to engage with him.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 21, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

floop,

"All joking aside - I still don't think you get my point. Those nuclear plants have been built already. Done deal. The Swedish population doesn't want to remove them - fine."

Huh? So what if they've already been built? Why is it okay for Sweden to get 50% of its electricity from nuclear energy, but not the U.S.?

By the way, Sweden isn't even at the top of nuclear-happy nations. France gets a whopping 78% of its electricity from nuclear power.


Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK
Huh? So what if they've already been built?

So, given that there are environmental costs of setting up (and decommissioning) reactors, and those are no longer marginal costs, the fact that the reactors are set up means that the marginal environmental costs of deciding to run them versus shutting them down are less than the marginal environmental costs of creating new reactors vs. not doing so.

Why is it okay for Sweden to get 50% of its electricity from nuclear energy, but not the U.S.?

Because the status quo is different in Sweden such that the environmental costs of them doing so versus the costs of them not doing so are different than would be the case in the United States.


By the way, Sweden isn't even at the top of nuclear-happy nations. France gets a whopping 78% of its electricity from nuclear power.

Yeah, so?

Posted by: cmdicely on April 21, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

"So, given that there are environmental costs of setting up (and decommissioning) reactors, and those are no longer marginal costs, the fact that the reactors are set up means that the marginal environmental costs of deciding to run them versus shutting them down are less than the marginal environmental costs of creating new reactors vs. not doing so."

Decommissioning is irrelevant, since my proposal is to increase the share of nuclear power in the U.S., not decrease it in Sweden. And the marginal costs associated with building new plants in America are irrelevant if those plants are scheduled replacements for non-nuclear plants, or are additional plants built instead of non-nuclear additional plants. Also, new nuclear plants are likely to be more efficient than older ones, and those savings alone might make the total costs of building and operating a new plant for an extended period of time less than the costs of operating an existing, older plant for the same period, especially given a decades-long operating life.

"Because the status quo is different in Sweden such that the environmental costs of them doing so versus the costs of them not doing so are different than would be the case in the United States."

What is the difference in the "status quo" that justifies Sweden continuing to use nuclear for 50% of its electricity, but not the U.S. increasing its share of nuclear to the same proportion? Show me your calculation.

Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: cmdicely on April 21, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

Is that a theoretical argument or do you really oppose the construction of new nuclear power plants in the US? Do you think that the marginal costs are greater (in purchasing power equivalent) are less in India and China, which have substantial nuclear power plant construction programs underway?

Do you think that the total costs of nuclear power plants will be greater than the total costs of the automobile industry, taking account of auto emissions, auto accidents, and recycling or burying the trash? Or the airline industry? or the housing industry? Or the pharmaceutical industry?

Incidentally, the current National Geographic has a nice article on nuclear power. It's in the National Geographic style rather than the style of the journal Science, but it's nice in its way.

Posted by: republicrat on April 21, 2006 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

floop,

"Sure, but the real point is that the Swedes are putting together a comprehensive plan"

Actually, Sweden doesn't seem to have a coherent energy plan at all. It's flailing around trying to reconcile incompatible goals just like everyone else. The government wants to phase-out nuclear power, but the Swedish public strongly supports nuclear. The government's initial goal was to eliminate nuclear by 2010, but that was totally impractical, and now nuclear is projected to be around until 2050 or later (using older, inefficient, dirty reactors). It's also trying to get rid of all reliance on fossil fuels. It's also committed itself, for environmental reasons, to a moratorium on new hydroelectric sites. That just leaves non-hydro renewables. It seems highly unlikely that these sources will be able to replace nuclear and fossil, which together currently provide more than 50% of Sweden's energy.

Posted by: GOP on April 21, 2006 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

Secular, CM

Kyoto was a major setback for the environmental movement. You'll be see seeing this more clearly shortly and will continue to observe the damage for decades. Designing an agreement specifically to throttle the US was incredibly stupid. Americans NEVER took them seriously because of it and will NEVER listen to this crowd again.

Worse of course is the fact the deal is a piece of garbage filled with perverse incentives. Plus, 90% of the signees have no intention of observing it in the 1st place. We have a bizarre Kyoto inducted transfer of manufacturing from clean counties to the worst polluters on the planet. Even Canada, full of high minded liberals will the full intenion of observing Kyoto, is on a track to be the worlds WORST polluter. Thanks to US liberals preventing drilling in the US we now have Canada investing over $200B in the Tar Sands producing the worst pollution energy source on the planet. Every drop of the 2M incremental production of Tar Sands oil will go to supply the USA.

The result? Canada's increase in emissions versus the 1990 base period will be more than double the USAs. The USA gets the oil. Canada gets the pollution. This is what happens when you put liberals in charge of anything.

Not to worry. There will not be another Kyoto. At least not like this one. Mandatory limits are history. Tony Blair has made this clear. The massive bureaucracy will be gone. The guys in lab coats can yell and scream to their hearts content. It's not working. In a very recent poll the environment was ranked 13th of 20 important issues. It's not important. Worse is the fact the USA is getting cleaner. Americans trust their eyes and they see a clearly improving climate.

BTW: Al Gore is the worst possible spokesman. He's a clown and a politician. The average citizen doesn't trust either.

Posted by: rdw on April 22, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

A liberal blog -- and nobody has their finger on the pulse of the country.

Issue 1 - global warming, if tied to fossel fuels will devastate the middle class lifestyle much like illegal immigration.... more people .... less opportunity.

Issue 2 - GREENIES don't like people. Read an issue of Outside Magazine [published in oh so correct Santa FE] -- these people HATE indigenous people....

Greenies -- if given the choice between gorillas and Ugandans... well, it's not a toss up.

Lefties... if asked whether Masai, Kekuyu and Bantu have the right to farm and fence lands used by elephants.... again, the answers would shock you.

2 billion Indian and Chinese consumers? -- fuck em, right?

Global warming will mean TWO THINGS --

1 - increased xenophobia [alert Israeli First Jews can use this in their next Islamophobe recruitment operation]

2 - perpetual war

Posted by: karen on April 22, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Make that perpetual war on 'select enemies'

More People at a diminishing trough is not a recipe for the Hudson Valley River valley school of imagery.

Posted by: karen on April 22, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Karen, were you once known as Alice?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 23, 2006 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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