Limbaugh announced the GOP game plan: Make sure Obama's policies fail by any means necessary, such as lying to confuse and mislead the public into believing that global warming is a myth. Take every opportunity to question climate change science. After all, if the science does not prove the existence and gravity of climate change, then legislation is not needed. And, if the public does not support climate change legislation, then lawmakers may run from the bill either literally or figuratively with provisions that will dilute the success of substantive measures.
Nevermind that climate change sceptics and lobbyists put our world at risk:
Those that have opposed a deal on climate, which would include elements of the fossil fuel industry, have clearly made making a 2C target much, much harder, if not impossible. They've clearly put the world at risk of far more adverse effects of climate change.
The GOP has a two-pronged message: The climate science is so bogus that no legislation or measures are needed, but, if a bill will be passed, Plan B is to depict the measure as a "monstrosity" that needs a few wackadoodle reforms.
So, the GOP attack the proposed bill while also pushing for more concessions for their fossil fuel buddies in hopes of sabotaging any ultimate climate change bill so that Obama's policy will be a failure whether it is enacted into law or not. Then, all fingers point to the Democrats.
The climate change deniers have been successful. Foreign leaders call the American public climate change illiterate for good reason. In the past year, some Americans have changed their mind in a poll showing decreasing support for the belief that global warming is a very serious problem (44% in 2008 down to 35% in 2009), fewer believe there is solid evidence that the average earth temperatures have warmed over the past few decades (71% in 2008 down to 57% in 2009), and belief in climate change caused by human activity, such as burning fossil fuels, is down too (47% in 2008 down to 36% in 2009).
The poll showing declining American support was published in late October, and then Inhofe and his gang boycotted Senator Boxer's committee meeting to mark up the climate change bill. Senators Kerry, Graham and Lieberman moved quickly to save the bill by working on a proposal that might later be added as an amendment. Next, we slowly hear a building chorus of Democratic lawmakers' voices to delay climate change legislation until next Spring, and perhaps even until after the midterms. Senator Rockefeller warned that the likelihood of passing climate change legislation will become more difficult as the midterms approach because "everyone gets more scared" about the GOP attacks against Democrats from industrial states.
Now it is reported that cap and trade is the GOP candidate litmus test for 2010 with " virtually no major Republican Senate candidates running for office in 2010 that are in favor of the cap-and-trade climate bill." Anti-cap-and-trade campaigns are no surprise for "solidly conservative states," but the " current crop of GOP candidates is primarily running in states that voted for President Obama last year and those states are seen as being somewhere between swing and solidly Democratic." The anti-climate change approach is based on both conservative support and independents. The climate change poll found that "the decline in the belief in solid evidence of global warming has come across the political spectrum, but has been particularly pronounced among independents."
Obama can be a great GOP spoiler. Reuters reports that shoppers are going green despite struggling economy because Obama convinced them that we need to attack climate change.
Obama now needs to address the American people to explain that climate change science is valid, show a few of the climate change impacts happening now, and what lies in our future if we don't take effective action now. Obama also needs to explain cap and trade. The same poll found that half of Americans favor a policy to set limits on carbon emissions but a majority (55%) have "heard nothing at all" about cap and trade policy.
The crap that climate change science is not valid needs to stop. There simply is no reason for legislation if the science does not support the reality of global warming.
The British government recognizes this fact. In last Sunday's roundup, I noted how a British poll showed low belief in climate change:
Only 41 per cent accept as an established scientific fact that global warming is taking place and is largely man-made. Almost a third (32 per cent) believe that the link is not yet proved; 8 per cent say that it is environmentalist propaganda to blame man and 15 per cent say that the world is not warming.In my before posting quickie check of latest news, it is now reported, citing a poll with decreasing public belief in climate change, that the British government begins a poster campaign to warn of climate change danger to refute the skeptics:
The British government will today begin a poster campaign warning of the dangers of climate change, showing how the seasons could soon look different as a result of global warming.
Billboards across 900 locations in the U.K. will "offer a stark message for any climate change skeptics" and are timed to precede a United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen next month, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said in a statement.
MORE CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS THIS WEEKEND
CLIMATE CHANGE & ENERGY
- World's largest ice sheet melting faster than expected.
The measurements suggest the polar continent could soon contribute more to global sea level rises than Greenland, which is shedding more than 250bn tonnes of ice a year, adding 0.7mm to annual sea level rises.Warming's impacts sped up, worsened since Kyoto: Climate impacts from rising oceans to droughts and wildfires to threatened species to warming temperatures happening faster now than predicted by even the "gloomiest climate models back in the 1990s."
Satellite data from the whole of Antarctica show the region is now losing around 190bn tonnes of ice a year. Uncertainties in the measurements mean the true ice loss could be between 113bn and 267bn tonnes.
- Google satellite monitoring of deforestation to let armchair detectives catch illegal logging and land misuse: Under REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) developing countries are rewarded financially for reducing deforestation, which causes "a sixth of global carbon emissions."
"To do this, what is needed is a system to monitor changes in rainforests across the world," said Schindler. "Our engineers are now designing a global forest open platform for this. We have access to a large database of historic and current satellite images and while this is something that is going to require huge computing power, that is something Google is very good at."The satellite images will be updated frequently so internet users can make "instant comparisons with historical images and spot destruction of rainforest almost as soon as it happens." The armchair detectives can then report findings to international monitoring agency.
- Emissions Increase Despite Financial Crisis: Study shows financial crisis may have "slowed down the emission growth," but could not stop it.
- New research suggests seas grow less effective at absorbing emissions and thus cannot "indefinitely be considered a reliable 'carbon sink.'"
- The 'hidden' costs of burning fossil fuels and biofuels aren't factored into their market prices, but someone has to pay them.
The report found that, in 2005, the hidden costs of energy production with fossil fuels in the United States amounted to $120 billion. This includes the negative impact of air pollution on health, but doesn’t include the effects of mercury emitted by coal-fired plants on wildlife and people, harm done to ecosystems by air pollution, or the climate-warming effects of carbon emissions.
- Welcome to America's first green pro sports team.
"I'm just so appreciative to come back," former Terps star Byron Mouton said during Wednesday's introductory Maryland GreenHawks press conference. "I love playing basketball, and going out and talking to kids about global warming."
WATER & NATURAL RESOURCES
- Economists put a price tag on the benefits of coral reefs (1/5th killed according to 2004 assessment).
As it turns out, reefs are quite valuable. Inferring from more than 80 studies, the economists found that, on average, 2.5 acres of coral reef provide $130,000 worth of goods and services, and sometimes as much as $1.2 million.
Here’s the monetary breakdown:
• Food, raw materials, ornamental resources: average, $1,100 (up to $6,000).
• Climate regulation, moderation of extreme events, waste treatment/water purification, biological control: average, $26,000 (up to $35,000).
• Cultural services (e.g., recreation/tourism): average, $88,700 (up to $1.1 million).
• Maintenance of genetic diversity: average, $13,500 (up to $57,000).
WILDLIFE & ENDANGERED SPECIES
- Melting sea ice dilutes water, endangers sea life.
Melting of the Arctic sea ice due to global warming is diluting surface waters and this is endangering some species of shellfish which need minerals in the water to form their shells and skeletons, scientists have found.
In a paper published in Science, they warned that this has serious implications for ecosystems in the Arctic.
- Acid oceans leave fish at more risk from predators.
Ocean acidification could cause fish to become "fatally attracted" to their predators, according to scientists.
A team studying the effects of acidification - caused by dissolved CO2 - on ocean reefs found that it leaves fish unable to "smell danger".
Young clownfish that were reared in the acidified water became attracted to rather than repelled by the chemical signals released by predatory fish.