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View Diary: Climate Change Reality: The Stakes in Copenhagen and Washington (91 comments)

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    •  Do you think that the Seante will so weaken (20+ / 0-)

      cap and trade that we are better off with EPA regulation?

      Watching the health care debacle suggests to me that the Senate is irretrievable broken and lobbyists still own too many senators.  (not you).

      The legalized corruption that we see is so offensive.  The game is rigged.

      "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

      by TomP on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 07:15:18 AM PST

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      •  The Senate's miscreations (0+ / 0-)

        and the ridiculousness in Copenhagen is enough to make me pissed at seeing this double whammy by Kerry and Merkley.

        These measures will do nothing. Our government is impotent to accomplish anything. It has been bought and paid for, so that every effort to actually get anything done results in more damage than good.

        The Senate is an all white men's club that occasionally allows women and a minority or two. It is an instrument of preservation for the status quo.

        It has always been the single body to protect the monied classes from the public. That is its primary function - to head off the winds of democratic change.

        But now the world is in a state of emergency and the status quo is not sustainable. And the winds of change are like forest fires raging.

        This makes the Senate's inherent corruption, and its power to arrest progress at every step, an enemy of our very survival.

        IF the Senators wanted to do something useful, they could get behind a measure to restore the fucking fairness clause so that superrich scum like Rupert Murdoch can't use our OWN FUCKING AIRWAVES against so easily.

        Oh, wait. That would take an actual conflict. A bit of friction between fundraisers and dinner parties.

        Here's a clue. Climate change is much worse than the scientists can publish. Interview them in person, off the record, and they'll confirm, it's much worse than you will find in a paper.

        That's because the process for knowing something beyond dispute and being able to prove it beyond dispute in a paper is different.

        You can fly over a the arctic and know, right there, that global warming is getting out of control. To publish that, you have to land, place sensors everywhere, accumulate mass amounts of data, crunch that data, submit for publication, go through peer review which sometimes takes as long as the orinal work, and then 5 years later it shows up on page 17 of the NY Times.

        This is why every time you hear about a new study, it's always correcting the record - GW is worse than we thought.

        Well no. It's worse than some assclowns thought. SOme of us knew all along.

        Copenhagen is a joke. So is every attempt in the Congress. Our grandchildren are going to despise us because these assholes refuse to tell the coal and gas lobby to fuck off.

        Change that: our grandchildren are going to despise them.

    •  What are the prospects ... (9+ / 0-)

      Thank you for posting this Senator. If the battle to reform healthcare is any indication, we are in for a tough fight.  I am convinced that legislation to change our energy priorities and discourage greenhouse gas emissions, but I am concerned that special interests will make passage of any meaningful legislation exceptionally difficult. The fossil fuels industries are even better funded than the insurance industry so lobbyist money will flood in, astroturf organizations will sprout like weeds, and the denialist crowd will scream from every available rooftop. Given that 2010 is an election year, the Republicans will be motivated to oppose anything.  What are our prospects for passing something meaningful? (From what I have seen, the "bipartisan proposals" contain a great deal of funding for the nuclear and fossil fuels industries and very little in the way of productive movement toward clean, renewable energies.)

      The uninsured keep dying. Death to AHIP!

      by DWG on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 07:17:03 AM PST

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      •  Nuclear power supplies 3/4 of non GHG power (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueyedace2

        in the US.

        Nuclear power is the only clean, large-scale, base-load electricity source in the U.S.that can be expanded.

        As Stewart Brand of the Whole Earth Catalogue, Stephen Tindale (former director of UK Greenpeace), climatologist James Hansen, Gaia-specialist James Lovelock, Jesse Ausubel, and a number of other environmentalists keep saying, we need more nuclear plants if we are to take serious action to replace fossil fuel plants with clean power.

        Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

        by Plan9 on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:24:16 AM PST

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        •  True BUT (7+ / 0-)
          1. Nuclear power is resource intensive, consuming large amounts of water.
          1. Nuclear power relies on toxic extraction. Uranium mining is a horrific enterprise that creates large toxic waste dumps that have NEVER been cleaned up.
          1. Nuclear power has a toxic waste problem that has yet to be solved.

          Nuclear has many, many minuses and is AT BEST a short-term solution to lower greenhouse gases in power generation. What I find frustrating is that nuclear power advocates use the emissions argument to promote its use but ignore the negative environmental effects of its use.

          The uninsured keep dying. Death to AHIP!

          by DWG on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:05:39 AM PST

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        •  The lesson to learn from nuclear power (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RunawayRose, elwior, polar bear

          There is only one reason nuclear power is even in a position to be in the conversation--huge subsidies and a focused political will when these industries were first beginning.  Almost all R&D for nuclear was financed by the government.  Our politicians, businessmen, and engineers engaged in a huge push for peaceful uses of nuclear, perhaps in part out of guilt over Nagasaki and Hiroshima.  There was much lying and much hiding of true costs.  The economics of nuclear would have been prohibitive without government spending making it happen.

          I suggest that the lesson to be learned from nuclear energy is what can be done with political will and a willingness to subsidize a technology in the early stages. And now nuclear can claim to be competitive.  Virtually every alternative energy source is an order of magnitude more affordable than nuclear energy was at the beginning.  Nuclear energy demonstrates how much more competitive they would be after another decade of strong commitment to them.

          FDR: I welcome their hatred. Obama: I welcome their advice.

          by geomoo on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:48:37 AM PST

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          •  self-fullfilling prophecies.. (0+ / 0-)

            The political beating (mostly from the left) that nuclear power has taken over the last thirty years is the reason it takes so long to build a nuclear plan and why it is so expensive.

            If nuclear opponents would have just STFU and let them get built, we wouldn't be in the place we are at now as far as CO2 and all the millions of tons of waste from coal leaching into our environment.

            But no.. we will got probably get more decades of haranguing and obfuscation while nuclear remains the only real source of baseload energy that can get us cleaned up quickly.  It's available now and doesn't require an entire restructuring of the country's transmission grids.

            I have a question for you.. what do we do here in Chicago where there is not enough sun for solar and wind will not ever likely be enough (or at least for many decades?)  And what backup power do you suggest we use when we do get wind and that isn't producing much power?  Shall we just turn off the heat and die?  No.. without nuclear we would have to keep dirty coal plants running at some base level because of the variability of wind and solar.

            "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

            by Skeptical Bastard on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:25:04 PM PST

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            •  Simplistic in the extreme. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elwior

              There are well-reasoned and well-supported arguments in favor of nuclear power being an essential part of our energy future.  Environmentalists should just STFU is not one of them.  No one with any sense is arguing that there are not environmental dangers associated with nuclear power, and no one of integrity with an even passing familiarity of the industry's track record would believe that they should just be left alone and trusted to keep us all safe.

              I was trained in nuclear power.  I've told my stories elsewhere.  This comment, which doesn't even respond to my main point, adds nothing to the conversation.

              I repeat, nuclear was heavily subsidized in its initial stages.  If we did the same thing for alternate sources instead of whining about environmentalists, we would see them reach much more competitive levels of economic viability than they now enjoy.

              FDR: I welcome their hatred. Obama: I welcome their advice.

              by geomoo on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:05:25 PM PST

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    •  Gov. Kulongoski recently restated his support (7+ / 0-)

      for the Copenhagen panel to consider a model based on what he and Gov. Gregoire and the provincial governors in B.C. and Alberta think is ideal: The Western Climate Initiative.

      What are your thoughts on the WCI or the Federal Bill in relation?

      "Hew out of the mountain of despair A Stone of Hope." -Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Patch Adam on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 07:41:18 AM PST

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