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It's one of those seeming paradoxes of modern politics: President Obama's record on addressing climate change has been dangerously inadequate and yet climate change is one of the fundamental reasons why it is necessary that President Obama be re-elected. When leading activists on the politics of climate change such as Joe Romm and Bill McKibben—and even the New York Times editorial board—have been sharply critical of the president's approach, you know we have a serious problem. And a serious problem on the politics of the most important issue humanity has ever faced is dangerous and potentially catastrophic.

This is no time to gloss over the realities. This is no time for political niceties. This is a time to tell the truth. Al Gore just did:

On Friday afternoon, as brave and committed activists continued their non-violent civil disobedience outside the White House in protest of the tar sands pipeline that would lead to a massive increase in global warming pollution, President Obama ordered the EPA to abandon its pursuit of new curbs on emissions that worsens disease-causing smog in US cities. Earlier this year, the EPA's administrator, Lisa Jackson, wrote that the levels of pollution now permitted – put in place by the Bush-Cheney administration – are "not legally defensible." Those very same rules have now been embraced by the Obama White House.

Instead of relying on science, President Obama appears to have bowed to pressure from polluters who did not want to bear the cost of implementing new restrictions on their harmful pollution – even though economists have shown that the US economy would benefit from the job creating investments associated with implementing the new technology. The result of the White House's action will be increased medical bills for seniors with lung disease, more children developing asthma, and the continued degradation of our air quality.

NASA's legendary climatologist James Hansen also just did, recently stating that if the tar sands are tapped it is essentially game over (pdf). So from a political perspective what could be worse? The Republicans are worse. They are significantly worse. They are paradigmatically worse.

One of the key critiques of President Obama's approach to economics has been his failures of framing. The excuse that he couldn't get anything better done might be plausible if he had fought for anything better, and we all must hope he now fights for what he outlined in his jobs speech, but the sad fact is that he hasn't fought for anything better on the economy. He has compromised before negotiations even began, but most destructive has been his rhetoric. Paul Krugman keeps pointing out that the president keeps framing economic issues in right wing terms. It would be one thing if he declared each political resolution the best he could get in the face of Republican obstructionism, but too often he instead praises an outcome as good policy borne of bipartisanship. He talked tax cuts as stimulus. He uses the Republican boilerplate rhetoric about tax reform without explaining that it should be about unfairness and economic justice. He talks the Republican boilerplate rhetoric about Social Security reform and Medicare reform without explaining that they are solvent, and that talk of "reforming" them is stealth Republican boilerplate for destroying them. And of course he changed the entire economic conversation to focus on deficits when what the country really needed was more Keynesian stimulus, which usually involves deficit spending. And the result has been terrible for the economy and terrible for Democratic political fortunes.

President Obama has played the Republican economic game and that has enabled Republicans to criticize him on the economy, when the reality is that they wouldn't be doing better than him, they'd be enacting even more of what he has been doing wrong. Hopefully, the jobs bill signals a significant change in approach to both policy and politics. We shall see. But from a political perspective it's all about framing. The president too often hasn't defended traditional Democratic values and traditional Democratic politics. And that's where we get back to climate change. Because even though his policies have been dangerously inadequate, President Obama at least is framing the issue with a basic sense of sanity that the Republicans are not. That might not sound like much but it is. Just as his failures on economic framing have been in many ways even worse than his compromised economic policies, President Obama's more realistic framing on climate change has been much better than his compromised climate policies. And that does really matter.

The Republicans are climate deniers. In scientific terms they are as the biblical literalists who forced Galileo to deny the realities revealed by his telescope. They might as well be denying that the Earth is round or that the sun revolves around it and not vice versa. The Republicans are that divorced from reality. Rick Perry denies anthropogenic climate change altogether. Despite a wide scientific consensus, he claims the science is not conclusive. Mitt Romney has at times accepted the reality of anthropogenic climate change, while not wanting to do much about it, but lately he has paid obeisance to his party's delusional base by backtracking into typically muddled claims that that he doesn't know how much human activity actually does contribute to climate change. Himself a human weather vane, you can be certain that if elected president he will do only what his party's base and his wealthiest campaign donors want him to do. And that will be to deny that anything needs to be done. He already is on board with the idea of drill baby drill. It's about framing. And while President Obama isn't doing nearly enough, and in some cases is doing exactly what shouldn't be done, he at least discusses anthropogenic climate change as an existing reality. The Republicans do not. And that is no small matter.

We don't have time to keep arguing the scientific reality. We don't have time to move backward into confusing the public about what's really happening. The politics will improve only if the public demands it improve, and the public will only make such a demand if there is a widespread understanding of the extent of the danger. We won't get there if we are enabling or empowering climate deniers. Our only chance of getting there is if we keep moving forward. It's one thing to be fighting for better policies on climate change and another to be fighting just to make people understand that we need policies on climate change. We can remind President Obama that he's right and therefore needs to do right. With a Perry or a Romney or any of the second tier Republican candidates we would be back to the square one of having to correct one of the most fundamental wrongs. Climate change is about the science, and the Republicans don't accept the science. The politics of climate change begins with framing. And with President Obama we are in a paradigm where science exists, is valued, and is understood. With Republicans we are in a paradigm where science doesn't exist.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 04:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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Comment Preferences

  •  When science and profit conflict (35+ / 0-)

    conservatives choose profit every single time. We have to understand that. It's not a matter of "making them understand" or "providing evidence they can't ignore." They can and will ignore everything we wave in front of them. We are just talking at them to hear our own heads roar. We can't convince them. We can beat them and render them politically and socially powerless. Want to save the planet? Start there.

    This is no class warfare, this is class genocide. The middle and lower classes are being decimated. -- @sunshineejc

    by Black Max on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 04:32:57 PM PDT

  •  Why is the truth not good enough for Obama? (7+ / 0-)

    He knows what needs to be done. We could forgive him for trying and failing but on this issue he is like the fighter who takes a dive.

    Mr. President, don't lay down. Throw some punches.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 04:35:19 PM PDT

    •  Punches? For what? Without the votes, nada...nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      •  He Came In With Lots More Votes Than He Has (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        frisco, conniptionfit, blueoasis


        Part of the job description for governing a democracy is gaining and holding power.

        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 Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 06:15:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And lost them in the 2010 election (0+ / 0-)

          After fighting for Health Care, a major progressive cause, he lost power.

          And now you complain that he stopped fighting for progressive causes?


          •  so wrong. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OHdog, mightymouse

            no, he did not fight for Health Care. At best, he fought for health insurance adjustments. He has never fought for progressive causes. Perhaps not statistically relevant, but that's why I personally didn't vote D in 2010. This "leadership" has sucked. Give me something to vote FOR, and I will, happily.

            How far to the right do the Dems have to move before you stop calling them Dems?

            by Diebold Hacker on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 06:45:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  This sounds like Clinton's apologists in 1994 (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            flight2q, mightymouse, Diebold Hacker

            Democrats lost because he fought the good fight for the working man with HCR. No, he lost because he pushed NAFTA and WTO over the "dead bodies of labor" and they fucking stayed home. Their unions gave Clinton and the Democratic Party tens of millions of dollars, only to see them kill themselves politically to deliver to assholes like Tom Donohue at the Chamber of Commerce the holy grail of neoliberalism.

            Fast forward to Obama. He plays nice with Wall Street when everyone from the tea party to Ralph Nader wanted their necks under a guillotine. He delivers up a largely industry favorable regulatory bill, provides no mortgage relief, can't even be bothered to have his AG actually prosecute someone on Wall Street, then pushes a health care bill that doesn't push down the cost of health care one dime and forces 30 mil. Americans to buy policies from the criminals raping the system and if you couldn't afford those policies and obviously if you didn't have one already you probably couldn't, the government would subsidize the policy for you. In other words it was a big wealth transfer from the taxpayers to the inefficient private insurance industry.

            Obama lost power, but for the same reasons Clinton did in 1994, to quote Clinton: we help the bond traders and hurt the people who elected us. That sounds a little bit like what Obama is guilty of. The expectations should have been the same.

    •  You prefer noble defeat to compromised victory (0+ / 0-)

      I have to ask, in all seriousness: are you sure you're not a Republican?

      'Cause that whole "we'll stick to our guns despite any political or empirical reality" sure sounds like a Tea Party thing.

      •  See my tagline (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        conniptionfit, blueoasis, OHdog

        How far to the right do the Dems have to move before you stop calling them Dems?

        by Diebold Hacker on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 06:46:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's 350 ppm within 5-10 years (9+ / 0-)

        or it is over. Compromised victory is the same as noble defeat in this case. Global warming has no time for your compromised victory. There will be biblical consequences if we don't achieve at least 350 ppm. The science doesn't care about the Democrat's political quandary. The Democratic Party, possessing no principle it is not willing to sell down a river if Ben Nelson or Jay Rockefeller or Mary Landrieu objects, is frankly not up to the task of governing any more than the GOP is.

        How did Obama choose to govern? With more political capital then any president since Reagan's first term, he appoints as his chief economic adviser a man opposed to the Kyoto Treaty. A man who once chastised environmentalists for claiming that the earth's limited resources did not allow for infinite economic growth. Obama's Secretary of the Interior is a rich dude from a ranching clan who had one of the worst environmental records for a Democrat in the Senate. His stances on off-shore oil leasing, wildlife conservation and hard rock mining issues were frankly appalling. His Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack hasn't been much better on issues concerns industrial farming or forestry, issues of profound importance in the quest to get global warming under control.

        The two aces in his environmental portfolio--Lisa Jackson and Steven Chu--have been largely neutered. Jackon's been told to suspend her agency's decision on ozone pollution, a decision that will kill people. Jackson should go ahead with it and/or resign in protest. Chu has obviously been talked to by the administration into towing a company line, because his recent rhetoric on Keystone XL is not consistent with his well-known stances on energy issues. If Keystone XL is approved by this administration, to quote James Hanson, it will be game over, for the climate and for Barack Obama's tenure as president. At that point, there won't even be a lesser-of-2-evils argument to be made. Global warming as an environmental issue will be settled and the environmentalists, like labor, good government types and everybody else that supported this president, will know that he is who he is, a Republican.

        •  Umm Dude, Its game over then... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          China and India will wipe us out if that is the case. Which makes this whole thread pointless.

          The developing world isn't even talking Climate change, unless they are exempt.

          They are only interested in the cash they can take from the West. They will do nothing to even slow down. Especially China.

          And China has already passed us in the AGW "Gas" department.

          •  You need to research a little more (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mightymouse, Diebold Hacker

            China is not opposed to emissions reductions, in fact their national survival is going to depend on them, so will India's. They're the two nations who will suffer the most  if they don't deal. Typhoons, flooding, drought, disease outbreaks, crop destruction, sea level rise in both countries will cause a refugee crisis, all combined factors may in fact kills 100s of millions of people long-term. Both counties will become largely unlivable, as China is already unlivable in many ecological respects. Neither can afford long-term to ignore global warming. What China demands is steeper cuts from the West. The G8 is responsible for the vast majority of the ongoing and residual CO2 in the atmosphere. It's only fair that poorer countries like China and India be asked to shoulder less of the burden.

            If you think it is either ecologically, economically or morally defensible that we expect places like China, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Brazil to do as much as we're going to need to do when they are in fact responsible for relatively little of the accumulated CO2 in the atmosphere, are starving in many instances and have 2 bicycles parked outside their shanties why we have 2 SUVs parked outside our McMansions, then I guess game over would be a good characterization. Because if that's the position of the West, particularly the U.S., then we shouldn't even pretend to care about this issue.

            •  Mathamatics dont care if.... (0+ / 0-)

              "ecologically, economically or morally defensible that we expect places like China, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Brazil to do as much"

              Fact is, as the world grows, they are going to have to cut their emissions in a huge way to make 350PPM.

              And I say BS on China doing anything. They are only in this AGW to rip as much cash out of the Americans pocket as they can. Then kick this "AGW Stuff" to the Curb.

              IMHO, its totally obvious that they have no interest in doing anything. They are Building 2 Coal Plants a Month. And its going to go on for the next 5 years at least.

              Same with India. And that makes this whole AGW moot. It makes no mathematical difference what we do.

              We CANT shut down 2 coal plats a month to make up for what China alone is building. And that isn't even enough to stop the AGW from getting worse. Let alone Reverse anything.

              •  Like I said before (0+ / 0-)

                China has fully accepted the realities of AGW. Had they wanted to do nothing they could have adopted the tactics of American extraction industries and pretended that nothing was happening. They instead embraced the science publicly. They know it is happening. They also know, like most responsible economic thinkers, that there will be a profound cost, in dollars as well as lives and ecological degradation, in not doing anything.

                China's economic losses from global warming will dwarf their gains from ignoring the issue. They will be unable to feed themselves. Large swaths of coastal areas will be repeatedly battered by increasingly devastating typhoons. Much of their coastal areas, including some of their biggest cities, their harbors and most fertile agricultural land will be underwater permanently. That will literally destroy trillions of dollars in capital investment and send the country back to the economic stone age. Disease and pestilence has the potential to overwhelm their health care system, then bankrupt it. Glaciers in the Himalayas are melting at a rate faster then any other glaciers in the world. The Yangtze and the Yellow Rivers have the potential to become seasonal instead of flowing year-round. Chinese cities will literally be unable to drink and inland navigation will cease for much of the year. I could go on and on. What therefore is their incentive not to do anything? There nation would be both unlivable and broke and such a situation would be an existential threat to the ruling dictatorship.

                I'm afraid that the burden is on the West. Not China and India. They didn't create the problem. Very little of the accumulated CO2, a small fraction of the total in the atmosphere, was put there by either India or China and they are not putting it in the atmosphere at present at anywhere near the rate we and Europe are and even if they continue to accelerate their emissions in the near-term they still won't come close to matching the West on a per capita basis. We emit 5X as much CO2 per capita as China, we emit 12X as much per capita as India. Australia emits even more than we do per cap, fortunately the government in Australia is adopting a carbon tax.

              •  China isn't just going coal (0+ / 0-)

                China has been going full bore for wind power and probably has the largest wind power generating capacity on the planet and is still increasing it. They are definitely playing all their cards to keep their options open.

                Here we can't get the corporate fossil dinosaurs to get the clue of where the futures profits lay. Clean coal is putting lipstick on a pig, tar sands are thrashing that poor pig with an ugly stick.

                The only way our country will move forward is to get rid of the corporate influence that dictates policies on both sides of the political spectrum. This isn't going to happen through the voting booth. People have to take direct action.  

          •  nonsense (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mightymouse, B Amer

            China's CO2 emissions barely exceed ours, and they have five times the population.  In other words, the average American puts five times CO2 in the air as the average Chinese.

            The US apparently expects places like China, India and Brazil to forego a standard of living in order to reduce global CO2 emissions, while we and Western Europe, who created the entire problem virtually alone, don't have to make any changes at all in our fat lazy wasteful lifestyles.

            It's idiotic.

            We made the mess.  It's our responsibility to clean it up.

          •  not an informed statement (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            B Amer
            The developing world isn't even talking Climate change, unless they are exempt.

            What do you base this on?

            China knows full well about climate change, and is taking some steps.

            "the developing world" includes countries like Boliva who are well aware they are currently suffering because climate change.

            Here I am! I'm up here! Where are you? - the Red-eyed Vireo

            by mightymouse on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 10:21:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I have a gut feeling (0+ / 0-)

          that it's game over already.

          •  To be Honest, me to (0+ / 0-)

            But also to be Honest, I don't think it will be as bad as people think. It never is.

            IMHO, In 100years technology will go a long way. Im betting most engineering problems will be solved pretty easily.

            After all. Compare engineering today, compared to 1911.

            •  Interesting (0+ / 0-)

              I happen to think it will be far worse. Our civilization won't be able to wean itself off of fossil fuels in time to avert collapse. Transportation costs will increase food prices. Coupled with increasingly frequent severe weather events, the next century will see massive starvation across the globe.

              In my head, the future looks a lot more like "Soylent Green" than it does "Star Trek." Only hope I die before it gets really bad.

              Happy Monday!

  •  It's Not a Political Paradox Unless You Think (20+ / 0-)

    the Democratic party is a progressive party. If you think of it as a conservative party that merely includes progressives, the paradox goes 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 Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 04:38:11 PM PDT

  •  the GOP's continues going Medieval (7+ / 0-)

    with pre-modern and pre-industrial ideology for its 'bagger base

    With a Perry or a Romney or any of the second tier Republican candidates we would be back to the square one of having to correct one of the most fundamental wrongs. Climate change is about the science, and the Republicans don't accept the science. The politics of climate change begins with framing. And with President Obama we are in a paradigm where science exists, is valued, and is understood. With Republicans we are in a paradigm where science doesn't exist.

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 04:38:48 PM PDT

  •  Republicans are out of touch with all reality (5+ / 0-)

    Republicans are out of touch with America and its citizens. Repubicans are blinded by lobbyists and corporate interests. Republicans are only interested in intruding into our private lifes and changing our moral values and beliefs to fit into their agenda.

  •  It's no longer a question of whether... (14+ / 0-) warming is happening.  It's definately happening, the question is whether it's reversable and how bad it will get before it gets better.

    Personally, I think we're beyond reversing it.  It's going to get bad ti's just a question of HOW bad.  There is just no interest on any side of the issue to reverse global warming.  Oh sure we talk about reducing emissions and expanding biofuels, but no one talks about REVERSING the CO2.  You almost never hear about "carbon sequestering", only becoming "carbon neutral".

    I think we've past the point of reversing, now it's just a matter of mitigation.  Dog help us all.

    Let there be balance in all things.

    by DawnG on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 04:43:35 PM PDT

    •  "the American way of life is not negotiable" (5+ / 0-)

      Dubya was a fucking moron, but when he said that, he was absolutely right.

      As a society, we will do absolutely nothing about climate change because, as a society, we simply don't want to.  We'd rather die than give up any of our fat lazy indolent wasteful lifestyles.

      So we will die.

    •  I share your pessimism... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle, DawnG

      Even reducing CO2 emissions still continues to put it into the atmosphere where it will stay for centuries. Sequestering CO2 takes energy and we don't have sufficient green capability today to both supply our existing - or anything approaching that - energy needs and additional needs to reverse CO2 buildup. Not that there's any political will to do so anyway!

      There's no escaping immense climate change now - it's already "game over."

      Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

      by Ian S on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 06:22:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I tend to agree. I actually started looking (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, mightymouse

      at property in the nether-regions of ontario. near lakes and rivers. I'm not sure where we'll be in another 20-30 years. But one thing I feel pretty certain of: my central florida home located at the highest place in Florida might be beachfront pretty soon. Or altogether underwater. At any rate, it'll be uninhabitable because of searing temperatures and huge-assed hurricanes all the time.

      I'm actively looking for alternatives.

      It's the difference between losing a fight and refusing one. (h/t Kossack james richardson)

      by mdmslle on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 06:27:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Reality is getting harder to deny. (14+ / 0-)

    My mom used to laugh at me when I mentioned global warming. I spoke to her today as they were driving through Texas.

    Toldja, Mom.

  •  What are you all myopic?? I don't keep up (0+ / 0-)

    as much as I like with politics anymore, but even I know that the policy Obama nixed was bogus and next to useless and had major opposition. He plans on putting all new rules in, so what's the fuss about? Shut the hell up or at least get all the info in in your blogs or are you just posting what fits YOUR narrative??? Jeeeezzzz....

    Use this for our causes! "Goodbye American Dream" music: lyrics:

    by Fireshadow on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 04:46:12 PM PDT

  •  I am glad that the GOP war with reality (12+ / 0-)

    is getting some attention. Last fall my climate zombies tracking project got a few mentions in mainstream media, but virtually disappeared for a while. Now that we could be looking at a President Perry (shudder), the issue is getting more mainstream attention.

    The WH/Cong. Dems' framing troubles me also, although certainly not to the degree that the GOP flat-out-denial does. At some point in the last year or so, a decision was made to discuss clean energy only, and to avoid the word climate. (If you're wondering why I know this, a progressive member of Congress has explicitly acknowledged this, and when I'm on White House conference calls raising the same question they pivot away from the word "climate" to praise some aspect or another of "clean energy.")  

    When will Obama and Democrats in power begin to talk about humanity's existential threat?

    "At this point of unimaginable threats on the horizon, this is what hope looks like." - Tim DeChristopher @RL_Miller

    by RLMiller on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 04:49:27 PM PDT

    •  the Contagion of Frank Luntz-ism (9+ / 0-)
      At some point in the last year or so, a decision was made to discuss clean energy only, and to avoid the word climate. (If you're wondering why I know this, a progressive member of Congress has explicitly acknowledged this, and when I'm on White House conference calls raising the same question they pivot away from the word "climate" to praise some aspect or another of "clean energy.")  

      I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

      by annieli on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 04:55:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Clean Energy (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rogneid, RLMiller, Panacea Paola, flight2q

        The problem is the conservatives can't see past the status quo. They aren't interested in investing in a new sustainable energy economy.  They are only interested in taking marching orders from the fossil fuel corporate interests that donate big campaign money.  

        For them clean energy is "clean coal", a fantasy, or fracking natural gas and using up what clean water we have left, or building more nuclear reactors.

        Meanwhile the rest of the developed world is looking at the future.  Near where I live, in Oregon, a number of European companies have built factories for solar panels and wind turbines and more are being developed.  China already has the largest wind generating capacity on the planet and is installing even more.

        The only way that the we'll start to see big investment in solving this problem in the US is to get the corporate influence out of elections and get a government that will encourage investment in a greener economy.

    •  I'm turning blue holding my breath waiting. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RLMiller, blueoasis, mightymouse

      The scope of the devastation and human suffering that will result from the runaway, unabated climate catastrophe will dwarf 9/11, of course.  But, with no serious attempt being made by the White House and/or Congressional Dems to address the crisis, every day brings us closer to crossing the failsafe point.  So, instead of taking on that admittedly difficult and vexing problem, instead we have a continued national pity party over a ten-year-old event, all the while acting as though we are the only nation ever aggrieved by a terrorist event.  The reasons are numerous, to be sure; but, one is that the continued agonizing over 9/11 doesn't cause any grief to powerful corporate interests.  Another is that it's easy to keep scoring political points with 9/11, while polls tend to show that voters don't actually care much about the climate crisis (because they don't understand it).

  •  What the naysayers are presenting (0+ / 0-)

    An interesting read.

    There are differences of opinion on this...much of it politically motivated, I'm thinkin'

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 04:50:24 PM PDT

  •  I really wish Gore would run. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WarrenS, mightymouse

    I feel like he's the only big name candidate that would even attempt to do this in time.

    Here is the truth: The Earth is round; Saddam Hussein did not attack us on 9/11; Elvis is dead; Obama was born in the United States; and the climate crisis is real. It is time to act. - Al Gore

    by Burned on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 04:53:10 PM PDT

  •  At some point (6+ / 0-)

    two things are going to happen:

    1. Mega-Corporations are going to start losing billions because of climate change, and
    2. The low-information rubes the GOP depends on are going to start being in such agonizing pain that culture war bullshit cannot transcend their discomfort.

    ConAgra wakes up fucked, and the Supply-Side Jesus chasers are in a panic, and it will be amazing how fast Movement Conservatism suddenly is all ears on climate change.

    When they start losing elections, no matter how much cash they throw at the locals for ads telling them that they are, in fact, not really starving or going broke, is when the Movement Conservative Rightwing will suddenly change tacts.


    •  What will be bitterly hilarious at that point (6+ / 0-)

      will be "the Great Rightwing Climate Change Pivot".

      When all of those poor reality-based souls who believe in math and science and data, the ones who have tried and tried and tried to get luddite wingnuts and their corporate masters to wake up to the realities of Climate Change, will wake up and discover that Climate Change is accepted as reality. But. But only because it is spun as the inevitable result of... liberalism they don't like!

      Liberalism is why the climate is fucked up.

      Someday will get to sit, stunned, as a Movement Conservative politician tells a rapt audience that there is too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere because liberals forced the petroleum industry into doing their work in a way that put extra Co2 in the air. Intrusive environmental regulations are to blame for the drought. Environmentalists wrecked your fields and put your livestock in cow and pig heaven.

    •  Blockbuster drugs and Oil (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      When a patent for a blockbuster drug is heading for expiration, and the revenues from that have peaked and are heading down, the patent holder finds a company that specializes in generics and makes a deal with them.  The generic company gets in on the ground floor before other possible generic competitors, while at the same time the patent holder is paid a percent of the income from the generic that competes with its own brand.   It is a way for the patent holder to squeeze out as much money from their investment as possible.

      Those who are invested in oil are still making too much money from it to let go of their investment.  Soon enough, however, I do think that will happen.  It takes time and planning to orchestrate how they will move from carbon-based to clean energy.  When they have all their ducks in a row they will move out of oil, because you buy low and sell high to make a profit.  

      And these guys will find a way to wring every last dime out of oil, then position themselves to be the power brokers in the next generation of energy production.

      It does not matter to them whether climate change exists or not.  It only matters how they can best make a profit.

      I fall down, I get up, I keep dancing.

      by DamselleFly on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 06:20:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree completely. (0+ / 0-)

      Eventually, this whole "reality" thing will catch up to them. Too bad this will be decades too late to actually do anything about it.

      How far to the right do the Dems have to move before you stop calling them Dems?

      by Diebold Hacker on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 06:57:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  To summarize: (4+ / 0-)

    Obama is the least worst option.

  •  It's not just science; it's about facts in general (11+ / 0-)

    Republicans have given ideology primacy over reality - they aren't a political party any more. They are a faith-based cult.

    With increasing frequency of bad weather events, with increasing severity of bad weather events, it's becoming obvious to even low knowledge voters that something isn't right. But if the White House doesn't want to fight on the science, they can do it on the Pentagon which is basing its long term planning on dealing with climate change. They can do it with the insurance industry which is doing the same. They can do it with agri-business, ditto.

    If the White House was not so conflict averse, they could use GOP obstinacy on climate to spotlight all the other things the GOP says that aren't so. How hard is it to pull up numbers and examples from the Reagan - Bush I, Bush II eras that show GOP policies hurt the economy and cripple the government?

    They could at least stop trying to fight on GOP territory by framing everything in GOP terms.

    It's about time the White House realized that running the country can not be done with a community organizer-bring all parties to the table approach; we're dealing with a gang-war mentality on the part of the right. It's time to go to the mattresses.

    It's about survival.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 04:59:14 PM PDT

    •  It's a war against modernity (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If science reigns, authority diminishes. The medieval church opposed science politically for this reason. The once enlightened Muslims became backward Muslims because the caliphs feared that science and philosophy and skeptical literature would erode the authority of the Koran and then their own political and economic primacy. In the modern guise it's industry that feels threatened and they do a splendid job of confusing the issue by spending 100s of millions to confuse people.

      It's not just global warming. It's stock-in-trade for these people to disbelieve just about every scientific consensus, especially where it concerns ecological issues, usually because of industry-backed campaigns. The same people who give cover to global warming denial were giving power to the lie that second hand smoke doesn't cause cancer, or that DDT isn't a persistent environmental threat. They doubted the science and the remedy for ozone depletion and acid rain. They doubt evolution. Some of them even doubt that HIV causes AIDS. Ironically they're big believers in Chicago School economics, which is the world's foremost pseudo-"science" and they're big believers in the methodology of cost-benefit analysis, which is to economics what phrenology was to medicine.

      •  Except when Cost-Benefit Analysis... (0+ / 0-) them an answer they don't want to hear.  Those environmental protection laws are generally more cost-effective than continuing to pollute, in terms of health costs, increased mortality, etc. for the public at large. The corporate world does not like to include impact on the public in it's calculations beacuse they consider those things externalized costs.

           That's economic-speak for making money in part by dumping your garbage over the fence into someone else's yard and having someone else pay to clean up your mess.

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 04:04:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Climate activists need to talk about peak oil (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WarrenS, Ian S, debaseTheBase

    By talking about peak oil it makes it clear that getting off of oil and fossil fuels isn't just an environmental necessity, it's an economic one as well.  Unfortunately, people often vote their pocketbooks and ignore environmental damage if it doesn't affect them immediately (or if they can't easily understand how it affects them).

    Bill McKibben is one of the few who mentions peak oil - Eaarth was very good in this regard - though I've never heard him talk about it much in talks. - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

    by barath on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 05:00:56 PM PDT

  •  Um, um, um... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...I wouldn't think that you would be all that fond of Jim Hansen.

    Um, he's certainly not in the position of hating a science he knows nothing about, like (ahem), nuclear science.

    He's one of the strongest supporters of nuclear energy there is.

    As I recall, you oppose - on grounds of ignorance, superstition, and irrational fear - the world's largest source of climate change gas free primary energy, the one that Jim Hansen is on record as strongly supporting.

    It's pretty amusing to see who comes forth to criticize the Republicans on their scientific ignorance.

    Pot, meet kettle.

    Have a wonderful evening.

  •  Ahhh The Carnage! CNN GOP-Tea Party Debate Monday (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, WarrenS, flight2q
    For those who doubt the movement has moved toward the mainstream, the Tea Party Express will join CNN on Monday night to host a nationally televised forum where eight GOP presidential candidates will vie for tea party support.

    It's gonna be a train wreck for someone!

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 05:13:25 PM PDT

  •  "paradigm" (0+ / 0-)


    Such an overused addition to being a misused word.

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 05:16:15 PM PDT

  •  . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WarrenS, irmaly
    On Friday afternoon, as brave and committed activists continued their non-violent civil disobedience outside the White House in protest of the tar sands pipeline that would lead to a massive increase in global warming pollution, President Obama ordered the EPA to abandon its pursuit of new curbs on emissions that worsens disease-causing smog in US cities.
    - and the price of a carbon credit rose.  

    At least someone is making money in this economy.  

    Assent- and you are sane- Demur- you’re straightway dangerous- And handled with a Chain- - Emily Dickinson

    by SpamNunn on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 05:25:18 PM PDT

  •  I prefer to focus on Congress (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WarrenS, irmaly, debaseTheBase, orange dog

    The negatives for Congress are so high right now, it looks like 2012 will be another change election.  I prefer not to focus on Obama, rather on the congressional races we could win, the legislation we could enact with the right Democrats in the House and Senate.

    With a Democratically controlled House and Senate, that might give us some leverage for change. If Obama wins, he will obstruct climate change legislation, but only in a half-hearted manner.  Good for us, since we know anyone can bully him around.  So in 2013, it will be the turn of the progressives to bully Obama.  If this comes to pass, I think we'll have just as much luck pushing him around as the Republicans.  After all, we know he can be had.  

    "To know what is right and to do it are two different things." - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin "It was like that when I got here." - Homer Simpson

    by rbird on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 05:26:43 PM PDT

  •  My expectation is that we will address climate chg (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    under Obama, but not legislatively until his 2nd term.  

    He's long said that ending the wars, health care, climate/energy, and reforming immigration were his goals.  

    BTW, lots has been done non-legislatively.  

    The new cafe standards (average mileage) for new US cars, for example.  Mileage will average 35.5 mpg by 2016 and 54.5 by 2025.

  •  "I am a vegetarian" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Says the Republican, "Since all the beef I eat was on a strict vegetarian diet."

    This is how the GOP creates their own reality.  

    Help! The GOP is NUTS (& the Dems need some!)

    by Tuba Les on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 05:39:34 PM PDT

  •  The biggest reason the Repugs. reject (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WarrenS, SoCaliana

    climate change/global warming is simply because they are so loaded down with lobbyists from the oil and gas lobby, who of course want nothing to do with climate change. Why doesn't anybody mention this???

  •  I suspect reminders will be backburnered... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...until 2013, at least.

    I wonder when the politicians will present a DOE position on Keystone XL, something actually from the Nobel Prize winner?

    Keystone XL pipeline update
    September 2, 2011 - 3:32pm
    Tom Reynolds
    Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs

    Questions have been raised recently about the Keystone XL pipeline project, so we wanted to make some points clear.

    By way of background, in September 2008, TransCanada Keystone Pipeline LP filed an application for a Presidential permit with the U.S. Department of State to build and operate the Keystone XL Pipeline Project. It would consist of a 1700-mile pipeline and related facilities that connect the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

    Executive Order 13337 directs the State Department to review applications for Presidential permits for proposed oil pipeline projects that would cross an international border.  Pursuant to this Executive Order, the State Department will make a National Interest Determination, taking into account foreign policy, energy security, environmental, safety and economic concerns.

    As part of that process, the State Department will seek views on national interest from other federal agencies and the public. The Department of Energy has not taken a position with respect to the National Interest Determination for the Keystone XL pipeline, nor has the State Department made a decision on the permit.  

    In coming months, the State Department will solicit public feedback and opinions, both online and in public meetings, including in the six states the proposed project would traverse.  The State Department reports that it is on track to make a decision by the end of this year.  The Administration is committed to maintaining the integrity of a transparent, impartial and rigorous process.

    Eliminate the Bush tax cuts Eliminate Afghan and Iraq wars Do these things first before considering any cuts

    by kck on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 05:45:02 PM PDT

  •  Hey, Stop Getting Your Panties Up In a Bunch! (0+ / 0-)

    The Republican Party is just representing the will of the majority of White-Americans, esp White-Males. That's All. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    Hell, if White-Americans would merely split their votes  50/50 Repub/Democratc, the Repubs would all but cease to exist.  Then we could begin passing progessive legislation.

    Wokay, I know I'm dreaming....

    I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

    60% of White-Americans voted for the TeaBigots in 2010. Yet, some Kossacks think Obama is the problem. I guess it's easier to blame Obama than it is to blame your momma

    by OnlyWords on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 05:55:44 PM PDT

  •  Much as it PAINS me, (0+ / 0-)

    there is value in a placeholder.  And we have to recognize that, as disappointed, and disgruntled as any of us may be, Obama is they placeholder we have.  Obama may not be the strong leader that these times require, but at the very least, he's not a nut.  I think we're going to have to re-elect him.  BUT, we have to start work on getting a real progressive elected next time.  The White House will be an open seat then, and that will be our best opportunity to promote REAL change.  Taking applications now for 2016...

    •  Goal posts on wheels (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      First you complain that Obama is not a strong leader.

      Then you admit that Obama is at least holding back the tides of insanity from a frothing horde of complete lunatics wielding an electoral majority.

      I guess it doesn't count as strong leadership unless you get a pony.

      •  Only if you define "pony" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        as averting world-wide climate disaster. Yes, I want my pony.

        How far to the right do the Dems have to move before you stop calling them Dems?

        by Diebold Hacker on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 07:03:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There is nothing contradictory (0+ / 0-)

        in what I said.  I never said that Obama is holding back the tides of insanity, etc.  I said he's not a nut.  I said he has value as a placeholder.  I never demanded a pony.  And you're a dick.

      •  Let me be more categorical (0+ / 0-)

        He's not a good leader, a strong leader or any kind of leader. Leaders lead. Politicians politick. Remember this is a man who once claimed that he was willing to be a one-term president if that's what it meant to do some good. Apparently doing some good was throwing entitlements under a bus, discrediting Keynesianism for a generation, letting the planet boil, shepherding one of the greatest ecological disasters in history, letting Wall Street get away with murder and continuing to assault your civil liberties.

        What is this holding back the tides of insanity argument that his defenders keep deploying? You mean like the Democrats that were holding back the tides of insanity when Gingrich ruled the roost? Or when Bush was in office? They did a lousy job of it and at the end of the day we end up at the same place. There is no there there. Supporting bad politicians because the opposition is insane gets you to the same place eventually. Why don't we try a new paradigm, borrow the Goldwater template that the right now uses, support only candidates with proven track records of reform-minded politics. No proven record of fighting the entrenched interests, no support. The right doesn't nominate people they don't fully trust to do what they sent them to Washington to do, it's why they have very little trouble keeping their caucus disciplined. Because the only people they send to Washington are true believers, unfortunately we don't even know what we believe.

  •  This is a very smart post (5+ / 0-)

    One of my hopes for this mushrooming Keystone campaign is not only that it persuades the president to do the right thing, but also serves as a kind of launching pad for him to take global warming straight at the GOP in the campaign. That's risky, but it has tremendous possible advantages (and especially in a year when record flood and drought demonstrate so eloquently what's going on). Up against Perry, I think a straightforward: 'if you don't believe in climate science you have no business being president' line would be strong--but only if Obama does the right thing when he has a clear shot, a la Keystone. So everyone keep helping us out at!

  •  Stop referring to Global Warming as a theory (0+ / 0-)

    Global Warming is an EXPERIMENT IN PROGRESS. If you use language that leads to the use of the term theory it allows those that do not want people to believe in its existence to poo poo it.

    It is a Gedanken Experiment with a 15 year time line. When the experiment is done you will know if it is real or not. But by then you will not be able to take the time back and the earth will be permanently damaged.

    When you disconnect your self from the emotion and place the discussion in a "Place Your Bets" mentality then those that have not made up their mind are placed in the position of attacking you for your disregard of the potential for disaster.

    As long as your place in the argument is to provide statistics to prove your point you will NEVER get the doubters to believe your statistics. If the eye and the discussion is on the Experiment then the concern is on the outcome not the proof.

  •  Maslow, Obama and Reality (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yahzi, debaseTheBase, docmidwest, B Amer, RandW

    First a disclaimer: As an environmental scientist, I can't even begin to discuss the science. The only question there is whether the situation is very bad or truly horrible.

    But there are realities here that we must consider as we chastise the President. First, this administrations HAS done a lot in terms of regulations, appointing real scientists to important positions, and putting incentive dollars into packages like the Stimulus bill. Enough, no...but a lot.

    Second, the average voter has been totally bamboozled by Koch & Co money; there are whole states that think climate change is a "liberal plot."

    And then there's Maslow's "hierarchy." People aren't able to think a lot about the future when the bills are piling up on the kitchen table and they are unemployed. It's just a fact.

    And of course, if Obama does not get re-elected it's game-over.

    The ozone rules were going to be influenced by a pending (2012) review. None of those who know the science well were pleased by the administration's punt on that one. I, for one, can't justify the President's pre-election pragmatism here.

    But we MUST look at the entire picture. If we can somehow give Obama a supportive congress in 2012, I do not doubt he will do the right--and scientifically sound--thing.

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 06:03:10 PM PDT

    •  for half a century, Maslow's Hierarchy was not a (0+ / 0-)

      consideration because we were living comfortably at the top of it.

      Now, we're not.

    •  Unfortunately, Democrats (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      have contributed greatly to the economic anxiety that Americans now face. This is a systemic breakdown. A party that wants to change things, is going to have to change things. A party that wanted to go in a different direction would have started by changing the rules in the Senate that precluded change. They would have made leadership changes and imposed strict discipline that if broken would have had career-altering consequences. Every reform-minded Congress has changed the rules, often radically, to get their agenda through as quickly as possible. You can't have reform without confrontation and you can't have confrontation without stronger leadership in the House, Senate, Oval Office and within the party apparatus. It's no where to be seen.

      Democrats over the last 30-years have signed off on policies that have slowly eroded the economic position of the American voter. Obama is doing the same thing and this was always part of the grand plan of the right. It's like people are unaware that one of the stated goals of the right-wing menace, the Chamber, the Kochs, the Heritage Foundation, the Federalist Society, Grover Norquist, etc, was to de-fund the left and they were going to do that by robbing the left's primary means of support of dollars by hurting trial lawyers with tort reform, or anti-union measures or by de-funding science and regulatory agencies. Enough Democrats have nodded in agreement on much of this. Many of them are entrenched in powerful positions and they're not going anywhere.

      Things aren't gong to change unless you really change them. Unless we have an overarching strategy that addresses every aspect of the right-wing threat and that includes the influence of industry within the Democratic Party itself, we'll just keep exchanging one group of bad Democrats for another group of bad Democrats. As an ecologist you probably know just how bad Obama has been on a whole gambit of environmental issues, it almost boggles the mind. What he's done well he's not done nearly enough of. What he's done poorly is so vast an accomplishment it defies belief for a Democrat.

    •  Riding the Maslowian Wave, killg Pipeline to Hell (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Fully concur with this post and particularly this comment.

      The pragmatic political chess match between the parties and Obama is not pretty.  Getting our national sense to transcend the shift from a steadily expanding economy into one more stagnant with resource restrictions, AND to prioritize our environment is the critical battle at hand.  Its not impossible, and I would contend, is inevitable. Needless to say its a vital need to shift it now, not after the tipping point.

      I see Obama as playing to the battle states, the middle voters.  While I am happy at the positive beginnings, concur with being disappointed at the overall lack of positive change, and critically so regarding climate change.  In terms of practical politics, Obama may well be in a stronger position to kill the Keystone pipeline, because he held back on the EPA ozone levels.  

      The pipeline is, IMHO, a watershed decision for the President: either he will sell out the scientific-based policy pretense, or he will finally put an unmistakable "stake in the ground", stand by the science and the long-term interest of the nation, and declare that expanded fossil fuels is not a path we can go on.  Its an incredible risk in many ways, given the poll numbers on climate change. He can try to do nothing for climate change to avoid drama prior to the general election

      For me, we are at critical juncture: a win with killing the Pipeline must not jeopardize Obama’s reelection. To do both,  he needs our strongest scientific and political support to get over the hump.  There is a chance that even when the bills are piling up, if something in the future looks nasty enough, people will prioritize it – look at where nuclear energy is at, post-Fukushima.  The environmental movement succeeded in the late 60’s and 70’s. If we paint an ugly enough picture, and rub its credibility in the national face, I would hope the middle could be convinced. Recent weather has helped.

      Many have been fighting for decades, and there are decades more to go, and the next 15 months are a window of risk to win big or lose big.  My 2 cents is that, politically, we need to better characterize the choice for what it is: a future thermal hell-on-earth: Thermogeddon.  That’s why I suggest we start calling the Keystone XL, the "Pipeline to Hell".  If we can pin that label on the project, and make it stick, killing it will be a political boon.    

      •  This comment thread is aprticularly realistic (0+ / 0-)

        Wish it could continue in some "real time" fashion. It's such a bad time for science--and such a bad time for the economy at the same time. Yet there's no punting on this until after the next election.

        Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

        by MrMichaelMT on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 05:24:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Only the policy matters (0+ / 0-)

    Complaining about 0bama's "framing" is absurd. His "framing" reflects his ultra-right wing mindset and the destructive agenda he has planned for what's left of this country. What policies is he implementing? What policies is he working toward? The same as the Cheney-Bush Gang. 0bama policy is exactly identical to Bush policy. It doesn't matter what he says, it matters what he does. 0bama may pretend to recognize science, but that doesn't matter if his every move is in denial of that science and motivated exclusively by short-term profits.

    What would Rick Perry DO DIFFERENTLY from 0bama with regard to climate change? Nothing whatsoever. They are both on the take from the pollution industries, and that indebtedness to the fat-cats drives national (and thereby global) policies, regardless of the science involved.

    A vote for 0bama is a vote for irreversible, catastrophic climate change, just as a vote for any other crooked Republican is. Until an actual Democrat enters the race, our only choices are crooks, lunatics and scumbags like Perry, Bachmann, and 0bama. I see no hope for this country or this planet.

  •  and so the whole thing boils down once again to (0+ / 0-)

    "OK, we suck---but the other guys suck even worse !!!!!!"

    It's very very very hard to think of many issues where that's NOT true.

    And it should not be that hard.

  •  Obama Is doing better on the Environment (0+ / 0-)

    than his critics are willing to admit.  Because while his critics seem to know the numbers on climate change inside and out they naively believe that scientific knowledge alone is sufficient to change behavior.  But President Obama knows the science of human psychology as well as knowing the science of climate degradation too.   And he knows that rational argument is an inefficient way of changing people's behavior.  His raising of the CAFE standards, however, and his continuing emphasis on mass transit etc will do more in the long run to actually cut down green house gases than symbolically blocking the Canadian oil sands pipe line by making conservation of resources inevitable.  Why?  Because people greedy for fuel will consume the dirty Canadian fuel whether it is transshipped through America or not.  But if the public has fewer opportunities of burning fuel they will inevitably use less dirty fuel.  As it stands now, I can't tell you how many ardent environmentalists I know who while doubting Obama's climate change credentials they drive four by four vehicles out through the wilderness and jet across the world several times a year.  Both cutting out dirty fuel consumption and conservation will be necessary if we are going to get a handle on man-made climate change, but the most important is conservation and that is exactly what President Obama is aiming for.

    •  Name me one ecological issue Obama is good on? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He's the guy that had his Nixon in China moment. No Democrat could go to China. No Republican could rescind the moratorium on off-shore drilling. His administration did and they did it for peanuts. They did it for woefully inadequate renewable energy dollars. This is the guy that said, just weeks before Deepwater Horizon, that technology made such events very unlikely. Then after Deepwater Horizon, he couldn't even be bothered to fire the Secretary of Interior who for a year did nothing to reform an outlaw agency that was engaged in illegal activities in his home state of Colorado, a Secretary of Interior who when he wasn't pimping for more off-shore oil leases, including in the Arctic Sea, he was using bogus data cooked by the Bush administration to illegally de-list endangered species.

      He raised CAFE standards? Those standards don't even come into full effect until 2025. How in the world is that going to help global warming, even in theory? You've got 5-10 years to have it completely under control or feedback mechanisms are going to take over and it's done. Where were Democrats for the last 20-years on CAFE? CAFE hasn't been raised since 1991.

      What other issues is Obama good on? Wildlife preservation? Terrible. Industrial farming practices? Terrible. Wild lands policy? He canceled that too. Air pollution? He just told EPA to back off on ozone. Fracking? No where to be found. Fisheries? His administration removed restrictions on long-line swordfishing in Hawaii and now allows 3-times as many sea turtles to be incidentally caught in fishing nets. MTR? Campaign Obama wanted mountaintop removal ended. President Obama punted to an interagency task force consisting of the EPA, Office of Surface Mining and Army CoE, the latter 2 being pro-MTR. Now you were telling us about Obama's environmental record?

  •  By that time... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    public will only make such a demand if there is a widespread understanding of the extent of the danger
    it will be too late. It's probably already too late. The die is cast. We might nibble around the edges but we are not going to reduce our fossil fuel dependence in any time-frame that would allow us to escape major consequences of climate change.

    I always thought that at my age, 60, I'd not live to see any of these effects impacting my life. Now I'm pretty sure I will.

    Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

    by Ian S on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 06:14:25 PM PDT

  •  And yet big city newspapers like the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel print garbage from gasbags like Kingsley Guy, headline "Don't Buy Hype About Global Warming"

  •  Stop complaining about Obama's framing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He's not talking to you. He's talking to country where the majority reject evolution.

    If he frames things in Republican terms, it's because he has to, to be understood. The people he is talking to will only listen to that language. If he settles for Republican compromises over Progressive defeats, it's because victory is its own reward. The people he is talking to only see results, not intent; a policy passed is proof of power, full stop.

    If you want Obama to have a realistic conversation, then educate your fellow citizens. He cannot win a democratic election and educate the electorate at the same time.

  •  Climate Change is Not a Proper Political Issue (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cera, Diebold Hacker, mightymouse

    until someone manages to establish a political system in the US that can address it.

    Ours can't, and our party's leadership is dedicated to governance that cooperates with climate change deniers.

    It's near criminal negligence for science and its supporters to squander time and energy petitioning an impotent institution. This issue needs to be taken directly to the forces that own society and which government represents.

    There's not the remotest chance of our system acquiring such power within an order of magnitude of the speed the science says we need to act.

    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 Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 06:19:23 PM PDT

  •  Their argument is that the (0+ / 0-)

    science is still just theoretical and more time and data is needed to make a complete factual conclusion. This is why framing carbon as a greenhouse gas effecting climate is the wrong way to achieve what is needed. POLLUTION is the key! It is smog, smut, dirty water, dirty air, garbage, chemicals and YES CARBON!! But focusing on carbon alone will not get it done with the stupidity in Washington. Pollution is understood, everyone is touched everyday by it and immediately seen, heard, smelled, and felt by all. To sell that is a no-brainer. To try to get the masses to understand a scientific hypothesis will take another 100 years. The public relations push has not been the best thought out method to educate the public. Too many errors and holes have been discovered and punched into the carbon greenhouse theory. But Pollution is everywhere.

    •  nonsense (0+ / 0-)

      Carbon mitigation is way to expensive to trick the public into doing via a cheap rhetorical switch. The justification for urgent and in some cases expensive alternatives to carbon-emitting power sources is primarily the "carbon greenhouse theory". Unfortunately it's a true theory, based on solid scientific ingredients and supported by an increasing wealth of data. Where do you get that crap about "errors and holes"? If you mean "error bars and uncertainty"- yeah, that's the way science goes. It sounds like you mean something else.

      Michael Weissman UID 197542

      by docmidwest on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 06:38:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To persuade the public (0+ / 0-)

        at large about anything, common sense always works. Not everyone is a scientist, scholarly or in most cases basically educated, but all of these vote. The selling campaign about carbon being the demon has not resonated with the masses simply because of opposing views. Everyone, EVERYONE sees the pollution avenue. It includes all the dirties and carbon. To sell pollution cleanup sells carbon greenhouse theory, just packaged so the common folk understand. We are not at odds on the subject, but we are miles apart on how to get the best results in combatting it.

        •  On the framing issue (0+ / 0-)

          I disagree, but without much confidence. I would ask that on the science issue you avoid repeating the "errors and holes" propaganda. You could make the same point about the perception of the science without actually endorsing the false perceptions. Probably that was just a rhetorical slip.

          Michael Weissman UID 197542

          by docmidwest on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 03:17:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  baloney (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, OHdog
      Too many errors and holes have been discovered and punched into the carbon greenhouse theory.

      There are no more "errors and holes" in greenhouse gas theory than there are in smoking-causes-cancer theory.

      If human-caused global warming through greenhouse gases is NOT true, then one of three things MUST be true---and I've never met anyone yet who could demonstrate any of thse to be true:


      1. Humans are not releasing more and more CO2 into the atmosphere


      2. Humans are releasing more and more CO2 into the atmosphere but it doesn't produce any warming


      3.  Humans are releasing more and more CO2 into the atmosphere and it does produce warming, but something is removing that CO2 so it has no effect and something ELSE is simultaneously producing the warming that we directly observe.

      Point to some of these "holes and errors" for me . . .  Show me which of these three things is true and why.

      Good luck with that.

      •  I don't know why you fail (0+ / 0-)

        to see the contents of my comments. I don't disagree with your contentions, but the opposing viewers do. I am simply stating that the method of convincing the public of the facts has been met with opposition that brings question in the minds of enough citizens to cause nothing being done about it. Arguments using scientific theory has not worked regardless of their validity, where simply using the term pollution would have made all the difference. It is sadly too late to change the terminology since something evil would be made of that too by the opposition.

        •  that is not what you said . . . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          You said that errors and holes had been punched into the greenhouse gas theory.

          They have not.

          If that is not what you meant to say, then be more careful in the future.  Facts count.

          •  Not to keep this going as we (0+ / 0-)

            seem to agree more than disagree, but the opposition are as adamantly convinced of their views as we are of ours. Their information comes from other science that contradicts and thus causes the controversy. There are many websites with information for both sides, and to disregard either/or is a disingenuous approach if you truly believe in science. One such site is
            It explores both arguments, and introduces 'blown holes' and 'errors' in greenhouse effect being caused by man to the extent it is injurious beyond balance to the environment.

            •  nonsense again (0+ / 0-)

              Their information doesn't come from science any more than creationist information comes from science, and their "teach the controversy" is just as much bullshit as the creationists. And posting me stuff from some conspiracy-theory radio nutter doesn't help the credibility of your argument very much. If there's really a scientific debate about AGW, it would be happening in the pages of peer-reviewed science journals, not internet websites or radio stations. It's not happening there, because there is no debate anymore.  The science was settled years ago.

              BTW, I don't "believe in" science any more than I "believe in" mathematics.  Science is not an ideology that one can choose to "believe in" or not. Science is a method of studying reality---the only method we have discovered so far that actually works.

              •  Your reply has the same (0+ / 0-)

                rigor and determination displayed by the other side, only they are reaching the public at large better. That is my concern. We have not sold this well enough to break through to greater numbers. I am afraid that it will take devastating results from doing nothing before everyone sees we should have done something.

  •  So what does "moving forward" entail? (0+ / 0-)
    •  price on carbon, education/leadership, alt E (0+ / 0-)

      tax, cap and trade, fee and dividend

      whatever, the price on carbon has to rise over time so people will stop using it.

      President has to tell the nation we have a threat as serious and dangerous as Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. We must mobilize.

      Mobilize means develop new energies and conserve so we can live on much less Carbon-based fuels.

      Here I am! I'm up here! Where are you? - the Red-eyed Vireo

      by mightymouse on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 10:31:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The 10 year window to do something serious (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    antirove, mightymouse

    Is halfway closed at this point.

    World has 10-Year Window to Act on Climate Warming - NASA Expert
    by Reuters, by Mary Milliken, commondreams -- Thursday, September 14, 2006

    SACRAMENTO, California - A leading U.S. climate researcher said on Wednesday the world has a 10-year window of opportunity to take decisive action on global warming and avert a weather catastrophe.

    NASA scientist James Hansen, widely considered the doyen of American climate researchers, said governments must adopt an alternative scenario to keep carbon dioxide emission growth in check and limit the increase in global temperatures to 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit).

    "I think we have a very brief window of opportunity to deal with climate change ... no longer than a decade, at the most," Hansen said at the Climate Change Research Conference in California's state capital.

    If the world continues with a "business as usual" scenario, Hansen said temperatures will rise by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius (3.6 to 7.2 degrees F) and "we will be producing a different planet".

    We're at the "half-way point" people, in that 10-year Window, to decrease our dependence on Fossil Fuels, and begin to dial back our 25% Carbon Footprint for the US.

    Will the next 5 years, be ultimately known as the The Five Year Fade ?

    ... If the world continues with a "business as usual" -- well you can guess the rest of story ...

    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 06:40:49 PM PDT

  •  Obama fighting climate change! (0+ / 0-)

    Obama is fighting climate change.  He has the unemployment rate over 9%, thus decreasing the number of daily commutes to work.  If he can get the unemployment rate up to 30%, just think of all the good that will do for the environment.

  •  What about Huntsman? (0+ / 0-)

    He seems to be willing to stand up for science.

  •  The biggest problem is complacency. (0+ / 0-)

    When Climate Change started to become more widespread is because people kept talking about. After Obama was elected, some people either left it in his hands or spent their time on other endeavors (healthcare, economy etc.) and we stopped talking about it.

    That's when the numbers started to slide back.

    The only way to convince the public is for everyone and ESPECIALLY anyone who has a public microphone to sound the alarm and keep sounding it no matter what happens. That's the only way to keep the issue in public consciousness.

    Anytime someone says "scientist X says global warming is a hoax/natural etc." simply dismiss them with a "they're not a serious scientist, all objective scientists say global warming is happening" and then move on.

  •  boilerplate rhetoric? (0+ / 0-)
    It would be one thing if he declared each political resolution the best he could get in the face of Republican obstructionism, but too often he instead praises an outcome as good policy borne of bipartisanship. He talked tax cuts as stimulus. He uses the Republican boilerplate rhetoric about tax reform without explaining that it should be about unfairness and economic justice. He talks the Republican boilerplate rhetoric about Social Security reform and Medicare reform without explaining that they are solvent, and that talk of "reforming" them is stealth Republican boilerplate for destroying them. And of course he changed the entire economic conversation to focus on deficits when what the country really needed was more Keynesian stimulus, which usually involves deficit spending. And the result has been terrible for the economy and terrible for Democratic political fortunes.

    I can accept this criticism except for the crystal balling I bolded. Could you please back it up for once instead of regurgitating the "boilerplate" PL bs rhetoric.

    Medicare is solvent? Did health care cost rate of increase fix itself?

  •  Change the title (0+ / 0-)

    My only comment change title to Repugs and Obama!

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