Skip to main content

View Diary: What Obama Should Say About Climate Change, and How to Know It Matters (74 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  If the fiscal cliff "conversation" is any guide (12+ / 0-)

    the State of the Union affirm the evidence that government will not provide a vehicle to address Climate Change on a time scale that matters.

    As Anthony Leisorowitz states, we are course to hurtle past a 2 degree Celsius increase in temperature, which is somewhat analogous to hurtling past a 2 degree increase in body temperature. Considering that an extinction level event is not all that far beyond, the lack of symmetric government and public response--even among kossacks--is horrifying.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 10:20:29 AM PST

    •  Let's use F ... (22+ / 0-)

      e.g., for most Americans 3.6 F sounds like a hell of lot more than 2 degrees C even though they are the same. We need to use language that people use.

      E.g., a 102.4 fever is a hell of a lot scarier than 100.6 (which is what 9x% of Americans think of when they hear "two degrees c" in terms of impact on body temperature).

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 10:33:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We Can't Assure Our Own Social Security (5+ / 0-)

      which is orders of magnitude less imposition on the economy than climate change response would be.

      I don't see that our system of government could ever address it appropriately. The issue needs to be taken face to face to top global owners. They're the only ones who can empower government. I doubt they'll act either, but we should know right away.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 10:40:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  EPA Chief Lisa Jackson agrees with you (2+ / 0-)
        Jackson Confirms EPA Chart Showing No Effect on Climate Without China, India

        July 7, 2009

        Contact: Matt Dempsey matt_dempsey@epw.senate.gov  (202)224-9797

        Jackson Confirms EPA Chart Showing No Effect on Climate Without China, India

        http://epw.senate.gov/...

        "I believe the central parts of the [EPA] chart are that U.S. action alone will not impact world CO2 levels," Administrator Jackson said.  

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

        by PatriciaVa on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 10:59:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good point (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          asym, jfromga, Cassandra Waites

          But -and this is a big but- getting China and India fully on board without the U.S. participating?  Highly unlikely.

          The world has been begging us to lead on this for at least the last decade.  

          -Joylette

          Don't Just Sit There - Do Something! --- a humorous take on climate news, climate science, with easy things everyone can do to make a difference.

          by Dont Just Sit There DO SOMETHING on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 12:16:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  What China, India, or anyone else does or doesn't (4+ / 0-)

          do shouldn't be part of our concerns when it comes to acting on this real crisis and unfortunately (for everyone) the petroleum industry's supporters have successfully used the 'them first' arguments to stall any real action on Climate Change. (I'm not putting Lisa Jackson in that category)
          The following is from an excellent article with a LOT of great maps, charts, articles etc., dated some (Kyoto) but the reality of climate change has only gotten worse since it was issued.
          http://mindprod.com/...

          What About China?
          "Very few people could have foreseen the explosive growth of the Chinese and Indian economies in the last decade. When China and India ratified the treaty in 1993, the intention was the developed world would develop the technology for these countries to adopt later. In the meantime, China and India would not do much damage compared with the developed countries. However, that all changed. China opens a new dirty coal-fired electric generation plant every week. China is now about equal to the USA is terms of contribution to the total yearly carbon emissions. It is time to pressure China to go carbon neutral. It has plenty of money, so it has no excuse. The problem is being dirty gives a country an economic advantage. Industry in clean countries relocates to dirty countries where costs are lower. So countries are extremely reluctant to clean up. If our species is to weather this, we must insist every country clean up to some degree, so there is a level economic playing field. At that point, industry will climb on-board the cleanup, since they can make money from it.

          Ideally we should institute a global value added carbon tax. It could be revenue neutral. Basically it would punish carbon emitters and reward those who reduce carbon emissions. If the VAT (Value Added Tax) were global, there would be no incentive for an individual country to go dirty to attract industry. It could start with individual countries instituting the tax based on the total carbon footprint of a product including mining, manufacturing and shipping. This would discourage dirty production in foreign countries too.

          What I find odious is the USA refusing to clean up, using as its excuse that China is dirty too. Imagine two dirty little boys refusing to take a bath, each floating the excuse the other is dirty, and staying dirty will encourage the other to bathe. What nonsense! If one boy climbs into the tub, the other is far more likely to conform too. You lead by example. You can’t very well demand behaviour from others you are unwilling to do yourself.
          The following map distorts the size of countries relative to how bad their greenhouse gas emissions are. The figures used to generate the map are current as of 2002. Since then China has got much worse..." (China is # 61 and the USA is # 8)
          (all emphasis mine)

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 12:18:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  US companies relocating (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AllisonInSeattle, cai, aliasalias

            to China so they can be dirty and pocket greater profits are a large part of the explosive growth in China.   Blaming the Chinese is pretty feckless.

            •  like the article said... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jfromga, cai
              What I find odious is the USA refusing to clean up, using as its excuse that China is dirty too. Imagine two dirty little boys refusing to take a bath, each floating the excuse the other is dirty, and staying dirty will encourage the other to bathe. What nonsense! If one boy climbs into the tub, the other is far more likely to conform too. You lead by example. You can’t very well demand behaviour from others you are unwilling to do yourself.

              without the ants the rainforest dies

              by aliasalias on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 01:23:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Echoing George Monbiot, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cai

          at the time when in all of human history we most need governments to take concerted actions to avoid climate catastrophe, we are saddled with self-loathing governments for whom such actions are an anathema, who believe that less government is good and that governments should not ever restrict the sacred free market or annoy their corporate overlords.

          I'm truly sorry Man's dominion Has broken Nature's social union--Robert Burns

          by Eric Blair on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 01:35:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sure, fine, but that's constantly used (0+ / 0-)

          as an excuse for the U.S doing nothing. Then China and India say they won't do anything till the U.S. does. Then the U.S. says it won't do anything till China and India do. And on and on it goes.

          Listening to those negotiations also makes me feel like I'm back in Romper Room.  You go first! No, you go first! No, you're a meanie, you go first!

          if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:07:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site