Skip to main content

It's been an interesting couple of weeks for both the science and politics of climate change, with both the science and the politics again underscoring the necessity of reelecting President Obama and ensuring he has a Democratic Congress with which to work. The science culminated with the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reporting:
The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during July was 77.6°F, 3.3°F above the 20th century average, marking the hottest July and the hottest month on record for the nation.
Which would not, in itself, necessarily be that important if it weren't part of the continuing trend that last week led James Hansen, the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies to write:
In a new analysis of the past six decades of global temperatures, which will be published Monday, my colleagues and I have revealed a stunning increase in the frequency of extremely hot summers, with deeply troubling ramifications for not only our future but also for our present.

This is not a climate model or a prediction but actual observations of weather events and temperatures that have happened. Our analysis shows that it is no longer enough to say that global warming will increase the likelihood of extreme weather and to repeat the caveat that no individual weather event can be directly linked to climate change. To the contrary, our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change.

The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change. And once the data are gathered in a few weeks’ time, it’s likely that the same will be true for the extremely hot summer the United States is suffering through right now.

The study itself can be downloaded here, and it confirmed the early July joint report by the NCDC and Britain's Met Office that tied extreme weather to climate change. And if Hansen is right about the data soon tying this summer's extreme heat to climate change, that would have to include the June drought that enveloped an unprecedented 56 percent of the contiguous United States, putting at risk the national food supply. But then the scientific consensus on climate change long has been widely and well established. Indeed, when the Koch-funded climate change skeptic Richard Muller recently reversed course, concluding that human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases are indeed causing global warming, leading climate scientist Michael Mann sardonically noted:
Muller's announcement last year that the Earth is indeed warming brought him up to date w/ where the scientific community was in the the 1980s. His announcement this week that the warming can only be explained by human influences, brings him up to date with where the science was in the mid 1990s. At this rate, Muller should be caught up to the current state of climate science within a matter of a few years!
As I wrote over a year ago:
Is it hyperbole to call climate change the most important issue humanity has ever faced? Do other issues even compare when climate change itself encompasses almost all of them? How important are the issues of war and mass violence and human rights? The geopolitical consequences of climate change are almost unimaginable. There will be droughts and losses of vegetation, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has warned of potentially catastrophic impacts on food production. Imagine 200 million people displaced, worldwide. Where will they go? How will they survive? How will the less endangered people and governments cope with such an unprecedented torrent of refugees? Think of the reactionary xenophobia already resulting from immigration in the United States. Consider that the wonder of Europe's open internal travel is about to end, as nations there prepare to close their borders, as their own reactionary response to the increasing numbers of refugees fleeing the violence in revolutionary North Africa and the Middle East.

Does health care matter? How will nations cope as climate change expands the territories of everything from dangerous diseases to deadly insects? One need only consider the effects of record tornados and increasingly severe hurricanes to begin to realize the human costs of climate disasters. And then there are the impacts on forests and ocean acidification, the latter threatening the base of the marine food chain, and all whose livlihoods or lives depend upon it. Back on land, the disruptions to agriculture could undermine the food supplies for billions.

If all this isn't enough, and for those that care only about money, the economy often is an excuse for doing little or nothing about climate change. The presumption is that what's good for the environment is bad for the economy. It's another of the fundamental lies used by the narrow special interests whose riches do indeed depend on harming not helping. But however politically dominant the fossil fuels industries may be, their business strength does not translate into wider economic strength or even stability. Climate change is an economic crisis.

And this is why the politics is so desperately important. Because in the face of such overwhelming science about such an unprecedented global threat, the Republicans continue to deny reality, and their 2012 standard-bearer Mitt Romney has done his usual flip-flop, here into the standard climate change denial that plays so well with his anti-science Republican base. Additionally, Romney's newly announced running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, is a climate change denying conspiracy theorist, and Romney's campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul was part of Exxon's war on climate science. On this most critical of issues, there is a profoundly substantive difference between Romney and President Obama, and between Republicans and Democrats.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

If the human emissions of greenhouse gases is the cause of the problem, the solution obviously involves humans stopping emitting greenhouse gases, and that would involve the rapid development of alternative sources of energy that don't emit greenhouse gases. On Tuesday, the Obama Administration announced plans to do exactly that:

Today, as a part of his We Can’t Wait initiative, President Obama announced that seven nationally and regionally significant solar and wind energy projects will be expedited, including projects in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Wyoming. Together, these job-creating infrastructure projects would produce nearly 5,000 megawatts (MW) of clean energy – enough to power approximately 1.5 million homes, and support the President’s all-of-the-above strategy to expand American made energy. As a part of a Presidential Executive Order issued in March of this year, the Office of Management and Budget is charged with overseeing a government-wide effort to make the permitting and review process for infrastructure projects more efficient and effective, saving time while driving better outcomes for the environment and local communities. Additional expedited infrastructure projects will be announced in the coming weeks.
And almost as important as the specifics of the plan is the title of the initiative, because the reality is that we can't wait. But not only does Mitt Romney not accept the reality, much less the urgency of doing something about, climate change, on alternative energy he continues to do what he always does: flipfloplie. On this issue, as on so many issues, Romney displays neither understanding nor principle, and only fumbles around looking for a position that is politically expedient. To Romney, other than making himself wealthier, political policies just don't matter. Even policies that address a crisis that could not matter more.

As Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid this week explained:

The seriousness of this problem is not lost on your average American. A large majority of people finally believe climate change is real, and that it is the cause of extreme weather. Yet despite having overwhelming evidence and public opinion on our side, deniers still exist, fueled and funded by dirty energy profits.  

These people aren't just on the other side of this debate. They're on the other side of reality.

It's time for us all – whether we're leaders in Washington, members of the media, scientists, academics, environmentalists or utility industry executives – to stop acting like those who ignore the crisis or deny it exists entirely have a valid point of view. They don't.

Virtually every respected, independent scientist in the world agrees the problem is real, and the time to act is now. Not tomorrow. Not a week from now. Not next month or next year. We must act today.

And President Obama and the Democrats intend to act today. For the future. For all of us. Mitt Romney and the Republicans not only don't intend to act, they don't even accept the scientific reality. It is almost incomprehensible. As former President Bill Clinton said last year:
I mean, it makes us — we look like a joke, right? You can’t win the nomination of one of the major parties in the country if you admit that the scientists are right? That disqualifies you from doing it?
Which is why we the voters must disqualify that major party from having any political responsibility or power. Because on this as on so many issues, the Republicans are almost incomprehensibly irresponsible in the exercise of political power. As the much maligned and repeatedly vindicated Michael Mann wrote on Monday, in response to the new report by Hansen:
The time for debate about the reality of human-caused climate change has now passed. We can have a good faith debate about how to deal with the problem – how to reduce future climate change and adapt to what is already upon us to reduce the risks that climate change poses to society. But we can no longer simply bury our heads in the sand.
But for some inexplicable combination of reasons, Romney and the Republicans want us to bury our heads in the sand. But thinking people ought to be able to understand that facing an unprecedented global crisis by burying our heads in the sand will lead to the most severe consequences.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Hawks, DK GreenRoots, and Science Matters.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

    •  Knowing her... (6+ / 0-)

      ...she's going to casually mention human activity is causing global warming and cause Ann Coulter's head to finally explode once and for all.

      •  please! Let it be so. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose, ivote2004

        We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

        by Tamar on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:18:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  July was the hottest month ever recorded... (5+ / 0-)

        August looks to be as hot or hotter.  The last 12 months were the hottest 12 contiguous months ever recorded.  The top ten hottest years ever have been since 1998.

        All this as per NOAA, and corroborated by other independent scientific sources.

        Oklahoma has state of the art mobile storm tracking equipment to predict and notify of tornado's, which has been quite successful.  Yet Sen. Inhof leads the climate change deniers who use similar computer models.

        How can Inhof keep being reelected??

        The GOP should be absolutely hammered on this, they are literally endangering with the future of humans on this planet by denying the obvious, overwhelming international consensus.

        "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -- Hubert H. Humphrey

        by Candide08 on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:51:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The complete study by Hansen and colleagues (7+ / 0-)

          is compelling reading, and while it is written to the highest scientific standards, it is easily accessible to those without science backgrounds. The graphics displaying global warming trends are eye-popping. The study should be shared widely, especially with climate change skeptics.

          The link in the diary is only to a republished abstract, although there is a link on that page to the full study. If you wish to download the full study (PDF, 19 pages) directly, you can easily do that by clicking here.

          Here is the study's concluding paragraph -- note that there is still hope:

          Although species migrate to stay within climate zones in which they can survive, continued climate shift at the rate of the past three decades could take an enormous toll on planetary life. It is estimated that 21-52% of the species on Earth will be committed to extinction, if global warming approaches 3°C by the end of the century (23). Fortunately, climate scenarios are also conceivable in which such large warming is avoided by placing a rising price on carbon emissions, thus moving the world to a clean energy future fast enough to limit peak global warming to several tenths of a degree Celsius above the current level (39). It is argued (39) that such a scenario is needed if we are to preserve life on Earth as we know it.

          "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

          by flitedocnm on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 11:39:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  ryan (17+ / 0-)

      plays the game of saying we need to discuss the science honestly, while dishonetly ignoring the science and smearing the scientists.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:14:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ryan is just as dishonest as Romney, maybe even (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Laurence Lewis

        worse, because unlike Romney, who I'm increasingly convinced is an empty vessel and largely clueless, Ryan is clearly not dumb, and when he spews forth the garbage that has become the lingua franca of the Romney campaign, he has to know that he is repeating lie after lie.

        Just listen to the speech he gave yesterday after idiot Romney introduced him as "the next president (sic) of the United States" -- attacking Obama with blatant lie after blatant lie, e.g. Obama is the guy who's trying to destroy Medicare because he cut $500 billion in health care for seniors.

        I am going to need lots of anti-nausea medicine to get me thru this campaign.

        "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

        by flitedocnm on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 11:50:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Several things ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Laurence Lewis

        First, I think that you should consider adding in Ryan's addition to the ticket more directly to the diary.

        Second, shouldn't there be a far more direct call on the Obama-Biden 2012 campaign, the DNC, the DSCC, the DCCC to take on climate change very directly as an electoral issue?  More directly than the link to my discussion of the President's statement in his Rolling Stone article that the campaign would do so?  (PS: Thank you.)

        Third, I think that the Administration gets off too easy here -- with the mention of renewable energy action but without mentioning 'all of the above' promotion of natural gas / oil and the allergic-like avoidance of discussion of climate change issues.

        And, finally, excellent piece -- appreciate you (as frontpager) writing such fact-filled material on this issue.

        Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

        by A Siegel on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 01:19:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  your first point... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          A Siegel, ivote2004, mightymouse

          his statements are so convoluted that i would need an entire post to explain what's wrong with them. i was hoping someone else would do it, so i could just provide a link.

          your second point... i did it a couple months back:

          on the third, i've been very critical on those points- at least he isn't still touting "clean" coal and nukes, but this was about the very clear contrast that was highlighted by their recent comments and actions on alternative energy.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 02:33:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  you know my thoughts about this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          his job is to get re-elected.  I don't care what he says to do that.  His actions, as far as he can make them, have been the right ones, and that's all that counts in the end.  If trumpets need to be blown, there are other people who aren't facing re-election who can blow them.

          •  Why not take (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ivote2004, cordgrass, mightymouse

            a look at analysis that shows this is a political issue that works to Obama-Biden advantage to talk about, seriously:  here

            The prevailing wisdom is that neither candidate could benefit politically from addressing global warming; Obama and Romney probably won’t talk about it much at all until or unless they’re explicitly asked. But that conventional wisdom is challenged in a new study by Stanford University professors and the polling director at The Washington Post. It finds that a presidential candidate could benefit politically benefit by talking about the issue. The study, conducted in part by Stanford social psychology professor Jon Krosnick, finds that Obama in particular could gain by touting his position on global warming.

            The research finds that about 15 percent of the country is engaged on climate change and that most of that group supports action to solve the problem. “In this election, most likely the president stands to gain,” Krosnick said. “The more explicitly green he is, the better off he is.” If Romney had not equivocated on his positions, Krosnick said, he “could have nullified the advantage that it looks like Obama has at this point.”

            Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

            by A Siegel on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 08:29:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They weren't asking the right questions (0+ / 0-)

              Of course lots of people want to fight global warming, I would hope a majority.  But Romney has already painted himself in a corner with that one.  Everyone knows he will try to dismantle even the paltry efforts made so far.  In other words, President Obama already has the advantage when it comes to people like me who are single issue green voters.

              All President Obama has to do is sprinkle some green dog whistle language in his speeches and we'll be fine (polar bear whistle?)  The real problem is that the Koch brothers and their Big Oil ilk have spent a ton of money on propaganda targeting the Republican base to scare the crap out of them about anything involving a real effort to fight global warming.  Agenda 21, New World Order, they are genuinely scared, and it will act as an incentive to get the wingnuts off their recliners and into the voting booths.  Which we don't want.  So if President Obama makes an environmental speech with his hair on fire, they will get all ruffled up.  He hits on green things often enough to keep treehuggers like me happy, especially combined with his real action like how he's pushing green technology in the military.

            •  Here, read this (0+ / 0-)


              It better explains what I'm trying to say.

              •  Suggestion of distance between us ... (0+ / 0-)

                The Zeller piece is rather disgusting, with false strawmen and other serious challenges. Your comment is a nudge toward the response that I was already contemplating.

                n terms of Zeller's piece, so much of it is shallow and misleading.  I love this version of Krupp:

                Still, there are signs that enlightened minds are looking to move forward. One came in the form of an editorial from Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, published in The Wall Street Journal on Monday. Skeptics need to stop denying the clear science, Krupp wrote, and supporters of climate action need to recognize that no policy solution can ignore the economic and market consequences that might come with it.
                Fred Krupp is the "enlightened mind". That is a serious issue, in itself, but let's move beyond that.  Most importantly is this false dichotomy.  I am a pretty damn strong one of those "supporters of climate action".  I dare anyone to look at what I've written/advocated (or what Joe or what most on this list have written) to suggest that we "ignore the economic and market consequences".  I truly didn't like Krupp's paragraph on this in the original WSJ piece but Zeller's shorthand of it worsens it.

                Another example of Zeller idiocy.

                Of course, almost no one identified in the meeting program that was leaked online has agreed to speak publicly about the gathering. Until they feel safe doing so -- and until the price for reasonableness and appearing to compromise is eliminated -- we'll likely stay stuck.
                This is the end of Zeller's piece -- and an example of the shallowness and cheap shot of the attack.  Those "not willing to talk about it" are being ethical -- they made an agreement to have a 'Chatham House Rules' discussion, off-the-record.  Not speaking publicly about an event like this can have many reasons -- such as wanting to be trusted to be invited to meetings again, seeing value in the private sessions, respecting their own commitments as having value, and so on without it having anything to do with their courage or lack of it.

                Zeller takes cheap shots at scientists (and Hansen) without, for example, talking about the perversion of the American political discourse by Faux News.  

                Zeller ... really?

                Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

                by A Siegel on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 03:51:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Ryan and Willard do that on many topics.. (0+ / 0-)

        They claim to be devout followers of Jesus who ignore his words when it comes to profits and thier own urges... They claim to care about other humans even while they are cheerfully talking about them dying so that the rich can get richer.

        As for science they have no idea what it is... They just make up stuff and string ideas together without any data at all based simply on whether they would lose thier freedom to kill us all for thier egos and thier wealth. They feel superior because of thier callous attitudes about how one human can use all other life to aggrandize themeselves and the ability to kill others who lack thier predatory natures.

        How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

        by boophus on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 01:59:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Global warming is real (0+ / 0-)

      'nuff said.

  •  Shutting down industrial civilization (5+ / 0-)

    In my opinion, the biggest obstacle and why we probably will not adequately solve this problem is that it is going to require essentially shutting down industrial production and consumption of fossil fuels to even have a chance of avoiding the worst scenarios.  They're still churning out emissions more than ever and there's no sign this will stop.  

    I believe that because such a dramatic change in human behavior is required, we're more or less screwed and our children and grandchildren will be coping with a multitude of consequences.  To what degree, I just don't know, but I don't expect it to be good ones.  

    I know it sounds pessimistic, but we all got on this ride decades ago and without a fundamentally seismic shift in our culture, I don't know if there are any simple solutions.

    And most importantly, we're not going to consume our way of this problem.

    •  the economic consequences (10+ / 0-)

      of climate change itself will be catastrophic, while the economic potential of a green economy is paradigmatic.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:17:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Despair is not a policy (13+ / 0-)

      Actually, other countries have shown it is possible to make huge strides in renewable energy in relatively short amounts of time -- Germany and China on solar, Brazil on biofuel.

      Y'know, things looked pretty grim when Hitler was blitzing Europe, and we could've just said it's hopeless, let's give up, but thank God we didn't.  We can tackle climate change, both reducing it and adapting to the effects that are already baked in.  

      We can do this -- we just can't delay one second more and we need to come together and lobby hard for solutions that lead to serious energy efficiency, renewables development, and yes, adaptation for areas that are already in serious trouble.

      Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two make four.  If that is granted, all else follows. -- George Orwell, 1984. Now on Twitter.

      by kindler on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:26:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Our infrastructure needs fully rebuilt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OldDragon, MoDem

        By that I mean it was a bad idea to create suburbia, sprawl and having almost no way for people to get around other than having a car.  We have a very weak passenger train system (and I actually do like taking Amtrak once in awhile, but it's not feasible if I'm going any further than Seattle to Portland, for instance).  Without contracting cities to create walkable neighborhoods, we're going to have difficulties adapting to coming changes.

        Biofuel to me is exchanging land to feed people for land to feed cars.  I really find that "solution" to be a horrific nightmare as land is clearcut to create new fields.

        Solar still requires a great deal of industrial input to build.

        Eliminating emissions can't be successful if we're still trying to consume our way out of a problem.  That's where I keep getting stuck in thinking the problem over.

        •  We can use 'linking technologies' (0+ / 0-)

          which are better than what we have, until we have the 'best answers'.

          Giant Miscanthus, which grows on unfarmable land, is already in the works, for example.

          There have been some remarkable advances in solar energy production efficiency just recently, as well. (Solar still wins my vote for 'best'.)

          Obama and Chu's approach has necessarily been an 'all of the above' approach for this reason.

        •  Interestingly ... (0+ / 0-)

          the 'rail' rework is far less hellish than most realize.

          We should invest in improving to a 'moderate speed' system capable of moving most cargo at 90-110 mph and people a bit faster. And, make this an electrified system. This would be an expense, over a decade, both public-private of about $200-$300 billion and would enable cutting oil demand by about 2.5 million barrels / day (a direct value, at today's prices, of over $200 million/day in reduced imports or over $70 billion / year) with many other associated benefits. While this doesn't make San Francisco-New York a 'rapid' passenger trip (over 30 hours without considering stops), it would enable moving 'tomatoes' from CA to DC using renewable energy and having them fresher on arrival than occurs today.  

          Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

          by A Siegel on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 01:23:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  depends on one's goal (5+ / 0-)

        if the goal is to switch to a renewables-based economy, make oil and coal as quaint as horse-drawn carriages, greatly diminish the lobbying power of the fossil fuel economy, cut down air pollution, reduce mercury and lead poisoning, etc., then we have a winnable fight on our hands. And we will win that fight - perhaps not as quickly as we'd like, but I'm fairly confident that we'll win.

        If the goal is to keep global warming down to 2 degrees, well, sorry about that, planet.

        Panelist, Netroots Nation 2012, "Coal and the Grassroots Fight for Environmental Justice." @RL_Miller

        by RLMiller on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:50:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The country that landed a man on the moon, etc. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, orlbucfan, kindler, cocinero, cai

      The effort that resulted in going from barely being able to get into orbit to landing men on the moon and bringing them safely back in less than 8 years was a technological achievement that required a single minded sense of purpose and a massive investment in R&D, engineering and infrastructure.   Surely if we made the same effort to perfect technologies that already exist (solar, wind, Geo-thermal, wave/tide, energy efficiency) we could find ways to maintain our life styles without the need to burn undue amounts of fossil fuels.  All it takes is the political will and leadership.

      The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

      by Do Something on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:42:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hear, hear, Do Something! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indie17, cocinero, cai

        You took the comment right out of my head/keyboard. You bet we can gear up fast to battle this catastrophic threat. NASA has had plenty of info for decades on it. The military-industrial corporate complex squelched it in cahoots w/teh oil barons.

        Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

        by orlbucfan on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 11:40:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cocinero, cordgrass, cai

        And the biggest and cheapest gains can come from squeezing efficiencies out of our current technologies and infrastructure.  The Clinton Climate Initiative is leading a very promising campaign to retrofit buildings for energy efficiency in the world's largest cities, and attracting investors to fund it (for which there are returns).  

        40% of our climate change emissions are related to powering our buildings and homes.  There's a huge amount we can do to reduce that burden.  In fact, just look to California, which has beaten the rest of the country in reducing electricity demand growth through enforcing a stricter energy code the last few decades.

        There's so much untapped potential out there -- we just need to lead our leaders to go there, ASAP!

        Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two make four.  If that is granted, all else follows. -- George Orwell, 1984. Now on Twitter.

        by kindler on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 11:53:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  THis is the premier problem of our world today (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and we need to start developing a clear cut plan that others can get on board with. I too despair at times that there will not be a quick enough or large enough effort to counter the effects of GW.

      But look there are lots of people doing thinking about this...

      Production closer to home using greener energy. Less use of oil for plastic. I absolutely am stunned by te plastic islands in our oceans killing other species.
      Reduced consumption which would require a fundamental shift in who we follow now... End this fascination with conspicuous consumption... Change our work patterns to adapt to reduced consumption and yet keep people earning enough to live. Weatherize every structure......Changing codes to allow more independent energy creation.

      Creating local support allotments where people who live in apartments or have no space to grow food can do so... There were fascinating diaries about vertical farms. Reducing dependence on farm animals... Reducing monoculture which has led to some really serious problems that are only going to get worse. Change damn codes in cities and suburbs allowing people to have food gardens instead of lawns... Reserve lawns for parks. Allow people to have goats and chickens which would require some other adaptations in how we live.

      Bike paths everywhere. Educating and encouraging people to change how they behave.

      WE have to give people clear plans and what effect they would have and how much it will cost and what savings. Just pointing out the problem is NOT ENOUGH. Add solutions and I think more will come on board... Otherwise they will just simply turn away thinking there is nothing they can do that won't devastate thier lives and make them shorter.

      How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

      by boophus on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 02:15:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I share SSMT's concerns (0+ / 0-)

      and I've believed in climate change for decades. I thought we could add on technology and reduce CO2 emissions, but now time's run out.

      We'll need to end coal combustion, retool the auto industry, shut down oil refining, and squeeze natural gas usage.

      That'll wipe out a couple of million jobs and  scrap trillions of dollars worth of privately-owned industrial facilities; 300-odd coal-fired power plants, about 100 refineries, several hundred gas-fired power plants, massive oil and gas exploration and recovery operations, most of our steel and heavy industries that burn fossil fuels -- all gone.

      We'll need to invest trillions in solar plants and panels, wind, nuclear and thousands of miles of new transmission to move the energy around.

      And if all our industrial production just moves to China or elsewhere, the way it did with the West Coast pulp and paper industry, it will all have been for nothing.

      I draw some hope from the way wind power is swiftly growing, and the support industries for wind that provide thousands of new jobs, but we are falling way short.

  •  Democrats believe scientists. (13+ / 0-)

    Republicans believe Jim Inhofe.

    Which do you think is correct about climate change?

    28, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:05:47 AM PDT

  •  Conservative is the opposite of Conservationist. (14+ / 0-)

    They denied global warming was real for years. After all, it snowed in the winter. Now many admit it is happening. Sometimes when your power is knocked out for five or more days, twice in a single year, it gets your attention. But in the true spirit of right-wing denial, they claim man didn't cause it. My reply to that ignorance: You were wrong before and you are wrong now.

    Hey Mitt, Show Us A Bunch Of Your Tax Returns!

    by kitebro on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:06:51 AM PDT

  •  this time, rMoney has chosen the wrong patrons (4+ / 0-)
    But not only does Mitt Romney not accept the reality, much less the urgency of doing something about, climate change, on alternative energy he continues to do what he always does: flip—flop—lie. On this issue, as on so many issues, Romney displays neither understanding nor principle, and only fumbles around looking for a position that is politically expedient. To Romney, other than making himself wealthier, political policies just don't matter. Even policies that address a crisis that could not matter more.

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:09:32 AM PDT

  •  B-b-but, CO2 is a "naturally occurring gas." (18+ / 0-)
    "Gov. Romney does not think greenhouse gases are pollutants within the meaning of the Clean Air Act, and he does not believe that the EPA should be regulating them,” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. “CO2 is a naturally occurring gas. Humans emit it every time they exhale." Politico
    This is the "science" we're dealing with.

    Excellent post!

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:10:30 AM PDT

  •  OMFG (13+ / 0-)

    Newt claimed Romney and Ryan's lack of foreign policy experience is a GOOD thing!!

    NEWT GINGRICH: I think it’s an advantage that they’re not part of the current mess. ... Mitt Romney has the same amount of foreign policy experience as Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan defeated the Soviet empire decisively in 8 years. I would rather have Romney and Ryan rethinking everything than have the current team continue.
    And then Pawlenty claimed Romney actually DOES have foreign policy experience.
    TIM PAWLENTY: Romney and Ryan have a terrific national security policy team around them. ... Governor Romney spent his entire career in global business arrangements, transactions and traveling and understanding different countries, cultures and geography.
    Reminds me of Sarah Palin's claim that her trade missions to Russia amounted to foreign policy experience.  At least there, she was doing so as an elected official who might have to actually talk a little policy, and not as a private businessman.
  •  I'm worried, guys. (16+ / 0-)

    I'm not just worried about human beings and their ability to cope with climate change (including my own ability to deal with the heat as I get older).  

    I spend all my time since before my retirement in modestly doing my part in restoring a little wildness to California, its vegetation and its species of special concern. The accelerating rate of climate shift ensures that many species simply will not adapt to these changes and perish. It's a tremendous concern and personal sadness for me.

    I was seeing what Adam had seen on the morning of his creation - the miracle, moment by moment, of naked existence. --The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley

    by Wildthumb on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:15:27 AM PDT

  •  No need to worry about all that deficit trouble (10+ / 0-)

    landing on our grandkids.  Their problems will be much bigger than that.

    Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

    by judyms9 on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:15:40 AM PDT

    •  Money is only paper. But climate is the world. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orlbucfan, cai
      •  Yes -- GDP doesn't value natural resources (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother, cai

        So a country that mows down its forests is counted at undergoing "growth".  Except that they've now destroyed a portion of their basis for future growth, not to mention in some cases (like Ethiopia) disrupting their own hydrologic cycle and encouraging more drought, erosion, etc.

        This is why we need to push new models of economic growth and development that value natural capital along with financial and industrial capital.

        Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two make four.  If that is granted, all else follows. -- George Orwell, 1984. Now on Twitter.

        by kindler on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 11:58:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  And Denvers 90+ day records (12+ / 0-)

    I was digging around the other day and came across the records for the most 90+ days in Denver.  I noticed some interesting things.

    YEAR    Total
    2000    61
    1994    60
    2002    56
    2005    55
    2007    54
    2006    54
    1978    52
    1874    51
    1964    50
    1960    50
    2011    50

    First, it's mid August and I believe Denver has 55 90+ days so far this year.

    Notice the record set in 1874 stood for 104 years, and since then has been broken 7 times!

    Counting this year, 7 of the 10 years with the most 90+ days have occurred since 2000.

    The record set in 2000, and likely to be broken this year, shattered the 1874 record by 20%!  That would be like a runner breaking the 4 min mile record by 48 seconds.

    And I think almost every 100+ day record for denver was shattered this year also.

    I picked Denver because I live in CO., but I'm sure you can find plenty of cities with similar records.

    •  Dallas broke (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher, cai

      our record for "over 100 degree days" last year.

      71 days.

      It was unbearable.  Truly.  Days of 107.  That's outrageous for us.

      My 10 year plan involves moving to Colorado.

      •  before or after they put it out? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        •  Sorry, (0+ / 0-)

          put what out?

          •  Colorado has been in a drought too and hit by (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            massive wild fires.

            I am trying to imagine some safe place to move that will not be affected by the extreme weather driven by global climate change.

            Seeing how the Earth is round and all, I haven't really thought of any place even close to being insulated by these changes.

            •  Insulated FROM these changes--typo (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
            •  Gotcha (0+ / 0-)

              I doubt that there is any place on earth that will not be affected.  But some will be affected more, that's for sure.

              Texas is already hot in the summer, but when it goes up to 107 and stays there, that's too much for me.

              Colorado has a long way to go before it reaches that.  I know they had the wildfires there -- I don't see how that can be stopped.  Best thing to do is to live inside of a city, not near the edges, I guess.

              I love Colorado, have spent a lot of time there.  I love the arid climate.  Around Denver, they don't get tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, or typhoons.  The area is less populous, has an international airport, Denver is blue, there are more chances for progressive policies in the future, etc.

              Maybe Canada near water is the best place to be for climate change?  I'm sure someone has done a study.

              •  There are so many systems affected by climate (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                change that I seriously doubt it. It will even affect our vulcanism and earthquake frequency and intensity. And that is in addition to what Fracking does to quake frequency and water quality.

                Canada is not a haven either.

        •  Ouch, a little gallows humor. n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GreenMother, cai
          •  I guess. I wasn't laughing when I posted the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pollwatcher, too many people

            comment. I am very serious.

            Any place that might not suffer as bad, will be inundated by a mass influx of souls who think they can ride it out in that "safe" place for a time.

            But really that will only end in the depletion of resources there, without addressing the problems that are so glaringly obvious everywhere else.

            There is no where to run. We are here, on this planet.

            Time to sink or swim.

          •  I stopped too soon. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Think about all the doomsday scenarios that tell people to move to the mountains in Colorado ride out the Earth Changes. What effect do you think that population explosion will have on the Rocky Mountain Ecosystem?

            How many of these people are moving there with the intent to change their "evil" ways? Not many I wager. Colorado is not a magic pill. It is just a vulnerable to climate change as any other place.

            Even now season creep is severely affecting pollination in the higher altitudes causing the same thing up there, that is happening down here--Flowers bloom out of season, pollinators emerge or arrive too late to use known food sources. Animals starve, flowers are inadequately fertilized, fewer fruit for mammals, fewer seeds dropped, everyone suffers.

            Now lets throw in a heaping helping of freaked out New Agers and Christianists.

            Wow, that helped a lot!


  •  I could not agree more. (7+ / 0-)

    If we destroy this planet, nothing else is going to matter.  Not all the ideological posturing.  Not the absurd waste of time congressional obstructionists. Not all the marches, rallies, petitions.  Nothing.

    It continues to astound me that the supposedly bright and successful captains of industry do not seem to be able to grasp this.  All their accounts in the Caymans will not matter when the Islands are underwater and their grandchildren are scrambling towards the last few acres of high ground fighting over the one remaining gas mask.

    Thank you Laurence and Harry Reid.

  •  I whole heartedly agree with Hansen. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, annieli

    It matters not whether man caused this extreme weather or not.

    Who cares?

    That was where the message problem originated and frankly i think it was a mistake. For years the right screamed: temperatures rise and fall! It's natural! as and excuse to do nothing.

    Switching from global warming to climate change was a good messaging move. (same as the switch from same sex marriage to marriage equality, IMO).

    It matters not that we started it, we can stop it. Because human mass extinctions are natural too. Just because it's natural doesn't mean humans can survive it.

    Time to stop focusing on the why and focusing on the what do we do about it. Create popular movement around that and stop arguing science about it. Every farmer knows. Every person in the middle of a wild fire knows. Every person that had some weird freak weather event knows. Let's just go
    With that.

    For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

    by mdmslle on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:18:52 AM PDT

    •  need the why (5+ / 0-)

      to motivate people on the what.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:26:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd tend to agree except at this point it's (0+ / 0-)

        Politicized and counterproductive.

        I don't need to agree about why (man made vs. natural cycle) to know the weather is getting extreme and we need to do these various things to try correcting it.

        Yes, the solutions are based on the fact that there's too much CO2 floating around. The solutions have to do with correcting that. We do not need to argue about whether that extra CO2 is because of natural cycles or too many cars. We really don't. if there was too much CO2 in the air from natural causes, we'd need to find ways to correct it, including all options like not adding more with cars and dirty factory emissions. No, it really doesn't matter.

        I know we on the left want to get them to admit it, but this is reaching crisis. It doesn't matter.

        For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

        by mdmslle on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:56:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  many many people (0+ / 0-)

          will not agree to change their lifestyles unless they know why. that's the problem.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 11:02:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  why is so their houses dont burn down in (0+ / 0-)

            a wildfire again.

            or so they can afford corn and meat and other groceries.

            or so they don;t have to spend 300/mo on the electric bill in the summer

            seriously, we liberals over think things.

            For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

            by mdmslle on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 01:22:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  The flaw in your logic... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rsmpdx that you have to properly diagnose the "why" in order to prescribe the proper cure.

      Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two make four.  If that is granted, all else follows. -- George Orwell, 1984. Now on Twitter.

      by kindler on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 11:16:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In the theocratic fantasy (8+ / 0-)

    proposed by many on the right, we should dismantle government agencies that provide weather forecasting, disease control, and public health, and instead we should provide taxpayer money to religious (i.e. Christian) groups who will pray for better weather and better health.

  •  Koch Bros- greedy rich old men (4+ / 0-)

    who only can see to the horizon of their personal life spans.

    Global warming is not their problem.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:21:18 AM PDT

  •  The the cold isn't all that inspiring, as well (3+ / 0-)

    We've been having some humongus weather/climate changes all across our globe.  Those that are against the whole "climate change" thingy like to say that "hey, it's just regular swings...not to worry".  But, that's ludicrous.  Trust me, I know.  I used to be a "doubter" when it comes to climate change...and I'm still not a real big "global warming" kinda guys just because I know that excessive heat swings do happen...have happened...all throughout history, even before all the CO2 stuff was happened by humans.  But, Climate Change is something different...VERY different, in my book.  We're seeing just so many devastating weather events...such many swings from cold to hot that it's just gotta be something humans are causing.  I mean, yeah, I know that there were really cold times throughout history and really hot times...but not year after year...on continent after continent...not like we have now.  No way.  It's a Google thing everyone...including the detractors...should see.  It's just something we can change less we make it continually worse and worse.

    This, from a "reformed" climate-change denier.


    The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

    by commonsensically on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:27:00 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for being a real skeptic... (0+ / 0-)

      ...i.e., someone who changes his/her mind based on actual evidence -- as opposed to all those so-called "climate skeptics" who just believe everything they hear from the Kochtopus, Rupert Murdoch's media empire and Rush Limbaugh and dismiss all the actual science as conspiratorial lies.  

      Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two make four.  If that is granted, all else follows. -- George Orwell, 1984. Now on Twitter.

      by kindler on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 12:01:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Arctic Ice is already near 30 year (4+ / 0-)

    lows, and 4 to 5 weeks remain of the melt season [at least].

    A massive Arctic storm has been raging on for days [not that most folks will ever hear about it], wrecking what's left of older Arctic Ice, setting the stage for next years further degradation as more saline sea water replaces existing relatively salt free Arctic ice.

    Republicans totally abandoned conservatism in the 1980s ..

    by shpilk on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:27:12 AM PDT

  •  re: Climate change denier Muller. I was excited (7+ / 0-)

    when I first heard about his change of heart(?). I told my husband and even though I'm usually the skeptic of the family, he was the one who questioned whether this guy was any more honest now than he has been in the past.
    I think my husband was proven right when Muller was on the Rachel Maddow show (about a week ago). After making strong statements about his new views on climate change, he shifted to what we could do about it. And his answer was greater energy efficiency and (tadah!) natural gas! No mention of solar, wind, wave, biomass, etc. He was adamant that natural gas was the solution for countries like China.
    My theory is that the Kochs see that rising temperatures and extreme weather may push policy toward renewable energy sources -- sources they can't exploit the way they do with oil. Natural gas, OTOH, allows them the kind of control and profit they demand. Another Kossack pointed me to the relationship between Art Pope, a big fracking advocate in North Carolina, and the Koch brothers.

    We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

    by Tamar on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:29:08 AM PDT

  •  The "debate" must surely center around (4+ / 0-)

    "How far, how fast", with me on the "far and fast" side of the argument.

    They want, however, to shift the debate to "is any change really necessary?", a position that led me to wonder

    "Is "denial" our most abundant resource?"

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:31:55 AM PDT

  •  Asteriod headed for earth (3+ / 0-)

    So let's say that tomorrow NASA discovered a planet killing asteroid on a collision course with Earth.  Based on their calculations it would collide with our planet in 50 years, wiping out all life as we know it.   Given the nature of gravity variations and other unknowns the odds of the asteroid actually hitting the planet turns out to be about 80%.  In order to prevent this from happening NASA says that we must begin immediately.  Changing the trajectory now is much easy than it will be later.  There are a small number of scientists, mostly ones who have not study physics and astronomy, who deny that the asteroid will hit the planet and claim this is just NASA trying to get budget increases.  So how does the right-wing/conservative movement react to this news?  Do they declare that it is all a plot on the part of the elites and the media to divert attention from cutting taxes?  Do they argue that some scientists disagree so we better do more studies?  Do they insist that diverting resources to combat the problems interferes with their god-given right to more profit?  If not, then can they explain the difference between this scenario and the threat of global warming?

    The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

    by Do Something on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:35:49 AM PDT

    •  Asteroid's a Cinch, It Means We Have to Build More (0+ / 0-)

      machines of war to go divert it. We don't have to tell any billionaires to cut off their cash flow, in fact we'll hire some of them to earn more money stopping the asteroid.

      There couldn't be a more politically marketable response to any threat known to humanity than an asteroid.

      Global warming? Basically the human race has to attack every billionaire on earth. But it's billionaires who give humanity the permission to attack things.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 11:04:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is about who gets the money and power (0+ / 0-)

        Combating climate change will require money be spent on machines, on infrastructure on construction to improve the efficiency  of our homes and businesses, on new battery technologies, etc.  As the President has pointed out, there are large numbers of "green" jobs to be had and new industries to be created.  The real political problem is that there will be less money going to the oil and coal barons and they are powerful and have and will do everything they can to block it.  What faces us is no less a threat than an asteroid and back before the right started its disinformation campaign, doing something about CO2 was a bi-partisan effort.  Cap-and-trade was a GOP idea, Bush supported wind and solar tax credits.  It wasn't until the GOP saw the value of the anti-intellectual argument and the large sums of political donations available that they turned into the anti-climate change party.  

        The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

        by Do Something on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 12:46:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Now that we are on the verge of another (4+ / 0-)

    low arctic sea ice record, we are looking at some pretty dire warnings.  If every car stopped in its tracks today, along with every airplane grounded, every coal fired plant stopped and not another tree cut down the current level of CO2 will continue the warming through this century.  Summer arctic sea ice could certainly be gone by 2016, releasing more methane into the atmosphere.  Certainly what President Obama proposes is better than nothing, but what is really needed is a somber President in front of the world saying what is needed and why it is needed.  The world needs leadership on this very complicated issue; we just can't nibble our way around this.

  •  I have no optimism left on this (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, TJ, orlbucfan, too many people

    What so many forget is that there are large latency effects. If we stopped burning fossil fuels tomorrow, completely, the climate will continue to warm for many years because of what we have already released. I think we can all agree that we won't stop using fossil fuels tomorrow. In fact I believe we will stop using fossil fuels on the day we have ripped the last of them out of the earth and not a day sooner.
    It's not just the US anymore either. China is either close to or has already surpassed us in carbon emissions, and I imagine India will be up there very soon.
    Huge differences between the parties?
    I expect that after he no longer has to worry about annoying the base, Obama will approve a version of Keystone. I don't expect him to take any serious action on mountain top removal for coal mining either.
    He will push for nuclear plants, approve federal money for some wind and solar projects etc. but none of that will be nearly enough.
    Sure the Democrats will be an improvement over the Republicans, but I've seen absolutely no indication that they have any real grasp of just how dire the situation is and how big the changes we need to make are.
    Will they eventually get it? Sure, but only when it's too late, a time which is perilously close already.
    We are in for some very very hard times ahead.

  •  So -- now the question is this: Has anybody got (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ideas on what the world can do about it?

    I specificy the world instead of 'we' because it's a global problem whose solutions need to reach across borders.

    The dilemma is China and other emerging economies who are not anxious -- maybe not even able -- to slow down their emissions growth.

    And there's a lot of growth.

    It seems like yesterday that China surpassed the US in total emissions and now they put out nearly twice the US total.  And... per capita emssions that have reached EU levels continue to grow rapidly.

    India is following a similar path, with emissions growing nearly as rapidly as those in China.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:43:22 AM PDT

    •  the dilemma is us too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maryabein, dinotrac, cai

      the blame-China thing might work if we were angels, but we're not. we've been spewing out max CO2 for a lot longer than they have. We own a lot more of the warming so far.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 11:00:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is not blaming to state the truth. (0+ / 0-)

        Chinese emissions are growing by leaps and bounds while US emissions remain flat. The upshot of that is that nothing we do alone is going to reduce global emissions.  If we could magically flip a switch and completely eliminate all US emissions today, Chinese emissions would make up for the loss withing 5 years.

        And then there's the rest of the world.

        We need some real big thinking and some real audacious doing that goes beyond saying "Bad America, shame on you!"

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 08:35:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There Are All Kinds of Ideas If the World Could (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orlbucfan, cai

      get permission.

      The first thing is that scientists need to step up to the plate and begin behaving rudely. Every other demographic has put their welfare and well-being on the line in the past, science knows better than anyone what the score is and what the machine needs from them where they can twist some arms.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 11:01:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Start in your own backyard. Start with yourself (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      too many people

      Make the theory about market forces work for us.

      I don't see the bigger aspects of government growing a pair about this issue any time soon.

      "Better than nothing," and "better late than never" simply won't cut the mustard now. We are too far gone for that.

      •  That sounds good until you think about it. (0+ / 0-)

        China, India, and other emerging economies find it hard to slow their emissions growth because internal pressures require economic growth.  The stability of governments is at stake.

        It's not so different in the US.  We have spent years exporting jobs overseas and have paid a terrible price in terms of real unemployment -- including those people who have simply dropped out of the labor force and fallen out of the numbers that define "official" unemployment.

        So -- cool. Begin in our own backyard, but how will you avoid sending even more jobs to China in moves that will shift where the emissions take place, but not actually reduce them?

        Putting Americans out of work so that you can shift emissions from the US to China and India is one way to start in our own backyard, but it doesn't do squat to address the problem.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 12:10:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you do nothing and they do nothing, then (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          too many people, mightymouse

          why bother posting?

          Why not just lay down and give it up now?

          I can only do what I can do.

          Even with Americans protesting in the streets, moving millions of dollars, voting our conscience--the powers that be make it very clear that they do not govern for me, but instead for the CEOs.

          Well fine then.

          I will start on my own plot in my own yard. That is all I can control now.

          I won't give up. At least I can say that I have been trying like hell to make good on something, even if I am the only one or one of a few.

          You can either be part of the problem or you can do what you can to get around the problem.

          It's your choice.

          •  Hopelessness is the new (0+ / 0-)

            Progressive.  ;-)

            "You're only allowed a certain number of flips before people begin to doubt your character." - Mitt Romney

            by rsmpdx on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:37:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Is that callousness talking? (0+ / 0-)

            I asked a question:

            how will you avoid sending even more jobs to China in moves that will shift where the emissions take place, but not actually reduce them?
            If you really want to make progress on the problem -- starting here at home -- you (or somebody else who is smarter than I am ) had best be coming up with answers to that question.

            I'm convinced that answers exist if we make it a priority to find them.  I believe that parts of the answer are already being pursued.

            Environmentalists don't always sound like they care about how gets hurt in the process. Remember Nancy Pelosi's "I am a friend of the earth" and "Drill, baby, drill" mock-chants back during the oil price run-up of 2008?

            Add the repeated broken promises by the last Congress and the present administration to focus on jobs, and you've got a political problem that needs to be addressed.

            Presuming that somebody cares enough to do it.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:48:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't know why you think if you turn this around (0+ / 0-)

              on me, that suddenly that is going to absolve the guilty parties of their crimes against the environment [and that would include the humans that live within it]

              Tell me again, how I don't give a damn. Really.

              I have never made much money. Therefore I don't matter in this world that exists now. If you are worried about jobs being sent to China, talk to bridgestone, and other manufacturers who set up shop over there, because it's cheaper and there are NO environmental laws or labor laws.

              Honestly Dinotrac, your reasoning sounds like my Republican Relatives at Thanksgiving.

              The kind of sweeping changes we need to make, will require that these people do something amazing when it comes to solving this problem.

              1. To Stop Making Excuses
              2. That their profits can still happen but won't be as high.
              3. That they acknowledge and act like their actions have consequences despite their role as "exalted job creators".
              4. That the pollution they create now will not disappear with a good quarterly report.

              I know that this will push thousands of people out of a job, but I would like to see an end to children's meal toys in the US. They only end up in landfills.

              I know that car manufacturers will rant, but I would like to see more focus on public transportation and less on individual cars.

              I would like to see emissions way way down.

              I would like to see our manufactureing focusing more on space exploration and terra forming, because we need that more than cheap plastic shit due to our very real, over population problem.

              I would like to see fracking companies switch to solar panel manufacturing and installation.

              We are going through Global Climate Change and a Mass Extinction. If you think that a good couple of Black Fridays will somehow stave off the consequences of that for humanity, then you have bigger issues than I can address in this small window.

              •  You are welcome to avoid the issues by obsessing (0+ / 0-)

                on who to blame.

                That will not resolve the problems.

                Here's a hint for you:

                I know that this will push thousands of people out of a job, but I would like to see an end to children's meal toys in the US. They only end up in landfills.
                In the United States, those people, their friends, and their families are known as voters. Refusing to care about the welfare of millions -- not thousands -- of people is another way of avoiding the problem.  Solutions that work only in fantasyland are not going to help the planet one bit.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 07:26:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Foot-dragging acknowledgement (5+ / 0-)

    such as that we saw from the US at Copenhagen, is, as a prctical matter, no more of a response to global warming than denial is.    The hegemolny of neoliberal economics in the world, and particularly in the US, makes it unlikely that any US ruling party  will be willing to hold itself to the same standards it demands of emerging nations on carbon emissions, and things like "carbon trade markets" are cute little money-making deals, NOT steps to resolve the crisis.

    I'm afraid there will be no progress on this issue without the complete overthrow of many world governments, including that of the US, but by the time this crisis is severe enough to lead to such uprisings it will be much too late.  in other words, we are locked into  the course we are on, and no US government will ever allow  sufficient steps to be taken to defuse the coming catastrophe.  Big business wouldn't like it, n and that wouldn't be "pragmatic".  Who cares about the destruction of the planet when Business wants a higher rate of return?  

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:43:46 AM PDT

  •  Well, I guess ineffective government is dangerous. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, cai

    Who'da thunk it, eh?

    And I had so hoped George W. Bush would have taught a better lesson to Republican voters. Such short memories.

    ...the train's got its brakes on and the whistle is screaming.

    by themank on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:53:35 AM PDT

  •  Profound Difference But Same Outcome. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, TJ, cai

    It doesn't matter whether it's the phenomenon or the ability to act appropriately that you deny.

    We can't work this issue for the campaign, it doesn't have strong enough traction. But on November 7th, it's time for progressives and their constituencies --including climate science-- to begin an entirely new relationship with the Democratic Party.

    The news is dire but we don't have time before November to educate the voters in order to be able to motivate them. Win the election on the War on Women and the War on Seniors, meanwhile science and climate activists can be contemplating what to do about the Democratic Party this winter.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:57:26 AM PDT

    •  Harry Reid is right (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maryabein, GreenMother, rsmpdx, cai
      The seriousness of this problem is not lost on your average American. A large majority of people finally believe climate change is real, and that it is the cause of extreme weather.
      The weather has educated the voters, at least in many parts of the U.S. It's no longer a matter of predictions by climate scientists based on computer models.
  •  Thank you. Excellent summary. (4+ / 0-)

    I trust I have your permission to include excerpts of your story in a major briefing note on the implications of climate change to emergency management that I shall be submitting to my Minister.

    I am of course aware of much of your post but your superb summary and collection of comments has made my task so much easier.

    Thank you so very much.

    I know you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. -- S.I. Hayakawa

    by tapu dali on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 11:18:39 AM PDT

  •  Obama Fast Tracked Arctic Drilling Without An (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    environmental impact statement. He is quite ignorant, still, of what oil compainies stand for and we must educate him on this issue:

    What do Arctic drilling and drone killing have in common? They are both being decided by Barack Obama without public debate ... several federal administrators responsible for regulating offshore oil drilling operations “had used cocaine and marijuana, and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives” ... [under Bush II] ... A May 24 front–page article in The New York Times made clear that Obama got personally involved and fast–tracked Shell’s drilling permits.
    (see Hottest Month (July) on Record). This is not fitting for a democratic president when even Bush II dared not attempt it.
  •  Romney may become concerned (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    too many people

    when he finds out that sea level rise will put most of the Cayman Islands under water and his money might get wet.

  •  The angle that has received little attention... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai the need for policies now to adapt to the climate change that is here and coming.  The White House has a whole Task Force on the matter.

    Pathetically, the Tea Party loonies are even opposing these prudent and essential steps.  I wrote a diary back in June about the Republican state representative in Virginia who called "sea level rise" a "left wing term".  

    We need to throw reality in these people's faces and shame them for endangering the lives and property of so many people around the world.

    Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two make four.  If that is granted, all else follows. -- George Orwell, 1984. Now on Twitter.

    by kindler on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 12:28:49 PM PDT

  •  On mercury emissions, clean water, etc (0+ / 0-)

    You're right.  But on CO2 emissions, I'm having a hard time figuring out what Romney could do to make it worse than it is.  Light all his money on fire?

  •  An upside to global warming: figs in Missouri (0+ / 0-)

    Because my spouse likes the foliage, we have two fig bushes around our house in west central Missouri.

    Normally, the frost stops the ripening period and we get maybe one or two edible figs.

    Today, I picked ten ripe figs.  By the way, prosciutto-wrapped ripe figs are wonderful.   We have had so far about two dozen figs this year.

    So, with global warming, figs might be a new cash crop in Missouri.   Let's look on the bright side.  :)

    Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens.

    by MoDem on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 06:56:44 PM PDT

  •  Pure, intrinsic hypocrisy (0+ / 0-)

    I'd sure like to know what the erstwhile talkers on this forum have done to improve the environment.  Mr. Lewis is certainly correct about the temperature increase but blaming one political party and those members who govern, and giving the other political party and their governing members a pass is simply partisan nonsense.  I don't see a lick of difference between the two parties on the environment in the "real world".  Both sides drive cars, live in big houses, fly, and consume copious amounts of energy and since Democrats in power tend to have more wealth than their counterparts it's arguable that they are worse abusers.  The greatest crime committed in this debate is pure, intrinsic hypocrisy and the environment won't be saved while governing members are in denial, on both sides.

  •  Have you seen this response by John Christy? (0+ / 0-)

    The link is for Christy's post and does not imply endorsement of any of Spencer's unrelated opinions.  Please keep replies on-topic.

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 08:11:45 AM PDT

  •  Hottest Month (0+ / 0-)

    I wonder how far back the record extends, especially in this detail.  

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site