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And, well, I write a lot.

But this long piece that just went up at Rolling Stone tries to distill what we now know about climate change into 3 numbers

1) 2 degrees C--that's what the world's nations (even oil states) have agreed is the most we can possibly let temps rise. It's actually too high--but it is the one thing about climate change that the world has agreed on

2) 565 gigatons co2--that's roughly how much more carbon we can pour into the atmosphere between now and 2050 and have a reasonable chance of staying below 2 degrees. It's not much--we burn about 30 gigatons a year, and growing, so at current rates would go by in 16 years

3) 2795 gigatons co2. This is the really scary number. It's how much carbon the fossil fuel industry (and the countries that operate like fossil fuel companies) have already in their reserves. The stuff that props up their share price, lets them borrow money. The stuff they're committed to burning.

What that means is: we now know for certain that the stated business plans of this industry will wreck the planet. It's not even close--they're planning to burn 5 x the carbon that any sane scientist sets as the absolute upper limit.

So stopping them doesn't mean gradual shifts in trajectory. It means taking on this industry with at least as much vigor as we took on companies that did business with apartheid South Africa.

We'll be announcing plans at to do just that. But for the moment, I'd be most grateful if people could read and share the Rolling Stone piece, and provide feedback. Warning: it's long. (Even longer than the Justin Bieber profile in the same issue)

thanks much--bill

Originally posted to DK GreenRoots on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 08:28 AM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Hawks.

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  •  Thank you, again and again (66+ / 0-)

    just the quick distillation above is like hitting a brick wall.
    This :

    we now know for certain that the stated business plans of this industry will wreck the planet. It's not even close--they're planning to burn 5 x the carbon that any sane scientist sets as the absolute upper limit.
    is all anyone should know, and anyone can understand.

    I will now go read the piece.
    Thank you, Bill

    Class war has consequences, and we are living them.

    by kamarvt on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 08:52:02 AM PDT

  •  Need Temp projection for 2795gTon (40+ / 0-)

    Bill, You are right, very important.

    Can I ask for you to add one item to your numbered list?
    4) 6 degrees C, (or whatever the number should be) the projected average planetary warming produced by actually adding 2795 gTons CO2.

    I think we need to keep focusing on the absolute disaster that 6C will bring, like an end to agriculture in the continental US (and other major world producers of food).  Consequences like that are way beyond 'adaptation' arguments, and need to be firmly fixed in our mind.

  •  Will read ASAP, pass along, and use in (12+ / 0-)

    the fight.  Thanks for all you do!  

    If we really want to straighten out all this crap we need to really think about shit!

    by John Crapper on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 09:07:42 AM PDT

  •  I'll recc and tip this, but really (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, nother lurker, Roadbed Guy, Matt Z  needs to get its act together better.  Thank you for stopping the Keystone Pipeline, that was worth doing and done well, but most of the other stuff does isn't getting anywhere.

    •  I look forward to your diary (24+ / 0-)

      on your successful grass roots organization that has gotten the governments of the world and the fossil fuel industry to come together to save the planet.

      •  exactly my point--no action has been taken (4+ / 0-)

        close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

        I'm reading through the article, and it finally sounds like McKibben is waking up to reality.  It's impossible to take a direct fight against powerful multinational corporations trying to protect $27 trillion in assets.

        There's only one way out, and one way only--make renewables cheaper as an energy source than fossil fuels.  We're almost there, and in the meantime we need to stall those bastards as much as we can, for technology to catch up.  And in stalling, serves a good purpose.

        •  damnit, he's still clueless (9+ / 2-)

          At least Mother Nature is starting to make American citizens more aware of the imminent threat we face.

          •  HRd for dickishness (4+ / 0-)

            I don't think you're a troll; I gather from your profile that you're at least as worried about global warming as anyone here. Good for you. And you're entitled to believe that Bill McKibben is not doing the best possible job against global warming. But I'm sure you can find better and less inflammatory ways of expressing that opinion.

            Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

            by Nowhere Man on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 09:59:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  saying he's clueless and ineffectual isn't dickish (6+ / 0-)

              That's really going over the line.

              •  I have to disagree (7+ / 0-)

                Suppose for a moment that this diary wasn't written by Bill McKibben, but by J. Random Diarist. Would it be dickish to go into that diary and call J. Random Diarist "clueless"? Unless you had clear and convincing evidence that J. Random Diarist really is clueless, I'd say yes, that is dickish.

                Now suppose that you were going to a talk by Bill McKibben, where he takes Q&A afterwards. Would it be dickish -- perhaps to the point of disruptiveness -- if you started a question to him by calling him "clueless"? I'd have to say yes, that would be dickish.

                Maybe your standards are different. Maybe kos or Meteor Blades would see things differently. But I used my best judgment in trying to apply the community standards that they've set, and the HR seems merited to me.

                And again, it's not about you, or what you do, or that you disagree with the diarist. It's that you called the diarist "clueless".

                Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                by Nowhere Man on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:53:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, it's extremely dickish. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Nowhere Man

                And how much more clueless and ineffectual does that make you?  Where shall we look to see the fruits of your efforts on this front?

                The bottom line is that humanity as a whole has been a soup sandwich on this issue.  The few people trying to do something about it haven't been successful because primates can be breathtakingly stupid animals.

            •  Uprated to counter unwarranted donut. (9+ / 0-)

              The commenter thinks McKibben is clueless.  If you disagree, argue away.  That's what the comments section is for.  Don't get all huffy and hit the "hide" button over that mild an insult.  Damn, if McKibben couldn't handle that, he'd be curled up in a ball somewhere by now.

              --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

              by Fiona West on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 10:49:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Please remove the HR (8+ / 0-)

              You have noted that cordgrass is not a troll, and is "at least as worried about global warming as anyone here." So why the HR? You may not agree with the tone of cordgrass's comment but that's no excuse to HR it. I would like to request that in the spirit of tolerance and community that you remove your HR. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

              •  I'm sorry, but (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lotlizard, emidesu, mamamedusa

                1) HRs are not specifically reserved for commenters who are trolls. As has often been said here (and I think by kos, though I can't find a link to that), "rate the comment, not the commenter."

                2) As kos has said:

                The "guest in someone's house" rule

                Walking into someone's diary is like walking into someone's home. You are a guest. Act accordingly. That doesn't mean you can't disagree. It just means you have to be civil and courteous and limit your arguments to substance.

                I didn't HR any other comments by cordgrass, even though I disagree with some of them. But this one is of a different nature. To go into someone's house and call the host "clueless" is to act dickishly. I'd be surprised if kos or Meteor Blades saw it differently.

                Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                by Nowhere Man on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:18:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It seems the diarist has no problem with it. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LLPete, shaharazade

                  That may be, but you are a guest as well. Here in the comments, we all are. The diarist sets the standards for the diary, not us guests here in the comments.

                  Has the diarist HR'd that comment? Doesn't look like it. Sot it looks to me like the diarist (whose diary it, after all, is) doesn't have a problem with the comment.

                  I'm suggesting that if the diarist isn't offended, perhaps all of us guests should calibrate our own level of tolerance to that shown by the owner of the diary.

                  If McKibben is right (and I feel he is) in the coming years we're all going to need all the tolerance we can muster. Perhaps let's start here?

                  •  Among other things, it would be against the rules (5+ / 0-)

                    for the diarist to hr that comment.

                    I'm sure Bill McKibben is a big boy who can take the disrespect. I'm sure he's dealt with worse. But that doesn't mean it should be the standard level of discourse here.

                    Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                    by Nowhere Man on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 12:16:31 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  If I hr'd, I would HR you for HR abuse (0+ / 0-)

              Which would also be HR abuse. So i wont.

              Stop being such a whiner for Pete 's sake. He is entitled to his opinion.

              My dog is a member of Dogs Against Romney: He rides inside.

              by adigal on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:14:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Who is whining? (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lotlizard, mamamedusa, jayden, glorificus

                I hr'd one comment. One comment that happened to call the diarist "clueless". If that doesn't violate kos's guest in someone else's house rule, what does?

                I'm actually surprised at the degree of pushback, but I'm not whining about it.

                Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                by Nowhere Man on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:20:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think the aggressiveness of the rules (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Nowhere Man, adigal, LLPete, Meteor Blades

                  enforcement is what's being questioned.

                  People are rightly unhappy about the climate sitatution and there are going to be strong opinions expressed.  

                  In this case, the opinion strongly expressed is on behalf of the direction of change we'd like to see - accomplishments in this arena.  So it is sorta like stomping on a guy who loudly screams he agrees with you.

                  At any rate, this is not a comment on the validity of whether needs to be the sole banner-carrier or needs to do anything else.

                  Just seems to me we can allow some leeway in our discussions so the discussion stays about the topic instead of the meta about what comments are good and bad.

                  "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                  by YucatanMan on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:30:29 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It still seems to me (0+ / 0-)

                    that if someone is loudly screaming "I agree with you! Now do more! And do it better!", that that person is disrupting the dialog, and not in a way that furthers the goals of people engaged in the discussion.


                    I would not have expected this degree of pushback for that HR. I don't believe that the validity of an HR is determined solely by the volume of pushback, or lack thereof. I still believe that the comment, in its original context, was HR-worthy. I also agree with you that the HR produced a unhelpful volume of meta.

                    So be it.

                    Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                    by Nowhere Man on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 02:55:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  A hide rate? (12+ / 0-)

            Jesus, I've dragged my kids to three of those useless global protests, marched with signs, banged drums, donated money and you are giving me a hide rate?  I've spammed all my Facebook friends (back when I had Facebook).

            I drive a Prius, I take the train to work, I line dry my clothes I have the right lightbulbs, I recycle, I compost, I buy food as local as I can--I'm a textbook greenie.  I give my money to the League of Conservation Voters and I spend my free time combatting denier trolls on treehugger, and you're giving me a hide rate!  What the fuck for?

            •  For being mean and disrespectful to the diarist, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              emidesu, mamamedusa, glorificus

              I'm pretty sure.

            •  cordgrass, I tried to make it clear (6+ / 0-)

              that this was not a personal attack against you. I believe you when you say you do all these things, and I congratulate you for it.

              But to come into a diary by Bill McKibben -- who most likely does equivalent things in his personal life, let alone his professional life -- and call him "clueless"? kos has decreed a mandatory level of respectfulness (regardless of the diarist) that I can't see as being met with that comment.

              Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

              by Nowhere Man on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:24:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There is a difference between a personal insult (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                and insulting someone's writing or thesis.  Within the context of this diary, I thought it was obvious that I was saying he was clueless and ineffectual when it came to fighting global warming, because of the ideas he put forth in this diary, not that I was saying he was a clueless and ineffectual person who couldn't read a subway map or tie his shoes.

                I thought I made it clear that that comment was my reaction upon finishing reading his Rolling Stone article, which initially gave me hope.  But anyone who has gotten so many people to give his organization money and buy his books is hardly ineffectual in his daily life or clueless about persuading people to listen to him.

                •  Whose fault is it (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lotlizard, mamamedusa

                  that he hasn't had more success in getting the message out? Is it his own fault? Or is it the fault of Big Carbon? Or is it just stubborn human nature -- that people go into abject denial of the problem rather than make different economic decisions? I'm not sure if there's any way of finding out, at least without putting forth someone who does a demonstrably better job.

                  I don't idolize Billl McKibben, but I do respect him, because at least he's trying. I'm certain that he could do a better job, just as I'm sure that MLK could have, or Nelson Mandela, or Thomas Jefferson. Because none of us is perfect, and we all can do better.

                  At the same time, if you want to engage in a discussion about how someone can do a better job of what they're doing, it's probably not constructive to call them "clueless", especially in their own home (or diary.)

                  Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                  by Nowhere Man on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 12:04:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  that's the wrong frame (0+ / 0-)

                    and that's exactly my point.  His job isn't to "get the message out".  Al Gore did that already.  His job is to kneecap the fossil fuels industry as best he can with civil disobedience, with as many people behind him as he can enlist.

                    And believe me, they're scared of him.  That stunt with the ice sculpture that they thankfully cancelled at the last minute?  The propagandists were obviously on vacation and wrote up their stuff ahead of time, because a couple posted troll comments were about ice sculptures melting.  Which they wouldn't have known about unless they were monitoring's mailing list.

            •  Very committed activism, cordgrass. (6+ / 0-)

              I started in the civil rights movement ~'57. Anti war, environmental and overpopulation mid 70's. LGBT, Anti death penalty, domestic abuse, health care reform mid 80's. Theocratic take over of GOP, anti abstinence only sex ed, late 80's. Sexual abuse, reproductive rights, Hispanic/immigrant rights  early to mid 90's. Muslim rights 2001, Anti corporate mid 2000s, Occupy '11.

              Ever read Martin Luther King's  Letter from Birmingham Jail?

              King was also an advocate of creative tension. I agree with that to some extent.

              Activism takes a hell of a lot of work, time, perseverance and generates a lot of discouragement and disappointment. All of which you and McKibben are very familiar with. My question for you to consider is: which action(s) are you likely to regret? All of your effort, or a poorly worded venting of your frustration?

              Yeah, typing this, I can still smell the funny odor of the mimeograph copies Mom pulled off her machine for the NAACP meetings. Today Zimmerman told the press he thinks his killing Martin was God's plan. Yesterday a 16 year old girl was brutally beaten by four men who had yelled anti-gay slurs at her. This week the execution date of a mentally disabled man was postponed from 7/18 until 7/24 due to a switch in lethal injection protocol by the Georgia Department of Corrections. In ~97 - '03, both my kids, and some of their friends, decided in high school they aren't adding to the world population.

              There is more than enough pain to deflect. I could do without anything that is not absolutely necessary.

              "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

              by Ginny in CO on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 03:31:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  right now I'm regretting my effort (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ginny in CO

                because it didn't do a damn thing

                •  You haven't added anyone to the numbers (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  of people who are cutting their carbon footprint? You haven't opened some minds to the probability this is far more serious than most people realize?

                  Even if you truly didn't do a damn thing. You tried, clearly, in many ways, substantially.

                  These battles are hard - we lose plenty. As much as I have seen and contributed to many of them, the last paragraph is the status of a few of those wars. All of them are very much in progress. The pain of the setbacks, of every new tragedy, is part of my life.

                  The evidence of progress is always infrequent and usually incremental. You have to be willing to live with the long delay in major achievements. The power and motivations of the people we are fighting are far too easy to underestimate.

                  Sometimes, really big and unexpected ones happen. My parents are both alive. 87 this year. 4 years ago, our family was ecstatically watching something none of us ever anticipated would happen in our life times. The countless hours of efforts my parents had worked, especially for the equal housing law, were decades in the past. The evidence of racism still strong in areas of our country.

                  Since then, rarely a day goes by without the incredible reinforcement that a highly qualified, remarkable black man is our president. That his equally intelligent, inspiring and competent wife is probably going to be known as one of the finest First Ladies - widely loved as much as respected. Watching the girls grow up is a whole brain smile everytime I see them.

                  The emotions that are difficult to live with can really chill your effort. Emotion is what energizes us to act, or anchors us from going forward. Cutting the anchors, no matter what they are due to, is tough.

                  You may need to take an interval to recharge. The current situation makes me think we are getting to a critical mass level with the number of people coming to grips with how serious this is and how much needs to be done. Your experience and voice is likely to be much needed. Part of my angst is that my generation did so little, our children, grandchildren and generations after are going to have far different lives than most had anticipated or projected.

                  You are going to see more of that than I will. It has to be a tough concept to live with. Figuring out how others are dealing with it may help.


                  You have a lot to offer this movement. If the effort is burning you out, take a break, rethink your perspective, goals, how it is affecting you and your life. Journaling helps this process a lot. Is there something in your life that needs more time? Reprioritize the time and effort so you are less conflicted.  

                  Many thanks for all you have done.

                  "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                  by Ginny in CO on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 09:06:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  it's not that I'm discouraged (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Ginny in CO

                    it's that I'm tactical.  Reducing the carbon footprint of a few people here or there doesn't do squat when China is building new coal plants as fast as it can.

                    Frankly fracking and the recession did a lot more to temporarily help slow things down, and a volcano would come in handy right about now, buy us some time for technology to catch up.

                    The only real green fight is a fight against the power of multinational corporations, to make governments strong enough and free enough from corruption to make regulations with bite, with teeth.  In that sense, Occupy is a green fight too.  Passing the Disclose Act would help the environment a lot more than if everyone installed solar panels.

                    •  There are always multiple fronts. (0+ / 0-)

                      Tactical is important. No denying the power behind this has to be taken down. It will stop wars too. Occupy and the 99% movement, or evolved groups, will be critical from Disclose to Move to Amend and beyond.

                      I can't agree with the idea that getting people to use solar panels and other conservation is doing squat. Any more than my kids and their friends not having children is squat. Technically we failed the population control. We did reduce it more than expected, and I have to believe that even that bought us some time, and will decrease what I fear will be mass deaths globally.

                      Compared to what is going on in China, reducing carbon footprints seems like draining a lake with a bucket. The massive  health and environmental issues are catching up to them. Even some rural communities have internet access and can get information on what is happening globally. Learning about the fights here and other countries could help get a populist movement there up and fighting.

                      Glad you aren't as fed up as it seemed. I sent updated emails to congress critters on the disclose act Monday. Too limited by my personal situation to be active with Occupy beyond letters, etc. No telling when that will improve. Today has been a diversion on gun control, not to mention way too many memories of Columbine - my son, daughter and I were close to it at several levels. My daughter's motto that still gives me the chills:

                      Life sucks, get over it.

                      Hard to reconcile with my childhood and early adult years. Sums up hers perfectly.

                      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                      by Ginny in CO on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 02:51:20 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  constructive criticism (10+ / 0-)

          is all you are really entitled to,   anything else is histrionics, closer to a temper tantrum than commentary.

          I can't tell the man what else to do, or why he is wrong, I am in fact clueless as to how he could do more or better.  He is still trying to wake people up to the existential nature of this disaster we call climate change.   Many still deny, others feel powerless in the face of the struggle, others plan to make all the short term profits they can and devil take the future of the planet or their children and grandchildren for that matter.

          McKibben has been a fierce advocate for changing lifestyles, embracing renewables, all the things you think we should be doing.  You want to talk, talk about how he could do it better,  what message isn't he using that is so obvious to you and isn't coming to the rest of us.

          Success generally doesn't come all of a sudden.  Its thousands of tries, some total failures, some that move in the right direction.   You seem to admire the President's efforts, and yet you can acknowledge the limits on his powers to change everything right now.   Why not extend that understanding to

          •  Changing lifestyles, embracing renewables and (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NoMoreLies, claude, shaharazade

            all that won't mean squat if can't take away the power from the fossil fuel industries.  As long as they are making their billions in profits and controlling governments, we're screwed.

            We need civil disobedience fighting the fossil fuel industries directly, especially focusing sunlight on their propaganda activities.  We need to take away their money.  We need to take away their power and force them to dwindle away until the technology catches up in solar and wind to make them as obsolete as whale oil companies.

            •  define civil disobedience (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mamamedusa, LLPete

              sit ins at gas stations so people can't fill up at the pump,  disrupting shareholder meetings?

              What makes you believe this direct action will wake more people up to the threat?  

              We individually can do more to take away their money if we shopped locally, insisted on more local produce and craft products, didn't feed Walmart and other made in China big time retailers, etc.   That all requires some sacrifices.

              How do you plan to deal with Red States,  folks down here aren't exactly your typical fact oriented person, they don't like civil disobedience, they are still resenting the hell out of desegregation in a significant proportion of the population.

              I think fear would work.   But how to get their heads out of the sand or Fox News long enough for them to get scared??

              And those whale oil companies, not what they once were, but still mankind is hunting whales to extinction.   You can change the technology, but can you change people?

              •  the goal isn't to "wake more people up" to the (0+ / 0-)

                threat.  The goal is to end the power of the fossil fuel industries.  I don't care what Red State people think.

                In a few years solar and wind will be cheaper than oil, natural gas and coal.

                And your point about individual action is a wrong one.  We've taken that one as far as it can go.

                •  all three million people (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Meteor Blades, adrianrf, shaharazade

                  that believe these corporations are a threat and their power needs to be ended.  What did you do about the hundred plus million that don't even know what you are talking about?   What do you do about the millions that don't believe, many in red states.   You think you end trillion dollar profits without engaging millions more people than are with you right now?

                  I don't think you need to throw out insults about other people being feckless until you closely examine what you are saying.

                  And individuals acting is what civil disobedience is all about.  And we haven't even scratched the surface of individual action at this point.

                  Your plan sounds like the joke about profits.

                  Civil Disobedience!

                  . . . .

                  Fossil Fuel Companies Disappear from the Face of the Earth

                  You left a lot of blank space in the middle there.

                •  I think what we have here is an this-or-that... (6+ / 0-)

                  ...argument when we should be creating a this-AND-that plan. You're a greenie, you've said, and that is damned important. You're aware. Very aware. You follow this stuff closely enough to be critical of details of what is doing.

                  Which puts you in a very small minority.

                  Most people are NOT aware. They don't know what's going on. Kneecapping the fossil-fuel industry sounds right-on to me. But to about 90% of the population? They're just going to think you're fucking with their birthright. Not just in red states. How many people right on this site are up for kneecapping the fossil fuel industry? We don't even have a majority in favor of a carbon tax. Right now, I'll wager not 20% of the people here can tell you that the production tax credit (which has helped bring down the cost of renewables since 1992) is going to expire in December and is already damaging development of new wind and solar farms because investors can't be secure on their ROI.

                  Consciousness raising is still a very big part of what must be done. The other, the civil disobedience and direct confrontation of the industry that has us by the short hairs, must also be done. They are part and parcel of the same project. It's not one or the other; it's both.

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

                  by Meteor Blades on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 08:28:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm a big groupie of yours (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    and I recc half of what you write, but seriously, the time for consciousness raising is past, unless it's to directly go after the fossil fuels industry.

                    We can't compete against their propaganda machine.  I don't know how much they're spending, but it's a lot.  Aside from the paid commenters, look at all the Black Hat guys they have working on google rankings.  And the institutes and the pet politicians, and most importantly, they OWN the media.  All those stupid PR commercials about BP and clean coal and fuzzy feel good spots about how nice Big Oil companies are--basically bribes.

                    I'm not advocating outright sabotage.  Civil disobedience is the way to go.  Don't wreck existing pipelines, but human chains for new ones to be built.  The mountaintop people are doing the right thing against the coal companies.  We have to bring it like that.  We have to be vicious and go after their revenue sources.  If McKibben is serious about going after their stock, I applaud that.  Most of all we need transparency and to shine sunlight on their cockroach-like shenanigans with regulations, tax breaks and most of all with their propaganda and lobbyist activities.  Working to break the back of Citizens United and to elect more and better Democrats is more important than fruitlessly attempting to get Republicans to stop eating red meat.

                    The one exception is to let people who already know that global warming is real what's going on to get them fired up for direct political action.  The morons out there who still believe that global warming isn't happening are in a Fox News echo chamber and can't be reached by reason or facts.  Unless the weather itself changes their minds, even the most gullible wingnut will have to think twice about Kansas reaching 118.  But honestly I don't care if wingnuttistan thinks we're fucking with their birthright.  We are the majority and this is a democracy.

        •  You should read more. (0+ / 0-)
 finally sounds like McKibben is waking up to reality.
          He's been there for a while.  Eaarth was a very sober book that basically admitted that we've already passed the point of no return, and communities would just need to hunker down and prepare for the worst.
          •  I'm not talking about the science (0+ / 0-)

            I'm talking about the reality of just what we're up against, who the enemy is and how this is an actual war.

            •  It's hard to save a species (0+ / 0-)

              when the majority of its members are, by all indications, suicidally insane (even if they don't know it).

              I'm personally interested in the tactical side of a campaign like the one you seem to allude to, but as I have more than a decade of military experience, I have to admit my prognosis is somewhat... gloomy.  In my darker hours, I sometimes wonder whether Asimov's Foundation books are the pattern we're playing out; bright people clearly seeing the downfall of the Empire, knowing that there is no way to save it and devoting themselves instead to planting the seeds of the civilization that must spring from the ashes.

              Nevertheless, there are strategists who may hold pieces of the puzzle, both military and civilian.  Maybe a synthesis of Liddell Hart and Alinsky?  Or perhaps the best answer is simply to determine how a human should best live and then start living that way; to show other humans by example how much better we're capable of, even as this age of the world crumbles around us.

              Obviously, I haven't figured this out yet.  I'm leaving the military and getting into a doctoral program soon, so maybe I'll come up with something useful there.

              Also, apologies for the other comment of mine, the one responding to what I saw as a personal insult towards McKibben.  I believe I misjudged your intent.  Pax?

              •  pax :) (0+ / 0-)

                Don't be so gloomy.  Science!  Pretty soon gas stations will go the way of the dodo bird, and coal plants will all be shut down.

                Frankly I'm almost encouraged by how hard Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Natural Gas are fighting.  I think they see the writing on the wall better than anyone else.  When there are so many supertankers just floating around with unsold oil in a feeble attempt to drive the price up, it shows that they only care about short-term profits rather than long-term profit sustainability.  Because nothing makes a person buy a Prius faster than $5-a-gallon gas.

                This isn't a 100 Years War we're fighting.  It's just the next twenty years that are critical.  Solar has a similar version to Moore's Law.

      •  Really, I laugh in that poster's general direction (17+ / 0-)

        Bill and have accomplished amazing things.  We saw him when he stopped over after the amazing DC action in Santa fe.  He was dog tired but still took time  for a quick visit with Occupy Santa Fe  on the way to his sobering but inspiring  keynote at the Lensic.  


        How did Supreme Court decision ACA help the 23 million still uncovered? Ask the 18,000 Doctors of PNHP -- they're not waiting, FORWARD now to pass H.R. 676, the “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act .

        by divineorder on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 09:41:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Please list those amazing things (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radical simplicity

          aside from stopping the Keystone Pipeline.  That I will give him

          •  have you ever read any of his books? (6+ / 0-)

            reading Deep Economy completely changed my life

            in turn, I completely changed the way I operate my business.

            we will never know just how many things Mr. McKibben
            has done .... through his writing and his activism...
            we may never know how many people have been inspired....

            it's not about a list.

            but surely you can figure this out on your own, no?

            Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle. -Helen Keller

            by ridemybike on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 10:25:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  of course I've read his stuff (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              but the time for "inspiring people" has passed.  Individual action won't cut it when you're up against multinational corporations as powerful as many countries, and some powerful countries too (like Russia's KGB-run government protecting their oil assets) wanting to make sure their $27 trillion of assets don't disappear.  These guys fight dirty and we have a window for action that's getting narrower each year.

              What I'm saying is sort of the thrust of the RS article he wrote here.  He doesn't need people blowing smoke up his butt.  He needs to realize the consequences of these realizations he's had.  Wake up and smell the coffee before global warming kills off the coffee!

          •  Keystone stopped for how long? (4+ / 0-)

            Credit for a few headlines, no more.

            •  If we can just boot the Republicans from Congress (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lefty Coaster, YucatanMan

              next election, then hopefully permanently.  Every time it comes up for a vote, we need bodies out there in protest.  

              •  It seems to me (8+ / 0-)

                that this is not just the Republican's all I hear from the Democrat's who run our party, this administration and our duly elected representative is crap like Sustainable Growth which was hyped in Rio. Meanwhile it a by-partisan Drill Baby Drill, Frack Baby Frack government owned lock stock and oil barrel by the earth destroyers. They don't call this insanity disaster capitalism for nothing.

                Bill here may have only stuck is finger in the dike pipe hole, for awhile but he isn't as clueless as you apparently. He is an activist and works hard at giving people a clue about the reality we face. He gets those bodies out there.

                Booting the Republicans from congress isn't going to happen and most of the Dems. who are there and have power aren't about to take on what Axelrod described as 'the world as we find it' it's TBTF and we would all go over their fake cliffs of economic apocalypse now. This lot of D's doesn't even feel our pain just sends out an oil flunky to tell us we'll adapt.

                Besides like Hillary says if the polar ice melts it will just open up new grease fields. The people who run this country and the world are making a profit on the earths demiseand hunakities misery and you say boot the Republicans lol. Get a clue.


                •  you don't think we can win back the House? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  That's damn depressing.  I'm hoping for a House majority and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

                  Maybe that is clueless, as you say.

                  Clinton is working on the side for practical measures to fight global warming, like promoting more efficient cooking stoves for the world's poor.  Don't pay attention to what Obama and Clinton say, pay attention to what they do.  Even in their restricted positions, they are doing what they can.

                  But yes, there are way too many non-green Dems in Congress that should be primaried out.  That's why I give my money to the League of Conservation Voters.

                  •  What good did winning (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Agathena, oldhippie, divineorder

                    the house, senate and WH in 06-08 do? Nothing it wasn't a real majority as I have been told often. As for the Senate it is the House of Lords. We have control of that but with the Dems we have with  their procedural rules dodges, hostage taking kabuki, and general uselessness as far as really fighting for and working for anything that's meaningful in terms of legislation for both the people and the planet we live on..

                    Mother nature doesn't give a rats ass about 'victories for compromise or Sustainable Growth which translates into more profit for the sociopathic 1% at the expense of humans and the planet. How insane to give the diarist a hard time and tell me that  Clinton and Obama are doing something about this overriding issue. Watch them indeed cooking stoves for the poor when we are cutting their food stamps to the tune of 16bn dollars. What about oil subsidies? What about cranking out SUV's made by GM. Why do these people in power hang or and the planets future on a failed economic anti-democratic vicious  brand of capitalism and empire?


                  •  Cordgrass (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    I like your Living Simply dairies and I appreciate what you do with your life and how you inspire others but we are facing a reality where we have to stop and look at what our global system is causing.

                    I recycle I grow food. I compost. I hardly use my Pious.  I walk and bicycle.  I'm green your green but the owners of the place are not. It's a by-partisan destruction and it's all for empty profit for the 1%.  

                    To top it off it doesn't even pay a living wage to most of the planet. I do watch what the Democratic leaders do. They take their families for a swim in the polluted dead gulf waters and say it's okay come on in the waters fine. They say we need sustainable growth and national security and the planet and the creatures and people who live on it are just collateral damage as we move forward toward the inevitable New World Order.

                    They are sociopaths and are incapable of comprehending the basic laws of cause and effect. Actually they probably think it's okay as the people and the planet will adapt and manifest destiny and the market will prevail.  But get your environmental cooking stove right away as we need to get the economy growing. Root for GE as Obama's job Czar says. Me I'm rooting for the planet and the humans who have to 'adapt' so these fuckers can make a profit.      

                    •  WTF? are you really saying that (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      Democratic leaders are sociopaths?  Umm...and you're calling ME extreme?

                      •  I don't think your (0+ / 0-)

                        extreme at all. I said the oligarchical 1% are sociopaths and this administration and our current Democratic 'leaders' are extreme free market ideologues. Their agenda is profit and growth for thew owners of the place.  They are not concerned with the common good of humans or even our national interests and their world view is scary as shit .

                        Yes I guess am saying they are sociopaths. There also arrogant as they believe that there NWO is inevitable and too big to fail. TBTF ? Guess it depends on what failure is. Their success and profit is our and the planets demise all for funny money for the oligarchical collectivists who are sociopaths.  

                        'We do not disparage wealth creation in America'  Barack Obama

                        Setting the world on fire for insane geopolitics, profits a and natural resources that belong to all of us like water food even intellectual property and medicine, all for the profit of the very entities that are killing the plant and creating misery for human society. They don't call this disaster capitalism for nothing.

                        If Democratic leaders with power put as much energy, and money into making our society truly livable/sustainable and not carbon based and at least fought for our common good and the planets sustainability we wouldn't be left fighting about which is worse Bain/Koch Bros vs Goldman Sachs/ BP.


              •  The evidence that President Obama will make... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

       permanent (it's up to him) is not very encouraging.

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

                by Meteor Blades on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 08:30:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Keystone will be stopped until after the election, (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              maryabein, DawnN, Agathena, NoMoreLies

              and then all bets are off.  The excuse will be "it helps the economy" and "our Canadian neighbors want it" and the optics that it creates prior to the election will be forgotten.  Climate change is not on the immediate radar of this Administration.  It would play into all the Teabagger stereotypes and perhaps turn off the low information independents who would gladly sacrifice the future of humanity for a few extra bucks to squander at the Indian bingo game now.

              And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

              by MrJersey on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:37:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

                I think that climate change is one of the highest priorities of this President.  He's just being damn sneaky about winning, just like he was sneaky about taking out bin Laden.  He knows it will hurt him in the general election, but he's doing lots of things on the downlow to do what I've been recommending--fast tracking new technology to make renewables cheaper.  Particularly with the military!  That's why Big Oil and Big Coal are so hopping mad at him and want to take him out with their SuperPAC's

                •  you mean THIS guy? (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  oldhippie, DawnN, Agathena, NoMoreLies


                  Obama talks a good game about developing "green" energy sources, but here he is, doubling down on oil. Although this speech was clearly political theater, I expected him to appease anti-pipeline activists by using his visit to Cushing – the belly of the fossil-fuel beast – to remind Big Oil that not only has he promised not only to yank away $4 billion in subsidies, but that oil is, as he said the other day, "the fuel of the past."  Ha!  Instead, Obama offered up a speech that would make Sarah Palin proud, reminding us how, over the last three years, "I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states.  We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore."  And he crowed: "We are drilling all over the place now."  And as for pipelines, he bragged that "we’ve added enough new oil and gas pipelines to encircle the earth."  Climate blogger Joe Romm rightly called the address "Obama's worst speech ever."
                  (emphasis mine)

                  without the ants the rainforest dies

                  by aliasalias on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:41:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  climate change one of the highest priorities? (0+ / 0-)

                  where's the climate bill?

                  It's unfortunate that you have this conflict of supporting protection of the environment while at the same time supporting a President who does not. The facts remain.

                  ❧To thine ownself be true

                  by Agathena on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 05:41:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Translation: Y u no win yet? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nowhere Man, cocinero, adrianrf

      Seriously, aspersions in the form of advice cast at the Davids taking on today's Goliaths doesn't really help much.

      •  except he's got an army of Me behind him (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooklyn Jim

        If he was Mr. Concerned Citizen writing books, etc., a sort of Greenie Paul Krugman, I wouldn't be so harsh.  But he's the head of a movement; he has people all over the world behind him, doing what he recommends.  Including me.  I've just lost patience with the silly things has had me do so far.  It's a waste of assets.

        •  If you're within the movement and organization... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, DawnN

          ...that's a different thing.  But that was not at all clear from your initial comment.

          Regarding frustration amongst rank and file in grassroots organizations, I'm not sure what consolation to give.  From Occupy to my block association, I too have found myself quite frustrated at moments (if not resentful!).  It comes with the territory of thankless work.  Activism such as this, despite the occasional breakthru success like halting the keystone pipeline, is often as thankless a job as any.

          If there are specific things you think should address, whether you are just identifying problems or you actually have ideas to improve or resolve said problems, by all means: share them.  Either here in open dialogue.  Or privately within the organization via appropriate forums.

          If you currently lack the energy or wherewithal or are currently too burnt out (and maybe even bitter at the moment) to articulate those with more clarity than your initial comment, know that you only betray any energy, effort and time you've already given over to the organization with comments like that prompted me to respond.

          Your original comment, lacking specificity other the one highly publicized success of the organization, read like nay-saying from a distant bystander rather than an engaged and involved participant.

          You're right, as you roughly assert in another follow-up, not enough is collectively being done to avert catastrophic warming.  Regardless of how informed your observations, opinions and ideas may be about how to improve the situation, it doesn't help if you don't find means to articulate those observations, opinions and ideas.  Defamatory comments, even if borne of genuine frustration like "he's still clueless" or "[he] is waking up to reality" don't help.

          What are the problems you see with  No need to name all of them.  Pick one.  And how can they be improved to help the cause?  Do we need to open another front in this long battle?

          Odds are, here at DKos in this sort of diary, you're going to find a sympathetic audience.  You're also going to find a range of experience and expertise amongst readers, from social scientists to full-time activists to climate scientists to everyday workers/consumers.  So spitball a few solutions for us.  We all want to arrest climate change as soon as possible and mitigate the already unavoidable impacts as much and humanely as possible.  Many of us are also tired, terrified, fed-up, and frustrated at the paces of things.  But I think we're all looking at the overarching problem of climate change from roughly the same angle here: It's real.  It's Accelerating.  The consequences will be dire.

          •  I am on the same wavelength as kos (5+ / 0-)

            If you've read some of his writing here at Dkos about protests, you know my thoughts.  I've seen how right kos is through direct experience with

            I won't go into detail about what I've experienced doing what has recommended, because that genuinely would be insulting.  If you think saying someone is clueless and ineffectual is defamatory, I don't think the Internet is the place for you.

            I've posted concrete suggestions in multiple places in the comments section here.  At the risk of sounding like a spammer, I will repeat my basic premise here.

            1.)  People already know about global warming.  Having marches with puppets and drums just to let people know that AGW is happening is counterproductive.  Sensible people already know, and people who used to know and made to forget by Fox News will just see a bunch of hippie freaks with costumes and drums.  I do not mean that as an insult, I was one of those DFH with the drums and the marching.

            2.)  People don't know that there are specific corporations throwing money at propagandists and lobbyists to stop any action against global warming and to convince people that it isn't happening, or if it is happening, that it's not anthropogenic (sp?).

            3.)  We need to protest those industries and shine light on things they want to push through in secret, like the Keystone Pipeline.  We need to go to jail.  I have kids, so I can't risk that, and I know that makes me a pussy, but if a march or protest doesn't have the possibility of people getting arrested, it's not going to do any good.  We need to fight the fossil fuel industry directly and name names.  We need to show what the propagandists are doing, like that courageous scientist who exposed the Heartland Institute's plans to alter public opinion.

            If you want more of my thoughts on this, read my diary here:


    •  Yes, but how much effort was expended (0+ / 0-)

      over Keystone, which is absolutely meaningless in the bigger scheme of things?

      It's almost if the fossil fuel industry had somehow co-opted obstensibly progressive, but clueless, activists into wasting a few precious years . ..

      •  not meaningless--quite the opposite (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fiona West, DawnN

        People willing to get arrested in a fight over fossil fuel industry interests--that put the focus on where it belongs.  We have enemies and they are burning through money to protect their profits.

        •  Keystone was an example of NIMBYism gone wild (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oldhippie, Plan9

          as far as global warming, it was utterly meaningless.

          The Alberta Tar Sands development continues apace, which this diarist has continually expressed a baffling degree of alarm over (when it accounts for something like 1% of global carbon emissions at most - WTF about the other 99%??).

          And it's been duly noted that there has been no similar alarm over the shutdown of German and Japan's nuclear power plants, which separately have an equally deleterious impact on global carbon emissions.  Why?

          •  because it drew attention to the REAL enemy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It was a great protest and did what it set out to do.

            •  IOW, some type of strange metaphysical (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              and entirely symbolic pryrrhic victory that does absolutely nothing to solve a real world problem.

              For fucks sake, is there any better indication than this why the planet is completely and absolutely doomed?

              •  It made the politicians afraid (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                and frankly, that's the best we can do for now.

                •  Then why was Obama recently gloating (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  oldhippie, shaharazade

                  about the decades high US oil production?

                  He doesn't sound all that afraid to me!

                  In any event, this involves both a rapid ramping up of Bakken tight oil extraction (to levels that exceed the entire capacity of the Keystone pipeline) as well as natural gas liquids that now exceed the entire output of the tar sands.

                  All that went on 'below the radar' while this diarist and others kept activiists distracted by the Keystone red herring.  That's not good.  Not good at all.  Fuckin' obscene in fact.

          •  Keystone was NOT meaningless. Look at all the (5+ / 0-)

            oil company money that went into fighting for it.  Canadian tar sands developers want a cheap way to move their product and they've been stymied for the moment.  Only one step in the fight, but one that was also used to raise awareness of the dangers of tar sands.  It was a good fight and needs to be continued.

            In addition, we should respond vigorously when any fragile ecology is threatened with destruction by corporate interests.  Keystone threatens the Oglala Aquifer, which is a key source of water both for drinking and for farming and ranching in a number of states.  IN particular, some of the western Indian reservations would have been just decimated by damage to the acquifer.  This battle brought together enviromental activists, Indian nations, ranchers who had never demonstrated before, farmers from Kansas, and others, in a very positive way.  It also was a step in making people aware of something that has not been part of public consciousness -- the many threats to acquifers in the US.

            The fights against climate change and for preservation of the environment are interconnected and both have to be pursued.  There isn't time left to ignore either.

            --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

            by Fiona West on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:41:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Serious stuff (16+ / 0-)

    I see the comments on the article include the global warming is a myth type. Makes me sad. Did they even read the article? Part of me is glad that I am old and part of me wants to live a while and see how things shape up in the next decade.

  •  Read, Rec'd, Tip'd, and shared the RS article on (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citisven, divineorder, aliasalias, DawnN


    Thank you!

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

    by DamselleFly on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 09:22:34 AM PDT

  •  Simple truths, hard reality (10+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the elegant distillation.  This is the kind of information that people can take with them into every day retail conversation.

  •  Rolling Stone... (19+ / 0-)

    Is rapidly becoming the go-to must read magazine.

    'Osama Bin Ladien is still dead and GM is still alive' - Joe Biden "Dems kill terrorist. The GOP keeps them around as a boogeyman - so they can continue to steal."

    by RichM on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 09:29:45 AM PDT

  •  Thanks Bill (10+ / 0-)

    I'm spreading this around. We've got to put our heads down and get to work in all areas of our lives, political and personal.

  •  I think we've entered.. (8+ / 0-)

    ...the "my advice to you is to start drinking heavily" era.

    As a matter of fact, I think the rethugs have known this for quite a while, which explains their "devil may care" attitude about just about everything.

    Why try to fix anything when it's beyond fixing in their estimation?

    And it totally squares with their world view of "screw everybody else", because it gives them a logical underpinning to be total douchebags, which is their natural state.

    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

    by jkay on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 09:44:57 AM PDT

    •  Shut off their air conditioning (9+ / 0-)

      and see how long it takes them to get really serious about climate change.

      The people making the major decisions are all shielded from the real climate, by A/C, bottled water, and everything else they can devise and pay for.

      •  Today's crop failure is tomorrow's bumper crop. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cordgrass, Brooklyn Jim, aliasalias, DawnN

        I think it's gonna have to come down to food. People need to understand that the massive crop loss from today's heat wave and drought is nothing compared to what's coming. 30 years from now, today's heat wave will actually be considered a cool year, and normal years will have much lower crop yields. And god help us when an actual heat wave arrives, and the entire crop is a total loss.

        •  Agreed. Food is when most will demand action. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Buckeye Nut Schell, DawnN

          Sadly, as history has shown, hunger can be geographic.  What percentage of the world will starve before real action from key polluter states and cultures?

          •  Doesn't most of that corn go into corn syrup for (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brooklyn Jim

            the most useless and unhealthy "foods" anyway?  Hey, it would cause the price of corn syrupy soft drinks to go up to the level where kids could not afford it.  What a shame.  It would cause the price of beef to go up and perhaps cause them to be grass fed.  The failure of the corn crop would perhaps be of benefit by causing people to eat in a more healthy manner because they cannot afford the bad stuff.

            And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

            by MrJersey on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:42:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Less than 5% is corn syrup. We aren't the only (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brooklyn Jim, cocinero, NoMoreLies

              beef, pig and chicken consumers on the planet. Look for wider swings in commodity pricing as farmers once again swing for the fences and plant corn from fence row to fence row next year because of high prices this year. The big ifs are decreased ethanol production and herd culling (demand destruction).

              Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

              by the fan man on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:57:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Are we still paying people NOT to grow crops? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

            by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:58:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  i think (0+ / 0-)

          hydroponic farming may save us there.  But it needs to be adopted fast and in a big way.

          Im sure millions will suffer and starve before the big farms convert.  After all, demand outstrips supply, Prices go up. Less work, more money. Big Aggro is about money, dont you know.

          Bad is never good until worse happens

          by dark daze on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 12:04:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Can't feed 9 billion on expensive hydroponics (0+ / 0-)

            You can feed a few million people using hydroponics. Or, perhaps more accurately, a few million people can afford the cost of hydroponics.

            But the vast majority of the planet needs to eat on something less than $2 per day, and that essentially means no special farming techniques.

        •  The branch of my family that stayed in Asia always (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sharon Wraight, shaharazade

          … liked to trot out a saying, the gist of which was: "Appreciate this meal (and if you're so inclined thank G~d / Heaven / the Divine) — for, make no mistake, the next famine is already on the way."

          The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

          by lotlizard on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 02:54:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  30 years? Ha! (0+ / 0-)

          How you can imagine Civilization not imploding much sooner than 30 years is laughable and admirable.

      •  I agree...unless you are sick or old (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        No more AC. Takes too much power. Then we will see the Deniers sing a different tune!

        My dog is a member of Dogs Against Romney: He rides inside.

        by adigal on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:19:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Another huge problem... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          adigal, shaharazade

 the resource drain and climate effect livestock production causes.

          Try telling those bloodthirsty assholes that they are going to have to wean themselves off of meat eventually.

          There are so many aspects of our lives that are taken for granted (like eating meat) but where people have no clue how destructive they are to the environment.

          When you try to point this stuff out, people go batshit and just go into denial. We are eventually going to deny ourselves out of existence if we don't start trying to get our act together.

          "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

          by jkay on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:51:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  AC is not the problem. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cordgrass, aliasalias, shaharazade

          The problem is producing the electricity by burning coal or, to a lesser extent, natural gas. If the AC is run by rooftop solar panels and/or wind farms, then AC is not a problem.

          •  Ok, but then the same goes for... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cocinero, adigal

            any form of electricity. Leaving lights on, leaving the computer on, leaving the fans on, etc. They all probably run on coal, statistically speaking.

            But actually, that isn't all there is to it. Air conditioning does release refrigerants: CFCs and HFCs, which deplete ozone. The greenhouse effect of these refrigerants is actually substantially more potent than carbon dioxide, but its volume pales in comparison to CO2, so the refrigerants are not perceived as a comparably serious GHG threat, on the surface. Now some models have worked on reducing the GHG effect of the refrigerants, but operate less efficiently, and therefore require more electrical power (in practice, coal.)

            Not to pick nits, but it's not as simple as "AC might be good or it might be bad." That said, I do think AC suffers from severe inefficiencies due to poor architecture over the last few decades (large, gaping homes; no consideration of a building's cardinal position; no other design features to improve heating or cooling, etc.)

            In theory, no, AC shouldn't be a threat. In practice, it is a very serious threat to the world.

            "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

            by rovertheoctopus on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:11:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Not for the fainthearted (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldhippie, YucatanMan, Matt Z, MKSinSA

    but what choice do we have other than to deny reality.

    ...someday - the armies of bitterness will all be going the same way. And they'll all walk together, and there'll be a dead terror from it. --Steinbeck

    by Seldom Seen on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 09:46:20 AM PDT

  •  One things that gets me about the media coverage (11+ / 0-)

    of global warming, it that it always deals with it as a statistical phenomenon. Tyndall showed in the 1800's that carbon dioxide is a strong absorber of radiant energy and that the greater the amount of carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gasses) in the atmosphere, the higher the temperature will be. This is pure physics. We know with absolute certainty that it is correct. Certainly, other things are superimposed on the warming that is caused by increases in greenhouse gases, but higher global temperatures due to increases in greenhouse gases is not a theory, it is a mathematical certainty.

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

    by Eric Blair on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 09:51:14 AM PDT

    •  If direct radiative forcing by CO2 were the only (0+ / 0-)

      issue then there would be no controversy.

      Where are we, now that we need us most?

      by Frank Knarf on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 10:01:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thermodynamics is always right. (5+ / 0-)

      I've been trying to make the argument from the point of thermodynamics, using your points above. There's simply no escape hatch for that argument, other than to claim that thermodynamics doesn't apply to Planet Earth.

      The difference in energy arriving from the sun and the energy being radiated into space is approximately equal to two Hiroshima-sized nuclear bombs per second.

      And every 'alternative' explanation for warming then has to first prove the thermodynamic explanation wrong before substituting it's own explanation.

    •  And the fact that the last Democratic Presidential (10+ / 0-)

      candidate who stressed climate change was Al Gore, who has been painted by the Right as a more sinister version of an ineffectual Jimmy Carter.  Even though his election was stolen, the meme is that Bush was tough and pragmatic when the nation was in danger, and Gore was an ineffectual wimpy space cadet who said he invented the internet and has his shorts in a dither about the environment.  

      No Democratic Presidential candidate wants to be painted with that environmental brush.  The Republicans will stop at nothing to make them look weak.

      I remember when Bobby Jindahl was ridiculing the President's SOTU speech about money wasted on monitoring volcanoes, and then a few months later, that volcano blew up in Alaska a few feet from Sarah Palin's front porch.  No one really called the Republicans on that.  When the environment goes bad, they see it as an act of God and not the consequence of the activities of mankind.  

      But then, the Democrats do not have the worlds energy companies reinforcing their massage.

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:51:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And yet as a nation, we're going the wrong way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, DawnN

    NPR reported on a poll this morning where the number of people in America who think reducing their energy use will help reduce global warming has shrunk by about 20 points since 2008!!  People were never really that mobilized against global warming before, but now its even worse...

    How does that happen?  Especially under a Democratic President who needed to be out front on this issue?  

    The recession, of course, is the big culprit.  But we (including Obama) can no longer use the economy as an excuse to ignore this.  At the same time, we have to find a way to stop having this issue be a political football.  Conservatives have children and grandchildren too.  Why is this a right/left issue?!???!!!

    Forward thinking!

    by TheC on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 10:00:25 AM PDT

    •  because the oil company propagandists (6+ / 0-)

      have made it that way.

      •  Bingo. Plus oil company direct contributions (7+ / 0-)

        to Republican Senators, Congressmen and Governors, all of which will guarantee that the Republican party echoes the propaganda of the carbon companies.

        As will Murdoch and other rightwing media, of course.

        People are stupid when they have lots of powerful forces around them telling them to be stupid.

        McKibben's proposal to focus on a movement against the carbon fuel companies would help us to get this level of information out to people.

        Not just: "climate change is real and bad for us."  The next level of understanding is:  "YOu are being lied to, and here's who's lying and why."

        People need enemies to mobilize against?  Fine.  Because we really do have enemies.

        --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

        by Fiona West on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:08:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's exactly right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          protest the fossil fuel companies directly.

          •  Work against candidates (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cordgrass, aliasalias, DawnN

            who get big money from the carbon industry and vote against clean energy.

            e.g. The Dirty Dozen

            and support good candidates

          •  and fight the construction of their massive coal (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DawnN, cordgrass

            terminals like the proposed one north of Bellingham Wa. at Cherry Point. There are five other ones proposed for the northwest (Oregon & Wa.)and people are joining together in opposition to them all along the rail routes.

            That's one fight on this corner ,people in Appalachia can carry on their fight against mountaintop removal, people can protest the fossil fuel companies directly (as you suggest) and people along pipeline routes can continue to take their fight to the Courtrooms (and fields).
            There are plenty of front lines in this Country (& around the world) in the fight to keep this planet livable ,some are at the ballot box ,but I think we all have to do whatever we can on whatever fight is available nearby, and it will continue to be a fight as "power never concedes without a demand, it never did and it never will"(h/t Frederick Douglass)

            Maybe it's a mixture of lifestyle changes, the ballot box, protests, legal actions and boycotts, but no matter what this crisis needs urgent attention (and action) on every front.

            without the ants the rainforest dies

            by aliasalias on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 02:19:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Republicans? The Democratic National Convention is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          fundamentally being underwritten by Duke Energy and Jim Rogers (The former and, now, current greenwashing CEO): otherwise known as The Enemy.

          We travel together, passengers on a little spaceship, dependent on it's vulnerable reserves of air and soil. Preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work and the love we give our fragile craft. Adlai E. Stevenson

          by DawnN on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 04:32:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Republicans and Democrats both get contributions (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          from the fossil fuel industry.

          ❧To thine ownself be true

          by Agathena on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 05:08:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  as a nation, we have reduced carbon emissions (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      the fan man, cocinero, DawnN

      by nearly 8% since 2005, at the rate of about 1.9% a year in the past two years. we need to do more, but as a people, in terms of actual deeds, we're moving in the right direction, talk notwithstanding.

  •  Excellent piece as always (0+ / 0-)

    The tendency has been to focus on the mean which is good science but not that informative. It is the new extremes that matter - one region going +10C and another of equivalent area going - 8C will give the +2C number.

    We need another easily understood measure that gives the real likely changes in such a way that extreme heat isn't apparently mitigated by an area that is likely to cool - e.g. Western Europe if the Gulf Stream stops.

    How about an average temp change across the globe? This way a -2C would score the same as a +2C and would not yield a result of 0C change.

  •  Here's a video from the website. (7+ / 0-)

    The Story of Change - YouTube

    Published on Jul 16, 2012 by storyofstuffproject — Can shopping save the world? The Story of Change urges viewers to put down their credit cards and start exercising their citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world.
    It's  a good video.

    Is anyone here familiar with the the 350 organization? Are they radical in any sense of the word?

  •  Some good news is (10+ / 0-)

    that every morning this week as I've driven to work, in my low emissions, high mpg but still fossil fuel based car, is that I've had to pull over and drive on the shoulder as tractor trailers hauling turbines for new mountain top windmills have been heading by on their way to join the others already on top of Brodie Mountain.

    And the flywheel storage plant of Beacon Power is still going despite the companies financial problems and the accompanied republican ranting.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 10:11:58 AM PDT

  •  Just heard a scientist type (11+ / 0-)

    on the radio say that well, he couldn't really say that the huge, double-Manhattan-size berg that just calved off the Petermenn glacier was directly attrributable to global warming, but, maybe, considering lots of other things, well, sorta . . .

    And then he said that temperatures in northern Greenland have risen 4 degrees in the last half century. That really got my attention.

    Tipped, rec'd, RS linked to for later and thorough reading. Thanks, Bill.

    Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today. -- James Dean

    by Mnemosyne on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 10:16:21 AM PDT

    •  Public speaking for scientists: "probabilities (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      vs scientific fact". Probability is great, scientific fact? Wrong question".

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 12:01:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  All that snow that falls on the Greenland icecap, (0+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Hidden by:

      where the temperature is always far below freezing, turns into ice, and has to go somewhere.  The scientist was probably trying to explain that glaciers on Greenland the terminate in the sea have always calved large icebergs.  Whether or not the ice mass balance on Greenland is in long term decline is dependent on both temperature and precipitation.

      Where are we, now that we need us most?

      by Frank Knarf on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:36:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wrong and pathetically wrong (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Watch, Broen over Watson River 1 ruiner 12.juli 2012, and tell us again how it's always below freezing in Greenland.  

        There are large meltponds all over the Greenland icecap and if you weren't so busy regurgitating Republican talking points you would know that.

        •  The meltwater ponds you refer to occur at (0+ / 0-)

          the lower altitude margins of the ice sheet, where they always have occurred.  The main continental ice sheet is at high altitude and is never melting, though sublimation takes place during dry periods.  Greenland ice mass has decreased in the recent past, but the future of the ice cap depends as much on high altitude precipitation as it does on coastal temperatures.  Try this rather than fun  youtube videos:

          Once you have some idea what you are talking about it will still be impolite to indulge in such name calling but at least you might add something to the discussion.

          Where are we, now that we need us most?

          by Frank Knarf on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 08:24:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The "always have occurred" areas (0+ / 0-)

            have changed rather drastically the past few decades and I expect you know that.

            Keep on baffling us with bullshit.

          •  Or you could read Jeff Masters (0+ / 0-)

            He posted it Wednesday, I didn't see it 'til just now. It's above freezing right at the top of the ice cap. Now.

            I honestly don't understand why when it comes to climate and nukes kos tolerates and even prefers straight Republican nonsense. The stuff you post should get you banned but you're safe here.

            •  Links to RealClimate and a Journal of Geophysical (0+ / 0-)

              Research article on ice mass balance should get me banned?

              The fact that the recorded temperature at summit climbed above freezing for a few hours  in midsummer has nothing to do with the discussion of ice mass balance.  For all we know the same thing happened in the 1930s.  Greenland is always accumulating ice on the central cap and losing it around the margins.  If you take the time to read the paper I linked to you can absorb the details and understand the uncertainties.

              Where are we, now that we need us most?

              by Frank Knarf on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 10:13:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I read the short paper (0+ / 0-)

                which said very little in very pretentious language. Followed by the usual battle of citation warriors. I side with those who say yeah of course mass is melting away. The briefest look at the Watson River incident should tell anyone there is something new under the sun. Ifd you have decided in advance that really after all nothing new ever happens you can disregard anything at all.

                Then I looked at your second link which took me to an attack page. Gee thanks.

                You're a denier. You side with Republicans. Yes that gets some people banned. That's supposedly technically not allowed here. And as I say, you're safe anyway. Kos likes deniers.

                •  What the heck are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)

                  I just checked the links.  One goes to a RealClimate post and the other to a JoGR paper, both of which concern the dynamics of the Greenland continental ice sheet.  The RealClimate post includes a summary by the authors of this paper:


                  Is there something I am missing here that would lead you to characterize one of these as an "attack page"?

                  And what do any of these papers or comments have to do with Republican talking points?  Which of these did you call out as " said very little in very pretentious language"?

                  Where are we, now that we need us most?

                  by Frank Knarf on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 11:53:19 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What the heck are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)

                    One minute it's always (always is an absolute term Frank) far below freezing and the next a few hours of positive temps don't count. Not even at the highest and coldest reporting station in Greenland.

                    Yes, I got an attack page. I'm on Linux so I don't get infected easily.

                    The linked realclimate piece was a few hundred words and it was close to a nothing. Your arguments are nothings. Just bluster.

                    •  Are you aware that RealClimate is the blog (0+ / 0-)

                      home of:

                      The current permanent contributors to content on this site are:

                          Gavin Schmidt
                          Michael Mann
                          Caspar Ammann
                          Rasmus Benestad
                          Ray Bradley
                          Stefan Rahmstorf
                          Eric Steig
                          David Archer
                          Ray Pierrehumbert
                          Thibault de Garidel
                          Jim Bouldin

                      Why do you think they featured the Moon et al article?  What a bunch of deniers.

                      Where are we, now that we need us most?

                      by Frank Knarf on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 02:32:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  he was pretty clearly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cordgrass, shaharazade

        trying not to link it to global warming. What did come out of the interview is that the loss of glacier ice in Greenland is largely related to rises in sea temperature. That's even scarier.

        Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today. -- James Dean

        by Mnemosyne on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 04:42:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Bill (7+ / 0-)

    I was just thinking about you during my lunch break and decided to check out Daily Kos when I came back and here was this great diary.

    I fear that there are too few people even within the climate action/environmentalist community who are willing to address the dangerous realities we face with greenhouse gases and fossil fuels. All the talk is about targets, and reduction standards, and compromising one step at a time, to me, is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Human extinction is not an issue where compromise is an acceptable approach. I don't know if it's denial, wishful thinking or something else.

    I keep wondering: if we can't get our own side to grasp the gravity of this situation, how to we win the debate for changing our institutions?

    I appreciate your excellent work on getting us there.

    "Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel." ~Sepp Herberger

    by surfbird007 on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 10:29:07 AM PDT

  •  I've got a semi outside waiting to unload... (0+ / 0-)

    been about an hour now, waiting for people to come and unload. Can't really blame the driver, it's 90° out with cloudless skies.

    In that time I've read this and the RS piece.

    What to say?

  •  We're all fuct (0+ / 0-)

    Tell us something we don't know.

    •  I refuse to believe that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, shaharazade

      there's still hope.  If we fight.

      •  even if we're fucked (7+ / 0-)

        there are still orders of magnitude of how bad it can get, depending on what we do today and tomorrow. there is always cause to fight.

      •  "if" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If we haven't been able to fight as needed yet, why should anyone think we'll ever figure out how to make it happen? Face it, you and everyone else were being ostriches when you brought children into this world. Now you're panicking that your kids will end up starving to death in the next 5 years. And I've been wondering how I'll put my cats down fast so they won't die from starvation. But, barring aliens or Jesus intervening:

        "We're all fucked. It helps to remember that."

                                                                          ~George Carlin

        •  I've had that thought. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          In fact, I just talked about it with my younger cat this morning.  I assured her that if I have to subsist on rice and beans, then I'll eat fewer beans so she can have cat food.  I also promised to let her outside to catch what she can.

          I don't expect that she understood a word that I said, but she acted really sympathetic...

          "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

          by Yamaneko2 on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 07:33:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Keep up the good fight, Mr. McKibben (6+ / 0-)

    Although I must admit that it sure feels a lot like a losing battle.

    Good thing we have a spare planet..

    I want a living planet, not just a living room.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 10:46:06 AM PDT

  •  We are toast. Literally (10+ / 0-)

    I have my plans to enjoy the next 30 years.  But I pity those who have progeny.

    The 1st things that will get noticed is disruptions to the food supply chain.  

    Of course more extreme weather and rising sea levels.  Forget about predictable air transportation.

    Then mass migrations like during the dust bowl.

    Then wars over natural resources.

    Then the deaths of billions.

    I hope I am wrong.  But until Europe, China, India and America line up behind an aggressive and ambitious CO2 policy, we are toast.

    Europe seems to be getting it.  China maybe.  India I don't know.  We have to deal with Exxon, Christian fundamentalists and Repugs (and some stupid Dems to boot).

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 10:59:12 AM PDT

  •  You might find this diary of use? (0+ / 0-)

    "It's just a ride." -Bill Hicks

    by Cassiodorus on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 10:59:33 AM PDT

  •  Now lets see this in the MSM! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, aliasalias, DawnN, NoMoreLies

    Call en editor or two if they'er not covering this story, ask them why and tell them how sick you are of the endless Tom and Katie stories.

    "We don't need someone who can think. We need someone with enough digits to hold a pen." ~ Grover Norquist

    by Lefty Coaster on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:09:04 AM PDT

  •  "Harmony" approach? (0+ / 0-)

    We will never win against the power lobby.  

    In order to save the planet, what if we let the corporations threatened by the new energy strategies actually gain from whatever new grids or whatever we build for them.

    In other words, let them have the contract to bill and disperse our new forms of energy.  Instead of paying them subsidies that they do not need, let us build a new system for them to manage of renewables?  Obviously we need safeguards so it remains affordable to the citizens.

    •  we tried that already (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      spacejam, DawnN, NoMoreLies, jayden

      That's why initially we had some traction with global warming and the media.  Fossil fuel industries thought they could exert a similar monopoly over renewable energy.  But the writing is on the wall.  Solar technology is getting exponentially cheaper and wind is improving too.  By their very nature, solar and wind are distributed and anti-monopoly.  Anyone can put solar panels on their house and a windmill in their backyard, and as the technology improves in the coming decades, we won't need energy utilities, not even to power our electric cars.

      And even for big installations like offshore wind or huge solar farms in the desert, anyone with venture capital and a permit can set one up.  They go up fast, they're cheap and they don't require much infrastructure.

      •  Technology is not our savior (0+ / 0-)

        I think you're faith that technological innovation alone will save us is naive.  If fossil fuel companies control the government unconstrained, then they will simply have policies put in place that block the expansion of the renewables industry.  This is not difficult -- witness how the wind power industry practically shuts down in this country every time the production tax credit is not renewed.  

        We need to use all of the tools in our toolbox.  Yes, we need to confront the fossil fuel industry (in a nonviolent manner, of course).  Yes, we need technological innovation.  But we also need to keep lobbying and campaigning to improve the public policies that determine what our energy future will look like.  

        I look forward to your diary on the fossil fuel protest you're organizing.  

        •  I don't have enough friends to organize (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DawnN, burnt out, shaharazade

          a protest.  I'm an Internet crank who has lost all my friends over my views on sexual nutrition.  Bill McKibben does have friends.

          But I agree with you.  The primary action the individual citizen must do is break the stranglehold of large corporations over our government.  In that sense, fighting Citizens United is even more important than fighting global warming.  I wrote a diary about this very thing here months ago:

  •  Hi Bill (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldhippie, averybird, shaharazade

    just down the State here from you in Orange County Vt., and let me tell you, I don't care what anyone says, something has fundamentally and drastically changed already with the climate. We farm vegetables, berries, flowers, and everything has changed in the last ten years, the blooms, the pollinators, rainfall, heat. As far as I'm concerned the debate is over and it's probably too late to change it, we need to prepare locally now for the inevitable. Sorry to be a downer.

  •  Diana Gallagher tried to warn us 20+ years ago (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    averybird, quillsinister, shaharazade

    with a little song:

    Tahl D'Jehn
    (words & music: Diana Gallagher)

    Tahl d'jehn of the scout ship Dan tahlni
    bound for a new star, Chai-te,
    Seeking new worlds for the ashin bey.
    The colony awaits signal --- go or stay
    The decision will be Tahl d'jehn's, the shtahn jii.

    Tahl d'jehn of the scout ship Dan tahlni
    found Chai-te rich beyond dreams.
    But the Law applied, expansion denied,
    if an intelligence there did abide.
    The Mediators had so agreed it should be.

    Tahl d'jehn of the scout ship Dan tahlni
    chose to explore Chai-te Two.
    The sole living world, it showed no evidence
    of an indigenous, alien intelligence --
    Until a derelict probe was taken in tow.

    Tahl d'jehn of the scout ship Dan tahlni
    analyzed the facts, then he knew.
    The NASA were gone, drowned in a sea
    of carbon dioxide in antiquity
    The reasons Tahl questioned alone.

    CODA:   Why did they perish, not try to escape
    Into the darkness and safety of space?
    Why did they die -- jehda tohm?
    As I have pointed out on another board, there is all too great a possibility that the Voyagers and Pioneer spacecraft will be the only evidence that our species ever existed. Thus the song above.

    Let's make the above future impossible.

    Ms. Gallagher later expanded the song into a novel, The Alien Dark (1990), which explains some of the oddities. Her rather implausible thesis is that before the human race became extinct, they managed to terraform Venus(!) into a habitable world, which is why it is Chai-te Two rather than Three that is the focus of the alien colonization effort. (Three is completely barren of life.)

    For the pootie people: Tahl & co are from a race of catlike aliens.

    If it's
    Not your body,
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    And it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:31:40 AM PDT

    •  Why did they not try to escape into space (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      Unless we wise up, and wise up damn quickly, that is the question that alien archeologists will be asking about us.  Ending the manned space program was one of, if not the most suicidally stupid ideas in mankind's history (which is known for suicidally stupid ideas).

      We get off this rock, or we go extinct within 2 centuries. There are no other options.

      Consider yourself tipped, cause due to some recent idiocy, I can't do it myself.

      "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

      by Whimsical on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 04:55:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The new Dust Bowl should be called the Burn Bowl (0+ / 0-)

    as in Oil Burn

  •  the silver lining, if any (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is that those "reserves" are inflated and overstated (so they probably only have the ability to destroy the world a few times over). what is down there is not always what's feasible to extract and process.

    but yeah, keep it in the ground!

  •  can i just say thanks to all for comments (20+ / 0-)

    including the guy who thinks i'm ineffectual and clueless. he has a point--we're definitely still losing this fight, though doing all we can think of. and there are some good signs--our friends in canada are doing a sterling job of blocking the proposed Gateway pipeline, there's all kind of action this summer around mountaintop removal, fracking, coal ports, and the southern leg of Keystone. (keep an eye open at

    And when the election's over, we're going to try and take this fight straight to the fossil fuel companies. Look for a roadshow with me, Naomi Klein, and others coming to your neighborhood in November, in an attempt to spark something big. (hint: the part towards the end about divestiture and apartheid has been in the back of my mind ever since I started reporting this).

    Hope everyone is staying cool in the heat

    •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, DawnN, shaharazade


      Thanks for all that you do.  We desperately needed an aggressive, visible grassroots component of this movement, and you've helped to build it.  

      As someone who used to work in socially responsible investing, I love the idea of a divestment movement.  It would help to link our concerns with the Occupy movement in a tangible way, while taking the fight to the enemy where they live.  

      Keep up the great work.

    •  Bless you (7+ / 0-)

      P.S--I'm a woman, albeit a very cranky one!  Kick some ass!

    •  Bill, the challenges are like a Chinese wall (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias, DawnN, maryabein, shaharazade

      They are unwavering, unrelenting, and resolute in moving in the wrong direction. Your succinct description of the severe recession in 2009 was powerful in painting the deep melancholia of the situation. In all its brutal might ,with unemployment and foreclosures abound, 2009 was hardly a blip on the trajectory. That drop was erased within months. We set a record in 2010 and then another in 2011.

      As we face a new recession in the world, I'm not convinced it will stop anything either in the long term. We still have to deal with the 100+ year hangover of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We face global environmental challenges regardless of any hectic stock market crash or collapse of industrial production, because that carbon will still be there, steaming at the surface and effervescing in the oceans. It's a non-starter.

      How do we proceed?

      Artificial air conditioning demand, with CFCs and HFCs, is dramatically increasing, and will increase tenfold over the next 38 years. Yet our architecture practices have largely moved away from wind tunnels and shutters, and practicalities like facing rooms and doors to the south that would keep us cooler without increasing demand for coal.

      Vehicle-miles are declining in the United States, part of it a behavioral shift as people opt for transit and avoid traffic frustrations, but worldwide, cities are expanding with incredible force and traffic is shocking while public transportation is in its infant stages in a lot of places. Bikes are replaced with cars in China.

      The multinationals have new economic frontiers. They are moving beyond old growth economies in the West and setting up future consumers in the East. It's a dynamic I can't wrap my mind around.

      I won't call it hopeless, either. I don't know if I ever want kids, though. I don't want them to live in a world like the one we're facing. It's immoral. We're stabilizing to a new plateau in 2012 even as we will break new thresholds in the years to come. I'm living as virtuously as I can. I don't own a car, and I take transit everywhere I go or choose to walk. I am less of a meat eater now than at any other point in my life. I recycle everything that's recyclable. I want to garden and buy local food, to reduce transportation emissions and prepare for a future when long-distance food might not be as viable. I try to buy used products that don't come in additional, unnecessary packaging. There's a lot more I can and will do, but it's getting desperate and frustrating.

      Thank you being so relentless in informing the public. Your voice in invaluable to stay the least.

      "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

      by rovertheoctopus on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 12:46:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Moral fight is necessary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Bill I agree the anti-apartheid fight is a model..but so is the decline in meat consumption in the US.  For many people eating meat became morally unacceptable.  I think your numbers are very useful.  I think if we can make the idea of the oil companies as socially unacceptable we can do a lot to destroy their value.  

      In addition to the gigatons numbers I would also like to see our movement post the economic harm numbers by totaling up the cost of things like the current drought in the Midwest the loss of the corn crop and the wildfires.  We need to put a dollars and cents loss on the rapacity of the oil companies.

      Dig Deeper. No one said this is easy. Contributions this cycle so far: Orange to Blue democrats in Congress; Elisabeth Warren; Tom Barrett and Wisconsin recall; Ann McLane Kuster, Planned Parenthood

      by tsackton on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 04:11:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dear Bill, (0+ / 0-)

    Until people like you stop jet setting around we're never going to get a handle on climate change. You keep talking about "they" the carbon industries, and complaining about Hillary striking deals with foreign nations to drill in the arctic. It's to fuel your jet. When you start using "we" I'll take you more seriously.

    Oh, and about Rio, I'm glad it was unattended less CO2,

    The theory that nature is permanently in balance has been largely discredited

    by ban nock on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:56:03 AM PDT

    •  RW talking point! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      spacejam, shaharazade

      Begone, foul troll. Next you are going to start up about Al Gore's houses, yes?

    •  My apologies! (0+ / 0-)

      You're the Climate Hawks guy!  Why are you doing the RW talking point thingie?  Sorry to slam you.

      •  they aren't rw talking points (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        they are common sense solutions to climate change.

        Until people burning the carbon slow down we're going nowhere.

        It's great to make noise, write articles, beseech congress but when you are one of the most carbon burning humans on the planet your message only works on the like minded.

        Affluent Americans are the most consumptive animals on the planet and it makes little difference if they are environmentalists or the CEO of Exon Mobile.

        I'm stridently pro environment and anti carbon, but I don't blindly follow, as MB once said something to the effect of "don't tell me how to reduce carbon, show me how you are reducing your footprint". Actually I just said that, maybe I'll make it my new tag line.

        Aren't you the one who got your friends to HR me for having the audacity to suggest your outside cat was an invasive?

        The theory that nature is permanently in balance has been largely discredited

        by ban nock on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 03:41:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How do you know these environmentalists are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          living affluent life styles? The ones I know do not have a heavy carbon foot print.

          "Affluent Americans are the most consumptive animals on the planet and it makes little difference if they are environmentalists or the CEO of Exon Mobile."
          I think you are taking aim at the wrong people, how about aiming at the Administrations of the United States and Canada? Both are supporters of the fossil fuel industry.

          ❧To thine ownself be true

          by Agathena on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 05:06:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  who are these "friends" you speak of? (0+ / 0-)

          I'm a misanthropic Internet troll that spends my free time hunting down and harassing paid climate denier commenters online for sport.  Also cat-free.

          I totally agree about the stupidity of flying to places in general, and I put my money where my mouth is, within reason.  Last trip I took was Boston to Buffalo and I took the train instead of flying.

          But when you are trying to get a global movement started, you need to get around.  That's different than flying for leisure or fun.  I neither begrudge him nor Al Gore their frequent flier miles.

        •  by the way, they totally ARE RW talking points (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          believe me, I know.  They are so standard that they are canned, along with the size of Al Gore's houses and Solyndra and how solar and wind will never be more than niche industries.  And then they trot out Agenda 21 and the NWO and the United Nations, if they want a little CT flavor.  Or they go all "reasonable" and talk about solar flares and the medieval warm period.

          •  Al Gores houses might be a talking point of the (0+ / 0-)

            RW, but it's one I happen to agree with. No human being needs such large houses. When we stop that we'll be on a better track. I don't believe in carbon credits.

            How big is your personal carbon footprint?

            by ban nock on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 11:46:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, stop. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rovertheoctopus, shaharazade

      You're no better than the people blaming our economic woes on poor migrant workers picking strawberries for slave wages rather than the billionaires outsourcing entire factories.

      "Penny wise, pound foolish" is the term for it, I believe.

  •  WAit.. wait wait (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, too many people

    wait  a second,  if I grasp what your telling me, this is  BIG.

    You mean to tell me there is a Justin Bieber article in Rolling Stone... hot damn...

    and what else were saying about heat/oil something something,, you lost me when you went all european and celsius like.

    /snark off

    Bad is never good until worse happens

    by dark daze on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:58:11 AM PDT

  •  This may sound crazy but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero addition to the other lines of attack, I believe a consulting firm of suits should be engaged to bring the case directly to all of corporate America, one by one.  Pressure applied from fossil fuels major clients - the military, utilities, multinationals, auto, transportation, banking - is a faster path to leverage than public policy IMHO.

    For example, every company in the Business Roundtable has a published climate change "position", albeit many are rather peremptory, and a Board with fiduciary responsibilities that will be tangibly impacted based by climate change. These positions can be improved. Also, they really should be assessed and critiqued, updated and monitored so that Boards, shareholders, and the public can be aware of the environmental impact and the strategic health if the companies.

    Additionally, elementary and high school materials should be developed and walked through the states that actually do legislate such important education, such as California. I wonder what the state is of current curricula...  

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

    by kck on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 12:33:31 PM PDT

  •  bill,our universities have critical role in denial (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias, cocinero, DawnN, shaharazade

    by broadcasting sports on many of the biggest RW radio stations.

    i was part of the 350 demonstrations a few years ago and we has several hundred people march to the capitol but there was NO publicity. meanwhile the local limbaugh megastation was reaching 10's of thousands all over the state with their regular denial.

    i'm guessing nearly half of RW radio stations piggyback our universities. those universities have NO excuse for not either finding alternatives or demanding balance in those radio stations.

    RW radio has been instrumental in continuing this insanity.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 12:49:06 PM PDT

  •  Hypnotized by political kabuki on the deck of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias, shaharazade

    the Titanic we stare gape-mouthed at our glowing screens and turn up the AC. The attitude develops - "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die." Heavy drinking can make the kabuki seem more appealing, make you forget you're on a sinking ship.

    Like you say, physics, chemistry and math don't care how well crafted the dialogue is. Talk is cheap. Words don't  change the numbers. The exponential function for 3% per year starting at 390 gives 5465 ppm C02 by the year 2100. If the estimate of about 1 degree C for every 100 ppm increase is correct then that gives 54.65 degrees C by 2100.

    Another number - just as important - is 7 billion and rising rapidly. Populations of similarly sized large mammals tend to stabilize at numbers under 10 million. 7 billion times the average carbon footprint is a lot higher than 10 million times that number. Simple math.

    muddy water can best be cleared by leaving it alone

    by veritas curat on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 12:50:25 PM PDT

  •  Keeping (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, jayden

    this issue on the front burner is a major challenge. The work you do trying to educate the populace about the dangers we face is admirable.

    I've forwarded the link to your article to some of the denier's I know. I'm sure I'll get the typical negative responses but I always figure if I just keep hammering away at them one day the light bulb will go off and they will understand the folly of their ways and start fighting for their futures.


    If peace is to prevail we all have to become foes of violence.

    by spacejam on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:27:41 PM PDT

    •  The Koch bros et al (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, DawnN

      Could this be the reason we have such an organized push right now to take our government to the far far right?  Could it be that those very rich few with ties to the fuel industry want to extract every dollar they can make on their reserves?  They are afraid the Dems will eventually enact green legislation (even though we despair of that happening)

  •  Cordgrass was right... (5+ / 0-)

    ...about this part.

    There's only one way out, and one way only--make renewables cheaper as an energy source than fossil fuels.
    This is coming, along with carbon-negative plastics. There are technological answers in the pipeline that can save us from ourselves.
    •  and thank our lucky stars for that! n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DawnN, shaharazade
    •  Policy matters too (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, engine17, DawnN, NoMoreLies

      New technologies won't do us any good if we don't have the political will to implement them.  Renewables are a lot more cost-competitive than Big Oil and King Coal would like you to believe.  If Germany can get half of its elctricity from homegrown solar then there's no reason why we can't too.  But they've effectively smeared renewables as costly and unreliable.  I hear this all the time from well-intentioned liberals who genuinely care about our future.  

      We can't sit around and wait for technology to save us.  We've got to demand policies that promote clean energy.  

      •  Of course policy matters... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DawnN, cordgrass

        Right now, this technology is funded by the government, and Republican policy would delay adoption.

        However, this technology will likely beat petroleum on price alone, which I believe is our best chance to leave the grease in the ground.

        •  And the government is funded by the Fossil Fuel (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cordgrass, shaharazade

          and Energy companies. That is the link that needs to be broken.

          We travel together, passengers on a little spaceship, dependent on it's vulnerable reserves of air and soil. Preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work and the love we give our fragile craft. Adlai E. Stevenson

          by DawnN on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 04:47:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Solar provided 3% of German electricity (0+ / 0-)

        consumption in 2011.  The 50% number floating around is a peak output on a weekend in May, if I remember correctly.  I'll leave it as an exercise for you  to look up what they have invested to reach this point.  At least costs are dropping so we can get there for less.

        "Germany is one of the world's top photovoltaics (PV) installers, with a solar PV capacity as of 2011 of almost 25 gigawatts (GW). As of June 2012, there were about 28 GW of photovoltaics connected to the power network [2] The German solar PV industry installed about 7.5 GW in 2011,[3] and solar PV provided 18 TWh (billion kilowatt-hours) of electricity in 2011, about 3% of total electricity.[4] Some market analysts expect this could reach 25 percent by 2050.[5]"

        Where are we, now that we need us most?

        by Frank Knarf on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 08:49:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  German solar electricty production in 2011 was (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jayden, cordgrass

        about equal to 1 1/2 average nuclear stations, or somewhat less than the annual output of Grand Coulee dam.  That is a lot, especially in a cloudy northern country.

        Where are we, now that we need us most?

        by Frank Knarf on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 09:07:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hi Bill, (6+ / 0-)

    Got your email.

    It asked for feedback.

    So here's mine:

    We need to get rid of "global warming" and "climate change" and call this mess what it is......


    Steep Extinction Level Trajectory or something that is accurate and makes for a nice acronym.

    The old monikers aren't going to cut it. And they're out of date.

    We're going to be like Dune without the spice soon.

    •  something with an "M" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maryabein, shaharazade

      before ELT would be optimum.

      Best M word gets a prize........

    •  It's not a trajectory. (0+ / 0-)

      It's not a slope. It's not incremental.

      It's a change from a stability to instability. We don't know what's happening tomorrow. If I look at the most dire prognostications from yesterday it would seem that  today is 2030, not 2012. Day after tomorrow Is scary. There is no line on any chart that knows where we go from here.

      The glacial/interglacial regime never was stable. It tipped from one to the other  easily and extremely quickly.  On top of that pre-existing instability we have tossed a whole deck of wild cards. All of human existence as a non-minor species has occurred in the current interglacial. Which has been a remarkably steady interglacial. Now we have to learn something different. Or perish.

  •  Big Oil's $200 Million Man (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, DawnN

    If the fossil fuel corporations are the enemy, then so are their political allies.

  •  Good start (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnN, Agathena, Dixiedemocrat

    unfortunately, the conclusion I come to again and again, no matter what ways I think about all of it, or from which area of my background, is this:

    There is no way to get to a better outcome without fundamentally changing the global economy. Our current form of global capitalism will block necessary change at every step, particularly on the scale we need. It's not just the fossil fuel companies, its the whole chain of demand, and an economic paradigm that focuses on ever increasing consumption as the core of "prosperity." Efficiency simply cannot keep up with the constant manufacture of more stuff. Which, frankly, is the thing on which our economies are based.

    If oil goes up in cost, they'll go to coal -- and you're frankly not going to find a much cheaper energy input anytime soon than these and natural gas. If, as has been the case for the last bit, we're relying on consumers to spend more on the more ethical product, we're going to fail with a huge number of them, both those who don't care and those who genuinely can't afford the cost. If we rely on people to consume less, we're going head to head with not just the fossil fuel industries, but the advertising industries as well. And they're kinda even bigger, frankly.

    The scale of this thing is mind boggling, and if we're going to even do much that matters, we need that to happen on a much larger scale -- industries, policies, laws with teeth, massive subsidies for solar, so on. This will not be solved via individual action, at this point, in anything like the time we have, and trying to turn it into a form of demand, enticing companies to "make money by doing the right thing" via "market-based solutions" -- trying to make saving the planet fit the needs of capitalism instead of the other way around -- is madness, I'm sorry to say. We need change on an industrial, economic, political scale.

    So I applaud the effort to try to move that direction. Anything that slows it is better than doing nothing right now. Because how we're going to succeed in shifting away from a model of endless growth and endless consumption in the sorts of timeframes we're talking about here, I have no idea, but we can none of us afford to throw in the towel, either.

    •  you're wrong about the price of energy (0+ / 0-)

      we're pretty close to cheap abundant renewable energy.  We just need ten or twenty years.

      •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

        I don't agree. I have a lot of knowledge of the science and engineering issues here. Scaling these things at the levels we need is not an easy feat -- I'm hopeful that we'll get there, but it's not inevitable with just time.

        We should be investing absolutely huge amounts of cash into that research, and there are hopeful signs that such investments could lead us into better directions. But needing research to pan out doesn't ever actually mean that it will.

  •  Like Rachel Carson, who (5+ / 0-)

    raised the alarm on contaminants in the environment, you have done more than anyone to explain to the public what the causes of global warming are, and the dangers we all face if we don't stand up.

    To those who have not read The End of Nature, read it this weekend, and see how closely the book describes what is happening right now.

    Thank you Bill.

  •  Thank you, Bill, now let's dismantle Duke Energy. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cordgrass, shaharazade

    We travel together, passengers on a little spaceship, dependent on it's vulnerable reserves of air and soil. Preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work and the love we give our fragile craft. Adlai E. Stevenson

    by DawnN on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 04:49:32 PM PDT

  •  And this makes the AB Tar Sands a crime scene (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, shaharazade

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 04:53:14 PM PDT

  •  Enemies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A rapid, transformative change would require building a movement, and movements require enemies. As John F. Kennedy put it, "The civil rights movement should thank God for Bull Connor. He's helped it as much as Abraham Lincoln." And enemies are what climate change has lacked.

    Read more:

    Be careful of who you choose for an enemy because you become like them.

    I choose no enemy, not even the Koch Bros or Exxon.  Divestment is good but replacing the carbon fuel infrastructure we have now requires a real alternative.  I'd rather build that alternative and make Big Oil, Coal, Natural Gas, and Nuclear redundant but we have no idea, no common vision of what an alternative might be.

    We remain alert so as not to get run down, but it turns out you only have to hop a few feet to one side and the whole huge machinery rolls by, not seeing you at all.
    Lew Welch
    Seems to me, Bill is asking us to jump directly in front of that bulldozer shouting stop rather than hopping a few feet to one side and letting it sputter to a stop.

    How do we make Big Oil, Coal, Natural Gas, and Nuclear irrelevant?  What does that look like and how do we do it?  This is not legislation or regulation or anything but a supremely practical question.  Answer it and we won't need to invent another boogeyman enemy.

    Let's get real.  We've already entered the Long Emergency and it just may bed that emergency preparedness is a good way to find that alternative, that common vision of a future without Big Oil, Coal, Natural Gas, and Nuclear.  It's why I say Solar IS Civil Defense.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

    by gmoke on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 09:27:06 PM PDT

  •  I think this is something you have talked about, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but this Summer finally gives me the feeling that nature is not nature anymore, the earth is not the earth it was.  It is now a construct of ours.  Something has been lost.

    Climate denial as per the Republican dogma should be an issue in this campaign.

  •  I'm 75 so at least I will be old when the end (0+ / 0-)

    comes but I do feel sorry for the newly born who will die as teenagers

  •  Scary as all hell. (0+ / 0-)

    I wish I felt optimistic about the odds of a planet-wide awakening. (Sigh.)

  •  Question of analytical (not liguistic) framing (0+ / 0-)

    Having read the piece, about halfway through I realized that the argument was structured for maximum persuasion but left out an analytically important detail (I think).  Simplistically, we've got room to emit another ~ 565 GtC, but booked reserves of 2795 GtC.  The key word here for my question is "another".  How much have we already emitted?  Or, similarly, what would the 2100 (or other comparison) global average temperature increase be if we burned all the booked reserves by 2050?  By not addressing these questions, the argument becomes suspect of changing the scale (as a y-axis range from 98-100% shows an enormous difference between 98.5% and 99.5%).  I know that the answers to these questions don't change the conclusions, and I suspect you omitted them to minimize confusion for lay readers, but I hope my students will be strong enough critical thinkers by the time we get to your piece to raise the question.

    I understand that my text above isn't particularly clear, but I'm a bit sleep deprived and it's the best I can do at the moment.  All comments welcome.

    Are you just going to gripe about it, or are you going to do something to change it?

    by smithbm on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 09:13:49 AM PDT

  •  Just read your article in Rolling Stone (0+ / 0-)

    So clear, so excellently written, so scary.  The concept of carbon/temperature increase budget of 565 gigatons and  2 degrees Celsius is easy to understand,  think, and talk about.  Also the idea that the fossil fuel industry is externalizing the costs of waste disposal, with CO2 as the waste, in a way that many other industries are not able to do, jumped out at me as making a lot of sense.  I happened to be in Colorado when the Waldo Canyon fire was beginning to rage.  The air  temperature was so hot, and the fire was so fierce, it really did seem like something new and alarming was happening to the climate.

    Let the Bush tax cuts expire.

    by Rona on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 08:31:09 PM PDT

  •  Thanks Bill (0+ / 0-)

    I just read your Rolling Stone's article and it is the clearest call to action I have read on AGW and I read a lot on this subject.

  •  Peak oil use in rich nations reached (0+ / 0-)

    The price of generating via solar is coming down rapidly (along with other alternative technologies), while battery tech rapidly improves. At the moment, cheap coal is propping up the carbon fuels market, but that will decline as solar moves generation away from large, centralized power plants.

    Meanwhile, the oil continues to show a great deal of price volatility, exacerbated by speculation in the futures markets.

    The result will be to wean the first world from oil and, to a lesser extent, coal, in the next two decades. There's far too much profit to be made in to building solar generation in to houses and other buildings, and making electric cars have the convenience of internal combustion but with lower fuel costs.

    Its looking ever less likely that tech will come from the US, so other countries will profit instead of the nation with the best R&D capabilities, thanks to the political opposition that conflates investment with spending.

    Oh well. The planet will be saved, but the heroes in this tale won't be American.

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