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Climate Change Countdown

An urgent call to act on climate.  A top UN panel says we have just 15 years to avoid calamity.

Activists of the international environmentalist organization Greenpeace pose with posters in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, April 13, 2014, to support clean energy. After a one week meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in Berlin the final document which was  released on Sunday said that a global shift to renewable energy from fossil fuels like oil and coal are required to avoid potentially devastating sea level rise, flooding, droughts and other impacts of warming. (AP)

Activists of the international environmentalist organization Greenpeace pose with posters in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, April 13, 2014, to support clean energy. After a one week meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in Berlin the final document which was released on Sunday said that a global shift to renewable energy from fossil fuels like oil and coal are required to avoid potentially devastating sea level rise, flooding, droughts and other impacts of warming. (AP)

The climate change warnings are getting louder.  More urgent.  Yesterday in Berlin, a big global panel delivered the latest.  We are not doing enough to head off calamitous change.  And the time frame remaining to avert the risk is closing in.  Just fifteen years now to change course, or face a heavy price.  The upside, said the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is that we know what to do and how to do it.  The question is when and whether we will.  Fifteen years is not that long.  This hour On Point:  spelling out in black and white how close we are to the edge on climate change, and what it will take to pull back.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Gautam Naik, science and environment reporter at The Wall Street Journal.

 Robert Stavins, lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change United Nations report. Economist and expert on climate agreements at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics program.

Leon Clarke, lead author of section of the IPCC UN report on the switch from fossil fuels to clean energy. Senior scient at the University of Maryland’s Joint Global Research Institute.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: U.N. Climate Change Report Says Worst Scenarios Can Still Be Avoided — “According to the report, global greenhouse-gas emissions have risen more rapidly between 2000 and 2010 than in each of the three previous decades. The global economic crisis of 2007 and 2008 temporarily reduced emissions but didn’t change the trend, the report says.”

NPR: Climate Change Adjustments Must Be Fast And Major, U.N. Panel Says — “There’s an international target to control climate change: keeping the global temperature rise to just 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — that’s 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. TheIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now says it’s technically possible to meet that goal. But doing so will require rapid, large-scale shifts in energy production and use.”

The Economist: In the balance — “Dividing up the effects of climate change in this fashion leads to different ideas about how to respond. Defending low-lying cities against a rising sea level is difficult and expensive, and it is impossible to adapt to ocean acidification. These problems would best be dealt with (if at all) by attacking the cause: ie, by cutting carbon-dioxide emissions.”

Read The IPCC Draft Report Summary, “Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change”

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  • Matt MC

    Dumping the two party system. Putting all my time, money, effort, and political will into a third party with climate change and other progressive agendas in mind. I’m throwing away all the votes, but at least I tried!

  • HonestDebate1

    Before the original heart bleed topic is forgotten, just a reminder to change your password.

    Algore gave us a decade in 2006. Ever since Rush has had a countdown clock. The time is near. Repent.

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2006/01/27/algore_we_have_ten_years_left_before_earth_cooks

    • Charles

      Yeah, what happened to the Heartbleed show? Mods?
      I was excited to hear it.
      I’ve heard this climate change show, however, several times.

      • TFRX

        “Unavailable guest” is my guess.

        • Charles

          Makes sense, I suppose it doesn’t take much time to whip up a climate change show. Mostly stock footage…

    • OnPointComments

      I’ve wondered if the password encryption problem is caused by a faulty algorerithm.

      • HonestDebate1

        Hilarious!

    • Ray in VT

      Thank you for once again reminding us how juvenile and small minded is right wing talk radio’s king, as well as those who tune in to collect his droppings. Your work to enlighten all of those scientist whose work supports this great conspiracy is noted.

      • HonestDebate1

        The topic is “Climate Change Countdown“, Dr. Algore is on record.

        We have 1 year, 287 days, 15 hours, 28 minutes and 45…44…43…42…41…40….

        • northeaster17

          The Algore thing again. Childish. It just says so much.

        • Ray in VT

          I think that one of the speakers addressed the issue of time, emissions, impacts and the longer term problems of what even curtailing current emissions, to which I think that Mr. Gore was alluding, entails. Reading the science is far more productive than El Rushbo’s twaddle.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Or perhaps quoting the Goracle’s words is simply an ‘inconvenient truth’ for alarmists because is so embarrassing.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, it can easily be shown that selective quoting can be used very effectively to change meaning and ignore context or complexity. Take that article “reporting” on EPA testing. They built that.

          • Don_B1

            You, and the other trolls here, denying any and all facts of what climate change will cause to the lives of future generations are the biggest embarrassment!

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            We can probably agree on the “facts” if we stick to the “facts”.

          • Don_B1

            We probably couldn’t agree on a definiton of “facts” as your definition of “facts” doesn’t have much connection to reality, other than the misinterpretation of facts reported by climate scientists to mean something that they did not mean.

          • HonestDebate1

            Rush didn’t say it, Algore did.

          • Ray in VT

            I am referring to El Rushbo’s simplistic twaddle that you have cited, which plays well in some circles.

          • HonestDebate1

            1 year, 287 days, 13 hours, 26 minutes and 30… 29… 28…27… 26… 25….

          • Ray in VT

            Well, at least you have shown that you can count backwards on at least a limited basis. That’s something I guess.

  • mememine

    95% isn’t certainty; it’s a fear tactic.
    The “Denier” voting majority will no longer tolerate you heartless and mean-spirited “believers” condemning our children with another 32 years of your “95%” certainty that THE END IS NEAR.
    “Belief” and support are gone so get up to date;
    *Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians.
    *Canada killed Y2Kyoto with a freely elected climate change denying prime minister and nobody cared, especially the millions of scientists warning us of unstoppable warming (a comet hit).
    The only crisis you remaining believers have to worry about is how your grand kids will explain to their kids how you so selfishly and with such sickening childish glee (at the mere grunt of a headline) sentenced them all to a CO2 climate crisis.

    • dust truck

      Wow, you must be a blast going to casinos.

    • tonyduncan

      Mememine.
      those that deny climate change due to increase in CO2
      have to ignore science, facts and reality, in order to maintain their views. Yet, you manage to call those that DO accept science, facts and reality “believers”.
      it is not mean spirited to tell an alcoholic they need treatment, though it certainly feels that way to the alcoholic.
      I must admit, I have not heard the argument that climate change is bogus because occupy Wallstreet doesn’t talk about it. Kudos for originality

    • HonestDebate1

      It’s the weather deniers that bug me.

      • Don_B1

        The old deceitful trick of conflating weather with climate! How clever!

        Now you can roll over and go back to sleep knowing your mission is accomplished!

        • jefe68

          He thinks he’s being clever.
          So much for his recent diatribe about wanting “honest debate” based on rational thought and facts. The right wingers are true to form today with the predictable memes.

          • HonestDebate1

            Was the cold winter weather or global warming?

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

            The cold air “slipped” off the Arctic, because the jet stream is breaking down – probably because the Arctic ice is melting.

            So, the cold winter *in one part of the earth* is caused by climate change.

          • jefe68

            I’m done answering or reacting to obtuse or mendacious questions. In the future, try to remember that.

          • Ray in VT

            Weather, possibly affected by global warming, as warmer global temperatures could play a role in destabilizing the polar vortex and causing unusual dips that bring unusual cold in some areas, while also creating unusual warmth in others.

        • HonestDebate1

          I am not conflating squat. I am saying there IS difference. Do you believe in weather?

          • Don_B1

            What you don’t conflate, you dissemble and deceive about. Your choice!

    • Don_B1

      So you don’t sell a stock in which you have invested every last penny of your savings and retirement when every indication shows it is 95% likely to tank?

  • creaker

    You can argue whether it’s man made or not all you want – but climate is changing, it always has. And the naysayers are preventing a lot of infrastructure work that needs to be done to prepare for it.

  • Coastghost

    A splendid opportunity that has not been missed quite yet: conflating this morning’s two shows would yield at least one program devoted to climate change hypocrisy, and wouldn’t THAT be newsworthy and eye-opening: then we might learn more exactly just how much energy consumption our beloved broadcasters and news outlets, our enviromaniac advocates and climate change alarmists are responsible for as they power up their transmitters and microphones, cameras and studio lights, all the gas that cameramen and reporters burn day-in day-out, how many flight miles news anchors rack up as they help peel away even more of the ozone layer at 35,000 feet and as they zip to climate change conferences worldwide and their high-flying back-and-forth from East Coast production facilities to West Coast production facilities (including return flights), all the electricity generated by suspect sources to power podcasts and weather apps, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
    (My hypocrisy consists at least of having put almost 3000 miles on my 4-cylinder car last year, apologies to the twenty-second century.)

    • TFRX

      Your “I hate Bruce Springsteen” schtick is better.

      And that ain’t sayin much.

      • Coastghost

        Well, don’t pick on Springsteen! It’s ALL of popular music: recording, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, touring, amplifiers, power cords, more lights and laser shows, more microphones, more diesel, more jet fuel, more depleted ozone, more carbon spew all because people cannot abide live and local acoustic performance.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Game Over. Ask the 2nd Law.

  • Coastghost

    Seriously: why is ANY “climate change conference”, even an international climate change conference, even being convened and attended at THIS late date? Have these geniuses of scientific enterprise not heard of the internet? Applied technology coins its own lies and hypocrisies: just as we were assured that internet tech would yield in short order “the paperless office”, anyone who dared believe was severely misled to think that internet tech would obviate the need for interstate and international travel by concerned academics and tech bureaucrats ready to foam about deleterious climate change.

  • northeaster17

    Western societies and western capitalism are way to self centered to take action or spend money on a problem that our senior leaders will never see the benefits of. We’ve not yet evolved to that to that level of empathy.

  • LianeSperoni

    I wish I was 80 years old instead of 40.

    • Don_B1

      You will have a huge task ahead to get enough people to buck up and attack the problem, because if you have children and are likely to have grandchildren, that effort must be made by millions acting together if the lives they and their progeny (and the progeny of others living today) will even resemble the lives humans lead today.

      While percentage-wise 80 year-olds may not be as active in Climate Change mitigation efforts, there are a lot of them who realize that the really important legacy that will be left is the climate necessary for biological life, not the “debt” that right-wing “conservatives” claim.

      The debt is not a debt between the generations, it is a debt between all the members of whichever generations are currently living. It thus is not harmful for the totality of living people, as public debt is paid for by current earnings, not past earnings. But see:

      http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/does-debt-matter

      for a better exposition.

  • Markus6

    The problem with the strategy to date, is it’s been all doom and gloom with little to no realistic hope of a solution. Most of the plans I’ve heard about require a significant reduction in the west’s standard of living and a significant slowing of the developing world. And even then, the people talking see awfully pessimistic. These reductions may be morally the right way to go, but I don’t see how this is going to happen.

    So, my theory is that rather than deal with all this doom and gloom a significant percentage of people decide these scientists are wrong, or it’s a liberal plot or whatever.

    Also, the only solutions I’ve heard require greater conservation. Should we be at the point where we look at high risk alternatives (e.g. seeding the upper atmosphere with something like ash)? I understand how much of an unknown this is, but it seems that conservation has become a religion.

    • JP_Finn

      Exactly.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I’m only sorry I’m going to miss it all. Signed.. Registered Professional Engineer {electric power & controls}

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I will fly my 5-monster-airplane entourage to all points of the earth to speak out against Global Heating. It’s who I am. It’s what I do. I’m in charge here in the White House.
    –Barack H. Obama {Visionary for all Time}

    Finest kind. Hand salute. Two.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    “15 years to avoid calamity”

    15 years? 15 years? Where have I heard 15 years before? Oh yeah, we’ve had 15 years with no warming despite a large uptick in CO2 emissions. None the models ‘predicted’ this lack of warming.

    http://www.ijreview.com/2013/09/81299-mark-steyns-epic-rant-uns-ipcc-confesses-global-warming-15-years/

    • OnPointComments

      In the spirit of the tax deadline tomorrow, climate alarmists are requesting a 15 year extension for the apocalypse.

    • Ray in VT

      Surely the oceans can keep sucking up the extra carbon indefinitely. Problem solved?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        The CO2 is going up.

        • Ray in VT

          And increased ocean heating in recent years can continue indefinitely, right? Problem solved?

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

        Warmer water cannot hold as much gas as colder water. Eventually, the ocean will stop absorbing carbon dioxide – and begin to release it.

        We don’t want to push it that far.

        • Ray in VT

          I was wondering about changing properties of water as temperatures altered. Talk in some of the meteorological circles is that we’re looking at emerging El Nino conditions for this year.

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

            Yes, we are possibly headed into a very strong El Niño this year. The Kelvin Wave is looking to be very large.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah. Time will tell. I’ve been hearing some talk about the possibility of an El Nino year for a couple of months now.

          • Don_B1

            Here is the latest (maybe) on that “waiting”:

            http://climatecrocks.com/2014/04/16/waiting-for-el-nino/

          • Ray in VT

            Time will tell.

        • Don_B1

          And that continuing uptake of CO2 (even as the amounts decrease eventually) will turn the oceans more acidic than most life there can survive! That will be a real “problem solved.” Note that most ocean life requires the current cool temperatures and just the increased temperatures will be devastating.

          Consider that many fish feed in cool waters near the Arctic, e.g., the whales, because of the plentiful plankton and other small life that lives on or near the sea bottom.

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

            Warmer water holds less oxygen in solution, as well. Colder water has far more nutrients – that is why fishing in colder water is better.

            The acidity also is affected by the mineral content of the adjacent land. As luck would have it, colder water is most often near granite based land, so the acidity increases more there; while warmer water near to limestone based land has some of the acidity offset by this.

          • Don_B1

            Nice to have my observation “slice” complemented by yours!

  • AlanThinks

    Tom, Jared Diamond gives us a 51% chance of surviving; Bill McKibben (aka :John the Baptist”) seems to think our chances are worse than that. Paul Gilding, in The Great Disruption is optimistic. What I wonder is what climate event will have to occur to create a tidal wave of political and individual effort to change? Will it be a massive hurricane that wipes out Miami or will we be like frogs in the cook pot and simply get used to worse and worse small events until it is too late?

    • Don_B1

      Excellent comment!

      Just one minor “correction”: even frogs will jump out of the pot as the water warms. It takes a frog with its brain removed to not jump out of the pot, as was made clear in an experiment run by some biologists.

      So if we don’t recognize the existential threat of climate change from burning fossil fuels, we will be “brainless humans.” Some describe some of us (there are some on this very blog) as such, even though they can be quite clever in their arguments against mitigating climate change.

  • JP_Finn

    Just wanted to share my perspective as a relatively young, early Millennial (i.e., supposed to be somewhat distraught and politically active about saving the environment/ending climate change): I definitely DO believe the climate is changing because of CO2 / fossil fuel emissions. That being said, I don’t see this change as necessarily disastrous or beyond our ability to adapt. The message seems to often be: “we humans are the problem because we developed these evil technologies that harm the planet, so we have to drastically curtail our use of them,” which is a fairly pessimistic message that turns a lot of folks off–and leads them to rationalize their distaste by denying the challenge posed by climate change altogether.
    Instead of looking at climate change a this terrible, irreversible problem that we wretched humans brought upon ourselves, we should look at it as an opportunity to innovate and adapt: find ways to enjoy the same technological advancement and standards of living with different energy sources, explore methods for better managing our impact on the global climate, and developing more sophisticated corporate governance and market regulation tools that will encourage companies to take a long term and comprehensive approach to pursuing the trappings of enterprise. That’s my two cents.

    • LianeSperoni

      Technology is not evil, but if you think we can get out of this mess by inventing our way out of it, I think you are mistaken.

    • Don_B1

      Humans are the problem to the extent that they do not recognize the full threat of the problem and put in place reductions and soon the end of generation of energy from fossil fuels. That is the one technology that must go away. There is no need for this to greatly impact the rest of technology; just remember that every technology has its good side and its bad side. Most technologies can be modified or otherwise mitigated and profitably used by humans. [If CO2 sequestration ever proves viable -- unlikely -- then fossil fuel combustion might be useful again.]

      There is every indication that Climate Change has tipping points that would be irreversible for at least a thousand years, leaving most life extinguished before the end of that period. What is your definition of reversibility if humans and other necessary biologic life are not around to recover along with the climate?

      What is the likelihood that evolution would follow the path today’s life is on if it had to start over again from some early point. Would there have to be five or so mass extinctions to weed out the life forms that might have prevented humans from appearing?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I’ll take Calamity {road} vs. Humanity {home} and 10 years. I can’t recall what the official spread is. Where do I put my bet down?

  • Charles

    I’m all for slowing climate change. As long as I don’t have to give up my car, hot showers, golf, farmed food (and meat!), Netflix, beer, and dog.

    So if science can accommodate that, I’m all ears.

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

      Are you being facetious?

      • Charles

        Not exactly. I love every one of those things and I don’t really know how much I’m willing to give up.
        I understand that some sacrifice is necessary, but I have limits.

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

          The path we are on is what is forcing us to choose – we really *do *not *have a choice*. We can keep going with no change (or an inadequate change) and we preside over a calamity.

          Or we can change our behavior drastically and avert the worst.

          The former will cost far more, in all senses of the word.

    • HonestDebate1

      The science can but the alarmist won’t. We must roll back our standard of living 100 years.

      • Don_B1

        When the rest of us do just fine by ending the burning of fossil fuels, you should be made to live the life you predicted, in an unheated wood cabin in the wilds with no electricity (and no Internet access! Hooray).

    • jefe68

      Sierra Nevada brewing company uses a lot of sustainable energy resources, and they make some fine beer.
      It’s an example that can be duplicated if the will is there.

    • hennorama

      Charles — you certainly can make changes without giving up any of those things:

      car: plug-in electric with photovoltaic charging

      hot showers: solar hot water

      golf: course that uses reclaimed water + low/no-pesticides and fertilized with compost produced from local green waste. Or a links course, if one is available nearby

      farmed food (and meat!): use local providers, reducing the impacts of transporting food over long distances

      Netflix: streaming only, using photovoltaic power

      beer: choose a local provider and/or one that uses renewable energy

      dog: same as above re: farmed food

    • Don_B1

      What do you mean by “give up”?

      If you demand a gasoline powered high-performance car, the answer is yes. If you would accept a Tesla S which goes 0 to 60 mph in just over 4 seconds, the answer is no.

      If you demand hot showers with water heated by gas or electricity generated by burning fossil fuels, the answer is yes. If you accept a solar water heater array on your roof or in your yard, or electric heat pump heating by extracting heat from the earth or electric heating through other technologies not involving burning fossil fuels, the answer is no.

      The increasing numbers of cows will require some work to prevent their being/continuing-to-be a significant source of CO2. That does not mean no meat, just not corn-raised beef, as corn was not meant to be eaten by cows and thus a lot more methane is generated with the inefficiency of the cow’s digestion system for corn, but not grass.

      There is no problem with having enough electricity for your TV and computer activities. Brewing beer releases CO2 which recycles as the grains used grow. Same for dogs.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Richard Tol was unavailable?

    “IPCC author brands upcoming climate report ‘alarmist’

    Professor Richard Tol withdraws from writing team for UN climate science panel’s report on impacts of global warming”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/27/ipcc-author-climate-report-alarmist

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

      The IPCC is probably *under* estimating things.

      • HonestDebate1

        That’s not what the 5th assessment said about the 4th.

        • Don_B1

          Why don’t you tell us exactly where and what the 5th assessment “told us”?

          Ans: Because that would mess up your debate point.

          • HonestDebate1

            Because it’s not a secret. Any weather denying commenter worth their own CO2 emissions would not be here debating if they did not know the 5th assessment cut the 30-year projection from 0.4 to 1.0 Cº to 0.3-0.7 Cº.

          • Don_B1

            They were accounting for the slower growth of CO2 releases because of the global recession driven by the Great Recession and continuing Lesser Depression in North America and Europe, not predicting that warming would slow or even stop because of new developments in the science.

  • Coastghost

    Renewed appeal to all CPB/NPR/PRI/APM entities: cut your “public” service from 24/7/365 by a full third IMMEDIATELY and produce programming for no more than sixteen hours daily. Otherwise, YOU are fomenting the advertised problem unduly. Where is the living example that stands behind all these dire headlines?

  • perihelion22

    Okay, the glacial ice sheets have been retreating for oh…40,000 years, and humans have been capable of changing the climate for oh…100 years. So It’s our fault. Lets all take our jet planes to Washington and march around. Or stop having children, Each child puts 1,000,000 kilograms of CO2 into the air. What’dya think?

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

      You are ignoring the science.

      • jefe68

        You can’t argue with fools.

    • OnPointComments

      We could likely cut carbon emissions by half, perhaps more, if everyone who is deeply concerned about climate change would immediately commit to having a zero carbon footprint.

    • Don_B1

      Actually, the glacial ice sheets had been growing until over a hundred years ago when the early CO2 emissions from the beginnings of the Industrial Age slowed and then reversed that into exponential decreases.

      Check out the Hockey Stick and see the slopes close up without simply dismissing it. Well over a 150 years of upward curve with increasing steepness, particularly in the last 50 years.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I guess the rest of you should have economically rewarded people like my partner and me: for not having children. And for limited ecological damage: my 8 year old still-new car has less than 11,000 miles on it. But you didn’t.

    The good news for folks like us: we don’t have to worry about the lives of our progeny. Thank goodness.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    40% reduction in 35 years? Forget it. You can’t find anyone running for ANY political office who wants to strangle economic growth in the crib. Do you? Because that’s what you’re saying the answer is.

  • OnPointComments

    I bet part of the UN’s solution is for all countries (especially the US) to give the UN a ton of money.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Technological breakthroughs = hopes and prayers.
    How well does that work in REAL life?

    BTW: don’t forget water vapor.

    • Don_B1

      BTW: learn why water vapor is not considered a forcing function in the greenhouse effect. The amount of water vapor varies with the heat of the atmosphere, which is driven by the amount of CO2 and methane (plus other minor gases). It does amplify the effects of additional CO2, but it readily forms an equilibrium if no other forcing functions are present.

      It is somewhat analogous to the big current from the emitter to the collector of a transistor which is increased and decreased by the current from the base (connected to the base. See:

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

      and thus the small base current is imposed on the big emitter-collector current where small fluctuations in it causes big fluctuations in the big current.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Europe? This is just more nonsense from the money grab crowd.
    Look at the insanity in Germany.

    “100 BILLION EUROS FOR NOTHING! GERMANY’S CO2 EMISSIONS HAVEN’T DROPPED IN 10 YEARS”

    http://www.thegwpf.org/100-billion-euros-for-nothing-germanys-co2-emissions-havent-dropped-in-10-years/

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

      The status quo is a money grab – by oil companies.

    • Ray in VT

      I find it interesting that the trend line there is actually downwards, as well as, for instance, this article, which cites lower CO2 emissions reported by the UBA, which the “skeptics” at the GWPF claim to be citing:

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/12/germany-emissions-idUSL6E8FC53420120412

  • LianeSperoni

    we need to be careful about believing some last minute technological breakthrough is going to save the planet.

  • Coastghost

    What are the prospects at this stage for the steadily diminishing credibility of the science and applied tech communities: our sciences and applied technologies GAVE us “anthropogenic climate change” (science and applied tech crowds seem not at all eager to claim credit sufficient to their distinct and manifest contributions), but now science and applied tech want to ride up at the last moment (aboard a spiffy jet, no doubt) to save the day.
    What gall.

  • Andrew Page

    Thorium Cycle Nuclear Power

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

      Won’t happen.

      We do not need it. The energy part of a climate change response – is the EASIER part. Renewable energy can supply much, much more energy than we need.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Sorry Neil but it is happening. We gave everything WE (the US government) did in the ’60s and ’70s to the Chinese and they have hundreds of folks working on it. They plan to have a prototype in 7 years. There is a Canadian company working on a simple version and they also plan a prototype in 7 years — and it is funded by an oil sands company who is looking for cheap heat to get the oil so they don’t have to burn natural gas like they are now. A win -win.

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

          Still won’t happen. Too expensive, too centralized, still requires fuel.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            No and no. The reactor they building in Canada is quite small and portable. It also produces very cheap power. Cheaper than natural gas. because they are not bothering with electrical generation at the beginning.

            The Chinese project is a full bore electrical generation design. Since the output temperature is relatively high they can use Brayton cycle turbines and increase the efficiency by up to 50%.

        • Don_B1

          They would need to be deployable NOW, not in more than 7 years (from prototype to deployment could be 2, 3 5, or more years) and there could be any number of problems along the way delaying it further.

          They would (supposedly) have the additional benefit of being able to “burn” some or all of the current nuclear plant waste, no small reduction in terrorist threats.

  • sickofthechit

    The down side if we are wrong in trying to prevent global climate change is that we wind up with a cleaner planet. Seems like a no-brainer to me. Have we really forgotten the rivers in Richmond, VA and Clevland, OH on fire? Earth day is coming up April 22nd I believe. Our gravest responsibility to future generations is to hand them an inhabitable planet, not a pile of money.

    We live on a limited resource in the middle of nowhere, isn’t it time we started behaving that way?
    charles a. bowsher

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    So far the panel summarized:

    A high school cheerleading team -
    2-4-6-8
    Who do we
    Hate Hate Hate
    Global Heating Global Heating
    Yay-yyyyy Team!

  • James

    I’ve never disagreed with the apparent consensus that the Earth is warming and humans are to blame, (in part, mostly, entirely, whatever) I’ve just come to question whether the cost is worth it.

    • Fredlinskip

      The cost of preserving the planet for future generations?
      the cost of eventually wiping out life on Earth, because of our selfish thoughtless actions?
      Seems costs are kind of high.

      • James

        Well if you buy into Al Gore’s Waterworld Apocalypse scenario, perhaps you would have a point. He’s not a scientist and his work has been roundly criticized.

        More extreme weather is expensive, not apocalyptic, moving crops to a new climate and/or developing new types of crops is expensive, not apocalyptic, and increased coastal flooding and more flood walls will be expensive, but not apocalyptic.

        • Fredlinskip

          It seems you are whistling past the graveyard. No one yet knows what the end results of Climate change will be. Obviously already other nations and environments have been effected greater than us. Is that any reason to ignore the issue?
          I really think that’s a callous approach.
          Congrats on getting your comment read on air.

        • Don_B1

          The work of V.P. Al Gore has been much more widely praised by Climate Scientists, but naturally not by the Climate Science deniers.

          The flooding of most of Bangladesh will be apocalyptic as will the wars that the mass emigration of Bangladeshis will cause.

          The droughts will be apocalyptic as more and more parts of the world find themselves priced out of the food market.

          The reactions of humans to starvation and lack of potable water will be irrational in the extreme and are likely to be apocalyptic.

      • Charles

        I’m not sure it is worth the cost.

        The earth is some 5 billion (+/-) years old. Humans have been here for only a very short time, relatively speaking. Countless species have come and gone from the planet in it’s history, and we shall be no different. Every species that no longer exists was ill-adapted to survive. That’s just the way it goes.

        This is my way of questioning your assumption that the planet is ours to preserve. Our progeny doesn’t ‘deserve’ the earth any more than we did.

        • Fredlinskip

          There are some pretty obvious holes in your logic.
          For one, no other species before us were as directly responsible for altering there own environment so as to bring about there own demise.
          We also, as no other species before us had, have capability to do something about it.
          Don’t you feel any guilt whatsoever for the current massive extinction event of species all over the world that we are directly responsible for?
          We are thinking beings, capable of moral responsible behavior -that’s what defines our humanity.

  • Fredlinskip

    When 90% of America has been covered by ocean. and remaining land has been turned to desert, GOP will perhaps acknowledge there is a man-influenced climate change problem.
    They will then spring into action- which will of course involve nothing except finding ways of blaming problem on Democrats.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Can’t make renewables without burning carbon-based fuels, dude. Go read a chemistry book. Then one on thermodynamics.

    Then all of mine on electric power engineering.

    • sickofthechit

      Are you saying that over their lifetime the renewables energy production doesn’t exceed the input energy to create them? That’s a bit of a stretch isn’t it?

      Will you also argue against designing all homes so they take advantage of passive solar design? During the Carter years the US Department of Energy was making amazing strides in encouraging passive solar designs even here in “Ol’Canetucky” Alas for Reagan’s victory.
      charles a. bowsher

    • ThirdWayForward

      This is a really faulty argument. A bicycle requires expenditure of energy for its fabrication, but over its lifetime of use, it uses MUCH MUCH less than an automobile.

      Solar panels generate much less carbon over their lifetimes, per kWh produced, than coal plants.

      You are an engineer, use your head. Engineers are supposed to be grounded in what is practical and what is real. Don’t spew out obviously incorrect and misleading arguments — when you do, you damage the reputation of your profession.

  • KWF

    A concern I have is that if we turn this into a financial based incentive, we will exacerbate the divide between the haves and have-nots. The haves will be able to buy their way out of change and the have-nots will be saddled with the expense of change. We have to find incentives that are independent of financial definition.

    • Don_B1

      That is why, just like with the PPACA, the government (us) must help those without the income to install solar (PV or heating) on their homes or landlords for low-income housing, and provide good public transportation powered by sustainable sources.

  • creaker

    Even if we stop producing any CO2 starting today, there is going to be a lot of stuff going underwater in the next 50-100 years. We need to figure out how we’re going modify/rebuild infrastructure to handle that.

  • Oh bummer

    Man-made ‘global warming’ is a scam designed to fleece the working poor and middle class of what little disposable income they have left.

    The science of man-made ‘global warming’ is not accepted as conclusive by all scientists, despite the dire warnings of the self-appointed expert on ‘global warming’, Al Gore.

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

      That’s your opinion – though you are ignoring reality.

      • Fredlinskip

        Heard it on Fox “News”- what more proof does bummer need?

        • Oh bummer

          Is that what they told to repeat incessantly you at your last A.C.O.R.N. meeting?

          • Ray in VT

            Are you in favor of defunding A.C.O.R.N. again? Perhaps you are unaware that it no longer exists, unless you think that Fredlinskip is working on info from meetings years ago.

          • jefe68

            Ignore the troll. He’s only out to get a reaction. His obtuseness is only outdone by his childishness.

          • Oh bummer

            Agreed, you are a total troll who ignorantly buys the lie of man-made ‘global warming’.

          • TFRX

            Go back to where people laugh with you, not at you.

            But I shouldn’t be surprised that you’re just another rightie who doesn’t get that satire starts with a grain of truth.

          • Oh bummer

            There’s no grain of truth in man-made global warming, which is based on faulty ‘science’.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh really? So are all of those scientists really stupid, or are they just on the take by those who want to steal our freedoms?

      • Oh bummer

        No, you just bought into the scam of man-made ‘global warming’.

    • ThirdWayForward

      You might be able to find 1 in 100 scientists who doesn’t believe in evolution, but this is a really, really poor way of choosing who to listen to and what to believe.

      For reasons that I don’t quite understand, America has a deep strand of denialism — the idea that if you don’t like a particular belief, you just find some way of disregarding the facts. Fundamentalism is all about this denial of empirical fact. It dumbs down our entire country.

    • sickofthechit

      He believes in not doing anything until 100% agree to it. Now that’s a recipe for disaster.

      • Oh bummer

        No, it’s not buying into the scam f global warming, which is based on doctored science.

        • Ray in VT

          Doctored science? I’m sure that you have some facts to back that up, correct?

  • Jeff

    As soon as the hyper-activists stop using fossil fuels by getting off the electric grid, not buying gasoline and stop flying in aircraft then I’ll pay attention to their solution plans…which almost always involve the average consumer paying more money (3x or 4x more) for energy.

    • OnPointComments

      This program is an appropriate prelude to the next hour’s show on hypocrisy.

    • Fredlinskip

      You are not for incentivizing R and D into climate- friendly technologies?
      Somebody is going to develop these technologies and those country’s economies are going to benefit the most. Why shouldn’t we “lead the field”?

      • Jeff

        Because leading is the most costly path…why not wait until it becomes economically viable to use alternative energies so we can use the fossil fuels until they become too expensive? Trying to use a fuel/energy source that isn’t economically viable leads to waste and puts our own economy a step behind those using a cheaper fuel source.

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

          Waiting will be by far the most costly.

          • Jeff

            I’m sorry, show me the research that indicates we can even stop this global warming anyway…even people against it say that we’ll feel the effects of climate change if we stop CO2 production today. We can’t stop it, if we (the USA) stop it there will be others who don’t so what’s the point? Unless the issue is being held up as a way to control businesses and people.

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

            We are causing climate change by burning fossil fuels – so we can stop burning fossil fuels, to stop making climate change worse.

            No need for a study to tell us that.

          • Don_B1

            So if you could not stop some actor that was going to cut off your finger, but if you didn’t try to stop the actor, it would first cut off your arm, then your legs then the last arm and then blind you and stop your hearing, when would you decide to take actions to stop the actor?.

            What if you knew that the cost of stopping the actor would double with each amputation the actor achieves?

            As to the rest of the world, most of it is already moving to restrict CO2, but doing the harder things are waiting for the U.S. to show that it will actually do something big before committing themselves to measures that would not stop climate change without U.S. action.

            So its a “Chicken-Egg” question, which means that everyone has to come to the table and sign up. Which is what you, apparently, say we should not do.

        • Fredlinskip

          Just like we should have waited around until someone else invented the computer and internet. Wait for someone else to do it, is not the way to thriving economy.
          There are underdeveloped countries around world waiting for others to “lead the field”- you think they’re better off?

          • Jeff

            Look at Google vs Apple, which company has the brighter future? The company that got to the smartphone first or the one who knows how to connect and use the technology better? Of course we could talk about Microsoft’s first tablet from the ’90s…being first doesn’t always pay off. Especially in today’s interconnected world.

          • Fredlinskip

            Perhaps if the companies mentioned were not all American companies, your point might have relevance.
            America as a whole gained from the tech industry we created.

          • Jeff

            You mean the internet that Al Gore created in his garage?

          • Fredlinskip

            so for you it’s all about Al?
            What a great relief it must have been for you that the Supreme Court elected your buddy W.
            For me I would have preferred someone who concentrated on improving lives of average Americans instead of wealthiest Americans to detriment of our National Debt. And instead of unnecessary Wars, concentrated on setting example to rest of world by being a leader in decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels.
            To each his own.

          • Jeff

            Actually I was annoyed by the SCOTUS ruling (and I just didn’t care much) since I was a Democrat back then.

        • JS

          Oil needed a hand up by government tax breaks to get fully rolling. Now that it is, lets just switch tax breaks away from oil and gas exploration into renewable energy development.

          • Jeff

            Sure, if we’re willing to take away those same R&D tax breaks for all businesses…I don’t want to single out 1 industry to attack using the tax code.

          • JS

            WHy not? Not many medical research labs get drilling cost deductions, do they?

            I am not talking about R&D, but specific breaks targeted to oil. One is to prevent outsourcing drilling jobs, how is that even possible?!?

          • Jeff

            The “specific tax breaks” apply in other industries as Research and Development…when you set out on an exploratory mission that is research. Same with the mineral depletion allowance…forestry, mining and even individuals that find gold on their land can use the mineral depletion deduction…why would we change the rules for 1 industry when many other use it?

          • JS

            If these industries are profitable, then cut the tax break. If these are designed to help get industries up and running, once they are profitable then should be repealed, or repealed on a company by company basis.

          • Don_B1

            When that one industry has extremely negative economic and health problems that the rest of us pay for in maintaining our lives and health, it does seem a good thing to not promote more of what hurts us and will really hurt us in the future.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        We were promised “green jobs” with Obama’s stimulus — at least $85B were poured into ‘green jobs’.

        This should be a case study. Where are the jobs?
        When they took the money they told us Uncle Joe Biden would track the jobs? Again, where are the jobs? Could you stand up Joe?

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

          The GOP fought this tooth and nail, so it was not anything close to what we need.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            So we flush $85B down the toilet and you want more?

            You’ve heard about the definition of insantiy?

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

            The stimulus worked, just not well enough – because it was limited by the GOP.

          • sickofthechit

            We flushed a Trillion down the toilet of the “Iraq war.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that that is a pretty low end figure.

          • HonestDebate1

            There was no avoiding it, we liberated millions and the cost of not going was unacceptable.

          • Ray in VT

            It was entirely avoidable, and were the supposed costs of not going based upon the lie that Saddam was arming and training Al Qaeda? You forgot to mention how we unleashed years of sectarian bloodshed there.

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

            Also, the cost of supporting out veterans, and the hit our economy took because we *borrowed* *all* the money to pay for the war from our children.

          • HonestDebate1

            The deficit was $150B in 2007.

            Who shall we borrow the money from to go to alternatives?

          • Ray in VT

            There’s plenty of money here. It’s been accumulating in the top 1% for the last 30 years.

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

            Renewable energy will pay for itself in a couple of decades. No military is needed to defend sunshine. Nobody gets sick or dies from pollution. No spills or explosions or ruined water supplies. And we can slow climate change.

  • sickofthechit

    Pumping CO2 underground is ludicrous!. As if poisoning the earth with the fracking isn’t crazy enough now we want to double down.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    How many windmills does it take to make, transport, install, operate, and maintain a windmill?

    Then how many conventional power plants does it take to make the first group of windmills? The power plants have to be designed, fabricated, installed, operated, and maintained, as well.

    Forget the economics, just do the math.
    Now work out the consequences for yourself.

  • creaker

    That is just stupid – after you mine coal AND sequester the CO2 afterwards you’re looking at negative energy output. You’d be better off just leaving the coal in the ground.

  • Coastghost

    Granted, I attended primary school science classes some years back, but have TREES since been displaced by scientific gadgetry as the most superb carbon-capture scheme going? Why are the top five species of plants (let’s not dismiss algae categorically) for consuming airborne carbon not known to all and by all at this late date, and why are schoolchildren not planting them every day and in every time zone? (It’d be nice if cacti were especially efficient, since they require much less watering.)

  • sickofthechit

    The US Defense of Defense long-range planning operations assume that global climate change is real and will be catastrophic to the planet. We ignore the realities at future generations peril.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    If the Disneyland of coal, China – can’t figure out how to make a windmill.. make a windmill. What makes you think you think you can?

    Alternative energy sources: they just can’t bootstrap themselves. Go ask Mother Nature. She’s the one making the rules.

    • Omaha Guy

      sadly, communists are better capitalists than you are. this is very sad. so sorry for you. even chinese are doing more for energy decentralization than so-called capitalists here. we are not living up to our ideals.

      yes, chinese are burning alot of coal and oil. but they are acting like better capitalists than we are by decentralizing their energy sources. if our political parties are holding up renewables.. and by that i mean, Republicans, then this is a rare moment when communists are better capitalists than American conservatives.

  • Oh bummer

    I’ll buy into the scam of man-made ‘global warming’ when the self-appointed expert on global warming, Al Gore,

    sells his 10,000 sq. foot mansion, moves into a mud hut, and stops flying around the world in private jets.

  • sickofthechit

    I say employ the coal miners as stewards of our forests, instead of destroyers of our forests.

    • JS

      please don’t blame the miners

    • SageThinker

      Indeed. A carbon tax will enable many, many good green jobs. We do need to pay attention to the pockets here and there where people will be laid off and pay attention to helping people re-tool for new jobs, and try to locate good green jobs in those locations, perhaps by a transition assistance program, to acknowledge the fact that society needs to reduce emissions, but it’s not the fault of the coal miner that (s)he supports her family that way.

  • creaker

    The problem actually will correct itself in the end – it will lead to global economic collapse, which will cause an energy usage collapse.

    The only CO2 we’ll be generating is from shivering in the dark.

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

    Blaine – this is not optional. Not responding will cost us all *far* more.

    And you are not understanding the science correctly.

  • Ray in VT

    So the current caller says that he is a part of the half of the country that pays taxes? It seems to me that a lot more than half of the country pays taxes.

    • sickofthechit

      He is wearing GOP provided blinders and headphones that filter out all noises except FAUX News.

    • SageThinker

      Well that was sort of a giveaway that his main sources of information are hot headed radio hosts the likes of Rush Limbaugh.

  • OnPointComments

    Good advice from Pete Dupont.

    GLOBAL WARMING HEATS UP
    The public could use an honest debate.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304709904579408950141040072

    Excerpt:

    The warming alarmists might earn more support if they acted less like they had something to hide and actually allowed open debate. Perhaps they could respond to their critics rationally instead of reflexively branding them heretics, suitable for whatever is the modern university and research center equivalent of burning at the stake. Real science does not fear those who challenge it, does not work to have challengers’ articles banned from science journals, and does not compare skeptics to Holocaust deniers or, as Mr. Kerry did in Jakarta, members of the “Flat Earth Society.”

    A movement with confidence in its scientific theories would be able to admit there are many climate factors beyond carbon dioxide that are not yet well understood, and that some climate models have been shown to be unreliable. Such a movement would not downplay or whitewash leaked emails evincing the possibility of massaged data. When it criticizes its skeptics as hired guns of the fossil-fuel industry who are influenced by money, it would be willing to acknowledge that it thrives on government and private funding that would shrink if its research did not continue to say warming is here and getting worse. And there would be more confessions such as Al Gore’s belated acknowledgment that his support for ethanol was misguided.

    To be sure, the science is not settled. The alarmists may be correct about projected warming. They may be correct that the costs of their proposed policies would be worth it if those policies avoid some of the negative impacts of that projected warming. If they truly feel they are right, they have an even greater responsibility to drop their insular and defensive attitude and debate these issues openly.

    • Fredlinskip

      Not surprising Wall Street seeks to discredit Climate Change. Profits of Oil, Gas , Coal companies are all at stake.
      WSJ and Fox “News” as I’m sure you are well aware, are owned by Murdoch and both of these outlets have same board of directors.
      Take what these “News” organizations say with grain of salt, please.

      • OnPointComments

        The article is by Pete Dupont, not the editors of the Wall Street Journal.

        • Ray in VT

          I’m sure that the editors or the editorial board have nothing to say about what gets published in the paper.

      • sickofthechit

        You mean a block of salt don’t you?

    • SageThinker

      It’s not fear of challenge that causes people to call denialists “flat earthers” — it’s simply frustration and exasperation that people are still being so stubborn in regard to evidence and science as to slow down our progress toward reducing emissions. And i concur. I have no time for denialists anymore. I’ve been there, done that, for years. Feel free to deny the reality of global warming, just don’t ask to be the center of attention because you’re like a 2 year old saying “no!”

      • OnPointComments

        I surmise that your name, Sage Thinker, refers to the herb.

  • Jeff

    Why don’t we ever talk about the coming ice age? We are due for one very soon (in geological terms) so I view the CO2 in the air as an insurance policy to delay or stop the next ice age…I say that coming from a region where I’d be hundreds of feet under ice if there were to be an ice age. The more CO2 the better from my perspective in Minnesota…warmer winters…oh no, it’s horrible…BTW, we had the coldest and longest winter in many decades this year.

  • sickofthechit

    Blaine- 1900 to 1950 they had no emission controls in place whatsoever and burned whatever they wanted, however they wanted.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Theories aren’t opinions, dude. They’re not buttholes, not everyone has one.

    In science, theories are best descriptions of the available evidence. Go read a SCIENCE book. Please. For your 3 children’s sake.

    • Dab200

      Just responded in the same way! Don’t understand what a theory is – don’t talk!

    • Omaha Guy

      HLB this is your best comment to date.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    What the consensus crowd NEVER will talk about is the UNCERTAINTY even though it is actually documented in IPCC science report. Yes, the science report not the alarmist ‘policy’ report.

    • Fredlinskip

      Whether man-influenced Climate Change exists has been settled long ago.
      The uncertainty comes in about how much damage will be done and how quickly it will occur if we don’t act.

      • OnPointComments

        How long ago is long ago? On April 8, 1977, the cover of Time magazine was “How To Survive The Coming Ice Age.”

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

          Show us the cover, please.

          This was one article, and particulate pollution was actually slowing the warming – but when we cleaned up much of the particulate pollution, the warming increased, again.

          You seem to think that one article was the scientific conclusion. It was not.

          • HonestDebate1

            Is saying the IPCC probably underestimated the impact a scientific conclusion?

          • OnPointComments

            The penguin on the cover looks happy.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        “settled”
        Well, if the science is settled why are we pumping $billions into funding new research?

        Half of the warming last century was pre-1950 and half was after. The warming in each half was almost identical. So which percentage of the warming was due to man-released CO2 in each half? Where is the consensus science there?

        There truth is when you get into the details there is no consensus.

        • sickofthechit

          1900 to 1950 was a period of burning whatever, however.
          1951 to 2000 was a partial period of the above, coupled with an attempt at reduction of emissions and an expansion of inefficient fossil fuel use by emerging economies.
          That is why they are somewhat equal.

  • Omaha Guy

    We need honest capitalism before we can work to heal the environment.

    Our problems in North America are similar, yet not as profound as Russia.

    We need to beware of a centralized economy behind a nationalistic party. By decentralizing our economy away from fossil fuels, we help both the economy and the ecology.

    And, one of your callers said he is price sensitive for energy. But when we decentralize the economy away from pollution, even polluting sources will have to compete better. This would eventually lower prices, or at least reduce the price increases from what they will be.

    Just as the Russian company, Gazprom, is using energy to manipulate people in Ukraine, our own energy companies manipulate us with gas prices near elections. Decentralizing from oil, will help restore more democracy and more freedom.

  • coyotejazz

    Where will US policy leadership come from in the public sector? The current US president is actually the “Hydrofracker-in-Chief,” having pledged to have the US lead the world in spreading fracking technology globally. His promise to the global community now facing climate catastrophe is to promote this dangerous fossil fuel based technology worldwide. So much for political leadership on this issue…

  • sickofthechit

    What’s keeping us from responding? Greed, selfishness, and ignorance. All can be overcome, it is just frustrating that we have to spend resources on that instead of directly addressing the problem.

    • S Mack Mangion

      Money:

      The guests were very vague and not at all quantatative about the costs of adaptation. For instance if we are told that our electric bills would double, we could do the math.
      One of the problems with Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” was that he did not expound on the inconveniences the people would have to endure. If we are serious about climate change and mitigation, “we” are going to have to give up much of our lifestyle – and no one will admit it.

      • myblusky

        I have a feeling people in the lower income bracket would be more effected and unable to adapt to all the changes necessary. Can you imagine the cost of fuel doubling for someone that is barely keeping their head above water?

        I’m not in denial about climate change. We have too many people and we are using up too many resources, but I am also realistic about not causing another disaster among the working poor. We would have utter chaos on our hands if we completely knocked them off the grid. I’m not even sure if I could manage to stay on the grid if cost of fuel soared.

        We have to find something sustainable for all income levels.

        • S Mack Mangion

          I agree. It is my fear that the lower income people will be most effected by mitigation plans, while the “1 %ers” do just fine.

          Reminds me of how Senator Sanders has pointed out that if the cap on FICA taxes were raised, the Social Security deficit would vanish – at the expense of the more wealthy . . .

          • myblusky

            Well I wish Bernie would just run for president already and solve all these problems!

  • ThirdWayForward

    A carbon tax is the best, most comprehensive and most rational approach to this problem. It needs to be levied by all major energy-consuming nations. It is harder to defraud or game the system with a universal carbon tax (vs. tax incentives or carbon credits).

    If we have the political will to address climate change, the we should be able to do a carbon tax — if not, then it won’t happen. The Republicans will fight it tooth and nail, just like they fought social security, Medicare and civil rights.

    Is there any estimate how much a carbon tax would increase the price of electricity? of gasoline?

    One of the panelists said prices would increase “substantially”, which is rather vague — electricity in the Boston area is about 16 cents/kwh delivered — are we talking electricity at
    20 cents a kWh delivered?

    How do the costs of a carbon tax compare with the estimated costs of increased global warming?

    • SageThinker

      Aboslutely! I agree with you 100% that a carbon tax is the primary policy that can actually accomplish the lowered emissions we need for survival.

      We can look at the example of British Columbia, who have had a carbon tax for 5 years now, and their emissions are down by 19% versus the other provinces of Canada. And their economy is fine. A carbon tax can actually *create* jobs, and is not actually a new tax if it’s revenue neutral. It’s a tax shift.

      Here’s an estimate: if you put $20 per tone of CO2 (the very lowest reasonable rate at which to begin a carbon tax before it rises) then it would add about 20 cents per gallon of gas. State taxes are mostly greater than that. Electricity would cost more, and heating oil would cost more — but not so much more.

      The case of British Columbia also shows that the behavioral change is far *more* than the actual price difference would predict. This is the magic of it — a carbon tax causes people to pay more attention to energy efficiency not just because of the added cost. It becomes cultural.

      The revenue from a carbon tax can be returned by lowering other taxes, or as a dividend distributed to all people in the tax domain. I say it’s best to lower taxes on work — lower the employment taxes — to enable more job creation.

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

      An irony of a fair price on carbon would mean that shipping jobs overseas would no longer be workable. Local jobs would increase again, because shipping something would cost more than making it locally.

      AND it would go a long way to responding to climate change.

  • Dab200

    To the uneducated man who just called in and didn’t understand the meaning of ‘theory’: A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method, and repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation.

    • OnPointComments

      What did the theory tell us 15 years ago about warming in the subsequent 15 year period?

    • Omaha Guy

      no no no, that man is educated. he seems like a shill to me.

      but, even if we take his talk at face value, that he is price sensitive to energy, then we have to admit that decentralizing away from pollution will create competition that will even make polluters more competitive and they will have to lower their prices.

    • walla walla

      Gravity and general relativity are also accepted theories.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Stop me before I pollute again. Money will do it.
    –China and India

    Like Sheriff Bart in Blazing Saddles. “Hep me!”

    • SageThinker

      We are a human family, and we sink or swim together. This is a global problem.

  • Oh bummer

    The self-appointed ‘expert’ on man-made global warming, Al Gore, is set to make a lot of money if carbon credits are enacted in the US,
    being that Gore and Goldman Sachs have secured the rights to buy and sell most of the carbon credits in the US.

    Al Gore is going to be seeing plenty of ‘green’, all the way to the bank.

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

      OCD Al Gore Syndrome is an inadequate response.

      • Oh bummer

        Al Gore is the pushing man-made ‘global warming’ which is based on doctored science.

        Al Gore also has a strong financial incentive to see carbon taxes enacted in the US.

    • Omaha Guy

      you sound cynical.. and maybe i am also…

      but, if Al Gore is willing to make money from clean energy, that is actually progress compared to our unenlightened oil companies.

      japanese companies know that energy is expensive, and they make fuel efficient vehicles, is that somehow hypocritical to you?

      • Oh bummer

        Japan has had serious energy issues for the last century, they developed clean technologies out of necessity, while the Democrat-stronghold of Detroit, backed Democrat politicians in D.C. who received huge amounts of cash from the U.A.W. and the US auto industry, continued to make gas-guzzling cars, as well as lobbying to have high tariffs placed on fuel efficient Japanese cars.

        • JS

          Why does the UAW have to do with it? Whether Detroit built small or large cars, the UAW would prosper. It is the Car Companies CEO who make those decisions, not the UAW.

          • Oh bummer

            It’s normally the case, the bigger the car, the greater the profit. Ever hear of Hummer?

          • JS

            Still, UAW doesn’t decide which cars to build, that’s a company decision.

          • HonestDebate1

            Tell that to GM.

          • JS

            I think they know that, them being the company and all

    • SageThinker

      We need an actual carbon tax — not cap and trade of credits — and then if people make a lot of money on energy efficiency and renewable energy harvesting, then more power to them! As for your conspiracy theory, i suggest it doesn’t pass the test of Occam’s razor.

      • Oh bummer

        And you think paying carbon taxes to Al Gore based on ‘doctored science’ is going to help the environment?

        Keep believing that, Al Gore’s private jet needs refueling.

        • SageThinker

          Um… you’re an ideologue it seems. The taxes would be paid to the government and not to “Al Gore” — and then the revenue used to lower other taxes, so the total additional tax burden is nothing.

  • Gregory Johnson

    The discussion is off base. We have the technologies already. We can reduce total building energy by 20 to 50%. This is more than 100 tons of carbon per 40,000 square foot building eliminated.

    The ROI is 18 months.

    All of these numbers are verified back to the utility bills.

    We don’t need new policy… we don’t need new technology. This is here now.

    What we do need is a way to stop companies selling snake oil, making energy savings claims that are not verifiable. That has poisoned the entire business sector. Significantly delaying implementation of what works.

    • SageThinker

      We need a serious carbon tax, and then let the market decide what works and what doesn’t. I agree with you. The changes we need to make are mostly already available to us, and simply need to be “plugged in” so to speak. In the process, we will also create lots of jobs and work in green fields, both conservation and renewable energy.

      • Gregory Johnson

        A good carbon tax would make this FREE!!! We had a 36,000 square foot office building. We reduced their carbon by 146 tons per year.

        I heard the $100 per pound of carbon number mentioned as a tax!!! That would have made this project a profit center not even a short term expense.

        Thanks for the reply.

        • SageThinker

          Sure thing. I believe the number mentioned was $100 per *ton* of CO2 equivalent. That is a very effective level for a carbon tax, higher than British Columbia’s tax, but about the magnitude we need within a few years to seriously change our energy usage behaviors.

  • sickofthechit

    When we say the advancing economies are most at fault perhaps we are ignoring the energy they are using is to produce products for import by us, so we need to take partial responsibility for their dirty emissions. charles a. bowsher

    • hellokitty0580

      Also, we created the system that the emerging world is trying to live up to. I think we need to take responsibility for that as well.

    • Omaha Guy

      yes, we allow products made from slave labor, and made from energy that uses slave labor (mideast oil and chinese coal plants), as a deductible business expense. our tax code reimburses pollution and slavery. lets fix that also.

  • HonestDebate1

    “[By] 1995, the greenhouse effect would be desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots…[By 1996] The Platte River of Nebraska would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers.” – Michael Oppenheimer

    • Omaha Guy

      well, not that bad yet. we are in the process of drying up the best aquifer in the world faster than it is replenished. if it isn’t happening as fast as Oppenheimer predicted, is he still wrong?

      • HonestDebate1

        Are you saying that is tied to global warming? What about all the floods AGW cause?

        • Ray in VT

          You seem, once again, to seem to be under the impression that it cannot cause both droughts and floods.

        • Omaha Guy

          what do YOU mean by AGW? this simple mind needs definitions of some acronyms.

          • HonestDebate1

            Sorry, Anthropological Global Warming.

      • sickofthechit

        Don’t forget we are also setting up a pool of poisons (fracking chemicals) below it so we can really do a number on it. Oh yeah, there is also a big push to lay a pipeline over it that will poison it from above. In Kentucky that’s a “daily double”.

  • Coastghost

    A few highly massive volcanic eruptions in every hemisphere might begin to catch folks’ attention . . . .

    • sickofthechit

      That would more likely drive them to ingest the opiate of religon.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Is Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore and the Hollywood crowd willing to give up their private jets?

    • Oh bummer

      That’s about as likely as Obama unsealing ALL of his Visa, medical, college application, and passport records.

      • sickofthechit

        At least he was elected both times.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Now that is a bummer.

          • Oh bummer

            LOL!

          • Ray in VT

            But those polls were just being cooked by the media, right? Romney was really leading, because they were using the wrong mix or something.

  • Fredlinskip

    Man-influenced Climate Change improves the economy-
    Look at all the construction jobs created when hurricanes, massive flooding, drought, tornado fires, mudslides, etc. occur.
    Why all the worry?

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

      Irene was a big stimulus for Vermont, and Sandy for New York and New Jersey.

      Except that it costs a lot just to get back to where you were.

      • Fredlinskip

        Yeah but this is the only way that GOP will agree to any infrastructure spending.

  • Scott B

    That last caller, denying climate change being caused by man is his own worst argument. He brings us stats from the 1950′s! Huh? And how many people were living on earth then? How many people had cars? The primary transportation for those in China was a bicycle. He also purposely left out the level of emissions from the 1950′s to the present.

    Science is abut consensus. That’s why studies (any study, such as medical) are subjected to peer review. When the results are so lopsided, with hundreds of thousands of studies showing climate change is real, and man had a lot to do with it, to a few outliers that make up less that .5% of those studies, then science has spoken.

    • SageThinker

      Don’t worry too much about denialists.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    When Florida is underwater — the Marx Brothers will be back to sell real estate. {The Cocoanuts, 1929}

    • TFRX

      You can even get stucco.

      Oh, how you can get stucco.

      (I simply could not resist.)

  • originalname37

    The last caller before the break made some specific points that were not addressed and need to be:

    1) The reason that emissions and climate change do not exactly track together is that climate change *trails* carbon input to the atmosphere.

    2) The semantics of “theory” vs. “fact”: Science does not produce facts. Everything that science has ever figured out (from human-influenced climate change to gravity to the existence of germs to the idea that your brain controls your behavior) is a *theory*. Some theories have very little confirmation and thus very little agreement among the scientific community. Some have a lot. Over the course of the past decades, human-influenced climate change has moved from the former category into into the latter. Many different lines of research have come to the same conclusion. Many different researchers (some of whom agree on little else) agree on this.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    There’s your enemy: representative government. We’d be better off repealing Article I.

    • SageThinker

      I think the point was that we need leadership. If the captain sees the iceberg, they can order the ship to steer away, without having to convince every passenger that there is an iceberg up ahead.

  • HonestDebate1

    Does anyone listen the the IPCC any more? Are their 4th assessment predictions gospel and their 5th trash?

  • Jeff

    Please, for once talk about the ice age cycle and how the CO2 might have an impact on stopping it…which is a huge benefit to mankind!

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    How much would the Fukushima villagers have paid NOT to be swept out to sea?

    • James

      Global warming causing 7.1 earthquakes now? Man, I need to catch up on my science.

    • OnPointComments

      How much would residents living near Solyndra have paid to stop Solyndra’s production of 12.5 million pounds of hazardous waste, much of it carcinogenic cadmium-contaminated water?

      • JS

        if it was disposed of properly, then should have no concerns.

        • sickofthechit

          Maybe he’s worried about lax Regulation!

  • ThirdWayForward

    A carbon tax would spur research on carbon mitigation (clean coal) and new technologies (fusion power).

    On a per capita basis, Europeans use half the energy that we do, with essentially the same standard of living (and in some respects better). Their cars get much better MPG than ours, on average, because gas is relatively expensive.

    It would not be difficult for us to adapt, to go more in the direction of Europe.

    • SageThinker

      I agree completely with the carbon tax. But i don’t like nuclear, and fusion is not here yet. “Clean coal” is also debatable. Shoving billions of tons of CO2 underground safely seems unlikely to me. There are soooooo many far simpler and currently available technologies to harvest renewable energy, and to conserve the energy we are currently using.

      • BMiller600

        Right on, Sage Thinker.

  • Fredlinskip

    “Enlightened political leadership”? Good luck with that.
    With recent Supreme Court ruling; oil, gas and coal industries have even greater ability to distort electoral results.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Animal crackers in my soup monkies and rabbits loop the loop, Gosh, oh gee. –Jon Roberts, SCOTUS Chief

      • Fredlinskip

        That wasThomas

        • HonestDebate1

          I thought it was Shirley Temple.

  • Coastghost

    Gee: “clear consensus” on the asserted factuality of anthropogenic climate change and NO consensus whatsoever on how to proceed, how much this conversion of modernity will wind up costing in monetary and non-monetary terms, and on just what actions are going to be required of all.
    “Applied technology giveth and applied technology taketh away: blessed be the name of applied technology.”

  • hellokitty0580

    The sad thing is Americans could have continued to make small ecological changes in the way that we lived a long time ago. Our negative affects on the environment are not a new story. But instead we’ve kicked the can down the road. These small changes would have been relatively less painful than the changes we will have to make soon. Now I believe we’ll have to make radical changes that no one will like because we didn’t consider the long term decades ago. People are concerned about the economic costs of making environmentally based choices now, but the economic costs of doing nothing will be even more extreme. I just don’t understand why people can’t see this.

  • Jeff

    OMG, there is no subsidy for oil and gas companies, biggest lie ever! Normal business tax breaks are not subsidies…they are tax deductions. TAX CREDITS are subsidies…alternate energy gets all the credits and oil/gas get none.

    • creaker

      I don’t know current numbers, the last one I heard was like $16 billion – and they don’t foot the entire bill for their spills.

      • Jeff

        Please, please, please understand the difference between subsidies and deductions. Oil and gas companies do NOT get tax credits or subsidies like the alternative energy generators.

        • sickofthechit

          Uh, their government leases are a subsidy of sorts. To say nothing of their failure to clean up their disasters. Who is going to pay the cost for the Charleston, WVa water disaster? The bankrupt coal cleaning company that let the chemicals leak into the river? Exxon Valdez is still causing problems in Alaska. The Gulf of Mexico will never be the same after BP and Halliburtons activities. And the beat goes on.

    • Fredlinskip

      So they don’t pay the taxes they should. Please don’t pretend they are not enjoying enough profit to do so.

      The GOP concept of worrying so much about National Debt while endorsing policy of tax breaks for the wealthiest, boggles the mind.
      Paying down debt requires $- this is a concept kindergarteners can grasp-
      but not GOP.

  • SageThinker

    There is a SIMPLE solution, and it’s been covered in the show. A carbon tax. It is simple, though not easy in terms of political struggle to get it passed. Look at British Columbia’s experience. Five years later their emissions are down 19% versus other provinces.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I will play golf until the crisis is over.
    –Barack H. Obama, President

  • ThirdWayForward

    Don’t just say “VERY COSTLY” — if that is the estimate, then you really have no idea what the costs willl be in 50 years……….

    • SageThinker

      Not everything can be reduced to dollar amounts. The whole Earth’s ecology is changing. Our planet, our little home in the solar system, is not for sale and there is no price on it. You can say how much it would cost to build a sea wall, but you can’t put a price on the radical change of ecosystems everywhere.

      • ThirdWayForward

        One part of me agrees with those sentiments, but in terms of convincing skeptics and those who cannot handle intangibles, it would be a good thing, in terms of getting social and political support for doing something real, to get some concrete estimates.

        The appeals to the sacredness of the planet will appeal to some people, but to others it can come across as sanctimonious.

        If a carbon tax levies $100 billion a year (that can offset other taxes, so everything is revenue neutral), then this is entirely feasible.

        But we need to know the order of magnitude of the economic problem if we are going to address it by economic means.

        I am very pessimistic that we have the capacity, in social terms, to deal with this problem effectively. Look at the difficulties we have getting health coverage for everyone, let alone full employment, which should be complete no-brainers.

        We need to institute a dynamic where the plutocrats and energy companies do better by reducing carbon footprints. They have a stranglehold on the political system, so one needs to get their cooperation or minimally their passive assent if we are to make progress.

        • SageThinker

          I actually would not choose to reduce it all to economic terms, even if it were possible. There is a level of holding the Earth sacred that i hold as a human right, as an animal born on this planet. I’m not the ideal politician, but i aspire to move people.

          We know that the best estimates of the economic damage of climate change are astronomical even on the 20 year timescale. They’re already huge today.

          A carbon tax is the perfect solution to get everyone — including energy companies — to reduce our greenhouse emissions.

          If there is opposition because some people are addicted to their windfall short-term gain profits, then they will have to be knocked over and out of power. If they have captured the government then we will have to capture it back. It’s an epic struggle and there is no way around it.

          However, it is interesting to note that ExxonMobil as well as other companies call for a carbon tax now, and they have their own internal carbon tax, and even the World Bank is calling strongly for a carbon tax. Even capitalism itself sees the writing on the wall and would rather have a carbon tax that it can somewhat co-opt, rather than an all out upturning of the power structure. And indeed that is the choice.

  • SageThinker

    Everyone speaks of the COSTS of reducing emissions. I see the OPPORTUNITIES. We will slow down, be more thoughtful, less wasteful, and in greater harmony with the Earth. What’s wrong with that? Also, we will enable countless good green jobs, far more than the number of jobs that will be dropped by the fossil fuel industry.

  • Markus6

    It really bugs me to be on the side of the tree hugging set. Especially because global warming has become such a religion among this group. But it is real and it is man-made, IMO.

    But I know the commitment of the left only goes as far as their ideology allows.

    Do you know the quickest way to slow CO2 emissions in the US? Given the carbon footprint of someone in the US is on average 8X that of an immigrant (UN report of a couple years ago, so may have changed a bit), stop the immigrants from coming in. Note, that’s not the only step I’d take, but it’s a big one.

    Ok, here comes the snarky comments and rolling of the eyes and changing of the argument (like we should stop polluting the world, which is true, but a different point).

    Ideology always wins, which leads into the next show on hypocrisy.

    • SageThinker

      This is really a red herring. To reduce emissions, we need to reduce emissions. The best policy to do that is the carbon tax, which is not an additional tax, but a tax shift, because it’s revenue neutral. We can lower taxes on work and enable more and greener jobs to be created.

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

      How is accepting the science about reality a ‘religion’?

    • originalname37

      “For the good of the Earth, I cannot allow you to enter the United States … because if you do, you might start consuming and polluting as much as I do!”

      You’re right. This is the perfect segue to the second hour.

  • JeffC

    I believe technology is poised to come to the rescue. Currently at the Stanford Research Institute in California and in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, Companies are testing scaled up Commercial Heat Generating Devices that are not only green but will slash our energy costs. These devices are based on the science of LENR or Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, aka cold fusion, first reported by the famous electrochemist Martin Fleischman and Stanley Pons 25 years ago. Twenty Five years of dogged research around the world by large corporations, and dedicated scientists who knew something was there, have brought us to this point. Governments have been slow to keep up, although the head research scientist at NASA, Dennis Bushnell is fully on board with LENR.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Rossi?

      • JeffC

        Rossi’s Technology has been purchased by Cherokee Investment Partners in Raleigh ,NC and a new company Industrial Heat,LLC formed. Cherokee has billions under their management and the environment is their focus. These are the good guys. Last may a group of professors from 3 universities published a paper validating the technology after testing with their own equipment. Testing has continued ever since. On the west coast ,in Berkeley, a company called Brillouin Energy is testing a unit at the Stanford Research Institute that will replace a gas fired unit in a power generating station. This is scheduled to happen this year ! The former Public Service Commissioner of California helped set this large scale test up. Brillouin recently signed a large up front licensing agreement with a Korean Manufacturer after they completed a year of due diligence.Many other companies are popping up around this country and around the world which will compete in this arena. Mitsubishi and SMT electronics recently were granted patents in this area.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          If it is real, it sure looks like a game changer. However, they’ve been talking about this stuff for 5 years+ and still no products. I guess time will tell.

          • JeffC

            I’ve been involved in R&D for the past 15 years. The events and players seem very credible. This is an unfolding story that warrants attention.

  • Polonius Halo

    I wish Tom would do a followup show …

    Do we need a GREEN political party in the U.S. ?
    [ Similar to Germany's 25 years ago . ]

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Germany spent 100B euros for zero reduction in CO2.

      Why would we want to model insanity?

      http://www.thegwpf.org/100-billion-euros-for-nothing-germanys-co2-emissions-havent-dropped-in-10-years/

      • SageThinker

        The carbon tax is the most efficient policy to reduce emissions, and it costs nothing in government outlays, and does not raise total tax burden at all. It’s a tax shift, raising taxes on fossil fuels and reducing other taxes by the same amount of revenue collected.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          A revenue neutral carbon tax carbon tax could be an efficient mechanism IF CO2 emissions were a problem.

          A few other thoughts — will there ever be a revenue neutral carbon tax? I think not. Certainly not in the age of record deficits. They don’t even use the gas tax on the promised purposes.

          Where is the discussion of the BENEFITS of higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Crop yields have increased by upwards of 15%. Also, there are beneficial effects of warming. Certainly warming is much better than a cooling trend.

          • SageThinker

            Warning — climate change denier above. Yes, i’d use a higher CO2 level to grow plants in a greenhouse, through composting inside the greenhouse for example, but to do that for the entire atmosphere — no thank you. This planet belongs to all of us, and we have a moral responsibility to keep it as we find it.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Keep it as we find it? Tear down the roads? The buildings? How about the jetty’s?

            Boston is built on a filled in swamp. Should we have left it ‘as-is’? If so, there would be no Boston.

          • HonestDebate1

            Those are just technicalities.

      • Polonius Halo

        The point is powerful interests in

        Washington getting whatever they want
        to buy ‘for the next election cycle’.

        We need leadership that will propose
        energy policy that is “smartest” for national,
        long term goals. ( Stephen Chu spoke of it. No one listened to his wise counsel ! )

        The difficult question is : “What will the (energy mix) be ? 10, 20 30 years from now ?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          They’ve been talking about a national energy policy since Nixon with zero results.

          I’m not sure the ‘greens’ have the answer but sure they should have a voice and representation.

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

      Won’t work until we change our elections to allow multiple parties with runoffs to the top two or three vote getters until someone gets more than 50% of the vote. ALEC will see that that never happens.

  • ThirdWayForward

    Ideally the insurance industry should play a role in assessing risks and putting a dollar value on them. The insurance industry should be giving us all a wakeup call.

    Probably we should not be allowing any new development in coastal areas that might be subject to flooding when sea levels rise. Flood insurance for existing coastal areas should be mandatory and pegged to increase to cover any increases in coastal flooding.

  • HonestDebate1

    From 1972:

    “Arctic specialist Bernt Balchen says a general warming trend over the North Pole is melting the polar ice cap and may produce an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the year 2,000.”

    http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/csmonitor_historic/doc/511318988.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&type=historic&date=Jun%2008,%201972&author=&pub=Christian%20Science%20Monitor&edition=&startpage=&desc=Ice-free%20Arctic%20Ocean%20near?

  • HonestDebate1
    • SageThinker

      Well that is true in many large polluted cities these days. Global dimming is real, too, and total global insolation is down by a few percent due to particulate pollution.

    • JS

      Just a question: has the amount of air pollution remained the same since 1970?

      • HonestDebate1

        In America is has decreased dramatically since 1970 and CO2 is at a 20 year low. I support that.

        • Ray in VT

          It’s a good thing that we created the EPA to combat such terrible environmental conditions, although I’m sure that the free market was just about to get around to doing it all but totally better.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Ah, a Richard Nixon fan has weighed in.

          • HonestDebate1

            I wish we had my father’s EPA now I think we should abolish it.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            A case study for government bureaucracy, power and control gone bad. Good intentions gone bad. Every one of these ‘do good’ government deals should have sunset provisions that blow them up.

          • Ray in VT

            He had some decent policy positions. He also had many less desirable qualities and actions.

    • sickofthechit

      The Clean Air Act did a lot to prevent that from happening. Just needs to be beefed up.

      • Ray in VT

        I love the free market at work.

        • HonestDebate1

          Who claims the free market slows pollution?

          • Ray in VT

            Well, it’s supposed to fix things, unlike that evil big gub’ment. Of course, if it is profitable to pollute, then that is what the free market will give.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s silly.

          • Ray in VT

            To believe that the free market will solve such things? Yes. That is silly.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s what I said Ray, focus.

          • Ray in VT

            Your positions favoring the free market to solve problems and not government action are well known here.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

          • Ray in VT

            Lame.

          • HonestDebate1

            Once gain I’m happy to let the comments speak for themselves. Nowhere did I write the free market will make cleaner air. You made it up. That’s the way you do.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s sick.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m flattered by the imitation but you should leave it to the professionals. “That’s sick” is used only when someone implies racism out of the blue in lieu of honest debate.

          • Ray in VT

            Lame. Perhaps you could share with us all again your non-FBI source for your claims about black on white violence. I guess that just repeating and standing by white nationalist groups is honest debate to some.

          • HonestDebate1

            I ain’t seen nothing like you in any amusement hall.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, I’m sure that there are very few educated people who seek out valid sources and away from conspiracy theory nuts who hang out where you like to frequent.

      • HonestDebate1

        I am all for clean air.

        • Ray in VT

          Except when it costs you money?

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

          Then you should be against burning fossil fuels.

          • HonestDebate1

            Maybe you missed the point of the thread. In America, we have dramatically increased the burning of fossil fuels as pollution has dramatically decreased and CO2 levels have plummeted.

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

            You’re blithering …

          • HonestDebate1

            Where is my blithering wrong?

          • Ray in VT

            CO2 levels have not plummeted.

          • HonestDebate1
          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Look, we burn fossil fuel and this increases carbon dioxide in the air.

            You should learn the facts before you write. Otherwise, you reveal your ignorance.

          • HonestDebate1

            Fine but you didn’t answer my question nor did you refute my facts. So there’s that.

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

            Carbon dioxide levels have increased.

            You stated something other than a fact.

          • HonestDebate1

            In America, we have dramatically increased the burning of fossil fuels as pollution has dramatically decreased and CO2 levels have plummeted.

            http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=7350

            And remember, that is during a dramatic increase in the use of fossil fuels.

          • Ray in VT
          • HonestDebate1

            I said CO2 levels have plummeted you said they didn’t. They have.

            You’ve got crazy flipper fingers, I’ve never seen them fall…

          • Ray in VT

            CO2 levels have not plummeted. Take the levels cited here, for instance:

            http://co2now.org/current-co2/co2-now/annual-co2.html

          • HonestDebate1

            I said “in America”. Focus.

            When you figure out how to get China and India on board let me know.

          • Ray in VT

            The atmosphere is global, unless you know of a way to keep the air in America. The CO2 levels in America have still been rising continually.

          • HonestDebate1

            In America, we have dramatically increased the burning of fossil fuels as pollution has dramatically decreased and CO2 levels have plummeted… as I said and Huffpo confirms.

          • Ray in VT

            CO2 levels have not plummeted. I provided the link. Perhaps you are somewhat challenged in your use of language, as often seems to be the case.

          • HonestDebate1

            I said in America because that’s all we can control and I’m right.

          • Ray in VT

            CO2 levels in the atmosphere over America is pretty much the same as over other nations, unless you have evidence to the contrary.

          • HonestDebate1

            I gave the link to Neil below.

          • Ray in VT

            That references emissions, which is not what you said.

          • HonestDebate1

            A distinction without a difference.

          • Ray in VT

            There is quite a difference. One refers to the amount that is emitted. The other refers to that which is in the atmosphere. Surely you can see that the two are vastly dissimilar.

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t say anything about the atmosphere. I said CO2 levels have plummeted. If you want to infer levels in the atmosphere instead of levels of output then fine. You are also free to say the air is just as clean in China. Fine.

          • Ray in VT

            When I have heard people talk about CO2 levels it has generally referred to CO2 PPM in the atmosphere. Perhaps if you are going to refer to something in a non-standard way you should make yourself clear. So, again, CO2 levels have not plummeted. You are talking about something else, and I would be more than willing to bet that the reductions that you are talking about, emissions that is, has something to do with efforts by the government and the EPA that you seem to so often malign.

          • TFRX

            He means voluntarily clean.

            Now excuse me while I pour lead into my gas because FREEDUMB.

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

    Insurance companies have built climate change into their actuarial tables.
    The military is responding to climate change.
    Arctic ice is melting.
    Virtually all glaciers are melting.
    The ocean is getting more acidic.
    The number of species going extinct is increasing.
    The ocean level is rising; both because warm water is less dense, and increasingly because land ice (like Greenland) is melting.
    Tundra (what we used to call ‘permafrost!) is melting.
    Evaporation has increased about 4%.
    Plants and animals are moving toward the poles and/or up to higher elevations.
    We are setting about 4 or 5 times more high temperature records than cold records.

    • OnPointComments
      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Don’t worry, Neil will be certain to blame the polar vortex on global warming.

        • Ray in VT
          • OnPointComments

            Which climate change?

          • Ray in VT

            The one that is going on.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard
          • HonestDebate1
          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Anthony Watts is still wrong, no matter how many times you link to his site.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Your hatred for Watts is well documented and your incessant whining about him is fact-free and baseless. Also, Watts did not write the article.

          • HonestDebate1

            WftC, I know it’s a guilty pleasure that I should not indulge in but you are so right about the hatred. It turns otherwise intelligent people into blind ideologues. These replies are hilarious and they just keep getting more off- based and whacked.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yes, it does resemble a religious cult. And the blind appeal to authority is laughable. Critical thinking is left at the door.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that that describes a good slice of the “skeptics” pretty well.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Sure, there is some cultist behavior on the skeptic side but it doesn’t have near the magnitude as the alarmist side. And there isn’t any ‘appeal to authority’ on the skeptic side.

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

            Scientists are skeptics. Those who you are calling skeptics are deniers.

            If the facts are alarming – and they are – then why are you blaming the messenger?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Let me know when you want to discuss facts. Flawed computer models are not facts.

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

            Are you a climate scientist? I’m not. If you are, then show us the flawed models and explain how they are wrong. Better yet, show the scientists who made them.

            If not, then be quiet and learn from the scientists; not the charlatans.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Not my job to explain ‘how’ they are wrong. The CS community knows they are wrong. They readily admit it. They know the uncertainty. They are madly looking for the ‘missing’ heat. Pay attention to the science.

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

            Here’s a concept – you have no idea what is going on with the climate models and whether or not what you *think* is wrong with them actually disproves anything, or not.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I never said the failure in the models falsifies the AGW theory. However, it should give the alarmists pause. Pun intended.

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

            Why are you regurgitating malarkey?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Malarkey? Are you saying the failure in the models SHOULD falsify the AGW theory?

            Say it ain’t so, Neil.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Or maybe you are saying there is no pause.

            Well, I stand corrected — it is a plateau. A pause implies that we KNOW the temperature will go up once the ‘pause’ has ended. We don’t know(although it is likely with an upcoming el nino).

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, they seem to tend to favor an appeal quackery. They might like authority if they could get much of anyone with any credibility to advance their positions.

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

            You do a lot of projection on others. I do not hate Anthony Watts; only what he does. Which is distort the facts and science. His site is fact-free and baseless.

            Your continued citation of his web page only demonstrates that you are his tool.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Clearly you are not familiar with his site.

            “”Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

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

            Yeah, okay. You told me …

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Neil, you are welcome to your opinion but it would be helpful to actually know something about it before you opine.

          • HonestDebate1

            Whoa there partner! He acknowledged the fake cover and cited (and quoted) articles from Time. Are you saying he made up the articles? Or are you saying the cover was not fake?

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

            We were cooling slightly, due to particulate pollution, but that changed when we cleaned up that pollution.

            Gotta’ love the EPA!

            This old article doe not change the science.

          • Ray in VT
          • HonestDebate1

            You stand like a statue, become part of the machine…

            http://supertart.com/priceofteainchina/index.php

          • Ray in VT

            I know. What does citing how the “coming ice age” stuff as being such an outlier in the scientific community have to do a Time article about a coming ice age?

          • HonestDebate1

            It shows how easily the masses can be duped.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, that’s why the “skeptics” just churn stuff out on the blogs, because people who study it know better, and it’s easy to dupe the sort of people who think that people like Limbaugh, Palin or Gingrich are some sort of great thinkers.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Again, the appeal to authority argument.

            Well, how about some honesty about the uncertainty in the science? What about the vaunted academic peer reviewed science industry? Something really stinks — especially in the politicized area of climate science.

            Take a look at this interesting essay.

            “Are academia and publishing destroying scientific innovation?”

            “It is alarming that so many Nobel Prize recipients have lamented that they would never have survived this current academic environment.”

            “Too much of what academic researchers are doing is mere academic gamesmanship, with little impact beyond padding the resume of the academic for the perks of academia: promotions, awards, grants.”

            Maybe the ‘bloggers’ and citizen scientists are filling the void. Time will tell.

            http://judithcurry.com/2014/04/08/are-academia-and-publishing-destroying-scientific-innovation/#more-15161

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, how can one side with experts and the top organizations. Better to go with some blogger who didn’t graduate from college or stuff out of “think tanks” backed by fossil fuel industry money with “reports” written, sometimes, by people who reject things like the science linking smoking and cancer. That sounds like an awesome approach.

            I think that there’s plenty of honesty in the scientific community. However, if one is committed to rejecting certain positions and advancing questionable research and wanting it to get equal footing, then one might think that the honesty is lacking in the process.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “Better to go with some blogger who didn’t graduate from college or stuff
            out of “think tanks” backed by fossil fuel industry money with
            “reports” written, sometimes, by people who reject things like the
            science linking smoking and cancer.”

            A falsifiable straw man argument. Read the piece I linked and then get back to me.

            It was posted by a department chair in the climate science community who is seriously concerned by the state of science. She isn’t alone.

            It isn’t about the ‘honesty’ of individuals. The SYSTEM is broken.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, so you do like authority, just so long as the person supports your conclusions, even if they are highly at odds with their fellows?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I have critical thinking skills. She is advocating for a better process. She is not alone.

          • Ray in VT

            Some of the repetitions of questionable articles/headlines and such makes me question your self assessment.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Gee, now you’ve hurt my feelings.

            However, when I’ve noticed when I try engaging on something of real substance the response is snark or change of subject. That could tell you something about how open your mind is.

          • Ray in VT

            It’s plenty open, just not to the sorts of distortions pushed by the likes of Watts and his buddies at Heartland, or the myriad other “skeptical” think tanks, with their similar links and questionable “experts”.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Actually, I don’t blame you on your view of WUWT. You are being skeptical. But you have an inaccurate picture. Ignorance is bliss.

            However, I was referring to the interview I posted from Dr. Judith Curry’s site on the state of science. The inter view was with “Sydney Brenner, a professor of Genetic medicine at the University of Cambridge and Nobel Laureate in Physiology”

          • Ray in VT

            My view accurately reflects what I have seen there from my perspective. I’ll stick to the peer reviewed literature and away from bloggers with questionable, if any, credentials, and pieces from individuals who promote discredited positions, such as it is the sun that has caused the warming. I also care little for the conspiratorial nature of many of the comments from much of the skeptical community.

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

            For someone so dismissive of science, you seem quite concerned with this topic. If the science is wrong, why do you care? Are you being paid to ‘care’?

            Because the guests on the show today are speaking based on reality, which we know because of science. I am here because the reality of climate change concerns me very much, and morally we all need to stop what we a doing to cause climate change.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            No, I’m not paid to “care”. Are you paid to “care”?

            My interest is in accurate reporting of the science and the uncertainty in the science. Why? Because propaganda should always be put done but especially when it is used to justify a money grab.

            The guests today are paid bureaucrats who are paid for a mission. I thought they were reasonable and measured.given their mission.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            IMHO WUWT is great source for learning science if you are interested. There are many PhD level scientists contributing in the comments. Sometimes, looking at the sausage making is enlightening.

            Here is a recent post with a flawed ‘skeptical’ argument and it was hammered pretty hard over at WUWT: ”
            ‘Correcting’ Trenberth et al.”

            Mr. Watts: “Note: I’m glad to see a number of people pointing out how flawed the argument is. Every once in awhile we need to take a look at the ‘Slayer’ mentality of thinking about radiative balance, just to keep sharp on the topic. At first I thought this should go straight into the hopper, and then I thought it might make some good target practice, so I published it without any caveat.”

            http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/08/correcting-trenberth-et-al/#more-107179

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

            Anthony Watts wouldn’t know science if it bit him …

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            So Neil, you disagree with his criticism of :

            “‘Correcting’ Trenberth et al.”

            OK. We now know your position.

          • HonestDebate1

            You said it so it must be true.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            You beat Neil to it. LOL

          • Ray in VT

            Is there something wrong with citing research perspectives from the scientific community?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yeah, but that isn’t the “consensus” position. I thought we were supposed to worship at the altar of “consensus” science?

          • Ray in VT

            For all you skeptics out there I hear that there is a new film the really lays into those consensus believing scientists who spread their lies about the Earth going around the Sun.

          • OnPointComments

            The consensus believing scientists in the days of Galileo said that everything revolved around the Earth. Galileo was probably called a denier by those scientists.

          • Ray in VT

            Except that Copernicus had laid the groundwork for a heliocentric system decades before Galileo, and except that Galileo was relying on scientific observation, and his opponents were basing their position on a religious text. Sounds an awful lot like the “skeptics” who have declared that Man cannot alter or destroy that which God has created.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s back when flat-earthers were worshiped.

          • Ray in VT

            Flat Earth theories weren’t in vogue among the learned even when Columbus set sail over 100 years earlier.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes but the plebes worshiped the consensus.

          • Ray in VT

            Except that it wasn’t the consensus among those who knew what they were talking about, just like with today’s climate scientists (the learned) versus, for instance, Rush listeners (the plebes).

          • HonestDebate1

            Exactly! Those who believe in science (the learned) don’t believe the consensus of the weather deniers (the plebes).

          • Ray in VT

            Who are the weather deniers? Some new sort of TOP group that stopped believing in the weather once Obama said that it is a thing?

            Perhaps you are unaware of the much lower acceptance of climate science by the general public than among scientists who conduct research in the field.

          • Steve__T

            Almost two hundred but who’s counting.

            Galileo began mounting a body of evidence that supported Copernican theory and contradicted Aristotle and Church doctrine. In 1612, he published his Discourse on Bodies in Water, refuting the Aristotelian explanation of why objects float in water, saying that it wasn’t because of their flat shape, but instead the weight of the object in relation to the water it displaced. In 1613, he published his observations of sunspots, which further refuted Aristotelian doctrine that the sun was perfect. That same year, Galileo wrote a letter to a student to explain how Copernican theory did not contradict Biblical passages, stating that scripture was written from an earthly perspective and implied that science provided a different, more accurate perspective. The letter was made public and Church Inquisition consultants pronounced Copernican theory heretical. In 1616, Galileo was ordered not to “hold, teach, or defend in any manner” the Copernican theory regarding the motion of the earth. Galileo obeyed the order for seven years, partly to make life easier and partly because he was a devoted Catholic.

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

            http://www.cosmosontv.com/watch/183733315515

            Check out the story of Giordano Bruno.

          • HonestDebate1

            I just hope we get some South Pole polar vortex action this hay season.

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

        More snow (and rain) is not counter to climate change. As I said, we have more evaporation that we used to.

        Also see the last point I mentioned.

    • HonestDebate1

      Do you favor dramatic military spending increases to switch to bio-fuel?

      • Ray in VT

        The Navy seems to think that it can convert sea water to fuel at relatively competitive prices. Although I would rather pay more for domestic bio fuel than support most of the OPEC nations.

        • HonestDebate1

          How much more? $27/gal.?

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

            Gasoline costs about $400/gallon in Afghanistan.

          • Oh bummer

            So you want the US to model itself after Afghanistan?

            No thank you!

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

            So, we can just use domestic oil, then right?

          • Oh bummer

            I am environmentally friendly (green). I don’t own or drive a car. I use public transportation. I conserve energy and I recycle.

            I did all that without a mandate from some D.C. politician.

          • HonestDebate1

            Last I checked is was $.18/gal. in Venezuela.

          • Ray in VT

            So are you in favor of heavy government subsidies for products? If so, then I’m sure that with government subsidies and spending we could substantially bring down the price of gas at the pump.

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t say that but I don’t buy the meme that increasing domestic supply will not benefit us.

          • Ray in VT

            How do you think that Venezuela, as well as nations like Saudi Arabia or Nigeria, achieve such prices?

            Domestic production won’t necessarily reduce prices, unless you want to prevent companies from exporting it. That would likely bring down prices, but as long as global demand is strong prices aren’t going to fall substantially.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’d say their willingness to exploit the abundance they’re sitting on has a major impact on price. And when the apocalypse occurs they can keep it all if they choose.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, you’ve cleared that up. I guess that there’s no need to look into the actions that the Venezuelan government takes to artificially keep prices low.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yea, that’s what I meant. Alrighty then.

          • HonestDebate1

            No it doesn’t. Those cost include much more than gas,

          • Ray in VT

            For testing and such, then sure. The cost for many things come down over time, just like computers, DVD players and the like. We once paid huge prices per microchip. That changed, right?

          • HonestDebate1

            You are on record supporting dramatic military spending. You should be spitting mad about the cuts.

            And you are also on record in support of the free market lowering the price for gadgets. You’re coming around.

          • Ray in VT

            An interesting, and by that I mean moronic, take on my positions. Thanks for continuing your clown show.

          • HonestDebate1

            You wrote what you wrote, I’m happy to let the record stand. Thanks again.

          • Ray in VT

            I am also happy to let your record stand on a variety of issues where you have been clearly wrong, but you stand by those things anyways. I’m sure that I could also have a field day taking only partial or short statements in order to misrepresent your positions, but given the many more substantial bogus stances that you have taken it really isn’t necessary.

          • HonestDebate1

            Cool, have at it.

          • Ray in VT

            Fired anyone for being gay lately?

          • HonestDebate1

            Never have, never would. Do you play by sense of smell?

          • Ray in VT

            That is not what your comment history would suggest. After all, if you can tell people what they mean, then the reverse is also true, no?

          • HonestDebate1

            You are not a serious person Ray. You know full well I never made such a claim and never would. You are cornered so you get nasty with accusations of homophobia. I love gay people. They’re fun.

            Find the comment where I said I fired someone for being gay and I will donate a million dollars to the charity of your choice. Take as long as you want and illicit all the help you can find.

          • Ray in VT

            I have just decided what you meant, as you have claimed regrading my comments. So it only works when you do it to others? You can build that. Mission accomplished.

          • nj_v2

            [[ I love gay people. They're fun. ]]

            Fully self-parodying. No comment required. Can’t make this stuff up.

          • HonestDebate1

            Don’t you think they’re fun? I have memories worth millions.

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

            I suspect that ‘HonestDebate1′ is really someone doing a shift as a sock puppet – so they don’t know what others have written ‘in their name’.

          • HonestDebate1

            Doh! You outed me.

          • Steve__T

            Why do you bother?

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s a good question because he put his foot in how mouth.

          • Oh bummer

            I give Ray in VT credit. He is probably the only liberal blogger on this site who you can have an intelligent debate with. You can’t say that about the other liberal bloggers on this site who just repeat White House talking points, and make personal attacks against you if you have anything critical to say about Obama’s policies.

          • HonestDebate1

            I used to the think the same thing, big time. Not any more. It breaks my heart.

          • jimino

            Your horror-story figure is less than one-tenth what we pay already for gasoline for our military operations in Afghanistan.

            If you’re so worried about spending, devote your resources to working on that.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who said I was against it? And no, we are not paying that much for gas in Afghanistan. The gas cost $1.04/gallon.

            The $400 per gallon reflects what in Pentagon parlance is known as the “fully burdened cost of fuel.”

            “The fully burdened cost of fuel is a recognition that there are a lot of other factors that come into play,” said Mark Iden, the deputy director of operations at the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC), which provides fuel and energy to all U.S. military services worldwide.

            The DESC provides one gallon of JP8 fuel, which is used for both aircraft and ground vehicles, at a standard price of $2.78, said Iden.

            The Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Conway, told a Navy Energy Forum this week that transporting fuel miles into Afghanistan and Iraq along risky and dangerous routes can raise the cost of a $1.04 gallon up to $400, according to Aviation Week which covered the forum.

            http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/63407-400gallon-gas-another-cost-of-war-in-afghanistan-#ixzz2ytI2uhQK

          • jimino

            Now you can’t even admit that what you need to pay to obtain the use of a product where desired is its cost.

            How much does a liter of Coca Cola “cost” a consumer compared with how much one must pay a retailer for it? Do those amounts differ?

          • HonestDebate1

            No, I just am not following your irrelevant tangents. The fuel prices in Afghanistan have nothing to do with wholesale and retail. Nor do they have anything to do with my point which is pointing out the irony of dramatically increasing unnecessary military spending by using $27/gal biodiesel as endorsed by those who advocate military spending cuts. I think it’s funny, that’s all.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Let’s see if the Navy process scales. Most lab experiments don’t but we can all hope it will work.

          It may make sense for the Navy due to logistics but still not be commercially viable. BTW – the Navy process only works because they are using massive amounts of nuclear power.

    • Fredlinskip

      Yes- but those are all simply facts.
      Most of us don’t allow anything like that to creep in to effect our beliefs-
      (see OP 2nd hour broadcast).

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Too bad there wasn’t much discussion on nuclear power. It was glossed over as part of the ‘all-of-the-above’. The truth is nuclear is the only scalable baseload CO2-free power source available today. If you fear CO2 emissions then you should be for nuclear.

    The problem is modern GEN3+ designs like the AP1000 are expensive relative to the current price of natural gas. However, the AP1000 is twice the cost in the US as the same design is in China. Why? It would be affordable at the Chinese price.

    • sickofthechit

      FUKISHIMA.

      • OnPointComments

        Let me know when a tidal wave knocks out the Wolf Creek Nuclear Power Plant in Kansas.

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

          Two nuclear plants in Nebraska had to be shut down due to flooding.

          Several nuclear power plants have been shut down due to high temperatures, and inadequate cooling.

          Also, jellyfish have shut down several nuclear plants (Israel and Scotland, I think?), and jellyfish are just about the only thing thriving in our warmer and more acidic oceans.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        GENII+ designs have passive cooling to prevent FUKISHIMA type problems.

    • S Mack Mangion

      And where will the waste be disposed of. The WIPP is already leaking!

  • HonestDebate1

    “If present trends continue, the world will be … eleven degrees colder by the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age.” Kenneth E.F. Watt, in “Earth Day,” 1970.

    • Ray in VT

      And how does that one comment stack up with the published science at that time?

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        More wishful thinking Ray, it’s everywhere.

      • HonestDebate1

        What does science have to do with global warming?

        • Ray in VT

          I forgot. Belief is more important to your positions than facts.

  • jefe68

    “I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…

    The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance”

    Carl Sagan

    Carl Sagan was right…

  • OnPointComments

    I wonder which candidates will run on a carbon tax platform to dramatically increase energy prices.

  • HonestDebate1

    “By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people … If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” Ehrlich, Speech at British Institute For Biology, September 1971.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=azwQStEZq-8C&pg=PA606&dq=%22even+money+that+England+will+not+exist+in+the+year+2000%22&hl=en&ei=DCQYTa_XBI-q8AaF1ZWLDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22even%20money%20that%20England%20will%20not%20exist%20in%20the%20year%202000%22&f=false

  • HonestDebate1

    Within a few years “children just aren’t going to know what snow is.” Snowfall will be “a very rare and exciting event.” Dr. David Viner, senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, interviewed by the UK Independent, March 20, 2000.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    As a race, I’m beginning to think we’re incapable of doing what’s necessary to avert this kind of danger. It appears we’re not built for it…it’s simply not in us. We’ll learn, or our descendants will, how harsh a task-master nature can be.

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

      It will probably take a major disruption.

      http://paulgilding.com/the-great-disruption

      Paul Gilding was on OP several years ago.

    • RobertBurn

      Yes, the human race needs to figure out how to solve these types of problems. Perhaps our inability to make sort term sacrifice for multi-generational benefit will be our undoing. Don’t think this will wipe out life on this planet but there will be similar problems coming down the pipe that will if we do not evolve. Maybe the clear cut answer to the Fermi paradox is right in front of us.

      • Steve__T

        We will never see the future, till we learn to learn from our past. The history of man not learned will be our downfall.

  • Adrian_from_RI

    Leading by example is still the best way to convince Doubting Thomases and Global Warming deniers. Therefore, I suggest that all the tree huggers stop following God’s commandment to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). Instead, they should stop, yes stop procreating. Even better, all the believers in the UN IPCC report should become members of the “Voluntary Hemlock Society,” Al Gore president. And President Obama should offer every member a Kinkaraco biodegradable burial shroud instead of investing in Solyndra type ventures.

    • HonestDebate1

      I have dominions over the fish
      And that includes the bait
      I can show it to you in writing
      Book and chapter one verse twenty-eight

      No point really.

    • RobertBurn

      Think I am on the other side of the political spectrum than you but I agree that the pseudo environmentalist who jets around the globe proselytizing about climate change, but owns multiple sprawling country estates and consumes 10x the resources of most others on the planet does more harm than good.

    • Fredlinskip

      Yes, but then we would have the problem of the next generation consisting entirely of brainless idiots who care nothing about their planet or environment.

  • wrongfulconviction

    It may be that oil/gas corps. are the only ones who have a valid reson to not want to use nukes to meet demand. We should use nukes for electricity wold wide, ramping up as much as possible due to the high cost of ccs. Even when we go nuke as fast as possible, nuke wont meet current demands, but is the only non petrol thing that can. OIL and COAL will be used for electricity, steel and cement production -it will not go away soon, so we must not use oil for electricity. The primary source of not wanting nuke has always come from oil and gas corps. not true grass roots opposition.

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

      What do we do with the nuclear waste we have already produced?

      Why do we want to produce more nuclear waste?

      Renewable energy has no waste. Just like nature – no waste.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Actually the oil sands companies in Canada are investing in a nuclear startup that is based on MSR-Thorium technology. It allows them to extract oil without burning natural gas.

      The irony is once the MSR technology is mature it could obsolete the oil because it will be able to generate the power more cheaply. And to Neil, waste is not an issue with the MSR technology.

      http://nextbigfuture.com/2014/04/terrestrial-energy-successfully-closed.html

  • Sy2502

    Sometimes I feel like these predictions are like some of those cultists claiming the end of the world will come “any moment now”. Decades later they are still claiming the same things. I heard the “15 more years before environmental doom” when I was a kid, and 30 years later we are still talking of only 15 more years. I am not in favor of trashing the planet, but this kind of predictions make me roll my eyes.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Don’t worry, we’ll have Mr. Fusion in 20 years or at least that is what they’ve been telling us for the last 40 years.

      • Sy2502

        I am still waiting for my flying car.

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

          How is that equivalent to a scientific projection?

          • Sy2502

            Did I say it was?

    • Fredlinskip

      We are currently in the midst of mass extinction of species around the world of which we are directly responsible.

      Have you noticed any increase in climatic catastrophes in recent decades, such as: hurricanes, massive flooding, drought, tornado, fires, mudslides?

      What’s it going to take to convince you?

      Do you think it’s useful strategy to wait around until you can say, ” yeah my hometown is a desert- I guess all those scientists whose lives are devoted to study the phenomena were right, after all”.

      • Sy2502

        Are you disputing that there have been environmental doomsday predictions with precise timeframes that have not become reality? Because they are on record if you want we can list a few of them.

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

          It depends who is making the prediction, and on what basis.

          • Sy2502

            No, actually, predictions can be verified to be right or wrong regardless of who makes them. It’s the beauty of facts, or, as Fredlinskip likes to write it, FACTS.

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

            Right, so if those people were not actually scientists, or if they were basing it on something they were pulling out of their … hat – then they are not worth our time discussing it.

            We only need to be concerned with what climate scientists are saying. And what they are saying is very concerning, indeed.

          • Sy2502

            If you had actually read my post (which you didn’t) you would have said I made no mention of who makes the predictions, I only mentioned the predictions and the fact we have had plenty of them, and they didn’t come true. If you decided to speculate above and beyond what I wrote, that’s your business, but don’t waste my time trying to involve me in a imaginary conversations that is only happening in your head.

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

            You ignore the science at your peril.

          • Sy2502

            Where did I ignore the science? If anything I pointed out that these predictions haven’t stood up to the test of the Scientific Method.

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

            This program is based on climate science. The entire discussion is based on the reality that we know about because of climate science.

          • Sy2502

            Are you replying to the program or to my post?

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

            Both. You charge that they are crying “Wolf!” and I say that you are mistaken.

          • Sy2502

            I am mistaken that there haven’t been plenty of doomsday predictions that didn’t come true? I have already offered to provide examples.

        • Fredlinskip

          Well Sy, if you are referring to the few who have made predictions exaggerating short-term scenarios, I guess I see your point, but these are few and far between.
          Most scientists are not by nature alarmists- they just stick to the often dry facts. Unfortunately the sensationalists make the headlines. (Do you spend a lot of time reading National Enquirer or something?)
          This is no reason to ignore the vast majority of scientific opinion.
          Surely you understand there are vast resources out there that wish to suppress these facts (oil, coal, gas industries, for example).
          What do you think the motivations are of those who support scientific opinion?

          It’s the FACT they give a damn about their planet, mostly.

          • Sy2502

            This is NPR not the National Enquirer. From your propensity for conspiracy theories, I’d say National Enquirer is more your type of publication.

        • Markus6

          I also believe that there is climate change, it’s potentially devastating and it’s man-made. But scientists have given smart people reason to be skeptical.

          Y2K disasters, the danger of saturated fats and others have been supported by scientists. I also understand the bulk of funding is in favor of elevating the problem of climate change as well as the culture of academic research (happen to be very close to that).

          So, I give props to anyone who’s looked at both sides and is skeptical. That said, when you mash it all together, I think it’s convincing.

          To overgeneralize, some of this may be a product of experts becoming advocates instead of scientists. I heard a program the other day about the lack of equal pay for women. The panelists were professors who should know the data on both sides of the issue. They only cited the data on their side.This happens so often that it’s proper to wonder whether you’re getting both sides – especially on a show that’s known to lean one way.

          • Sy2502

            Nothing in my post was referred to climate change. It was referred to improbable doomsday predictions passed as facts, which then turn up to be wrong. Try reading the post you are replying to, people, I am tired of repeating myself.

          • nj_v2

            All the bogus references keep surfacing again and again, as round after round of ignorants delude themselves that they’ve made a shattering connection.

            Here, we have “Y2K” tossed out as an example of a false prediction.

            In this case, the (accurate) predictions of what would happen didn’t come to pass precisely because they were taken seriously and in time. Significant amounts of time, effort, and money were put into making the software corrections necessary to avert the predicted issues.

            Exactly what we should be doing with climate change.

          • Markus6

            Actually not, but you’d have to be in the business to know this. US and others paid a gazillion to make the problem go away (and started industries in India that turned to outsourcing). Germany and a few others, spent almost nothing and got the same result as US.

            Does this make a difference?

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

      So, if NASA spots an incoming asteroid, you don’t want to hear about it, I guess?

      • Sy2502

        Thank you for an analogy with zero pertinence to my comment.

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

          Science is telling us that we are warming the climate, and the results could be as destructive as an asteroid.

          You want to ignore what science is telling us about the reality of our climate?

          • Sy2502

            Predictions that don’t come true are not science. That’s the point of science: conceive a model, make predictions through the model, compare the predictions to the actual data.

          • Fredlinskip

            How much evidence do you need ?
            How much scientific consensus do you need?
            what needs to happen before you believe?
            Does God need whisper in your ear “Hey Sy, those scientists are right”?

          • Sy2502

            I have the evidence. 15 years ago they said “in 15 years the world will be a desert, people will starve, costal cities will be under water. 15 years later the evidence is: whoever said that was full of crap. It doesn’t get more evident than that.

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

            Who is ‘they’? Where is this prediction?

          • HonestDebate1

            Look at my profile, I posted 6 or 7 examples today.

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

            Are you the same person posting under Sy2502?

          • HonestDebate1

            No.

          • Fredlinskip

            May be on to something there- it’s the same no logic, inconclusive , “dishonest debate” style.

          • Sy2502

            Who cares who “they” are? “They” are full of crap as the fact their predictions didn’t come true amply demonstrates.

          • Fredlinskip

            Wow- that’s news to me
            You’re absolutely right – all those “scientists” that said 15 years ago that the world would end by now WERE wrong .
            Sure thing .
            Righteo.
            Nice talking to you.
            Nice day.

          • Sy2502

            Yes the doomsday predictions were wrong. As you could plainly see if you looked out of your window.

          • Fredlinskip

            Yep
            Absolutely right.
            World’s still there.
            Seems to be getting bit warmer though.

            Ah well, it’s all good.
            Maybe my heating bill will go down a bit.

          • Sy2502

            Oh stop crying. You tried to turn it into a diatribe about global warming and you failed. I didn’t take the bait and now you are throwing a little tantrum. It’s ok, you’ll find your binky eventually.

          • Fredlinskip

            i’m not throwing a tantrum-
            I just didn’t realize that from get-go your comment was all about alleged “scientists” saying 15 years ago that world would come to an end in 15 years.
            Those “alleged” scientists, that you still have not identified, certainly didn’t represent the majority of scientific community.
            I wouldn’t have wasted my time.
            You’ve got a right to your opinion.
            Speaking of time-
            Gotta go.

          • Sy2502

            Funny I didn’t even mention scientists, but I guess you’d rather make stuff up in your own mind than read the post. Post to which you chose to reply, of your own volition. Nobody forced you to. Maybe next time you want to actually read a post you want to reply to first. Just a thought.

  • Fredlinskip

    Tragic, but not surprising-
    (given the machinations of the minority party in recent years to undermine American government “of and by the people”).

  • http://daybrown.org Dale H. (Day) Brown

    The only economically viable solution is the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (aka “Lifter” or LFTR), a SAFE form of nuclear power. Fukushima never would’ve been a problem if it had LFTR units.

    We simply dont have the manufacturing capacity to ramp up solar and wind to the scale needed in the time we have left. Unlike conventional Light water reactors, the LFTR can run hot enuf to produce the steam to run the same turbines in fossil fuel power plants that are already hooked to the grid.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      LFTR looks like a fantastic technology. MSRs were invented by the inventor of LWR reactors in the ’60s but the military complex killed the project because it wasn’t useful for creating nuclear bomb plutonium.

      Unfortunately, the NRC is set up to protect the existing LWR interests and stifle innovation. Maybe we can purchase some LFTRs from China or Canada in about 10 to 15 years?

      • http://daybrown.org Dale H. (Day) Brown

        Not a word about LFTR on the audio. We dont have 10-15 years. Archeologists are hopping trying to keep up with all the organic artefacts being exposed by all the glaciers retreating.

        Fossil fuel cronies are in charge everywhere. We need to organize the Venture Capital to install LFTR aboard ship on the high seas beyond the NRC regulation. Container ships are sold for scrap because of fuel costs.

      • bill
    • nj_v2

      Yes, not only “economically viable,” but safe, and clean, too! I bet it will even be too cheap to meter!

      And everyone will get a pony, or maybe even a unicorn!

      Wheee, sign me up for a ticket on the latest Techno Silver Bullet Express, serving a free lunch on every trip!!

      No need to change lifestyle, stop building massively inefficient housing, commuting hours to work, shipping food halfway across the planet…

      Nope, the latest TechnoWonder will save us! I can’t wait!

      http://www.resilience.org/stories/2010-09-08/thorium-reactors-—-new-free-lunch

      Thorium reactors — The new free lunch

      http://www.nuclearpledge.com/reports/thorium_briefing_2012.pdf

      Thorium: Not ‘green’, not ‘viable’, and not likely

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        LFTR is not a free lunch. There are some engineering challenges to be sure. But the old articles you’ve posted have been largely debunked as anti-LFTR propaganda.

        And since the LFTR burns existing LWR waste as fuel and reduces the volume by 90% we should all be excited to have a solution to the current waste problem.

      • http://daybrown.org Dale H. (Day) Brown

        I dont expect every application will be all that rewarding. But what we have now is so appallingly unsustainable LFTR is obviously better. There is no point in presenting a design to the NRC because of delusional group think, which characterizes all govt bureaucracies. The viability question is not in the physics, but the politics.

        The way around that is to install LFTR on a ‘Panamax’ containership on the high seas. Panamax are being sold for scrap because of the high fuel costs. Venture capital could already be doing this, but if so, has no advantage in letting us know.

  • hennorama

    Thank you On Point, for dedicating an entire forum to this topic. Perhaps those who argue on both sides of the topic, often with zero new information, will have temporarily satisfied their need to argue, and will leave this topic out of the Week In the News forums for a week or two.

    (fingers crossed)

    • harverdphd

      Let’s come back in 15 years for a reunion.

      • hennorama

        harverdphd — if there will be a suspension of comments on this topic in the intervening 180 WITN On Point forums, you’ve got a deal.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Over my dead keyboard.

      • Fredlinskip

        Personally think discussion will revolve around either- what the Hell were we thinking that we didn’t do anything back then
        Or-
        Sure glad we did something back then-
        since welfare of planet is a worthwhile endeavor..

    • Fredlinskip

      Unfortunately as Clint Eastwood says in “Unforgiven” just before blowing Gene Hackman’s head off-
      “Facts have nothing to do with it”

      (actually I think it was “deserves” -but whose counting.)
      Yeah I think I got my 2 cents worth in today- back to real world-
      Sure is warm out today!

      • Jim Surkamp

        fred read a book – any book.

        • Fredlinskip

          Has “Climate Change for Dummies” come out yet?

    • OnPointComments

      I’ll take a climate change show any time over another show on income inequality.

  • S Mack Mangion

    “Extinction of our species” is a big overstatement. We will have to suffer lifestyle changes.
    Here is a simple one: High School Students do not drive cars to school. I say this to identify one lifestyle change.
    Here is another: no winter plane trips/vacations to the tropics.
    More?

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

      If we do nothing and go above 6-8C, then all bets are off.

      Hydrogen sulfide kills. And it can get there if we do nothing.

      • S Mack Mangion

        I do not know enough to dispute your statement or what the consequences of such a rise would be.
        But I do know that US lifestyle changes will be needed – as well as significant costs. And for better or worse I do not think that the citizenry will willingly embrace such changes.
        Thanks for your reply.

    • Jim Surkamp

      mack you have no basis at all for saying “big over-startement” whew you’re not a scientist. again read a book – any book.

      • S Mack Mangion

        Jim – to be clear. Climate change is real and s due in part to greenhouse gases. The scientist that I was once has noted the rise in carbon dioxide since 1969 when I first read about.
        But please do not equate climate change with the extinction of our species. Such an overblown claim hinders action and understanding of the problem.

        • HonestDebate1

          Bingo.

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

    Clean coal is not really possible – mountaintop removal is a huge problem all by itself. As is mercury pollution. And fly ash, too. It is not just the carbon dioxide.

    • harverdphd

      Thanks, Neil…I’ve enjoyed your opinions today.

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

        You’re welcome!

    • HonestDebate1

      I agree with you about mountain top removal. Do they still do that?

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

        Yes, more than ever.

        • HonestDebate1

          More than ever?

          • Jim Surkamp

            honest debate i live in west virginia and was a county commission – the plans are to turn about a million acres into moonscape. therre are no jobs created because they don’t shaft mining now. streams are smothered with toxic byproducts and people have to move out of the homes their families have lived in for generations. do your research before opining. you obviously don’t know anything about mountaintop removal.

          • HonestDebate1

            What are you talking about? I said I oppose it. I live in the mountains. I’ve been to Kentucky. I question the truth of the statement it is happening more now than ever.

  • Chuck

    Until the true believers are willing to seriously invest in nukes I am not interested in pursuing a solution. The Dems in the US want to use climate change as a way to fundamentally change the country just as they have used healthcare overhaul as a trojan horse to enact all sorts of leftist legislation. The solutions proposed by the climate change lobby and their cronies are simply not worth the cost to our country. We are already swimming (drowning really) in all sorts of nonsensical environmental regulations.

    • Fredlinskip

      .

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        As long as Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore et al are flying around on private jets it is bit difficult to take their chicken little routine seriously.

        Also, the UN has recycled many money grab wealth transfer schemes over the decades. Given the history, the skepticism of the motive is quite justified.

        • Fredlinskip

          All righty then.

        • Jim Surkamp

          this is so dumb, and i know you are not.

        • bill

          W for the C…your dribbling again…please take this napkin and wipe yourself.

    • Jim Surkamp

      chuck read my comments. you are much smarter than that.

    • bill

      Chuck…how are you personally threatened by “all sorts of nonsensical environmental regulations”

      • Chuck

        Bill,

        There are something on the order of 10000 federal laws and rules that if violated can result in a felony conviction. Most of these have been enacted in the last 30 years and many of those are environmental related. The way in which these are enforced is also troubling to me. Here is a paragraph from the link below.

        http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748703749504576172714184601654

        “One area of expansion has been environmental crimes. Since its inception in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency has grown to enforce some 25,000 pages of federal regulations, equivalent to about 15% of the entire body of federal rules. Many of the EPA rules carry potential criminal penalties. Krister Evertson, a would-be inventor, recently spent 15 months in prison for environmental crimes where there was no evidence he harmed anyone, or intended to.”

        I would argue that it not possible for the average citizen to have any idea if he or she is violating a federal rule when undertaking some innocuous activity. That is not as it should be.

        Many of the rules created by agencies, not congress, presume guilt and do not afford citizens the usual constitutional protections. this is not as it should be.

        Many environmental regulations are particularly loathsome. They are created to give a hammer to environmental groups to stop or prevent activity they deem unacceptable. There is plenty of coordination between the EPA and organizations such as the Sierra Club. For example;

        http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059993071

        “Coal industry allies on and off Capitol Hill have seized on emails sent between a Sierra Club lobbyist and U.S. EPA staff that they say confirm their belief that the agency and environmental advocates colluded to write a new power plant rule that would end coal-fired electric generation in the United States.”

        It goes on and on. Clarence Darrow said “Laws should be like clothes. They should be made to fit the people they serve.” How far from that are we?

        So yes, if you care about how your government treats it’s citizens there is plenty to be concerned about and feel threatened by.

        • bill

          I don’t see you affected here. Tell your personal story of the exact policy that burdens you. Being troubled is a personal state of mind not exclusive to you where each human can choose to be troubled by any issue or aspect of life – or not – unless the particular human has mental illnesses that overwhelm them and remove or cripple the ability to choose. Boogy men don’t count.

          • Chuck

            I am not trying to make a philosophical argument. there are people and businesses actually harmed by the current state of affairs.

            By your reckoning since I don’t have cancer i should advocate for the elimination of all funding for cancer research, “screw everyone else!” Or conversely, I should only advocate for cancer funding if i have cancer.

            Your demand that I be personally and deeply impacted Isn’t required for me to care about how my government treats the citizens in whose service it exists?

          • bill

            You can do whatever you want – as long as – you – do not harm others, which demonstrates the posted fear-based texts depicting an oh so scary gov are irrational….but are certifiably of the nature that they could have been cut and pasted from virtually any topic as the fear rational is the same regardless of the topic to which it is applied.

            The classic one of quoting how many pages a text is has to be the funniest of all. fear of numbers…..oooooo – Im soooo scurrrd lol

          • Chuck

            Did you read the links?

          • bill

            initial statements are derivative and emblematic of a simple argument requiring little thought. a more verbose version certainly clogs up the airwaves but sadly yields nothing new.

  • harverdphd

    As things seem to be slowing down on today’s donnybrook I would like to thank all of you who so passionately commented. Since the first comment 11 hours ago we are no closer to a carbon tax, decreased consumption of fossil fuels, cessation of fracking, or abandonment of doomsday scenarios as we were five years ago or are likely to be 15 years hence.

    Take care and be well.

  • harverdphd

    You have no choice but to be polite. All indications are you’re losing the battle. Otherwise why the fuss?

    • Jim Surkamp

      haver etc as i
      said to another read a book – any book.

  • harverdphd

    You have pockets full of mice.

  • Jim Surkamp

    fer godsake tom, please don’t give a “climate-change doubter” equal footing with professional career degree’d scientist. enuf already. the climate change doubters are the new flat-earthers! the oilcompanies’ funded all that disinformation making us the most clueless leat responsive
    country on the matter.

    • Fredlinskip

      Clueless but free.

      • HonestDebate1

        I have to click like because of the honesty but I disagree with the clueless part. I thought the guy made a ton of sense and I appreciate OP giving him air,

        • Jim Surkamp

          no. unless you are a scientist who has spent time and your skills withhundreds – nay the entire scientific community trying to understand this problem – your opinion and the gentlemen who spoke are just talking tripe. you can have your opinions, but you can’t have “your” facts. what he said was about the last century was just a guy guessing. you should be a tad more humble as the other and realize you aren’t an expert by any means and don’t warrant and “equal opinion.” flat-earther” is exactly right.

          • HonestDebate1

            You must be a really smart scientist to be so condescendingly arrogant.

        • Jim Surkamp

          to doubt climate change truly – is equal to trying to bring in “the bermuda triangle” as a valid explanation for events. the doubting took hold only because – as several documentaries showed – was manufactured by a campaign about eight years ago of “experts” hired by the oil companies and then peddled on fox and elsewhere. since then the scientific community has meticulously gathered more data. the data as it has turned out has convinced them and removed the previous doubts responsible scientists previously had. please! real scientifically-based facts. we have different opinons but should not have different facts.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t doubt climate change. These blanket statements are not helpful. First define scientist, then enunciate what they are saying, then weigh the facts soberly.

            There is not universal agreement that humans are trashing the planet, that the situation is so dire and present we need to go nuts. The I in IPCC stands for intergovernmental. They are mainly bureaucrats with a few scientist sprinkled in. The fourth assessment was bogus, corrupt and cooked as the fifth assessment confirms. And now we get yet another 15 year warning. It’s crazy.

          • bill

            Hey Worry Guy…

            define scientist

            then enunciate what they are saying

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

    Rigorous science reporting: http://youtu.be/VNgqv4yVyDw
    #NoPlanetB I disagree with the need for fusion nuclear, but the rest is spot-on.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    The “Green” reaction to the new IPCC mitigation report:

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/josh_frack_nuke.jpg

  • Fredlinskip

    Their are two arguments going on below-
    1) whether man-influenced climate change has actually occurred and is currently happening, &
    2) what to do about it.

    1) Denying that it is occurring is somewhat akin to some gun enthusiasts claim that the Newtown shooting never occurred and was actually a hoax invented by leftwing media so that tyrannical government can come and take their guns away.

    Hey it’s a free country- we’re all entitled to our opinions.
    And I don’t mean to hurt anybody’s feelings here, but…
    it is established fact that man-influenced Climate Change has occurred and is occurring.

    2) what to do about it is another question- There are no easy painless solutions. A little more complex than the depletion of the ozone layer problem we faced decades ago, which we as human ethical beings seem to have addressed fairly adequately.

    But, is waiting around doing nothing until Climate problem becomes much worse, REALLY an option?

    I guess so- as long as you don’t care whatsoever about your environment, your children, or the future of your planet.

    “Doesn’t affect me, affect me, affect me,….”

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Reading your post got me thinking about another issue which the left completely ignores but has some startling parallels to your case you are making.

      US debt: $17.57T
      Debt per taxpayer $151K
      Unfunded Liabilities: $128T
      Liabilities per taxpayer: $1.1T

      Is waiting around to solve this fiscal crisis really an option? How about waiting until it becomes worse, much worse?

      Do you care about your children and grandchildren?

      “Doesn’t affect me, affect me, affect me,….”

      http://www.usdebtclock.org/

      • Fredlinskip

        Interesting subject for debate – but a bit off topic to today’s discussion- no?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Of course — but the parallels in the arguments were too stark for me not to at least point out.

      • HonestDebate1

        Great point.

      • bill

        You are assuming you and your seed are important – you know what they say about assumptions

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Now to your climate point:

      “it is established fact that man-influenced Climate Change has occurred and is occurring.”

      I’m not sure that this is an “established fact”. Yes there has been warming and yes man has released CO2 into the atmosphere. However, the temperature was increasing prior to the CO2 release. Therefore, there is some uncertainty about how much the additional CO2 caused the warming of the last century.

      OK, let’s say we will have continued warming and increased CO2? Is that bad? There are benefits and risks. All we hear about are the alarmist risks. What about the benefits of increased CO2 like increased crop yields. Adapting to warming seems much easier than a severe cooling trend.

      And there are other views by professionals within the IPCC:

      “UK professor refuses to put his name to ‘apocalyptic’ UN climate change survey that he claims is exaggerating the effects”

      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2589424/UK-professor-refuses-apocalyptic-UN-climate-change-survey.html#ixzz2yugqQM38

      • Fredlinskip

        Looks like that professor is still recovering from his last LSD trip.
        I have no doubt there are SOME credentialed “scientists” that are denying Climate Change argument, especially with all the $ splashing around looking for those who espouse these views.
        What I find hard to understand is how people can deny that the # & scale of extreme climate- related catastrophes are on the rise. It’s like- look out your window once in a while.
        Don’t believe the increased prevalence of drought, floods, hurricanes, fires, tornadoes are especially helpful to crop yields.

      • The poster formerly known as t

        You remind of the tobacco industry’s pr campaign when research first came out that linked cigarette smoking to cancer: “Doubt is our product.”
        Come clean with us. Who are you and whom do you work for?

  • HonestDebate1

    I think most sane people want less pollution. Clean air and water are good things. As I’ve always said, I’m sure man is affecting climate. But now I’ve heard the show and read most comments; you guys are nuts.

    To be fair, the show was at least honest about the goal which was clearly, in a nutshell, to give tons of money to the UN and roll back our standard of living or we will be toast. I’ve never heard so much doom and gloom. If you have a plan for a cleaner world, cool I’m all ears. But enough with the apocalyptic threats, wildly exaggerated claims, drastic suppositions and demonization of anyone who is the slightest bit hesitant to surrender sovereignty, freedoms and treasures. Be reasonable.

    • Fredlinskip

      Being reasonable involves heeding the conclusions of the scientific community.
      These are some of the most “reasonable” folks on the planet as they are well attuned of the value of reason after decades of study of all the available facts.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        The “scientific community” is seriously ill. There are system problems and because climate science has become so politicized the ills are magnified.

        Check out this interview of a Nobel Laureate on the state of science. It is quite sobering.

        “It is alarming that so many Nobel Prize recipients have lamented that they would never have survived this current academic environment.”

        “And of course all the academics say we’ve got to have peer review. But I don’t believe in peer review because I think it’s very distorted and as I’ve said, it’s simply a regression to the mean.”

        “I think peer review is hindering science. In fact, I think it has become a completely corrupt system.”

        http://judithcurry.com/2014/04/08/are-academia-and-publishing-destroying-scientific-innovation/#more-15161

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

          The climate cares not a whit for politics. The science is what it is – and denying the seriousness is unforgivable. Reality is that the GOP is been their own worst enemy – they deny reality, and then when they get stung, they cry that it’s politics …

          • OnPointComments

            Politics is the primary source of the money paid to those evaluating the climate, and I bet they care a whole lot about the money.

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

            Show me all these rich scientists, please.

            And I’ll show you *record* oil company profits.

          • bill

            Right so what do you want to fund instead?

        • Jim Surkamp

          The “scientific community” is seriously ill. don’t you feel a bit absurd saying this friend?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            No and since I’m quoting the Nobel Laureate I guess you are calling him absurd too. How does that make you feel?

      • OnPointComments

        There should always be a healthy dose of skepticism when evaluating the conclusions of anyone who gets paid tons of money for their conclusions, especially if a contrary finding would end the flow of money.

        • bill

          Tons of money, as compared to what…where do you work?

          • OnPointComments

            Summary of Federal Climate Change Expenditures
            FY2012: $20 billion
            FY2013: $23 billion
            FY2014: $21 billion

            Tens of billions of dollars here, tens of billions of dollars there, before long you’re talking about real money.

          • bill

            sounds like a fear of numbers. curious indeed. but its OK…talking about it is the first step. welcome aboard captain!

    • bill

      why do we need a “standard of living” that is based on a failed experiment. are you saying N America is better off now than when the Indians ruled it?

      • HonestDebate1

        Yes.

        • bill

          suck a tailpipe freak

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

    This is for the event this evening. I hope you all realize the universe changes as doe’s our world. This is not to be taken as a negative Just a memory..

    I see the bad moon arising.
    I see trouble on the way.
    I see earthquakes and lightnin’.
    I see bad times today.

    Don’t go around tonight,
    Well, it’s bound to take your life,
    There’s a bad moon on the rise.

    I hear hurricanes ablowing.
    I know the end is coming soon.
    I fear rivers over flowing.
    I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

    Don’t go around tonight,
    Well, it’s bound to take your life,
    There’s a bad moon on the rise.
    All right!

    Hope you got your things together.
    Hope you are quite prepared to die.
    Looks like we’re in for nasty weather.
    One eye is taken for an eye.

    Don’t go around tonight,
    Well, it’s bound to take your life,
    There’s a bad moon on the rise.

    Don’t go around tonight,
    Well, it’s bound to take your life,
    There’s a bad moon on the rise.

    Songwriters: JOHN C. FOGERTY

    Bad Moon Rising lyrics © CONCORD MUSIC GROUP, INC

  • HonestDebate1

    Massive species extinction, cities submerged, famine and devastation are not 15 years away.

    • Fredlinskip

      Apparently as long as the end of life as we know is not “15 years away”- it’s all good.

      Amazing,

      And Massive extinction of species is going on- but your concept of time scales involved does not coincide with that of scientists when talking of extinctions. You need to be thinking in terms of thousands of years. Fortunately for small-minded folks like ourselves (apparently) we need not think in those terms because species are currently disappearing at much faster rate than that.
      (you “honestly” sure you’re not SY 2502 below?)

    • bill

      Why does HonestDebate sound so much like “fair and Balanced??? lol.

  • bill

    the boring mantras that center on some “oh so
    covert” motivation of scientists or question ideas that could help the world breath better are myopic patter of the “world is flat” crowd. Where do these folks even exist anymore??? Such
    statements are tolerated in the sense that a tick is the unfortunate reality of the dog. Therefore, I conclude – they must be climate trolls.

  • HonestDebate1

    er… ugh… never mind.

  • pete18

    . Sanctimonious compassion for the earth. People? Not so much.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Hey Mohican, Jame’s Lovelock? Perhaps he’s not who you think he is.

    “We should give up trying to save the world from climate change, says James Lovelock”

    “We may have wasted valuable time, energy and resources by trying to grapple with climate change on a global scale.

    “It sounds good to try to save the planet, but in reality we are not thinking of saving Gaia, we are thinking of saving Earth for us, or for our nation.

    “The idea of ‘saving the planet’ is a foolish extravagance of romantic Northern ideologues and probably much beyond our ability.”

    May the Gaia be with you.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/10752606/We-should-give-up-trying-to-save-the-world-from-climate-change-says-James-Lovelock.html

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Did I say ‘corrupt’? Why are you so willing to ignore issues brought forward by top notch scientists? Don’t you want the best science for our tax dollars instead of pissing it away on paper pushing ‘yes men’?

    • bill

      WftC….”The “scientific community” is seriously ill”.

      Please define with exact specificity:

      a. scientific

      b. community

      c. ill

      as pertaining to your proclamation

  • Dshakes

    There are three reasons people deny man-made global warming: extreme arrogance, extreme paranoia, their being paid by the hydrocarbon industry, or a combination of any or all of the above.

    Extreme arrogance: People think that because they observe the local weather they therefore know all there is to know about the global climate (over space and time). This is like someone thinking they understand particle physics because the see an apple fall from a tree. Why would anyone think they are smarter than all the world scientific academies and 97% of climatologists?

    Extreme paranoia: These people think that there is some sort of world-wide conspiracy led by socialists and Al Gore to create a one-world government and make tons of money (note the potential contradiction with socialists) on all of the clean energy products. So this means that all the world’s scientific academies and all climatologists are in on this “hoax” together.

    Bought out: Speaks for itself. Many if not most of the high-profile nay-sayers have been bought out by the hydrocarbon industry. There are a miniscule number of genuine scientists (i.e. Linzen at MIT) who deny it but have not been bought out.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Straw man arguments with the usual appeal to authority.

      Why not openly acknowledge the uncertainties in the current state of climate science?

      Also, when you use the parrot 97% propaganda you weaken your case.

      • Dshakes

        I wrote the same thing to HonestDebate and Oh Bummer: please respond with something intelligent or at least thought provoking. “Debating” with you guys is like debating with a 3rd grader.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          You believe personal insults wins a debate?

          I’ve posted plenty of substantive issues with climate science here and elsewhere.

          What do you have against honest reporting of the uncertainties in the science?

          And please explain what consensus is indicated by “97% of climatologists”? Please be specific. It is important if you want to avoid propaganda.

          • Dshakes

            I think you fit into the arrogant category.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yup, when you can’t debate substance go directly for the straw man. I bet it makes you feel all warm and tingly inside.

          • pete18

            Actually, he went for ad-hominem. But he is to be commended, usually the ad-hominem comes first and then the straw man is pulled out. This is slow but sure improvement.

      • Don_B1

        The 97% is the number of scientists writing papers on climate science who believe that humans are causing the warming of the atmosphere which is changing the climate for the world. It is not propaganda except in your fantasy world where there is nothing else but propaganda, even if you don’ t want to recognize your pronouncements as propaganda.

        AS I have said before, ALL Science has uncertainties, but you are conflating relatively minor uncertainties about the rapidity of the approach of some of the big effects of Climate Change with uncertainty of their unstoppability once a tipping point has been crossed.

        There is practically NO UNCERTAINTY on the arrival of an unlivable climate for most of the world with life-extinct oceans if nothing is done to stop burning fossil fuels and releasing the product CO2 to the atmosphere. Disaster WILL happen.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Not enough precision Don.

          “97% is the number of scientists writing papers on climate science who
          believe that humans are causing the warming of the atmosphere which is
          changing the climate for the world”

          You can’t substantiate that claim because there is absolutely nothing that backs it up.

          Causing “the warming” implies 100%. 1C in a century — 100% caused by man released CO2.

          So yes, it is propaganda.

          • bill

            propaganda is only a concept of those who choose to participate in a system.

  • jipengipe

    I believe climate change is happening. I see no reason for the “West” to pick up the tab for the entire world to change its behavior.

    • Ashley Yoshida

      Really? How about this reason. The “West” created the problem. The “West” enriched itself and in doing so took humanity to the brink of extinction. Why should the entire world pick up the tab for the “West’s” behavior?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Don’t worry — we are not on the brink of extinction. The slight warming trend might be beneficial.

        • bill

          Hola WforTC…”sunny” disposition this eve? Worry not friend – you “might” win the lottery. and think of all the awesome plastic stuff you can buy if you do….no no no…please do not worry friend.

      • jipengipe

        How did the “West” create the problem? Only if you mean that the entire world is so envious of the society that we’ve created that they are attempting to live like us. In that sense, I guess we are at fault. For creating a lifestyle the entire world wants to emulate.

    • TripleKidney

      Someone has to lead. We have lead the way in creating the problem, seems logical we should lead in developing a solution.
      If nothing else, we could guide developing countries into adopting better, cleaner ways to develop their resources.
      Doing our part to mitigate climate change, which we currently aren’t really doing, would encourage others to do the same.

      • jipengipe

        If one actor in a prisoner’s dilemma chooses to cooperate, what does that give other actors an incentive to do?

        “Guide developing countries.” Read: Pay tens of billions of dollars in economic transfers. No thanks, I’ll pass.

  • TripleKidney

    The problem as I see it, is that the science has been politicized. Science shouldn’t be, and typically isn’t, partisan or ideological.
    Now the policies that may be enacted to address any particular scientific investigation and resulting information, can be totally partisan and should be expected to be partisan and ideologically driven.
    But if one half of the political equation doesn’t even acknowledge that science is legitimate, then there is never even a chance to work on policy.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Oh, you were doing so well in the first paragraph. Calling the “other side” anti-science is a gross mis-characterization of the skeptical position.

      That said, I think there could be common ground on the policy side. Most folks, on both sides, rightly believe energy security is critical for prosperity and the future. Many of the all-of-the above energy solutions are lower carbon or carbon free. The UN report says to expand natural gas use and TRIPLE nuclear generation output.

      Expanding nuclear and natural gas can be achieved with some policy changes and very little spending by the Feds.

      - Announce conversion of the federal fleet of vehicles (the largest) to natural gas. [Think post office]. Since we are stinkin rich in nat gas this will actually save the Feds money over time and will enable the fueling infrastructure holding back the private vehicle market

      -Change the NRC charter to encourage investment in advanced nuclear. Streamline the process for approving new designs. Currently, the NRC is constituted to maintain LWR nuclear technology. Supplement this with basic high temperature material research that will benefit almost all advanced reactors.

      There are many more as well.

      • TripleKidney

        When we are speaking of political ideologies, left or right, liberal or conservative, there can be no doubt that one side sees the science of climate change as convincing and concerning, while the other tends to see it as illegitimate and a scam.
        This is just pointing out the obvious I hope, and my original post just states it how it is.
        As far as common ground, I am sure some exists. Natural gas expansion would be great, if we had a better grip on the waste water concerns, potential contamination of drinking water, and even possible seismic activity associated with fracking.
        Nuclear would be fine, if extraction wasn’t so destructive, and we had a viable solution for waste products, which currently is a disputed hole in the ground in Nevada.
        But it all begins with accepting the science as being as accurate as possible, and not everyone is doing this. The precautionary principle, which is a hallmark of all environmental thought, should apply here.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          The nuclear waste issue vastly overstated — all the US waste produced in the history of US power generation can fit in a Best Buy warehouse. GENIV reactors like LFTR can reduce that waste in volume by 90%. But that is another discussion.

          • bill

            Resident Statistician – I concur. And whats more, I have a great idea. Why not you and I walk
            the talk. I am sure land is cheap near Chernobyl and the best part is…we won’t need to irradiate our burgers anymore:) win/win…dude…you
            ROCK!

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Here is a response posted to a twitter challenge put out by Don Cheadle. It probably represents a common skeptic position:

      “1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas
      2. Greenhouse gases have a warming effect
      3. Human activity has caused atmospheric CO2 to increase over the last 100+ years
      4. The Earth warmed during the 20th century
      5. Global sea levels rose about 7.5 inches since 1901

      6. We can’t burn fossil fuels forever without running out
      7. Alternative energy research is a good thing
      8. Energy efficiency is a good thing
      9. Destroying the environment is a bad thing
      10. I want the best, safest world possible for future generations

      Some things I don’t believe:
      11. The Earth is a more dangerous place at 61F than at 59F.
      12. Carbon dioxide taxes can prevent bad weather
      13. Increased CO2 causes drought”

      Complete post here:

      http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2014/04/response-to-don-cheadle.html

      • TripleKidney

        I don’t really think Don Cheadle’s opinion on climate change should hold too much weight, and I have no idea who Tom Nelson or why I should listen to him either.

        But to the things he doesn’t believe: only #12 could be something really worth debating (except for using the term weather, he should know better) and he may be right that a carbon tax may not be the appropriate approach.

        As to #11 and #13, if he really agreed with the science, and thought that the scientists, experts on the subject, might know what they are talking about, he could easily find his answers and explanations.

        He could visit: http://www.realclimate.org/
        to see what the actual climatologists say, and opposed to celebrities.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Don Cheadle just starred in a climate alarmist film that aired on Showtime. Thus the exchange.

          Actually there is a lot of debate on items #11 and #13 in climate community. James Lovelock, Roger Pielke Jr., Bjorn Lomborg, Richard Tol, etc. The science isn’t settled and there is debate on how we should spend precious resources.

          Per your comment below on “precautionary principles”. There are benefits to warming and benefits to increased CO2 emissions. Should that we weighed? Should the opportunity cost of spending vast sums be weighed as well? We could spend $billions developing coal carbon capture or we could spend that money on cures to brain deceases? Which will be more beneficial?

          My personal view is the same as the brilliant Princeton physicist and Feynman protoge – Freeman Dyson. The alarmism is based on incomplete models and the science is far from settled.

          “The problem, said Dyson, is that the consensus is based on those computer models. Computers are great for analyzing what happened in the past, he said, but not so good at figuring out what will happen in the future. But a lot of scientists have built their careers on them. Hence the hatred for dissenters.”

          • bill

            “We could spend $billions developing coal carbon capture or we could spend that money on cures to brain deceases? Which will be more beneficial?” – what is a brain decease ?? lol

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Glad the typo police is having a good chuckle today. Laughter is good for the soul. LOL

          • bill

            yes I understand it is hard to type correctly whilst drooling on your keyboard. please clean it up friend, that is a disgusting visual

          • TripleKidney

            We don’t need to play who has the longest list of supports, that game is easily won.
            If you don’t like the models, and you are a brilliant Princeton physicist, make a better model. Or, just look at the actual data, and deny there is warming, deny there is ever increasing CO2 and other GHGs. And deny there is a causal relationship.
            What benefits of warming and CO2 are you thinking of? Are you a member of the Greening Earth Society? They make similar claims.
            The precautionary principle simply implies that with the weight of the evidence and potential harmful consequences, action to prevent the harm is the better option, as opposed to doing nothing and waiting to see if the potential harm plays out as expected.
            What you have described in the above post perfectly illustrates the point I was making in my OP. You seem to be skeptical of the science and the scientists who do the work, and then place a false dilemma for the funding of potential mitigation plans. Of course any allocation of funds to mitigate carbon emissions will seem like a waste of money if you don’t think that climate change is a valid concern.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Actually, I’m more critical of the communication on the state of the science and the inherent uncertainties. There are many things to be ‘alarmed’ about. There is no hard EVIDENCE CO2 is one of those things.

            “UN IPCC AR5 climate reports: Conjecture disguised as certainty”

            Look at the actual measured data VS. the models used by the IPCC to base the alarmism –and then come back and tell me about the real state of the science.

            http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/15/un-ipcc-ar5-climate-reports-conjecture-disguised-as-certainty/#more-107578

          • OnPointComments

            If a brilliant Princeton physicist made a better model, and the model didn’t support the prevailing sentiment of a catastrophe, the physicist would be denounced.

      • bill
  • Ashley Yoshida

    In response to Tom’s hostage taking metaphor…

    Who are the hostages? Emerging economies and the rest of humanity who are looking down the barrel of extinction who are saying “We’ll cooperate, but you need to pay for the mess you made? Or the industrialized nations who are holding out for a better deal?

  • Alchemical Reaction

    The truth is simple. Human beings ARE contributing artificially, to a greater or lesser degree, to the natural process of heating and cooling of the Earth. The EXTENT to which humans are contributing to climate change is up for debate.

    One logical approach would be, “We don’t understand this fully, yet, so we ought to tread carefully, since the effects aren’t fully observed in the environment until twenty years later.” Anything we don’t fully understand should be handled with care.

    • Fredlinskip

      Handle with Care in what respect? It’s not like we’re going to take a moon size ice cube and melt it in the ocean or something. What ever we do is going to involve a sustainable long term approach.
      The consequences of doing nothing however could be devastating-; if not for us, certainly for following generations.
      Ignoring the recommendations of decades of research of scientific community doesn’t seem like much of “a plan”.

      • Alchemical Reaction

        In what sense?

        • Fredlinskip

          Time is not particularly “on our side” .
          Let’s wait a few more decades to see how much worse it gets is not a viable approach.

          • Alchemical Reaction

            Obviously, I agree. Ahh, you’re preaching to the choir. Obviously, when we don’t understand something, it makes sense to err on the side of caution rather than throwing caution to the wind.

          • Fredlinskip

            My mistake.
            I incorrectly assumed you were one of those who use words such as “…tread carefully” and “handle with care” to mean, “let’s not do a friggin’ thing”.

          • Guest

            No worries. I wasn’t specific but I do agree.

  • WestCoastSusan

    Yes, human-caused global warming WILL cause catastrophic environmental destruction and sea-level rise. No, we will not prevent long-term collective disaster at individual short-term expense. We’re human. That’s not what we do. “Should” is a pointless word and a waste of time.

    First the ‘stuff’ happens, then we react and adapt. That’s how we roll.

    Everybody stay calm, pack your bags, and move back from the shoreline, back from the deserts. Those of us sitting pretty need to push over and make room for refugees. Lots and lots of refugees.

    If we try, we can terraform Greenland and Baffin Island much faster than we could ever terraform Mars. The entire country of Canada sat under ice sheets more than two miles thick only 14 thousand years ago. Think about what we can do, not what we shouldn’t. Yelling at each other to ‘stop’ just does not work.

  • bill

    What we have is an industrial revolution that has pushed the
    planet beyond its natural capacity in every sense…disposable everything, keeping the decrepit and obese animals alive beyond their years so they can consume even more. not just climate. the rape and pillage nature of mankind is only one flawed aspect of the species. One of its other base flaws are the ability to rationalize its own demise. Even more so as dependence on its machines are entrenched in a symbiotic relationship between the species and the mechanisms and designs
    it created. In spite of this, the higher mind may yet prevail exceeding the noise of the average, lost and hopeless…

    e.g. http://thesolutionsproject.org/

    • Regular_Listener

      The decrepit and obese animals – I guess that is us?

  • http://daybrown.org Dale H. (Day) Brown

    The global grain supply is barely enuf to last til the next harvest. If weather causes crop failure, then we’ll see regime change at the least, or maybe total societal collapse. But if the former, then solutions like LFTR will be taken up because it has the fastest payback. The increased cost of fossil fuels results in violence trying to control a source, which damages infrastructure, reduces production, and drives prices higher. LFTR is one solution to that as well, but the whole system could crash before LFTR can stabilize the supply of energy.

  • OnPointComments

    FIVE QUESTIONS FOR MR. TOM STEYER
    An Earth Day conversation about global warming.

  • Stephen Danna

    Great conversation! Thank you. http://www.ClimateGaGa.org

  • Regular_Listener

    Why does nobody ever want to talk about the out of control population growth that is driving this problem? Now it is true that we could still rapaciously use up the earth’s resources with a smaller level of population. And it is also possible that we will continue to grow the human population while simultaneously finding solutions to the problems of climate change, pollution, and species extinctions – but let’s face it – this is HIGHLY unlikely! How many people do you know who are looking forward to living with less in exchange for the good of the world?

    I submit to you that steps need to be taken now to begin putting caps on population growth, and that this has to be a part of any solution for climate change / pollution / destruction of the earth. How about increasing taxes on people who have more than 2 kids? That would be a good place to start.

    • The poster formerly known as t

      “Why does nobody ever want to talk about the out of control population growth that is driving this problem?” I’m probably wrong, but I feel like the only kind of people who ask this question are very sheltered upper-middle class people who don’t interact with the lower classes of society. The privilege of “having kids” is the only thing that motivates a large segment of the adult population to show up to work or perform thankless grunt work that human societies asks of them. A person may not be able to get good job (achieve high social status) for a plethora of reasons, such as a lack of talent, or a lack of connections, but they can aspire to have a spouse and offspring and those things confer their own status. If any of those things are denied to a person, that person will, depending on the prevailing culture, resort to antisocial activity. It’s not a coincidence that most Islamic terrorists are not married men with families. A person with nothing (no family and spouse) to lose is dangerous . A person with a lot to lose is the opposite. This is not always true, but that’s the popular perception.

      • Regular_Listener

        So I must be a “very sheltered upper-middle class person who doesn’t interact with the lower classes of society.” Actually that does not describe me. Nonetheless I find your perspective interesting. So the average shlub out there, without the hungry mouths of his/her kids impelling him/her forward, could easily fall into wicked ways. This is “the devil finds work for idle hands” argument.

        OK, a couple of retorts. First of all, if you don’t have children or much ambition or ability, you still don’t have to let your life go to hell – I know several who aren’t doing so. Secondly, I am not saying people should STOP having kids – I am saying we should be having FEWER kids, particularly those who who cannot afford them in the first place.

        • The poster formerly known as t

          I don’t think you understand what I said. I said that the average shlub out there, without the hungry mouths of his/her kids impelling him/her forward, has no reason to show up and stick around at a full time job. I’m not making a “the devil finds work for idle hands” case. I’m saying that raising a family is a way for the average person to raise their status. Those with above average ability in something that leads to a lucrative occupations tend to have fewer children. The less capable someone is, the more it’s important for them to have at least two children.

          There is no “We”. Wealthy and unusually financially successful people tend to reproduce below the replacement rate while those who are non-wealthy and aren’t unusually financially successful, reproduce at the replacement rate or above.

          The birth rate is inversely correlates with socioeconomic status. In order for things to return to something healthy and sustainable, a few things would need to change.

          Those at the bottom would have to be made so comfortable that they don’t resort to procreation in order to make up for their low status. In poorer parts of the world, parents would have to stop seeing children as dirt-cheap labor, in affluent countries, women would have to stop using children to get welfare payments from the government.

          In rich countries, there is a problem of aging demographics. The demographics are changing into a situation where there are many old people and few children to support them because of low birthrates. That is no more natural or sustainable the inverse situation in poor countries. In fact, I would argue that it is less natural and less sustainable.

          Since humans can’t control themselves, the best thing may be to return the human race to a very primitive existence, because only that would guarantee that humans would stay within carrying capacity of a given ecosystem. The problem with sustainability is that the human brain is constantly trying of ways to make itself more comfortable, which often leads to unsustainable activity.

  • Regular_Listener

    I can understand how you feel about this issue, but there are other arguments that can be made. For one, you could say that if it weren’t for the techniques developed by the West since the Industrial Revolution, the developing countries would still be living in traditional, agrarian societies, with all the good and bad that includes. And should the less developed world refuse to learn from the mistakes of the West, and say, “We are going to be like you. We will grow our populations beyond what the land can support, pollute and destroy the earth, and then, when most of our citizens are on a par with yours, step back and admit that we need to change”?

    The argument you are proposing, that the developed world should pay for the damage it has caused (and which is now being caused by big polluters like India and China) while other nations are exempt from restrictions has moral validity to be sure, but it is unlikely to go down well in the West. Any solution to this global problem requires sacrifices by all nations, and – here I go again – reductions in population growth, especially in the overpopulated developing world.

  • Regular_Listener

    It is important to point out what these proposed reductions in carbon emissions will mean for the average person. The policy analysts on the show speak in bland bureaucracisms, but their proposals translated into action would have heavy impacts. They will mean big hikes in gasoline and electricity prices. They will mean stopping and thinking before you get into your car – or even buy a car – whether you really need to do this or not. This will mean relying more on public transportation and bicycles, living in smaller homes, and having fewer children. Of course they will also mean living in healtheir, cleaner environments and seeing a brighter future for coming generations. But a lot of this will hurt. Particularly those in the developing world, who are just now getting their first taste of owning a motorcycle or an air conditioner, just now beginning to think that they too can live in the comfort that the Americans they see in movies do – now it is time to take those things away from them? Are people really going to be able to make these changes?

    • The poster formerly known as t

      You, like much of the American public, don’t know about the other half of the problem with fossil fuels: Fossil fuel deplation. Fossil fuels are non-renewable. They are finite. We are running out of them. It’s very unlikely that the vast majority of those in the developing world will achieve the American lifestyles because there aren’t enough fossil fuels, and other resources, to make the American lifestyle possible on a global level.

  • Regular_Listener

    I am trying to picture this “plan” to put excess carbon dioxide into large underground pools for permanent storage. I hope we’re not counting on something like that – it sounds pretty far fetched!

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