Skip to main content

President Barack Obama is given a tour of the Trinity Structural Towers Manufacturing Plant by Senior Vice President Mark Stiles, Wednesday, April 22, 2009, in Newton, Iowa.
President Barack Obama is given a tour of the Trinity Structural Towers Manufacturing Plant
by Senior Vice President Mark Stiles, Wednesday, April 22, 2009, in Newton, Iowa.
After a presidential campaign during which "climate change" was almost never even whispered by the candidates nor a question asked about it during their debates, the term finally made an appearance at President Obama's first post-election press conference Nov. 14 when Mark Landler popped the question. The president responded at some length, hinting that "climate change" would be paid some serious attention during his second term, starting out with an "education process."  

Unfortunately, as A Siegel illustrated in a spot-on critical essay analyzing the subtext of what Obama said, how it related to the president's first-term record on climate change and the mess that White House press secretary jay Carney made the next day of the president's comments, that education process needs to start in the White House with Obama's senior staff.

So far, "encouraging" is an optimistic assessment of Obama's reply to Landler's question. Lots of crossed fingers among environmental advocates.

At Mother Jones, Chris Mooney has done what many of those advocates will be doing over the next couple of months, laying out what Obama could accomplish even with a Congress that is brimful of climate-change deniers and policy delayers. Some bullet points:

Use the bully pulpit. Or more in line with what Obama himself has said he wished he had done a better job of in his first term: Telling the story. Mooney: "If there's one point of consensus about what Obama can and should do on the climate issue, it's simply to keep the commitment he made last Wednesday and actually talk about it. Loudly and often—and, at best, in a major policy speech that sets the agenda."

Promote climate resilience. "How can the federal government make us better prepared for this new era of costly megadisasters? Very thick booklets could be written about the matter, but for just one example, consider the FEMA-managed National Flood Insurance Program, whose purpose is to insure homeowners in vulnerable coastal and low-lying areas."

Eliminate climate change accelerants. "Methane, in particular, has a dramatic warming effect in the atmosphere—molecule for molecule, it has 72 times the punch of carbon dioxide over a 20 year time frame. But so-called fugitive methane emissions from gas drilling and other sources are largely unregulated. 'There are no state or federal rules limiting methane emissions to address climate concerns,' says Eric Pooley [author of The Climate War and deputy editor of Bloomberg BusinessWeek 'There ought to be.'"

Unleash the EPA. "How stringent regulations will those regulations be? The EPA's rulemaking process requires it to deal with newer and less dirty power-plants first; it has already proposed tough new standards for those. But after that come regulations for the really big existing polluters—which is where the real emissions cuts could be made."

Restart the conversation about pricing carbon—without cutting off the EPA. "Sure we need to legislate a price on carbon, to help accelerate a shift towards clean energy sources. But ever since Massachusetts vs. EPA, it has been clear that if Congress stalled out in achieving this goal, regulatory actions on carbon emissions would proceed apace at EPA (at least so long as Democrats controlled the presidency). Now, it's questionable whether it is a good deal to accept carbon taxes or caps in a congressional deal that would wipe out or undermine EPA's considerable achievements. 'Those who are arguing that a carbon tax should displace these bedrock protections under our nation's clean air laws are seriously misguided,' [says Vickie Patton, general counsel of the Environmental Defense Fund]."

One of the best things Obama can do is continue to remember what he said at a wind-industry factory in Newton, Iowa, in April 2009, and act forcefully upon those words:

Now, the choice we face is not between saving our environment and saving our economy. The choice we face is between prosperity and decline. We can remain the world’s leading importer of oil, or we can become the world’s leading exporter of clean energy. We can allow climate change to wreak unnatural havoc across the landscape, or we can create jobs working to prevent its worst effects. We can hand over the jobs of the 21st century to our competitors, or we can confront what countries in Europe and Asia have already recognized as both a challenge and an opportunity: The nation that leads the world in creating new energy sources will be the nation that leads the 21st-century global economy.

America can be that nation. America must be that nation.

In the way of that "can" and that "must" are arrayed some mighty forces. They include inertia, stupidity, myopia and most of all greed. The majority of the American people believe, the polls tell us, that climate change is a serious matter and that something should be done about it. President Obama has four years to get us moving down that path. He should put on his spurs. He'll need them.

Delay is denial.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:58 PM PST.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS, DK GreenRoots, Climate Hawks, and Daily Kos.

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

  •  Tip Jar (136+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, BlueJessamine, emal, navajo, JayC, Roger Fox, dance you monster, 2thanks, ChemBob, Bluehawk, A Siegel, marina, Gooserock, One Pissed Off Liberal, no way lack of brain, helpImdrowning, tardis10, John Crapper, citisven, hooper, Mimikatz, elwior, Lily O Lady, allenjo, side pocket, xaxnar, blackjackal, rapala, jennyp, Margd, Lady Libertine, Brian82, divineorder, 3goldens, hester, SquirmyRooter, Loudoun County Dem, cassandraX, maybeeso in michigan, ItsSimpleSimon, PatriciaVa, sfarkash, muddy boots, BalanceSeeker, gypsytoo, lineatus, offgrid, Quilldriver, Mark Mywurtz, Burned, MBishop1, Grandma Susie, buckstop, Geenius at Wrok, John DiFool, Simplify, 207wickedgood, Jim R, Shockwave, condorcet, TomP, Catlady62, Magnifico, bluezen, newpioneer, ms badger, grollen, petulans, Jakkalbessie, nomandates, BeninSC, EricS, Milly Watt, HeyMikey, Debby, carolyn urban, PrometheusUnbound, asym, RJP9999, Brooke In Seattle, DWG, jamess, Frameshift, mickT, KenBee, IndieGuy, Glen The Plumber, DawnN, Libby Shaw, JayDean, SolarMom, Lefty Coaster, NYmom, JerryNA, tofumagoo, Anne Elk, 6412093, Eric Nelson, FischFry, certainot, jnhobbs, KayCeSF, JekyllnHyde, hungeski, Laconic Lib, Kay Observer2, Eikyu Saha, Williston Barrett, eeff, howardfromUSA, dharmasyd, Liberal Thinking, Mary Mike, LakeSuperior, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, Larsstephens, bigjacbigjacbigjac, qofdisks, DeminNewJ, Tim DeLaney, maryabein, glitterscale, willyr, possum, tinhut, koNko, LNK, Eric Blair, 714day, murphthesurf, Albanius, shaharazade, Fiona West, tacet, enhydra lutris

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

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:58:34 PM PST

  •  I assume he will... (11+ / 0-)

    ...and not in any sort of Pollyannish way. It can be twisted into a politically harmful thing, so it was avoided in the first term. But this (along with immigration reform) are far more likely this term -- and I think Obama actually wants both. So, I'm quite optimistic. It won't be enough, I'm sure, but it'll be something.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:04:35 PM PST

  •  also should say no to XL pipeline (44+ / 0-)

    and canadian tar sands. don't want to use that pitt of tar sands death that will make it game over, per hansen. already killing and sickening people of first nations in canada.

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:06:22 PM PST

  •  We need scarier language. (11+ / 0-)

    "Climate Change" is too mild. Unfortunately we didn't grab "Cliff" before it was used to drum up dread and fear about the debt. "Climate Cliff" may get folk's attention or perhaps "Climate Catastrophe" would wake up a few people to the seriousness of the situation. "Climate Clusterfuck" is probably going a bit too far...

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    by jayden on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:08:31 PM PST

  •  So ... (23+ / 0-)

    First, thanks for link / kind words.

    There are lots more things to be done:  How about an honest discussion of Climate Risks? How about a serious and accurate analysis of the Social Cost of Carbon? (Re that, the Administration's number -- which doesn't require a bit of Congressional approval -- is in the range of 20%-25% of a realistic number.)   How about ...?

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

    by A Siegel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:36:46 PM PST

  •  One additional item (16+ / 0-)

    Last week, the Climate Reality Project (Al Gore) ran a 24 event on "Dirty Weather".  Here, in a few minutes, is a foot-tapping musical outline of why climate change is such a challenge and what we must do in the face of climate reality.

    It is the only Earth that we'll ever have ...

    This Earth is the one that we need to care about ...

    It is the only Earth that we'll ever have ...

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

    by A Siegel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:39:18 PM PST

  •  Emissions have Consequences. (10+ / 0-)

    I think a few more F5s in Oklahoma and
    North Eastern Hurricanes will be natures way of making it abundantly clear that the President needs to use the full power vested in the executive to do what he can.
    In fact, one of the President's powers is to convene Congress. He should convene the House during the next Washington Hurricane to pass carbon pricing.

    To Goldman Sachs in according to their desires, From us in accordance with the IRS.

    by Bluehawk on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:40:41 PM PST

    •  ....which is why we should applaud the fact that.. (5+ / 0-)

      ..US had posted a 5% decline in per/capita CO2 emissions since 1990, thanks to Democratic policies such as President Carter's enhanced mileage standards, as well as policies championed by Clinton and Obama.

      Carbon Pricing?  Cap and Trade?

      Don't we champion the working and middle-class?  Don't we believe that wealth and income inequality is as bad as it's been since 1929?

      If so, how can we support policies that were born in RightWing Think Tanks, policies designed to raise revenue on the backs of the working poor?

      My Proposition?  Increase the amount of federal spending on R&D by 5x at the university level to accelerate a battery breakthrough.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:40:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I love me some R&D (4+ / 0-)

        Polywell Fusion research is a fav of mine.

        Anything connected to transportation with electricity gets targeted. Yes, youre so right.

        See my other comment in this thread about what we can do with off the shelf technologies right now.

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:48:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  So ... (8+ / 0-)

        issue is not the sleight of hand 'per capita' but total emissions, especially since that 5% drop (sadly) can be heavily accounted for also by exporting polluting industries to China and the shipping to bring those goods to the United States.

        We need to be reducing global GHGs, not bragging about per capita improvements as the world's population increases.

        "Carbon Pricing" is 'regressive' unless there are policies that (as was the case with Waxman-Markey's Cap & Trade) address this and make it a progressive overall system.

        To advocate "let the pollution roll" b/c of inequality claims is to advocate letting the world fall (burn) around us.

        As for your "proposition", Advocating "R&D" absence advocating serious immediate action is to advocate delay, to suggest that there is some magic Silver Bullet to be created in the future.

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

        by A Siegel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:37:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Action now, there is so much we can do now (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          all of the shelf tech.

          Just switching 20% of our ( long distance, 50-60 miles and up) grid from AC to HVDC can save... I forget the pounds of carbon... about 4 gigs worth of electricity. Or 8, 500Mw coal plants.

          FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:23:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  More investment into battery research is a good... (10+ / 0-)

        ...idea, but it will only go a small way toward solving our energy problems and getting a handle on climate change.

        If it is decided that a carbon tax makes good sense to reduce the impacts of climate change, there are ways to ameliorate those costs to the poor and working class (which includes the middle class).

        But, please, making complaints about the origins of policy options when your sig line points us to a project dominated by investment bankers that bashes teachers and backs CAFTA, NAFTA and other "free trade" approaches all of which have helped obliterate large hunks of the nation's good jobs on the backs of the working class is a tad disingenuous, don't you think?

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

        by Meteor Blades on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:47:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I believe it is vital to stimulate the economy (6+ / 0-)

    before implementing a carbon tax.

    I think the initial effect of a carbon tax would contract the economy in its current state.

    I just dont see the current state of domestic renewables manufacturers as vigorous.

    The Dept of Energy has a paper on wind energy, 20% from Wind in 20 years. This a widely accepted policy template. But we cant get any real traction on wind.

    Right now new Wind generation is just about the cheapest electricity on the planet, 3.3 to 6.5 cents per KW hour. And capital is starting to recognize these price points, Offshore projects are growing in size, both in the EU and in the US, Atlantic Wind Connection is a 350 mile long marine HVDC cable from NJ to Virginia that should start construction in 2013, it will support about 1700 turbines 10-18 miles offshore.

    Wind is cheap.

    Atlantic Wind Connection.

    The price for Solar generation is trending down, but has a long way to go. Wait 3-5 years, solar will be competitive, no doubt.

    The US has not added new pumped hydro storage since about 1996

    We need to see solid goals set, tax incentives for domestic production (jobs), yes, tax breaks for the uber rich and corporations, like we used to have in the New Deal era when the statutory tax rates were much higher.

    1) 20% from wind in 20 years. (100 gigs)
    2) 15% from Solar in 20 years. (100 gigs)
    3) 50 gigs of pumped hydro storage in 20 yrs.
    4) 50 gigs of solar thermal storage in 20 yrs.

    The above 4 goals can be met with existing off the shelf technology.

    My understanding is that the US can get 20% from renewables without any major changes to the grid or significant storage capacity.

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:45:43 PM PST

    •  Change is coming to wind and solar (6+ / 0-)

      ARPA-E performer Makani Power is lowering the cost and expanding the wind map.

      Plastic photovoltaics are coming.

      Both are likely game-changers.

    •  Doesn't have to be contractionary (8+ / 0-)

      a tax and rebate would merely distribute costs appropriately.  Depending on how the revenues from a carbon tax is spent, it could actaully be stimulatory (e.g., if the carbon tax transferred offshored oil company profits into infrastructure investment).

      However, the looming long term disaster is sufficiently bad shaving a couple of points off growth now is fully and unequivocally worth it.  We cannot wait anymore.

      This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

      by Mindful Nature on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:52:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Multiple things (13+ / 0-)

      1.  Need to be careful. This is simply false: "new Wind generation is just about the cheapest electricity on the planet, 3.3 to 6.5 cents per KW hour."  New wind might be in among the cheapest NEW power but it certainly isn't less expensive than existing, for example, nuclear power plants that have had their capital costs paid off already.

      2.  Sorry, I disagree seriously about the carbon fee (tax is lousy word) dependent on how the resources are used. If the resources are used productively (such as massive investments in deploying energy efficiency and renewables), the spark to the economy will be beyond the carbon tax impacts.

      3.  Re the carbon tax, again, this boils down to a version of 'doing something about the environment will hurt the economy'.  The environment vs economy is a dangerously false framing that hinders forward progress.

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

      by A Siegel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:41:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've been trying for 30 years or so to do my... (15+ / 0-)

        ...part to pass along the news that the environment and the economy are not two separate entities but inextricably interwoven with one another.

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

        by Meteor Blades on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:02:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We are ... (7+ / 0-)

          roughly in the 98% arena of agreement.

          And, yes, I am well aware that you understand / advocate / discuss that it is economy + environment not economy vs the environment. In any event, with broken eco-systems, we will have a devastated economic system. Thus, we need to get our act together on environment or else face catastrophic economic consequences.

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

          by A Siegel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:46:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Crackdown in GHG would CREATE jobs. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SolarMom, Roger Fox


          1. Corporate profits, and corporate cash-on-hand, are at record highs.

          2. Mass unemployment is not cured by #1 because of lack of demand.

          Cracking down on greenhouse gas emissions would create demand for green energy; this demand would create green energy jobs. This would help, not hurt, the economy because it would put a chunk of that idle capital (cash-on-hand) to work.

          More details:

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:48:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I've said this in numerous comments (6+ / 0-)

          We need memes:

          Clean Energy = Jobs

          Wind Farms = People Power

          [Your slogan here]...

          “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” -- FDR, 1936

          by SolarMom on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:23:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  20% from wind in 20 yrs=500k jobs (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Some of them extremely well paying, offshore wind, like oil rig jobs, in fact the same oil platform construction companies build platforms for HVDC marine grid equipment to support offshore turbines.

            These offshore jobs pay from 90k-120k

            FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:05:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I like it! (your subject line meme) n/t (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roger Fox

              “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” -- FDR, 1936

              by SolarMom on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:13:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Solar nearly the same (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SolarMom, JayDean

                and HVDC supergrid another 400k jobs.
                Pumped hydro storage, 260k to 380k, solar thermal about the same.

                I wrote about the numbers of jobs, last year, just going by memory here.

                FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                by Roger Fox on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:27:01 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Environment vs economy and false framing (8+ / 0-)

        The infrastructure of this century will include a truly massive renewable energy collection system. Building that new infrastructure is the future of economic growth worldwide.

      •  Did I write N E W generation? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel
        Right now new Wind generation is just about the cheapest electricity on the planet, 3.3 to 6.5 cents per KW hour

        Well, kind of. This would have been clearer>

        Right now new Wind generation is just about the cheapest new generation on the planet, 3.3 to 6.5 cents per KW hour.

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:11:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps I should (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roger Fox

          have written, "to clarify because while I'm pretty sure you understand but others might ..."

          Truth is that people frequently conflate and confuse these.  I can't count the # of times where I've had (semi-informed) advocates of new nuclear power make the argument that "nuclear power is the cheapest electricity going on the grid" and had them confused because they didn't realize the economic structure (100% paid off capital costs which, putting aside that minor annoyance of decommissioning, is about 85% of the per kWh costs) that makes today's nuclear power cheap to send to the grid and why that is essentially irrelevant to the question of what one build's today.

          Also, by the way, there is the issue with your prices in that this is not the dispatchable price -- perhaps add 1 cent for storage / power management?

          In any event, my more serious disagreement is that I think these are not aggressive enough numbers in terms of targeting clean electricity (look at what Germany is achieving with the Energiewende).  Not only can we do even better than this, we should ... However, if we set targets along the lines you've laid out, we can 'surprise ourselves' with the rapidity of success and barrel past those figures.

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

          by A Siegel on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 03:58:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  LCO cost to generate from (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            A Siegel

            Berkeley Nat Lab.

            Right.... not dispatchable, but Levelized Cost of Operation over 20 years is common, no?

            Barrel past, oh yes.... When Vesta or GE comes out with a 16mw turbine, even if the cost to generate doubles, output is quadrupled, so we can see the Berkeley numbers cut in half. And that would be very attractive.

            RE conflating, U R right, comparing new generation to new generation is OK. Old compared to new is not.

            FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 02:27:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I read him as saying that he doesn't have the (7+ / 0-)

    votes for a carbon tax and needs us to get loud and active.  That meanwhile he's going to do things that can be done without legislation and will go around building support.

    McKibben's right on target imo on his Do the Math Tour, that we need to defeat the fossil fuel industry.  I love the plan for divestment.  We can't let them rule the world and tell us what's possible & what's not any longer.  And

    •  Price them out of the market (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maybeeso in michigan, offgrid

      Why fight carbon based fuels, just make them obsolete?

      Right now if a new coal plant were to be built, it wont compete with wind at 3.3 cents per Kw hour.

      Already big money is flowing faster to offshore wind projects in the east coast of the US and in the North Sea.

      Atlantic Wind Connection is a 5.5 billion dollar HVDC marine cable to support 1700 turbines, 350 miles long from NJ to Virginia.

      I'll bet you a cup of coffee you cant find 5 billion in new coal plant investment in the US.

      Wind and solar are trending down, all other forms of electrical generation are trending up.

      Ok thats not a fair bet, but you get the idea.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:38:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right now, investors are abandoning big... (13+ / 0-)

        ...wind projects because there is no certainty about what will happen to the productive tax credit for wind (solar and geothermal) projects. The credit expires in six weeks, but wind project investors have been holding back their money for nearly a year, workers at wind-industry factories have been laid off and, even if the production credit is renewed in 2013, not a sure thing, many projects that would have come on line are lost for good.

        Previously, when the PTC expired, new wind projects plummeted: 93% in 2000; 73% in 2002; 77% in 2004.

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

        by Meteor Blades on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:56:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Create certainty w/EPA. Screw lack of votes. (7+ / 0-)

          As the diarist points out, the Supremes have already ruled that the EPA has authority under the existing Clean Air Act to regulate CO2 emissions.

          If the EPA issued regs that included CO2 restrictions that get progressively more restrictive, that would create our much-needed certainty right there.

          Number of votes in Congress needed: ZERO.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:58:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The EPA has already regulated CO2 emissions (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SolarMom, Laconic Lib, Bulldozer, hooper

            The EPA has established a new, maximum allowable CO2 emission level from new power plants.  That standard essentially outlaws typical coal fired power plants. Give Obama credit for it, please.

            Since power generation is the largest single cause of CO2 emissions, and coal is the largest single actor in power generation,  that new standard is very important.

            I also strongly agree that we need methane emissions limits on oil and gas drilling operations, and on natural gas handling and shipping companies.

            Geez, extend the tax credits for wind and solar, that means lots of jobs.

            Oddly, there was a commentor or diary that cited a report claiming that our recent CO2 reductions were due mainly to local  building code and zoning improvements.  The report cost $$ so I didn't see all of it.

            •  EPA put out oil and gas fracking rules... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roger Fox, Bulldozer, HeyMikey

              earlier this year that will require "green completions" on a lot of fracking operations.

              The target was capturing volatile organic compounds that react with sunlight to form ozone ("ozone precursors")....happily this means methane will be captured.

              The methane that's captured will be additional product that can be sold (methane = natural gas), incidentally.

              The downside is the rules don't kick in til 2015.  But the rules are there.

              “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” -- FDR, 1936

              by SolarMom on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:30:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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

                for fleshing this issue out. Typically gas wells simply have venting massive amounts of methane during start-up, evenv though methane is a cash commodity. Stupid a----s.

                How dumb can these guys get?

                Natural gas and its byproducts' storage is also a big emissions source, hopefully that is controlled by the regs you cited.

            •  You said: (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bulldozer, A Siegel, HeyMikey

              Not true:

              The EPA has established a new, maximum allowable CO2 emission level from new power plants.  That standard essentially outlaws typical coal fired power plants. Give Obama credit for it, please.
              EPA has not set any numerical maximum allowable CO2 emission standard.   They've set threshold criteria for considering when a new or modified air pollutant source is a major source or major source modification under the Clean Air Act.   That isn't the same as setting a maximum CO2 emission limitation.
              •  True but (0+ / 0-)

                this is almost a distinction without a difference.  The NSPS effectively outlaws new coal fired power plants that do not have some CO2 control technology (as the other poster alluded).  So, we're done with old-style dirt burners in this country (other countries will follow).  

                •  Yes, but (another example of Lesser Evil) (0+ / 0-)

                  The EPA has those rules. They are a large factor in the switch from coal to natural gas, which puts out about half as much CO2 per unit of electricity as coal, and less other pollutants as well.

                  But without progressively-more-restrictive rules, we're likely to stay with natural gas for a long time, without converting a large % of our grid power to renewables. That would be an improvement, but not enough of one to prevent significant harm from climate change.

                  Yet another example of the Obama administration as the Lesser Evil. I voted for him, and I'm grateful we managed to keep Romney out of office. But I yearn for what might have been, for what could be & should be.

                  "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                  by HeyMikey on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 08:06:15 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  What are you talking about? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Roger Fox

                  I read your response and it makes absolutely no sense to me and I'm a 34 year member of the Air & Waste Management Association and an expert witness on air pollution control matters..

                  You are conflating some kind of misunderstanding about the changes the Obama EPA made to New Source Review into something it isn't.

                  Nothing in the NSPS changes for combustion units does what say it does -- "effectively outlaw new coal fired power plants."

                  That never happened and that is not the effect of NSPS changes and that will not be the effect of requiring a BACT review for greenhouse gases for new or modified sources that exceed the major source/major modification threshold under the Clean Air Act.

                  If you're going to talk about New Source Review under the Federal Clean Air Act, please take far more care to understand what it really means.

        •  This will change, don't you think? (0+ / 0-)
        •  PTC up in the air: stinks (0+ / 0-)

          The cost to generate I've quoted doesnt include the PTC.

          And thats levelized cost of operation over 20 yrs.

          Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes called Atlantic Wind a first-of-its-kind project that shows significant industry interest in developing offshore wind power, which has languished despite efforts by the Obama administration to promote it.

          No commercial wind power is produced offshore in the U.S., although the Cape Wind project in Massachusetts could begin producing electricity as soon as 2014.

          "It's the type of project that will spur innovation that will help us stand up a clean-energy economy to power communities up and down the East Coast," Hayes said of Atlantic Wind. Besides Google, other companies involved in the project include the investment firm Good Energies, Japanese industrial conglomerate Marubeni and Maryland-based Trans-Elect Development Co.

          Hayes and other officials have urged Congress to extend a production tax credit for wind energy that expires at the end of the year. Advocates say renewal of the tax credit could save thousands of jobs and bring financial certainty to the wind industry, which has been vulnerable to boom-and-bust cycles.

          AWC may be the biggest project of its kind in the world, it represents a signature first step for US offshore wind.

          FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:01:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  most important is the reduction of the short lived (12+ / 0-)

    climate accelerants.   It's the only way to buy time to reduce C02.   Hillary Clinton initiated the Clean Air & Climate Initiative to reduce the short lived climate accelerants.  I hope they continue & strengthen it when she leaves.

    Macca's Meatless Monday

    by VL Baker on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:00:30 PM PST

    •  Do you really believe that in light of the (0+ / 0-)

      way CO2 is skyrocketing?

      A focus on methane might make sense if CO2 growth were to abate at all, but I wonder if it's worth the trouble otherwise.

      Methane is a powerful agent, but it's also one that dissipates more than an order of magnitude faster than CO2.

      In a way, focusing on methane is like invading Iraq:

      it's a very bad actor, but also much more convenient to attack than the guy(s) we'd really like to get.

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

      by dinotrac on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:47:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Methane emissions will grow as shale gas... (4+ / 0-)

        ...and shale oil operations expand. It has been predicted by Robert Howarth, an ecologist and evolutionary biologist, and Anthony Ingraffea, a civil and environmental engineer, both from Cornell, that within 20 years methane will contribute 44 percent of the greenhouse gas load produced by the U.S. Of that portion, with 17 percent will come from all natural gas operations.

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

        by Meteor Blades on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:53:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  reducing methane along with other short lived (0+ / 0-)

        climate pollutants such as black carbon(soot) and ground level ozone buys us the time to reduce C02 which remains in atmosphere for hundreds of years. Even if we went C02 neutral today there would still be the same dangerous C02 legacy emissions causing the worst effects of climate change.   We don't have a fast risk free way of removing C02 from atmosphere so at this time we MUST try to remove the short lived climate accelerates to stop the worst effects and buy us the time to build C02 carbon sinks.

        Macca's Meatless Monday

        by VL Baker on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 02:32:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  fastest way to reduce the short lived accelerants (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          A Siegel

          is by reforming agriculture.  

          Macca's Meatless Monday

          by VL Baker on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 02:42:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Problem is that CO2 is shooting up, and (0+ / 0-)

          we're not the ones doing it.

          Methane is a diversion -- not worthless, but a "feel-good" activity to let us believe we're getting something done.   Results are fast, so when we tackle methane isn't critical, but without real movement on CO2 levels, it won't matter.

          Soot, btw, is probably the last thing we want to tackle.  Atmospheric aerosols may be nasty stuff, but they also reflect sunlight, preventing some of it from reaching the ground and inhibiting warming.

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

          by dinotrac on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 03:14:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  your comment doesn't make sense. (0+ / 0-)

            didn't read my links true?

            Macca's Meatless Monday

            by VL Baker on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 03:38:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Makes no sense how? (0+ / 0-)

              Certainly no less sense than including soot cleanup as a step to fight global warming.  Getting particulates out of the air is definitely better for our health, but will make the problem of warming a little bit worse.

              As to methane, results are relatively fast, so I don't put much stock in 5 year alarmism.

              What I do put stock in is concern with CO2 levels because they take a damned long time to mitigate.  And they will keep rising rapidly over the next 5 years.  China alone will increase it's CO2 output by an amount roughly equal to the entire US output.

              While I think it's a great idea to make agriculture more rational and certainly there is nothing wrong with mitigating methane, it won't matter if we can't but the brakes on CO2.

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

              by dinotrac on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:00:07 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Huh ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            beach babe in fl

            1.  Methane is judged to be 70 times the impact of Co2 in first 20 years. And, it is skyrocketing. And, we don't know how bad the fugitive emissions problem is w/natural gas

            2. Don't take as 'either/or', it is a both.  There is a benefit of having some serious near-term focus on the items that beach babe is highlighting.

            3.  Soot is a quite serious problem -- especially for Himalayan glaciers and the Arctic (if I recall correctly) because the black/gray particles get blown into the ice and the gray/black reduces the albedo factor and contributes to warming / melting.  And, there are lots of health issues (air pollution) that payoff from focusing on reducing this in homes.

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

            by A Siegel on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:23:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Fun with numbers. (0+ / 0-)

              So what, exactly does that magic 72 mean?

              As things stand, if all of the methane in the atmosphere were to disappear overnight -- we'd reduce radiative forcing by about 20%.

              That's nice, definitely  not something to dismiss, but methane's not going to disappear overnight. For one thing, human activity accounts for only about half. So...
              if we eliminate all human-caused methane from the atmosphere overnight, we reduce radiative forcing by about 10%.

              Still nothing to sneeze at, but due to be overwhelmed by CO2 very quickly, especially since we're not going to eliminate all human-caused methane from the atmosphere overnight.

              The effect of carbon soot on glacial albedo is something to think about.  I wonder if anybody's studied that in comparison to dimming effect in the atmosphere.  One thing that occurs to me is that aerosols cover the entire planet, whereas snow and glaciers are not.  Additionally, those albedo-reduced glaciers would lie beneath an atmosphere that was permitting less sunlight to shine down, so there would be at least a small trade-off there. Finally, i would expect that reduced albedo comes and goes with each snowfall...but might not.  I could also imagine snow carrying particles out of the atmosphere and onto the ground.

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

              by dinotrac on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:39:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  right on, let's keep our fingers crossed (13+ / 0-)

    I'm thinking that the best way to make the case is to not treat climate change in a vacuum but also keep it connected to other issues relevant to people's lives. That way he can also combat the false meme of Good for Environment = Bad for Economy.

    One example would be to take Michelle's issue to create a healthier future for children and link it up the food chain:

    obesity crisis => public health => food production => farming => agribusiness => fossil fuel => climate change.

    If anyone could do it, Barack Obama has the skill to broaden the public dialog and making people look at the bigger picture. The more he can make people understand how climate change is linked to their personal lives, the less people will see the solutions to climate change as a threat to their existence, but in fact a big BOOST to their existence.

    •  absolutely (8+ / 0-)

      can't have a good economy with a bad climate. Sometimes Obama comes off as way too conventional and boxed in in his public statements. There are so many great ways to frame it and bring it home.

      interestingly, both Cuomo and Bloomberg were pretty good linking climate to Sandy (and the previous storms in the past couple of years to hit NY).

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:07:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  President Obama (4+ / 0-)

        and us CAN do this second term.

        The left needs to organize.

        Furthermore, Obama's press conference is a good start. Obama knows he did not use the message pulpit as well as he should have.

        Obama can learn from his mistakes. He learned from his mistakes in the first debate. I am sure he will do better and wants to do better :)

        •  God I hope you're right (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DawnN, citisven, mightymouse

          But I fear he won't do it.

          We need the movement that is trying to build, and we need to organize as well around the solutions.

          Clean Energy = Jobs.  Why not a national feed-in tariff like Germany has, to democratize power, for example.

          Why not build the Atlantic Wind Connection and power the East Coast with our terrific offshore wind resources?  Building and maintaining wind turbines means JOBS.


          “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” -- FDR, 1936

          by SolarMom on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:39:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Worse than we thought (21+ / 0-)

    2014 will see the next report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. What they're finding is that even from just 5 years ago things are deteriorating faster than had been predicted. New Scientist comments here.

    Alas, most of the stuff on this at New Scientist is subscriber only - but here's one that's not: new refinement of sea level rise in past episodes.

    And here's a look at the world's largest wind turbine.

    For anyone who doesn't believe human activities can have an appreciable effect on the planet, Ken Burns Dust Bowl is graphic evidence to the contrary.

    If you haven't signed up at yet, what are you waiting for?

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

    by xaxnar on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:26:37 PM PST

  •  "Delay is denial." (13+ / 0-)

    Climate Change Denial has overtaken the perimeter of "climate change does not exist" and "climate change is not man-made" and is engulfing "Climate Change urgency is hyperbole."

    Anyone who doesn't respect the fierce urgency of Climate Reality is actively engaged in denial.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries.

    by Words In Action on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:46:47 PM PST

  •  He could walk over and physically (7+ / 0-)

    kick Jim Inhofe's ass the day after Inauguration.  That would be an awesome start.

    •  watching The Dust Bowl on PBS - Inhofe also? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, Bob Love, DawnN, Laconic Lib

      he must be proud to be the Senator from OK

      Look at what he can bring the state in the future!!

      climate change denial leads to the end times!!

      he is bringing them on quicker!!

      when will reality break through?

      •  I think there are too many politicians now... (0+ / 0-)

        in all levels of our government who believe in the 'End of Days' and promote unsurvivable policies with that in mind.

        Why worry about the future of the human race if God is just going to end the world?

        I personally feel very threatened when a fundamentalist minority religious group gets to dictate that my children & their children will have no future.

        Does anyone know of a data source on how many Congressional politicians believe in 'End Times?'

        Something that doesn't make good sense, makes bad sense. That means someone is being deliberately hurtful & selfish. Look for motives behind actions & words.

        by CA wildwoman on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:08:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Three years ago we installed a solar water heater (5+ / 0-)

    It cost about 6X what a "high efficiency" electric heater would cost.  Gas, on demand, wasn't an option where we live.  It works very well and we've never run out of hot water...basically because it has an electric backup heating element.  Our bill has reduced about $30/ current rates.  It was not a great ROI decision (72 months to break even after tax incentives) but we wanted to do it.

    IF these panels and water tanks (designed to handle solar) were mass produced the cost would go way down, and the install is about a day of labor for 2-3 some copper tubing and insulation and a PV cell to run the pump.

    The cost of going solar for electricity is currently astronomical. and demand driven.  There are alo solar powered freezers and such...but currently too expensive.  We CAN do this...both on the producing and consumption end...and really cut our fossil fuel usage.

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:26:07 PM PST

  •  ...Hire the (6+ / 0-)

    fucking Dutch to install technology to control water.

    New York had had a Dutch firm do a study and make recommendations.  Their suggestion was 'too expensive'.

    I don't remember the number (this was from a report on NPR a couple weeks ago), but it was dwarfed by the value of the damage done during SUSSA.

    Shortsightedness is a malady in this country.

    Kathleen Sebelius 2016

    by pvlb on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:51:57 PM PST

  •  agree. i work with young people & this is a big (6+ / 0-)

    fucking deal to them.  some of them are unemployed, but they know the future belongs to them & at the rate the environment is deteriorating, it doesn't look like it's going to be a very good one.

  •  Everyone appears to have forgotten the drought (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, Bob Love, DawnN, Laconic Lib, KayCeSF

    If the drought continues....what do the red states the Mississippi flows thru plan to do?  Who is going to pay for the dredging? Do the states need to get together and develop a water conservation plan?  Obama needs to nudge these republicans into action before their wingnut reps in DC abandon them for 1% tax cuts.

  •  Yes! Time to get tough, Mr. President. nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, DawnN

    A closed mind believes the future and the present will be the same, attempting to counteract an underlying fear that the future will be worse than the present, which inhibits the tendency to question at all. (Paraphrasing "A Course in Miracles.")

    by ceebee7 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:30:31 PM PST

  •  Thank you for writing this - dailykos more than (7+ / 0-)

    more than the back and forth of the political parties

    the MOST important issue to human civilization was not even on the table during the election

    Chris Hedges calls what has gone on a corporate coup d'etat

    my time here on dailykos is way down because so much is the he said, she said, which is digging deeply into the surface

    the same holds for liberal radio - can't be bothered to hear about the latest superficial stuff

    is Obama going to represent the 99%? The poorest people on the planet are sacrifice zones to the super rich

    the biggest problem is the excessive use of resources by US, or spelled another way, US - look in the mirror and see us.

    we have a moral obligation to humanity to address the problem

    but we are unable to even save SS, at a time when we need whole new levels of governance, economics and legal systems

    thanks again for writing this!

  •  Well, we'll find out fast (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, Bob Love, DawnN, maryabein

    Depending on what happens with the Keystone pipeline.

    Personally, I think carbon taxes or caps would be a good solution if it were still the 90's.  Going to take more time than we have now for measures like that to change the incentives for alternate energy.  Hope I'm wrong.

  •  talk is cheap; (7+ / 0-)

    actions are not.

    Isn't it time to fix the Filibuster?
    -- Here's how.

    by jamess on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 07:14:20 PM PST

  •  Let's say we are absolutely wrong on Climate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, DawnN, Laconic Lib

    Change,  what exactly is the downside of taking taking the steps necessary to stop it....and it turns out we were wrong?

    It is all upside.

  •  The painful stuff should be applied now, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    so that it's cemented in place by the time the next administration takes over.

    Eliminating climate change accelerants and unleashing the EPA, yes.

    From this point on, anything less than everything we can do represents failure.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 07:48:33 PM PST

  •  Obama on a scale of 1-10; will do a 2 to 2+ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    but certainly not a 3.  I've been paying attention a litte bit for the last 3 disappointing years, so don't give me grief.

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up !

    by Churchill on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 07:49:04 PM PST

  •  Remember when Reagan brought up ET's at the UN? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    How we would all come together if attacked?
    It isn't ET's. It's Mother Earth.
    The most chilling question of all is: Are we already too late?

    Fuck Big Brother...from now on, WE'RE watching.

    by franklyn on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 07:53:45 PM PST

  •  Doesn't Matter if It's Phenomenon or Response That (3+ / 0-)

    you deny.

    In other words, it doesn't matter if you're elected as a Republican or a Democrat.

    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 Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:00:20 PM PST

  •  Great diary. This is the great imperative (3+ / 0-)

    of our time. No other issue figures.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:00:59 PM PST

  •  Great diary! (10+ / 0-)

    And greetings from Durham, where we just had a big sold-out house for, the 11th in 11 nights. I'd say two things seem most crucial to me:

    1) We get Obama to demonstrate he can leave some fossil fuel in the ground--Keystone is the purest, clearest test. Mike Burne of the Sierra Club just announced tonight with us plans for a big gathering in DC on President's Day weekend, which should be great

    2) We go on offense, ourselves, against the fossil fuel companies. The divestment campaign we kicked off the night after the election is spreading fast--now up to 110 campuses, and Harvard students voted 3-1 yesterday to demand the college divest its holdings in fossil fuel companies. We need to make them the tobacco companies of our time, right to the moment they decide to become energy companies instead of fossil fuel companies.

    Thanks as always to MB for leading the way

    •  Thank you and your crew for doing an incredible (4+ / 0-)

      job with the Tour. A bunch of us watched Sunday's livestream together and are already working on divestiture campaigns at 3 local campuses.

      and hoping we'll need to hire multiple busses for February. announces major Washington, DC, rally on Presidents Day, Feb. 18, 2013. See you there.

      by DawnN on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:36:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Top 5 University endowments: (0+ / 0-)

      Harvard $30.7 billion
      Yale 19.3
      U Texas system 18.3
      Princeton 17
      Stanford 17

      Congrats on getting the Harvard students to take a stand. If the top 5 divest it would really add momentum.

      Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

      by willyr on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 04:54:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  won't fly until RW radio monopoly is DESTROYED (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox

    that's the denialist industry's best tool. and our universities keep it alive. this should be a no brainer for students at universities that keep RW talk radio going with sports broadcasting, but somehow they don't have a clue because while they're  tweeting and texting and keeping the internet lit they have no fucking clue what's happening in those red states and in many unpopulated areas with lots of senators.

    climatogist michael mann said the 'climate-gate' email BS set climate action back 2 years or more- and it was talk radio and limbaugh in particular that sold that crap.

    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 Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:09:48 PM PST

    •  destroy climate denial and GOP congress by destroy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roger Fox

      ing RW radio.

      once our universities pull out their monopoly will fall apart and the US can go on with sane climate and energy policy.

      until then we can keep fiddling, with thousand strong protests negated by a local blowhard with a big microphone and and some chamber of commerce and fossil fuels talking points.

      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 Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:18:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  But he didn’t campaign on climate change. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib, mightymouse

    He for sure didn’t campaign on the public option (this time).
    Don’t you know that he’s off the hook if he didn’t campaign on it?

  •  National Academy of Sciences Climate Change Video (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnN, Laconic Lib, KayCeSF

    Their main website is at for additional info about science matters including evolution in the schools, and other STEM topics.

  •  MB, your statement about methane is wrong (0+ / 0-)

    Meteor Blades, you made this statement in the diary:

    But so-called fugitive methane emissions from gas drilling and other sources are largely unregulated. 'There are no state or federal rules limiting methane emissions to address climate concerns,'
    This statement both wrong and misleading.   Earlier this year the Obama Administration put into place National Emission Standards for Hazardous Pollutants affecting the natural gas exploration and production industry under the Federal Clean Air Act.   Those rules provide effective technology-based federal emission control rules nationally binding on the natural gas industry.

    Methane discharges from natural gas exploration and production has been subject to emission control requirements in several states for many years.

    Please stop spreading false memes, narratives and disinformation created by Gasland/Josh Fox who is a junk science Messiah.

    •  You had me til the last sentence (0+ / 0-)

      ...which was rude, given MB's considerable body of work here at dKos.

      But yeah, I commented a little higher up that EPA rules will capture considerable methane when they kick in.  I should have read farther down first!

      “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” -- FDR, 1936

      by SolarMom on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:46:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, *I* didn't make the statement... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...Chris Mooney did.

      But, EPA is not quoting Josh Fox in its own rule finalized in April and published (made effective) in August 2012:

      [I]n this rule, we are not taking final action with respect to regulation of methane. Rather, we intend to continue to evaluate the appropriateness of regulating methane with an eye toward taking additional steps if appropriate. [77 Fed. Reg. at 49,513/3]{My emphasis added}

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

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:17:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is a distinction without a difference (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roger Fox

        The effect of that NESHAPs rule it to force either collecting well head-released gases during well completion operations and either directing it to distribution systems or flaring the methane of pipeline distribution is not available.  

        Such practices  require methane control even if no methane emission limitation is set.   A methane emission limitation is not needed to achieve control of the methane if the NESHAPs emission limitations applying to hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) result in physical controls that restrain methane emissions in the same manner as the HAP emissions which are the subject of the NESHAPs standard.

        You are confusing EPA's statement about not 'regulating methane' by not providing a methane emission limitation even though methane is quite effectively controlled in practice....   That statement by EPA is there because the NESHAPs rule statutory authority does not reach methane which is not a hazardous air pollutant under the Federal Clean Air Act.

  •  EPA must lead the way... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib, DawnN

    There is so much more the agency could be doing, without any need to involve the Congress -- and any deal, be it cap and trade or a carbon tax, which includes a poison pill that undercuts EPA's regulatory and negotiating authority in this area must be rejected. That kind of compromise would be worse than no deal at all.

    I expect to write a diary on this before the end of the year, as I crystallize my ideas, but I'll preview it by saying I agree with everything you've said here. You've raised a lot of points that a lot of people might not realize are in play here. A carbon tax would be a decent policy, if it includes some form of rebate to rate-payers, to avoid the cost-shifting and regressive impacts that could happen. However, the GOP is game to use such legislation to pull the rug out from under the EPA. A trojan horse if there ever was one.

    If the President is fully committed to making something happen here, and if he can find foreign partners, there is so much that he can do, without having to worry about GOP obstructionism. He shouldn't surrender those authorities he has now.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

    by FischFry on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:18:51 PM PST

    •  U.S. EPA Already Acted to Control Methane (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roger Fox

      in the natural gas exploration and production industry be enacting final rules earlier this year for National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) under the Federal Clean Air Act.   These rules are definitive and fully effective methane emission control rules for the natural gas exploration and production industry.

      Methane emission control rules binding on natural gas well completion and production operations have been in effect for many years in several state oil and gas programs.

      If you are doing research on energy and environment and you want scientific credibility for your analysis, it is quite important that you avoid contaminating your review with junk science from Gasland and Josh Fox who have pwned the environmental movement with his bullXXXX psychodrama junk science movie.

      •  What about pig, poultry etc farms? (0+ / 0-)

        why is pig poop still pumped into ponds?

        Digesters, farms can use methane to generate power, sure thats Co2, but is it wise to let the methane go free?

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:40:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not much carbon is aqueous CAFO waste (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roger Fox

          Liquid CAFO waste is typically less than about 7-8% solids.  It will produce gas but not that much.   At most CAFOs there is a great deal of effort taken to separate out solids from wastewater as part of the nutrient management system.   The solids are returned to the soil as part of the nutrient management system.

          Cold weather is also an impediment to bio-methane production.

    •  carbon tax initial contraction of economy (0+ / 0-)

      see my other comment upthread.

      I agree, a carbon tax does have down sides, but ones we can mitigate fairly easily.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:42:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A carbon tax would discriminately favor tar sands (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roger Fox

      compared to conventional oil and crude.   A carbon tax is imposed at the point of consumption.   The tax is based on
      the amount of carbon in the product and not the total carbon emission necessary to produce the product.  

      This means that a carbon tax on the point of sale would impose the same taxation on a gallon of gasoline produced from conventional crude as a gallon of gasoline produced from tar sands crude, even if the gasoline from tar sands crude caused a greater greenhouse gas release from processing prior to distribution to consumers.

  •  Please.... surely you, of all people, (0+ / 0-)

    know that candidates DID talk about climate change during the campaign.  

    After a presidential campaign during which "climate change" was almost never even whispered by the candidates nor a question asked about it during their debates,
    Both Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson emphasized it.  Unless, of course, because of the "this is a Democratic site" you are unable to consider even Stein, who was on the ballot in most states and who received Federal Election funds, a legitimate candidate?

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:24:34 PM PST

  •  May I add to your list (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    VILIFY the countries, even allies and trade partners, and the members of congress whose interests defy our environmental responsibility.

    (Secret: I read where air travel is the number one offender, that streaking and leaking across the atmosphere is battering our natural protection from the sun. And that hollowing out our earth by mining and drilling, and converting that to caustic layers of toxic filth is suffocating us. Too simple? Yes, if you are going to halt progress and wealth and what we have come to know as lifestyle. This is a large task! And I believe our President will risk all to address it for the good of mankind. If not him, then who?)

    But first things first, let's see if the Chief Justice has memorized the oath.

    [Note: this is my thousandth post. I must like you. And Thursday is my one year anniversary at dk. I'm traveling to be with my daughter. Happy Thanksgiving, a truly AMERICAN holiday to all of you!]

    skipping over damaged area

    by Says Who on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:35:56 PM PST

  •  I am torn... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As an advocate against the mining of frac sand in my own neighborhood, and one concerned about the Dem's folding and selling out Social Security...I really want to see Dem's fight for the net.  I know this is short sighted...but I fear if we can't fight the fight supporting SS, we are also doomed on fighting on climate change

    If you want to truly understand something, try to change it. - Kurt Lewin

    by anim8sit on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:24:43 PM PST

  •  More methane science, please (3+ / 0-)

    Very confused methane discussion above. The "72 times the punch" was a new figure for me. Usually, the greenhouse effect multiplier is in the low to mid-20s. Clathrates and arctic/subarctic peatbog are massive carbon sinks, so melting permafrost and warming oceans potentially will put a heck of a lot more methane in the atmosphere than a leaky pipeline. There is something like 400 billion tons of sequestered carbon just in the peatlands of the northern hemisphere. Figure of the methane clathrates on the arctic continental shelves are all over the place, but the double-whammy of methane release in the north could have consequences. Oh, yeah, and there's that polar amplification thingy.

  •  I just finished reading this book: (0+ / 0-)  

    It only cost me six dollars.

    I think it could have been written much better,
    but from that book,
    I learned that
    those of us in wealthy countries,
    because there are so many of us
    with such huge carbon footprints,
    we are harming and killing,
    many people in the poor countries,
    such as Bangladesh,
    but also,
    in Western Europe,
    in 2003,
    there was a heat wave that killed
    70,000 people.

    There were bodies stacked up
    outside morgues
    in Paris.

    I still say,
    my vasectomy
    in 1977 has done more
    to reduce my family carbon footprint
    than any American with even one child.

    All your children and grandchildren,
    (I say this to anyone reading this,
    nothing personal to the diarist)
    even if that's just one American,
    has a huge carbon footprint,
    compared to my descendants,
    which is zero,
    since I have no children.

    We are the monsters,
    not by intent,
    but in effect.

    We need contraception,
    to quit making monsters.

    The poor countries need contraception
    to quit making victims.

  •  nearly too late (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obama will likely do little about coal emissions the next 4 years- since they are the biggest culprit in adding Greenhouse gases- though oil needs to be addressed as well. C02 is now rising over 2ppm year over year- with us likely reaching 400ppm this spring. We have risen 0.8 degrees C above the Pre industrial level- with that much in the pipeline- that brings us up to 1.5-1.6 degrees C higher then we where 150 years ago- this alone will be nearly disastrous- and its baked in- if we go to 2 degrees- that is catastrophic-  we  have about 5 years to peak our emissions- then begin to reduce them dramatically  to avoid this outcome- which now looks very unlikely. Obama has made some strides - but the rest will be put in the lap of future Presidents. We are in very deep trouble with this- and its going to become far worse- and soon. As James Hansen has said, C02 at 450ppm (likely by 2030) and 2 deg C rise above the PI level is a 'prescription for disaster' both likely will not be avoided now.

  •  Bull. Nothing can be done about climate change. (0+ / 0-)

    There is not enough intelligence on this planet, not enough courage on the planet to do anything.

    In fact, the world's largest source of climate change energy has been under attack for more than three decades by people who know no science whatsoever - who think that 5000 billionaires and millionaires buying a Tesla electric car is "the answer," for one example - and it's getting worse not better.

    I myself just heard from one of these people that Pressurized Nuclear Reactors are, um, "dangerous," despite the fact that hundreds of them have been operating on the planet without a single loss of life for decades.

    Conversely, we have 3.3 million people dying each year from air pollution, every year without interruption - half under the age of five and a large portion of them killed by so called "renewable energy" and um, fossil fuels are "transitional."

    Nothing will be done, and the rhetoric here is a large part of the reason.  

    For the record, I seriously believe that the Secretary of Energy knows what must be done, but has come to recognize that it will not be done, for reasons involving the politics of fear and ignorance.

    The same rhetoric you cite has been around for 50 years.   It's conservative rhetoric, dogmatic rhetoric, that seeks to repeat the same experiment - the same enormously expensive experiment over and over and over and over and over no matter how many times it fails.

    One of the greatest scientists who ever lived defined that process as insanity.

    Heckuva job.

    You must be very, very very,, very, very, proud to your, um, "caring" work against, um, climate change.

    Here in New Jersey, we, um, didn't seen the results of all that praise for, um, Teslas, lanthanide mines in China, and, um, cadmium mining, but, um, thanks for the rhetoric.    

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  •  California will make bigger strides (0+ / 0-)

    With a Democratic Governor and supermajorities of Dems in the California House, that is where the biggest strides will be made.  Typically, most of the other states and federal government follow.  

    I hope President Obama and the state of California will focus on fast food along with other greenhouse gas creators.  Fast food is the biggest culprit of greenhouse gasses.

    Fast Food and Climate Change

    Cheeseburger Footprint calculator

  •  Raping the earth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For the past two nights I've watched "The Dust Bowl" by Ken Burns on PBS. I learned what the greed for money and lack of understanding of the earth caused to happen back then. It was devastating!

    We are faced with the same challenges now. We need to  stop current destructive practices, and encourage the government also to step in as they did back then. People still want to make big bucks and they want to make it as fast as then can, the same as they had decades before.

    If you get the chance to watch it, Ken Burn's "The Dust Bowl" is out on DVD.

  •  Apathy leads to destruction (0+ / 0-)

    Yesterday, smack dab between this nation's 4th and 9th largest cities, Tar Sands Blockade took action to stop the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.  

    100 people showed up.


    Thank you to the brave citizens who took part in the action--those who chained themselves to equipment, sat in trees, and blocked the equipment sent to pluck the tree sitters--and were pepper sprayed, strip searched and jailed for their actions, taken on behalf of the planet.

    It was an honor to play a small role, for one day, surrounded by heroes.

    As the man said, "get up, stand up"

    We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

    by Mosquito Pilot on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:40:16 AM PST

  •  Methane leaks in Boston (0+ / 0-)

    NY Times article with maps:

    Methane leaks also kill trees says the article.

  •  Population control, family planning YES! (0+ / 0-)

    When I was young this topic was definitely on the table and much discussed in public in terms of planning for the future in order to avoid shortages of water, land, food, and other resources. It was considered very sane and normal.

    One only hears about it now from the shrieking Right Wing who denounce the subject.

  •  Hmmm Climate Changers miss the POINT (0+ / 0-)

    First off I am not a climate change denier. Now while I am not a weatherman-I do attend college and will someday soon have my degree in Astronomy with a focus in Astrophysics.  I certainly know that climate change has happened and will continue to happen. However I disagree with much of the political bandwagon on the subject.

    Certainly humans are causing pollution with all of our chemicals, gas, oil and energy production. And that is obvious as we can smell it and feel its effects in any modern city.

    Historically dramatic changes have occurred throughout the history of our planet and often these changes have been quite dramatic from relatively warm periods with tropics occurring across the entire planet. Then we find that very quickly the planet shifts into periods of Ice Ages where ice covers the majority if not all of the planet earth. Climate will always be getting warmer or getting colder and unfortunately as big as our egos are we cannot do anything to stop that fact as there are much bigger processes at work.

    These biggest processes of our climate change are caused by forces not even on our little ant hill. The sun, cosmic rays, our orbit around our star, our stars orbit around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy and the interactions with its spiral arms (density waves or traffic jams) all contribute to major changes on what our climate does at any given moment.

    During some of the hottest moments on our planet the Earth was exploding with life and life did not have much of a problem. I would say that if we are warming then it might be a good thing in terms of our being able to feed the people on our planet.

    This political bandwagon of climate change seems to be a feel good ego trip for journalists, politicians and main stream wanna be environmentalist who are all missing the fact that there is a much much worse thing taking place on our planet that make any climate change trivial. Should these people really care I would expect them to be calling out for the shutdown of the Nuclear Industry.

    The lamestream media seems to have forgotten about Fukushima as well as our politicians (actually they know but just don't talk about it) and many do not realize that four reactors in Fukushima Japan melted down and their cores are completely lost and still leaking enormous amounts of radiation in a fallout that is encircling our planet daily since 3/11/11 and Tepco Power have done nothing to contain this continuous release. Remember Chernobyl and how devastating it was? Well it was entombed with a sarcophagus within 6 months. There is still an exclusion zone of 30 km. There are still areas of England that are prohibited from farming due to nuclear fallout and the deformities in the Ukraine and Belarus are catastrophic.

    Compare Chernobyl to Fukushima which has four reactors melted and those reactor buildings are so bad and on the verge of collapse that Tepco has been caught redhanded photoshopping the press release photos and looping video at times over the past 19+months now. And lets not forget the precariously located spent fuel pools on the upper floors of these reactors and the fuel pools that have been exposed to air. There is enough spent fuel to end all life on the planet with should the buildings collapse or catch fire if water is not continuously pumped over them. The pools are cracked so water is pumped 24/7 and its runoff falls into the pacific ocean. Which seafood from the Pacific should be considered nuclear waste as the amount of radioactive water dumped into the sea is FRIGHTENING.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to Nuclear Energy and it being touted as a solution to our energy needs and answer to global warming is an outright lie as Nuclear energy releases radioactive gases and routine releases that are 1000's of times more damaging to warming than all the CO2 we have released since the dawn of the industrial revolution. There is too much about Nuclear Energy that is deadly to mention in a single book so you should do your research.

    Another issue i will not discuss here is industrial farming and the enormous amounts of chemicals and deaths attributed to it that continue to go unchecked and who's industry buys our politicians to poison us.

    Quite honestly this is why I find all the climate alarmists missing the point. Focusing attention on something that quite frankly they can do little to affect as apposed to something they can change that is killing us all today and have the very lives of our planet hanging by a thread today. With all the earthquakes and the typhoons battering Fukushima today.

    One of the last meetings the International Atomic Energy Agency held had no mention of the troubles at Fukushima and instead focused on the upcoming tests of N. Korean Nuclear Weapon delivery rockets when the entire world should be doing something to at least build a sarcophagus over the reactors. And find a way to remove the fuel from the SFPs as humans die within minutes and robotics last only a bit longer due to the high radiation. Tepco and the world are just twiddling their thumbs. And the sheeple would rather debate the inevitable climate change.

    Politicians want to carbon tax us all as Corporations will just pay fees to continue their pollution and Nuclear Energy will still be needed because its only real purpose is for uranium enrichment for plutonium and weapons. I think we are all drowning now in turpitude. Climate Change alarmists have no backbone as their are certainly much more meaningful and important issues at hand. Perhaps a Climate Change Anonymous Groups as the more I hear from how IMPORTANT it is the more I think I am listening to a bunch of fundamental bible thumpers. Climate Change is a theory and I am not putting all my change in the basket as it gets passed by on a THEORY. Just like I won't put all my change in on wether or not there is a God.

    I apologize for any possible errors miss-spellings as I am sure their may be some. Writing on an iphone isn't all that easy especially when on a train.

    PS I am not a conspiracy theorist unless the conspiracy is fact. And this Fukushima Crisis is certainly no theory and certainly something we should all be ashamed of. If not for just the fact that it is still ongoing and worse than day 1.

Mark Sumner, GainesT1958, Grassroots Mom, JekyllnHyde, Mimikatz, DeminNewJ, Bill in Portland Maine, hester, grollen, glitterscale, Liberal Thinking, Geenius at Wrok, Gooserock, nicolemm, NYmom, mimi, emal, Debby, Shockwave, CupaJoe, eeff, willyr, Addison, 714day, EricS, CoolOnion, navajo, artebella, Eric Blair, hangingchad, coconutjones, HeyMikey, Bluehawk, KayCeSF, JayDean, Albanius, lyvwyr101, Brecht, maybeeso in michigan, marina, 3goldens, NoMoreLies, qofdisks, gmoke, Simplify, basquebob, ChemBob, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, Laurence Lewis, LNK, GreyHawk, Burned, noemie maxwell, mightymouse, Alan Arizona, jay23, xaxnar, Jim R, BalanceSeeker, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Milly Watt, Gorette, Dvalkure, koNko, KenBee, Magnifico, Lefty Coaster, A Siegel, Libby Shaw, JVolvo, boatsie, Dinclusin, murphthesurf, Persiflage, shaharazade, Eikyu Saha, ms badger, One Pissed Off Liberal, BeninSC, hooper, hawaii2, Loudoun County Dem, possum, bigjacbigjacbigjac, offgrid, Mary Mike, flumptytail, certainot, deepeco, DWG, FischFry, newpioneer, jayden, jnhobbs, Don midwest, TomP, gizmo59, seriously70, condorcet, Roger Fox, JaxDem, zerone, Sixty Something, elwior, lineatus, VL Baker, jamess, tofumagoo, Gemina13, petulans, matching mole, doppler effect, Quilldriver, 6079SmithW, SolarMom, 207wickedgood, maggiejean, Bill McKibben, ceebee7, divineorder, Anne Elk, ewmorr, carolyn urban, dharmasyd, Zotz, asym, lastman, Keith Pickering, sfarkash, citisven, Larsstephens, Words In Action, cassandraX, SquirmyRooter, sunny skies, RJP9999, Lady Libertine, ItsSimpleSimon, kalika, Betty Pinson, ericlewis0, soaglow, JanG, no way lack of brain, allenjo, BlueJessamine, FarWestGirl, Muskegon Critic, muddy boots, Grandma Susie, enhydra lutris, Frameshift, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, Catlady62, DRo, Mentatmark, SouthernLiberalinMD, PrometheusUnbound, DawnN, tinhut, Williston Barrett, Mindful Nature, MikeyB33, IndieGuy, Jakkalbessie, Eric Nelson, joanil, 2thanks, Margd, jennyp, Glen The Plumber, hungeski, James Wells, ShoshannaD, quillsinister, Lily O Lady, nomandates, John Crapper, AppleCider, Tim DeLaney, goodpractice, gypsytoo, The Hamlet, helpImdrowning, Icicle68, Kay Observer2, MBishop1, Mark Mywurtz

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site