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What To Do About Climate Change?

2012 has seen drought, wildfire, ice-melt, Sandy, and 70-degree temps in Chicago in December.  What are we going to do about climate change?

A parking lot full of yellow cabs is flooded as a result of superstorm Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in Hoboken, NJ. (AP)

A parking lot full of yellow cabs is flooded as a result of superstorm Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in Hoboken, NJ. (AP)

In the first decade of the 21st Century, a lot of Americans checked out on climate change. Wandered off. Doubted. Ignored it. But not now. The last couple of years — and this year in particular — of heat and drought and crop loss and wildfire and ice melt and coastal flooding have got people’s attention in a way that overwhelming majorities of scientists never could.

Hurricane Sandy put miles of New York City underwater. On the south side of Chicago this week, in December, it was 72 degrees. Weather isn’t climate, but weather makes it real.

This hour, On Point: urgency and climate change.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Vicki Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center of Georgetown University Law Center where she is also a Visiting Professor.

Anthony Leiserowitz, research scientist, lecturer, and director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “The last three United Nations climate changesummit meetings have been disorderly affairs, marked by brinkmanship, breakdowns and a weary sense that there has to be a better way to address the intensifying challenge of a simmering planet.”

Greenwire “With the U.S. intelligence budget shrinking, the CIA has quietly shut down its Center on Climate Change and National Security — a project that was launched with the support of Leon Panetta when he led the agency, but that drew sharp criticism from some Republicans in Congress.”

Associated Press “The Middle East and North Africa will be especially hard hit by climate change in the coming decades, the World Bank said in a report Wednesday, saying the region will see less rainfall, more recording-breaking temperatures and rising sea levels.”

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  • Matt Hoostal

    Please discuss the disparity in the effects of climate change by race & class. Environmental racism and classism have been evident, e.g. higher air contamination in inner cities and rural water contamination by fracking. Furthermore, we have ‘niggerized’ the environment through its exploitation and abuse. The environmental ground movement has been excellent, but in need of more racial, ethnic, and class heterogeneity.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      “Environmental classism” is certainly a legitimate phenomenon that we can readily observe.  Unfortunately,  those who speak with the loudest voices about the need to do something about climate change (Al Gore, the Hollywood elite, rich politicians such as Nancy Pelosi and most of congress regardless of party) are the ones most guilty of committing this infraction as they live in larger houses and have more energy-intensive lifestyles (jet travel, heated swimming pools, big cars) than the 99% of us who just struggle day to day to make ends meet.  Their hypocrisy creates skepticism about the legitimacy of the movement and the need to do something.

      • RolloMartins

        Some in the environmental movement–such as the campaign of Stein in the Green Party–do walk the walk. We need to support movements such as hers.

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          I agree with you.  I know that there are people who walk the walk.  Unfortunately, high profile people that say one thing and do another do a great disservice to a cause, whatever that cause happens to be.

      • Flytrap

         Very good point.  I saw Lori? David on Charlie Rose a year or so ago, and he asked her about the jet and the homes and her response was “I’m not a perfect person.”  It was so obviously a pr flacks crafted statement it made me want to puke. 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I missed something: You, and therefore all of us 99%, are living with you, in one of the various “Cancer Alley”s, or downhill from a coal slag heap, or in some superfund site some company faked bankruptcy to get out of cleaning up?

        You, personally? Everyone who isn’t a lackey for the coal industry, personally? Who has to do this to pass your purity test?

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          My point is that some of the most vocal proponents of taking action to stop man-induced climate change are big hypocrites who should walk the talk rather than simply talking a good game.  They remind me of Leona Helmsley’s comment that “only the little people pay taxes.”  Perhaps if they lived their lives in such a way that demonstrated that they really believe in man induced climate change, perhaps there would be less scepticism as to whether or not it is a real phenomenon that they are demonstrating by their non-materialistic lifestyle that they want to help solve.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Middle class people don’t live in Cancer Alley and downhill from coal slag heaps. Al Gore living in a mud hut (your fantasy) will not change this one iota.

            What examples were you screaming yourself hoarse for when the right was in power?

            Nothing about mountaintop removal mining (which leaves tons more waste and hires thousands less miners), the underregulation of deep sea wells, the disaster-in-the-making pipeline for those few temporary jobs? “Al Gore needs to set an example” is your sticking point?

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          Other hypocrites are people like the Kennedys who live in mansions and don’t want an offshore wind farm built off of Hyannis because it will affect their ocean view and yacht lanes.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Minor point. You’ve got a disproportionate need for environmental people to live in mud huts. It’s not a solution, it’s not even a valid point.

          • Stephen_Mangion

             As I recall, when Rose Kennedy died, for estate tax purposes, she was a Florida resident . . .
            (Check which state has the lower estate tax . . .)

    • Gregg Smith

      Geesh.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    When the subject of doing something turns to proposed solutions such as energy offsets, carbon credits, carbon taxes that will simply give the obese federal government even more money to spend, etc., I get real nervous.  Just as Wall Street created the financial catastrophe a few years ago to line its pockets, the hocus-pocus mumbo-jumbo market that “traders” (or is that “traitors”) will create in order to facilitate trading credits, buying carbon credit options, and all of the other chicanery that they will turn it into will make the financial crisis of 2008 look like child’s play.  Even hypocrites like Al Gore, who “pay” companies that they own thousands of dollars to plant a tree to absorb the carbon that is generated by their opulent lifestyle, is a big farce, as it simply takes money out of one of their deep pockets and puts it into another one of their pockets while making it look like they are really doing something meaningful.  In order to buy carbon credits, we will be paying for that tree to be planted multiple times, paying for stuff like planting trees that would have been done anyway, etc.  I can just see the 60 Minutes stories detailing the fraud and abuse now.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Just as “the need to do something” about importing oil has strengthened the corn farmers special interest group while doing nothing meaningful (it takes almost as much energy to turn the corn into combustible fuel, but is has boosted our food prices very significantly over the past few years), so creating and subsidizing businesses/etc. whose game is to “reduce climate change” will create another special interest group that will lob millions of dollars to politicians for their political campaigns and votes to keep the subsidy dollars flowing.  And in the end, it will accomplish nothing substantive other than making politicians, lobbyists, and lawyers richer than they already are.  The problem is that mankind is greedy and self-serving, and no legislation/etc. is going to change that.  Man always finds a a way to corrupt whatever he can to further his own financial interest.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      So?

      Baseball players are greedy and self-serving, but somehow I trust umpires to call their own balls and strikes in the World Series better than the players would.

      What you’re basically doing is saying “they’re too smart for us, let’s give up”. Sounds like you’re ready to go Galt Somalia.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        No, what I am saying is that the well-connected decision makers are too crooked or conniving for us and will simply turn a well-intentioned effort into a financial scam without solving the supposed problem.  I would keep my money in my pocket than let the parasitic special interest groups to pillage the population in a new way in the name of “stopping man’s impact on climate change.”

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Go Galt already. You’ve given parasitic special interest groups your wallet already.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    We need to end the subsidy of costal property ownership. The icecaps and glaciers are melting, the ocean rising and importantly sea waters warming promising evermore powerful storms. We cannot afford to continually rebuild the sandcastles on the beaches of the US.

  • Stephen_Mangion

    Doing something will require sacrifice. 
    Al Gore did not call for it in his book.

    So I ask:  at what cost and who will pay the cost of doing something? 
    Let’s be transparent.
     

  • Gregg Smith

    I know, maybe we should throw millions and millions of dollars down the rat hole of failing solar companies and then make GM produce cars no one wants subsidized by tax payers. Cash for Clunkers would also help. 

    • nj_v2

      Isn’t that cute? Gnashing and snarling, the right wingding junkyard dogs grasp onto their Solyndra bone, never to let go.

      • Gregg Smith

        Solyndra is the tip of the iceberg. There are many more examples. Is there a success story? Surely there must be.

      • Flytrap

         http://www.dividedstates.com/list-of-failed-obama-green-energy-solar-companies/

        • Gregg Smith

          No one will touch that one.

  • 1Brett1

    The answer to the question of what to do about climate change is one that will require nations all over the globe to work in harmony based on one set of standards…and this isn’t bloody likely to happen! 

    Another dilemma (with moral and ethical implications that fall down on both sides of the climate change debate) is not only enforcing/imposing some standard on a developing country but denying them their development, a process advanced industrialized countries were never denied…it becomes a form of, “I’ve got mine, now you can’t have yours, but it’s for the good of the planet, you understand.”

    Global enforcement; completely throwing away old paradigms and envisioning completely new ones; at once looking toward technology to solve problems while discarding technology because it causes problems, are all tough ones, for sure.

  • Jasoturner

    Human beings don’t have it together enough to curtail carbon dioxide emissions.  When we realize we are in real trouble, we’ll start pumping sulphates into the air to reflect sunlight away from earth.  Geo-engineering will be the available solution, good intentions, windmills and solar panels notwithstanding.  It is not the optimal solution, but desperate times will call for desperate measures.  And relatively speaking, the Geo-engineering solution is cheap.  Of course, those unintended and unanticipated side effects may not be so cheap.

    Given how people behave, though, this just strikes me as inevitable.

  • nj_v2

    In developed countries, “what to do” seems pretty straightforward to me. Not that it will ever happen here in the United Corporatocracy of America.

    Tax carbon, heavily. End all corporate subsidies.

    Adopt a Norway-like fossil-fuel policy (Since they are a common, essential resource, like water, nationalize fossil fuel resources. License development to a strictly regulated company. Limit the areas drilled and the amount of resource harvested at any time. Create a fund into which oil revenues go. Only draw out and spend the interest. Have politicians of all parties agree to not ever use oil policy as a campaign issue.)

    The market will then sort itself out around the most viable, renewable alternatives and take the measures needed to reduce energy use.

    In developing countries that want the stuff that we have, it’s going to be a lot harder. I doubt things will change until the supply-and-demand economics evolve to where prices of carbon fuels begin to rise to a point when alternatives become practicable. But, by then, billions more tons of carbon will have been pumped into the atmosphere, and we’ll all be dealing with the consequences.

    • Flytrap

       Wasn’t that what the Soviet Union did?  How did that turn out?

  • BlueNH

    What to do about climate change?

    We know what to do. The scientists have been very clear about solutions, but as long as the fossil fuel companies own congress and the rest of the world’s governments, it will take real disaster (on the scale of millions of deaths by famine and flood) to get action. And unfortunately, the first step will be a geoengineering scheme.

    The future does not look bright for humankind and other living things.  All thanks to fossil fuels. Sorry, kids!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      At some point I’m worried that Colbert’s satire has turned into truth, when he said: The only way to get off this is to use up all the oil and coal first, therefore the most responsible thing to do is to burn through it as quickly as humanly possible.

  • AC

    we’ll either adapt or die out. evolution doesn’t necessarily have to favor us in our current state.
    maybe our lungs will change, it’s happened before:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/02/science/02tibet.html

    hmmmmmm…it’ll be interesting, wish i could live forever 
    http://humanorigins.si.edu/research/climate-research/effects

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      I’m not waiting around for my lungs to change. Evolution happens in the course of many generations. I want a better world for my children and then next 7 generations. not waiting for evolution to cull the stupidity and result in a better world 1,000 years from now.

      • AC

        lol. it’s too late for us, we’ve got the lungs we’ve got.
        i don’t think evolution cares very much about your level of patience with it tho ;)

  • Gregg Smith

    Total global hurricane activity is at record lows. So there’s that.

    • nj_v2

      Greggg’s new trolling tactic: Make somewhat unspecific, yet fact-y sounding claims—as his did yesterday with his bogus revenues-as-a-percent-of-GNP post—but post no references or citations and hope no one calls him out. C’mon, Greggg, where’d you get this? Hannity? Limpballs? Fox So-Called News?

      For anyone concerned with the real science on storms and climate change:

      http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/global-warming-and-hurricanes

      • It is premature to conclude that human activities–and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming–have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane activity. That said, human activities may have already caused changes that are not yet detectable due to the small magnitude of the changes or observational limitations, or are not yet properly modeled (e.g., aerosol effects).

      • Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause hurricanes globally to be more intense on average (by 2 to 11% according to model projections for an IPCC A1B scenario). This change would imply an even larger percentage increase in the destructive potential per storm, assuming no reduction in storm size. 

      • There are better than even odds that anthropogenic warming over the next century will lead to an increase in the numbers of very intense hurricanes in some basins—an increase that would be substantially larger in percentage terms than the 2-11% increase in the average storm intensity.  This increase in intense storm numbers is projected despite a likely decrease (or little change) in the global numbers of all tropical storms.

      • Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause hurricanes to have substantially higher rainfall rates than present-day hurricanes, with a model-projected increase of about 20% for rainfall rates averaged within about 100 km of the storm center.

      • jefe68

        We can make counter arguments with this person until sea rose 2 to 5 inches and he would still not agree with the science of global warming and the consequences. We could lose all of New Orleans, Miami and Charleston and he would still deny it.

        In the long run does it matter what this guy thinks?
        He’s one person who comes on this forum to post his view points that are skewed in right wing rhetoric. Witness the economic gibberish he posted yesterday. We should all ignore this little man.

        • nj_v2

          The thing is, he’s not alone. He’s representative of a small, but loud and obnoxious minority, that spews this stuff.

          It’s worth busting their bogus drivel lest anyone gullible or not-so-well informed may be persuaded.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            small minority? I wish…

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s already been established that I’m an idiot. Now refute my idiotic self.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            I don’t think you’re an idiot at all, I think you’re willfully ignorant.

          • Gregg Smith

            Fine, but I would humbly ask you to read the responses to my comments and explain why no one has refuted them.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          In the long run, yes, it matters what this guy thinks. Why? Because there’s at least a hundred million more out there just like him.

          • Gregg Smith

            Total global hurricane activity is at record lows. Is that irrelevant?

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Relevance is based on perspective. Overall hurricane strength is at record highs. Is that relevant? To me yes. To you? I’m guessing no.

          • Gregg Smith

            I disagree, see my reply to Jefe above. I am open to your argument if you can show me a shred of evidence.

        • Gregg Smith

          Total global hurricane activity is at record lows. 
          Prove me wrong.

        • Flytrap

          . . . “When a climate change layman (one who makes the effort to look)
          discovers that the NCAR model CCSM4 hindcasts a global temperature
          anomaly curve that warms 50% faster than the observed rise from 1900 to
          2005 (as shown in Animation 2), they question the model’s ability to
          project future global temperatures. The perception is, if the hindcast
          is 50% too high, then the projections must be at least 50% too high. And
          when the models don’t resemble the global temperature observations,
          inasmuch as the models do not have the multidecadal variations of the
          instrument temperature record, the layman becomes wary. They casually
          research and discover that natural multidecadal variations have stopped
          the global warming in the past for 30 years, and they believe it can
          happen again. Also, the layman can see very clearly that the models have
          latched onto a portion of the natural warming trends, and that the
          models have projected upwards from there, continuing the naturally
          higher multidecadal trend, without considering the potential for a
          future flattening for two or three or four decades. In short, to the
          layman, the models appear bogus.”

          http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/05/an-initial-look-at-the-hindcasts-of-the-ncar-ccsm4-coupled-climate-model/

      • Gregg Smith

        How delusional must you be to be thumping your chest over a lost argument? You can’t even do math. You ran and hid when I called you on it.

        What’s with the speculation and prognosticating? I’m talking facts here. Total global hurricane activity is at record lows. Was there a single word in your comment that refutes what I wrote?

        • Ray in VT

          Take a look at the historical graphs here:

          http://policlimate.com/tropical/

          There is a lot of variation from year to year. 2009-2010 was low, but so was 1989, and look what happened after that.  Activity was up this year, with the 3rd highest number of named storms on record for Atlantic storms.  Your comment smacks of something like “there’s no long term warming trend because it’s cold today”.

          • Gregg Smith

            Dr. Maue was actually my source. He says total global cyclones are at record lows. I would have put up the very link you did but to dig deeper it cost money, so I didn’t post. 

            I don’t know what I smack of but if you can show me there is a long term trend of increased hurricanes, I’m open. I would also add there has no significant warming since 1996.  

          • Ray in VT

            It smacks of the usual “hey don’t worry, it’s just a little dry weather” or “climate change happens every day when the sun rises” that you usually put out.

            Global hurricane data is tricky, as experts will admit, so any long term trend is iffy.  NASA’s data here shows some interesting data:

            http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/

            That data trends up.  I’m aware of the British data, as well as some comments by one of the scientists cited by the paper who says that they misrepresented her.  Here’s a quote from the British Meteorological Office regarding the Daily Mail story that I have seen you reference previously:

            “As we’ve stressed before, choosing a starting or end point on
            short-term scales can be very misleading. Climate change can only be
            detected from multi-decadal timescales due to the inherent variability
            in the climate system. If you use a longer period from HadCRUT4 the
            trend looks very different. For example, 1979 to 2011 shows
            0.16°C/decade (or 0.15°C/decade in the NCDC dataset, 0.16°C/decade in
            GISS). Looking at successive decades over this period, each decade was
            warmer than the previous – so the 1990s were warmer than the 1980s, and
            the 2000s were warmer than both. Eight of the top ten warmest years have
            occurred in the last decade.
            Over the last 140 years global surface temperatures have risen by
            about 0.8ºC. However, within this record there have been several periods
            lasting a decade or more during which temperatures have risen very
            slowly or cooled. The current period of reduced warming is not
            unprecedented and 15 year long periods are not unusual.”

          • Gregg Smith

            I am not arguing it isn’t tricky, I’m agreeing. I am saying there is not the evidence to support hurricanes are getting more frequent or stronger. I am saying we are currently in a lull which may mean nothing. Sandy does not change that. In fact, I would turn your argument back on you and agree that to say there is no warming because of a cold day is not a valid point. But who makes it? It’s the inverse argument that is made by liberals. This summer there was a drought and boom AGW panic. A hurricane hits NYC and it means AGW. If we have a hot month, AGW.

          • Ray in VT

            I hear the there’s no global warming because of x usually highlighted by someone on Fox.  Like this:

            http://www.politicususa.com/east-coast-snow-global-warming.html

            I don’t think that one should say that this or that storm is or isn’t due to global warming.  I don’t think that one can honestly make that claim with scientific certainty.  I think that when we have these events, such as droughts and large storms, it merely serves to highlight changes that are going on, and these once or twice in a lifetime events really do smack people in the face.  Especially if one is in an area along the coast that’s seen somewhere in the neighborhood of a foot or so rise in sea level over the past century, the polar ice is melting quite quickly and one just got hit with one of the largest storms in decades.  It gets some to thinking.

            People go to global warming, especially the man made variety, because that is where the scientific community sees the evidence, although I know that you have issues with that, and people are seeing some evidence of that in their daily lives.  1.8 degrees Fahrenheit is I think what at least one local weather station has observed as in increase over the past 100ish years.  It might be a bit more (Celcius maybe), but they’re confident that it’s a real change (not distorted by shade or other factors) that going on, but the meteorologists there like to stay out of the climate debate.  They report, and try to forecast, the weather, and they do a pretty good job.

    • jefe68

      Except that the ones that hit the US were pretty extreme.
      We had two in a row hit the North East and the and both have done serious damage to states from New Jersey to Vermont.

      Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states, it was that large.
      So there’s that.

      • Flytrap

         Serious damage doesn’t equal extreme storm.  Katrina was an extreme storm, Cat 3+.  The ones here in the Northeast over the past 2 years have mainly been rain events as they were “only” Cat 1′s. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/jhayesboh James Hayes-Bohanan

          Category ratings are important, as top sustainable speed is a good proxy for a lot of other parameters. But they do not discriminate by duration, size, timing, or coastal vulnerability.

        • jefe68

          Obviously there are variables. The amount of damage done by that category 1 wind on the cost of New Jersey and New York was pretty substantial. The factor you left out was the size of the storm, which was huge, and the fact that it was slow moving.

          Sandy had more energy than Katrina and was a larger storm.

          • Gregg Smith

            I count 15 category 5 hurricanes from 1960 and earlier. Hurricane Sandy was a category 2. Katrina was a category 5. Do you believe in science?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Category_5_Atlantic_hurricanes

          • Ray in VT

            Wind speed doesn’t mean worse storm.  Did you see the satellite images of Sandy?  That thing was massive, and it, like Irene in 2011, did most of it’s damage due to flooding.

          • Gregg Smith

            Sandy was a tragedy, I want to be careful not to imply otherwise. But it was not unique in history like say Dog was in 1950. The fact that Sandy hit a populated area coupled with the pitiful performance of Bloomberg and FEMA make it highly visible. But if all that flooding (or more) occurs over the ocean no one pays attention. 

      • Gregg Smith

        There is no science that blames climate change for Sandy. It was a hurricane, that’s all.

  • Jerry Brown

    Reduce tax rates on the incomes of ordinary American workers and small businesses, and increase tax rates on the consumption of fossil fuels.  Net gain without net pain is actually possible. 

    • AC

      this would only hurt the poor, since older, fossil fuel tech would become disposed of or really cheap.
      there’d be lots of squabbling about the injustice of this…..

      • Jerry Brown

        Note that reducing payroll taxes  would help the working poor as much as increasing carbon taxes would hurt them. In fact more so.

        As you pointed out, taxing carbon instead of income would lead to the disposal of older fossil fuel technologies.  The benefits for all Americans, including the poor are as follows:

        1) Generate demand for replacing these old technologies with new green technologies, and the jobs to go along with them (a plus for the currently unemployed)

        2) Reducing demand for fossil fuels, which in turn drives down the underlying (pre-tax) price of a barrel of oil. While all reduction in payroll taxes go into the pockets of the working poor, all increases in carbon taxes do not come out of the pockets of the working poor because of this continuous decrease in the underlying price driven by continuously decreasing demand.

        3) Reducing the increase in global warming, and extreme weather events, which the poor are least well equipped to deal with.

        4) Reduce the need to fight wars over oil.  It is the sons of the poor much more than the sons of the rich that are being maimed in and are dying in these wars.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          Nice wish list, I think you missed ac’s point though.

          • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

            I addressed AC’s point, see above.

      • J__o__h__n

        The poor don’t need SUVs.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

        AC, if the tax gives a dividend to all people, it would counteract the increased cost of living for poor people, including myself. I am poor and i wnat a carbon tax and dividend!  It’s the right thing to do and it will cause the right behavioral changes, especially among those who emit the most carbon == the rich. We do need better mass transit and many other things, but if done right, a carbon tax will help the poor, will in fact create more jobs in renewables than the jobs created by the fossil fuel energy, and will make a better world.

  • Acnestes

    How about a few simple, incremental, reasonable things like abolishing drive-through windows?  How much crap needlessly gets dumped into the air by all those folks who can’t muster the will to drag their butts out of the car long enough to pick up their fatburgers and Lipitor prescriptions?

  • http://0003.myopenid.com/ 0003

    We should invest heavily in the future infrastructure that will support floating cities.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      I’m gonna add a dock for my boat to my beacon hill residence. It will be great not having to walk down to the harbor.

      There is an interesting story going around about an LNG tanker taking the “Northwest Passage” from norway to Japan. Imagine, after being sought for centuries, the Northwest Passage is becoming a reality. All it took was pumping enough CO2 into the atmosphere. Nice touch of irony that the first ship through is carrying fossil fuel.

      http://gcaptain.com/russia-opens-northwest-passage/

      This s quite a benchmark, eh?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I’ve read every book you’ve ever heard off about those stalwart, can-do Englishmen who went north of Canada in ships to freeze to death looking for the Northwest passage.

        And I could now water-ski over the North Pole, it seems.

        If only John Franklin had waited 160 years.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gary.rucinski.1 Gary Rucinski

    Climate change is often called the largest free market failure in history. First: address this failure. Put a gradually increasing tax on carbon at the source and return all proceeds to households on a flat basis. Citizens Climate Lobby is focused like a laser on this goal, growing by leaps and bounds, and emerging as one of the most influential grassroots lobbies in the US and Canada for this solution. Making prices for fossil fuels reflect true costs to society will ignite a clean energy revolution for real once businesses see energy price certainty. We will begin a 30 year gold rush as companies look for ways to profit from decarbonizing the economy.

    Then? Not sure. Lobby for a farm bill that rewards holistic land management? Lobby for foreign aid to help third world and developing countries avoid growing emissions and adapt to existing and coming changes? We’ll see.

  • Coastghost

    Oh let’s just reverse evolutionary course and return to the oceans. That will be about as expedient, as sensible, and as practicable as what is about to ensue (over the next hour, over the next century or so, as long as heated breathing permits).

  • Ellen Dibble

    Redefine “opulent” as “consumptive,” and if that word resonates with the self-destructiveness of tuberculosis as it was prevalent in the 19th century, weakening those who harbored it, then good.  It fits.  But it is the myth-makers, probably movie makers, who can change the meme, if that’s the word.  I have not seen Star Wars, but that (and most movie clips I’ve seen) idealize the concept of going fast and far, of struggling to be cutting edge, being stylish rather than classic.  “Traditional” begins to mean white bread and plastic cheese, rich in preservatives that mummify our civilization.   Is it religion that can begin to shape values a species can live by, flourish by, rather than values to kill themselves by?  In the past, this has been the case.  It has been the societal task of the moralists to keep people on the straight and narrow road that keeps the  boats afloat in the long run, versus in time for the next budget.  I’d say the banks should be on board with these new values.  Presently they seem to think the economy will do better if people consume to the max, hopefully paying the likes of Citibank dollars for loans.  Isn’t the complaint that right now globally people are not so interested in loans?  Maybe a truly “conservative” bent is revealing itself globally, and  people and organizations of people (corporations, religions, etc.) are beginning to gather steam for the changes.  Say, look, “gather steam,” and there you have the old language for the old values. “Steam,” involving not your calories ready to burn, but your coal-fired locomotive.  

  • Coastghost

    IF this were a serious topic for THIS show: production would cease instantly and the immediate cessation of power generation needed for broadcast, transmission, and reception purposes would yield modest, very modest, contributions to slowing the advent of what has long since become inevitable. In point of fact, this show will be broadcast in its entirety, its podcast will become duly available, hundreds or thousands across the country will tune in avidly, and more geniuses (like this one) will post or call in elicited responses and unsolicited opinions. And there’ll be another set of two-hour shows tomorrow, assuming, et cetera.

  • jefe68

    This is a sobering overview of the consequences of sea levels rising: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/11/24/opinion/sunday/what-could-disappear.html

  • John_in_Amherst

    In all likelihood, humanity has already passed the threshold where climate change can be avoided.  Tinkering around the edges – actions like improving gas mileage, rethinking suburbs and McMansions, promoting “green energy” – while helpful, will not get at the roots of the problem.  Radical revisions in materialism and living patterns, and drastically lowering the run-away fecundity of mankind will ultimately be necessary to make a meaningful impact on climate change and environmental degradation.
     
    We are in the opening salvos of a war with the consequences of industrialization, but it is a long-haul fight that people are psychologically ill-prepared to wage.  Humans tend to think and react to events in time frames that rarely exceed months, but we are dealing with changes that will play out over millenia.  The changes we are wreaking upon the natural world will make people of this era the subject of myth far into the future.  We have become Adam and Eve, our imperfect knowledge of how to manipulate our world is not casting us out of the garden so much as it is destroying Eden altogether.  Vestiges of humanity will live on in a world greatly depleted of species, drinkable water, fishable seas, and arable land, and generations far into the future will revile our lack of will and action, unless we make extreme – and in the short run, exceedingly difficult – changes NOW. 

  • MarkVII88

    The fact that Americans in general feel like they are entitled to cheap fuel for their cars and trucks is a huge part of the problem.  The fact that politicians pander to this notion and the interests that benefit from fuel consumption is another huge part of the problem.  I am all for renewable energy but without the same level of subsidies/tax breaks and support from the government that the fossil fuel industry receives it truly will never be accessible, affordable, and large-scale enough to succeed.  Additionally, as we are seeing in Vermont right now, everyone supports renewables until they realize that a solar farm or wind project is proposed to be installed in or near their community.  Everyone wants the benefits of cheap gas or renewable energy but nobody wants to pay the actual price of it, whether that be a carbon/consumption tax or to have a wind farm near their home.  You can’t have it both ways.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Tangent: If you haven’t read it, I recommend a book called “Green Metropolis”, by David Owen. Sounds like it’s right up your alley.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Tangent: If you haven’t read it, I recommend a book called “Green Metropolis”, by David Owen. Sounds like it’s right up your alley.

      • MarkVII88

        Thanks for the tip.  In addition to my original comment I also want to say that until movement to alternative/renewable energy becomes profitable for individual homeowners it won’t be widely adopted.  It’s great when the local bank puts a solar tracker on their lawn to showcase their support for the environment and this is part of the cost of doing business to attract different/new clients.  As a homeowner, I can’t justify spending or financing $15K for the same solar tracker because it’ll never pay for itself in the lifetime of the house and then you’d be stuck with technology for the next 20-30 years that would be obsolete in the space of maybe 5 years.  I would never buy a hybrid car for those reasons too.  I would never drive the car enough miles to make-up the added cost (compared to a similarly sized vehicle) in fuel savings.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Sounds like you’re where the rubber hits the road on this stuff.

          Of course, I’m a crotchety sort who has a 30-year old motorcycle and a quarter-million mile Swedish car, so if you figure me as fairly retrograde about things until the absolute minute they wear out, you’re right.

          • MarkVII88

             I’m not into environmentalism at all really, beyond what will benefit my family.  Things like building a house with good insulation to keep our heating bill down or using water-efficient fixtures and toilets to keep the water bill down or buying as small a car as is needed to accomodate our needs (to keep the purchase price down and the mileage up) are what make sense.  What really makes no sense are things like driving a big pickup truck every day like a car and only using it like a truck a couple times/year or like when a couple has their first child and they immediately go and drop $30K on a minivan that gets maybe 20MPG.  What’s the point?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            On the cost of driving:

            “If I had seventy cents a mile for every time someone didn’t know how much it cost to drive their new car…”

  • Flytrap

    Some crazy Green is probably going to take “The Twelve Monkeys” approach and engineer a virus that kills people to save the Earth. 
     

  • Brandstad

    Climate Change is REAL, but man made Climate change is a theory with little data to support!

    • nj_v2

      The troll bus continues to disembark…

      • jefe68

        Ignore them. People like this guy dig their own holes and science is something that is not in their field of vision.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          This isn’t meatspace, it’s not a barbeque or cocktail party where some fool starts spouting off and everyone can see how his words clears out a 100 foot radius circle because people just don’t want to listen to him. Sometimes countermanding trolls is important on a site where there is no effective moderating.

          • jefe68

            The thing is this is what, the third show on this topic in a year and people have been making counter arguments to all of these right wing extremist and it’s not working at all.

            They are not interested in your ideas nor are they interested in the science behind the effect of carbon on the planets climate.  

            You can try to counter them until your hands are numb and they will still say the same BS.  It’s a waste of time. I think posting data and showing those on the fence the reality of what’s happening is more constructive.

            You’re feeding the trolls.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            If we don’t countermand the trolls, NPR and WBUR will continue to worry about what they think.

            NPR and WBUR are polite to a fault. Nobody gets called a liar when they phone in. No idea introduced by the right-wing noise machine is ever dismissed out of hand, but has to be given a place at the proverbial table, because “it’s out there” (h/t Cokehead Roberts).

            This is not a normal internet space, and NPR and WBUR are not normal commercial-driven media nor are they information driven media. I’ve abandoned lots of “mainstream” media pages attached to broadcasters and papers because they’re overrun by ignorant a-holes. I’m here because this one is not.

          • Ellen Dibble

            I like to try to understand why certain things for certain people are beyond effective debate.  It seems that the mental furniture — perhaps the structure and integrity, intactness, of the emotional/behavioral/ intellectual house the personality inhabits — is not just being left as is, but is forcefully being held down by the hardliner, as if that furniture were being tugged at — and so he or she comes forth in a “forward-leaning” manner, which may feel  to the perpetrator like a positive response to a relatively vulnerable situation.  Can that mental “set” remain honored and useful in the public realm?  Test it out; keep testing — that seems to be the method.  Three times is a charm?

          • Flytrap

             Maybe you’re right Ellen.  Now apply that same metaphor to yourself and your thinking and see what you get on issues you disagree with conservatives on. 

          • Ellen Dibble

            I agree with conservative principlesbut I think they’ve tied those principlesto some very slippery realities.

      • Acnestes

        Don’t bother with these fools.  Really.  Be satisfied with the sure and certain knowledge that their grandchildren will spit on their graves for their intransigent, willful ignorance.

        • Flytrap

           . . . “When a climate change layman (one who makes the effort to look)
          discovers that the NCAR model CCSM4 hindcasts a global temperature
          anomaly curve that warms 50% faster than the observed rise from 1900 to
          2005 (as shown in Animation 2), they question the model’s ability to
          project future global temperatures. The perception is, if the hindcast
          is 50% too high, then the projections must be at least 50% too high. And
          when the models don’t resemble the global temperature observations,
          inasmuch as the models do not have the multidecadal variations of the
          instrument temperature record, the layman becomes wary. They casually
          research and discover that natural multidecadal variations have stopped
          the global warming in the past for 30 years, and they believe it can
          happen again. Also, the layman can see very clearly that the models have
          latched onto a portion of the natural warming trends, and that the
          models have projected upwards from there, continuing the naturally
          higher multidecadal trend, without considering the potential for a
          future flattening for two or three or four decades. In short, to the
          layman, the models appear bogus.”

          http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/05/an-initial-look-at-the-hindcasts-of-the-ncar-ccsm4-coupled-climate-model/

    • TomK_in_Boston

      1. There is no doubt whatsoever that the spike in atmospheric CO2 is man-made. CO2 from burning fossil fuels has its own signature re the percentages of the different isotopes (I know, not in the bible, sorry) of carbon. Identifying man-made CO2 doesn’t require any climate models.

      2. Our current CO2 levels have always corresponded to a planet much hotter than what we have now.

      Isn’t that enough to cause real concern, no climate models required? OTOH, if you’re more interested in ideology, I can’t help.

      Funny how intense skepticism of climate science appears from those who think a budget with tax cuts and unspecified loophole closings is a good way to balance the budget :) 

      • Flytrap

        . . . “When a climate change layman (one who makes the effort to look)
        discovers that the NCAR model CCSM4 hindcasts a global temperature
        anomaly curve that warms 50% faster than the observed rise from 1900 to
        2005 (as shown in Animation 2), they question the model’s ability to
        project future global temperatures. The perception is, if the hindcast
        is 50% too high, then the projections must be at least 50% too high. And
        when the models don’t resemble the global temperature observations,
        inasmuch as the models do not have the multidecadal variations of the
        instrument temperature record, the layman becomes wary. They casually
        research and discover that natural multidecadal variations have stopped
        the global warming in the past for 30 years, and they believe it can
        happen again. Also, the layman can see very clearly that the models have
        latched onto a portion of the natural warming trends, and that the
        models have projected upwards from there, continuing the naturally
        higher multidecadal trend, without considering the potential for a
        future flattening for two or three or four decades. In short, to the
        layman, the models appear bogus.”

         http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/05/an-initial-look-at-the-hindcasts-of-the-ncar-ccsm4-coupled-climate-model/

        • TomK_in_Boston

          I gave a model-independent argument. Even if you’re willing to diss the people who spend their lives doing this stuff, I don’t think any reasonable person can look at the current man-made CO2 levels without concern.

          • Flytrap

             Not “dissing” anyone, just showing that the instruments used to propagandize the population, i.e. climate models, should be heeded about as much as the Oracle at Delphi.  Here are some reasons not to be too concerned with CO2.
            http://www.carbonoffsetsdaily.com/news-channels/global/why-we-will-never-have-too-much-carbon-dioxide-in-our-atmosphere-40809.htm

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Wheew, many thanks to the righty echo chamber for letting me know that James Hansen et al are propagandists whom I can safely ignore and CO2 is no problem. I bet the folks at XOM and Koch are even happier.

          • Flytrap

             Yes, it’s the “righty echo chamber” not a different reading of the information.  You’re right, I work for XOM and Koch and my only motivation is gold. 

            You truly have to be a narrow minded bigot with complete and utter belief in what your high priests are telling you to not question the info coming from the pro AGW mouthpieces.

  • Brandstad

    Look at all cliamte change models that were promoted 10 years ago and you will find that they said that by today we would be wearing swim suits and have beach front properties in Ohio by now!

    • Flytrap

       . . . “When a climate change layman (one who makes the effort to look)
      discovers that the NCAR model CCSM4 hindcasts a global temperature
      anomaly curve that warms 50% faster than the observed rise from 1900 to
      2005 (as shown in Animation 2), they question the model’s ability to
      project future global temperatures. The perception is, if the hindcast
      is 50% too high, then the projections must be at least 50% too high. And
      when the models don’t resemble the global temperature observations,
      inasmuch as the models do not have the multidecadal variations of the
      instrument temperature record, the layman becomes wary. They casually
      research and discover that natural multidecadal variations have stopped
      the global warming in the past for 30 years, and they believe it can
      happen again. Also, the layman can see very clearly that the models have
      latched onto a portion of the natural warming trends, and that the
      models have projected upwards from there, continuing the naturally
      higher multidecadal trend, without considering the potential for a
      future flattening for two or three or four decades. In short, to the
      layman, the models appear bogus.”

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/05/an-initial-look-at-the-hindcasts-of-the-ncar-ccsm4-coupled-climate-model/

  • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

    WE NEED A CARBON TAX!

    We need a carbon tax!

    • Brandstad

      You are an idiot!  What will be the next element to tax?

      • J__o__h__n

        gold

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Stupidity. We’re going to wipe out the Deficit with your contribution alone.

      • Gregg Smith

        Manganese. 

  • Brandstad

    Tom,

    Any time you say climate change, I think natural cliamate change, which happens every year!

    • nj_v2

      ^ Blurs the line between ignorance and stupidity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

    We need a carbon tax.

    Rep. McDermott (D-WA) has proposed such a bill that wqould put a $20 per ton fee on carbon emissions, and 25% of revenue would pay down the national debt, and 75% would go as flat dividend to all citizens.  PLEASE have the guests comment on this!

    Here is the bill:  http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6338/text

  • Michiganjf

    We had the driest November on record in 156 years of record-keeping here in Austin, Texas.

    Tom,

     Thanks for giving the topic of Climate Change regular attention on your program!

  • Michiganjf

    We had the driest November on record in 156 years of record-keeping here in Austin, Texas.

    Tom,

     Thanks for giving the topic of Climate Change regular attention on your program!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      But New Jersey had a flood in November.

      Therefore the weather is average. No problem!

      • nj_v2

        And Antarctic ice is growing!

    • Ray in VT

      There’s been two hot, dry summers in a row in much of Texas, right?  Is there any talk about how farmers and ranchers would be affected if 2013 is more or less in line with the last two?

      • Michiganjf

        We’re back in “severe drought” stage.

        This last summer was moderate, supposedly due to an uncommon convergence of El Nino/La Nina… something we can’t expect very often.

        Other than that, severe summer drought has caused the deaths of tens of millions of trees in Texas, according to national news reports, livestock deaths everywhere closing ranchers down, whole towns dying and getting abandoned due to lack of water (e.g.- Spicewood Beach right outside of Austin), water rationing everywhere, people abandoning their dying lawns, etc., etc….

  • wauch

    Only half of 1% of this country really wants to face the realities of climate change which includes drastically higher fuel costs, recycling of food/yard waste on an industrial scale, a carbon – and nitrogen and phosphorus – cap and trade not to make some rich but to feedback into transition mechanisms, and a drastic reduction in global trade to force countries to live within their own means, OH AND population mandates and substantial reductions in end-of-life extreme revitalization efforts along with an end to searching for immortality.

  • J__o__h__n

    Actually, the high water mark is yet to come.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hank-Helmen/1353932286 Hank Helmen

    The thing no one talks about is that a tax on carbon would kill two birds with one stone.  1. curb climate change, and 2. reduce the budget deficit

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

    Wait. was the religious right still think it is the liberal hoax?

    i still remember my ex-colleague from Montana said there is NO scientific truth to it. oh, right. this guy holds a large block of shares in Exxon Mobile.

    you know when money and religion get mixed together, we get greed and denial. first and foremost… i think religion in this country and any other causes society to go backwards.

    Bottom line on these denials: MONEY $$$$$$$$$$$

  • J__o__h__n

    We are going to need a technological solution to this as the political system has no will to deal with it.  Our government is broken.  China and India aren’t going to reduce carbon enough.

    • nj_v2

      In that case, we’re screwed. There are no technological solutions to problems that are not technologically based.

      Our entire infrastructure—housing, settlement patterns, food production, manufacturing, etc.—was made possible and continues to be based on cheap, readily available carbon fuel. 

      No other fuel source is as easy to harvest, as concentrated, as portable. There will be no one-to-one substitutions to be made.

      “Progress” has always been based on growth, which has assumed not only the continuing, ready availability of said cheap energy, but also of the raw materials needed to make stuff as well as the ecological services provided by the planet’s natural systems.

      Not only are we entering Peak Oil, but all the planet’s ecosystems are under stress, in some cases severely so.

      Banning plastic bags, putting up solar panels, and electric cars won’t be enough. Population needs to stop growing. Consumption needs to decrease. Local economies need to be strengthened. Agriculture needs radical reform. 

      None of this will be easy or quick.

  • Coastghost

    Put it closer to people’s faces, Tom: the problem is gasoline consumption and electricity consumption. Gasoline consumption and electricity consumption. Good luck with your public-private partnership, Weaning, Inc.

    • Coastghost

      Should we understand in advance that the Vaunted Northeast Corridor will retain its carbon-generating, fuel-consuming privileges vis-a-vis the rest of daunted America? The provinces will all have to roll over and be dead so that our cosmopolitan provinicials can continue to generate anthropogenic problems and solutions? When does this new regime of localized power consumption commence?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Let’s have the resources go where the people are.

        Hey, population density is heaviest on the coasts wher us elites live! Funny, that.

        • Coastghost

          Good, and let the population centers all starve and die of thirst. THEY caused all these problems, after all . . . .

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            “People” caused these problems.

            You’re not making the point you think you are. Per capita, we “elites” are living on less resources.

            Compare to all the “foreclosurevilles” in exexexurban Colorado, AZ, California and Georgia, where you have to drive 40 miles to get anywhere.

          • Coastghost

            Sorry, you seem to’ve missed whatever point I made.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Yeah, whatever that was.

  • Wahoo_wa

    Climate change and the resulting phenomenon are the perfect catalysts for innovation, invention and adaption.  New professions and new jobs await!

  • ELKennelly

    The number one contributor to global warming is livestock production (WHO, UN, Pew, WorldWatch, etc)
    Why isn’t this factor, and what to do about it — stop meat consumption — front and center of the solutions? 

    • MarkVII88

       While I certainly enjoy eating the meat from livestock production, it certainly seems upside-down to spend 5-7lbs of corn to raise 1lb of beef or pork.  Think of the people all that corn could feed or the other crops that could be grown in its place to better round-out our diets.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Tangent: But isn’t cramming corn into farm factory animals just the result of having more corn than we know what to do with, because we’re using vast amounts of oil-based nitrogen fertilizer?

        If we’re not gonna subsidize the CAFOs, do we really want to subsidize the corn (wheat, soy, etc)?

        (Yeah, we’re unraveling a bigger issue here.)

  • VTrobbie

    This is hardly a new or controversial topic. A consumption based society will use up its resources one way or the other. Just because the “new” economy has “enlightened” people building 5000 square foot “green” second houses with Priuses in the driveway doesn’t mean they live a sustainable lifestyle. People need to STOP living for instant gratification–live a VERY simple existence that’s in line with Mama Nature! Duh…

  • ianway

    Where is the discussion of the reason we haven’t been able to make progress on this issue: a well-funded disinformation campaign orchestrated by powerful monied interests.  Like the weather itself, there IS an explanation for these things, if we really care to understand it.  See http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/climate-of-doubt/.

  • ToyYoda

    Forget about mitigating greenhouse emissions.  We should have heeded the advice of scientists from the late 70′s.  But, over the last 30 decades, it’s clear that we cannot change our habits.  Modern countries should be ashamed, and developing countries need to better their citizens’ lives.

    Reducing emissions is important and shouldn’t be ignored, but it’s shouldn’t be the primary focus.  Climate change is here and it’s too late to do anything about it.   Focus on mitigating damage and deaths from coastal floods and storms.

    • Harry Read

       ToyYoda, you are right that we’ve come too far to avoid climate change, but if we don’t work hard to slow emissions we’ll be in for far more severe warming.  There are ways to safely and securely increase the rates of carbon removal from the atmosphere — I’m thinking about mineral carbonation — though whether or not that is feasible is an open question.  The world today has unprecedented technological and industrial capabilities that if harnessed to address this problem, I think, can be successful in fixing this problem.

  • http://www.facebook.com/whagist Warren H.

    Climate Change isn’t a far off abstraction: rising temperatures, changing rain patterns already affect the most vulnerable, i.e., the poor in developing countries: devastating droughts in Syria, Somalia, the Sahel – and now in the US

  • madnomad554

    Dick Proenneke, Alone in the Wilderness could be the answer…

  • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

    Carbon tax would help two things:

    1. reduce fossil fuel emissions
    2. avert the fiscal cliff

    House bill 6338 “Managed Carbon Price Act of 2012″ would do both of these, and give a dividend to all citizens.

    • William

       At what cost? 25 percent unemployment? More jobs moved overseas? Unaffordable electric bills for millions of customers? What will be accomplished other than “feeling good about doing something?”.

      • StilllHere

        Taxes are free!  Come on.

  • richard jr sweitzer

    tom
    climate change should be the only topic humans focus on.
    the positive feedback loops have begun.
    the film “chasing Ice” is a visual OMG.
    were F___ed if we don’t stop the generation of CO2.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.m.cogswell John M Cogswell Jr

    My #1 concern about Climate Change / Global Warming is corrective action.  Hey I think the US is on a slow path towards that needed corrective action, but this is a GLOBAL issue.  We need every nation on board with awareness and compliance.  Try telling that to China, India, and all of the other developing and newly industrialized nations.

    Feels like even if we were in a best faith effort in the United States, all of this wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans compared to what the rest of the world is doing.

    This is not an argument against action by any means!  But we need to plan for uneven acceptance, planning and compliance by the rest of the world.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      Good point, though the US still needs to do all it can, and can lead by example instead of pulling from behind to prevent change!  We need a global carbon tax, and if the US enacts a carbon tax nationally, that’s a big step in the right direction, and positions the US — like Germany already has — into the economy of the future rather than the past.

    • ed mangan

       it would be better to lead by example.

  • Coastghost

    What will shape political discourse concerning anthropogenic climate change: water shortages. Politically, the issue may never attain sufficient combustibility without the specific dynamic of water shortages in play.

  • jenreese

    The UN’s report earlier this week indicated that we are certainly past the point of no return with respect to anthropogenic climate change, and that the Earth is doomed. How can we infuse hope into people’s efforts to ameliorate the situation if this is the case? 

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      We’re not doomed. We’re in for a rough ride, but if we change our behavior NOW we can survive. We NEED a global carbon tax.

    • Wahoo_wa

      Move away from word like “the Earth is doomed” perhaps?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Eh, six-of-one, half-dozen of the other.

        I figure we all know the meaning: “The earth won’t support humankind in any sort of numbers that we’re used to living here in, in the median style and comfort we’re used to having.”

        Frogs, cockroaches, birds, voles, algae, and such will be okay. But we may be sawing off the branch we’re sitting on.

        Just a bit of shorthand, really.

        • jefe68

          Frogs are disappearing at an alarming rate.
          So are some species of birds.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Actually, yep. The “bellwether species”, I guess.

            Okay, I’ll stick to ants and cockroaches. They ain’t going anywhere.

        • http://twitter.com/RJabby Richard Jablonski

          Right here in Connecticut, the frog population, an indicator of local ecosystem  health, is being significantly diminished due to climate change. This Spring, early April 2012, in Southbury, CT we experienced a short unusually warm week, e.g. 50 F, and our bullfrog population came out of hibernation. Their croaiking sounded like it was mid-June. Then, the weather reverted to its much normal colder temperatures, upper 20′s at night and almost immediately the bulfrogs stopped croaking and did not return. Instead of having dozens of bullfrogs in our pool, we did not see the first return until early August and their numbers were roughly only10 percent of what we usually see. I think that our local bullfrog population has been decimated and it may never return to former levels. Was this experienced elsewhere in Connecticut? Hopefully those studying Connecituct ecology will find an answer.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Frogs are croaking!

            (/rimshot)

            Yeah, I shouldn’ta said frogs. But at least I didn’t say bats either. (I know about the white-nose blight.)

            We’re talking about the same thing: “Survival of the earth” won’t mean something to everyone until the situation looks like “Lifeboat”. Not enough food, water and shelter, nor a safe place to put our waste.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Could  massive global displacement/relocations be the first global political effect?  Places becoming uninhabitable will lead to demographic shifts, it seems to me.  Coordinating clean energy is different than adapting.  The caller Ben was saying we have to survive,  and yes, that’s the general idea.

  • ads55

    We need to think about how much the denial of the reality of climate change is a function of religious fundamentalism.  The most significant climate change denier, Senator James Inhofe, has said “Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there [his book] is that ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night,’ my point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”  What can we do to get around this kind of, I hesitate to even use this word, thinking?

  • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

    House Bill 6338 is the “Managed Carbon Price Act of 2012″ is a national Carbon Tax. It would use 25% of revenue to pay down the debt & avert the “fiscal cliff” and the other 75% a flat dividend to all citizens.  This would make a HUGE difference in changing behaviors and slowing global warming. Then, we need this on a global scale. It’s not rocket science. It’s a matter of will, and simple market correction to include “externalities” in the price of carbon emission.

  • Wahoo_wa

    The Earth is not doomed and neither are we.  Nature (and man as PART of nature) has a remarkable ability to adapt and change….dare I say evolve.

    • BlueNH

      Maybe if we had thousands of years, living things could adapt, but not at the rate of change we are seeing. Humans are doomed at 4 degrees C.

      • Wahoo_wa

        So says Chicken Little

        • jefe68

          If we can’t grow enough food due to prolonged droughts, and if water becomes a huge issue, then we are in from some troubling times in the next century.

          Right now there is a crisis on the shipping lanes of the Mississippi due to a prolonged drought in the Midwest. Are you aware of that?

          You are aware that humans can not live without water for more than few days.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Considering that the CO2 is already so high, and that getting the developing countries to cut emissions is impossible, I really do fear that we will go way beyond a critical point before we even get serious. By the time coastal cities are flooding, nothing we do will have much effect.

      • ed mangan

         CO2 is just like the liquid in a thermometer. it is high. but like a thermometer going it does not cause the temp to rise. CO2 is less than 1% of the cause of GW. just a indicator. but smoke and mirrors covers the real causes.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          “CO2 is less than 1% of the cause of GW”

          and your source for that is….?

          • Gregg Smith

            .04 % according to NJ. But Joe Bastardi says .4%. NJ isn’t good with numbers.

          • ed mangan

             wiki; In 2009, the CO2 global average concentration in Earth’s atmosphere was about 0.0387%,or 387 parts per million. http://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_the_Earth%27s_atmosphere
            people think the large numbers mean it is a lot. like from 330 to 550 ppm. it grew at a fast pace.
            just a smoke screen. it is people who are creating the heat. buy a infrared temp gun and walk through you house. 1 watt of power is 1 watt of heat. a 1500 watt space heater creates 1500 watts heat. but people do not know it is a engine/gas, coal or nuke steam that generates heat. also runs a generator that makes just as much heat as what you use in your house. if you use a 1500 watt heater the generator make that much heat. this does not include heat/ electric losses along those power line to your house. like losses at junctions and transformers.
            now go outside you house and look at the hood of your car after you get home from your daily commute. it might be near 200 degrees. same inside your engine compartment. buy some heat was put inside your car to keep you comfy. your whole exhaust system could be much higher in temp.
            that is where a lot of the heat  from GW is coming from and not CO2!!! got it?
            now multiply that heat by a billion Chinese and Indians just getting cars.
            do you need more info?

  • nj_v2

    Why worry? Isn’t the world going to end in a few weeks according to the Mayan calendar?

  • http://www.facebook.com/stevebeisler Stephen Beisler

    I payed golf 10 of the last 12 months in Iowa City, including last Monday, 12/03/12. This is insane in the middle of a real drought. Why do people like limbaugh and hannity deny that global warming is happening? What is really in this stance for them?

    • StilllHere

      Why do you play golf?  Do you know how much energy is wasted maintaining that artificial green space?  If we’re going to have an impact, we’ve got to start with our own behavior.

      • http://www.facebook.com/stevebeisler Stephen Beisler

         I play golf on a course that doesn’t water, has sand greens, and uses sheep instead of mowers. Hitting out of sheep poop makes for difficult shot making.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Who’s the richest person you gave this whine to?

        You’re picking on some average fellow from Iowa City? Really?

        Satire fail.

    • Brandstad

      They don’t deny global climate change, it has happend since the Earth formed into a rock!

    • ed mangan

       they are just paid barkers. you do what the guy with the gold says.

  • StilllHere

    We already tax carbon, so what are we talking about here?  The government makes more on a gallon of gas than anybody else in the chain.  Look at your electric bill, it’s full of variable taxes. 

    Oh, we’re just talking about raising taxes.  Tis the season!

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      We need a uniform tax on emissions, and enough to make a difference in people’s behaviors, and to return the dividends to the public. Look at house bill 6338, please, and then comment.

      • StilllHere

        That seems like wasted effort.  Just raise existing taxes. 

      • Brandstad

        and you wonder why China and the rest of the 3rd world builds everything for us!?!?! 

        Let me give you a hint.  It is because they can polute as much as they want and they can build our products how ever it is cheapest with best quality. 

        We will never build anything in the US if you make us have different standards than the rest of the world.  We are already 100% better than the rest of the world, so you should leave us alone until you make them play by the rules we play with, like the EPA!

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      By the way, raising taxes is one thing. This is different. A tax on carbon with the revenue going to only (1) pay down the debt and avert the fiscal cliff, and (2) flat dividends to all citizens is NOT a typical tax. This is a tax that pays us back. This money would allow us to *lower* other taxes, and *give* money back to people as dividends, and would change behaviors to reduce emissions.

      • StilllHere

        That really doesn’t make any sense.  The dividends will come in the form of a “better earth,” I don’t think you’ll get legislators to pay out $ once they’ve gotten their hands on it.  It’s too enticing to create new bureaucracies and pointless programs. 

        If you want less of something, tax it.  Simple as that.

  • sickofthechit

    We live on a limited resource in the middle of nowhere!

    Until we accept that, and act accordingly we are doomed to mankind enhanced catastrophes.  WAKEUP AMERICA!!! 
    Charles A. Bowsher

  • DeJay79

    I am sick by the idea that people are NOW all of a sudden saying ” Oh well now that I can see the effects on my life, I will consider this climate change thing as real.”

    WE Have been telling you all about this for 3 to 4 decades! trying to avoid the very situation we are in now.

    • AC

      shhhh. no one likes the person who says ‘i told you so’… makes you look smug :)
      plus, it’s not really helpful :(

    • ed mangan

       dejay it has been more than 5 decades that I know about.

  • Anne Lilly

    Upon seeing “An Inconvenient Truth” five years ago, I realized that while I and my friends, all liberal-leaning, habitually complained that no one was doing anything about climate change, NONE OF US were doing anything about it ourselves.  I thought hard about it and decided to cut back on my use of my car.  A year later I sold my car and most of the time now I get around by bike.  Meanwhile, my friends are still concerned about the problem, complaining that not enough is being done, and they are still doing nothing about it themselves.  People need to be given specific ideas about what they, personally, can do, and how those actions will not just help the environment but will enrich their own quality of life.  It’s hard to put yourself out for abstract ideals unless you recognize it will feel good to you in a personal and immediate way.

    • ed mangan

      hi anne, bikeing is good. but it will take a lot more to get into that kind of mind. there are many cities and towns setting up free bike stations as well as bike lanes and bridges.
      the folks in San Francisco have a day of bikers trying to get peoples attention to biking. “Critical Mass” if you search it. it has spread to many other towns and cities.
      the other thing that will help is walk to your grocery store. why drive, you say it is you have a lot to buy. walk there several times a week. you stay in shape and can get it all home that way.

    • GreenStreets

      I completely agree. I had a similar experience, though it was before I saw “An Inconvenient Truth”, and in early 2006 started the Green Streets Initiative, to promote people commuting “green” or “green-er” on the last Friday of every month. It’s been fascinating to see the change worldwide and locally over the past seven years through this lens.

      And, about 5 years ago, our three kids succeeded in convincing me to get rid of our car. Although I was scared at first, with, 11, 9 and 6 y.o., we have loved being car-free, for so many reasons.

      • Gregg Smith

        That movie cannot be shown in school in 
        Britain by law without the disclaimer that is is not accurate. The graph scam is hideous.

  • StilllHere

    Hasn’t corn-based ethanol solved all these problems?  The president promised it would! The science is there right?

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Could you please point me to where the President said ethanol would reduce  global warming?  Thanks.

      • Steve__T

         You wasted a post, you know it won’t reply anything coherent.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          I know, I know….don’t feed the Troll.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      No, that’s a shill and you’re bringing it up as a red herring.  Solyndra, too — i’ll bring it up for you. State planning doesn’t work, but a carbon tax would work because it’s a simple market correction, and causes the market to work for the right cause.

      • StilllHere

        That’s confusing.  You want market forces to come to bear, but want to encourage behavior with artificial state tax incentives. 

        People are going to have a problem with Obama bringing up a new carbon tax based in “science” when he’s the corn-based ethanol guy. 

    • ed mangan

       auto makers just last week will deny warranty on their cars if you use ethanol in your vehicle.

  • Tom_Goodwin

    Since it is broadly accepted that Climate Change is real and well along, I would submit that a legal case could be brought against those who fund climate change denial via phony “think tanks” and corporate shill “scientists” and, more importantly, the politicians who go along with it and stymie badly needed policy change. If they can be shown to be selling the idea that climate change isn’t real while knowing it is and doing it for stark monetary gain, putting the lives and livelihoods of literally most of humanity at risk, is this not a Great Crime?

    • AC

      this is an interesting idea….scientists tend to police their own though since that is in fact, the nature of the beast….you’d have to define the level of ‘scientist’ they’re using to match a penalty….

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      That would be awesome if such justice could occur.

      • Tom_Goodwin

        I think that such justice could occur. It would require a lot of joining of forces with the goal in mind- EDF, Earth Justice, etc. And funding- a large joint effort wherein all the various parties put out a unified statement of intent.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jhayesboh James Hayes-Bohanan

      It is a crime in one sense, but not in the technical sense, especially after Citizens United gave corporations rights without responsibilities.

      The responsibility of the rest of us is now to find the appropriate balance between refuting and ignoring the cretins.

      • Tom_Goodwin

        I believe that if it can be proven that those disseminating lies in the interest of protecting corporate wealth did so knowing (and acknowledging internally) that the matter is settled science that demands immediate action, then they can be held accountable for all manner of harm done by their campaign of disinformation, smears, etc.

  • http://twitter.com/TSILeditor Mary McKhann

    I happened on a radio station last night that was running an ad for a group that “cures” homosexuality. Listened for a moment in total horror and then had to change the station. Sadly, I have a feeling that is exactly what the “flat earth” right-wing tea party people who happened on this show are doing… they don’t want to hear. They cite websites such as icecap.us and other skeptics in the scientific community. I don’t know how you get through to them.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

      You can’t get through to them. They have been programmed and brainwashed all their miserable, illiterate lives. Skepticism is inherent in science. It is a good thing. And the last 30 years of skeptical thinking and analysis is solidifying into the inescapable fact that global warming is happening and is caused in large part by human activity. But you will not convince these dolts of that fact. Just ignore their incessant bleating and roll over them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      One cannot get through to them, Mary, because they do not have the will to learn anything new. “You can lead a whore to culture but you can’t make one think!” Something like that. So many “trolls”, paid & unpaid, make it their sole purpose in life to remain ignorant (for profit, preferably) while convincing others, often quite loudly, that their thinking is impaired if they are NOT as dumb as their thoroughly brainwashed peers. Intellectual well-poisoning is their thing, in other words.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jhayesboh James Hayes-Bohanan

    The capitalist cheerleader on air just a moment ago is a bit delusional. The upsides are far outweighed by the downsides. The upsides mostly accrue to the already privileged.

    • Pointpanic

      yes, indeed, James. Capitalists love throw terms around like “Enlightened self interest” “good corporate citizenship” ,to try to abolish federal laws that limit pollution et al

  • http://www.facebook.com/julia.gandrud.9 Julia Gandrud

    What about one small thing all of us can do, like composting with worms? Cuts down on a HUGE amount of greenhouse gasses!

    • Brandstad

      are you kidding me! LOL

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

        Incurious, scientifically illiterate troll. The sand where your head has been buried is beckoning again…

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      How about insulating your house better, lowering the thermostat, driving less, consuming less goods from far away, and many other things that are far more important and doable?

  • ClimateDesperate

    VERY TIMELY AND CRITICAL PROGRAM – THANK YOU!!
    One of the guests just said he was at Doha conference. Please talk about that and the Obama posture there. According to many sources of responsible media, our President’s delegation is actually being an obstacle to meaningful reduction of carbon emissions!  When is the President going to lead on this?

  • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

    Climate change disproportional affects poor people.  It is arrogant to say bring it on.  I’m not sure the caller would have the same attitude if his house gets blown away in a tornado, twice.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      Hear, hear. Very good point. A carbon tax with dividend would *help* poor people.

  • Brandstad

    Why don’t we talk about something important like Bengazi  and the dead americans that our government has attempted to cover up with the help of the main stream media.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      You don’t think the Earth is important? Who are you? What planet do you live on?

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Kolob?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Go back to your regular Benghazi fluffers.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

      Why don’t you head on over to World Net Daily or the Heritage Foundation and join the other trolls who are scientifically and historically illiterate? What are you even doing listening to an intelligent radio program? Is Rush not on the air yet or what?

    • Tom_Goodwin

      What happened to the rest of your mind? Your little dogeared talking-points card is very worn.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jhayesboh James Hayes-Bohanan

      A quick search of just On Point shows 65 results for Benghazi. The 4 Americans who died along with 8 Libyan defenders are important, but so too is the future of the entire planet.

    • Pointpanic

      WHAT????????

    • Gregg Smith

      After the election I posted link after ink after link of businesses cutting back on their workforce. Oh how they howled. Now Gallup is saying November had the biggest spike in unemployment in over 2 years. 

      There are still commenters here that blame the video for Benghazi and think Susan Rice was forthright. It’s amazing.

      I can see why they want to talk about the weather.

      • nj_v2

        On-topic trolling isn’t enough for Greggg; onto off-topic trolling.

        Greggg proffered that the layoffs he cited were strikingly unusual and that they were a reaction to Obama’s reelection.

        Yet, the Gallup survey he now cites makes no mention of that possible cause, and the rate isn’t all that bad compared to the rest of the year…

        “It is unclear what caused the increase in the unemployment rate in November, although some experts speculate that it was caused by jobs lost as a result of superstorm Sandy. It is also possible that lackluster holiday hiring is to blame.Although the increase in the unadjusted rate in November is a sharp contrast to the 0.9-point decline seen in October, November’s 7.8% rate is still tied for the second-best unadjusted unemployment monthly reading of 2012. However, on an adjusted basis, November’s rate is the highest reading in six months. Looking at year-to-year comparisons, seasonally adjusted unemployment is down from 8.9% in November 2011.”And, when one looks at the overall recent trend…

        http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/unemployment-rate

        well, it’s lower than it was a couple of years ago. Even under the horrible economic policies of the administration that Gregg despises.

        • Gregg Smith

          The report comes out tomorrow, try to stay on topic.

  • Pingback: What To Do About Climate Change? | Clearing House for Environmental Course Material

  • on_2nd_thought

    When I was in college 30 years ago the former NASA physicist Robert Jastrow taught that the difference between the climate of the dinosaurs and a global ice age was 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Listening to your program, I just checked the conversion tables to learn that 2 degrees Celsius is the same as 35.6 degrees F. That change is unthinkable.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      That doesn’t sound right.

      The first number sounds like a change in degrees F between the Jurassic Park era and today.

      The second sounds like the change between 0 Celsius or 32F (freezing) and +2 Celsius, which converts to about 35-36F.

      • on_2nd_thought

        Oops, you’re right. Thanks, that’s what happens when you grab a number without thinking critically. But even, so. 2-4 C. is in the range my professor was describing. It’s a lot of global temp. rise.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Yeah, no prob on that.

          Now if I could stop confusing my 1/2″ sockets with my 12mms. I bodge a lot of bolt heads that way.

    • StilllHere

      Check the tables again.

    • http://twitter.com/RJabby Richard Jablonski

      Two degrees Celcius is not 35 degreee F. It is roughly C x 212/100, i.e. 4 F.

  • Coastghost

    And just what exactly is the scientific consensus on what I am learning to love to call “human anthropology”? What sanguine or dire predictions does scientific anthropology dare utter, based on the fossil record?

  • suenos88

    Your caller who thinks it’s fine that CT will become NC, sounds like a coke addict – Hey this feels so good! Not a thought about the other living beings on this planet, the finite nature of habitable/livable Earth. This is the ignorance & arroagance we are dealing with.

    • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

      The irony of his statement is he seems to think civil society would survive that level of human displacement.   
      I pray his comments were a failed attempt at satire.
      Like: 
      Friends of Coal for an ice free arctic.
      It is a joke! A bad one, but not said with any seriousness.

  • nj_v2

    Waiting for someone to correct Idiot Caller Maurice re volcanoes putting out “more greenhouse gasses than all of human history…” 

    …waiting…

    …Thank you Ms. Arroyo!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

    When people completely ignore the impact on the human species  not to mention all other species on Earth, and all they can bleat about is “capitalism” and “the economy” and “commerce”, it really makes me cynical about our culture. The Earth could sustain humans for millions of more years if we as a species adopted sustainable practices. Money/currency is temporary.

    • Wahoo_wa

      I don’t think it’s an either/or scenario.  The Doomsday Climate Change Cultists don’t admit the fact that in order to adopt sustainable practices we need to innovate technology which will only happen via “capitalism”, “the economy” and “commerce”….

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

        No, the present paradigm of economics—money—is not required to adopt sustainable practices. You have been programmed well, like so many other incurious denialists.

        • Wahoo_wa

          Economic paradigms can change too.  Believing in adaption and change is far from being an incurious denialist but rather a progressive, hopeful, forward looking perspective.  You should try it….

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

            What the hell is “adaption”? Go back to grammar school, then come back and try a coherent argument about hope and looking forward.

          • Wahoo_wa
          • Wahoo_wa

            You should at least try an attempt at intelligence if you’re going to spew self righteousness Tom.

      • Pointpanic

        Nothing “cultist” about climate change ,Wahoo. Our most sober scientific institutions are reporting that the situation is more crucial than we previously thought. Also, history shows that not all innovation comes from the market. Infact much of it came from the defense and space programs. Read Naom Chomsk’y “”Hopes and Prospects” (2010)Chap. 3 onn “democracy and Development”

        • Wahoo_wa

          Climate change is not cultist no…but the alarmist doomsday sayers are…they are the new “flat earth people”.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

            Wahoo, why is it that folks like you describe a mass understanding of scientific fact as a “cult”? I guess any time a group of people think in a different way than you and your ilk, then because the group does not subscribe to the fantasies of scientifically ignorant and illiterate knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers, then they must be deemed a “cult”. You project way too much. Back to Rush Limbaugh with you.

          • Wahoo_wa

            I never denied climate change nor do I deny the “mass understanding of scientific fact”.  I do deny the end-of-days scenario that YOUR ilk promotes.  I do not subscribe to YOUR fantasies.  YOU project far too much and you seem like you are a very angry, close-minded person.  Back to the Branch Davidian Compound with you!

          • Pointpanic

            Wahoo how can you call people who are rightly concerned about climate change “alarmist” and “new flat earth people” when science backs up their concerns?

      • Ellen Dibble

        This reminds me, when the capitalism=freedom trumpet soundeth, I regurgitate grade school images of the founding American principles, which I don’t know enough about all these decades later, but whether or not the East India company was involved in subsidizing them, whether or not the freedom and prosperity of Native Americans was respected and integrated into the Pilgrim values, the idea of freedom was not about being richer than the Empire.  It seems it was more about a chance to live an unfettered life, without being hounded into someone else’s value system (both religious and tax-wise the capitalism of the British Empire).  The colonies must have been a fearfully speculative venture at the time, but people were willing to leave the stability of a well established way of life in England in order to start from square one.  
           It seems to me the colonies rebelled because they wanted to be free FROM that kind of state-inspired capitalism that undergirded the British Empire.  The spirit of America is of rebellion against that kind of dominion and capitalism that this country now is in a position to wield.  So “freedom” is now defined as the freedom to be rich (lower taxes, less regulation), whereas I see our forefathers tightly organizing themselves and thereby eventually prospering.  
           Can we do that again?  Or at least lay foundations for that, using our far-seeing spectacles provided by the scientists?

    • DrewInGeorgia

      I really liked your comment until I read that last sentence. There’s nothing I’d like to see more than for humankind to have a collective realization: Money/currency is only beneficial to the point it becomes detrimental. We’re definitely on the downward side of the curve right now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

    Carbon tax would cause behavioral changes!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

    Has a carbon tax been mentioned yet on the show?

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      Yes, finally mentioned!

      • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

        Note that “carbon tax” is not “cap and trade”.  Carbon tax is a simple mechanism, with no quotas.

  • bacterial_sizzle

    What’s good for the economy is bad for the environment. This problem can’t be addressed without an assault on capitalism itself. Our economic ideas about indefinite growth, the omnipresent pressure to increase GDP, household and per capita spending all need to change. We need everyone working less and buying less, not more.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

      We need a resource based economy. But don’t think that the Corporate Masters will bend anytime soon without an all-out “assault on capitalism itself.” It’s gonna take time and a whole lot of intelligent people to step up and drown out the denialist cretins who have no clue whatsoever about science and reasoning.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      I don’t agree. If the price of fossil fuels included the harm to the whole world, then the market would cause people to adjust. I am against capitalism if that means wealth being equivalent to power, but i am in favor of the market as an organizer of human behavior, and in favor of entrepreneurialism, small business, and people making money in a free market (which can include regulation and taxation to correct for “externalities”) and a carbon tax *would* cause the behavior changes needed to reduce emissions. The problem is that the government is owned by the wealthy fossil energy companies, and so it will never be enacted.

      It’s not just “we need to buy less” — because we could all buy *more* local kale and firewood and handcrafted goods and be better off. We need to buy *less* of some things, and more of other things. I’d like to work the same or more than i do, but to work on better things that help human beings more.

  • BlueNH

    Read “Six Degrees…Our future on a hotter planet” by Mark Lynas.

    Humans cannot adapt to a six degree (or even four degree) world. Too many feedbacks.

    We are living an episode of the Twilight Zone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lars.grantwest Lars Grant-West

    It frustrates me to hear people talk about the climate as this big immoveable block too massive for us to have any effect upon. The natural world seems to operate on the principle of balance. Take that giant block and stand it on it’s corner. You don’t have to move the whole mass – you just have to tip it.
    It’s not the height of pride to think puny humans can change this – it’s the height of pride to think we’re exempt from being part of that balance.

  • Tim Weiskel

        
    I am sorry to say there have been major mystifications forwarded in this
    program..  For Anthony Leserowitz to say
    baldly, as he just did: “it is totally in our control what kind of future we
    want…” is naïve on a dangerous level.  He
    apparently doesn’t understand the complexity of the system we are embedded
    within.  He may be an expert in American
    public opinion, but he clearly is not a climate scientist.  Despite referring to lag times and inertia
    within the system, he seems not to be able to make the link between a
    continuous commitment to a growth economy and the predictable consequences of
    the carbon dioxide burden that will imply. 
    Climate change challenges the whole notion of an economy of continuous
    growth, and this needs to be confronted.

       
    By contrast, the callers seem to have it right.  Yes, as one of the callers pointed out, we
    may have thought we could head climate change off, but now that we realize that
    we cannot, we need to work for climate change survival.

        
    Vicki Arroyo at least raised the issue of  “mis-information,” once but this is a pretty
    weak statement.   There is a vital need
    for us all to document, discuss and counter-act the massive dis-information
    campaign launched and sustained by multi-billionaires who benefit from the
    carbon combustive economy.  We need as
    citizens to challenge the ways in which our national leadership has been
    coopted by the carbon industries.  

           Local communities are  beginning to look at this:

    http://environmentaljusticetv.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/wake-up-calls-and-tipping-points-what-will-it-take-to-generate-public-outrage-cambridge-community-television/

    but we need a massive effort at
    public education that makes the links between the fossil fuel myopia and the
    suicidal course we are launched upon. 
    Education in universities is part of it:

    http://www.climate-talks.net/2012-ENVRE130/index.html

    but a massive public education
    effort is required:

    http://www.climate-talks.net/2005-ENVRE130/Climate-Talks-U/index.htm

     

     

     

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      Right on … i agree with you .. important things could have been said MUCH more simply and powerfully … yet i am glad some things did get said … One thing that got far too little attention is how a carbon tax could cause the behavioral changes that we need, rather than wishful thinking and green consumerism and tiny reformist actions like those.

      I hope Tom will have another show on the idea of Carbon Tax alone, and get pro and con voices about it … and give it the attention it deserves.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

      Great links, Tim. Thanks!

    • DrewInGeorgia

      “I am sorry to say there have been major mystifications forwarded in this program. For Anthony Leserowitz to say baldly, as he just did: “it is totally in our control what kind of future we want…” is naïve on a dangerous level. He apparently doesn’t understand the complexity of the system we are embedded within.  He may be an expert in American public opinion, but he clearly is not a climate scientist.  Despite referring to lag times and inertia within the system, he seems not to be able to make the link between a continuous commitment to a growth economy and the predictable consequences of the carbon dioxide burden that will imply. Climate change challenges the whole notion of an economy of continuous growth, and this needs to be confronted.
         
      By contrast, the callers seem to have it right. Yes, as one of the callers pointed out, we may have thought we could head climate change off, but now that we realize that we cannot, we need to work for climate change survival.

          
      Vicki Arroyo at least raised the issue of  “mis-information,” once but this is a pretty weak statement. There is a vital need for us all to document, discuss and counter-act the massive dis-information campaign launched and sustained by multi-billionaires who benefit from the carbon combustive economy.  We need as citizens to challenge the ways in which our national leadership has been coopted by the carbon industries.”

      Thanks for the butchery disqus.

      Great comment.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5EBFE2F5M64QTEGG55KXF242WI .

    OMG!
    What will we do about continental drift!
    How will humanity survive? What about my great great great great great grandchildren?
    Can I be an on air guest? I can foam at the mouth very well.

    • Wahoo_wa

      RUN!!!!!!  WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

        You first, illiterate troll.

        • Wahoo_wa

          Keeping it classy Tom….nice!

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            You really should go someplace else to find out what flaming feels like. I suggest Redstate or WND.

  • Steve__T

    Disqus errrrrrrrrrooror

  • StilllHere

    The DOE says we should start exporting natural gas.  Interesting.  Shouldn’t we be encouraging consumption here given the emission advantages?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

      Not enough profit$ to supply enough golden parachutes for the Corporate Masters, I’m afraid.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      Fracking is very bad for the ecology, and releases more methane than is admitted, thereby accelerating global warming. Howarth et al. mention this and more study is needed. Natural gas may emit less than coal per kWh, but it is not the long-term answer and sacrifices our water and landbase and health in the bargain.

      • StilllHere

        How could the government, and this Democrat administration, be wrong?

  • andreawilder

    I want a list of things that I can do.  People who are
    already convinced of climate change are a natural resource.
    Vicki Arroyao went too big–Tom tried to push the conversation down to the everyday, she wasn’t prepared for that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      1. Use less fossil energy for heating your house, insulate your house better or convince your landlord to do so .. any new construction, use very high insulation … use passive solar for heating in Winter and overhangs for shade for cooling in Summer … 
      2. Call out the misinformation by the oil and gas industry
      3. drive less, fly less, really organize your life to use less fossil fuels for travel .. decide what is really necessary, get work that is closer to home, reject work that requires long daily commutes, you will also be happier too… 
      4. Call for a carbon tax, and reject the idea that simply “green consumerism” will solve the problem, because they problem is too big and the biggest emitters don’t give a damn about anything but profits … 
      5. Call out how badly the fossil energy industry controls the government 
      6. Call out the fact that the COP18 summit in Doha is a greenwashed do-nothing meeting that is just burning more jet fuel and rejecting the real voices of the people including youth activists there.
      7. Use a wood stove!  Carbon-neutral and cozy heat source!
      8. Ride a bike, chop wood, grow your own food locally, buy local food from farmer’s markets, use less goods from far away, drink water instead of soda, all these little things do add up…. reuse containers … all this adds up even though the real solutions need to be systemic and based on market economics

    • Gregg Smith

      I would put at the top of the list to quit worrying about things you cannot control. Then do what makes you feel like you’re doing your part. I like the concept of living simply, collecting rainwater, gardening, reusing and reducing. Recycling is cool too but not nearly as effective. You’ll sleep better.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

        Feeling good is important, but for me to feel good, it’s got to be based in really knowing that i’m making a difference, too. I do all that you mention, but i know it’s a drop in the bucket unless i am also standing up to oppose the bad people who are doing bad things, because i’m not an island in this world…

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

          Well, what would make me feel good AND be something positive for our future is for the illiterates to be shut up and shut down so the next generations can be more scientifically literate. Educate yourself, then educate all around you, especially children. Science advances one funeral at a time, so sayeth Max Planck.

        • Gregg Smith

          But the rub is to do that you must tell people how to live. There are over 7 billion people on Earth. It’s an exercise in futility and it’s not clear to me it would matter anyway even if we could.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Unlike my friend Gregg I would put at the top of the list to start giving serious consideration to the things you can affect. They are surprisingly numerous. Sage Radachowsky makes some good recommendations in their reply and there’s always the Interwebz. Search “list of ways to fight climate change”, it’s never-ending.

      • Gregg Smith

        Not worrying about things you can’t change cozies up nicely with worrying about things you can change without contradiction.

    • dawoada

      Everyone is considering only the U.S.  What about the rest of the world?  China is now producing more CO2 than the U.S. and they are building many, many coal-fired electric plants.  The problem seems to be intractable.  Sounds good to have 54 mpg fuel efficiency but do you understand that will require that everyone drive tin cans?  Or cars using coal-fired electricity.  Such numbers can not be achieved just by an edict.  It is not possible to have such cars that people will buy.  

      • andreawilder

        I disagree.  I think the technology is there for cars that do not use gas.  I think that you may be used to saying that such and such is impossible
        for such and such reasons.  The problems may be difficult, but I think it is up to us to find the difficulties then to find the ways AROUND them.

        • dawoada

          What are your examples for cars that do not use gas?

          • andreawilder

            Tesla.  Yes, I know, probably hooked up to power plants.  However, I am positive that others are going down this route, now.

          • dawoada

            Easy to say but not easy to list.  Tesla costs way too much and doesn’t have enough range.  The only power plants that don’t generate CO2 are nuclear.  I didn’t hear any mention of nuclear for reduction of CO2 but it is the only practical solution.  Zero CO2, nada.  Solar and wind are not reliable.  The sun doesn’t always shine, especially at night, the wind doesn’t always blow.  Nuclear could be used to generate hydrogen from water which could be used for fuel with no CO2 emissions.

    • hennorama

      andrea you personally can do a great deal.
      The biggest thing you can do is use less energy, since most energy use produces CO2 emissions, and CO2 is the principal driver of global warming.
       
      Drive less, get a more fuel-efficient vehicle, switch to CFLs or LEDs for lighting, use less heating and cooling, get more insulation, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, get more efficient appliances (especially
      refrigerators), etc., etc., etc.
       
       
      Then the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  This also greatly impacts energy use and can annually save over a ton of CO2 per household.
       
      Reduce the size of your lawn.  Plant a tree.  This can cool your home, increase property values, and absorb about a ton of carbon over its lifetime.
       
      Change your diet, adding more vegetarian meals and more locally produced foods.
       
      Paint your house a dark color if you live in a cold climate, and a light color in warmer climates.  This can save 2 tons of carbon annually.
      Last but not least – share your views with others, especially policymakers.

  • ed mangan

    carbon tax crap is just smoke and mirrors.
    carbon dioxide is “less than 1%” of what is causing global warming but your view is being diverted from the real problem. it is the larger percent of what is causing global warming the major industrial complex does not want you to know.

    I could go on but I would write much more than has been written in the comment column. it might fall on deaf ears.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      You are smoke and mirrors, by the sound of it. Facts are there, and there is no more time for denialism.

      • ed mangan

         I do not deny global warming at all. it is just the real facts of what is causing it is being overlooked.
        if CO2 is less than 1% how could it be the only cause of global warming. it is just a indicator…..like the liquid in a glass thermometer. we are like a frog sitting in a pot and the temp is going up but we do no feel the change.

      • ed mangan

         during my lifetime, the Gulf Stream has changed course. that is not a small thing…..
        London has snow in the winter now, not FOG.

        • jefe68

          London never had fog, that was pollution from coal.

          • ed mangan

             ya like the weather people in Ca. call the sky whiskey colored haze.

  • webcowebco

    None of your quests even mentioned nuclear power as a solution to climate change.  We have got to get over our paranoia on this source of energy.  Zero atmospheric emissions!   The benefits far outweigh the risks.  And we know how to safely store the waste deep underground. Add in wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, electric cars, etc. and we need not put any more CO2 into the atmosphere.  We have the technology to do it safely regardless of what we often hear.    What we need is a Manhattan style project to accomplish this – only the federal govt. as catalyst can make it happen… 

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      I oppose any nuclear reactors other than the sun, and i don’t think this is paranoia. It is fundamentally dangerous and toxic, and we do not need it. We have everything we need if we conserve energy, use better architecture, change our lives in small but important ways to travel less and use more local goods and food, and use more wind, solar, and hydro power for the energy needs we have.

      • webcowebco

        I think it’s naive to expect that the everyone will come together and change their behavior.  It’s not going to happen.  Look at the numbers of people that deny climate change even exists.   Wake  up!
        We rely on dependable steady forms of energy – there’s no going back.  Nuclear, supplemented by wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, etc.  is the only solution if we are to have a livable world.

        • nj_v2

          Can we store the radioactive waste in your basement?

          • webcowebco

            10,000 feet underground encapsulated in glass, concrete, ceramic, etc. containers is perfectly safe. 
            I suppose you’d rather sit around and wait for the earth to be come almost uninhabitable?   Time to face reality, folks….

        • dawoada

          Everyone is considering only the U.S.  What about the rest of the world?  China is now producing more CO2 than the U.S. and they are building many, many coal-fired electric plants.  The problem seems to be intractable.  

          Sounds good to have 54 mpg fuel efficiency but do you understand that will require that everyone drive tin cans?  Or cars using coal-fired electricity.  Such numbers can not be achieved just by an edict.  It is not possible to have such cars that people will buy.  

          • webcowebco

            Yes, China is pursuing coal because they have lots of it and it’s cheap - if you don’t account for the health and climate effects.  If we pioneer cheap, safe, nuclear power (and there is a whole new generation of innovative designs out there), the developing world will have alternatives to coal, which is very dirty.  Nuclear provides steady, dependable power that can be augmented by wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, etc.   We have to be realistic about what will really solve the climate problem…  We need to go all electric and it’s doable. 

          • dawoada

            You are correct: Nuclear is the only way that is a realistic solution to lowering CO2 emissions.  Zero CO2, nada.  Solar and wind are not reliable. The sun doesn’t shine at night, the wind doesn’t always blow.  But where in all of this discussion did anyone suggest nuclear?  Nuclear generates electricity which can be used directly for powering cars or it can be used to make hydrogen which could be used in place of gasoline or in fuel cells to power cars over longer distances.

    • nj_v2

      Talk to the Japanese about their “paranoia.”

      • webcowebco

        We don’t need to build reactors on coastlines or faultlines.  That’s just common sense…

    • ed mangan

       I agree that nuclear power is “not” a alternative.
      did you ever wonder why they built tall cooling towers that create their own clouds? giant heaters is what I call them.

      • webcowebco

        Study the technology before you make stupid comments….

        • ed mangan

          we did in Massachusetts in the early 1960s and a 10 megawatt nuke reactor would have heated up our river 8 degrees with it’s cooling waters. guess how much heat a 100 megawatt nuke plant generates? than add that to the atmosphere. lets top that off with the A/C at the plant to cool off the generator that is air cooled. it too generates 100 megawatt of heat. so do not look past end of you nose and you miss the big picture.
          so I guess you did not know a nuke plant generates heat two ways. the nuke itself. then the generator that it drives. I will admit the amount the generator makes varies with the load/ home and business usage…but it is still there. may be you should study the technology…I went to the college that had that nuke plant…..

          • webcowebco

            Of course they generate heat, but compared to the solar heat gain we are experiencing (and will much more in the future), it is barely even measurable.  And yes, we have to let the water cool down before putting it back into rivers…    It’s all solvable – we can’t run away from technology; it got us into this mess and we need it to get us out…

  • Stephen_Mangion

    If we are serious about DOING something:  immediately lower the speed limit.
    That would save energy, lower C outputs, and keep money in people’s pockets.
    Are the guests proponents ready to do so?

    • Gregg Smith

      If we lowered it to 5MPH I dare say Highway fatalities would plummet to near nil.

      • ed mangan

         5 MPH will not mean much on the highway in texas where it is 80 MPH

        • Gregg Smith

          I said “to” 5MPH not “by” 5MPH. My point is we accept bookoos of deaths so we can drive fast. Tradeoffs like that are made everyday. 

          • ed mangan

            I think it is a private highway and will still be 80 MPH.

    • webcowebco

      You’ve got to be kidding…..    It’s just nibbling around the edge of the larger problem.  And besides, drivers wouldn’t stand for it….

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Lowering the speed limits is not going to happen. Something that could have been done (and has been done) in some countries outside the US is to change gearing ratios or switch to Continuously Variable Transmissions. There was a 4-door Honda Civic built in the early to mid 90′s that had a three stage variable valve timing system and a Multimatic transmission that achieved 50-70 mpg on regular gasoline. Of course this ‘version’ was not sold in the US.

      We set pathetic fuel efficiency standards and then engineer our vehicles to meet the low bar we set.
      Capitalism at its finest.

  • http://twitter.com/RJabby Richard Jablonski

    You’re right. We should be encouraging natural gas consumption in combination with advocating much higher energy use efficiency. But to see a major shift in using  lower poluting energy sources, we need a national energy policy that incentivises use of fuels like natural gas and penalizes use of dirty fuels like coal and oil.

    We also need to fund major research that attempts to convert coal into a clean fuel. It remains to be seen if this will be possbile, but we should not abandon hope. A miracle may be at hand.  

    In Connecitcut, Governor Malloy’s proposed energy policy initiative is a good step in the right direction. It would expand the distribution of natural gas to parts of Connecticut where it is currently unavailable. The challenge will be to see if this can be done in ways that are equitable and efficient.

  • Gregg Smith

    Can anyone cite any science to support the notion that hurricanes are more frequent and stronger now than at any other time? 

    • ed mangan

       hurricanes are about the same. during the 1950s in Massachusetts we got hit with 2 real bad ones 15 miles inland we had no power for over two weeks during one of them. it is just press/media sensationalizing a story.
      one was donna and the other was carol.

    • ThinkPhysics
      • Gregg Smith

        I’m not sure if you are being facetious. That link said there was no consensus. But Consensus is not science. They show a graph of the frequency of North Atlantic storms but that ignores global frequency which is down.

        I would also add anything that references the IPCC’s fourth quarter assessment is highly suspect. But again, your link does not support the notion.

        I was told when pointing out frequency is down that ferocity is up but I don’t see that either in your link. Did I miss it?

        • ThinkPhysics

          You were looking for a scientific argument supporting increases in hurricane frequency and intensity.  There are plenty of arguments to be found at this link proposing that hypothesis; plus, a number of arguments on the other side.

          • Gregg Smith

            I cannot find any thing in the link that says the global frequency has gone up. 

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

       They are often stronger, yes, but not necessarily more frequent.  That is what the science says.

  • dlhlane

    I stopped maintaining a lawn over 10 years ago, when it was
    early in the global warming debate.  I
    learned that the emissions of a single hour of running a lawn mower was equal
    to 5 hours of running an automobile; because lawn mowers do not require catalytic
    converters, as cars do.  I endured over
    six years of legal debates within my northern New York village, until they
    finally redefined the village code, bringing my native wildflower and
    naturalized planting environment into compliance with the new laws.  I see acres and acres of lawns, millions of
    acres, which do nothing but provide a job for lawn care businesses.  The lawn care industry in this country needs
    to change its focus from a monoculture to biodiversity.  Plantings should be designed to reduce greenhouse
    gas, and preserve ground water resources. 
    There needs to be a serious push for more native flower and shrub
    plantings, more food producing gardens, and less emphasis on what is the historically-recent
    ideal of a “lawn”.   

    • Gregg Smith

      Our small skid steer Bobcat blew an engine recently. It has a 2 cylinder 18HP motor which is basically a lawn mower engine. Because of the new emissions laws the motor cannot be replaced and all the parts have been removed from the shelves. The only fix is to send it to the manufacturer (Kohler) for a $4K rebuild. The unit is 20 years old.  If I rebuild it myself I can be fined $35K. The bottom line is these laws have hurt our business. I don’t believe our Bobcat was killing the environment. The pitchfork that replaced it sucks. 

      • dlhlane

          

        I grew up on a dairy farm, we raised hogs too, I have
        used my share of pitch-forks, brooms, rakes, etc… The gas-powered brooms/rakes,
        leaf-blowers, weed-trimmers that lawn care companies use are the
        modern-lazy-person’s way out! What happened to good old-fashioned human-power?  This gas-powered lawn-care economy that has
        bloomed in the past few years is not sustainable, and is adding to greenhouse gasses
        at a very alarming rate! Too many people have forgotten how to use their
        muscles, and are resorting to way too many mechanized/gas-powered options.  This summer I saw a gas-powered machine, that
        a person rides on standing up, to spread fertilizer, insecticides, and/or herbicides
        on my mother’s neighbor’s lawn.  What
        happened to the old fashioned push-behind lawn spreader?  Why are there all these lazy-engineered
        gas-powered machines for lawn-care these days? 
        Sweep with a broom, rake with a rake, pitch manure with a pitch fork and
        reap the benefits of a healthier, stronger, and more fit body. BURN CALORIES
        NOT GAS!!!   

        • Gregg Smith

          I wouldn’t conclude the use of machinery means laziness. It’s efficiency. 

          I use a broom, shovel, pitchfork and rake plenty. I’m fit enough to load 400 bales of hay out of the field and into the hay barn in a day and go back for more the next.

          I’m tired. I’m old. I need a rest. 

          • dlhlane

            Gregg this isn’t just about you and/or me, (and nothing
            against you personally, I also have stacked a lot of hay bales into the mow in
            my youth), it is about a trend toward “job efficiency” at the cost of the
            environment, bigger may not be better. Agriculturalists of the past got along
            without all this machinery, and my thought is that in the future things will
            have to revert back to that, or things will have to become a LOT more efficient
            in terms of fuel consumption. It seems the path we are on is not sustainable,
            on a global scale. People are beginning to see that, in a very big way, as the
            weather changes in ways no one expected to happen so abruptly.  I will be 50 next year, and I plan on trying
            to engage in something more environmentally sustainable on my father’s 140-acre
            farm for the future.  I don’t think it
            will be easy, but doing the “RIGHT” thing may not always be the easiest thing.  I have been away from the farm for a long
            time, living a leisurely life in a village, consuming lots without producing
            much at all.  I look forward to trying to
            make as much of a difference as I can, while I am still able; I want to try to be
            an example of the future.

          • dlhlane

            … more manual labor will equal more jobs for the
            future as well… we are all becoming lazy and complacent in the ways we
            produce our food and care for our property… a little more sweat-equity would be
            a good thing… farmers in our country have to resort to “imported” labor while
            teenagers lie around playing video games… most kids these days think work is only
            for adults, kids only want to play and have things handed to them on a silver
            platter…

          • Gregg Smith

            I agree with you about a work ethic. It’s important but there is a matter of what is practical. We have 34 stalls to clean twice a week. Every week, no matter what. Trust me we need machinery. We have about 100 acres, I need a tractor to mow it. We put up 2500 square bales and 600 round bales a year. Thats really hard with a mule.

            But to your point I know farmers who have gone to no till farming of soy and tobacco. The yield is less but it is made up by the reduction in fuel cost. In the end it is actually more profitable.

      • jefe68

        Well Gregg multiply that Bobcat by a few million and you get the idea.

        20 years is a long time for a machine. Time to upgrade. Bottom line is the laws are there because people like you don’t give a hoot.

    • dlhlane

      Grandma’s lawn should not be more important than the
      future existence of her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, or humanity in
      general.  I didn’t stop mowing a lawn for
      me; I did it for my kids, and your kids, and for their kids to come.  However, as it is, I have told my children
      point blank, “do not have children”, because the world will be inhospitable to
      human life within the next 50 years if we continue on the course we have
      plotted with climate change.   

    • hennorama

      I agree with you that the vast swaths of green grass lawns around many homes are environmentally questionable, to say the least.  The water use alone, especially in low-rainfall areas like the Southwest and Southern California, is unsustainable.  There are many attractive alternatives, as you’ve discovered.  Many municipalities are encouraging these alternatives in an effort to conserve potable water for human uses.

      There are also some eco-friendly alternatives to traditional gasoline-powered lawn care machines, such as rechargeable electric mowers.  Some lawn care businesses have seen this as an opportunity, converting to these machines and to organic and other sustainable practices, in an effort to service customers who care about the environment.

      Converting one’s lawn as you describe shows that we can all have impacts on our environment, through the choices we make in everyday living.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RNUUBWK4TRSLLXI37VIRBPDHB4 Pyrroho

    there was bit of a dangerous idea that we have the technology to solve this but lack the will (Leiserowitz).  that is an ignorant statement.  there is not a single detailed major study that indicates we can restrain GHG to 400ppm (20% chance of going over 2C) with current technology without some pretty nasty economic effects (see ADAM project from Edenhoffer co-author of SRREN) that make 2008 look minor.  The thinking that this is just about changing individuals’ behavior and using what we have dangerously underestimates the problem of global system faces.  we have spent 2 decades blowing money on ineffective technologies (PV solar and HAWT wind) while other technological areas that could actually make a difference languish while at the same time promoting overconsumption for the benefit of stock prices.  That highlights the essential problem, the financial community invested heavily in these technologies due to basic ignorance on the dimensions of success in this space (see V. Smil article on power density) and for the last decade the OCED governments have been making good on those investments funneling dollars away from R&D to subsidies.  Over the last 10 years we have increase building efficiency by 30%.  During the same period building energy consumption doubled.  As long as growth is the main leveraged valuator for companies and as long as investors (both republican and democrat) can insulate their investments from market forces (e.g. the rooftop solar market – see NYC solar map and check the subsidy rate) nothing is going to be achieved.  this is incredibly short sighted given the likely asset loss over the next 30 years with rising sea levels and extreme weather.  then again we are talking about the same sector that merrily leveraged the derivative market at 44 times without any thought for the consequences and has spent the last 50 years gutting US manufacturing.

  • Fredlinskip

    What to do about climate change?
    Deny it exists, of course. 
    Any scientists that contend that mankind is influencing global warming should be burned at stake as done to those who first dared claim earth went around the Sun.
    So what if we are destroying the planet for future generations?
    Not a big deal.
    IBG YBG- (I’ll be gone, You’ll be gone).
    Short-term profit now IS American way.
    The more catastrophes, the more jobs created. Just look at all the construction jobs being created rebuilding our coastal areas.

  • dlhlane

    What about far reaching federal programs to put solar arrays
    or wind generators in/on every backyard and rooftop in America?  Yes it would be a major change in
    infrastructure and a reallocation of jobs of former electric line workers, but
    the grid would still have to be in place to redistribute our new found energy
    resource.  This country could be selling
    power to everyone in the western hemisphere, (sending it under the ocean to the
    rest of the world), if we would do something major in this way.  Where is the push for something like this?  Perhaps if we start NOW and make an example to
    follow, things may not be so bleak for the future of this planet and all of mankind.  Also, perhaps we should look to what is
    happening in Sweden?  They have become so
    efficient at recycling that they have to import garbage from other countries to
    continue to run their garbage burning power plants.

  • Fredlinskip

    And what of islands and other countries around world that are more directly at risk?

    Sink or swim, I say.

  • Adrian_from_RI

    What are we going to do about climate Change? Nothing!

    From my geology classes I seem to remember that the earth climate was always changing. It did so from the beginning of time; and it will keep on doing so till the end of time. Not even Al Gore can do anything about climate change other than making lots of money. The only part of global warming that is man-made, are talk shows like this Onpoint show.

    As for me, I cannot wait to see the Tampa Bay climate move up to Narragansett Bay. Of course if the warmists are wrong we could be moving to another North American glaciation period like we had 26,000 to 13,000 years ago. In that case I would have to learn to live under a 2 mile thick sheet of ice.

    • Gene_from_Btown

      I guess you must have skipped geology class on
      the day the carbon cycle was covered. But to get you up to speed, natural venting
      of carbon from within the earth has always occurred by mechanisms such as
      volcanic venting. We have essentially ‘vented’ in the course of around 200
      years (the length of the Industrial Revolution up to today) an amount of carbon
      that would have taken eons to vent through natural processes. We have sped up
      the portion of the carbon cycle that pertains to the venting part, but not the
      part of the cycle that deals with carbon uptake.  It does not take a PhD in geology to see how
      humans could have a hand in this, but one does have to pay attention in class.

  • Coastghost

    Froth, foam. Foam, froth. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Dismiss, decry, demean, deny. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

  • Wilma61

    Previously, during a drought, people starved to death.. Now with food available from all over the planet, people are disconnnected with the reality of what a drought can do. Maybe if people  had a more direct connect with weather cycles and how it effects their well being, people would pay more attention.

  • Wilma61

    Maybe the last caller can grow enough food to feed him.  Last year, I had one edible tomatoe.  I was raised on a farm, work at a garden center, and am a master gardener.  The weather is hard to deal with for farmers.  My brother has  a large dairyherd and when cows die due to heat, it is scary. 

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Oh shucks.  I missed this show about Tom’s favorite blind spot.
    Maybe I’ll catch the replay at 7pm.  I’m sure it was fair and balanced.

  • Ethan Turpin

    The paradox of climate change is that its so massive, yet intimately linked to our daily lives and basically invisible. Individually and culturally, we have a fundamental perceptual problem. Art and media has not caught up to this. Personally, trying to visualize this is my creative challenge as I look back at the historical origins of global warming… with instant climate karma.  http://kck.st/So7Ori

    • tt_tiara

      Great idea, good luck!

  • Ethan Turpin

    I feel this sums up where we’ve been and it’s hard to shake awake.

  • Ethan Turpin

    We’ve been so rewarded for generations by what is in essence a long-term loan from slower climate and geological forces. Even now as people are forced to flee their homes with sea level rise our empathy is slow to fill the global scale. For individuals this is a ‘tragedy of the commons’ while corporate vested interests apply pressure to maintain a still profitable status quo.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4CG7B4MFFA3QVB36NCTSPBPI64 Scott

    George Carlin sums it up:

    The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are!We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas.The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?”

    • myblusky

      It just sucks that we are going to wipe out so many other species in the process.

    • harverdphd

       Exactly…this conversation is over.

  • http://profiles.google.com/lovismirac LovisMirac@aol.com Ivison

    @AnthonyLeiserowitz: 

    How about a new survey question, that re-focuses a bit: 

    Instead of:
    “Do you believe human beings have had a large effect, causing climate change?” 

    How about:
    “Do you believe human beings CAN HAVE a large effect, REVERSING and preventing climate change?”

    The next 10 years (heck, the next 3 years — we’ll see) may be a big influence on whether people believe climate change exists.
    But if we keep focused on the message, of PROVING PEOPLE CAUSED IT — the deniers could continue denying it — and we may get nowhere.  We may never PROVE we caused it.

    But if we change the message — the focus — on where we can HELP, change, REVERSE, prevent, or LIMIT —
    – which is really our bottom-line message, anyway –
    – then maybe the deniers will have less “fuel”. 

    We can stop arguing with Sarah Palin about science,
    and just focus on: 
    “OK, Sarah… are you saying we are powerless?”

    WHO CARES who caused it? 
    We have the power to SOLVE the problems!

  • neiltost

    Neil Tost
    Sexsmith Alberta
    Globle warming is a fact there can be no doubt. Alternitives are available sutch as liquid salt thorium reactors, geothermal,witch would keep the drilling industry bussy, and anhydrous ammonia as moter fuel, this kind of efort could put the economy back on track. Why aren’t these thing being discussed more. There are proponents but all you ever talk about is solar and wind wich are fine but intermitent geo and thorium are full time, powerfull and available now or shortly. 

    • tt_tiara

      Yeah, Thorium Molten Salt has higher “burn up” so less waste?

      • neiltost

        True and as I understand it uther radio active waist can be burnt up in these reactors plus they are safe against catastrophic break down. Subject: [on-point] Re: What To Do About Climate Change?

  • http://www.facebook.com/gary.kay.7777 Gary Kay

    What are we going to do about it? The same thing we do about most things; talk about it. When you talk about anything that might adversely affect the aristocracy’s bank accounts, you can figure on a bad reaction

    • harverdphd

       Don’t waste my money…this conversation is OVER.

  • doug

    The cost of clean up and aftermath alone, should spur action.

  • tt_tiara

    I live in a streetcar suburb (now using buses) so there are grocery stores, coffee shops, small restaurants, etc. all within walking distance. I have not owned a motor vehicle for over 5 years (minus -10,000 lbs of carbon dioxide per year). I have gone from eating my vegetables to a vegan diet. I spend an extra $0.27 cents per day to subsidized 400% of my electrical power usage in lower carbon (wind and photovoltaic)i.e. I am subsidizing other peoples clean power. This will not halt global warming in itself but I feel I am doing something.

    So much of my auto use was just “time kill” joyriding, I now walk or bicycle instead.

  • Gregg Smith
    • Gordon Green

      Here’s a better link on sea levels:

      http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.shtml

      • Gregg Smith

        You lost me there. They don’t contradict each other that I could see. They are apples and oranges. Your link showed the data and trends but did not attempt to explain them. I agree it was a very good link. I especially like being reminded about the use of models as all of it is based on speculation to some degree. The alteration of models by the CRU at East Anglia regarding temperature was troubling to say the least.

        • nj_v2

          Oooo, “models.” Be afraid, be very afraid.

  • tt_tiara

    *Live near work or longest daily destination.
    *Eat more veg and local food.
    *Bicycle when possible, it’s transportation and exercise.
    *Support lower carbon electrical power.
    *Spent time in residence’s warmest room during heating season.

    • ed mangan

       do not be confused by the so called clean, “fuel cell” cars. they may use hydrogen for fuel. I’m a mechanic and found out they use natural gas and crack it to get the hydrogen. it has a major byproduct. it is CO2. the makers of it say they have other people who buy that CO2. my guess is it is frozen and used as “dry ice.” it evaporates and then ends in the atmosphere.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    It’s amusing how the righties say concern about frying the planet is “chicken little” while they run around screaming “the big bad debt is gonna get you if you don’t voucherize medicare!” 

  • Gordon Green

    I think the level of discussion on this topic could be raised if everyone spent a little time with the IPCC reports.  As a summary of the findings of the global scientific community, they are a precious resource:  

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_and_data_reports.shtml
     
    The science is not a matter of “belief” — the scientific process ensures that anything that emerges as a consensus has had its tires kicked thoroughly by opposing theories. This lecture spells out the issue well:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gh9kDCuPuU8

    The relevant part starts at 4:11.

    It is up to us to come to policy solutions through the political process.  But, if that process isn’t well- informed by science, what’s the point of having science at all?

    • Gregg Smith

      The IPCC is a political organization vying for big time worldwide UN money. The 2007 report is discredited.

      • Gordon Green

        Where did you learn about this subject?

        • Gregg Smith

          I’ve known about the IPCC for a while but never paid that much attention until I learned about the scientist whose names were used but did not support the conclusions. It was before the fourth quarter assessment in 2007. Years later we learned about Phil Jones admissions, the East Anglia mess, cooked algorithms, college student’s homework assignments being used as valid studies, temperature stations near heating units and a large percentage of people who believe the situation is so dire that exaggeration and fear tactics are justified. During that time  was very engaged and read all I could find on both sides of the issue.

          It was a John Stossel piece that was the catalyst. I’ve followed  Roy Spencer and John Christy since then as well as a few others. 

          http://www.drroyspencer.com/
          http://www.desmogblog.com/john-christy

          I’ll find the Stossel piece and post below. 

          Edit: Here it is, I’ve posted it before and usually people unload on Stossel who is not a scientist and ignore what the scientists he interviews say.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHCJ-UhZFT4

          • Gordon Green

            These are just blog posts by individual people.  Anything better?

          • Gregg Smith

            Sir, the two were awarded NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites. They are (or were) members of the IPCC. They work at NASA. Their work is recognized by NOAA and the DOE. They were featured in the Stossel video with others.

          • Gordon Green

            See my post above, which was posted before I saw yours.  Your sources are simply an insufficient basis on which to dismiss the findings of the thousands of researchers contributing to the IPCC.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’ll check it out but I am not dismissing the findings of thousands of researchers. I cited two of them to make my case. I am saying the “I” stands for “intergovernmental”, AKA bureaucracy. And I am saying the fourth quarter report is highly suspect because of shenanigans at East Anglia CRU. I am saying the “crisis” is exaggerated dramatically. And I am saying the UN (who commissioned the report as I recall) wants worldwide money to fight the “crises”. The bigger the crisis the more money.

            I am not even dismissing the idea that the climate is changing and possibly man can have some affect. But the debate is far from honest. That’s my beef.

            People have been profiting from forecasting the end of the world for as long as there has been money.

          • Gordon Green

            Great!  Please do read it.  It is really quite an  impressive acheivement.

          • Gordon Green

            Thank you very much for posting.  As I suspected, this is quite thin.  The Spencer site has only two peer-reviewed articles, one on the climatological role of clouds, the other on possible biases in predictions of positive feedbacks.   Christie’s site references some peer-reviewed articles on biases in temperature measurements, which I don’t have the time to look up at the moment, but this is a large topic about which many researchers are writing, and which has been addressed ad nauseum.

            I would really suggest doing some searches on scholar.google.com to see just how much research there is on climate and climate change.  These are clearly cherry-picked examples that are part of the very large back and forth that is part of the scientific literature, and are not a reasonable summary of anything.

            And the Stossel piece is just pure propaganda.  

            The IPCC is trusted by the scientific community to reflect the current state of research. The sources you cite are not a reasonable basis, in my opinion, to dismiss their findings. 

            I still recommend highly that you read the IPCC reports.  They are quite informative. 

          • Gregg Smith

            Well, I have read much 2007 report but it’s been years. But  I disagree the IPCC is the final authority. There are thousands of them and probably just as many conclusions. Again, the two I cited are part of the IPCC. 

            Regarding the Stossel piece what did the highly regarded scientists say that was propoganda? Do you consider “An Inconvenient Truth” propaganda? I do, if you disagree what is your opinion about how he so carefully couched his words to completely misrepresent his graph? Was Stossel lying? I’m not sure I understand the charge.

          • Gordon Green

            PS – Regarding Stoessel, if you look at the details  it is just more cherry-picking.  See the video link I posted above for an explanation. 

            The bit about temperature changes preceeding co2 changes is well-understood in the literature.  There is a feedback effect between the two. Yes, historically temperature change usually came first, but that doesn’t mean that the greenhouse effect is not increased by more CO2. 

            This is just so much selective reading of the science, which is why I called it propaganda.  The sneering tone and going after Al Gore with the usual stuff propagated by the right-wing press doesn’t help.  If Al Gore didn’t exist, the physical reality would still be the same

          • Gregg Smith

            I’ve read about and understand the feedback effect. I also think the “chicken or egg” argument has an answer in that regard.  I doubt we’ll agree and I was argued out over it years ago. 

            My problem with Gore’s depiction of CO2 is he purposely misrepresented the fact that temperature has always risen before (by decades and centuries) CO2 levels as the opposite. He showed a correlation and asked if they fit together. He was careful to imply without directly stating that CO2 levels rose first. That’s not true. He should have said temperature rose first. If he wanted to make his case he should have attempted to explain the feedback effect. That would have been honest… and a larger task.

            IMHO tactics like that deserve criticism. Do you agree it is a highly politicized and exaggerated issue? That’s my main point.

      • Gordon Green

        By the way, as I understand it, the IPCC budget is quite small.  It only synthesizes science already funded through national institutions.  

        I would also be curious to know where, exactly, you got the impression the 2007 report was “discredited”.  I understand it is somewhat out of date with recent improvements in our understanding, but hardly discredited.Every time I get detailed information on where people who hold views contrary to this consensus get their views, I find a whole lot of of nothing.  If you dig into the IPCC reports, there are thousands of studies and peer-reviewed research projects.

        If you would post a list of links where you get your information I would be curious to read them.  

      • StilllHere

        The UN is a political organization vying for big time worldwide money.  Now I see the connection.

  • dlhlane

    I assume a vast number of people will be “Dreaming
    of a White Christmas” this year, just like the ones we USED to know.
    Imagine the children of the future, growing up NEVER building a snow-man, NEVER
    having a snow-ball fight… What sort of world will we be leaving for the
    future of humanity? That should be the question on the minds of everyone in
    this country these days. The people of the southern states don’t see the
    missing WINTER season the way the people in northern states do. In the south,
    it is just warmer and drier; here in the north, we see climate change in a way
    that others do not. No standing snow throughout the winter is very unsettling
    to many people.   

  • notafeminista

    “….generations from now we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care to the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.”

    Or not.

    • harverdphd

       Not.   We’re broke.

    • jefe68

      ahh, Lake wobegone, it’s a dried up lake, but at least all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.

  • hennorama

    When we’re discussing climate change/global Warming, we’re
    mostly talking about warming due to the greenhouse effect,
    right?  If this is the case, then we should look at the various
    things that most impact the greehouse effect. 

    According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), as far as greehouse gases are concerned, water vapor (50%) and clouds (25%) are the largest contributors, followed by carbon dioxide (20%), with methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and aerosols together contributing the bulk of the remaining 5%.

    Although water vapor and clouds together account for 75%, GISS found that it’s the non-condensing greenhouse gases (NCGHGs) – carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and CFCs, that are the key factors in sustaining the greenhouse effect.

    This is because they found that without the NCGHGs, water vapor alone would quickly precipitate out of the atmosphere, “plunging the model Earth into an ice-bound state.”  So while water vapor is the largest contributor, it’s the NCGHGs that sustain the warming effects.  Since carbon dioxide is the largest impactor among the NCGHGs, GISS says “By this accounting, carbon dioxide is responsible for 80 percent of the radiative forcing that sustains the Earth’s greenhouse effect.”

    Their conclusion:  “The bottom line is that atmospheric carbon
    dioxide acts as a thermostat in regulating the temperature of
    Earth.”
     
    Source:http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20101014/

    NCGHGs (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and CFCs) remain in the atmosphere for different lengths of time.  The vast majority of CO2 dissolves into the ocean over 20 to 200 years, but the rest can stay around for up to several hundred thousand years.  It’s this persistence, combined with CO2 being responsible for the bulk of the sustainability of greenhouse warming, that makes CO2 such a difficult problem to impact.

    Nitrous oxide persists for 114 years, and the various CFCs stay
    around for less than a year to as long as 50,000 years.
    So why not first work on the least-persistent NCGHG – methane? 

    Methane persists for only 12 years, so limiting it would have a
    rapid impact.  There are a variety of methods to reduce methane, from changing farming practices and the way wastes from livestock production are handled, to capturing and utilizing the enormous quantities of methane associated with oil and coal production.

    Sources:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jan/16/greenhouse-gases-remain-air

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-10-2.html#table-2-14
    There are many other “low-hanging fruit” that can quickly and easily impact climate change.  Energy efficiency is the simplest and generally the most cost-effective.  Individuals, businesses and governments have taken this to heart in a variety of ways, from switching to more fuel-efficient vehicles and lighting sources, to requiring that new homes and commercial buldings be well-insulated and use more efficient HVAC and lighting systems.

    California has led the way in the US, largely due to the efforts
    of one man – Arthur Rosenfeld.  The various changes in California have  “yielded about $30 billion annually in energy savings for California consumers. They’ve eliminated air pollution that’s the equivalent of taking 100 million cars off the roads. They have been copied by states and countries worldwide. California’s gains are so closely linked to Rosenfeld that they’ve been dubbed the Rosenfeld Effect in energy efficiency circles…”

    Source:http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan/11/business/la-fi-ro
    senfeld11-2010jan11
    There are lots of other things we can do that have more
    immediate impacts.  For example, black carbon (soot) emissions
    (which have been estimated as contributing up to 20% of global
    warming) can be drastically reduced by getting the 2 billion
    people worldwide who cook on open fires to switch to inexpensive cook stoves.
    Source:http://e360.yale.edu/feature/worlds_pall_of_black_carbon_can_be_eased_with_new_stoves/2250/

    Reducing worldwide CO2 emissions is the holy grail, but other
    smaller, simpler solutions can have more immediate impacts.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       “The bottom line is that atmospheric carbon
      dioxide acts as a thermostat in regulating the temperature of
      Earth.”

      Then why has there been no global warming over the last 16 years despite a large increase in atmospheric CO2.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2217286/Global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago-reveals-Met-Office-report-quietly-released–chart-prove-it.html

      Climate science is in its infancy and the science is certainly not ‘settled’.

      • harverdphd

         …and this conversation is over.

      • hennorama

        Thank you for your response, Worried. I respect your views.

        Even assuming what you say was true [it's not, as refuted by the "source" for the info - The British Met Office (Britain's NOAA)] – it hardly would be unexpected. While I’m not a climate scientist, I do have experience with thermostats. In my experience, changing a thermostat does not cause an immediate change to the temperature.

        Here’s part of the response to the article in your link, from the the official blog of the Met Office news team:

        “The linear trend from August 1997 (in the middle of an exceptionally strong El Nino) to August 2012 (coming at the tail end of a double-dip La Nina) is about 0.03°C/decade, amounting to a temperature increase of 0.05°C over that period, but equally we could calculate the linear trend from 1999, during the subsequent La Nina, and show a more substantial warming.

        As we’ve stressed before, choosing a starting or end point on short-term scales can be very misleading. Climate change can only be detected from multi-decadal timescales due to the inherent variability in the climate system. If you use a longer period from HadCRUT4 the trend looks very different. For example, 1979 to 2011 shows 0.16°C/decade (or 0.15°C/decade in the NCDC dataset, 0.16°C/decade in GISS). Looking at successive decades over this period, each decade was warmer than the previous – so the 1990s were warmer than the 1980s, and the 2000s were warmer than both. Eight of the top ten warmest years have occurred in the last decade.

        Over the last 140 years global surface temperatures have risen by about 0.8ºC. However, within this record there have been several periods lasting a decade or more during which temperatures have risen very slowly or cooled. The current period of reduced warming is not unprecedented and 15 year long periods are not unusual.” The full response is here:

        http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/met-office-in-the-media-14-october-2012/

        Cherry-picking a timeframe to support a one’s preconceptions is not the best way to observe long-term trends and form conclusions. The Daily Mail was wrong, even though they cherry-picked the timeline. There WAS actual warming, albeit slight, during the period they selected. They simply rounded, conveniently, to tenths of a °C, so a change of 0.05°C would not show on their graph.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Hello hennorama,

            No argument from me.

          However, I do have a couple of questions.

          Do you know when the next ice age will start?

          Will the next ice age do more damage to society than any AGW?

      • Ray in VT

        Settled, no, but it certainly seems that a pretty sizable part of the scientific community that really looks at this hard has a high degree of confidence in the conclusions.

        I’ve also seen a number of articles and people pushing back against how the Daily Mail presented the data.

        I was looking here:

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/monitoring/climate/surface-temperature

        and there’s a chart labelled “Global average temperature anomalies” down near the bottom of the page which averages out UK Met data with the other two “major global datasets”, and set out as the variation above the 1961-1990 average, and it looks like 1998 especially was a high year (.52c above).  Before that the high was .39c above (1997), and the two that followed were back down (.30 and .29), but after that the lowest is .38c above that average.  That’s from the Hadcrut4 column.  The bottom line is that global averages spiked during that one year, and that they have been consistently elevated since then according to this data.

        So, it’s not like there are new highs every year, but 2010 beat out 2005 as the hottest, which beat out 1998.  I’ll be interested to see what the 2012 numbers end up saying, but the longer term trend is still up.  The coolest of the naughty aughties would have been the third lowest in the 1990s.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Hi Ray,

          I have no quibble with the data you highlight.  However, I do quibble with the state of the science.  There is a lot of propaganda floating around based on the science of models.  None of this would pass the Richard Feynman test and it certainly doesn’t justify the spending of billions in cash on some boondoggle.

          The climate gate fiasco proved that there are activists in the climate science community rooting for an outcome.  Perhaps they are personally convinced that the world is ending without immediate action and therefore the ends justify the means.  Even Dr. Richard Muller (who Tom incorrectly identified as a climate skeptic) called out these corrupt scientists with their ‘hide the decline’ nonsense.

          I also find it disturbing that politicians in the US and at the UN are using this potential crisis for another money grab.  The UN floated an $100B money grab idea just last week.

          For now, I’m with Freeman Dyson.  I have more faith in Freeman Dyson’s scientific acumen than say a Jim Hansen.

          http://bigthink.com/devils-advocate/freeman-dyson-climate-change-predictions-are-absurd

          Also, there are things we can do (like DARPA-E) that will reap benefits whether CO2 is an issue or not.  I’m fully supportive of those efforts.  Personally, I’d like to see more aggressive research into advanced nuclear.  It has the potential to address the nuclear waste issue, nuclear safety and high temperature industrial processing for cost effective syn-fuels.  If we crack that nut then we’ve bridged the fossil fuel dilemma and solved the CO2 issue. 

      • nj_v2

        Slowly, but surely, the right-wing, flat-earthers  trot out every debunked denialist myth. Here, the Worried One cites the noted scientific journal The Daily Mail to make the comically bogus claim that “there’s been no global warming over the last 16 years.” These kinds of claims show the degree to which these people are clueless.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998-intermediate.htm

        What has global warming done since 1998?

        http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cmb-faq/globalwarming.html
        Global surface temperatures have increased about 0.74°C (plus or minus 0.18°C) since the late–19thcentury, and the linear trend for the past 50 years of 0.13°C (plus or minus 0.03°C) per decade is nearly twice that for the past 100 years. The warming has not been globally uniform. Some areas (including parts of the southeastern U.S. and parts of the North Atlantic) have, in fact, cooled slightly over the last century. The recent warmth has been greatest over North America and Eurasia between 40 and 70°N. Lastly, seven of the eight warmest years on record have occurred since 2001 and the 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1995.

  • andreawilder

    hennorama,

    I do quite a bit, already, I drive a Prius, am upping the insulation in my car, rarely eat red meat, switching to LED’s, turning down the thermostat, plant trees, house a dark color.
    What I want, now:  a bike with a carrier in the back–looks like a baby carrier–for groceries.  It’s the car that drives me nuts,
    the question is what kind of fuel.

    • andreawilder

      Uh…that should be insulation in my house, not car.

    • tt_tiara

      I grocery shop on my mountain bike, with straight handlebars, and hang double bagged groceries from the ends of the bars. I can carry 3-4 days of groceries.

      A bike with a carrier and fenders is a good idea because even one little shower can be discouraging if it puts a wet streak up our back.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Please be careful.  There were 5 bicyclists killed just this year in Boston.  The latest was just today.

      • ed mangan

         when I was in south sf bay area there would be a ride to work day. they would set up bike stops and give out things as free bells, snacks, water bottles and canvass bags etc, with extra long straps to loop over your shoulder to the opposite one for carting groceries. all was donated by local companies.
        canvass bags with a extra long strap about 40″ length. would be better than the handle bars as the weight on your bars might not let you maneuver fast if you needed to.

    • hennorama

      andrea – thank you for your response, and good on ya!  Keep up the good work.
      Don’t forget to share your views, especially with policymakers.
      Also, since it’s close to the traditional gift-giving holiday period, you might consider “green gifts” or donations to or other support of various organizations.
      For example, you could consider a donation to the Global Alliance For Clean Cookstoves, which is using a market-based approach to promote the use of vastly more efficient and more environmentally friendly cookstoves, rather than open fires.  About 2 billion people worldwide use open flame for cooking, which results in enormous amounts of black carbon (soot) released into the atmosphere.  You can learn more here:
      http://www.cleancookstoves.org/

      • andreawilder

        I have to go to bed soon.  I know about the cookstoves, I have radar for everything to do about climate change, thanks for the rec, that’s a fine idea.  I usually give food I’ve made myself,
        it gets eaten.  I’m knitting a 2 year present for my cousin, a ski sweater with Norwegian yarn
        and a Norwegian motif, it focuses me wonderfully
        and curbs some of my worry about the climate.
        Maybe Tom should do a program on coping with climate change, how we tamp down some of the
        anxiety.

        • Gregg Smith

          Another interesting comment. First, I applaud your efforts your cousin is lucky.

          Regarding anxiety, I would posit that is the ONLY thing you can affect. You have control over what you think and worry about. You are doing what you feel is best and your part. Just feel good because that’s all there is on this issue that you can influence.

          • andreawilder

            Nothing more important than family.

  • Brandstad

    Inhofe Video Message for UN Climate Conference:
    Obama Quietly Handing Over Billions of Dollars to the UN in the Name of Global Warming

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=704a64c3-c4b6-0747-65d9-b2d6e8ebe36f

    • StilllHere

      Hurry before they run out of caviar!!

      Seriously, should be required reading for all bleeding hearts.

    • LouiseStonington

       Do you count the $1.4 Trillion spent on Iraq and Afghanistan as related to securing oil supplies? How about the hundreds of billions that have spent defending shipment routes for foreign oil. Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, the countries that have more oil and natural gas than the US, they are laughing all the way to the bank and thanking the Republicans for voting to keep the US addicted to fossil fuels.

      • StilllHere

        How much oil does Afghanistan have?

        Recent data suggest the US could potentially have more attainable energy resources than Saudi.  This suggests we could realize significant benefits from being energy independent.

  • Gregg Smith

    CO2 is about .04% of the atmosphere and is currently at a 20 year low. Why the fuss?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       20 year low?  I don’t think so.  Perhaps US CO2 emissions are at a 20 year low?

      CO2 IS plant food.

      Fuss?  It is all about a money grab no doubt.  That is certainly the UN motivation.

      • Gregg Smith

        It came from the green HuffPo, it must be right. Guess why, you’ll love this… wait for it… FRACKING!

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/16/us-carbon-dioxide-emissions-2012_n_1792167.html

        You are so right about the UN. They have a worldwide pew to pass the plate down and Obama is complying. It’s a religion and the UN is the church. They don’t care a wit about the environment.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Ah yes, your source discusses US emissions at a 20 year low. 

          The inconvenient truth for US climate activists and politicians is there is NOTHING the US can do to significantly reduce CO2 emissions increases.  China, India and the developing world is driving this issue.  Therefore it will be difficult for US politicians to participate in the money grab.

          • Gregg Smith

            On that, everyone agrees.

          • Gregg Smith

            BTW, thank for the clarification. I want to be accurate. Also I should say the .04% figure is global and not related to the article. I should not have lumped them together.

      • LouiseStonington

         Money grab by whom? By the fossil fuel companies that pay their CEOs $25million a year and pass out dividends from their billions in profits? Or by the climate scientists who earn maybe $100,000 a year doing research and teaching at universities.
        CO2 is part of a carbon cycle that is essential in growing plants. There is only a tiny bit of it in air. If you double salt in a recipe, you can spoil it. Same with doubling CO2 in air. The last time the CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere was as high as it is today was 5 million years ago, and there was very little ice in the world, and much higher ocean levels.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           The UN proposed a $100B money grab just last week — all in the name of climate change.  They’ve been attempting this scam for at least 30 years.

    • andreawilder

      Go to google, put in the numbers and find the graph
      which shows rises in CO2.  Now, when the perma frost melts we’ll have methane, too.

      Where did you get the 20 year low?

      • Gregg Smith

        The study was done at Penn State. There’s a link below in the reply to worried.

      • hennorama

        Gregg clearly missed the mark by conflating different data, as he ultimately figured out and stated.
         
        Even if all worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels were to end today, atmospheric CO2 levels would remain high for a very long time.  This is due to the persistence of CO2.  It does not condense in the atmosphere and does not precipitate out, even at extremely low polar temperatures.  This is due to the very low concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, as well as relatively low pressures at the altitudes where these low temps occur.
        More than half of CO2 dissolves into the oceans over a 20 to 200 year timeframe, but the rest can stick around for much longer – for thousands of years.  There was even a prehistoric “abrupt release of carbon to the atmosphere-ocean system, which took about 150 thousand years to recover.”  This is known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum Climate Event.  You can read more about “Atmospheric Lifetime of Fossil Fuel Carbon Dioxide” here:
        http://www.stanford.edu/~longcao/Archer_et_al(2009).pdf
         
        Plus, CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas, and greenhouse gases are not the only source of greenhouse warming effects.

        Fortunately, methane is not very persistent in the atmosphere, lasting only 12 years.  Efforts to control methane emissions would have a much faster impact on greenhouse warming compare to CO2, and there are many practical ways to work on these emissions.

        • andreawilder

          What I worry about: fuel for airlines, defense department, government in general, this has to change.

          Now I fall into bed.  Thanks for the conversation.

          • Gregg Smith

            That’s interesting. It has been proposed that our navy switch to biofuel and in fact it may be happening. This means a huge price increase at a time when Democrats want to cut military spending. 

            What side do you fall on?

        • Gregg Smith

          I didn’t conflate anything. To conflate there must be two sets of facts. The article only talked about one. The discussion is about what we can do as a nation. I felt it important to point out we are already improving. Many believe the opposite.

          I simply and mistakenly left off that it was in the US. The link I provided had it in the headline. And that is a fact I want to bring out, I don’t want to hide it. It also bolsters WFTC most excellent comment about India and China.

          • hennorama

            Gregg – I gave you credit for correcting yourself and was not trying to argue.

            However, you DID conflate 2 different things – 1) global atmospheric CO2 concentration, and 2) US CO2 emissions for the first four months of this year. They are far from the same thing.

            The article you linked to discussed both, indicating US CO2 energy-related emissions for the first four months of this year have fallen, while the global atmospheric CO2 concentration continues to rise, pricipally due to rising coal and overall energy use in other countries, notable in China.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

       We know that carbon dioxide is critical to maintaining heat in our atmosphere.  There was 170-270ppm for ~650,000 years – but in the last 200 years we have raised the level to ~391ppm at this moment.  If you added 50% more insulation in your house, you would have to turn down the furnace to keep the same temperature.

      We cannot control the sun.

      Look up Mauna Loa carbon dioxide measurements.  We are increasing carbon dioxide every year; so your “20 year low” statement is flat wrong.

      Neil

      • Gregg Smith

        I am not a scientist although I play one on blogs. I cannot vouch for the Earth System Science Center study at Penn State University but it was widely reported and I have not seen it debunked. It also made sense.

        As Worried for the Country pointed out the number reflects the US not the world. Who do you mean by “we”?

      • jefe68

        More like flat earth. This chap will deny this is happening no matter how much evidence you post.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Given the recent increases in domestic natural gas supplies the US should develop the natural gas dual fuel automotive market).  It will help reduce CO2 emissions and will also improve our nations energy security (and help us reduce reliance on the unstable ME oil).

    Europe seems to get it.  Here is a recent offering of a duel fuel vehicle from VW.

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/12/ecoup-20121205.html

    The current cost of natural gas is about 50% that of gasoline.  It appears the biggest barrier for natural gas vehicles is the dearth of nat. gas fueling stations in the US (although I drive by one every day here in a suburb of Boston.  This problem is largely mitigated by the development of duel fuel vehicles that can run on either nat. gas or gasoline.

    • Gregg Smith

      I wonder if we can get some support for the infrastructure necessary to move to natural gas. Libs love infrastructure especially if it reduces greenhouse gasses and saves the planet.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Here is a proposal to jump start the market without costing the government a dime.

        http://wattenburg.us/natgas.html

        Obama didn’t take it because he is in love with the electric car.

        I see no down side for the government to start this as a pilot program at a few regional post office sites.

        • Gregg Smith

          I thought Obama said he was in favor of an “all of the above” strategy. Dr. Bill is on to something.

        • hennorama

          I agree that this is a good idea.  I seem to recall similar efforts to adopt natural gas-powered vehicles in the 1970s, after the OPEC oil crises of 1973 and 1979.  However, CNG/LNG vehicles still emit CO2.  This is one reason EVs are preferable.
          The great thing about both CNG-powered and plug-in electric vehicles is that they can be “refueled” at home, with reasonable costs associated with either fuel source.  The limitations are also similar, with long “refueling” times, and limited vehicle ranges.
          But CNG is certainly a viable option as a transportation fuel.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             The VW micro car I posted had a range of 373 miles.  Mercedes released a large dual fuel sedan a few years ago that had a combined range of over 600 miles.  Duel fuel doesn’t have the Leaf range issue.

            Commercial nat. gas fueling stations solve the fueling time issue and are competitive with gasoline .  Home fueling does take longer but that should be OK since you typically fuel while you garage.

            I’m not as concerned about CO2 but nat gas has about half the CO2 emissions of gasoline.   Battery technology has a ways to go to make EV mass adoption viable.   Maybe there will be a breakthrough in fuel cells and enable mass adoption of EVs.

            Remember, an EV in the US today gets 40% of its energy from coal.  Hardly CO2 free.  Time for mass deployment of LFTR?

    • hennorama

      The operative word in your statemet “The current cost of natural gas is about 50% that of gasoline” is CURRENT.  Prices change.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Exactly.  That is why we need many alternatives.  Eventually this will include affordable syn fuels and affordable biofuels.  Ideally, the engine would support flex fuel operation to maximize the fuel alternatives.  Of course it is important to keep costs low.  Flex fuel and dual fuel are both low costs adders.

    • LouiseStonington

      Natural gas is as bad as coal for the climate when you count in leakage.  Drilling and processing natural gas involves leaks and venting. Natural gas is mostly methane which warms air between 20 and 100 times as much as carbon dioxide, so even a tiny leakage rate of 3% gives natural gas a warming effect that is as bad as coal.
      Some people believe the reason why natural gas prices dropped dramatically just as Congress was considering renewing tax credits for wind turbines is related. Many producers of natural gas are not making money at current rates, so they surely will go up.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Loise, if you are a fan of EVs and are worried about CO2 emissions then you must be a proponent of expanding our nuclear power source.  It is the only scalable and affordable base level CO2 free power source available today.   However, nuclear has stagnated at 20% of electric generation due to lack of development over the last 40 years.

        EVs are not nirvana by any stretch.
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/oct/05/electric-cars-emissions-bad-environment

        • LouiseStonington

          RE nuclear, I  am uncomfortable with the prospect of exporting nuclear components which could be used for terror. Also, the cost of nuclear powered electricity is higher than solar and wind. See recent article that France is reducing nuclear from 75% to 50% as it experiences huge cost overruns and delays, and also as wind generation costs are down to $0.10/kWh now and expected to drop to $0.03/kWh in 10 years in windiest locations.

          http://bit.ly/VvlZJl
          Thanks for the link to a great discussion about EVs which points out the potential for the improvement electric vehicles by using more recycled materials, improving battery design, and scaling up production of  solar and wind power to charge them. It also reaffirms my personal decision to use buses and bicycles regularly, and just maintain access to a hybrid vehicle for emergencies.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    We need to change our energy sources to all renewable, we need to drive much more efficient cars (electric!), we need to grow all our food locally and organically.  Nitrogen fertilizer changes into nitrous oxide which a strong GHG, and accounts for about 25% of climate change.  We need to use things like biochar, both to improve farming and to sequester carbon – and we need to move to mostly perennials, as Wes Jackson advocates.

    Renewable energy can provide about 16X more than we need – we can have sustainable abundance.  Renewable energy will last as long as the sun and the earth – another 4-5 Billion years.  We will stop needing nearly as much military spending – and nobody has to die bringing electricity back to this country.  As mentioned on the show – we would stop polluting – no more mercury from coal getting into every fish we eat, no more dead zones in the ocean.

    Neil

    • Gregg Smith

      Regarding electric cars, do the batteries and their disposal give you pause? Or the coal required to charge them?

      • LouiseStonington

         Electric cars charged with solar and wind will obviously be healthy and economical. Even if we charge them with electricity generated from coal, they are better because of the increased efficiency of electric motors. Battery materials can be recycled.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

         The batteries will be recycled; just like we recycle virtually all the lead acid batteries we use now.  The materials are too valuable to throw away.

        As Louise mentions, even with 100% coal an electric car has lower emissions than any other car on the road.  But we are actually down to ~38% of our electricity from coal.  And we can get electricity from many different renewable sources; solar PV, and solar heat, wind (on land and on the coasts), wave power, tidal power, geothermal, methane from sewage and farm waste, and many other biomass sources, too.

        By the way, did you know that it takes more electricity to power an ICE car than an EV?  There is a lot of electricity used during every stage from oil exploration to extraction to refining to transport – about 7.5kWh per gallon of gasoline.  More electricity is used to make ethanol, as well – and both use a lot of natural gas; so we also need to count all the electricity used to frack and all the other stages for getting natural gas, and the water used for that, too!

        So, driving an EV powered by today’s grid cost less than 3 cents a mile.  Whereas driving a typical 22mpg car costs 16 cents a mile – just for the gasoline.  You have to do regular maintenance on an ICE car (virtually *none* on an EV!) and that adds about 25%, so the ICE car costs about 20 cents per mile.  Driving a Nissan Leaf saves you about $17,000 per 100K miles driven vs a typical 22mpg car.

        If you can put solar panels on your roof using the programs we have in some states, you can lower your electric bill by 30-70% per month AND drive your EV for “free”.

        And yes, the batteries will last at least 8 years, and likely 10-12 if you treat them right.  If needed, you can replace individual cells; and when it does lose too much capacity to use in your EV, it will either be used as grid storage and/or be recycled in the end.

        Ya’ put a nickel in me!

        See my avatar?  I’m building a 5 seat electric car that should be able to drive 300-400 miles with a ~55kWh lithium pack at highway speeds.  I’m calling it CarBEN EV5, and I have the full sized foam core assembled in my driveway; and I hope to have a rolling chassis ready for a battery pack and drivetrain in a year or so.  [/shameless plug]]

        Neil

    • X-Ray

      We could use the Chinese model and have fewer humans sponging off the Earth.

  • harverdphd

    What are we going to do?  Why, nothing, of course; why waste your time when China and India will cancel your efforts at your expense scores over?  This conversation is over. 

    • LouiseStonington

       China is producing more clean energy that the US. They suffer from the pollution from coal, and have shown they are aware of global warming. US Citizens telling their elected representatives that we produced most of the carbon pollution, so we need to stop wasting energy and produce solar wind and geothermal that is so cheap that it out competes fossil fuel, that can bring responsible change. Citizens Climate Lobby, Sierra Club, can help. More ideas at http://greenismoney.wordpress.com

    • http://www.facebook.com/aimee.moffittmercer Aimee Moffitt-Mercer

      The US is the number one worst polluter of CO2. First, we take responsibility for our own actions first. We model good leadership, integrity and responsibility no matter what the rest of the world does. We cannot point fingers until we have respectability and that is earned. Just think of the reverence, relief and gratitude people all over the world would have for us if we stepped to the plate and earned our place in the hearts and minds of people. 

  • kavkav

    We can’t just reek havoc with the environment. That is the height of arrogance! With the crazy weather all over the globe to the heating of the oceans, we are in grave trouble. If the oceans become too warm, and we are only talking about a very small number of degrees, methane from the floor of the ocean will escape and burn, in open flame, on the surface of the water. There are so many complexities to this subject. We need to respect the earth, and for those who still doubt, err on the side of caution. I have to wonder if the doubters ever even bother to read or find out any of the huge amounts of science behind the obviousness of the reality. Personally, I see no reason why our cars aren’t equiped with solar panels on their roof tops. In any case, the burning of fossil fuels has got to be curtailed!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UX56S656V6HLWVSJEQKBJ5TIEM bill

    i have the cure for climate change. we use the sea to contane the co2 by useing the nutrents to grow alge.we get more food.and less co2all you have to do is bring the nutrent rich water up to the surfice.useing wave powered pumps. or even the nutrent mud at the bottem of the seas.the alge would feed the fish.and clean up the co2 at the same time

    • dawoada

      Or harvest the algae and burn it to generate electricity.  Then we will have a complete cycle.  Grow algae which absorbs CO2, then burn it generating electricity and CO2 which feeds the algae; around and around the cycle goes. 

  • JohnRochester2

    On  a personal level,  like many people my wife and I are locked into our jobs, barely, covering our bills.  Self employed, we have a 1966 house with mortgage, an old car and four old late seventy’s work trucks. We would gladly shut  these old smokers down  and do everything we could  to reduce our carbon foot print, but see no way to do it, I suspect that many , many people feel the same but lack practical answers.

    • hennorama

      You may be able to afford replacement vehicles from fuel cost savings alone, due to higher MPGs on newer vehicles.  Run the numbers before you give up.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

        It may be true, and a deep energy retrofit on a house does pay back within some number of years, but if we had a carbon tax to increase the cost of fossil energy, then the numbers would truly add up, and make sense for anyone to do, even if it requires taking out a loan for the short term.

        • hennorama

          Sage – thank you for your response. I repect your views.

          You make a good point. My most significant concern about such a tax is the impact on those unable to switch to more efficient vehicles or fuels. Not everyone has the ability to get a loan to finance such changes, regardless of the economic logic in doing so.

          But your point about “forcing” users to make the switch to higher efficiency through taxation or other economic means has merit. However, such “forcing” is not always needed, as we are seeing with electrical power generating companies rapidly switching from coal to natural gas due to the price differential. The CO2 emission savings is a bonus.

          Certainly increasing energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way to reduce CO2 emissions, and can provide long-term economic benefit. As Arthur Rosenfeld said “The cheapest energy is what you don’t use.”

    • LouiseStonington

       Your personal actions, insulating your house, traveling by bus, foot or bicycle more, recycling do help. Just as important is a half hour a week or more on line sending messages to leaders to change policy. Sign up for action alerts at  NRDC, UCSUSA, Citizens Climate Lobby, Greenpeace. We have to lobby harder than the thousands of lobbyists paid by the oil, coal and natural gas industry. And tell your friends what you are doing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/aimee.moffittmercer Aimee Moffitt-Mercer

      Dear John,
      The only solution that I have found, that will really make an impact – is to encourage colleges and churches to divest in big oil. Get money out of the stock market.  And starting with ourselves if we have any $ in retirement – to get it out of the fossil fuel industry. Protest KEYSTONE XL. Big oil spends 100 million dollars a day on research on new oil reserves, at our peril. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

        I agree that divestment is helpful, but churches and the few universities who will divest don’t make up the bulk of capital funding the fossil energy companies, and there is plenty of dirty capital to take its place. A carbon tax would cut into the profit margin of the fossil energy companies and return revenues to the public to do the necessary things like insulate their 1966 house and get a car with better MPG, and would allow the flourishing of conservation and renewable energy technologies.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Hilarious.  We now have a lawyer representing science.  No climate scientists available?

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      There’s plenty of science available: http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2012/11/chart-only-017-percent-peer-reviewed-papers-question-global-warming

  • http://www.facebook.com/aimee.moffittmercer Aimee Moffitt-Mercer

    Where is the MORAL COURAGE? to lead? Your show last night, What To Do About Climate Change. There is an answer, that no-one had the moral courage to address. Big oil. We already have enough fossil fuel in RESERVES to push our planet to 5 degrees beyond what is a recognizable planet. THe fossil fuel that is in the ground now, needs to stay in the ground. Big oil needs to be stopped. DIVESTMENT in this industry is our only solution. All the little warm and fuzzy things we do – will not make enough of a difference, fast enough. Stop the subsides to big oil. They do not need help from US. Subsidize ALTERNATIVE ENERGY. TOM… you started to call out big oil. WHY did you stop. I was hanging on your every word when you started to speak the truth. Please help our world, esp. the U.S. snap out of our sleep. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      Yes … I would add that subsidies to renewable energy is not required if we simply tax the harm that fossil fuels do, in the form of a carbon tax of great enough magnitude. Then the market will allow the most appropriate technologies to rise to the forefront.

  • Erik_Thorkildsen

    Leading climate scientist James Hansen, who has been bringing the
    issue of
    Global Warming to public attention since the 1980′s, argues that
    the only way
    to move our economy away from fossil fuels is to put a price on
    carbon, and
    suggests a “fee and dividend” system, where a fee is applied to
    fossil fuels at the well, mine, or port of entry (unless a
    corresponding carbon
    tax has been already levied in the country of origin), and 100% of
    the proceeds
    are returned to the American public in the form of a dividend. 

    See his web page:  http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/

    Representative Pete Stark of California
    has a bill currently in Congress – the Save our Climate Act, HR
    3242 - 
    that would do just that, gradually increasing the fee as industry
    and the
    public become more efficient in their use of energy, and move to
    alternative
    sources.  The bill is expected to die at the end of this Congress,
    but new
    legislation will be introduced in 2013. 

    The bill is available at:   http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/B

    Citizens Climate Lobby is working to create the political will
    for a stable
    climate by building a grassroots coalition at local and national
    levels to
    support climate legislation.  CCL has drafted  legislation to
    create
    a fee and dividend system for carbon similar to the above. 
    Citizens
    Climate Lobby lobbies members of the House and Senate to support
    this proposal,
    and seeks to enroll and support bi-partisan working groups in the
    House and
    Senate to draft and introduce climate legislation.  

    For more information, see  http://www.citizensclimatelobb

    • http://www.facebook.com/aimee.moffittmercer Aimee Moffitt-Mercer

      John Hanson has joined 350.org and stands behind the Do The Math Tour at this point to divest from fossil fuels.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      Thank you for this. Your link to the bill didn’t work but this one does: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr3242/text  Also, McDermott (D-WA) has proposed another such bill, HR 5338. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

        Sorry, the second bill is number 6338. Pardon the mistake.

  • andreawilder

    Both sides, have to cut troops, go to biofuels.

    Tom had a discussion sometime this fall about what cars people want, I didn’t get in the discussion, no one mentioned gas-less
    cars.

  • andreawilder

    And while I’m here, BOSTON has to think about building codes
    and large buildings sloshing around in water, or toppling over.
    Change building codes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      Codes are one thing, but economic incentive is another. A carbon tax would make fossil energy more costly and give more incentive to build better buildings, which is actually not that hard to do given the will.

      • andreawilder

        Codes AND carbon tax sounds good.

        • Flowen

          Code required solar water heaters!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sam.fuchs.7 Sam Fuchs

    Recognizing climate change is only 10% of the problem compared to facing the challenges to live with it. It takes at least 20 yrs to undo the effects of high co2 and release of methane.
    To put constraints on global warming will be like pulling teeth. Higher energy costs or re-designing our use in a struggling economy and decline in living conditions will be a tough choice. If it cripples the economy then the GOP gets voted in to undo the constraints, they care less about this issues. GOP will be heros. We will pay dearly for the cost of energy plus the adjustments in agriculture and social adjustments too.   

    • Flowen

      Why do you believe that doing the right thing will be so much more costly and painful than the self-destructive status-quo mess that we have created in the interest of a few billionaire manipulators?

      Transition will be painful no doubt, like a heroin addict kicking his problem. But the sane world on the other side of our toxic energy addiction should only scare the moneyed interests and their prospects for continued ill-gotten gains; gains derived from privatizing “profits” while socializing costs, damages, and risks. These people are not innovators or entrepreneurs, they simply lobby for more and more easy money and government support.

      All the profit in the world is nothing if one lose’s his soul.

    • Michele

       Doing the right thing means having more stringent energy codes.  The largest consumers of energy are buildings.  Currently, the codes do not have a very high level of energy conservation built in to them.  They are getting better but only incrementally so and not enough to keep up with use as new buildings come on line everyday.  Everyone thinks it’s so painful to change, when in fact what it will cost is money not blood.  It will be more painful to not change. Energy conservation comes from having more energy efficient equipment and smarter use of that equipment. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/sam.fuchs.7 Sam Fuchs

    The GOP is so against EPA regulations on coal plants, but we will need cleaner energy from these plants. We have the tech to do it, just costs more. Forget about wind power unless they are restricted to places that want them, otherwise they will become line power lines throughout all of our most scenic places.

  • andreawilder

    Of course Tesla is too $$$$ much!  …..NOW, but not forever.  The technology is there,  which means there is one way out for car makers to use.  Look at what Ford did.

    I am POSITIVE there are other technologies that could be used,
    have you heard of the solar powered motorcycles?

    We also need TRAINS.

    Solar energy gets stored.

    Again, you are throwing up ideas then throwing them out–if I am still speaking to the person I spoke to yesterday about this
    attribute.  You must be a very young person.

    Instead, put yourself in the role of president, say…what would you do?

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      I would implement a carbon tax, and let the market’s natural forces find the solutions that are truly viable. I would not pretend to understand the technologies in all their dimensions, but would set up the market to reflect the true harm done by fossil energy and let it evolve from there.

  • ed mangan

    CO2 is less than 1% of the problem…
    wiki; In 2009, the CO2 global average concentration in Earth’s atmosphere was about 0.0387%,or 387 parts per million. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_the_Earth%27s_atmosphere
    people think the large numbers mean it is a lot. like from 330 to 550 ppm. it grew at a fast pace.
    just
    a smoke screen. it is people who are creating the heat. buy a infrared
    temp gun and walk through you house. 1 watt of power is 1 watt of heat. a
    1500 watt space heater creates 1500 watts heat. but people do not know
    it is a engine/gas, coal or nuke steam that generates heat. also runs a
    generator that makes just as much heat as what you use in your house. if
    you use a 1500 watt heater the generator make that much heat. this does
    not include heat/ electric losses along those power line to your house.
    like losses at junctions and transformers.
    now go outside you house
    and look at the hood of your car after you get home from your daily
    commute. it might be near 200 degrees. same inside your engine
    compartment. buy some heat was put inside your car to keep you comfy.
    your whole exhaust system could be much higher in temp.
    that is where a lot of the heat  from GW is coming from and not CO2!!! got it?
    now multiply that heat by a billion Chinese and Indians just getting cars.
    do you need more info?

    • http://www.facebook.com/sam.fuchs.7 Sam Fuchs

      Cars do contribute to heating of the atmosphere, but it appears that CO2 is the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities, which transportation is second biggest contributor behind the generation of electricity . In 2010, CO2 accounted for about 84% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. These gases insulate the atmosphere and increase temps, which released more co2 from oceans plus methane from melting Antarctic ice melting.

      • andreawilder

        Sam, second = cars, buses, etc., & first = ?

        Thanks.

        • Michele

           First = Buildings, not just homes but commercial buildings.

    • Flowen

      With mine to outlet efficiency of less than 10% for electricity, and transportation fuels at way less than 20%, we have 8-10 times more energy released as heat than actual work.

      As mammoth as that is, it is dwarfed by the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide, methane, refrigerants, etc trapping the solar energy, of which the Earth receives enough solar energy in one hour to power human energy needs for a year!

      Don’t let the low dose fool you, it is still deadly!

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      I think you’re being fooled by wherever you copied and pasted this from. Yes, these things make heat, and cities are heat islands, but for mainly other reasons (albedo and higher CO2 and soot concentrations) but this is dwarfed by the heat from the sun. The 400 ppm of CO2 we have now is throughout the entire vertical height of the atmosphere, which is miles. If 400 ppm CO2 were in one foot of atmosphere, that would not be much, but in the whole column of air above you, that is a lot. The science is clear and obfuscation is just a waste of time, contradicted by thousands of peer-reviewed articles and basic science.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sam.fuchs.7 Sam Fuchs

    The boom of natural gas might off set co2 emission, but the devil of fracking releases methane gas, and once they start exporting this gold mine, we will be back to high price for coal, oil, and natural gas. Our fuel cost will never go down, because fracking require a moderately elevated fuel price for industries to make a big profit, plus its bound for the global market anyway. If price drop to $2 per gal they will just halt exploration which then brings prices back up

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      Very true. Fracking releases methane, which is a much worse greenhouse gas than CO2, and then turns into CO2 when it breaks down in the atmosphere. I personally suspect that a *lot* more methane is released from fracking than is admitted by the gas industry. Howarth et al. published a paper with error bars that showed that fracked gas *might* be dirtier than coal per unit of energy, if you include the gas lost in the well head and pipelines. I strongly suspect the much more methane leaks from fracked areas over a wide area, seeping from the ground undetected. We *need* a good study using a gas dome, and a high-N sample size of at least 100 sites, and we need it fast! We need to detect if fracking increases the seepage of methane from the ground. There are indications, such as gas bubbling through. There are also aerial laser-based methods of detecting methane seepage, though these may have too high of a threshold to be of use. Gas dome detectors are the best way to go. Come on, science, we need you now!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

    A carbon tax is the best answer to slowing global warming. We need to include the cost of the harm done to the world in the price of fossil energy, instead of letting it continue to be an “externality” while the fossil energy industry profits obscenely at our expense.

    A carbon tax is a market-based solution, and relies on the natural evolution of technology, and billions of individual decisions, to cause the deep behavioral changes needed, and to do so most efficiently. We simply need to correct the market to include the true cost of fossil energy.

    Already, two bills are in the pipeline to do this in the House, though they’re both tabled in committee.

    Please, Tom, do a show on the pros and cons of a carbon tax!  We need an hour on this topic! We need a well-spoken person in favor of the tax. I am sure you can find an industry wonk to be against it, but please find a well-spoken strong voice in favor of it, too.

  • Flowen

    Hi Tony Leiserowitz

    It is interesting to hear that majorities of the population believe that climate change is a serious threat, although we continue and even plan to enhance our collective self-destructive behavior.

    Although people consciously and cognitively know what the right thing to do is, it has barely scant effect on behavior.

    Obviously, the only way to slow, stop, and turn around the causes of climate change, ie the over-use of fossil fuels, is to change behavior; changing ideas may be a necessary first step, but it is not sufficient.

    The purveyors of oil, gas, nuclear, coal, and corn ethanol have been so successful in getting people to behave in ways that are not in their own self-interests by feeding people’s illusions. The idea that more fossil fuel use at cheaper prices will provide greater economic benefit and security is false; and the fact that individuals are powerless is also false. Yet, people overwhelmingly enable, support, subsidize and promote more and much more of the same. 

    My point is that it is a mistake to believe that education, and changing people’s minds and ideas, will be effective in changing behavior. How often do we hear “if only people would wake up!…” You CANNOT wake people up to this kind of reality, it is too ugly and unbelievable for one. But aside from that, people need their dreams and illusions…we all prefer our beliefs to reality.

    As one involved in communications WRT climate change, I encourage you (or anyone interested) 1) to challenge the myth of individual powerlessness and helplessness; 2) to develop and create a new American Dream based on ideas of success, sustainability, pleasure instead of power, stewardship; 3) to attack both the falsities purveyed by the toxic energy industries, and the individuals personally who benefit from and operate the illusions.

    Such a campaign would require an all-out effort on the part of academics; media journalists, bloggers, advertisers and celebrities; politicians, community leaders, and small businesses (true small businesses, not Republicans’ $30 Billion annual revenue private businesses).

    As you know, the world of Fortune 500 corporations is split, with most of the power and money on the side of the toxic energy industries maximizing revenues and margins; but with increasing concern by others as they realize financially the increasing costs and uncertainties associated with dynamic climate change.

    The handwriting is on the wall: the powers-that-be want to turn us into a resource economy based on oil and gas exports (bigger than Saudi Arabia in 8 years?!?!?). That is their solution, and all indications are that the population will support it.

    Communicating the truth to people will unfortunately not change behavior…while it may be necessary, I believe it can and is promoting resistance to meaningful change. To really change people’s behaviors, climate activists need to learn what, how, and why the toxic energy industries use PR (Public Relations)….see my prescription above.

    For background on the psychology of PR, see the most excellent documentary “The Century of the Self.”

    On the bottom line, oil, gas, and coal prices have to rise. With all the externalities socialized, air, soil and water pollution; military interventions; sub-safe mines, drilling rigs, refineries and pipelines, etc., oil, gas and coal profits are big indeed! But, if the price of a gallon of gasoline reflected the actual costs of production and use, it would be unaffordable, and replacing it will fuel a small business boom. As is, prices are artificially low, and that is what puts the American population in the position of a heroin addict: miserable, but needing that next shot of cheap stuff.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      Nice analysis, and in the end, how to make the price of fossil fuels rise?  The carbon tax is the simplest and most ethically rational way to do it.  All the consciousness raising in the world will not change people’s behaviors much. It may be a necessary first step in getting a carbon tax implemented though.

      In fact, the profit margin of fossil energy companies is not too high. It’s around 8%, on par with most manufacturing industry. The reason for their obscene profits at public expense is volume — the sheer volume of revenue. That means that we *can* hit them where it hurts — in the profit — with a reasonable carbon tax.

      • Flowen

        Thank you Sage….your posts are quite good….I appreciate the compliment.

        I agree, a carbon tax is the best policy; simple, do-able, and way over-due.

        No matter how much it is though, it will not approach the true cost of infrastructure maintenance required by past and current gasoline and diesel use, or the health costs associated with production and use of oil, gas, and coal, or compensate the environmental costs of mountaintop removal, river basin destruction, ocean acidification, glacier destruction, water contamination etc, etc, etc, etc.

        As important as intelligent legislation, tax reform, regulation, enforcement and public education is, the population needs motivation that has little to do with consciousness, knowledge, and information. Behavioral motivation comes down to seeking pleasure, and avoiding pain and fear (the anticipation of pain).

        Thereby, behavioral change requires an ideal for a better life (seeking pleasure), and avoidance of pain. The Status Quo perpetuates behavioral patterns by (falsely) offering the prospect of a better life with more power at lower cost (cheap gasoline and electricity), and less pain as oil, gas, and coal are important sources of jobs and economic security, so the story goes.

        This illusion is perennial (nuclear advocates used to claim nuclear power will be too cheap to meter; and the Keystone Pipeline boosters initially claimed it would create 100,000 new jobs; and that the Gulf oil spill was only 1000 barrels per day), and it is unattainable….it is an illusion.

        As our collective mis-conceptions (to put it politely) run into the brick wall of reality (just like the Republicans’ illusions hit the brick wall of reality….many of them really thought Romney was going to win!), the resulting breakdowns: institutional, economic, environmental, etc we are already seeing will continue to focus people’s attention and affect behavior. The prospect of the hangman’s noose sharpens one’s focus.

        Our challenge is to change behavior while we still have some choices, rather than simply react and adapt to crises. This effort will have to be led by the people, and individuals from within. The leaders can only follow. The political and legal systems are so broken that good people are caught up in it, and they need external pressure to change and do the right thing; continued corrosion and increasing breakdown is ahead in the current trajectory.

        This is where the big umbrella of all interested and concerned individuals is so important. We all choose when and how to use gasoline and electricity, and we all choose the words we speak and to who, and we all have our unique talents, skills, and abilities. If a critical mass of individuals can project a vision of a new sustainable American Dream, nature and the truth of our reality will help the population find a workable path.

        In essence, an image of a sustainable, successful, desirable life-style needs to be developed and portrayed, while creating aversion and fear, and disgust and ridicule of the toxic oil, gas, and coal industries and their boosters. Pull and push….the carrot and the stick. We have truth, God and Nature on our side.

        In thinking about an up-dated 21st century American Dream, or perhaps a Global Dream, it is interesting to wonder about the genesis of the past American Dream, clearly broken and lying on the floor, with all the King’s Horses and Men trying to put Humptey back together again.

        Somehow, the American Dream came from somewhere, with unbelievable power. It has since been co-opted as a vehicle to create obscene and undeserved wealth for a very few, and it needs to be re-claimed and re-worked by those who would live it.

        It is a tremendous opportunity we have never had before. With individual efforts, seeking what is good for mind, body, and soul, I have faith that a new Dream can emerge from our collective unconscious; it cannot be rationally created…it is beyond our conscious ability. Hopefully it will look more like the Occupy movement than the Tea Party or Arab Spring.

        I believe the human race is evolutionarily at the stage of a teen-ager with a new driver’s license and a 400 HP car. Enthralled with the power, but with too little experience, the power may be fatal. Such is mankind’s position with his logical, thinking, somewhat conscious mind: without fully understanding its’ limitations, functions, and dangers, the whole human race may play out the experience of Easter Island and end up with nothing.

        We are capable of technological miracles no doubt, but I would argue that the last 30 years of commercial implementation of technology has been a net negative (technology seen as a solution for our problems is also illusory); our era of greatest technology certainly correlates with our era of most challenging problems.

        Legislation affecting tax code, industry regulation and enforcement, and commercial and constitutional law are means to implement social engineering and realize desired behavior. As all the above are governed by a one-sided lobby system that grants the commercial and moneyed interests most everything they want with virtually no public input or transparency, our political leaders cannot change the Status Quo.

        Injecting the public interest into the lobbying process is another easy solution that is politically impracticable.

        Either people will lead the leaders, or breakdown will force change. Would you want your nervous breakdown with, or without psychotherapy?

        Some good things are already happening: use of renewable energies is expanding faster than anyone can track; use and importation of fossil fuels are down, even after VP Cheney rolled-back the environmental regulations that had prohibited oil & gas fracking. [Another illusion perpetuated by the oil/gas industry: that new technology has enabled fracking....in fact, the technology has been around for decades....eliminating environmental oversight is what has enabled fracking.]

        You are quite right, where it can, the industry manipulates and maximizes/optimizes volumes, revenues and margins. 8% net profit margin (your #) may not seem like much, but it is 4 times the health insurance companies’ net margins, and they’re not complaining. Exxon alone makes nearly $1 Billion net PROFIT each week! And, 8% is after spending money on everything legal they can think of: lobbyists, TV campaigns, political and issue campaign contributions, jet planes and other toys, obscene salaries and bonuses. Their Achilles Heel is demand; the thing that scares them most is “demand destruction;” under the covers, they are fighting the renewable energy industry with everything they’ve got.

        They may have the money and guns, but we have the numbers.

        I am curious, you speak like a scientist. If so, what frustrates you with regards to climate considerations?

        I can only imagine I would be furious with the media’s total disregard of the preponderance of scientific consensus, computer modeling, the evidence of our senses, the logical consequence of burning 90 million barrels of oil daily (plus coal and natural gas), and the lack of willingness to “follow the money” to highlight that it is only those who benefit financially who are responsible for a campaign of mis-information and confusion, enabling the Status Quo to perpetuate itself.

        In 100 years, I predict humans will view environmental disregard with the same disgust and aversion we now have towards institutionalized slavery.

        Sorry for the long response,,,it is not a simple problem.

        Best of luck to you and us all,

  • andreawilder

    Wouldn’t you also hire the most knowledgeable people in the
    field of energy and ask questions and implement them in
    policy? I would, and I would figure out a strategy to educate the
    public about what is happening.

  • andreawilder

    ON second thought, I like this as an overall strategy, with many ways to meet (we hope) this overarching goal–under a big umbrella.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

    Tom, please do a show on the carbon tax. That is in the zeitgeist right now. Two recent articles in the New Yorker, and in the MIT Technology Review — authors may be good resources for a show.

  • Donald Gordon Graham

    The planet is long past the point where a change in people’s behavior might make any difference – even if a majority of the planet’s current population were to perish overnight. That will happen, eventually, and much sooner rather than later. We’ve poisoned the planet beyond it’s capacity to support most life as we’ve known it. Unless, of course, you don’t believe in science. In that case, magic, mythology and a mustard seed is all we need.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      That is nihilism or fatalism. You sound like a person who is diagnosed with emphysema, and then says “Well i’m doomed anyway so i’ll keep smoking.”

      We *may* already be past a tipping point where the climate is destined to flip into a seriously worse state, but we may not. That jury is still out.

      We do know that we’ve messed up the equilibrium, and the best that we could do is to stop emitting greenhouse gases altogether, and start sequestering them by growing more long-term biomass (also called “trees”). So let us do this, as fast as we can. The closest *realistic* way i can see to do this — other than world revolution — is a serious carbon tax.

      • Flowen

        Donald is a good example of what I’m talking about: resignation, complacency, apathy all equal  helplessness and powerlessness. It’s widespread and benefits Oil & Gas and their Status Quo.

  • andreawilder

    New codes for all buildings.

    Yes, please get McKibben on the show, again.
    We need to know where the climate people are now
    in their thinking.

  • Anonymous

    Me & my boyfriend was planning to get married last month, just last week we had some argument that made him get angry on me just because of the argument, he said we will not be married again and the next day he left me and we broke up.  I still loved him and I wanted him to marry me, for me to get him back i had no choice than to contacted dr.marnish@yahoo.com to help me and he helped me to bring my lover back to me so we can continue our plan to be married. he came back after 3 days
    Shelley Dustin
    Spain

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