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Environmentalism’s Next Generation

A new generation of “climate activists” are ready to raise Hell over the Keystone Pipeline and more. We hear from them.

Thousands of protestors gather at the National Mall in Washington calling on President Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, as well as act to limit carbon pollution from power plants and “move beyond” coal and natural gas, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. (AP)

Thousands of protestors gather at the National Mall in Washington calling on President Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, as well as act to limit carbon pollution from power plants and “move beyond” coal and natural gas, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. (AP)

We’ve been talking about environmental issues for years.  Decades.  And the climate just keeps changing.  Now a new generation is now staring at potentially catastrophic effects of bad energy decisions hitting in their own lifetimes.

Don’t call them “environmentalists,” they say.  That movement, that medicine, apparently wasn’t strong enough.  Call them “climate activists.”  Ready to get out and raise hell.  Over the Keystone pipeline.  For a big divestment push against Old Energy.  Over power and complacency that has failed.

This hour, On Point:  the new edgier, more urgent climate activism.

-Tom Ashbrook


Dorian Williams, anthropology major in her senior year at Brandeis University. Member of the Divest for Our Future campaign at Brandeis University. Arrested twice in Washington with PowerShift 2011 and once at Keystone demonstrations.

Maura Cowley, executive director of the Energy Action Coalition, which brings together 50 youth groups advocating for clean energy and slowing climate change. (@mauracowley)

Emily Williams, 4th-year undergraduate student in environmental studies at UC Santa Barbara. UCSB’s representative to the state-wide organization, the California Student Sustainability Coalition.

From Tom’s Reading List

Grist “I recently picked up a book that’s been sitting in my must-read pile for a long time: David Halberstam’s The Children, a remarkable account of the African-American students who began the momentous lunch-counter sit-ins in Nashville in February 1960 and went on to risk their lives as Freedom Riders and as movement leaders in Birmingham and Selma. Half a century on, it can be easy to forget that citizens of this country took such risks, and made such sacrifices, in order to gain basic human rights.”

The New York Times “I hope the president turns down the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Who wants the U.S. to facilitate the dirtiest extraction of the dirtiest crude from tar sands in Canada’s far north?) But I don’t think he will. So I hope that Bill McKibben and his 350.org coalition go crazy. I’m talking chain-themselves-to-the-White-House-fence-stop-traffic-at-the-Capitol kind of crazy, because I think if we all make enough noise about this, we might be able to trade a lousy Keystone pipeline for some really good systemic responses to climate change.”

National Geographic “Pipeline opponents garnered national attention last month, when some 40,000 protesters (according to organizers) assembled in Washington, D.C., to urge the White House to take a stand against fossil fuel emissions by vetoing the project. The event was billed as the largest rally ever held in the United States on climate change. Less noticed have been the bitter personal battles being waged in the trenches—literally, those being dug by TransCanada.”

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  • DrewInGeorgia

    They say it’s time to get radical again?

    I must have missed the first go round.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Go to Ted talks at :


    And watch

    Allan Savory: “How to green the desert and reverse climate change”

    This talk is about 20 minutes long. He speaks slowly but it is a very informative talk. He may have solved a sizable portion of our climate change problems !
    It is also refreshing to hear a humble scientist that has admitted his past errors.

    • anamaria23

      Thanks for enlightening contributions to the discussion.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       This is really eye opening.  I posted this above before I saw your link.  Thanks.

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        Isn’t it great to solve complex and large problems with simple techniques !

    • Don_B1

      @Wm_James_from_Missouri:disqus @anamaria23:disqus @WorriedfortheCountry:disqus 

      There is no question that human actions are responsible for desertification, notably in sub-Saharan areas of Africa, where actions, led by Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize winner, Wangari Maathai,  to plant trees has revived substantial parts of the areas where the Sahara Desert had been growing have reversed that.

      Also, the Dust Bowl in the American was the product of ill-conceived farming practices that killed the biology of the soil, led to drier ground from higher evaporation rates that then hardened with more runoff.

      And look at Haiti for how the cutting of trees for firewood has led to so much of its erosion and food production problems.

      Studies have shown that drying land areas support hotter air above them as there is less water to evaporate and cool the air, leading to less rainfall in the area, thus becoming a self-perpetuating feature of desertification. In that sense, Mr. Savory is correct, particularly since there will be problems providing the fertilizers that have led to much of the bad (from a sustainability pov) land use practices that have contributed to desertification. Just last night (2013-03-11) on the Charlie Rose Show, Jeremy Grantham made the case that the modern farming practices of synthetic fertilizers faces a dead end because of the eventual decline of phosphorus availability.

      But climate change is NOT just bad land use practices that can be reversed by adopting good land use practices. Climate change is the warming of the atmosphere which is decreasing the productivity of many of the basic crops necessary to feed humans and changing the air circulation patterns, the rainfall patterns (increasing rain in wet areas and decreasing rain in dry areas. Climate change is changing the areas that have traditionally been in the humid/dry intermediate type climate (the type Mr. Savory wants to preserve) to either mostly dry or mostly wet, not the “balanced” areas that have existed in the past.

      Some of that excess CO2 over the levels of the last 10,000 years is also being absorbed by the oceans, making them more acidic (think the carbonic acid that gives sodas their sour taste — after going flat, when the bubbles no longer “cover” the taste) which will decrease the ability of shellfish to build their shells. It will also interfere with the reproduction processes of other fish, from lack of habitat (e.g., coral reefs, etc.) that provide the protection for fish to grow from fertilized egg to mature fish. Continued emissions of CO2 from extraction and burning of fossil fuels will leave the oceans nearly deserted by fish and shellfish, on which about a billion people today depend for their livelihood.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    It is not time to get “ radical”. It is time to participate in correct choices and make small personal sacrifices, such as purchasing LED light bulbs for yourself, family and friends.

    Consider giving them as gifts. By doing this you will help force the price down by helping to bring economies of scale into play.




    “Replacing a single incandescent bulb with a CFL will keep a half-ton of CO2 out of the atmosphere over the life of the bulb. If everyone in the U.S. used energy-efficient lighting, we could retire 90 average size power plants. Saving electricity reduces CO2 emissions, sulfur oxide and high-level nuclear waste “


    Note: this site also gives good information on LED light bulbs. I purchase 3, myself, this evening. They were on sale.


    “If every American home replaced just one light bulb with a light bulb that’s earned the ENERGY STAR, we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, save about $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to those from about 800,000 cars.”



    • JustEdith

      I think we may have been inactive for too long.  Small mitigative changes were a good idea if we’d begun them earlier.  Of course we should engage in those small changes too, we should do everything we can, but the climate is shifting much faster than originally expected.  http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/thick-melt.html  Looks like the ice caps may completely disappear in my life time.  This is so very sad.

      I believe we could have had a softer landing if we’d reacted sooner collectively, and done the things that needed to be done, but I fear it may be too late to avoid the many serious consequences that we are likely to see not far in the future.  I do use those light bulbs myself, but on an individual level, it’s just a tiny drop in an enormous, polluted, acidifying ocean.     

    • Don_B1

      A good article on what is about to happen on LED pricing is here:


      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        Thanks for the great link. I especially liked the part about novel types of bulbs. Changing color and scheduling, via smart phone, is a great idea. I wonder if they will develop a variable watt bulb or allow you to shut off your lights via your cell phone, ( you know, when you leave the house and forget, this is not quite the same as scheduling but close ). Hey how about smart LED lights that increase home security. They could light up brightly via a motion detector chip, trigger a camera and shoot the picture to your cell phone. This would let you see your intruder in real time and call the police ! Or why not have a standard bulb act as a black light, disco light, strobe light, or prismatic type via an imbedded chip ? Edison must be smiling from above ! ! !

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      You say: “It is time to participate in correct choices and make small personal sacrifices” – and I agree but it somehow misses the point – perhaps amounting to wishful thinking. 

      In other words, if we could all tweak a bit here, and a bit there the problem will go away.  Yes, we have to do our part but what is required is a massive change in the way we live. And doing so, won’t even touch the forces of climate change already underway.  

      It’s going to get real ugly and nature is bound to teach us how severe a task master she can be.  We’d best be prepared.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    I wonder if Al Gore will leave one of 20,000 square foot, energy-guzzling mansions that he owns to fly in his private, fuel-guzzling jet to attend any of the environmental rallies?  Perhaps some left wing Hollywood elitist who also lives in a huge energy-guzzling mansion will fly in a chartered fuel-guzzling jet to attend as well and lend their support as well.  After all, they are all in favor of each of us (not them of course) reducing our carbon footprint.  As Leona Helmsley said, “only the little people pay taxes”, or in this case, should reduce their energy consumption and resulting greenhouse gas emissions.  I wonder if they would support wind turbines in their backyard?

    • brettearle

      Pointing out the Hypocrisy of the Leaders of the Global Warming Movement is a tired, old, hackneyed defense against the inexorable destruction of the Planet.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        It may not be new, but hypocrisy on the part of vocal members of a cause still resonates with most people in terms of making their credibility questionable.  

        • DrewInGeorgia

          Caring less about WHO says something and more about WHAT was actually said is a start.

    • nj_v2

      ^ Another victim of AGOS*. Please seek professional treatment.

      People like this seem to think there’s no problem because Mr Gore has a big house and flies in airplanes.

      *Al Gore Obsessive Syndrome

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        I’m not saying that there isn’t a problem.  It’s simply that when the most vocal advocate for a given cause says one thing and does the total opposite, it results in an impartial observer questioning the credibility of the cause.  Al Gore should set the example, as I believe the president of the Sierra Club does, by living very modesty and  demonstrating via their actions rather than simply their words that they really believe in their cause. Otherwise, they encourage cynicism.  You can give them a pass for saying one thing and doing another.  But if they really believe in man made global warming, they should lead by example in reducing it.

        • nj_v2

          Get over it, it’s way beyond Al Gore.

          Should people not have listened to King because he was a philanderer?

          Should we not look at some artist’s work because that have personal problems?

          The issue is real and pressing. Way beyond any one individual.

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

            Hey, only right-wingers get to do that. Now excuse me while I cue up the greatest Fambly Values Hits of Ronald (Our Only Divorced President) Reagan.

    • Don_B1

      I believe I have noted this in response to one of your false accusations about Vice President Gore before:

      The size of his house INCLUDES quarters for his home office and his Secret Service detachment living space.

  • Expanded_Consciousness

    The guests are undergrads? With all due respect, how about a serious show on the environmental movement, inviting on leading thinkers in environmental studies and environmental philosophy, ethics, policy, and law? Making environmental consciousness seem like a quaint college-age phase, like serial-dating or sexual experimentation, is not helping the cause or doing Mother Nature justice. 30+ year-olds can, and should, and must take an interest in the environment, if any progress is going to be made.

    • JustEdith

      Then again, the program is about enviromentalism’s ‘next generation’.  I despair at the lack of action on the environment and its separation from the economy, as though the two are diametric opposites.  I wish they would have more serious guests myself and more often. This is the single most important challenge we face today and we’ve wasted at least two decades with marketing campaigns by interested parties pretending that climate change isn’t happening.

      Then again, perhaps we should listen to what these young poeple have to say first before judging them. They afterall will be in this mess longer than other, older people will.

      • Expanded_Consciousness

        I agree with what you say, except for saying that young people were judged. No one’s judgement was questioned, except for the producers of OnPoint for encouraging that the environment be seen as a young person’s pastime. It does harm to present the movement this way. It makes older people feel if they are interested in the environment, they are doing something too youthful. As if they were wearing fashion that is too scandalous.

  • Coastghost

    Oh! I was masticating a mouthful of crunchy granola when I heard Jane Clayson’s promo for today’s show: I thought I heard her say “young jerks”, which may yet turn out to be the case, of course.
    Usage note for NPR producers: is the locution “young Turk” something calculated to appeal to 21st century ears? The original young Turks were active in the latter days of the Ottoman Empire, which bit the dust almost an entire century ago. How many contemporary Americans, esp. those the age of the envirogeniuses to be featured on today’s show, have an acute appreciation for the political activities of latter-day Ottomans? 
    Also: if our crop of envirogeniuses is so serious, how can its representatives be on the grid spouting and sputtering their enviropropaganda?

    • Ray in VT

      Yes, all true environmentalists should just sit home, in the dark and only broadcast their views as far as their unassisted voice can carry.  Only then can they be considered serious and intellectually honest.

      • Coastghost

        Well, by their own criteria, they’d be contributing much less to the environmental degradation they routinely claim to disclaim. (I mean: what do they have against carrier pigeons?)

        • Ray in VT

          and all the while ceding all ground on the subject in the advocacy field to business and industry groups.  Sounds like a doomed strategy.

          • jefe68

            Are you seriously going to engage this guy? He’s baiting people with his immature diatribes and hoping people take the bait. Let the troll roll. Right on by.

          • nj_v2

            Yep, always best not to feed the wildlife.

          • Ray in VT

            Some days I just can’t help myself.

          • Coastghost

            Oh come on, jefe, you thought the US had no Federal income tax until the XVIth Amendment was adopted.

          • jefe68

            Taxes have been around since the US became a nation.
            You want to be an ass go ahead. The law for the federal income tax was ratified on February 3, 1913.

            there were taxes, I never said there was not.

            You know what, I’m not going to feed your troll act. 

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

            Jefe, I agree in concept, but let’s not forget this is not the ordinary internet.

            On any other mainstream media outlet, trolls are ignored by the broadcaster.

            This is a public radio forum. Only in public broadcasting do right-wingers get asked to be part of the conversation, again and again, simply because.

          • Coastghost

            Frankly, why trust a distinct minority of animated but loopy enviromaniacs, who exhibit all the fervor and technical sophistication of your run-of-the-mill Scientologist? Trust THEM to engineer our future? No thanks. 

          • Ray in VT

            Those are some interesting conclusions that you have made regarding the show’s guests.  I assume that you have some firsthand knowledge of them upon which to base your claims.

            I could certainly take the general sentiment of your comments and apply it to folks like the TEA Party, and that view would be quite in line with the views of many.

          • Coastghost

            Ahh, but Ray, you know me better than that by now. No, if these girls have not even obtained their BA or BS degrees, they’re in their very early 20s: I don’t care what schools they’re attending, their views of what “reality” consists of have to be considerably under-informed because their programs of study have likely been loaded with orthodox sociological drivel or neo-positivist views of prescriptive science. Have them report back in ten years, let’s say.

          • Ray in VT

            Again, you’re making some assumptions about these and other students that I don’t find to be accurate when it comes to many young people.

            True, reality does tend to smack one in the face, but to assume that these people are pie in the sky dreamers with no idea of how the world works is in this particular case unfounded, and I’ve met a significant number of college students who are very actively involved in issues and who are pretty highly informed about how the world works.  I know that I abandoned any notions about the workability of various utopian systems when I was about 16, and I don’t think that such a realization is so uncommon among our nation’s youth.

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

            “Animated but loopy”?

            Hey, while we’re on the subject of ALEC…

    • northeaster17

      WE need to subsidize off the grid life styles at the same rate or more as we subsidize our fossil fuel addiction. By calling out those who work for this change for simply using our current system to bring about reasonable and needed change is disingenuous at best. 

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Humans as a collective are dumber than yeast.
    Yeast multiply until they drown in their own waste.

    We can see the poisoning of the water, the air and the earth.
    We can see all the changes in our health,
    yet we continue to poison our planet.

    Industrial propaganda declares that fracking is safe,
    and we choose to believe,
    as we frack our aquifers to hell.

    In defiance of all these sad changes;
    in defiance of these harsh facts,
    we drive full speed ahead.
    Corporatocracy thrives.
    It is time to stop poisoning the earth.
    It is time to stop poisoning
    our children.
    Let us end corporatocracy.

    We can see but choose not to:
    We are
    dumber than yeast.

    • nj_v2

      Be not like yeast! Join the effort:

      We the People, Not We the Corporations | Move to Amend

      Corporations are not people. Money is not speech.

  • Coastghost

    BTW: are these “the Williams sisters”? “the Williams cousins”? May be only coincidence, but it looks as if Williams environmentalism goes coast to coast. Also: a budding anthropologist and a budding enviroscientist, and then there’s Maura Cowley, whatever her academic credentials are: but true to form, no one’s boasting any actual familiarity with economics (descriptive economics, that is, much less the prescriptive economics I assume we’ll have our ears filled with if we take time to listen to the entire hour in its broadcast form, or maybe it will be so compelling we’ll have to hear it again later in podcast format, then we can make scads of telephone calls to each other and network about it, that way we can plan a new environmental congress that we can jet our respective ways to so we can all drive to DC to mount a physical protest over environmental regulations). 

    • nj_v2

      That’s lame, even by your already low standards.

      • Coastghost

        No, it’s not lame: it’s derisive. Your Risibility Quotient is low today: go look into a mirror before the show starts.

        • nj_v2

          Your Self Delusion Quotient is THTM*. Honestly, no one gives a crap.

          *Too high to measure.

          • Coastghost

            See, you’re thawing already! (Now tell us candidly: is that a solar- powered mirror you’re using or one with a lithium battery?)

          • brettearle

            Gentlemen, Gentlemen, please!…

            And I use the term, `Gentle’, quite loosely.

            [PS: Don't stop]

  • northeaster17

    When we as a species finally view our planet as a home traveling in a vast universe. Not as a commodity subject to quarterly profit statements that push the damage and the plunder. That will be the day we have a future. Now excuse me as I get back to my cereal. Crunch….

  • Shag_Wevera

    These topics today make me feel awfully conservative.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Incredible Ted Talk –exposing how we’ve been mismanaging the Earth in the name of science over the last 100 years.  This could be the solution we’ve been looking for.  Anyone who is concerned about climate and the Earth needs to watch this video.


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

       Anthony Watts is a shill for the oil companies.


  • madnomad554

    You probably wouldn’t need a new pipeline if the speed limit was dropped to 60 mph on the interstates and more people drove a 4 cylinder engine car. But hey, you have some states raising interstate speeds to 80 mph.

    The federal government sets MPG standards for the car makers to achieve. Part of that overall fleet standard is the highway mpg, which is based on 60 mph. Yet the government has the federal interstate system set at 70 mph. And very few people are doing the speed limit, most are doing between 75 and 80.

    The government is undoing it’s own standard by having the speed limit higher than by which highway mpg is derived, which is 60 mph.

    Drive a smaller car, build a smaller house and eat less food. My car has four cylinders, my house is 800 sq ft and I weight 175 lbs at 44 years old. How hard can it be?   

    • brettearle

      We can’t all be Thoreaus. 

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Can’t and won’t are not the same thing.

        • brettearle

          They aren’t the same thing.

          but you can’t expect people to conform to the same standards–unless it is legally punishable.

          And, even then…..

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Below is a link showing articles/editorials and responses to the Kennedys’ opposition to the Cape Wind Project, a large offshore wind project that many environmental groups supported but which the Kennedy’s , John Kerry, and other members of the 1% Elitist Club opposed as it would be in their front yard, four miles from shore. One concern is that it might adversely impact their “yachting”.   Like Al Gore, and the leftist Hollywood elite with their Santa Barbara mansions overlooking the Pacific Ocean, etc., yet another example of how the 1% will talk a good game about the need for environmentalism but then have a lifestyle that is in total contradiction to political positions that they espouse.  They should not wonder why people question the voracity of what they say. 


    • brettearle

      Since you seem to have the need to be petty…

      Misspelling `veracity’ will make others questions yours.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        If criticizing the 1% is being petty, then I am good company as the Democratic Party and independents such as Bernie Sanders are always sopboxing about how this group receives special tax treatment and other benefits that the 99% don’t receive (ignoring the fact that many of their own members are part of that club and receive those benefits).  Given that, they should walk their talk when it comes to reducing carbon emissions in order to reduce global warming.

        • brettearle

          Bloviate to your heart’s content.

          It doesn’t stop, nor mask the Truth.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            I am not saying that I disagree with the premise that man-made activities cause climate change.  I simply believe that the leadership of a given movement should walk the talk unless they don’t really believe in their cause or can somehow rationalize their incongruous behavior and the impact that it is likely to have on the acceptance of the cause that they espouse. 

          • brettearle

            Fair enough…

            But, in the end, it is,

            “Do as I say, not as I do.”

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       The problem with CapeWind isn’t the view from the Kennedy compound it is economics.  Deval Patrick forged a corrupt contract with the power companies forcing rate payers to consume CapeWind power at 3x market rates PLUS guaranteed annual 3% cost increases.  This is AFTER capewind gets huge government subsidies to build the farm AND a free, no bid, lease.

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

       The opposition to Cape Wind is astro turf funded by the third Koch brother.  We need to build Cape Wind and many other renewable energy projects like it.


  • chris129

    Tom Ashbrook again turns his program over to climate change ideologues to use as a megaphone.  Give Mr. Ashbrook credit for one thing…he does not pretend to be objective; its agitprop all the way for him.  It is a complete disgrace and beyond shameful to equate the business of producing energy with the tobacco industry, even allowing for the greed of the oil companies.  Without oil, gas and coal, we would still be living as they did in the eighteenth century.  To say that we can replace these at this point in time with wind and solar is to be allow ideology suppress critical thinking.  People instinctively know when they are being asked to slit their own throats by climate change ideologues…and then they wonder why the public is apathetic or worse, does not buy the climate change myth 

    • Coastghost

      “Ideology: variant spelling of ‘idiology’.”
      “Ideologue: variant spelling of ‘idiologue’.”

      • nj_v2

        Coasthost: variant spelling of lame troll

        • Coastghost

          You score a half-point for cleverness, and you have me to thank for waking you up.

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

       Climate change is reality.  There is no scientific debate about this.


  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.cartwright.54 Brian Cartwright

    another dimension of environmentalism that I found very eye-opening:
    about reversing some big mistakes we’ve made in managing land and agriculture.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       You are now the third person on this thread to link this video.  Tom should get this dude as a guest.

      However, vegans might not be too happy :) .

  • r dubrul

    Tom, will you ask your guests if they support these two radical ideas?

    1.  Use a lot more nuclear power.  Nuclear took 60 years to kill the same number of people that coal kills every 60 days.  Instead of simply spewing the waste into the air to warm the planet, as we do with coal, we argue about what to do with the waste, for decades.  We can safely store nuclear waste in areas with low human population – so much the better for wildlife that lives there.  Even a disaster zone like Chernobyl shows that for wildlife radiation is preferable to bullets.

    2.  Use a lot more GM crops.  We will have 9 billion people in a few years.  That’s a lot.  Instead of demonizing scientists and dismissing GM crops as part of a corporate conspiracy, environmentalists should be advocating for more so that we don’t turn what’s left of relative wilderness into corn fields.

    • brettearle

      Seems to me that no matter what we do, we may (not definitely) be screwed.

      I do not believe that Nuclear Waste Storage is as safe as you are suggesting.

      What’s more, GM products have not necessarily stood the test of time–as far as determining long-term medical effects….perhaps there can be deleterious consequences that may not show up for decades….

      I’m not an anti-Global Warming guy–but we need to see both sides.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Dry cask storage is incredibly safe and stable.  However, can do much better with newer technology.  For instance, LFTR can reduce the volume of the nuclear waste safely by 90% by converting today’s waste into additional carbon free energy.  ALL of the nuclear waste from the entire 50 year history of US nuclear power generation can fit in the size of an average Best Buy store. No other source of power has such a small footprint.

      • Matt Cohn

        Get educated on liquid thorium reactors.  No possibility for meltdown… I repeat, it’s impossible to have a fukishima situation.  The fuel isn’t radioactive either.  They are harmless, it sounds too good to be true but its not.  It’s the future.

        • brettearle


          I’ll check it out.

    • nj_v2

      The corporate shilling has begun.

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

       Nuclear power is not sustainable – we will run out of uranium in a short time.

      Nuclear power is not low carbon – it is about 2/3 the carbon of coal, because you have to count the *entire* system.

      Nuclear power has NO solution for its waste.  This is a nonstarter.


  • Gregg Smith

    “97-98% of all scientist agree humans are affecting climate”. That’s the claim made by the “prestigious” American Geophysical Union. Everybody loves to say it.

    To get that number the AGU sent out a 2 question survey to 10,257 “earth scientist”.  The first: “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?”  Of course that one says nothing about the cause. The second question asked: “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?” Kinda’ vague, ya’ think? What does human activity include? What does “significant” mean? But I digress.

    Of the 10,257  surveyed only 3146 bothered to reply. Of those a whopping 77 were actual climatologist, 75 of which answered “yes” to the second question. So, it can be said 98% of climatologist surveyed say man is destroying the planet. There’s your worldwide, 75 strong, consensus.


    Please note, I said nothing on the merits of AGW. My point is as it’s always been: The debate is not honest.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      You can’t get a carbon tax with an honest debate so let’s find some gullible college students.

      • Don_B1

        You cannot prevent a carbon tax with an honest debate on climate science; your dishonesty is clear from the abusive ad hominem attacks you have waged here in so many of your posts.

    • nj_v2

      ^ Goes to show that anyone who doesn’t know that the plural of scientist is scientists isn’t worth listening to. It’s kind of a leading-edge, ignorance indicator.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Very weak.  When you can’t debate the facts bring out the grammar police.

        • nj_v2

          Climate-change denialists wanting to debate “facts.” Kind of the ultimate oxymoron.

          • Gregg Smith

            What facts did I get wrong?

      • Gregg Smith

        I thought it was “scienti”. Damn, you just completely refuted all I wrote. You sure put me in my place. I’m so embarrassed.

    • Ray in VT

      A small sample size.  That is true.  However, this survey, with a much large sample size, found the same results, and it also includes a breakdown of how many of the top publishers in the climate science field stand on the issue:


      You’re right on one thing, Gregg.  The debate is not honest.  Researchers have by and large reached a conclusion, and the opposition mostly peddles doubt.  Care to provide any sort of poll of scientists that presents a contrary view?  I’m certainly open to persuasion, just so long as your evidence is not a dubious online petition.

      • Gregg Smith

        I don’t have time to read your link right now since thoroughly debunking the last one you touted. I see why you changed it up. What’s with the dig about the petition project? You are purposely misrepresenting my position on it. Why? I’ll get back.

        • Ray in VT

          You have done nothing to debunk the Doran poll.  Here is the definition of debunk:

          to expose the sham or falseness ofThe poll was conducted by a reputable scientist, and it got a decent response rate for the type of survey that it was, and it was sent to a set of scientists in the field in question.Are you arguing that the data is false, or just that the small sample size makes it invalid?  Again, I’m waiting for you to produce some sort of poll of scientists that advances your position.

          I included a “dig” regarding the petition as you have repeatedly linked to it when presented with research into how humans are influencing climate change.

          By the way, I provided a new link to another larger and more recent poll not because I am moving away from my support for the validity of the Doran poll, but merely because it is just one more piece of research into opinions in the scientific field on the subject.

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

      You can’t debate climate science – any more than you can debate plate tectonics or evolution or the structure of the atom.

      There is no scientific debate on the basics of climate change: it is happening, it is being caused by humans burning fossil fuels – this is reality.


    • Don_B1

      Again, BULLPUCKY!

      Your link to a Larry Bell article to support your claim is ridiculous: Larry Bell is one of the MOST discredited climate science deniers around, a regular disseminator of junk (false) science at Forbes. Bell did some fine cherry-picking of “studies” on the scientific consensus on the human causes of climate change, which is totally debunked here, in its own section:


      But you feel really wounded when the subject of scientific consensus is raised, since it really goes against your ability to deny the reality of climate change.

      Do you still deny the scientific consensus on the carcinogenic properties of cigarette smoke?

      You need to ask for more money for your work so you can find someone at least a bit more clever at making false claims.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Page/100002550930740 Andrew Page

    Where do these ‘climate activists’ stand on carbon free nuclear energy?   Or do they still hold the reactionary, fear-mongering position of “No Nukes, No Nukes!”

    • nj_v2

      Yes, we need more energy that’s too cheap to meter (/sarcasm) and more waste that remains toxic for thousands of years at costs that exceed renewables all subsidized by our tax dollars.

      Oh, wait, was that reactionary?

      • Matt Cohn

        Look up thorium reactors you noob

        • nj_v2

          Techno-silver bulletism. How’s the prototype functioning? Oh, wait, there isn’t one…

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Page/100002550930740 Andrew Page

            As opposed to the silver-bullettism of Photovoltaic solar, cellulosic ethanol?

            The difference between not having a functioning prototype and having one is investment, effort AND permission(ie.  allow someone to develop it)

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

             Solar PV, solar heat, wind power, wave power, tidal power, geothermal power, and small scale hydro power – are ALL ready to go, here and now.  Energy storage is going to get better, but is also ready to go.

            Renewable energy is the only long term solution we have.


        • Don_B1

          Unfortunately thorium reactors are a good 15 to 20 years away while they go through proof of concept and scaling up. While they conceivably/should provide power at less than the cost of the latest proposals by nuclear plant designers ($0.25/kWh and up vs. the $0.10 of natural gas and, soon, wind and solar — PV and CSP).

          But the world needs new power plants NOW, not in 20 years, so nuclear, for all it has the potential to do, is just not in the running at this point in time.

    • BlueNH

      Today is the two year anniversary of Fukashima. Remember what fun that was?http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2013/mar/11/japan-second-anniversary-fukushima-disaster

    • JustEdith

      Your sarcasm is noted. You don’t know what they’re going to say.  You’re just judging them by stereotypes you associate with environmentalists. 

      Some enviromentalists see the challenge of the green house problem as so great that they are willing to look at the nuclear option.  Don’t have a link to provide but I heard it on Living On Earth.  There’s a start up that is looking into building smaller nuclear reactors that use spent fuel. http://news.discovery.com/tech/alternative-power-sources/nuclear-reactor-powered-spent-fuel-121109.htm

      This is an issue that is going to affect all of us.  This identity politics of left-right, denigrating people who actually care enough to want to something about an obvious problem, is misplaced.  But go ahead, laugh at ‘climate activists’.  We need to get away from fossil fuels.  Mountain-top removal is evil.  The tar sands are an abomination.  I don’t like nuclear, but the way things are going, we’ve got to act.  And what is wrong with simply using less?

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

       Nuclear power is NOT low carbon.  It produces about 2/3 as much carbon as coal – when you account for the whole process.

      Nuclear power produces a poisonous and radioactive waste – and we still do not have a solution.  We cannot ignore this.

      Nuclear power is NOT a solution for climate change.  Nuclear power is not sustainable.


      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Page/100002550930740 Andrew Page

        2/3 as much carbon as coal per KWh delivered?   Where are those numbers coming from??

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

           Uranium has to be mined and transported and refined and then enriched, and then fuel rods have to be constructed.  A nuclear power plant is made out a awful lot of concrete (which takes an immense amount of carbon to make!) and a lot of steel (ditto) and a lot of copper and a lot of controls.  Fuel rods only last 3-6 years, and then they have to cool for about 10 years, all the while with water pumped through the tank.  Then very large and heavy dry casks have to be built, and then *someday* (maybe?) we’ll build a long term storage solution for all the waste, and stand guard over it for 20-50 *thousand* years or so.

          Oh, and at the end of it’s 40-50 year lifespan, then entire nuclear plant has to be taken apart piece by piece and each bit has to be properly disposed of.

          Some have proposed that nuclear energy might even be a net energy loss if you consider the *full* cycle.

          To think they once claimed that nuclear would be too cheap to meter?!


          We are running out of easily accessible uranium in this country – they want to mine next to the Grand Canyon, fer cryin’ out loud.

          Uranium is a finite material.  Nuclear power plants truly should never have been built.


          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Page/100002550930740 Andrew Page

            if you took the steel, concrete and copper that you needed for an equivalent coal plant I’d go so far as to say you’d need twice as much concrete and steel for a nuke plant.  The amount of copper you’d need for your generators and transformers will be about the same.
            However in terms of energy per kilogram U-235 out does coal by about 3,000,000 times(that’s not an exaggeration  and most nuke plants only need that to be about 5% enriched from just under 1% for natural uranium.    
                 Sorry your 2/3 amount of carbon is just not adding up.  

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

            I think you are underestimating the construction needed for a nuclear power plant.  Risk has to be reduced as low as it can be.  Meltdown prevention and containment is a tall order.  Wiring ages in a nuclear plant because of the radiation – and it needs to be replaced about halfway through the plant’s life.  You need backup generators for the backup generators.

            Mining, refining and especially enrichment of uraniumtakes a lot of high tech machines, and about a year (or so) of running high speed centrifuges (1,000′s of them) to enrich uranium up to fuel grade.  They have to be formed into the pellets, that get inserted into the rods.  To make fuel rods, you also need to have some unusual metals.

            Here’s what the nuclear fuel cycle looks like:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fuel_cycle

            After the fuel rods are spent, they must be cooled for 10-12 years, and all the while the water has to be constantly pumped, and since we have no solution for long term spent fuel storage, these cooling pools are often overcrowded and harder to keep cool.  As we learned at Fukushima, these pools need to be earthquake proof and they need to have a failsafe supply of water and electric power. 

            Building dry casks in a non-trivial thing.  Transporting radioactive waste across a country with people living all around is also non-trivial.  We the people through our government have backed the for profit companies with a way to permanently store the nuclear waste.

            Another little known problem with nuclear power plants is that our warming climate causes nuclear power plants to need to be shut down – they cannot stay cool enough.  And floods occur where flooding never happened before.  Two nuclear plants in Nebraska (I think it was there) were forced to shut down because the flood waters were literally lapping at the walls.

            Why should we risk so much by using nuclear power?  It won’t last long, and the multiple threats to the only planet we all share.

            Renewable energy has none of these problems, and it will last as long as the earth exists – about a Billion years.  We can have sustainable abundance – all the energy we could want, if we can gather it, and climate change and pollution will be minimized.


  • http://harvestboston.wordpress.com smh00a

    For many younger Americans, the next generation of environmentalism has little to do with chaining ourselves to trees or saving the whales and more to do with making small changes in our own lives and advocating for scalable solutions in our cities and states. For many of us, reforming our food system — beginning with the way we eat ourselves — is high on our list of priorities.

    • Gary Trees

      I have no desire to eat myself.

      • StilllHere


      • http://harvestboston.wordpress.com smh00a

         Touché, Gary, touché. :)

    • Don_B1

      I commend all that so many young Americans are doing to lead a more environment-friendly life.

      But, and I think this is big: the response to the existential threat of climate change is something that will have to be much more robust than “making small changes in our own lives and advocating for scalable solutions in our cities and states.” i deeply regret that that is true, but without full-throated opposition to the forces put in play by the fossil fuel industry, your lives will not be livable with only small changes.

      Until recently, weather-related damage in the U.S. has averaged under $10 billion a year, but the last two years it has been between $50 billion and over $150 billion. There is a new report out that predicts that climate change will cost upwards of $1.25 TRILLION per YEAR by 2060.

      While the Baby Boomers will not be around to see their handiwork, you probably will and for sure your children will. I doubt that you think that making a bigger effort to keep those kinds of costs is not worth making. So please, do get energized.

      Please, everyone, go see the new documentary, How to Survive a Plague and start thinking about how to put the techniques developed to force the government to work on treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS to work against the forces denying the need to mitigate climate change.

      If you wait until the calamity of climate change becomes apparent to enough people without a protest of this level, it WILL be too late.

  • http://harvestboston.wordpress.com smh00a

    I’d also argue that so much of “environmentalism” is UNDOING what humans have done for the last hundred years or so and getting back to practices that are simpler and more harmonious with our world. (i.e., more “human” ways of being in the world!)

  • Coastghost

    Yes, West Virginians are among President Obama’s staunchest supporters from everything I hear: their environmental credentials (to say nothing of their illustrious arrest records) put their actual economic circumstances not simply in the back seat but in the trunk.

    • nj_v2

      ^ Troll

  • BlueNH

     We need a carbon tax NOW.
    The Carbon Fee and Dividend Act – Download PDF
    At Citizens Climate Lobby, we believe that our national policy on climate change should be a match for the science. Toward that end, we offer the following legislation that will achieve the critical goals needed to avert catastrophic climate change. We believe this legislation can achieve these goals while at the same time shielding Americans from the financial impact of transitioning to a clean-energy economy. Our volunteers are bringing this proposal to their members of Congress. If you would like to take our legislation to your member of Congress, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to support your efforts. Write to us at ccl@citizensclimatelobby.org.

  • toc1234

    really, Tom?  “Do you have fire in your belly?”  you just asked that?

    • StilllHere

      Hopefully the emissions from this “fire” are not environmentally harmful.

  • Coastghost

    Oh yesss, death to environmental degradation–but give us our microphones and plug us into the grid so we can broadcast our views, get our podcasts set up, network over our cell phones, drive and jet our paths to our protests, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

    • nj_v2

      ^ Troll

      • Coastghost

        I see that the up-arrow points at your moniker, not mine, signifying that you have no actual argument to counter with.

  • Markus6

    On most issues, I see groups like this to be naive kids, with too much time on their hands and little understanding of, or interest in the complexities of an issue. Well, we’re out of time on climate change and I don’t see any real progress through other approaches. So, good for them for trying something different. 

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    I’m looking forward to this.  Don’t know about you, but I find climate change a very hard topic to discuss among friends, family and community. It’s on everyone’s mind but people can’t even bring themselves to talk about it.

    Meanwhile, the science drips forth a new piece of bad news every day and it’s very hard to dismiss the changes occurring rapidly in my own neck of the woods.

    Maybe “Climate Activists” see the writing on the wall and aren’t afraid to speak out and, sensing that their generation will get stuck holding the bag, are actually willing to do something. 

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

      “I find climate change a very hard topic to discuss among friends, family and community.” – NrthOfTheBorder

      That’s true for most of us, I think.  It’s OK to talk about the “weather”, something that is observable by anyone, but “climate change” is often a taboo topic in everyday conversation. Probably because it takes a lot of deep research to even begin to understand the short & longterm effects of global climate change. The scientists are still arguing about its causes & many folks have an opinion about it but no understanding of what’s really going on.
      Please do a program on the many geoengineering plans already in place. “Playing God” is dangerous business, whether through permanent destruction of the environment by energy profiteers or through last-minute efforts to mitigate the damage by doing more harm to the ozone layer & high earth atmosphere. (look up chemtrails).  

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        Thanks for your thoughtful reply MMcA. But I don’t think the reason for the reluctance to talk about climate change is because “deep research” is required to get a sense of what’s happening.

        Unfortunately, signs of rapid accelerating climate change are omnipresent, are a daily occurrence – and personal, assuming one is paying attention. I don’t get the impression there is much debate about any aspect of climate change in the legitimate scientific community. 

        No, the cause for reluctance and inaction has more to do with the enormity of problem and the road to mitigate its effects fraught with Catch 22′s. 

        Add to this the human capacity to be in denial – despite overwhelming evidence of the obvious.

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

          You’re in Canada, right?

          I’m familiar enough with Alberta’s oil economy (and enough of a soccer fan) to remember the Edmonton Drillers some 30 years ago.

          How is the tar sands oil debate “redrawing the map”? I mean, to hear about it in the US media, it’s awfully simplified and seems to treat all Canadians, from Halifax to Victoria, as one of two or three distinct sets of people.

          • NrthOfTheBorder

            Yes, I am.  I’m an American actually. 

            Your impression (or US media portrayal) of Canada  being composed of slightly different groups is correct. 

            Canadians as a whole are less divided than Americans but there are also differences.  First and foremost is the West’s love of fast growth and the prosperity (and unfortunately, the conservative non-thinking mindset)  that comes with it. 

            The country is all in a flutter these days because we’re waking up to a tarnished golden egg when it comes to the tar sands. Alberta is in debt and struggling to find markets for dirty oil. 

            Too many eggs in one basket? I think so.  

  • Coastghost

    It is simply a great pity that electricity HAS to be generated from reliable sources in order to propagate the environmentalist gospel. Equally a pity that environmentalists have to rely (UGH!) on internal combustion engines or jet fuel to hop around to their inspirational protests. What a shame.

  • Davesix6

    It’a amazing the way new generations believe there is something inherently wrong with previous generations. Most of us grow out of that once we enter the ” real world” and have to go to work for a living.

    The shame here is that these young people have been taught and have come to believe that they can “control” the Earths climate.

    I hope they understand that if they succeed their generation and generations to come will inherit a nation and indeed a planet that is poorer and more hungry than today.

    Doubt this is what they have in mind when using terms such as “social justice”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dianna.vosburg.9 Dianna Vosburg

       LOL! Common denier argument. Global warming will cause poverty and hunger. Solving it will create green jobs and a new, more sustainable economy.

    • Don_B1

      When increasing percentages of annual GDP must go to rebuild the damage created by climate change worsened storms and attempting to provide the water missing from crop growth due to massive droughts in the areas traditionally used for growing the majority of crops used to feed the now 7 billion and soon-to-be 9 billion humans inhabiting the earth, there is little doubt that the current fossil fuel driven economy will be the one that would lead to a planet that is poorer and more hungry than exists today.

      Before 10 years ago, weather caused costs averaged LESS than $10 billion per year but the last two years have seen $50 billion and over $150 billion in lost crops and outright property losses. There are projections that this will rise to over $1.25 TRILLION per year by 2060. You just won’t be around to hear/receive the swear words.

  • Trudie

    so happy to have Tom back…

  • Coastghost

    A tad late to stop fracking now . . . . it’s already freed up billions of cubic feet of natural gas.

  • ThisIsNotBritannica

    The “climate Change” argument was never scientifically supported. It was always a political proposition.

    Now, the growing body of science supporting the obvious fact that “Climate Change” is an illegitimate, manufactured crisis, means that the “Climate Change” industry is now cynically recruiting young Americans to amplify the “Climate Change” lie.

    And that is extremely disheartening for anyone who cares about our climate, democracy and our young people.

    • nj_v2

      The corporate shills are out in force today.

      • JustEdith

         Aren’t they though?  It’s amazing. 

    • northeaster17

      How about a source for that. Just curious.

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

      Climate change is being caused by us humans burning fossil fuel – that is the science, and that is reality.

      There is no scientific debate on this.  The oil companies are paying shills to try and protect their profits.  This is just like the tobacco industry trying to convince us that smoking isn’t bad for our health – they were lying, and they were wrong.  Climate deniers are doing the exact same thing…


  • DrewInGeorgia

    The caller says “from the 70′s, and for a long time that just went away”

    Thanks again Saint Reagan! You sure did snatch those panels off The White House awfully quick. A Prelude to Ruin if ever I saw one…


  • revfred

    I’m a 60-year-old minister, old enough to remember Selma but not old enough to have joined the witness there.  Climate justice is a moral issue because global warming is theft from future generations and the most vulnerable among us.  I salute these courageous young climate activists and look forward to joining them in civil disobedience.

  • Coastghost

    Ohhh! Are we hearing incipient threats to launch industrial sabotage? I wonder how many NPR underwriters will sign on to this political undertaking . . . .

    • nj_v2

      Corporations create actual ecological sabotage, health sabotage, democracy sabotage every day, and this is what concerns Coasttroll.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I heard someplace that Obama is scheduled to speak with a few oil executives this week.  It’s a good time to make these points.

  • chris129

    These kids have already been arrested several times? Why aren’t these self righteous prigs in jail where they belong?  

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

      Maybe they just didn’t run across a sheriff with a drawl and mirrored sunglasses who felt the need to show them what for because they were out-of-state hippies. Or maybe none of the arresting officers were smart enough to plant some weapons or marijuana on them.

    • Lindy19

       Have you never read On Civil Disobedience?  It’s a New England classic – I recommend it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.hall.9400 Matt Hall

    Until we have a generation that will accept that industrial civilization as we know it is not sustainable, we will continue to see the destruction of our planet.  Until we are willing to give up our cars, the internet and many other luxuries of our modern age, we will continue to face these problems.  The only true solution is living on a local and sustainable level, everything else is just prolonging the inevitable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000808044716 Mark Kruger

    Weather history goes back ONLY to 1896 or 117 years! The first weather satellite was launched in 1960 or 53 years….YES there is climate change…but, since when is the earth a stable environment?…we exist on a a planet traveling through space. If man created this problem it will take >100 years to make an appreciable change ONLY if we stop using ALL carbon based energy. Are these people willing to go back to life in the 1800′s? Perhaps not! There is NO way change can occur that fast. As an engineer I think these people do not get it…

    • northeaster17

      Weather history goes back millions of years. Geology, ice core drilling fossil records all indicate the climate on earth from way back. The science tells the story.

    • andreawilder

      Go forward with alternate fuels.  Think we can’t do it?

    • nj_v2

      An engineer, really? (God help us; we’re in the hands of engineers. —Dr. Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park, 1993)

      Stupid on numerous counts…

      Climate history can be inferred from any number of proxy indicators.

      Because climate has changed in the past from nonhuman causes doesn’t mean that humans aren’t a significant contributor to the current changes.

      Reducing, or even eliminating, fossil fuel consumption does not mean going back to life in the 1800s.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Hyperfocus on one issue (like a pipeline). And even if there is some measure of success business overall continues as usual.

  • GuestAug27

    Let’s stop beating around the bushes.  Replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs or driving a hybrid instead of an SUV are cosmetic changes that do not even begin to address the problem we face.  The problem is there are 7 billion people on the planet.  Some of these people consume vastly more
    energy and natural resources than others. 

    If every family in China or India consumed as much as a middle-class family in the U.S. or in Western Europe does, the planet would go up in smoke.  That would be a bad thing.

    But if I am Chinese (or Vietnamese or Egyptian or Iranian or
    Afghani), why would I want to limit my consumption if I see people in the West (or “North”) consuming far more than I am? This would feel as injustice, would it not?  If I was really poor, I might even feel angry and be tempted to go and blow somebody up.

    So the real question that needs to be answered is how will the people in the so-called developed countries, starting with the U.S., reduce their consumption to the level that would be sustainable on global scale.

  • Ellen Dibble

    What do these young people think of the idea that if the USA doesn’t hold the reins of the natural gas generation (fracking) with Canada, then others will take it.  Canada seems to be controlling information.  I heard about that at Life on Earth or one of those programs.  This is a continental issue.  You’d have to protest from here to Shanghai to get the competition off the map as well as Keystone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dianna.vosburg.9 Dianna Vosburg

    I’m very inspired and grateful for the young activists who are refusing to let the fossil fuel industry spread disinformation unchallenged, or let this dirty industry set our energy policy and allows to continue on a path to total climate catastrophe. Why are we subsidizing this industry, letting them evade taxation, and allowing them to control our democratic government processes? We have to separate cash and state, and we have to divest from fossil fuels in ALL aspects of life.

  • http://harvestboston.wordpress.com smh00a

    When I think about the dereliction of environmental responsibility of our predecessors, I think of the song “The Ascent of Stan” by Ben Folds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeWZhuzFMM8

    These lyrics specifically:

    The ascent of Stan

    Textbook hippie man

    Textbook hippie man

    Get rest while you can

    Stan: Once you wanted revolution

    Stan: Now you’re the institution

    Stan: How’s it feel to be the man?

    It’s no fun to be the man

    And now, watch it all go down

  • CarlontheCape

    This is almost as good as the occupy movement.

  • Coastghost

    How much energy will have to be expended just to relocate the entire population of the state of West Virginia, the very state that environmentalists have declared war upon?

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

      The mining cos of WV are doing a pretty good job of destroying the state all by themselves.

      I’m figuring you don’t know anyone in the state, near one of those glorious mountaintop removal mining sites.

      • Coastghost

        I just never hear soundbites on NPR of Democratic politicians from the state falling over themselves to endorse Obama’s anti-coal policies.

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

          Hope you can check “write Obama’s anti-coal policies” off you list of bunkum to finish today.

          There’s a reason that pols get nicknamed “The Senator from Massey”, and it’s not about making coal states good for jobs or good for living in that state.

  • Ellen Dibble

    If I were trying to make a case to Congress, I would focus on the economics of staying the course with petroleum products.  Divestment from petroleum products seems a good tool, and should be one of the “socially responsible” pieces of any investment portfolio.  But the cost of health in this country, to my mind, reflects more than the lobbyists like to reveal about the affect of a toxic fuel on our bodies.  I could continue.  But scientists unshackled from oil lobbies could easily come up with statistics about people in countries where there are no fumes, no plastics, etc.  Medical schools do not have that on the curriculum; I can’t imagine why…

  • Tim Weiskel

    Who is this fossil fuel shill, Terice?

    Wake up and smell the pollution.

    Tom Friedman Calls For Mass Keystone Protests, Labels Obama Presidency ‘A Net Setback For The Green Movement’


    Students for a Just and Sustainable Future: Divest Harvard!


    Social choice fund to be established


    Can civilization survive capitalism?


    Divest Harvard | Reinvest in our future.


  • Coastghost

    I hear the tremulous voice of “prescriptive science” speaking, but I don’t hear that Mr Hume’s notions have been addressed, that “ought” cannot be credibly derived from “is”.

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

    “We cannot afford $4 a gallon gas…” says caller Theresa.

    Tom, you can jump in and tell callers about the inflation-adjusted price of gas at any time.

    “They’re making people miserable by making hard-working cops carry them away from protests.”

    Hope Theresa never had to run a phalanx of Operation Rescuers to get her womens’ healthcare.

    • 65noname

      aren’t these the same “hard-working cops” who clubbed and killed civil rights demonstrators?

  • andreawilder

    Problem:  Food insecurity.  Heat waves.  Storms.

    Over population.  Forests cut down.  Forests are the lungs of the world.

    We need to get rid of fossil fuels ASAP.

    We need electric cars, outlaw internal combustion engine.
    Find other ways of fueling cars, heating homes.  Of course it can be done.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Please link to investment funds that offer environmentally friendly, clean-energy companies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Follett/100000966527575 Stephen Follett

    While I admire the enthusiasm and dedication of the new generation of environmental activists, I wonder if they understand the depth of our society’s commitment to cheap energy. It literally underwrites everything we eat, move, or consume. Until we learn how to do much more with much less, we face a long, dark, cold passage to a low-energy future.

  • Ahmad Ahmad

    so, the next civil war is not anglo-hispanic as huntington may have feared; rather, intergenerational

  • Elizabeth_in_RI

    THANK YOU to these young people for stepping up! It is truly sad that the baby boom generation has largely focused on taking (environmentally and economically) and now leaves future generations struggling to dig out. Keep it up!!

    • revfred

      Agreed, Elizabeth.  For a more promising boomer response, check out http://fiftyoverfifty.org/.

  • BlueNH

    The caller Teresa needs to read more. The KXL will not lower gas prices. It WILL pollute our air and water. It will harm our planet.

    Climate change will harm and quite possibly kill her grandchildren. But she wants two dollar gas. Darn it, Americans are special. They deserve cheap dirty energy!

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think the solution is not to block Keystone and cede the future to whoever will buy from Canada.  I think you want to persuade Exxon, for example, to be the corporation that weans us FROM petroleum products.  They have the resources to develop alternative energies, and that would not be as quickly profitable, but who else can do that?  They have to be persuaded that the planet requires it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/BGHooke Bruce Hooke

    How are we going to get it through people’s heads that drilling here at home will not significantly change the price of oil here in the US? Oil trades on a global market. Adding a, relatively speaking, tiny amount of new oil production to the global supply will not move prices significantly. Whether we like it or not we are going to have to get used to high oil prices. The way to deal with this is to greatly reduce our need for oil, not delude ourselves into thinking we can drill our way to cheaper prices. I applaud these young students who are stepping up to take the lead on the environmental movement.

    • Kathy

      Americans can’t abide the notion that gasoline isn’t free or next to free. They don’t want to hear sense, they cling to idiocy like drill baby drill or not buying gas one day a year. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/gkeefermcgee Glenn Keefer-Mcgee

    Yeah! bring up those hard workin’ Union lovin’ Police!

  • Bara Badwan

    Something that is not very well talked about. The efficiency of solar panels is on the increase. Even if the future isn’t as bright as Kurzweil paints it we already see massive gains in the current solar power technology. Coal and Oil will become the more expensive, the less efficient energy source in a quarter of a century. No worries. Also fuel cells are in the experimental realm currently but they have proven to be able to produce massive amounts of energy from a small quantity of water. 
    Be optimistic. Oil and Gas are 19th Century energy sources. They will go the way of burning wood. 

    “Ray Kurzweil: Solar Will Power the World in 16 Years”

    ‘Artificial leaf’ makes fuel from sunlight

  • Timothy Peters

    Hey Rigamarole!

    Oil sells for the going rate on the world market. Do you think the companies using the Keystone Pipeline are going to feel sorry for you and sell you it to you for 50$ a barrel so you can have cheap gas when then can sell it on the open market for over $100? Plus, we use over 25% of the world’s oil and we do not have those types of reserves. Think again.

    …and I have 2007 Prius with over 100k miles on it and the battery is going strong. I have a friend with one that has even more miles on it than mine.

    Get your facts straight and quit sounding like an old crumudgeon.

    • Markus6

      In some cities, like Victoria B.C. many if not most of the Taxis are Priuses. I’ve asked drivers how long they last and they say, with some consistency, at between 200K and 300K miles, the screen needs to be replaced. The battery is still good.

      But a question. I also hear the argument that the carbon footprint of developing then getting rid of the old batteries offsets the benefits of the hybrid. Again, it sounds like one of those myths, but I’d like to know if there are facts around this.

      Yes, I know this is a bit off the point. 

  • Coastghost

    Tom: their inspirational arrest records do nothing to enhance the credibility of their puny arguments. Science ain’t necessarily on their side, and the political order damn sure ain’t. If they embark on the programme of industrial sabotage they’re hinting at, their enviromania will land them in Federal correctional facilities that ARE plugged in to the grid, and they can love that circumstance for as long as their convictions permit.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dianna.vosburg.9 Dianna Vosburg

       It would be tragic to cruelly imprison young activists who are trying to save the world from those anti-science, willfully blind people who believe in the “political order” (which is soft fascism) that you seem to support.

      • Coastghost

        If in their misguided zeal they cruelly deprive otherwise law-abiding tax-paying citizens of gainful employment, if in fact by their actions they disrupt power generation for citizens depending on it, then their confinement in Federal correctional facilities would be something they’d’ve earned. Environmental pseudo-science inspired by Gaia mythology as seems commonly offered by leading enviromaniacs is the contemporary equivalent of Scientology: cultish, insulated from self-criticism and self-correction, and self-proclaimed moral superiority to all other creeds and outlooks. A pox on such enviromaniacs.

    • nj_v2

      Your droning, bellicose, obfuscatory, self-important rhetoric does nothing to enhance the credibility of your lame, puny, irrelevant arguments.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Caller Theresa is TOTALLY OFF on the batteries in hybrids. Speaking like all the other “I heard” experts.

    Hybrid batteries do not die at 50K miles. They do not have to be replaced every 5 years. They do not cost $5,000 to replace. This bogus “urban myth” has been running since the Toyota Prius debuted in 2001.

    The traction battery in a Prius is GUARANTEED for 8 years 100K miles in states that do not follow the California emissions requirements. They are GUARANTEED for 10 years, 150K miles in those states.

    FACT: There is NO DIFFERENCE between a Prius sold in a CA emissions state and any other state. NONE.

    FACT: I drove my 2004 Prius 130K miles before it was totaled in a rear end collision last September by an idiot that wasn’t watching the road ahead of her. I was doing at least 20 MPH at the time.

    FACT: I NEVER replaced ANY PART of the hybrid system in 8 years and 130K miles.

    FACT: I replaced ONLY the tires, muffler, water pump, 12V battery, one ball joint, serpentine belt, spark plugs, headlights and tail lights in 8 years, 130K+ miles

    FACT: I averaged 49+ MPG for the 130K+ miles

    FACT: I replaced it with a 2009 Prius with 45K miles.

    • WBC_in_MA

      I agree with everything that you just wrote.  I’m part of a 4 Prius family, and they have all been great cars.

    • Lindy19

       I agree – we’ve had a Honda hybrid for 10+ years with not one mechanical problem and now have a Tesla (which is wonderful!).

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

        Funny how that hack job which the NYT did on Tesla hasn’t blown up in the Times’ face yet.

  • ccbard

    Your Caller wrongly thinks that there is a US market for oil, one that is independent of the world market.  Gasoline prices are not reduced because of a pipeline.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       70% of the cost of gasoline is driven by crude costs.  Crude costs are driven by SUPPLY and demand.  Increase the SUPPLY and you will reduce the cost — especially IF you increase the supply AT the gasoline refinery.

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

        Tar sand bitumen is proof that we have passed peak oil.  Deep water drilling is also a futile attempt to fuel our addiction… 

        Oil is finite.
        Gas is finite.
        Coal is finite.
        Uranium is finite.

        The sun will power the earth for the next Billion years.

        A Billion years is the best deal we can get.


      • http://www.facebook.com/dianna.vosburg.9 Dianna Vosburg

         The supply of bitumen from tar sands turned into a synthetic oil will not increase the world’s supply of oil enough to make any difference in the price, because the world’s supply of conventional crude is decreasing. Also, the energy investment required to mine, transport, and convert bitumen into synthetic oil is almost equal the energy made available to market by the synthetic oil, and every step of this process is hazardous and poisonous. It also contributes 20% more to greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil extraction. http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20130219/oil-sands-mining-tar-sands-alberta-canada-energy-return-on-investment-eroi-natural-gas-in-situ-dilbit-bitumen

  • Wahoo_wa

    I wonder if the gentleman from RI who just called realizes that several climatologists who have been on On Point have stated that the recent storms have nothing to do with climate change?

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Isn’t Capitalism (now Corporatism) the primary obstacle to Environmentalism? I don’t think we’ll solve the problem without addressing the problem.

    • nj_v2

      That’s the big part of the problem. Little lifestyle changes like efficient light bulbs and recycling bottles are drops in the ocean compared to the havoc wreaked by the entrenched, institutional forces who control the system.

      Mass action like blocking the pipeline are a step in the right direction, but the institutional issues have to be dealt with straight on.

      Either it happens politically, by developing a mass-movement alternative party to the Republocorporodems, taking over the Dems, or, eventually, a much less palatable change will come when the entire house of cards comes crashing down, and primal desperation sets in.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dianna.vosburg.9 Dianna Vosburg

         Well said. Capitalism/corporatism is unsustainable, and heading for an epic crash of a scale never before seen on earth. I hope we can reclaim government functions fast enough.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Wind and energy are growing?

    I guess economic courses are not required to receive an environmental  degree these days.

  • Adrian_from_RI

    Luddites of the World Unite.

  • Patricia McNichol

    I’m another Baby Boomer with fire in my belly to get something done about the rapid climate change that is taking place.  I am all for these young people leading the charge and I will put my energy and money behind them

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Watch this TED talk.  You must be aware that water vapor is a more potent green house gas than CO2.


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

         Water vapor is a feedback loop – it is a greenhouse gas but warming is initiated by increasing carbon dioxide.

        Anthony Watts is a fraud, by the way.


      • http://www.facebook.com/dianna.vosburg.9 Dianna Vosburg

         Disinformation alert: Watts Up With That is a prominent denier site, run by Anthony Watts who doesn’t even have a BA degree and is funded by wealthy industrialists (through the Heartland Institute) who have a compelling financial interests in fossil fuel profits. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Anthony_Watts

        • nj_v2

          Don’t worry, it’s just a TED talk. 

          The reason the Wattsuphisa** crowd likes it is that the speaker is talking about how desertification is caused at least as much by poor land-management practices as by burning carbon fuels. They think it makes the anthropogenic climate change argument moot.

          The speaker also talks about the potential for the carbon sequestration that might be possible from properly managed grazing to restore desertified land.

          Why the denialists care about that is a bit of a mystery, since, presumably they think adding to already historically high amounts of carbon in the atmosphere is no big deal.

          • http://www.facebook.com/dianna.vosburg.9 Dianna Vosburg

            Oh, thanks for that. I didn’t click through once I saw the WUWT site name.

          • nj_v2

            Yeah, most of the time that’s a good strategy, but when i saw the reference to TED, i wanted to see what they were up to.

      • nj_v2

        You must be aware the water vapor is a feedback mechanism, and not the initial forcer. That would be carbon dioxide. There’s only more water vapor being released because the temperature is already being forced by releasing carbon that was previously deep underground and not part of the atmospheric system.

        Oh, wait, i just noticed your handle, i take the part about “you must be aware” back.

    • revfred

      I’m with you, Patricia.  Please check out http://fiftyoverfifty.org/.

  • Coastghost

    “We will go to Texas, we will go to West Virginia” . . . by bicycle? skateboard? pairs of shoes?

  • William

    No concern about the poor? How will they deal with much higher gas, electric bills? 

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

      Yeah, those prices don’t go up except by environmental protest and shutdown.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dianna.vosburg.9 Dianna Vosburg

       Carbon fee-and-dividend will protect the poor from higher fuel costs while spurring innovation and use of renewables (and green jobs, too). In fact, the poor and middle class will come out ahead via the “green” dividend.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil, was saying in an hour interview last week with Charlie Rose that he opposed subsidies to alternatives because it prevents them from being efficient and competitive.  He didn’t talk about subsidies to fossil fuels, however.  But he was enthusiastic about the FUTURE of, say, energy from algae.  It’s just that he wants natural to run its course first and supply its profits first.  After that, it seems, in maybe 40 years, then it seems he wants the huge resources of Exxon to develop the clean fuels of the future.  But then it will be too late.  You can listen to that online.  It’s posted.  I think the combination of Obama and these young activists could move people like him to “lean in” and get us into clean energy leadership, global leadership, ASAP.

  • Jeff Turner

    The caller Theresa needs to learn a bit more about electric vehicles before voicing off against them.  Batteries that only last 3000 miles (???) and that car makers won’t warranty?  Both Chevy and Nissan offer 8 year/100,000 miles warranties on their plug-in vehicles.

  • Tim Weiskel

    Tom Ashbrook, wake up. Stop playing into the hands of the “ecoterrorist” vocabulary of the Koch-Brothers financed

    “all of the above” crowd.  Obama has been bought. Have you been bought
    as well?  Are you part of the disinformation campaign as well.

    NOVA has been brought to you by David Koch for years.  Have you been bought as well?

    Check out some of the inter-generational and international implications of a fossil fuel future.

    Chomsky: Corporations and the Richest Americans Viscerally Oppose Common Good


    BREAKING: Climate Catastrophe – Closer Than We Think


    Inside Story – The politics of global food security


    The Arab Spring and Climate Change


    Climate Justice | Indigenous Environmental Network


    IEN Responds to Draft Keystone XL Supplemental EIS | Indigenous Environmental Network


    11,300-Year Climate Record Highlights Recent Warming Pulse


    With Climate Change, a Bad Deal Gets Even Worse for the Global South


    Climate Change and Protecting Environment is a Social Justice Issue


    BBC HARDtalk – Kumi Naidoo – Executive Director, Greenpeace International (20/11/12)


    • nj_v2

      Thanks, Tim!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dianna.vosburg.9 Dianna Vosburg

    P.S. Dear Mr. President: an “all-of-the-above” energy policy is absurd. Speeding up fracking? Really? I suppose his pandering to the fracking industry is part of why he got re-elected. It’s NOT clean, by any means. It’s poisonous, and also methane leaks create a potent greenhouse gas. Ugh. Watch Gaslands. In the news today, 17 cows died from exposure to fracking “produced” water. 80 toxic chemicals injected into the ground, end up in the groundwater. Toxic air. The industry is exempt from the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts due to the “Haliburton” exemption. Again, the root problem is the hold fossil fuel companies have over our government. Obama is NOT representing us. He’s representing the industry on this issue.

  • Dave_in_RI

    I am somewhere between these kids’ generation and the baby boomers. I care deeply about the environment and believe it is our responsibility to be wise stewards of the earth. Having said that, I believe the situation is more complex than your guests have portrayed it. We can’t ignore the fact that energy is a basic necessity to sustain life. The millions of poor and struggling people in our country and on our planet deserve to have their energy needs met. Right now, the only way to meet those needs is through fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Can we do it better? Perhaps. But can we afford to simply abandon fossil fuels?
    How do your guests balance the needs of the environment with the needs of the human beings alive on the planet today?

    • http://www.facebook.com/dianna.vosburg.9 Dianna Vosburg

      I see this as a false dichotomy in essence. The human beings alive on the planet today are at risk–the poorest and most vulnerable at the greatest risk–from catastrophic climate change. Most people do not understand how much global warming will impact the world this century…it’s just getting started as there is a 30 year inertia in the system or more. James Hansen predicts a 15-20 foot sea level rise by 2100. What will that be like? Storms? Droughts? Wildfires? Crop failures, invasive species, mass migrations, and starvation. This is a mass extinction event and needs to be understood as such. Energy is a basic necessity, yes, but a combination of a swift movement to clean energy, massive efficiency and conservation measures (40% of electricity generation in the US is wasted), changes to agricultural practices, more research, infrastructure improvements, mitigation, and biological sequestration will both yield a new economy and protect the human beings alive on the planet today. This is nothing less than revolutionary, a new paradigm, and will require that sane public policy based on empiricism be established as democratic governing policy, instead of government by hidden industry interests.

      • Dave_in_RI

        Understood. But their more immediate needs, as they themselves have been telling us for decades, are electricity and fuel for lights, agriculture, industry, water purification, hospitals, and so on and so on. All the technological advances that you have benefited from all your life and that you continue to enjoy, they would like to have. Are you going to tell them that they can’t have it because you can’t abide 390 parts per billion of whatever in your air? What about their air? They have been living with polluted air and water because of your (our) life style. They have endured far more of the pain than you or I. I just want you to acknowledge that 1) you can’t make these decisions for the whole planet and 2) you have the luxury to protest fossil fuels while other people watch their children starve and die because of the lack of fossil fuels. Your perspective may be well-intentioned; but it is neither clear-cut or purely ethical. As usual, the extreme positions on either side of the issue offer no realistic solution. The solution requires a middle ground that concedes the need for fossil fuels, nuclear power development, and extensive research and funding to make these safer, while also promoting new alternatives.
        I guess you could call me a fan of the Obama position–All of the above!

        • Dave_in_RI

          By the way, I do agree with you that policy needs to be based on empirical evidence and corporate influence needs to be fully transparent.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Ooops.  The college students were caught propagandizing by Tom when called on their pipeline nonsense.

    • 65noname


  • DrewInGeorgia

    Natural Gas is still a finite resource Tom, it’s collection and use still carries avoidable detrimental results. Did you know that studies have concluded beyond any doubt that Diesel Fuel produces fumes which are Carcinogenic? Has there been any reduction in the use of Diesel Fuel? Nope. How long did it take us to prove Diesel had extremely negative unintended consequences? What do you think we’ll be “discovering” about the results of fracking later on down the road?

  • nj_v2

    That they can’t answer why Obama is an all-or-nothing guy on energy points out a bit of their naiveté. It’s not because he’s getting biased, oil industry information, it’s because he’s a bought-and-sold tool of the corporatocracy.

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

    “You don’t know that it (the tar sands oil) is going to be sold abroad; it could be used here (in the USA).”

    Tom, that’s really weak sauce. It’s going where it’s sold, period.

    Do I detect a bit more urgency in our host’s devil’s advocacy than with right-wing advocacy guests?

    “Fine ideals, but I need a job.”

    Tom, the newest thing in coal mining is mountaintop removal. It employs fewer miners than the old version of mining. It’s “efficient” for the Massey Mining Cos and such, and is a dead end for anyone who is interested in “jobsjobsjobs”.

    While we’re at it, let’s have some pushback about the Fantasy Job Count from the Keystone pipeline.

    • http://www.synatree.com SynaTree, LLC


  • http://twitter.com/biblioteq_tress la bibliotequetress

    Current caller (Nina) captures my concern– I want to reduce fossil fuel use but we are currently dependent on oil. If we must use oil for the next 15 years I would rather have the humane democracy of Canada provide it than a sexist totalitarian state.

    • BlueNH

      Take some time to read about the First Nations people in Canada. They have rights to the Alberta boreal forest land, but the ‘humane’ province of Alberta has given the mining rights of their land to companies that are in the process of poisoning the air, water and soil. The native people are dying of cancer at an unprecedented rate. The ‘humane’ country of Canada is owned and run by the fossil fuel industry. Just like the US!

      • http://www.facebook.com/dianna.vosburg.9 Dianna Vosburg

         Yes, it seems when predatory, extractive industries show up, humane behavior disappears.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EQVNLX5ZYEUHUB7MIVWSPRTES4 John

    These are college students!  Sheesh, they have no real-world experience and a segment is devoted to their views???

    • BlueNH

      Sheesh, you are all grown up and your opinions are more important than theirs?

      FYI, their lives will be directly impacted by climate change. What are you doing to assure our kids of a clean and safe future?

  • Casey Reyner

    It was just pointed out that this pipeline is going to be built by a for profit company. I think it is important to recognize that this not going to make gas or oil cheaper, it is going to make a company more money! IT IS WRONG FOR OUR COUNTRY!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EQVNLX5ZYEUHUB7MIVWSPRTES4 John

      Oh nooo!  A private company making money, employing people, putting money into worker’s pockets and into the economy!  What a horrible thing!

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

        You forgot the inevitable “and making all the waste everybody else’s problem!” part of your sentence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Peck/1698651022 Christopher Peck

    I assume the guest will walk to Nebraska to block the pipeline.

    • nj_v2

      It’s stunning how often this inane argument is regurgitated.

      • jefe68

        It is amazing how inane the right can be.

        • nj_v2

          It’s disappointing, but i’m not longer surprised.

  • BlueNH

    Can someone address the Portland Maine pipeline that is being converted to bring this poisonous Alberta Tar Sands bitumen to the East Coast? The pipeline used to run East to West bringing oil to Canada, but the Tar Sands companies are planning to reverse the flow to bring bitumen to transport from Maine to the Gulf refineries. We need to stop this pipeline, too.

    And what about the Native Canadian people who are fighting the KXL? The tar sands are poisoning the planet and killing their people.

  • Roy-in-Boise

    The stone age did not end because we ran out of rocks.  The transition to renewable energy is inevitable. The variables in the equation are technological and political the constant is societies voracious need for energy.

  • Ellen Dibble

    The cost to our health is not just from fracking leakage into water tables.  Petroleum products have been degrading the environment and our health for generations.  People’s immune systems and reproductive systems are at risk.  If you want to see the difficulties lawyers have in pointing this out, read Jonathan Harr’s “A Civil Action,” or there is a 1998 movies about it too.  http://serc.carleton.edu/woburn/index.html

  • Tim Weiskel

    There are public education efforts that totally side step the existing, ossified educational and corporate structures.

    Login to:



  • http://www.facebook.com/dianna.vosburg.9 Dianna Vosburg

    Don’t ever underestimate the power of covert propaganda: fake experts who are actually PR agents, money-laundering front groups, and corporate-owned media. There’s a reason that very little of OWS, environmental activism, etc. is not well-covered or covered at all on mainstream media. It was amazing to me how awful global warming coverage has been on mainstream media for the most part…incredible journalistic malpractice…part of the disinformation campaign. Follow the money.

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

    Activism in this case is not optional – we all need to actively change our energy and food sources.

    Climate change is serious and we cannot avoid our part.



  • http://www.facebook.com/tom.fahsbender Tom Fahsbender

    We have to be careful not to do to natural gas what we did to nuclear and what many communities are doing to wind: demonize low-polluting options due to fear and nimby-ism.  My parents’ farm in Pennsylvania is smack in the middle of fracking gas wells.  It’s certainly not a wasteland, and the landscape is only minimally affected.  My parents and their neighbors are pretty pleased with their view as well as the money.  If you read the Duke study (PNAS), the concerns about water contamination are real but not dire, and well-sealed wells have a great potential to benefit not only the climate but the economy of those areas where fracking is taking place.  In addition, we’d be in a very different place as far as climate is concerned if we hadn’t run scared from 3-Mile Island.  Instead, we’re stuck with fossil fuels, poor air quality and unrealistic expectations for solar and wind.  One final note: don’t overestimate the ability of a few thousand college students with signs and bullhorns to have any effect at all.

  • afchris

    The bitumen piped to the Gulf Coast for refining will be sold on the open world market, most likely to China.  One of the largest refineries is owned by a Saudi company;  another is half owned by BASF, the German chemical company.  Americans are being hoodwinked by big industry to believe this oil will make a difference to the cost of gas or heating oil in the U.S. 

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Take a course in economics.  Then you can learn about supply and demand.

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

         Tar sand bitumen is proof that we have passed peak oil.

        Finite source + increasing demand = higher prices.

        Renewable energy is virtually infinite and there is far more than we need.  There is no pollution and since they are all over the earth, no one can control them.

        Climate change is already costing a huge amount of money.  Not switching to renewable energy as soon as possible will be far more expensive that the cost of switching.


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

             Anthony Watts has zero credibility.


          • nj_v2

            Except for the denialist misappropriation of what the speaker in the video was saying, all they did was repost a TED talk.

            With no real evidence, the denialist gang would have us believe that land mismanagement is more of a climate-change forcer than burning fossils.

            The talk is actually valuable.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Why so acerbic?  What is wrong with common ground?

      • jefe68

        But this person is correct. The Canadian tar sands will be exported and sold on the open market. 
        If you think the Keystone pipeline will help the US in energy you are very much mistaken.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Is the US part of the ‘open market’?

  • http://twitter.com/biblioteq_tress la bibliotequetress

    Does anyone have links to non-industry, objective studies of how long it will take to lose dependence on oil & coal in US? If you can tweet it to me or post here I’d appreciate it. Having hard time finding.

    • nj_v2

      It could take a decade, or a century. Depends on the level of activism, the ability of people to take control over their government, over how seriously people prioritize the effort.

    • Ellen Dibble

      I think cities need to be redesigned to be walkable, which means pre-Eisenhower superhighways.  And I think the infrastructure needs to be overhauled to enable inputs and throughputs of energy that is not from Big Oil, and the economics of it will probably not be huge profits to this colossus or that, but people using and contributing more or less simultaneously, like breathing.  A lot depends on storage and distributions systems that we don’t have yet.  I had heard that Google was thinking of underwriting that effort a decade ago, before the natural gas discoveries.  But in the meanwhile, it’s going to take lots of political pressure, and lots of mathematical calculus to figure out what happens as old energy eases out and new energy eases in.  May it happen soon.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dianna.vosburg.9 Dianna Vosburg

       The answer to that question would be depend on so many variables that it is really hard to answer. If we taxed carbon? By how much? If we discovered a new innovation that would grow to scale quickly? How quickly? Just some examples…but here’s an article about how quickly German is moving to renewable energy, faster than anticipated: http://www.wri.org/stories/2011/06/germanys-nuclear-phase-out-renewable-energy-plans-are-clear. They are on track to 100% renewable electrical generation by 2050, started in 1991. The IPCC says that 80% of the world’s energy could come from renewable energy by 2050: http://www.wri.org/stories/2011/05/ipcc-study-renewable-energy-could-provide-majority-worlds-energy-2050.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/27XSF4SAIHRZZBT3NXG36I63QU Meg

    Changing away from fossil fuels will be complicated. The ease of doing so isn’t uniform across the country or the world. In the vast spaces of America’s midlands, people rely on individual vehicles to travel. Farmers need fuel powerful enough to move tractors and other equipment. And do we have fuel alternatives for heavy industry?  I think we have to respect differing needs, work together, and understand that some solutions will be slower in coming than others.
       Meg LeSchack – Bedford MA

  • hennorama

    It’s been exactly 2 years since the Fukishima Daiichi (FD) nuclear disaster.  Japan has largely switched from nuclear power for electrical generation to using expensive imported natural gas as a generation fuel.

    Which is better?  Can Japan completely wean itself from nuclear power and continue to use this much more expensive fuel to make electricty to power its industry and cities?  They have so far, for the most part, but what about the future?

    The company that ran the FD nuclear power plant is now state-owned, so Japanese taxpayers will be paying for the damage and cleanup for at least the next 40 years.  Not to mention the increased costs for electricity, at least until cheaper alternatives come on line.

    One additional problem is that significant infrastructure would need to be built in order to take advantage of some alterantive energy sources, such as offshore wind farms.  There are also technical issues related to such offshore wind generators, given Japan’s frequent typhoons and earthquakes.

    Geothermal is also an alternative, especially considering Japan’s position on the Pacific Ring of Fire.  Again, this will take considerable time and money.

    One unanticipated silver lining from the FD disaster is that biologists have been able to use minute traces of cesium-134 and cesium-137, both known waste products from Fukushima, to track the migrations of various marine life across the Pacific.


    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Japan will restart 6 reactors in 2013 and likely 2/3 of all 50 reactors will restart.  Why?  Because they can’t afford not to restart given the cost of the alternatives.


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

         The cost of cleaning up from the Fukushima accident will be very expensive.  Renewable energy cannot have catastrophic accidents and virtually zero pollution.  This “hidden” costs are coming due…


        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Yes, the cleanup is expensive.  The cleanup  from the tsunami is even more expensive.  However, renewable energy is not a viable alternative for baseload power — at least for now — so you are offering a false choice.

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

             Renewable energy could supply 100% of our electricity – in fact it could supply a lot more than we need.  The right mix of energy sources is very reliable and resilient.

            Germany is already moving quickly in the direction of more renewables – they have met their goals several years early.  Germany is about as sunny a place as *Alaska*.  If they can do it, then the USA can do it.


          • WorriedfortheCountry

             I haven’t seen a plan where that would work (economically) but if you can produce renewables for about the same price as coal is today them I’m all for it.

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

            We are not paying anywhere near the *true* cost of coal.

            Mercury poisoning alone is doing almost infinite damage to our shared earth.  It is the poison that keeps on giving…

            Mountaintop removal is an utter nightmare for the watersheds.

            Have you heard about the fly ash problem coal has?  Look it up – we had one of the largest industrial accidents ever in Tennessee a couple of years ago, involving fly ash from coal.

            Climate change has already cost all humans trillions of dollars in damage.


            Renewable energy costs a lot *less* and we can continue to live on the only planet we have.  There is no Planet B.


          • nj_v2

            The false choice is presenting nuclear power as a problem-free cure-all vs. living in a tent and hunting squirrels.

            Do we work to restructure a societal structure overly dependent on cheap, plentiful energy which will no longer exist, or do we try to maintain the bulk of the current system at whatever cost, including the risks and costs of expensive, dangerous, centralized technologies like nuclear power.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             We can agree nuclear fission isn’t a cure-all.  We are all waiting for Mr. Fusion.

      • hennorama

        WorriedfortheCountry – citing an article from rt.com? Interesting.

        “RT provides an alternative perspective on major global events, and acquaints international audience with the Russian viewpoint.”


        You inaccurately stated ” Japan will restart 6 reactors in 2013 and likely 2/3 of all 50 reactors will restart.” Quoting the article you cited: (EMPHASIS added)

        “Japan’s major supplier of nuclear power generating equipment, France’s Areva group, has announced Tokyo’s PLANS to restart six reactors by the end of 2013. The other reactors will be restarted later – except the Fukushima-type made in the US.

        In addition to two reactors already put back into operation in Japan “there COULD BE half a dozen reactors that will restart by the end of the year,” the Chief Executive Officer of the French state-owned nuclear group announced at a press conference.

        “I THINK two-thirds of reactors will restart” within several years, specified future plans Areva’s CEO Luc Oursel.”

        (Clearly something was lost in translation in the sentence above, but it is an exact quote from the article).

        Please note I’m not advocating for or against nuclear energy. My goal is to ensure that the discussion is factual.

        As to your statement “Because they can’t afford not to restart given the cost of the alternatives.” – they have afforded it so far. Some have calculated the increased cost at about $10/month/household, and perhaps 0.6% of GDP.


        A large part of the cost of nuclear energy is not factored into the price charged for the electricity generated. There is NO viable long-term storage for spent nuclear waste at present, yet this waste needs to be safely stored for hundreds of thousands of years.

        In addition, the costs of nuclear accidents is not factored into the price charged for the electricity generated. In Japan alone, 160,000 people were “officailly” displaced by the Fukushima accident. Tens of thousands more no doubt decided to move but are not part of the offical count. Costs of health care for those affected, and health studies over decades need to be accounted for, not to mention the environmental damage to the land, sea and air.

        Nuclear energy is cheap IF NOTHING GOES WRONG, and if the true costs are not accounted for.

        Japan has choices. They can finance alternatives to nuclear energy at interest rates under 2.0 percent for 30 years. They can revert back to nuclear energy, risking further nuclear accidents but reducing current energy costs, and reducing risks associated with their increased fossil fuel dependence. They can do some of all three, which seems most likely.

        Here’s another article from rt.com, titled “High cost of cheap energy: Fukushima tragedy 2 years on”


        • WorriedfortheCountry

           I guess the Ruskies know something about nuclear :).

          Note that Japan has no plans to reopen any plant of the Fukushima design.

          We certainly dodged a bullet with Fukushima.  We were fortunate to have the public escape with no deaths or illness — it could have been much worse.  I have to confess that it opened my eyes regarding nuclear safety of these older reactors.

          I am less bullish on nuclear in the short run because of the costs.  However, I feel strongly that it needs to be part of our energy future IF we are to achieve energy independence.  It is too bad that we stopped nuclear development in the ’80s.  Hopefully newer technologies will come on line, like LFTR and TWR that advance the safety, cost and waste issues.  There is some really exiting stuff in development.

          • nj_v2

            [[ We were fortunate to have the public escape with no deaths or illness ]]

            As if symptoms of radiation illness occur overnight.

            [[  Hopefully newer technologies will come on line, like LFTR and TWR that advance the safety, cost and waste issues. ]]

            And the energy will be too cheap to meter. And everyone will get a pony. Or, maybe, even a unicorn.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            We can hope :) !!!

          • hennorama

            WorriedfortheCountry – TY for your thoughtful response. I respect your views. I have to admit I was surprised by your use of RT as a source, and their article had notable translation issues.

            Again please note that I’m not advocating for or against nuclear energy. I’m a bit agnostic on the topic.

            On the one hand, nuclear energy has relatively low carbon emissions even when all associated mining, processing, transportation and construction activities are taken into account.

            On the other hand, there is no long term solution for storage of nuclear waste, and the consequences of inevitable system failures, especially in plants and storage facilities with outdated designs, can be catastrophic.

            Indeed, the world was quite fortunate that the meltdown at Fukushima Daiishi was not worse. There were no IMMEDIATE deaths associated with radiation from FD, but there were roughly 600 deaths during the evacuation, and there are estimates that

            “Radiation from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster may eventually cause anywhere from 15 to 1,300 deaths and from 24 to 2,500 cases of cancer, mostly in Japan, Stanford researchers have calculated.”

            Best guesses of the Stanford researchers were “approximately 130 deaths and 180 cases of cancer, mostly in Japan.”



            There are indeed interesting and exciting ideas on nuclear energy, including the never-built Traveling Wave Reactor and the also not yet commercially viable Molten Salt and Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors. Whether these will ever come online remains an open question.

            Nuclear energy is a bit like air travel. It may be demonstrably safer when compared to fossil fuels, but when something goes wrong, it goes wrong in spectacular fashion. This is a major reason for the public’s reluctance to go forward with further development of nuclear power in any of its variations.

            Thanks again for your thoughtful response.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            We probably are closer than you think on nuclear.  There are clear downsides but it has  one of the best safety records (just like air travel). 

            On paper, LFTR is a really exciting technology since it is fail safe from a meltdown, addresses the waste issue, can be built in small modules in a factory for low cost and produces high temperature heat which COULD enable liquid transportation fuels synthesized below $50/barrel.  Yes, they need to develop the technology but it looks like the barriers are only engineering issues (no basic physics). The good news is there are at least 2 US startups pursuing the technology and the Chinese government is also taking a crack at it.

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

       It is going to take many decades to clean up from the Fukushima accident.

      Japan could use a lot of wave power systems – since they are islands in the middle of the ocean.  These systems are being built by at least 3 companies around the work, and they are ready to go.

      Land and offshore wind turbines can provide a lot of power, and of course solar PV can provide power at the peak times of use, for A/C.

      Between Wind, wave, solar and geothermal, Japan could be 100% renewable energy – pollution free and use zero fuel.  This is possible virtually everywhere on earth!


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=734743445 Cynthia Rabinowitz

    According to everything I have read, the tar sands oil is going to be delivered to refineries in Texas and then shipped abroad.  Studies have been done that show that job creation from the Keystone XL Pipeline will have only a small and temporary affect on jobs in the US.  Once the pipeline is built and the damage to lands has occurred.  The jobs will be shipped overseas.  Once again, the American people are being deceived and our planet continuously put at risk for the profit of the oil companies.

    These young people on today’s show are AWESOME!  I am a 61 year old soil scientist and permaculture designer/teacher and think these young people are one hundred percent right in their opinions and their actions.  I admire them.

    The woman who called earlier criticizing their positions, unfortunately is wrong.  It is an urgent matter and much more dire than most people realize.

    For a good book on the subject, read “The Great Disruption” by Paul Gilding.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       ‘According to everything I have read’

      Try some other sources.

  • Joseph Allen

    I’d like the see the people in this movement have the moral authority to make to their point, so they should all stop buying fossil fuel and live a low energy existence.  It means:

    - No cars (electric doesn’t cut it, since electricity comes from coal).  No planes.  Trains and buses are probably ok.

    - Don’t heat or air-condition your house.  You could super-insulate your house (but I have no idea you would afford it).

    - Don’t use electricity (unless you make it yourself with solar or wind).

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

       We get less than 40% of our electricity from coal, and we can continue to get more and more electricity from renewable resources.  We can get way more from renewable energy than we could possibly need.

      So, electric cars are the best way for personal transportation.


      • Joseph Allen

         I suspect we can not generate enough from solar cells to power cars. (Which remember is the most efficient renewable: up to ~40% conversion rate- all other renewable sources are really lower efficiency forms of solar power).  So unless you are willing to have nuclear sourced electricity, I think it means giving up cars.

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

           Probably not directly powering a car with solar cells right on the car itself; but definitely with solar cells on the roof of your home.

          There is a solar car that has been driven around the world, built by Bochum University in Germany, called the SolarWorld GT.  It had the highest efficiency cells available, and the car itself is probably the most efficient car ever, with regular doors.  I.E. many solar race cars are not practical for real use, but the SolarWorld GT is quite practical.


        • nj_v2

          We can’t simply substitute renewal energy for petroleum and expect to maintain our current infrastructure and transportation habits.

          We could still have cars, we’re just not going to be able to drive them as much as we do now.

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

            Yep. It’ll be a shock to give up the AmericanBirthright to some. Then the blaming of environmentalists will re-begin anew.

            Thanks to our presscorpse (no sic) for being so navel-gazing as to not prepare anyone for this.

            By and large there’s been little schism coverage. I mean, when everyone was trying to read Moby Dick, we were already getting to the end of Big Whale Oil.

            Makes me wonder what the whaling industry would have done in the mid 19th-century with modern PR and lobbying firms.

    • http://www.facebook.com/matt.hall.9400 Matt Hall

      There are plenty of people doing these very things, but unfortunately they are often so busy maintaining their homes and lives that they aren’t around to be mouthpieces for environmental movements.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Where I live, you could specify that you want your electricity from renewable sources.  There is a slightly higher rate, but obviously worth it.  The option seems to have disappeared in the last couple of years, which is tragic.  I am hoping that the state as a whole put a stamp of financial approval on renewable sources for electricity.

    • Laura Kiesel
      • nj_v2

        Thank you!

    • nj_v2

      Still with this dumbass argument.

  • guest2day

    While I found the show interesting and am supportive of the efforts of this “next generation” to combat this problem, I would have liked to hear some experts on the panel to back up and support some of the claims of these college-aged environmentalists.

    • 65noname

      One was college aged. The other was well past college age.  You throw that label around as if it is meant to diminish their voice.  Do you need to be reminded that the SNCC people who started the sit-in movement

       were “college aged”?  And were opposed by “older” people?  That the people who started the anti-viet nam war movement were “college aged”?  And that it was older people who opposed that movement?

      • guest2day

        I didn’t mean to diminish their voice, only to support it more by including the older generations, who have been fighting this fight a long while already.  

        • 65noname

          o.k.  I accept that.

  • WBC_in_MA

    Rather than protesting the Keystone pipeline, why aren’t you protesting against those that oppose the existance of a wind farms, just because it was being located “in their backyards”, like the late Ted Kennedy?  And why not protest against those that support the oil subsidies, like virtually every Republican law maker in Congress. 

    The goal of divesting from oil companies seems to me to be a flawed tactic.  People are not going to let the pipes in their houses freeze, rather than turning on their oil fired furnaces.  The only way to reduce our carbon foot print is to provide the public with a viable alternative.  You should be demanding policies that alow the siting of wind and solar farms to be done quickly.  You should be demanding pricing policies, like the Germans have done, that guarentee a favorable price for home owners that generate clean energy in their homes and pump their excess energy back into the grid.  You should be demanding much higher CAFE standards for cars, and for ALL other vehicles as well. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/dianna.vosburg.9 Dianna Vosburg

      Many of us are also demanding a carbon fee-and-dividend  plan that would tax carbon at the source and return 100% of that fee at a flat rate to all citizens on a monthly basis. See the “Save Our Climate Act.” We are demanding viable alternatives.

    • http://www.facebook.com/edwnorris Ed Norris

      You’ve set up a false dichotomy.  It’s both.  We do not need to wait for public projects to divest from fossils and keep our pipes from freezing.  Tax incentives and no interest financing is available for private projects that mean going solar or geothermal can be little, if at all, more costly than we are already paying to poison our planet, and can lower our energy budgets significatly in the long run. 

      • WBC_in_MA

        It’s a matter of priorities.  Trying to get fund managers to divest from oil and coal companies is mostly a waste of time.  And you also run up against the truth that those stocks help pay for today’s guest to attend Brandeis.  The focus should be trying to get the demand for fossil fuels to go down.  The overall goal would be much better served if we had a stiff gas tax, rather than getting people to dump Exxon stock.   

  • http://www.facebook.com/dawn.tesorero Dawn M Tesorero

    This is an even stronger movement. The religious organization that once were more known for isolating people are now bringing people together. I am part of the Eastern MA Episcopal Diocese, where we heard & are taking action.  We he heard Wangari Mattai’s (2004 Nobel Peace Prize) words: “We have the moral responsibility to protect God’s garden. Why is it that we donot take action? Why is that the church cannot take it to the pulpit?”

    The Episcopal Diocese and many other religions are coming together to bring the Care of Creation to the forefront. As a member of the New England Religious Environmental Ministries, NEREM (United Church of Christ, Eiscopal Diocese) who on April 27th, will be led by national & international religious environmental leaders: the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Rev. Geoffrey Black, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ, Archbishop Desmond Tutu & Bill McKibben (350.org founder) are hosting a Climate Revival in Boston:
    http://www.province1.org, http://www.macucc.org/climaterevival #climaterevival

    There is much for us to do “May the Creator God be with you and all creation. Thanks for reading, Dawn Tesorero

  • DaveF1957

    I’ve been a listener for several years now, and I’ve got to say this was one of the more disappointing shows I’ve heard.  I’ve never been inclined to comment before; but the total lack of an alternative to our fossil fuel sources  by the guests was remarkable.  When pressed their only comment was “wind and solar.”  There is not a viable wind and solar solution in the foreseeable future to replace fossil fuels, and they should have been pressed on that.  So, in the absence of a solution, what is the substance of their protest? 

    They have emotion; but they have no reasonable, rational solution; which to me is pointless.  The one college student who couldn’t even maintain her breathing, and had difficulty forming a rational thought was not a good spokesman for a movement that wants to change social behavior.  The image that kept popping in my head was a small child stomping it’s feet and holding it’s breath.  There was just nothing convincing about the girl. 

    I am very concerned about climate change, and I’ve done research into fossil fuel alternatives, and quite frankly, there’s not a solution on the horizon.  Demanding an end to fossil fuel usage without a replacement isn’t going to happen. These people should be focusing on funding a Manhattan Project for clean energy; but they seem to think everyone’s just going to live in teepee’s and eat buffalo meat.

    Also, they totally ignore the aspect of China, Russia, India and dozens of other countries that have no intention of giving up fossil fuels.  They are long on emotion, and short on solutions.  Because of that, they will more likely than not fail.

    • ThirdWayForward

      Right now, even without subsidies, rooftop solar arrays are cost effective, with a payback period of about a decade.
      Solar, wind, and increased efficiency (conservation) have never been subsidized at the same levels as  fossil fuel extraction and nuclear industries. Why are we continuing to subsidize fossil fuels through tax breaks? In addition to the billions they receive each year, the nuclear industry has a large hidden subsidy in their limitation of liability should a Chernobyl or Fukushima-style accident occur.
      A rational economic policy deals with the negative externalities that each kind of energy source produces. In the case of fossil fuels this is pollution and global warming. What is needed are not subsidies, but across-the-board comprehensive taxes that send a price signal for the magnitude of the externality. If we had a carbon tax that covered everything, then solar and wind and conservation would be more economical and we would move more quickly towards those technologies (in addition to technologies that clean up fossil fuel use, like carbon sequestration — these still need to be shown to be feasible).

      In the absence of such a comprehensive taxing scheme, little will be done about global warming.Other countries in Europe and Asia are pressing forward with solar and wind energy — it is because of the lock that petrodollars have on our political system that we are not pursuing a similar course.The purpose of the Keystone pipeline is for export.http://priceofoil.org/2011/08/31/report-exporting-energy-security-keystone-xl-exposed/It transports tar sands to refineries located in Foreign Trade Zones in Texas that can then export oil free from US taxes. This is so typical — give the profits to the corporations, but socialize the risks and negative effects.The pipeline is not for us Americans — it is so that the oil companies can sell oil to the rest of the world more cheaply. And if anyone thinks that we Americans are going to see benefits from that oil, we have a bridge we can sell you, cheap.

    • nj_v2

      A number of points…

      • Twenty-something-year-old women are not “girls.”

      • The one student whose breathing was halting had just run into the studio.

      • Replacement of fossil fuels by itself will not solve our problems.

      Our entire infrastructure was built on the incredibly energy-dense nature of carbon fuel. Current renewable energy sources come no where near this density.

      Centralized, complex, expensive, toxic sources like nuclear are not sustainable.

      As with any technology, any as-yet discovered energy source will have unanticipated, unintended, negative consequences, which, in turn need to be “solved,” the solution being yet another “magic-bullet” technology.

      • Re-imagining, re-ordering, and re-building societal infrastructure that was developed in the Petroleum Era does not necessitate “going back” to living in caves and eating buffalo meat.

      • Because the completeness of any possible solutions isn’t evident is not a reason to begin working toward a change from the current system.

      • DaveF1957

         If you can’t sustain the current population with any viable alternative, then yes I would say that’s a pretty steep impediment to changing from the current system.  These people don’t have an answer, only a concern.  There needs to be a pretty firm answer before you start radically affecting the lives of billions of people.  

        • nj_v2

          The current system is already affecting the lives of billions of people. And not in a good way.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            The big question is are we headed for a climate change singularity? These effects have nonlinear feedback loops and are not easily predicted. A few feet of sea level rise make “expensive” steps we could take now seem awfully cheap. 

            Corporations don’t care. Just as the deregulated financial criminals making “ninja loans” knew the bush crash was coming but didn’t care since they were taking their $ out in time, no polluting corporate exec will give a dam if he/she can hit the golden parachute and mountaintop retreat in time. All long-term planning must come from we the people, ie, government.

            Actually it’s quite bizarre to me that so many people drive to and from work every day. We take it for granted, but when you stop and think, it’s unnatural.

          • nj_v2

            A lot of what we do now is bizarre and will appear increasingly so as energy becomes more expensive.

            Huge amounts of energy and resources used to package most consumer items. Packaging is then immediately disposed of when the item is received and unwrapped. (Classic Lily Tomlin bit: I went to the department store to buy a trash can. The checkout clerk put the trash can in a large, plastic bag. I got home and put the bag in the trash can.)

            Food shipped from one side of the planet to another so people can eat the same things at any time of the year.

            Vehicles weighing thousands of pounds, burning fossil fuel, polluting the air, eventually filling up landfills to move a 100–200 pound payload.

            Traffic lights, at any point in time, forcing millions of vehicles to stand still, burning fuel. Millions of horses jumping up and down, going nowhere.

            Huge amounts of energy used to light building facades, to light buildings sealed against daylight, to power bourgeois, escapist amusements—illuminating huge stadiums at night, broadcasting video mind-rot through the airwaves, zipping 3-mile-per-gallon cars around racetracks…

            We could easily save at least half of our current imported oil simply through efficiency and ceasing to do dumbass stupid things with our energy.

      • 65noname

        they are espically not “young” girls.  Talk about piling it on … .

  • 65noname

    How could allow that caaller to ccall these people “young girls”?  First of all, they ARE NOT “young girls”.  If he wanted to reference their ages, they are “young women”.  But how was it even germane top reference their age except to mention, as has already been done, that they are of the next geration?

    Whether or not the caller meant it as such, referring to women as “young girls” is a manner of diminishing

    them just as the various slurring slang words for Afro-americans is meant to do.  The caller referred to himself as a 60′s weatherdude.  (dude: it was the weatherpeople, not weathermen) Well, I was arrested 30 times in the 60′s.  We got over calling women “girls” long, long ago. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/dawn.tesorero Dawn M Tesorero

    I am glad to hear that you are in support of these climate activists & many of us realize this will be difficult. Have you read: “”Under the Surface: Fracking Fortunes & the Fate of Marcellus Shale” or watched the documentary:”Gas Land?” I like former Director of the EPA Office of Civil Enforcement, Eric Schaeffer’s statement: “As a former regulator, it is hard for [him] to read how little our government agencies have done or been able to do to make sure our health and natural resources aren’t shortchanged as this industry (fracking) continues to grow.” Let us also remember that with the BP Oil Spill that these industries are still using clean-up methods that havn’t been advanced through research & date back to the 1980′s

  • http://www.facebook.com/dawn.tesorero Dawn M Tesorero

    YES! They are our future leaders too!

  • http://twitter.com/mschwa1967 Mark Schwartz

    #climatecliff , anyone?  We really can do this.  We got lead out of paint.  We got lead out of gas.  We passed the Clean Air Act.  We passed the Clean Water Act.  What we don’t have is *time* to do it, nor a Congress that is a viable legislative institution.  Talk about a glacial pace, they have to at least move faster than the rate the ice is melting.

    If Congress still wants to be here in 50 years, it has to get off its backside and get to work.  If they’re not, then I hope our kids have enough canned goods and bullets.

  • Laura Kiesel

    I was very disappointed by the caller who disparaged these women and kept saying “WE the American people…” need jobs or don’t need “these people protesting.” Well, these women are just as much Americans as is the caller and they are entitled to their right to protest and to fight for the security of their futures, which has been threatened by the excess consumption of the previous generations. To protest is part of the American experience. It was an integral component of our evolution as a more socially-just country, from ending slavery to gaining the right to vote for women to ushering in the Clean Water and Air Acts of the 1960s and 70s that stopped the trend of Great Lakes catching on fires. In the history of our country and of human civilization, the kind of changes that mattered always seemed to necessitate large movements of civil disobedience and protest against the powers in office. And so it is with climate change as well.

    For those of you who keep bringing up that these women were not offering viable alternatives to fossil fuels, or that there is no viable alternatives to fossils fuels, I would rebut that a.) that is not their jobs. They are not the scientists or politicians; they do not have the resources to set up a new grid. Nor should they have to. Those who wanted to end slavery did not need to have a whole new economy figured out for the South (which was based on slavery and the jobs argument came up there too. Morality v. jobs) to still know that slavery was immoral and need to end, and b.) while it may be true that wind and solar cannot appease the energy demands as they exist today, it should be stressed as they exist today are grossly excessive. Americans have a carbon footprint that is between 15-20 times higher than that of the average global citizen. Surely, we could scale it back considerably. If we learned to truly live within the means of our planet and our current population, then yes, it is much more likely that renewables like wind, solar, and geothermal could bridge the gap. This wouldn’t mean going back to cavemen-type primitive societies, but it would be living in more modest, perhaps pastoral-style communities (even if we don’t want to, climate change will eventually and inevitably force this on us). 

    Anyway, we are in the era of peak oil and as many experts would now contend, peak coal. These resources are already no longer viable for us to base our economy or long-term energy needs on. 

    And having worked with communities in Appalachia whose towns and communities have been ravaged by Mountain-top removal, most of them would agree that the era of coal needs to come to an end.  

  • Laura Kiesel

    McKibben makes a good argument. When people start saying “yeah well you drive or use electricity” so you have no right to protest the fossil fuel industry or a political system indebted to it. It’s called victim-blaming. Many people in the climate movement have a carbon footprint that is much less and conserve a lot more energy on average, than someone who is not conscious of or concerned about these issues. And most of them (like myself) would love to live completely or almost free of fossil fuels, but society and our infrastructure has been created in a way where that makes it virtually impossible to do so. That is why we need a larger-scale political movement and paradigm shift: to renovate and recreate society to function on much less energy and without fossil fuels (or at least on much, much less). 

    • nj_v2

      Thank you! 

      It’s a stupid argument. We’re all participants in a system whose structure, mandates, and options are determined by institutions and forces not easily accessible to individual action.

      The argument that one has to be free of any connection to or dependence on a system in order to advocate for changing the system is, in effect, simply arguing for no action; to simply let the current trajectory play out.

    • warryer

      How do we reduce our energy footprint? What do we use to replace current conventional fossil fuels?

      Renewables can’t do it alone – the technology isn’t there. It’s either nuclear of fossil (including coal) for the time being. Liquid fossil fuels have a high energy density and they are safe, unlike nuclear. So fossil is the better of the two.

      Secondly, what are you doing to reduce the carbon footprint in your life? Are you switching to renewables? Not driving your car? Not using carbon sourced electricity?

      What about food? Tractors and farm equipment all run on diesel (a fossil fuel). This will drive up food prices – the poor will starve.

      • Laura Kiesel

        Warryer – if you look a couple of comments below, I have already offered a rebuttal to the tired “renewables can’t do it alone” argument. We use 15-20X’s the amount of energy per capita than all other countries with the only exception of Australia (and only very recently did they surpass us). If we scaled back use to be in line with the average global citizen (as in, mandate maximized conservation efforts), we could indeed bridge that gap with renewables, energy efficiency, etc. 

        As for the technology not being there, much of it is, but our government has failed to subsidize research into or implementation of renewables in any way competitive with fossil fuels. If you also look at my previous comment, we are in an era of peak oil and coal so it also just isn’t practical to continue to plan on these resources for the longer term. Both resources are heavily depleted and will be gone soon enough anyway. Nuclear is very expensive, and the ecological and public health implications are vast (just ask the people who resided near Fukishima).And there you go at the end, totally missing what I was saying and actually reinforcing my point–your are trying to “blame the victim.” I would certainly make the switch to renewables if it were accessible to me. I am a renter, and it’s not. I do purchase some credits through my energy company, though. And I also had a free energy assessment in which all my lighting was replaced with much more efficient CFLs and LEDs. I don’t use up any vampire energy as all my appliances are plugged into power strips I shut off when sleeping, out of the house or otherwise not in use. And I haven’t been on a plane in several years (and only have ever been on one a few times in my life). Nor do I really drive.In answer to your question about food: I am a vegetarian and have been so for nearly 20 years (to date myself, since early high school). Meat production is a huge contributor to climate change that is on par (and many experts say outweigh) that of transportation. We feed almost three-quarters of the world’s grain supplies to livestock that then are slaughtered and fed to people in the wealthiest countries (talk about poor people starving, do you know much grain are sourced from poor countries to feed to our livestock here and in other more affluent countries? Do you know how many more people could just not starve if more of us ate less/no meat?). I also eat mostly local when it is seasonable, and almost always organic, and have a CSA share. I don’t drink bottled water, and use very little packaging in the food I buy and boycott plastic bags. I also consume as little as possible and when I do buy anything, it is almost always purchased/sourced second-hand.I have made a decision to not procreate and add to the overpopulation problem that will worsen climate change and I think that is about the biggest sacrificial decision one can make. And yet, all of these actions (most of which many of my friends also involved in climate action also have done), though important on the individual level, still won’t achieve the changes needed to curb emissions to keep our planet hospitable to our species (and most we share it with) in the next century or so. These actions, even if all of us partook in them, would still only lead to 10-20% cut in emissions, according to the consensus of experts. Though this shouldn’t be discounted as insignificant in and of itself, we need to cut emissions by 80% by 2050 to avert runaway climate change. Therefore, we would still need political actions and a paradigm shift to embrace energy sources that are carbon-free to make any real difference. Climate change is essentially a number issue, so it’s just a distraction to keep asking what I do or others do. Finally, your agricultural argument just is baiting (you want to starve poor people?) and is simply not true. I went to grad school for environmental science and my research was focused on climate change and its impact of agricultural systems and vice versa. I know what is possible in agricultural systems and they do not have to be based on fossil fuels. I am also an environmental journalist and have covered the topic of both climate change on its own and in the context of agriculture, extensively.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           I’m not sure if you are a vegetarian because of climate change.  However, I recommend you take the 20 minutes to watch this TED talk.  It is really eye opening and potentially revolutionary.


          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Jones/100001227496805 Michael Jones

            “WUPT” is just a front denier site by TV weatherman Tony Watts…most of which can be debunked on the “sceptical scientist” website

          • Laura Kiesel

            No, I initially gave up most meat due to concerns of animal welfare and general ecology. However, my graduate research made me become more strict (beforehand, I still occasionally ate poultry, making me more of a “flexitarian” and a lot of dairy, I have since given up all meat and cut back drastically on dairy). I will look at the TED talk.

        • hdesignr

          Laura, your religion is showing. 

      • nj_v2

        There’s only so much carbon in the ground. Where do you think we’re going to get the energy to maintain our current, unsustainable system when the demand and supply curves for fossil fuels cross and prices begin an inexorable climb? This is likely to begin in a few decades, certainly within the lifetimes of many people now alive.

        Renewables can go a long way, but, yes, i agress, they’re not capable of completely taking the place of the carbon fuel that built our current system. 

        Our infrastructure needs to be rebuilt; self-resilient local systems need to replace energy-intensive, sprawling production-and-supply networks; considerable energy “down-sizing” will need to happen. We’ve been living in one, extended petrol bubble.

        We don’t have to live in caves and forage for roots and tubers, but if we don’t thoughtfully, deliberately begin to reform the way our society is stitched together, the raw dynamics of primal survival will do it for us, and it won’t be pretty.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Jones/100001227496805 Michael Jones

        Today, we in th USA are farmers…..mainly of green lawns. The amount of energy and fertilizer, ect is immense.
        Check out Permaculture Design gardens that will feed us on our very own home lots….no one need starve or be “unemployed”

        • hennorama

          Michael Jones – don’t forget water use.

          In low-rainfall areas like the Southwest and Southern California, using potable water for landscaping is unsustainable.  There are many attractive alternatives to green grass lawns, and many municipalities are encouraging these alternatives in an effort to conserve potable water for human uses.

          Some municipalities are also using reclaimed wastewater for irrigation of golf courses, parks, and other public landscaping.  A few industries (power generation for example) can use reclaimed water.This leaves more potable fresh water for drinking, bathing, and other human uses.


          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Jones/100001227496805 Michael Jones

            Look up Permaculture Design food gardens on the web….OK

    • hennorama

      Laura Kiesel – there are societies that, as you say “function on much less energy and without fossil fuels (or at least on much, much less)”:

      1.  California.  

      Energy efficiency is the simplest and generally the most
      cost-effective means of reducing energy demand.  In California, 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…”


      Per capita energy use (PCEU) in California has fallen by about 25% since the late 1970s, and is below the level from 50 years ago.  Meanwhile, the PCEU figures of the other US states show a decline of about 15% from the same peak (which was nearly 8% higher than CA PCEU), and current energy use in the other states as about 20% higher than 50 years ago.



      2.  Germany.

      Germany has about 1/2 as much “Primary energy consumption per capita” compared to the US – 160.6 million BTU in Germany vs. 312.1 million in the US.  (2011 usage per the US Dept of Energy’s Energy Information Administration)  See:


      Using 2011′s data, both German and US PCEU has declined by more than 7% since 2007, partly as a result of the Great Recession.

      Since 1980, US PCEU has declined a little over 9%,  It’s a bit more difficult to compare German energy use over the same time period, due to the unification of West and East Germany in 1990.  However, since 1991, German PCEU has dropped by a bit over 10%.

      As you can see, most of these declines have been since 2007 and may be greatly related to the Great Recession.

      • Gregg Smith


        “However, a new report found that California’s Energy policies will raise state power rates and associated costs by nearly 33 percent.”

        Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/24/report-costly-state-energy-policies-to-raise-california-power-costs-by-33-percent/#ixzz2NGODTAym



      • WorriedfortheCountry

         When you don’t shower daily you use less energy.  Do we really want to go there.

        • hennorama

          WorriedfortheCountry – Wow. Do you really think whether one does or doesn’t shower or bathe daily could explain such a large difference in PCEU?

          Not bloody likely.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Tongue was firmly planted in cheek.  I was fondly recalling the odors on my last  trip on the crowded Metro.

          • Guest

            Type your reply…

          • hennorama

            Worried – OK then.

            Was that the DC Metro, Paris’s Metropolitan, LA’s MetroLink, the Shanghai Metro, Moscow Metro, Le Montréal Métro, “The Tube” in London (mind the gap)? Perhaps you meant the German U-Bahn instead.

            Personally, I prefer the variety of the Paris Metro, especially the several wonderful Art Nouveau style entrances. But the London Underground, despite the somewhat dizzying escalators one can encounter (see photo below), and the DC Metro come in close seconds. The Montréal Métro is right up there as well, especally given the Underground City aspect of it, where one needn’t take notice of the weather even in the middle of winter.

            For a few examples of wonderful Paris Metro stations, see:



          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Paris!!!  Although Paris is also a great walking city too!!

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         OK, you’ve peaked my curiosity?  Why is the US 2x Germany (and France)?  Germany has a more temperate climate and clearly requires less transportation energy since their population density is lower or is related to industry?

        What is interesting is Canada PCEU is significantly higher than the US in the chart you linked.

        • hennorama

          WorriedfortheCountry – there are a variety of reasons, and population density is one very important one. Germany’s population density is more than seven times that of the US. (227.73 vs. 31.94/sq km). Germans also use mass transit far more than we do in the US, and their homes are far smaller on average.

          Another MAJOR reason is the relative cost of energy. Electricity prices in Germany are the 2nd highest in the EU, for example, and are roughly 3 times the average US retail price. Unleaded gasoline is about twice as costly in Germany vs. the US. Natural gas is 2.5 to 3 times as expensive.

          As we are seeing with US gasoline prices, when the price of energy stays high, consumers become much more concerned with total usage as well as efficient usage.

          Looking at Canada, colder climate due to its higher latitudes, combined with very low population density (3.44/ sq km – more than 9 times less dense than the US and more than 66 times less dense than Germany) are at play. They also have several high energy consuming resource extraction and processing industries (forestry, mining, oil & gas extraction and refining), again combined with very low population density.

          US energy use by sector in 2010

          31% industrial

          28% transportation

          22% residential

          19% commercial

          German energy use by sector in 2011

          24% industrial

          29% transportation

          31% residential

          16% commercial

          Other than that, I have no idea whatsoever. ;-)

          A few handy sources of data:

          http://www.energy.eu/#domestic (EU energy data)

          http://www.energy.eu/country_overview/Germany_2011.pdf (Germany energy data)

          http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/10/27/141766341/the-price-of-electricity-in-your-state (US electricity prices by state)

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_pricing#Price_comparison (Global electricity prices)

          http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/average-home-sizes-around-the-151738 (New home sizes around the world)

          http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/reports_and_publications/statistical_energy_review_2011/STAGING/local_assets/pdf/natural_gas_section_2012.pdf (Natural gas data)

          http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/pdf/sec2_6.pdf (US energy use by sector)

          http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=9250 (US energy use by sector)

          https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/ (Population and many other world facts)

          http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/tgm/table.do?tab=table&init=1&plugin=1&language=en&pcode=tsdpc320 (EU energy use stats)

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Thanks for the info.

              I noticed that the Netherlands has a significantly larger PCEU than Germany, yet it has one of the highest population densities in Europe. [Maybe it is those Red lights in Amsterdam. :) ]

            I’m a little surprised at the high German numbers for residential and transportation given the home size, Geography and relatively moderate climate.  I guess looking at allocation isn’t the best way of comparison.  A better way would be to compare per capita energy consumption in each category.

            I still don’t understand why they shuttered their nuclear power plants.  It seems really dumb.

          • hennorama

            WorriedfortheCountry – TY for you response.

            The higher PCEU in the Netherlands is explained very easily when you consider one fact – the port of Rotterdam is one of the world’s busiest, handling about 2.5 times as much cargo as the second-busiest European port in Antwerp, Belgium. Cargo handling and transportation requires enormous amounts of energy. Combine that with the low total population, and the PCEU is skewed much higher. One also needs to consider the energy used to keep out seawater from the low-lying/recovered land area.

            You can see the high combined percentages of industrial and transportation, and the relatively low residential percentage usages here:

            Netherlands energy use by sector in 2011

            28% industrial

            30% transportation

            19% residential

            23% commercial

            Also keep in mind that there may be some categorization differences across various inforamtion sources when it comes to energy usage percentages by end use sector. As you note, it would be more helpful to compare PCEU in each category rather than the overall percentages.


  • WorriedfortheCountry

    These college students remind me of the nuclear protesters in the late ’70s.  They caused the slowdown and cost overruns of Seabrook station and the eventual stoppage of development of the second reactor.  The net result was New England with the highest electricity costs in the country, exodus of manufacturing to regions with cheaper energy AND larger CO2 emissions.  If the second Seabrook plant had been developed it would have saved millions of tons of CO2 emissions.

    • nj_v2

      More right-wing disinformation.

      Residents near the plant initially opposed the plant. The state of Massachusetts actually delayed the process because there was no effective emergency evacuation plan.

      Nuclear power is inherently, obscenely expensive and cannot exist without public subsidy. Funny that the nut cases our conservative friends who are always so concerned about “big government” and “government spending” and “welfare” don’t emit even the faintest, squeaky noise when it comes to corporate welfare.

      The industry has been dead for decades, not because of protests, but because, even with public subsidy, nukes are too expensive to attract financing.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        The evacuation plan nonsense was a ploy by anti-nuclear obstructionists — including Michael Dukakais.  We MA residents pay higher rates BECAUSE of Dukakais.

        • nj_v2

          And the protests and Dukakis were so effective, there were no nuclear plant orders for 30 years.

          I like the way you dodge all the other issues.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Well we can agree that new nuke plants are too expensive despite being smaller and safer.  Hopefully the Gen IV plants will be cost effective then maybe the Duke will be for Nukes.

    • 65noname

      just today government radio had a segment about Japan’s experience with nuke power.  It pointed out what happens when views like worriedforthecountry espouses prevails.

      Image a nuke plant, its regualtory scheme controled by the nuke industry, a government that lies about everything, including whether nuke plants are safe and what is going on at a nuke plant that is in the process of imploding, an energy industry that enhaqnces profits by not observing the most basic safeguards; bad enough butthen throw in several natural disasters. 

      Not to mention that the history of nuke energy is not cheap enrgy costs for consumers.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Oh, we did dodge a bullet with FUkashima — no deaths or injuries to the public — but it could have been much worse.  Too bad we put the brakes on advancing nuclear technology safety and more importantly waste management in the ’80s.  Fortunately, some private companies and foreign governments have started up the development in advanced technologies which promise to be much safer and cheaper — like LFTR.

        btw – I strongly believe in regulating the nuclear industry for safety.  Surely you can tell the difference between responsible regulation and government hacks using their power of regulation to kill an industry to which they are hostile.

        • 65noname

          Japan didn’t dodge a bullet.  There plenty of “injured” people, not to mention homeless people without any jobs as a result of nuke energy and its “safe” practices.
          You’re entitled to your own fantasies but not your own facts.  It certainly was not ant-nuke activists that are responsible for the lack of regulatroy control and safety features in Japanese nuke plants (or in the US, for that matter).  In fact, we have been told for decades that the plants in japan are absolutely safe, that no meltdown would occurr and are a model for what should be done here.  And then, during the disaster last year the nuke companies and their government lackies continued to deny that a meltdown was going on or that there were any safety concerns.

          Apparently you can’t tell the difference between responsible regulation and government hacks that are owned by the nuke industry.  Or phoney nuke industry propaganda spewed out through the media as being an actual news story.

          It’s hard to believe that you really believe that the lack of safety in nuke plants is the result of those who have struggled to prevent dangerous nuke plants.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            You confusing people injured by the tsunami vs. radiation poisoning (none).

            There is so much disinformation about radiation dangers. There are many population areas that have larger background radiation levels all year round. Also, every human emits radiation so make sure you avoid contact :)..

          • 65noname

            Huh? You don’t really believe that stuff, right?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Actually I believe in science.  Do you have evidence to the contrary?  Do you avoid flying because of the increased radiation? 

          • 65noname


          • WorriedfortheCountry

            These folks received the equivalent of a chest x-ray from the plant release.


            As you can see, living in Denver exposes you to much more radiation — day in and day out.


          • 65noname

            and tobacco doesn’t cause cancer.

          • WorriedfortheCountry


    • jefe68

      I guess that’s why the last nuclear power plant was put online in 1996. 

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         I’m not sure about your point?  They clearly killed the second Seabrook reactor (1988) — even though it was approved.

  • MsAlvarez

    Are these environmental activists prepared to address the core problem of environmental issues: population growth? When and How are they going to address this problem? 

    • BlueNH

      The population problem will be taken care of soon when drought and crop destruction from climate change leads to famine.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Check out this TED talk to see revolutionary way to reverse desertification. It is eye opening.


        • BlueNH

          No thanks. There are lots of scientific sites that are not wed to climate change denial that are worth reading. Watts is a joke.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            It is a TED talk it has nothing to do with Watts (other than he pointed it out and is touting it as potential common ground between both sides of the climate debate).  Also, you clearly don’t understand what Watt does on his site.  He is not a denialist.  You probably don’t know that he has solar panels and drives an electric car.

          • BlueNH

            Then post the direct link to the TED talk. Watts is a climate change denier and delayer. No question about it. He is closely associated with the Heartland Institute, which cannot be described as a climate science organization.

            I have heard Savory speak and have read about his theory. There is no scientific proof that it works. I do not think it should be touted as the answer to climate change. Energy efficiency is the easiest, cheapest and most effective method of reducing GHG emissions. We’re not doing that, are we? We’re still using fossil fuels like it’s the 1950s.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             You sound like the denier and how did Watts ‘delay’ climate change?  If so, shouldn’t you be thanking him?

            btw – I’m all for efficiency.  I plan on trying out one of the CREE Led bulbs once they show up at the Nashua Home Depot.

  • LPSanders

    I am heartened that the younger generation is ready to take action, but I think they and the environmental organizations are putting their money and energy in the wrong direction.  Advertising is what they should be doing.  Every day the oil industry airs thousands of commercials touting their benifits lulling people into a sense that everything is ok and their business is benificial.  Think of all the BP commercials, as if they are the good guys.

    • harverdphd

       Problem is they can’t convince anyone, even with advertising because Americans are smarter than you or they think…and they’re really not ready to take action; they’re ready to mix with the mainstream if the right mate comes along…

  • http://www.facebook.com/refunDennis Denis Nuf

    I am professionally electrically minded. I read the comment from Germany and have heard about our excess consumption often. What is certainly a contributor is the fact that most countries run everything on 208 volt, too much in the US is 110v. Half the voltage means double the current consumed. That is, a device running on 208 volts consumes about 50% less energy than if it was run on 110v. Not sure where and how the US missed the boat on this one. Our big stuff like AC runs 220v but most everything else is 110V. 


    • WorriedfortheCountry

       You are confused regarding 208v vs 110v.  There is a slight transmission efficiency gain at 208V vs. 110v.  You can also use thinner gauge wires (less Cu) because less current is required but you are NOT changing the power requirements by 50%.  The step down to 110V is typically done very close to the house so the relative losses are minimal.

    • nj_v2

      The standard in the U.S. is 120 VAC. Your mileage may vary due to line losses and other phenomena, but that’s the standard. 117 is the typical median.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1488210183 Justin McNamara

    This is really hard to listen to. The environmental lobby/activists’ problem is that is unwilling to compromise and loses sight of its goals in the process. If you want to reduce pollution, go after coal, the biggest offender. The activists all or nothing approach discredits them in the eyes of the many potential supporters who recognize carbon emissions as a problem, but realize the economic reality and benefits of domestic/Canadian production. I understand today’s guests are young and idealistic, but they’re either confused or lying about Keystone XL exporting to the global market. It’s an export pipeline because it goes from Canada to Gulf Coast refiners, which supply the nation’s largest markets and are more or less cut off from the benefits of the shale plays and tar sands as of right now. Same goes for fracking. The benefits outweigh the costs 1,000,000 to 1, and the evidence for water table contamination is slim or non-existent. Choose your battles, and do your research! My advice to today’s guests is to push for more realistic goals like carbon capture and gas generated power, or switching municipal vehicle fleets to gas. Do you want actually reduce carbon emissions or continue living in a fantasy land where everyone can fly through the clouds on solar powered surf boards, and farmers harvest crops using magic renewable hemp fuel? Today’s guests run the risk of isolating large populations of potential supporters/donors by not taking practical steps to reduce emissions that are applicable to our modern economy. I think the environmental groups suffer from a martyrdom syndrome, where they would rather die fighting a futile battle and blame politicians and oil companies for their failures instead of identifying actual areas for potential progress. I know these activists’ hearts are in the right place, it’s just time for their minds to catch up!

    • BlueNH

      Fracking contaminating water sources…..Evidence is slim or non-existent? Are you for real?

      News Flash, Justin……Carbon Capture is a pipe dream. Fracked gas is causing methane to hasten climate change.

      There are no easy answers, but these activists should be praised for their passion and knowledge.

    • harverdphd

       Good luck! By that time they’ll be married with 1.5 and a mortgage.  

    • NotFunnyMitt

      I don’t think you’re paying attention.  They are correct -the builders of the pipeline have said it’s for export.  Not that it matters, whether it is for domestic or foreign use, it can’t be used,  There are no “political realities” that make it worthwhile to trash the entire planet and that is what we are doing.  The radicals are the ones running coal oil and gas companies.  There are no jobs on a dead planet.  We’ve been banging this drum for 30 years now and it is decades too late for the half-measures you propose.  The laws of physics do not negotiate.  The activists’ minds are clear – it’s those that think we can do anything less than everything to stop fossil fuel production that are living in a fantasy.

    • Cabanator

      I agree that the activists suffer from a lack of realism and a certain amount of self-righteousness. Well put! 

    • Laura Kiesel

      I think you are the one being unrealistic. Climate change is, at its core, a mathematical issue. We need to cut 80-90% of emissions by mid-century if we are to have any chance of averting runaway climate change, with a lot of those heavy emission cuts starting immediately. Mother nature is not a political system and is not open to compromise, but we humans, in our hubris, think our human-fabricated systems are some how superior to the planet’s working. I worked in the mainstream environmental sector in D.C. and we tried to “compromise” and here’s where it has gotten us years later after playing nice and by the rules and trying to work within the system: NOWHERE. We would then set our standards lower and lower, finally to the point of selling out, and it still wasn’t enough to make politicians even want to meet us there. We are the only highly developed country without a mandate to lessen emissions. We are one of the most culpable countries for climate change yet have done the absolute least to address the issue.                                                                        Again, I’d remind people that any change that mattered and needed to occur did not without a radical movement behind it. Even the civilized politicians did not think it worthy to discuss ending Jim Crow until people were getting arrested and beaten by the thousands….There were people back then who said those activists were alienating the larger public by asking for too much, too fast (GASP!-true equality!). These generations I guess are also asking to much for–GASP!–a hospitable planet to live out their lives where excess drought, flooding, famine, food insecurity, and punishing heat waves and storms are not commonplace. Most of the activists that I know working on the Keystone Pipeline, are also going to protests/getting arrested at coal plants and in front of mountains in Appalachia as well.

  • harverdphd

    I love this stuff: another stupid bunch who haven’t worked a day in their lives dictating policy.  Occupy got smart when they saw they were in the cross hairs.  These pawns will go home too.    

    • Will Matthews

      Rude and senseless comment.  
      Climate change is happening faster than predicted.  What do you propose we do, harvardphd?  They are offering an intelligent discussion and the first steps towards meaningful action.
      No need to make rude comments.

  • cathoryn

    You are part of the problem – chix & dix, who have a strong opinion, but no solution. Become a nerd. Find cost effective alternatives.

    Otherwise, you’re just irritating.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elisabeth.l.driscoll Elisabeth L. Driscoll

    Florida got rid of the emission control because people complained it was too much of a hassle??! There are so many old trucks with black co2 that should be pulled of the roads and heavily fined. Nothing is done?! It is mostly the attitude of the American people and the government who do not like change. 
    Change is  too hard, too much effort, too difficult….the government does not want to border to think of the next generation, but rather be supported by big corporation and lobbyists, everything in government is done around money.  It is so backwards!

  • PersonB

    The argument is all wrong.  The argument should be wiether it is worth the effort to try and save a people who don’t want to be saved.  Not talking about religion either.  Most will never believe any data you can present, even as the world ends around them.  Save your energy, enjoy the time we have and let come what may.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jrl.photog John Lawrence

    The only thing ‘outstanding’ by the up and coming generation is too many tattoos and stupid tweets given to phones smarter than them.

  • CampHillSage

    They need to take on population growth – less people on mother earth will reduce energy consumption!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/A7UM6FV3QMSOQOVOFLFGOXE2ZM JE

    There is one statistical fact that is ironic and very unfortunate: the older generation (baby boomer for one) seems to take environmental stewardship responsibilities such as recycling more seriously than the young. It would do a lot good to challenge your serial iphone swapping peers to start.

    Secondly, it’s all about culture, specifically the culture of consumption and materialism. This country is as consumption crazed as ever. In fact, addressing over consumption might even find  you a friendly ear among the conservative population of America.

  • Bortski

    The government study found that the pipeline is not expected to increase CO2 emissions because the oil from Canadian oil sands will be exploited anyway and transported by different means. Shouldn’t the conversation focus on whether this source of oil should be exploited in the first place, not whether it should be transported by pipeline?

  • Scott Munson

    You NEED – MUST have Environmentalist Lester Brown on to understand the impact of climate change that’s possible – MUCH sooner then you know.Lester Russel Brown (born March 28, 1934) is a United States environmental analyst, founder of the Worldwatch Institute, and founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. BBC Radio commentatorPeter Day calls him “one of the great pioneer environmentalists.”Author of:World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Jones/100001227496805 Michael Jones

      I agree….but the world is in slow motion. The last climate conference was a joke….all they agreed to was to compensate poor nations! We already spend 60 billion on Superstorm Sandy….no money left.
      Emissions topped 2.67 ppm last year…..
      75% reduction in arctic summer sea ice volume since 1979
      Watch “Chasing Ice” and see the glaciers melt.
      US Navy is presparing and seeing climate change in an article posted on “The Alantic” website…
      need I go on.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/A7UM6FV3QMSOQOVOFLFGOXE2ZM JE

    Continuing from what I wrote below, my point is not to go the old route of generational rebellion. Instead use that boundless energy of youth to fire that train and take us on board with you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Jones/100001227496805 Michael Jones

    Great show and cheers to those folks in the fight. Thanks Tom for bringing the topic out to be heard about climate change and staying focus.
    We have to fight, Obama is playing both sides.

  • Kyle Kline

    Regarding Oil Pipeline / Protests are fine Well thought out protests are better.
    1.  What do you bring to the table as an alternative energy source, Now.
    2.  What form of transportation/energy do you plan to use to bring the protestors to the site of the pipeline?
    3.  Do you realize the oil will get to market with or without the pipeline?
    4.  Have you calculated how much pollutition the pipe line might/or if it
    will SAVE/Prevent since the oil will go to refineries via train and ship
    if not a pipeline?
    5.  Have you considered going to the Canadian oil fields and protesting the drilling/extraction of the oil instead?

    Just wondering.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=709820730 Lawrence MacDonald

      Kyle: We need to get the price signals right so that markets reflect the true costs of the decisions people make. In simple terms, that means a carbon tax, starting at about $20 a ton and rising to $50 a ton, which is a rough approximation of the damage inflicted by that amount of emissions of heat trapping gases. Unfortunately, our political system and the national debate has been largely captured by the fossil fuel companies and other vested interests. We need other ways to raise the costs of fossil fuels, and blocking ill-conceived projects like Keystone XL is part of that process.

      • http://www.facebook.com/tia.murchiebeyma Tia Murchie-Beyma

        I agree that realizing true cost is impossible without political will.  Given that what fossil fuel companies REALLY produce is profit, I’ve often thought they should the best-positioned to lead us to the next, less poisonous, energy source.  Of course, it’s only just before the cost of getting at a resource is utterly prohibitive that we’ll finally turn to other options.  So we squeeze out every bit of oil/coal/mountaintop we can reach now, wring out some more, and ignore all evidence that we’re drowning this planet in our waste.

  • Paul Heller

    Less Climate Activists and more Activist Engineers. We need more Elon Musks. Our generation needs to use our greatest asset; technology, as our greatest weapon. We are the generation of Google, of the iPhone, of txting, of Reddit, and yet   oil and gas continually are willing to pay the big bucks to buy our generation’s engineers. How will we build the battery of tomorrow, the solar panel of the future, and clean energy power plants when our best and brightest are working in oil and natural gas?

    • http://twitter.com/Pragmactivist99 Adam Greenberg

      Lack of engineers is not the problem. Lack of urgency to fund, facilitate and implement climate solutions, including engineering–That’s the problem. These climate activists (which include MANY engineers) have a duty to force action, by opening a space which allows solutions to be prioritized and implemented at the rate science demands.

  • http://twitter.com/EHRenckens 87renckens

    At 32 I’m sick and tired of listening to baby boomers lament my generation. If boomers a had seen through of the initiatives that they love to brag about we would be in a better place in terms of environment, equality, and race relations. Instead of moving forward the work of the 60s these people abandoned the work and went corporate. Today Baby boomers sit on high paying jobs and cushy pensions while pointing to us as lazy. The problems of oil dependency, pollution, and inequality only have grown and now the Boomers want to point to a generation that inherited their failures as the problem

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Jones/100001227496805 Michael Jones

      I one of those you speak of and it does make me sick…what happened to the Mother earth News generation?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tia.murchiebeyma Tia Murchie-Beyma

    My 2001 Prius has 106,000 miles on it.  Same battery.

    • http://twitter.com/EHRenckens 87renckens

      Mis-education is one the greatest threats this country faces.

      • http://www.facebook.com/tia.murchiebeyma Tia Murchie-Beyma

        I mention the tiny fact of my car’s mileage to respond to the current drumbeat against anything that even vaguely suggests a transition from fossil fuels — symbolized for some by the Prius.  It’s the “choose your own facts” approach that makes me so sad.  I’m no apologist for Toyota, but here’s an excellent article on the newly revived Prius myths:  http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/20/toyota-prius-ass-kicker-or-trouble-maker/ 

      • Tyranipocrit

         you are right so stop puttin ggas in your car, scrap it,, and ride a bike, take mass transportation, walk, and get an electric scooter or electric car.  Support local wind farms and solar panels–just to start.

        • Buttercup0630

          I think the things you mentioned would have more of an impact than a protest.

          • Tyranipocrit

            both are needed

  • Will Matthews

    Thanks for this show tonight.  I often feel so powerless as I watch our leaders taking action as if we have all the time in the world.  Climate change is the biggest challenge facing our world.  Humanity is resistant to change, but when we move in this positive direction there’ll be new jobs and we’ll all feel better that we’re taking action.
        Above all, I’m so glad to hear the dialogue and discourse opening up.  Awareness and healthy discussion is the beginning of change.  Thanks so much.
        And as for that one caller — I respect her viewpoint, but I have the real sense that talking about gas prices and jobs is like — how do they say it — like fighting for a deck chair on the Titanic.  If we don’t address climate change, we’ll have a lot more to worry about than gas prices and jobs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=709820730 Lawrence MacDonald

      Will: Well said!! Are you over 50? Join us at FiftyOverFifty.org – Boomer Civil Disobedience for Climate Action. Because it’s not fair to expect the kids to be the only ones to go to jail.

  • Bill Rathmann

    the real issue is not the use of oil. oil companies are only filling a demand. how many of your guests and readers rode in a car today?
    the real issue is overpopulation.
    1/10 the poplulation would create an entirely different paradigm

    • Tyranipocrit

       and consumerism.  But what would you do?  Annhilate the population?  The only solution is a green authoritarian direct democracy.  We must say bye forever to consumerism.  And we must limit birth rates.  CHina and INdia need to have a NO CHild Policy for one generation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Jones/100001227496805 Michael Jones

    Reminds me of the 1980′s/90′s of EARTHFIRST!
    Judi Barrie, bless her departed soul, and all the rest that stood up to stem the tide of destruction.
    I’ll tell you…Corporate and Government are in bed with each other….that’s why Obama was playing golf with Tiger Woods and 2 oil executives on President’s day when we were marching in front of the White House…. don’t let them fool you….they will wear you down and harrass you to no end.
    Read the book…”Timber Wars” and what happened to Judi Barrie.
    Once you make a difference you will be “rubbed out”
    This is not to scare anyone….just be prepared for the time when it comes.
    I heard some brave talk on the show.
    These people in boardrooms…they only see the profit and loss statement…in climate controlled rooms.
    When you are locked in an unheated concrete cell with some other folks, ect….they are sleepin in silk sheets.
    God help us.

  • Steven and Franci Fryberger

    I am amazed at the shrill tone of the guests on this environment-focused ‘on point’.  I do not hear much in the way of scientific fact that might inform and educate the public about why these protests are so important.
    1) One of the guests mentioned that recent US droughts, storms and fires are unprecedented (in the speaker’s lifetime?), but we need only look at the rock record and forest ‘record’ and ‘earth record’ over the past 2,000 -6,000 years to see that there have been massive storms before, large drought/desertification (of areas now grassed over — e.g. The Nebraska Sand Hills), and huge forest fires.  Just because these calamaties did not visit these shores in past 30 years, does not mean that they did not happen here before!!!  (See Dean, Ahlbrandt, et.al. in The Holocene 6,2 (1996) ).
    2)  I am retired now. Numbers of friends and acquaintances will be retiring in the next 4-5 years.  Most of them are not financially well prepared for this. They will be depending on their kids and grand kids for some financial support.   How do all these young, engaged US envirnomental activists plan to support themselves and their parents and grandparents financially over the next 30-50 years? Are there enough well-paying jobs out there in environmental work? 
    3) Rather than shrill rhetoric, I would like to hear your guests enlighten listeners about the nitty – gritty economics of the post-oil world.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Jones/100001227496805 Michael Jones

      Read this for your scientific fact:


      This is not based on “climate models” but a recent survey of Arctic summer sea ice. Satellite and Submarine survey found and verified that it is down by 75% in volume since 1979! The area is reduced by 43%!
      The article states this will have a impact on the weather systems…now.
      So, still want to pour more gigatons of CO2 heat trapping  molecules in the atmosphere?
      Well Steven and Franci, do you?

    • Anton_Chehov

      “How do all these young, engaged US envirnomental activists plan to support themselves and their parents and grandparents financially over the next 30-50 years? ”

      If they succeed (God forbid), in 30-50 years the young, engaged envirnomental activists will become not so young, but very powerfull apparatchiks in the government bureaucracy that will control our lives. Don’t worry for them, they will be OK. Worry for us.

      For tranformation of a young engaged activist just google “Yoshke Fisher” or “Cohen Bandit”

  • Anton_Chehov

    I see this program as part of a campaign by left-wing media
    to influence the decision on Keystone pipeline project.

    These people are just common hooligans who, in their own
    words, try to circumvent a proper democratic process and force the will of a small
    militant minority upon a much larger, but silent, majority.  A classic Bolshevik tactics.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Jones/100001227496805 Michael Jones

      Those “Red Scare” tactics are long gone, think of something new.

      • Anton_Chehov

        There is nothing new under the Sun.
        These people said in their own words during thew interview that:
        1) They want to circumvent the democratic process by often violent means
        2) They want to use the pretext of “global warming” to redistribute wealth

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Jones/100001227496805 Michael Jones

          Anton please….

    • http://twitter.com/Pragmactivist99 Adam Greenberg

      Gosh, those hooligans! No respect for democracy! They sound just like those nasty women during the voting rights movement, and those undesirables like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King  during the civil rights movement. They’re even using the tactics of that despicable agitator, Gandhi!

      Give us a break, Anton.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6ZZPNT4Z563XC474V6NNAU4IEQ Peggy

    It’s heartening to listen to young people concerned about the environment. At the same time it was depressing to hear that everyone else is to blame—lobbyists, big business, oil companies, President Obama, the alleged uncaring older generation—anybody but themselves (and ourselves). I don’t think heard the word “conserve” mentioned once in the entire hour of your program. If young, middle-aged and older Americans, all of us, didn’t use our resources so very heedlessly, maybe we wouldn’t need to pipe, drill, import from the Middle East. I wish your interview subjects had drawn connections between the health of the planet and their own everyday habits—driving; turning on air conditioners; acquiring, and throwing out, plastic bags from the grocery store every time they shop; buying, upgrading and discarding computers of all sorts without considering the impact of making—and then landfilling— these devices). etc. etc. etc. I think protesting is the easier (even the sexy, cool part) for those of us lucky enough to live in a democracy. Taking responsibility for the mundane everyday wasteful things that we all do that result in environmental degradation, is less hip, harder, and as important. 

    • PithHelmut

      Peggy how true. People idle their cars while they sit and chat without even being aware; doors open while air conditioning gushes out; lights left on during the day, etc. The fossil fuel industry knows everyone understands climate change now so there is less denying promulgated by the media backed by fossil fuel advertisers but they put out a different message now. They now say we are not quite there with renewable energy technology and cannot fulfill our needs. But this is nothing more than a myth. We haven’t even begun to try let alone given it our best shot. Just cutting down on waste would probably cut emissions by a third tomorrow! Everyone can travel a greener way to work and be aware of energy wastage in other ways. The other two thirds can be filled by retooling for renewables so that in a very few years we won’t need fossil fuels.  Every rooftop, every car roof can be a renewable energy station. The ff industry knows it is sitting on a worthless product should the public suddenly realize the immense threat that will have to be confronted sooner rather than later. Even from a monetary perspective, fossil fuels cost us too much when we calculate the price of wars and price fixing. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=709820730 Lawrence MacDonald

    These young people are heroes. Boomers have both the responsibility and the means to support them by risking arrest in peaceful civil disobedience. Join Us at FiftyOverFifty.org Boomer Civil Disobedience for Climate Action

  • multiple_levels_of_action

    How can such divergent paradigms ever come together?  Only when we focus on taking care of each other instead of ourselves.  What does this have to do with climate change???  It’s the rat race, the fight to become  part of the middle and top wage earners that keeps us driving cars, buying new fashions, eating convenience foods, and more; hence keeping ourselves in debt and contributing to the wealth of those who purchase the political power to allow fracking and oil sands pipelines.  We funds these action with our daily votes – $.

    How rude of those young women to suggest that their actions are different or better than the actions their elders took and take.  Direct action is effective, and so are many other means.  If you would praise yourself, first pay homage to those who paved the way for you.  Bring some respect and humility to your message to gain more support.  Glad they are aware of the need to join the fight though!  Many folks from all generations are working tirelessly, using all avenues to bring awareness to and create change that will halt climate change.  

    I will celebrate the actions of all and claim these actions to be effective when the nation has achieved a revolution of lifestyle.  It would feel great to be on the front line of the pipeline, bringing the fight  - and it’s  a great temporary fix and effective marketing campaign; but a fight is always defended.  Alternatively, if we keep our money in our pockets, the energy markets lose power, the enemy is never identified, and the energy owners can’t put-up a defense against us.  We can all join that fight -which will take just as much, or more, guts than a direct action which is supported by a crowd that confirms your opinion as “right”.

    So take care of your friends, family, neighbors so that they have the space,time and mental energy to achieve the slow life and divest their own, your own, money from these markets that place no value on life.  

  • Bradley Urso

    AWESOME! so excited to hear this program.  Santa Barbara City College Student who agrees and stands with Dorian, Maura, and Emily.  You guys rocked way to go.  Let’s fix this thing.

  • TheSadState

    I have never heard the show before and just happened upon it and was drawn in to listen. I thought the girls were great with what they are trying to do though it won’t be enough until more than half the world will begin to truely understand that if we don’t stop burning fuel the planet and us in turn will die. It may already be too late to stop the planet from warming to a point where plants and animals can not survive. If you choose not to believe it that is your ignorant choice as the scientific data is there if you care to look. No money, no politics will save us from it. Oil and gas have to be shut down that is the only way. We should be doing it right now this very instant but we won’t and we are going to pay for it. While everyone argues we are all going over the cliff. Anyone with young children or grandchildren I don’t know you face them. Scoff this post if you may but just remember it when things really start to get bad. Just know that you were wrong and you could have tried to stop it but you didn’t.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Jones/100001227496805 Michael Jones

      Coal is also a big hurdle, China’s use alone will do us all in, I’m afraid in the next few decades.
      It is hard to break off fossil fuels, our society built it’s struture around them, the “modern” way of life.
      I agree, we need a meaningful attempt.

    • Buttercup0630

      I am assuming that since you would like to see oil and gas shut down that you are living completely off the grid and not consuming energy?

      • TheSadState

        I didn’t say anything about what I want. I’m talking about what NEEDS to be done. I’m not in control of the utilities. Me going to live in the woods won’t change anything. It’s going to take everyone to commit to downsizing, conserving, and helping one another for free. The sooner everyone can look up from the TV and get their head out of the sand we can stop thinking we can just keep going on this way. But that is not going to happen because very few want to change the way they live. I acutally do but what can I do? The large corporations control everything and everytime we buy something we give them more money and more control. Unless there is a huge uprising against it all nothing will change and apparently not enough people are scared yet. How about you? No worries about all the flooding, droughts, hurricanes? How about all the trees being cut down, smog, ocean rise? How about water shortages, dried up fields, food prices. How about the rise in all cancers or the fact that we all are carrying BPA in our bodies from plastics? No worries? Everything is cool right? Maybe if I just turn out the lights everything will go away?

        • Buttercup0630

          These environmental changes are not something that have just started occuring since the industrial age. It has been occuring since the beginning of time. We cannot afford another Sandy. Nor can we afford another Katrina, Gustav, Issac, Camille, Betsy, or Galveston Storm of 1900. I have concerns about the drought becuase my father-in-law had to sell his cows because of it. I also have concerns over these other issues as well, but I think more of a move needs to be made toward conservation. Uprisings are going to do nothing but grab a little media attention and get people arrested. However, I realize everyone has their causes. If more people would move away from consumption, then there would be less of a demand for oil and gas. I imagine most people are not willing to be without the modern comforts of air conditioning and and motorized vehicles for this cause. And no, if you turn off your lights it wont go away. However, if 35,000 people boycotted energy for a week someone may take notice. There is an movement to switch to alternative energies, but it won’t happen overnight. Since only about two years ago, conversion to solar energy has dropped 70,000-170,000. That in itself is a big step. Also, here is a link to a list of products that are petroleum based http://www.ranken-energy.com/Products%20from%20Petroleum.htm. It’s not just gas, oil and plastic (which, by the way, checking the codes on the bottom of plastic can advise you if it is BPA free or not). We can’t just “shut down” oil and gas.

    • turnerbledsoe

      Hey, TheSadState has it right! CO2 is at 394 ppm going up 10 ppm/ decade. Worldwide decarbonization is not happening! Get out and demonstrate! Walk the talk.

  • Tyranipocrit

    to the female caller who says she is sick of the rigamarole–your conclusions are ridiculous ignorant talking points and  brainwashed gibberish–those cops you say who are being asked  to remove protesters–cops are pawns for the rich.  Protesting is called democracy–why do you worship status qou?–that’s not what this country was built on–civil action is the engine of democracy.  And it has nothing to do with ageism, you old fascist fool.  And the whole point is so you dont have to pay high prices for gas–your drivel about electric cars and renewable energy is just stupid hogwash.  Green jobs will create many many jobs while preserving the environment–YOUR environment.  You do not deserve the benefits of our hardwork.  But you can thank us later.  You get the big sickening dunce award today. 

  • Cabanator

    While I commend these young activists for being passionate about a cause, I am sad to say that I believe they are out of touch with the American public. They say that a sense of “urgency” is building. That may be true among their peer activists, but it isn’t true of the general public. I too was an environmental studies major at a left-leaning liberal arts college. I was in the environmental coalition, I went to protests, supported campaigns for the environment, etc. I graduated only five years ago. After college I worked at an environmental consulting firm where everyone cared about the environment. Then I got a job at a technology company, and I realized I had been living in a bubble. When I suggested that people could use a mug for their coffee rather than disposable styrofoam cups, they all made fun of me. I would come back to my desk to find sculptures made of styrofoam cups. The company couldn’t even be bothered to recycle paper, so one other “environmentalist” would gather it himself. He was the butt of everyone’s jokes. This happened in a suburban, Massachusetts town. The employees making fun of us weren’t ignorant, or even anti-environment per se. They were young, left-leaning recent college grads. However, they simply couldn’t be bothered to “inconvenience” themselves by having to wash a mug. It was easier to throw away the disposable cups, and they clearly didn’t view it as all that harmful. 

    I see a very wide gulf between the environmental activists and the general public. Unfortunately environmental activists are still not succeeding in bringing their message into the mainstream. Railing against capitalism and getting arrested is never going to accomplish that. All this does is make environmentalists seem like extremists who would rather everyone be unemployed than burn a drop of oil. We need to show that we are in fact reasonable people who want a strong economy, technological progress, high standards of living, AND a healthy planet. NOT the latter at the expense of all the former. 

    • Tyranipocrit

       i think they are being quite reasonable but you are not–and polluting corporations have certainly shown us they will never be reasonable or healthy members of society it is the corporate world who is behaving extremely.  And the only way to get peoples attention–to make change is be change.  Its amazing that you mainstream thinkers are perfectly willing to wage war for no good reason but when it comes to civil action–how absurd, how radical, how extremist, how irrational?  I dont get it.  You got it backwards.

      • Cabanator

        Thank you Tyranipocrit for labeling me a “mainstream” thinker and assuming you know about all of my beliefs. Actually, I do not support any of our recent wars, nor am I fan of war in general. I also never said that activists are radicals, I simply made the point that many Americans VIEW them that way. Attacking each other is never going to get us anywhere, and I think you only serve to discredit your own points by attacking me. 

    • Laura Kiesel

      Cabanator– I had a similar experience to you. I went to work in Washington D.C. for a couple of years, lobbying Capitol Hill politicians on conservation issues for mainstream environmental groups. I was amazed that so many of my co-workers (though they were mostly older/my superiors), regularly threw their recyclables in the trashcan (when the recycling bin was right next to it), ate fast food, drove SUVs, etc. However, I don’t see how the hypocrisies or inconsistencies of our co-workers somehow invalidates what these women are fighting for or makes them unrealistic. If anything, it shows even more so how unsustainable we as a species are becoming and how delusional we are about it, therefore making it more necessary for more extreme and urgent action. As for my experience, the groups I worked with did try to compromise..a lot…and it didn’t work. How can non-profits compete with donations by the multi-billion dollar industry? You can’t by playing nice or “compromising.” They are not willing to compromise. And that’s when you need to fight instead. My case in point: a few years back, I interviewed for lobbying job with an environmental advocacy group. My position would have been this: campaigning the Republican Senator of our state to vote for the climate bill in Congress. At this point, what had started as a strong and promising bill had been so watered down and gorged with subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, that not only would it had not done a damn thing to address climate change at all, it would have made it WORSE. And yet, when I brought this point up during the interview, my would-be employer told me that the Democratic Senator (who was in favor of the bill) told her that this (bad) bill is the only one the “oil companies will let pass.” Huh? So, in other words, they (the oil companies) get to tell the Senators what will pass and the Senators tell the environmental groups and they all go along with it? I am sorry, but that’s just dumb and proves we need a different strategy.
      College may be an insulating environment, and attendees may be more “idealistic”–but “idealism” doesn’t have to be a negative trait, nor should its power and the influence of movements that begin or gain momentum among the college crowd be discounted or discredited. Most of the social progress that has occurred in recent history–women’s liberation, the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, and the first environmental movement (which culminated in the establishment of the EPA and the passage of several landmark environmental laws including the Clean Water & Air Acts, the Endangered Species Act, and NEPA)–all got their start in, and were fueled greatly by, the college student and young adult demographic. And it should be noted that back then, many of these demographics were dismissed as wide-eyed, sentimental, unrealistic kids. Well, I guess the naysayers were wrong, huh?Anyway, I find it kind of funny, that you graduated college all of a whopping five years ago and you think it somehow puts you in a place to act so much older and wiser than two women who basically are in your generation. One of the women was around your age, for heaven’s sake. 

      • Cabanator

        I think you are missing my point. All I am trying to say is that I don’t really see the movement catching on in the general public. This is an observation, not a critique of activists’ ideals. To me, if our message isn’t being heard, that means we need to re-evaluate our message and our tactics. Our representative democracy is a majority-rules system, so until the majority starts to change attitudes and behaviors, politicians won’t listen. Look at this last election. Climate change barely came up in any of the debates. Why? Because the polls showed that people cared more about the economy and social issues. I don’t agree with this, in fact I think climate change is probably the biggest issue facing society, and I want politicians to talk about it a lot more. But, the reality is, most Americans don’t agree with me. Look at the polls, look at elections, look at reality. I would love for these activists to be successful, but at this point, I just don’t see the evidence that attitudes are really changing. I hope I am proven wrong. 

  • Sixfiles

    While I was thrilled to attend the FOC rally there were words I was hoping
    to hear that no one mentioned.
    Poll results are now showing the majority of Americans want the President
    to act on Climate Change. He can do a lot but it is limited and will take
    time. We the people need to act too and don’t need any elected official
    to do so. Everyone needs to use less carbon. If only 5 or 10 percent of
    us, 15-30+ million people, reduce our total carbon use by 50% it will not
    make a significant difference. We need 100s of millions here and billions
    world-wide to act. It will be painful sticking this needle in and letting
    it hang there. The Presidents words and acts can help but will never be
    I want to hear:
    1.       Carbon based entertainment needs to be scrapped, from the Daytona 500,
    to downhill skiing (think chairlifts), to cruise ships, etc.
    2.       Airline travel should be heavily reduced.
    3.       Automobile travel should be heavily taxed by the mile (I’m hearing some
         about this).
    IMO if we aren’t willing to take a big bite into these we will fail.
    There are those who plan to stand in the way of the KXL pipeline. I applaud
    their willingness for direct action. Is it time to do the same for these
    three above?  There were a lot of young people at the rally. It made me
    wonder if they could change the mood about personal carbon use, make it
    cool to purposely use much less.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Jones/100001227496805 Michael Jones

      Unemployed people in these industries will need to be retrained and supported in the transition.
      This will literally turn our way of life upside down.

      • PithHelmut

        Climate events will also turn our lives upside down. 

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Since you are a fan of polls — please take a poll of your 3 proposals and then get back to us with the results.  We’ll be here having a good belly laugh.

      • Anton_Chehov

        These people don’t need polls, and they don’t need democratic process.
        They know what is right for you, and will try to impose it one way or another

    • Buttercup0630

      I think what you are saying makes sense. Conservation does not seem to be a factor for the “climate activists”.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    In view of the perfect historical correlation with temperature, anyone who is unconcerned about the astonishing CO2 levels is a fool or a dupe of corporate propaganda:


    Physics doesn’t care about fox and righty talk radio. We’re headed for a very hot planet. Anyone who is willing to take on the polluters has my respect.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Hey TomK thanks for contributing.  Pray-tell what is the ideal CO2 level.  My plants are just dying to know.

  • Gordon Green

    Amen to TomK_in_Boston – these guests are on exactly the right track.  To the woman who called in fretting about expensive gas saying “give me a break”:  No.  Give US a break.  Expensive gas?  Well boo hoo, no one is happy about that.  But, do you want a planet with a stable climate that can support agriculture and infrastructure, or not?  We can live with expensive gas.  Last time I checked the highways were still full of cars with one person in them, and we are far from the point of pain.  We can even live without gas entirely; it would be traumatic, but it could be done.  We cannot, however, live without food and the stable climate it depends on.

  • Flowen

    Dorian, Maura and Emily

    Thank you for your service!

    After the American public has been sleep-walked from Reagan’s shining city on a hill where Americans deserve whatever they can get their hands on, to the nightmarish toxic future created for us by Cheney-Bush, you are a refreshing sight for sore old eyes.

    Your activism, and radicalism, is essential for any positive change. It is much more important than our military excursions into Iraq for oil, and Afganistan to enable the defense industry to polish UAV (drone) technology.

    It IS about social justice, and the energy in the Occupy Movement is available if it can be tapped. Occupiers are environmentalists, even if they don’t know it.

    But, as important as activism is, you cannot get people to change by “waking them up,” by imparting information to them. The corporate media has not just failed to project truth and protect the public’s interest: at the behest of, and with the income from the financial and toxic energy lobbyists and marketeers (principally) they actively confuse the public for the purpose of maintaining ideological polarization, and thereby gridlock and the Status Quo. Without the people’s support for change, politicians and regulators cannot effect any change, even if they wanted to.

    In addition to activism, people need to want to change….they need their dream, the American Dream. They do not want to wake up to an ugly reality, and they will not….until the reality of increasingly frequent and severe breakdowns of all sorts hit them in the face and knock them personally off their feet, at which time it may be much too late for meaningful guided change.

    The American Dream, like our government, has been captured by narcissistic/psychopathic Billionaires and wannabes pursuing their commercial interests. They are psychologically challenged to “do the right thing:” they cannot distinguish their interests from doing the right thing. They pursue their interests thinking and believing it is the right thing, enabled to believe they are entitled to whatever power their money can buy.

    The American Dream has become little more than a big house with lots of cars, leisure time, toys and consumer gadgets (that don’t last very long or work very well; but that’s not part of the dream of course, that’s the reality), and a job that pays well enough to afford it, along with healthcare and education.

    As we all know, that American Dream, built on cheap toxic energy and debt, has left most people struggling for just home and healthcare. The American Dream as seen on TV, is more of an illusion becoming a real nightmare…an exploitive high cost-of-living environment obscenely benefitting the !%.

    So, IMO, in addition to activism, we need to reclaim the American Dream. After decades of debasement, it needs to be re-defined with all the old ideals of stability, family, opportunity, conservatism, fairness, and legal and political (social) justice, and like life itself, working towards a higher order, with wealth and fortune being a by-product, not a goal that justifies any means.

    For those of us too timid, old, or busy to join street protests, we can also create change: screenwriters, artists, musicians, authors and all creative people can tell the story of a toxic energy past, and/or a bright fulfilling self-sufficient future; bankers can make loans for solar and conservation easier to get than home and car loans; teachers can educate their students; kids can educate their parents; investors can divest toxic energy holdings; marketers and ad men can make solar sexy and oil yucky; landlords and property owners can improve their properties and divert cash from utilities to themselves…and on and on. Beyond being mindful and conservative, everyone can find a meaningful way to help if they want. 

    The battle to change people’s behavior is mostly in their heads. Behavior is emotional and driven by unconscious motivations: fears and desires….not so much by information, logic, reason and rational explanation. People justify and rationalize all sorts of irrational behavior. And the US pursuit of toxic, centralized power and energy is irrational AND self-destructive.

    How many psychotherapists does it take to change a lightbulb?…only one, but the lightbulb has to want to change.

    You three young women have my full support and best wishes for luck and progress. I would be proud if you were my daughters.

    A solar warrior from the 1970s.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    What if the environmental issues around ‘climate change’ can be reversed without reducing fossil fuels or taxing carbon or big government intervention? 

    Well, there may be such a solution.  I recently saw this TED talk and it appears to hold promise.  It is really out of the box thinking and it looks real.  This introductory TED talk is only 22 minutes.  I highly recommend it for everyone — on all sides of the climate debate.


    • http://twitter.com/Pragmactivist99 Adam Greenberg

      Science has told us, over and over again, that it can’t. We need to leave 80% of our fossil fuel reserves in the ground. We need to move away from GHG emissions and we have only a few years to do it if we want to avoid warming between 3-11 degrees F. Credible climate science is all on the same page here. Watts is not included that category.

  • http://www.facebook.com/luke.held.9 Luke Held

    Thanks for this episode!  Excellent!  It is great for you to share with the country that there are dedicated youth (not exclusively youth) out there.  The Occupy movement brought thousands of people of all generations out and got them organized.  There is plenty of fire in the belly of this American beast ready to take or action for what they believe in. 

    Ralph Nader is sadly mistaken when he says there is no fire.  The fire that is missing is in our (consolidated) mainstream media providing the oxygen the movements need.  Mainstream media do not cover anti-government actions as strongly as they did in the ’60s.  The largest anti war protests in our countries history happened before the Iraq war, yet received little attention.  Occupy protests were markedly larger than Tea Party marches, which occurred on sunny days on a weekend, but received little to know analytical coverage in the mainstream media.  The lack of fire is due primarily to media consolidation and the threat that these movements offer to our power structures. 

  • otto suksumake

    I was listening to this last night, and these women really have the wrong approach. I am only about 10 years apart from their generation, being 35 and i’m as liberal as they are. I have always recognized the fact that our climate is changing due to human activity.

    However, these women are so fearful of what?  I’m liberal but I don’t let that cloud the science. I think it was Dorian who seemed to be on the verge of tears partway into interview about 26:00. They are worried about complete environmental and social catastrophe, “food instability”? That’s as fear-mongering as the corporations’ messages. That’s simply not correct according to all the science. True there will be more extremes and flooding will occur in low-lying coastal areas. But there is time to act.

    Thus, we need a practical solution that nips the energy demand in the bud, not the supply. Protesting against big oil and stopping a single nat gas pipeline will not help very much. Obviously, we don’t want to return to the 1900′s lifestyle, so we need lots of energy. We can’t get that with renewables yet but one day we will, and with some governmental investment. Until then, natural gas is cleaner, and the science backs that up. And it’s in abundance. Higher fuel economy standards will also help. We need to walk down the side of the hill, not step off a cliff. Bear in mind that energy usage for the US has actually started to level off. That’s a good step.

    • Sixfiles

       Otto: The KXL pipeline mentioned several times is an oil pipeline not a nat gas pipeline. This particular oil would be coming from Tar Sands which currently is the dirtiest way we know how to derive oil. The pres stopping this would be a symbolic gesture that many of us hope starts the ball rolling in the right direction. We have to start carbon use reduction somewhere/sometime and this is it and the time is now. Thanks

      • otto suksumake

        Like I said, the fate of that pipeline has little bearing on the solutions. Fine, it’s an oil pipeline. We need motivated people like these women to go and work at understanding and solving the problem rather than “wasting energy” protesting uselessly. Also this community has already decided that Obama is useless, which I disagree with. So why petition him at all?

        Real carbon reduction starts with investment and establishment of practical solutions like low-carbon fuels today. Only when the practical solution is fully realized and humming can we afford to start major investment in renewables for the future. If we invest billions in renewables now, who knows when they will pan out? In the meantime, guess what, we’ll be burning coal and oil instead of something much cleaner.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1152360013 Peter Szabo

          You’re right about these guests missing the broader point, and I believe that even Tom Ashbrook might agree. He seemed to be alluding to the idea that there is a bigger plan in Pres. Obama’s scope when he was asking if they really believed the POTUS was disillusioned by the fossil fuel industry.

          Blocking the KXL pipeline is a necessary signal to kickstart a serious effort to replace fossil fuels with clean energy, but it is true that this change will be a more gradual shift rather than a flip of a switch. While I believe that we have the power and ability to become a clean energy nation in five years time, I know that this would take unanimous support that the movement does not have. Therefore, I have resigned to the fact that we must take any and every step towards a cleaner energy future, even if it means substituting coal for a slightly less dirty means of producing electricity- natural gas. We just must remain vigilant, focused, and driven and we must continue to take whatever steps towards a cleaner energy future whenever possible, therefore slowly stepping away from our outdated, dirty fossil fuel present.

          • http://twitter.com/Pragmactivist99 Adam Greenberg

            Otto, all: I’d say, in fact, you’re probably quite wrong about these guests missing the broader point. These kids understand the policy quite well. They have wonk credentials. A lot of youth do. But I’ll tell you a secret. Policy wonkery doesn’t change things, CAN’T change things, until activism has opened up the political space for that change to be made. Policy solutions aren’t solutions until people like Rosa Parks or Dorian Williams take whatever risks they can, put themselves in harm’s way even, to the best of their ability, to strategically galvanize the populace into the kind of actions morality–and now, science, demand.

            Otto, trust me. These people understand the problem and have a lot to contribute in the field of solutions. But we’re at an impasse. Fossil fuel money has been devastatingly successful in stopping meaningful climate action. Meanwhile, science tells us we have less than a decade to radically change course. Time is not on our side (except for Time magazine’s article against the KXL pipeline). Without these youth, and mothers, and fathers on the front lines, we can’t open the political space we need to create the change. Policy solutions are great. But they can’t become solutions until people ACT.

          • otto suksumake

            Politics and “political space” doesn’t change anything. Science and art moves humans forward. Fossil fuels are successful because it has a lot of energy, it’s easily exploited, and there is a lot of it. The lobbying is reprehensible, but it’s not the problem. It’s not easy to exploit solar… an advanced biological mechanism called chlorophyll is by far the best at doing it. Humans aren’t there yet. We see the writing on the wall, we need time, but while that experiment progresses, we need something that will work today, not at an unknown point in the future. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Jones/100001227496805 Michael Jones

      Sounds like we want our cake with lots of topping on it.
      No free lunch…

    • TheSadState

      How was that fear-mongering? That was how she felt. You can tell she is scared of what might happen and you should be to. You don’t think that drought and higher temperatures across the plains will be an issue for food grown there? Even if “enough” food can be grown it will be more expensive as it will be more difficult to do so.  What science are you refering to that would state differently? As sea levels rise the whole east coast of the US will be in trouble. Major cities such as Boston, NYC, and Miami could be lost without MAJOR preventive measures. You don’t seem to think that is a big deal. How would we pay to wall off the cities or move everyone out and house them? you must live inland.  Natural gas is cleaner than most fossil fuels but it still releases CO2 AND wastes water and contaminates areas where it is fracked from. You must not live in one of those areas I’m guessing. Ask people in parts of Pennsylvania, Texas and Colorado how they like fracking. And while you are at it ask people in Arkansas how they like the oil pipeline and how safe it is. I’m guessing you don’t live there either. Energy usage “leveling off” will not help us as it is the current levels of pollution that has already gotten us in trouble. Usage needs to decline not level off and we may have already doomed ourselves. If global warming runs out of control we will wish we had stayed in the 1900s. You seem to have no idea of the pain and suffering that could be coming so just because you are not overly alarmed don’t blame others if they are.

  • KathleenFerris

    I am over 70 years old and have been an environmentalist for the last 20 of those years. Watching the earth decline so rapidly during that time, I have begun to feel despair that my grandchildren will have a world that it habitable in which to live their lives. Your discussion yesterday morning with Maura Cowley and Emily Williams gave me hope that smart, well-informed young people are getting organized to turn around the destruction of this earth, our home.
    Maura and Emily are absolutely on target in identifying the environmental problems that we face and their root causes. They are right in foreseeing the threats to our food sources, our fresh water and the air we breathe by obtaining and burning fossil fuels. And they see the need for more clean, renewable energy from wind and sun. They are also correct about the political obstacles environmentalists face in trying to change the trajectory of America’s environmental policies. Moneyed interests control a great part of our government, both at the state and federal levels, and it will require strong political pressure by a large number of people to save the climate and the planet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/buZZZZy Andy Paulausky

    I am a 26 year old white male custodian and though I do not have much experiences, I can give some perspective on the views of this generation.  I can see why Ralph Nader says I lack the fire in my belly.  My generation has been bombarded with media and other stimuli that aims to manipulate us every day since we have been able to listen.  From religion, to causes, to family, friends, news, entertainment never has there been so many attempts to grab our emotions for any sort of reason.  You cannot blame us for being numb to most of it.  We live in a time of infinite instantaneous information and the most extreme media.  As a result we see them for what they are, a pitch.  We understand the meta concepts of advertisement, manipulation, and psychology.  This allows us to see clearly through everything that is thrown at us unlike every generation that was before us.  I can relate it to homeless begging for change.  We are always skeptical of every sharp pitch.  What comes through to my generation is honesty and facts. Unfortunately everytime someone comes with a new cause, they come at us sounding like your guest in this discussion.  They only answer the questions through their frame of mind and will not compromise because of their passion.   That’s great for emotion but emotion is not what strives us, its truth and honesty.  If emotion drove us people like the westboro baptist church or other charismatic leaders would take control of our country like they did in the days of old.  Today we see through all of this and I see through your guests cause.  She cannot tell us why the pipeline will doom this nation.  She cannot give us facts on why the jobs that will be created, the energy independence, and the positive economic gains from this pipeline all worth throwing away.  To spin it and try to say that the pipeline’s contents will not be used in the US is a lie and for that she will lose her cause.  

    We crave facts, we crave honesty; without these things my generation will stay seated.  In the age of information, information drives us, not emotion, and that is a great thing.  I would argue that 20 years from now, this generation will be the most healthy, the most educated, the most environmentally efficient and forward thinking of its time.  I believe it could be better, but I know right now these roots are here.  These environmentalists need to take a step back, get their facts together, and battle with logic.  Only then will they win their fight.

  • Pingback: Climate Change Series: Renewable Energy | Cognoscenti


    There also are battles raging in state legislatures across the nation where special interests are working to reverse progress being made on clean, renewable energy development and goals.  In CT, as in 22 other states, the entire program is in jeopardy.  The false arguments abound regarding the cost of renewable energy, the false benefits of using “Big” hydro from Canada, and failing to take into account energy efficiency in the demand for energy in the future.   

    In CT, a large coalition of business, labor, religious AND environmental groups are calling on the Governor NOT to retreat from our state’s leadership on clean energy development and state adopted goals. Consider this:

    In CT,  our renewables program is working. At 10% renewable and on track to meet 20% by 2020,  our state environmental agency doesn’t project potential shortfalls for at least another 6 years

    It is low cost. 10% renewable power today for investment of only 3%. We had almost no renewables just a few years back

    The program is increasingly purchasing in-state. 89% on New England grid a few years ago has dropped dramatically thanks to nation-leading incentive programs for local resources

    It is NEW energy.   The renewable energy program is starting to get many more new projects built, esp. wind. It would be a huge setback replace the growth in the RPS with already built Canadian hydropower.   This does nothing  but stifle progress and investment.  We should not trade new wind for old hydro.   

    So we need to go big, not give up.  If CT want to the the number one energy leader in the nation  (as our Governor has repeatedly stated), we must not roll back progress on clean, renewable, environmentally responsible energy.

  • Monica Roland

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Aug 22, 2014
Attorney General Eric Holder talks with Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol at Drake's Place Restaurant, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Florrissant, Mo. (AP)

The National Guard and Eric Holder in Ferguson. ISIS beheads an American journalist. Texas Governor Rick Perry gets a mug shot. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Aug 22, 2014
In this image from video posted on Facebook, courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, former President George W. Bush participates in the ice bucket challenge with the help of his wife, Laura Bush, in Kennebunkport, Maine. (AP)

The Ice Bucket Challenge: ALS, viral fundraising and how we give in the age of social media.

Aug 21, 2014
Jen Joyce, a community manager for the Uber rideshare service, works on a laptop before a meeting of the Seattle City Council, Monday, March 17, 2014, at City Hall in Seattle. (AP)

We’ll look at workers trying to live and make a living in the age of TaskRabbit and computer-driven work schedules.

Aug 21, 2014
In this November 2012, file photo, posted on the website freejamesfoley.org, shows American journalist James Foley while covering the civil war in Aleppo, Syria. In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded Foley — and are threatening to kill another hostage, U.S. officials say. (AP)

An American is beheaded. We’ll look at the ferocity of ISIS, and what to do about it.

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