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View Diary: Climate Zones and Resiliency Funds, Obama's "duck and cover" For Global Warming. (47 comments)

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  •  How high do the seawalls have to be? (1+ / 0-)
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    I see where you're coming from MB.  But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and in the case of Global Warming, there is no cure, there is only prevention.

    Katrina, Sandy, massive midwest drought, California drought, Colorado fires followed by historic floods, Australia...  Even the most modest of mitigation efforts is going to run into many $trillions and we've only begun to slightly feel the oncoming disaster.

    Say goodbye to Social Security, Medicare, and most other current spending as governments around the world try to handle mass migrations (Florida is already toast) and other massive and costly disasters.

    Sorry MB, to spend money on mitigation and adaptation, and to especially give the false impression we can adapt, only takes away the desperately needed resources we need for prevention.

    •  I think MB is suggesting that NOTHING we do now, (8+ / 0-)

      even if--against all odds-humanity decides to tackle climate change with every conceivable resource, will be sufficient to prevent weather and coastline changes that are already inevitable.

      If that's correct, and I agree it is, one way or another we will have to adapt to those changes. Might as well do it with a conscious, well thought-out plan.

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 10:59:06 AM PST

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      •  Yes, I'm torn on this. (3+ / 0-)
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        PhilJD, Kombema, DawnN

        Yep, it's already too late to stop all changes, and people will have to change.  But the president has repeatedly said he would do something about GW and after this week, instead of making very bold efforts at prevention, it sure looks like his emphasis will be on adaptation.

        So far, we've dodged the nuclear war bullet, and not because of "duck and cover" adaptation, but because of our efforts at prevention.  I don't think most people today believe for a second that "duck and cover" was a viable solution to the threat of nuclear war, and no one should for a second believe adaptation is the solution to Global Warming.  

        The right wing propaganda machine first denied the planet was warming, then they denied it was man made, and now they're moving on to let the free market help us adapt to the warming climate.

        I very much fear that President Obama (maybe inadvertently) is giving the public the impression we can adapt, and he's playing right into the Republican's hands.

        •  This is why I said I agree with you 98%... (3+ / 0-)
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          PhilJD, marina, DawnN

          ...but I sure as hell do want us to mitigate and adapt. Otherwise, we are condemning billions of humans and who knows how many other species to oblivion after some nasty suffering. You're right, prevention should be our key focus. But you can't prevent an avalanche that is already halfway down the mountain, you can only take measures to keep it from getting worse.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 11:59:37 AM PST

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          •  "All of the above" on climate change would be fine (4+ / 0-)
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            PhilJD, TJ, pollwatcher, DawnN

            If steps were being taken to mitigate against consequences of climate change AND equally determined steps were taken to halt climate change, that would be fine.  That would, however, mean things like killing KXL and proposing a far more aggressive legislative agenda.  There's not much that can be done legislatively now*, but initiatives could at least be proposed and a determined effort could be made to push the Overton Windows.

            *Had half the effort been exerted to address climate change as was exerted to save Wall Street in 2009-10, things would be very different now.

            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

            by RFK Lives on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 12:11:26 PM PST

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        •  I fully understand your point, but we've already (4+ / 0-)

          locked in a certain amount of change that's irreversible, and the more we anticipate that change and adapt to it -- while doing our utmost to minimize additional change down the road -- the cheaper and less catastrophic it will be. But you're right to be cynical about the administration's efforts at adaptation, given their "drill, baby, drill" approach to fossil fuels extraction. Kind of like the local doctor cutting people's car brake lines so he can "help" them recover from their accidents.

          "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

          by Kombema on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 12:00:53 PM PST

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      •  Yes. That's exactly where I am coming from. n/t (4+ / 0-)

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 11:56:25 AM PST

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      •  Climate Defeatism (4+ / 0-)

        I believe that there are very many things we could do right now that would halt and even reverse the concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.  These are principally ecological design solutions and none of them have been part of the conversation.  Specifically, I am thinking of Allan Savory's work with soil carbon sequestration through grassland regeneration and John Todd's work with water remediation and his design for the restoration of coal-ravaged lands.

        Of course, that's not going to happen as long as the fossil fools control the economy with their over-valued assets and their climate denial tactics.

        There are ecological solutions available but all the debate is about the theology of climate change (does it exist or not?) and the promise or peril of geoengineering, heroic technocratism at its clearest.

        We are not used to systems thinking and even much less used to thinking in terms of ecological systems.

        •  Oh, please don't talk about geoengineering. (2+ / 0-)
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          pollwatcher, gmoke

          That would be game over for us all.  The last thing that we need is to put more garbage into the atmosphere.  We need to mitigate the emissions.  The scientists that talk about it have no idea what the impacts would be for the systems involved.  If there's one thing that climate science should be showing us is that the biosphere, geosphere, stratosphere are all interconnected, sometimes in ways that are not easily predictable.

          I love that you brought up Allen Savory's work.  That will be important for areas that have been used for GMO's where the soil needs revitalization.

          •  Geoengineering (0+ / 0-)

            I'm NOT talking about geoengineering.  I'm talking about ecological systems design and restoration, geotherapy, if you will, which is the term that is beginning to come into use.

            Geoengineering is thinking like a hammer.  Geotherapy is thinking like a tree.  Allan Savory's work is one example of what I'm thinking about.

            My notes on Cows Save the Planet, which describes a number of geotherapeutic approaches to soil carbon, are available at

            •  Thanks for the clarification, Gsmoke. (1+ / 0-)
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              I get worried when people introduce what climate scientists call "geoengineering" where they want to put particulates in the upper atmosphere (similating the effect of a volcano") for temporary planet cooling.  I am very against this idea.  A couple of days ago someone was posting consipiracy theory videos on that and another subject.

              What you are talking about is a great idea.  A second benefit is that it repairs the soil so that it can capture more water as well as carbon.

    •  Prevention? (3+ / 0-)
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      pollwatcher, PhilJD, Kombema

      Too late.   Everyone vegan? No one drive anymore? No more babies? Starting now!   Might have been possible  if President Carters  plans had been continued and a mighty paradigm shift had occurred .

      •  Can't be that pessimistic. (2+ / 0-)
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        PhilJD, Kombema

        A better battery changes the world.  If we could reduce the cost of present batteries by half, or we could double the current energy capacity at the same cost, gasoline driven cars would no longer be economical.  Everyone would switch to electric cars.  I can make the same argument for hydrogen storage for fuel cells, smart grids...  All we need is the political will to fund the research.

        Fossil fuels will always go up in price, and as soon as we can get the many alternatives cheaper than fossil fuels, than we reverse Global Warming.  Then it becomes time to spend on mitigation and prevention.

        •  Nice idea, but we're limited by the fact that (1+ / 0-)
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          95% of the mineable rare earth minerals that go into electronics and batteries are found in China, Russia, or in conflict zones. Short of the Democratic Party growing a pair, I'm hopeful that recent fusion tech advances will accelerate to commercial viability in a generation. But in the meantime, we've got to ramp up the other alt energy investments, as you note, and TRY to make policy change happen, while assuming mostly it won't and that we will have to prepare for and adapt to the worst to come.

          "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

          by Kombema on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 12:07:17 PM PST

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      •  It should be remembered that Carter's... (4+ / 0-) policy was also "all of the above." I was employed on the renewables side of those policies until Ronzo killed our budget in '81. The difference between Carter's era and now is that global warming wasn't at issue then, only energy, so "all of the above" made sense (if you didn't mind tearing up the environment for oil shale, etc.). But now, with global warming the key issues, "all of the above" is counterproductive.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 12:02:48 PM PST

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