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The dictionary defines a tax as a fee levied on goods or services for public use, but Republicans were never trusted what they read in books. So health care is a tax. Health inspections are a tax. And most of all, anything that the government does to try and preserve the air, land, or sea is a tax.

With that understood, it's a little easier to decipher last session's H.R. 910, also known as the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011. Despite the name, the purpose of the bill was not to reduce the (ridiculously low) federal tax on gas, or to reduce the (ridiculously low) rate that corporations pay for rights on federal land, or even to reduce the (ridiculously low) level of efforts made to develop alternative energy sources. Here's the purpose of that bill:

To amend the Clean Air Act to prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning, taking action relating to, or taking into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change, and for other purposes.
That's about as clear as it can be, but just to restate for those still shaking off the shock, it was a bill to make it impossible for the EPA to do anything about greenhouse gases. Not just to keep the EPA from levying any sort of theoretical fee on carbon emissions, but to stop the EPA from even thinking about the climate.

Mind-blowingly stupid as this idea might be, the bill passed the House. Not only did it pass, it passed with 19 Democrats voting in favor. Democrats who voted to strip the EPA of the right to regulate greenhouse gases or take any action on the basis of climate change:

Sewell, Terri AL 7th
Ross, Mike AR 4th
Costa, Jim CA 20th (16th in 113th)
Bishop, Sanford GA 2nd
Barrow, John GA 12
Boswell, Leonard IA 3rd
Costello, Jerry IL 12th
Donnelly, Joe IN 2nd
Chandler, Ben KY 6th
Peterson, Colin MN 7th
McIntyre, Mike NC 7th
Boren, Dan OK 2nd
Schrader, Kurt OR 5th
Critz, Mark PA 12th
Holden, Tim PA 17th
Altmire, Jason PA 4th
Cuellar, Henry TX 28th
Matheson, Jim UT 2nd
Rahall, Nick WV 3rd

Strange as their votes may seem, a good number of these representatives were in red states, including some that were major producers of coal or oil. So the vote may have been to avoid the wrath of red state voters or the deep pocketbooks of energy companies. Let's see how that worked for them.

In April of 2011, when this bill passed the House, there were 192 Democrats and 241 Republicans in that body. Since then, that number has changed to 200 Democrats and 233 Republicans. How did the no regulation of the EPA bunch fair? In a year where Democrats gained in the House, the "no climate change regulation" group surrendered a third of their seats.

Why didn't the votes help hold onto their seats? Because to Republicans convinced that any name followed by a (D) was equivalent to voting for Stalin, these votes were invisible. For Democrats looking for leadership, the vote was evidence that these representatives all too readily put their careers ahead of their principles. If you made it into a book, it would be "How to Lose Friends and Not Influence Enemies." Everyone can tell when you're just voting in the hopes of saving your ass, and everyone knows what that means. It means you're a coward.

While we're looking at this bill--which was introduced by Michigan Representative Fred Upton, author of such sterling work as the No More Solyndras Act to eliminate tax breaks for solar and wind power and the Pipeline Infrastructure and Community Protection Act to provide more funds for oil pipelines, and Kentucky Representatives Ed Whitfield, popularly known as "the congressman from Exxon"--note that absolutely no Republicans voted against eliminating the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gases. Not one.

That means when you see New Jersey or New York Republicans complaining about their leadership's failure to provide funds for Hurricane Sandy, it comes a year after those same congressmen voted to make sure that no one could act to prevent rising seas and stronger storms. When you see Republicans in the plains states complaining about the unprecedented drought, it comes on the heels of their voting to ensure disruption of the climatic pattern will increase.

So buck up, Sandy survivors and hang in there dry land farmers. Your congressmen might be voting to ensure that you'll face increasing disasters, but they'll cry on your behalf afterward. Hey, a lot of Republicans think of being able to get into the ER at a public hospital when you're seriously ill as a perfectly adequate form of health care. Same thing.

Representative Upton has already stated his intention to reintroduce the Energy Tax Prevention Act in the new Congress.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If you're wondering about those seats... (61+ / 0-)

    Mike Ross retired and his seat went to the GOP.

    Leonard Boswell ran in the 4th district this cycle after redistricting and was defeated by Republican Tom Latham.

    Jerry Costello retired, but his seat remained in Democratic control.

    Joe Donnelly's seat in the House went to the Republicans, though it's hard to argue that Donnelly's EPA vote hurt him since he was elected to the Senate. On the other hand, Donnelly was facing Richard Mourdock, the bat-shitiest Republican in a batty year. Both Democrats and a fair number of Republicans were willing to overlook anything to avoid God-makes-rape-babies Mourdock.

    Ben Chandler was defeated by Republican Andy Barr.

    Collin Peterson, author of the bill that enshrined "forcible rape" and A+ NRA and National Right to Life rep, was re-elected (don't say we don't have our own bats).

    Mike McIntyre squeaked out a win by 655 votes.

    Dan Boren retired, and his seat fell to the GOP.

    Kurt Schrader has never been a progressive, but he's been a fairly consistent supporter of clean energy and his vote on this bill is a mystery to me. He won his race in 2012.

    Tim Holden, who was widely known as the author of SOPA, lost his Democratic primary and was replaced by much more progressive Dem Matt Cartwright, who favors climate change legislation.

    Jason Altmire and Mark Critz ended up battling each other in a primary after Pennsylvania was redistricted, Critz was defeated by a Republican in the general. So the GOP took out two of the anti-EPA group in one race.

  •  Cowardice? (16+ / 0-)

    Or true believers?

    I'll bet most of these guys agree with the Republicans who think Baby Jesus will return in their lifetimes and put an end to it all anyway, so why bother with inconvenient laws to save the planet?

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:11:08 AM PST

  •  We need to anticipate future market conditions (11+ / 0-)

    That is the only way we can reduce our consumption and create incentives for the innovations we need to survive.

    And the only way we can do that is to reprice carbon through a tax.

    The simpler the better, the less subject to fraud the better, and the farther from the financial markets the better.

    •  Wrong. Free markets lower emissions to 20 year low (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      antirove, 6412093

      http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/...

      Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the United States from January through March were the lowest of any recorded for the first quarter of the year since 1992, the federal Energy Information Administration reports.

      The agency attributed the decline to a combination of three factors: a mild winter, reduced demand for gasoline and, most significant, a drop in coal-fired electricity generation because of historically low natural gas prices. Whether emissions will continue to drop or begin to rise again, however, remains to be seen, experts said Friday.

      So.. you say tax that natural gas that is producing the lowest emissions in 20 years??
      •  Phantom savings (12+ / 0-)

        Methane leaks which make fracked natural gas as bad as coal.  Only we're not counting those--only power plant emissions.  So absolutely, tax it!

      •  "free markets" as in "crappy economy" (9+ / 0-)

        and "really high oil prices" and "unsustainably cheap natural gas".

        check out the change in Americans' driving habits - concomitant with higher prices and the crash:


        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:18:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We Can't Accept Any New Molecules of Carbon, (7+ / 0-)

        not any. So even though gas is cleaner, it has to be taxed too. We don't have a century to evolve a new energy economy gracefully.

        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 Jan 27, 2013 at 07:37:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Serious people" don't really believe this. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          6ZONite

          Or at least they certainly don't believe that planning and acting on this basis is realistic.

          The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

          by Words In Action on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:01:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  True, though with Fracking (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          Natural gas isn't necessarily cleaner. The uncontrolled methane releases that all-too-often accompany fracking mean that "natural" gas extracted via that methodology has a greater warming effect than coal.

          We need to get efficient and switch to renewables at blazing speed, or we're going to have a whole different kind of blazing going on.

      •  The other kind of denier. (6+ / 0-)

        The fracking evangelist.

        The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

        by Words In Action on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:44:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Global emissions rose last year (0+ / 0-)

        as they do every year. China brings dozens of new coal fired generators on line every year and Australia wants to start mining vast deposits of tar sands.

        The power of the Occupy movement is that it ....realizes a fundamental truth about American politics… there is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs.

        by orson on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:12:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So, punish the United States? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          6412093

          The US emissions fall to 20 year lows, but you want to punish US citizens.

          Fuck. That.

          You tax-us-into-the-stone-age people will never be satisfied.  

          Go tax the Chinese..  Tax Chinese goods.. put tarrifs equal to double their retail prices for all I care.  Just stop thinking it's only Americans who need to be taxed for this.  India, China, all of the dirtiest polluters are never asked to their share.

          Like I said.. Fuck. That.

          •  There's only one planet, you know. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            northcountry21st, BYw, Calamity Jean

            Don't know which part of the US you live in, but no place really escapes the damage, though some places will eventually have to be mostly abandoned.

            When I read the IPCC Report in 2007 it seemed like the US wouldn't be too bad, but looking at the 2009 US Climate Assessment and the new draft one that isn't really true.  It is frightening, actually.  And the changes are coming much, much faster than forecast in 2007 by the IPCC.  In 10-20 years the world will be a very different place, not that good.  

            So every reduction counts.  Whether it is the Chinese or us or the Europeans.  And a great many changes aren't really going to send us to the stone age.

            The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

            by Mimikatz on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:29:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So let's ruin the US economy even further (0+ / 0-)

              to pay for the irresponsibility of the rest of the world.  I see.

              How much more do you think the US can do to reduce emissions without massive investments in nuclear?  If your predictions of unlivable conditions are ten years away, then it's way too late as it is.  Some windmills and pitiful output of solar so far have proven to be a drop in the bucket compared to our energy needs.

          •  Punish? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            T Maysle, BYw, Calamity Jean

            That's an odd choice of words.

            Taxes that are invested in energy sources that make our country a better place to live, with healthier air and water, while eliminating having to waste billions to trillions of dollars acquiring and security a polluting fuel source are a gift.

            The return on investment will be far larger and more beneficial than any other investment you could make.

            •  Punish.. as in "ruin the economy" (0+ / 0-)

              millions out of work with no prospect for a job.. going hungry.. no place to live.. and a government that can no longer borrow a Trillion per year because it has taxed businesses into bankruptcy, or forced them to move to all the countries you have given a pass on responsibility.

              •  Oh, yes, the right wing talking points (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BYw, Steve Canella, Calamity Jean

                The economy will benefit significantly from the jobs created installing the sustainable technology and improved infrastructure. It will also benefit directly from not being destroyed by natural disasters and mass starvation.

                The costs of inaction so outweigh the costs of action that the economic damage claim is laughable on its face.

                •  You can do it without taxing (0+ / 0-)

                  The point you don't seem to grasp here is that on it's own, US emissions dropped to a 20 year low.

                  We don't need to tax.  We can get the same results by encouraging alternate forms of energy through tax incentives.

                  If we pushed nuclear, for instance, we could be well below Kyoto goals in ten years.  Push solar and wind at the same time.

                  But at the same time we do all that, we should be pushing coal plants to convert to natural gas.  There are still emissions, but a lot less than coal.

                  •  There were 3 factors, not one (0+ / 0-)

                    According to US Energy Information Agency, we experienced the confluence of three events: an usually mild winter, reduced demand for gasoline, a reduction of burning of coal for electricity.

                    The first is a matter of the local temperatures in the country, which are not in our control. Obscenely warm winters are not something guaranteed to happen every year, even with warming. There is likely a bit of fuel price influence in this reduction, as well, as people kept thermostats lower to avoid having to buy more fuel.

                    The second is due to increased gasoline and diesel fuel prices, which led to less driving. This factor clearly demonstrates that raising the price of gas has the desired effect in terms of reducing transport-related CO2.

                    The third is a result of shifting our electrical production fuel mix. Most of the change was swapping coal for methane, but a small percentage came from adding renewables, as well. Unfortunately, the increase in fracking will moderate or eliminate emissions reduction as we move forward, due to its associated methane releases and their significantly greater warming effect. Switching to renewables is guaranteed to reduce emissions, switching to natural gas from fracking is not.

                    There is only one element among those three factors that is guaranteed to have an impact, and over which we have substantial control: the price of fuel. We cannot control the market's price, entirely, but we can ensure, via taxes, a minimum price - whatever is necessary to incentivize driving less.

                    •  Energy supply is twice that of transportation (0+ / 0-)

                      when it comes to CO2 emissions.

                      They are two separate problems - unless your only solution is tax-the-bejeesus-out-of-it, of course.

                      Transportation fuel is taxed sky-high already.  It is political suicide to even suggest a significant increase in motor fuels.

                      It is much better to stick with increasingly tough CAFE standards that yield more miles per gallon, politically speaking.

                      If you want to decrease our emissions output significantly, you have to go after coal power plants.  Regulate them into bankruptcy like President Obama's EPA is doing - but, at the same time, make conversion to natural gas as easy as you can.  That is quick - really quick.  decades faster than going solar or wind.  And that is your stop-gap measure until renewables can fill the nation's needs.

                      I would also add nuclear.. but the people who seem so concerned about CO2 won't even talk about it... a near zero CO2 footprint power source.

          •  I don't know who you're responding to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bon Temps

            I said nothing about taxes. As for the Chinese,  nuke the bastards.

            The power of the Occupy movement is that it ....realizes a fundamental truth about American politics… there is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs.

            by orson on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:28:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Even with an across-the-board carbon tax (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        radical simplicity, T Maysle

        Under a fee-per-ton-emitted tax, natural gas will come out ahead because it emits 1/2 the carbon dioxide per kWh generated vs. coal-fired generation.  So, the tax in dollar terms would be 1/2 that of coal for the same amount of electricity produced.  

        A carbon tax is the best way to use the power of the free market to generate the solutions we need.  But, like any "free market", government must impose boundaries for that market to serve the public interest lest it decay into a small network of predatory trusts and monopolies looking after their own private interests at the expense of everyone else.  

        I say put a long-term, slowly ramping tax on carbon and then lower the barriers to entry for ALL low and zero-carbon energy technologies.  The free-market forces of "incentivized"  innovation and competition will generate the solutions we need as quickly as possible and I'm sure natural gas will have a big role to play in that, but only as a transition because it still emits a lot of CO2.

        Just look at what innovation and competition did in the information technology sector!  The same can be applied to energy and GHG emissions if we generate the free-market conditions that will support entrepreneurs starting new companies to bring new technologies to the fore.  Providing economic incentives to replace carbon by means of a tax would be the first place to start.

        The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

        by mojo workin on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:46:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Totally specious (4+ / 0-)

        that CO2 emissions have dipped for totally coincidental reasons does not suggest one jot that the free market will deal with this.  After all, the free market has has over 115 years to solve this problem and hasn't.  DOn't just cherry pick the last 20.

        By your logic, the best climate protector we have is John BOehner who would crash the world economy by failing to raise the debt ceiling and force a default!  That doesn't make him an environmentalist.

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:53:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  These are the same guys who prohibited (17+ / 0-)

    the government from researching the effects of gun violence.  Don't talk about it, don't think about it.
    By the way, as a Michigander (from a deep blue district), I am embarrassed by Fred Upton.

    I can see Canada from my house. No, really, I can.

    by DuzT on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:38:05 AM PST

  •  It's like a bunch of little kids (7+ / 0-)

    Getting together and deciding that everything their parents ever told them is a lie.  So they're he'll bent on testing out everything.  First up was lower taxes brings in more revenue.  Next up theyre planning on putting their hands on a hot stove.  For an encore they're going to stick a fork in a toaster...
    Pity that were the ones who get shocked and burned.

  •  19 Democrats voted for it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    Even in a Congress without gerrymandering, this bill might very well have passed. Which is just disgusting. But then, I've seen very little in the way of environmental sanity from the overwhelming majority of Congresscritters.

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:45:31 AM PST

    •  Primary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CupaJoe

      hunt these guys to extinction.  DOn't rest until their all sent home.

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:54:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, for the record, we have lots of Democrats... (10+ / 0-)

    ...right here at Daily Kos who despise what has been, for more than four decades, the world's largest, by far, source of climate change gas free energy,.

    They do so because they have a scientifically illiterate hatred of something they call "nuclear waste," even though in the sixty year history involved in the storage of used nuclear fuel, it has killed no one.

    By contrast, the immediate health effects of air pollution - not counting climate change - kills according to the World Hea3.3 million people per yearlth Organization - half under the age of 5, the majority of the damage occurring because of the use of so called "renewable energy" (biomass).

    I would expect that the Democrats who voted against EPA regulation of climate change gases were afraid of offending people in the car CULTure which is also very popular here at DKos.

    I mean, at DKos, you can get hundreds of recommends for praising the huge subsidies for the Tesla Car Company, which makes electric cars for a few billionaires and millionaires, this on a planet where 2 billion people lack access to decent sanitation,.

    The battle against climate change is lost.   For more than 50 years, there has been huge amounts of money thrown at the unrealistic fantasy that so called "renewable energy" would save our atmosphere and more absurdly, our ridiculous way of life.   The effort failed spectacularly.   2012 was the second worst single year in human history for increases in dangerous fossil fuel waste in the planetary atmosphere.  

    And what's our response?    We complain about a few regulations that will do no more than the decree by the California legislature that the 1990 California legislature that by 2003, 10% of the cars sold in California needed to be "zero emission vehicles."

    That didn't happen either.

    I recently collected a bunch of papers written in the 1970's about the grand renewable energy future to be in place by the year 2000.

    If I look around this space, I still see the same rhetoric that was being used then, no less delusional for the 40 odd years of failure it represent.

    When I was writing diaries here, I once wrote the following:

    The human race is nothing more and nothing less than a biological species, our fantasies to the contrary notwithstanding, and just as bacterial populations collapse – sometimes as a function of their own waste – so can human populations collapse, not as a function of perceptions of either needs or wants, but from purely physical conditions.    The atmosphere will not ask me – or anyone else – about my opinions of what I think humanity needs or wants if, for instance, saline soils, droughts, floods, glacial depletion or similar functions suddenly drop the carrying capacity of the planet for human beings from 7 billion to 3 billion or maybe even much less, including the number zero, if you must know.    It will simply happen without debate.

    No Congress, no Parliament, no government of any kind will be able to pass laws requiring it to rain, or for the nurturing run off of disappeared glaciers to return.    We know that this is true from history.    The bubonic plague did not ask the permission of any powerful king, queen, warlord or emperor to strike, nor did the collapse of the population of Easter Island, require the Chieftain of the Island’s original population to approve it.

    Should Nuclear Energy Be a Panacea?

    The Congress - which is merely a reflection of our culture - will not be able to reverse climate change.

    That is because we live in a culture where it is more important to hear what we want to here rather than what we need to hear.

    The hatred of science in this culture - both on the right and the left - has reached new levels, and there are zero political figures who have the courage to address that simple fact.

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

    •  While I disagree with you on "safe" nuclear ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice

      energy (waste may not have killed anybody, but mining and nuclear accidents certainly have - in New Mexico you only have to look at the record for Navajo Uranium miners - and I know coal also kills miners - ain't no free lunch, it just depends on who you want to die), I think that you are correct in your assessment of human abilities to stop the process of global climate change.  As a retired professional biologist I'm pretty pessimistic about this.  Until we get a handle on population we are toast and we will never get that handle because the economy of the planet depends on an ever growing amount of cheap labor and willing consumers.  The problem of this is that more people use up more resources and cause more pollution.  The recent world economic collapse also reduced, at least temporarily, the ability of the masses to purchase goods.  Eventually this will become chronic, unless we wise up.

      As things stand now, we will have an overclass for decades, if not centuries, who will glean as much as they can from the dwindling resources until the planet becomes overall like Haiti.  Then it will be their turn to reach collapse. What happens next is anybodies' guess, but I don't think we will like it much.  Fortunately I will be dead by then.  I wish I could be more optimistic, but if Congress is a reflection of our mentality, which I'm afraid it is, we are doomed.

      •  IN fact coal mining kills vastly more (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey

        simply because it takes a shit ton more coal to power anything.

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:56:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  True, but I doubt the Navajos look at the .... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Steve Canella

          tradeoff as being good for them.  Usually it means a lingering death from lung cancer.  There are very few aged Uranium miners.

          See: http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          This is a cost that cannot be ignored.

          However, the main point is that as things stand our electricity and everything else we do comes with a greater or lesser price, usually to somebody else.  We are, in essence, all hypocrites.

          •  Depends (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HeyMikey

            The fact that its greater or lesser is critical.  I think advocating for more damaging options is not good.  Black lung isn't so fabulous either.

            The question is what is safest and what can be made safer?  There is no standard I know of in which coal is anything other than horrendous

            Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

            by Mindful Nature on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:00:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The entire history of uranium mining (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey, 6412093

        ...killed as many people as will die in the next 5 hours of dangerous fossil fuel waste.

        If you'd like to assert otherwise, please provide some references.

        I note that right now, the amount of uranium and thorium mined - the latter from lanthanide mines having horrid conditions in Baotou China to service the ridiculous wind and hybrid/electric car industries - maybe Chinese miner deaths don't count - is sufficient to supply the world's entire energy supply for centuries without operating a single mine, an oil field, coal mines, gas fields, etc.

        I'm sick to death about hearing about this Navajo uranium miners as if they were the only people who ever died from energy mining activities.   How come we have no similar fetish for the 167 guys who died on the Piper Alpha explosion, one of many thousands of dangerous fossil fuel mining accidents that have occurred over the last two centuries with no effort to stop dangerous fossil fuels?

        Here's the very toxic conceit that has prevented nuclear energy from doing what it might of done to have provided humanity with a decent and sustainable future:

        That any risk associated with nuclear energy must be viewed in isolation from its alternatives.   If nuclear energy and only nuclear energy is not risk free, all other forms of energy - all of which are much, much, much, much worse, can kill at will.

        Nuclear energy need not be risk free, it need not be perfect, to be vastly superior to everything else.   It only needs to be vastly superior to everything else, which it is.

        Have a nice Sunday.

        •  I'm sure the Navajos are sick to death of it too! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          You are quite correct about the risk, but the Navajos who mined the Uranium in New Mexico's Uranium mines were never informed of the danger any more than the West Virginia coal miners.  Was this moral? I wish neither were true (I'm no friend of coal mining or oil drilling).  It is our economic system and constant growth that causes the ever increasing need for energy and I see no easy way out.  Uranium may be a temporary fix, but it is not a panacea for our ills.  Even if it cut back on Carbon production, I cannot imagine our civilization continuing under the current economic system.  Once an area becomes contaminated it stays that way for decades or centuries. Even at a low rate of accidents this could take out quite a vast area of the earth from crop production or habitation.

          Anyone for living near the Japanese reactor taken out by the tsunami?

    •  We Have Lots of People on Daily Kos (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, wilderness voice

      Believing in all sorts of things across the spectrum. It's easy to find strident opponents for any given idea. I'm tepidly interested in a nuclear power revival. I wonder, though, how much could be achieved in terms of cleaner and better energy usage just through improved regulation and conservation with the energy system we have now.

      "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

      by bink on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:04:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Conservation, nat. gas (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bink, 6412093

        and using natural energy flows as much as possible are just good places to START.  But we have to reduce emissions by 80%!!!!!  That can only be done if the very underpinnings of core energy systems are completely replaced.  I'm afraid the only thing that can operate on that level, providing dispatachable power 24x7 on truly industrial scales, and do so for the foreseeable future, is nuclear power.  There are so many innovative options available in the nuclear-power design space; but, you wouldn't know it because even talking about it seems to be verboten in too many circles.  

        Government imposed regulator barriers to nuclear power must be lowered so these innovations can flourish, and our collective fear of radiation needs to be addressed using the best science fact available.  Even though 50 years of fact prove nuclear power to be the safest and cleanest form of mass-generation available, we need everyone to stand back and rethink this one through.  The future of the planet depends on it.

        This new documentary will certainly help this conversation:  Pandora's Promise by Robert Stone, just recently screened at Sundance.  From the link:

        ...The film is anchored around the personal narratives of a growing number of leading former anti-nuclear activists and pioneering scientists who, in the face of considerable controversy, are directly challenging the anti-nuclear orthodoxy that is a founding tenet of the mainstream environmental movement.

        Operating as history, cultural meditation and contemporary exploration, PANDORA’S PROMISE aims to inspire a serious and realistic debate over what is without question the most important question of our time: how do we continue to power modern civilization without destroying it?

        The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

        by mojo workin on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:59:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the Link (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          6412093

          I recommended your comment. For me, nuclear power is an open question. I don't have a settled opinion one way or another.

          "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

          by bink on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:06:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks, appreciate the reply (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bink

            I'm a certified science nerd, so I spend the time digging into the science and technology behind the scenes.  IMHO, nuclear is badly misunderstood, especially in relation to the alternatives for on-demand power at huge scales.

            I can't think of a bigger issue for everyone to delve into, understand fully, and get right.  It takes work and, unfortunately, accepting dogmas is a lot easier - a trap too many fall into.

            Powering human civilization affordably and sustainably is a matter of survival.  I fully agree with the assertion that this is the biggest, most important question of our time.

            The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

            by mojo workin on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:20:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Several points (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      I think you are spot on that we should be throwing up nuclear power plants as fast as possible.  Reality demands it.

      1) Tesla is now building cars at middle class price points.  They needed the rich guys to get the company off the ground
      2) A growing proportion of cars are in fact zero emission, and a great number are also more efficient hybrids.  THe date was wrong, but the trend is there.
      3) the pitiful amount of money "thrown" at renewables is trivial compared to the vast sums thrown at fossil fuel development.   And for that money we now have a range of technologies which are dropping in price very fast and increasing in efficiency.  Renewable is goingup in California at an exponential rate now.  A great deal of progress has been stopped dead by opposition from competing industries.

      FOr someone with a fairly loose relationship to the actual facts, you might want to refrain from calling anyone else ignorant.

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:00:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharon Wraight

        I'm quite have a very, very, very, very, very, very, very different view of who is unaquainted with what is and is not a "fact."

        In fact, I'm quite sure that I'm dealing with yet another clueless bourgeois brat.

        Bourgeois brat statement number #1:

        Tesla is manufacturing cars for middle class price points.

        How about we check the Tesla website for, um, price points:

        Model S Prices

        Now maybe in the privileged life that I associate with many of the clueless "renewables will save us" anti-nukes that I encounter, new cars ranging between $52,000 (for a car that they haven't even started to produce) and $87,000 is a "middle class price point" but it's certainly not a price point accessible for the vast majority of Americans, many of whom drive Chevy's and Hondas and Toyotas etc that cost half as much.

        In any case the highly subsidized billionaires at Tesla seem not to make very many cars at all:     In 2012, they made just 3,383 units of their expensive garbage.

        Only someone who is completely divorced from the scale and reality of climate change, could imagine that this is even remotely related to anything having to addressing it.

        Once again - self declared "fact" stater - there are one billion cars on this planet.    How many more fucking years do you think we should bet the planetary atmosphere on these doodlebug piece of shit billionaires getting their act together.

        Finally, I have never met a single example of a "renewables will save us" wishful thinker who can do math.   Zero.   None.

        I actually open the spreadsheet provided by the State of California for its energy sources regularly, as an exercise in stupidity checking.

        Here is the webpage at which one can find the link for all of California's electrical energy generation, nuclear, dangerous fossil fuels, hydroelectricity, and the expensive solar and wind scam they've been running as a fig leaf for their dependence on dangerous natural gas:

        California Energy Almanac

        Now.

        The liars who seek to lecture me on facts are very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very bad at comparing numbers, but I think it will be clear to almost anyone who is not an anti-nuke that last year, a quarter of a century after dumbells caused the cloture of Rancho Seco saying that California could easily replace all of its nuclear plants with renewable energy, that renewable energy has not once, ever, matched the output of California's nuclear plants.

        Zero times.

        It's also very clear that you don't have the faintest clue of what an exponential function is.   No suprise there.   Like I said, the bourgeois brats in the "renewables will save us" industry can't do math:    In 1997, California produced 21,200 GWh of electricity from geothermal, wind, solar and biomass combined.

        In 2011, 14 years later 27,113 GWh from the same sources.

        During this time period, in a State with one of the worst public school systems in the country, a State always teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, the state threw billions of dollars at renewable energy scams.

        The difference between 27,113 GWh and 21,200GWh is 5,913 GWh.   There are 24*365.25 = 8766 hours in a year.

        It follows that the 14 year increase in magical renewable energy, despite sucking billions upon billions of bucks out of the pockets of the poor, the students, the sick, the elderly who government money might have helped, the renewable energy industry built the equivalent of a 675 MW powerplant.

        Heckuva a job.   You must be very, very, very, very, very, very, very proud.

        Excuse me if I decline to credit your lecture on the subject of facts as being reality based.

        What you call "liberalism" and what I call liberalism are very different things, I think.    You're apparently, I would guess, one of those Tortilla Curtain types, very smug when discussing a subject, the environment, you know nothing about.

        Have a great week!

  •  A new phrase: "Too timid by half" ??? n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." – Leonard Bernstein

    by frisco on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:54:44 AM PST

  •  They've also tried to slip this in other bills (4+ / 0-)

    Cap-and-trade talks, appropriations bills, etc.

    And, it's not just 17 Dems in the House that supported the one bill:

    "In total, 17 Democratic Senators voted for at least one of the four measures, and a majority of the Senate is now on record supporting some type of restriction to the EPA’s authority. Coupled with the passing of the doomed-yet-symbolic House bill that sought to nullify the EPA’s scientific findings and resulting greenhouse gas regulations, the outlook for the Obama administration’s climate policies may be cloudy."
    The opposition to EPA rules here don't just come from oil and coal producing states, but also those that rely on coal for energy, like Indiana.

    It's a tough row to hoe, but we've got to remain firm here. Any deal -- no matter what subject -- cannot go forward if they'll restrict the EPA's authority in this area.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:00:18 AM PST

  •  So long as nearly half of all voters (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rocksout, 6ZONite

    keep on voting for some white racist bubba moron for literally no other reason than because he's a white racist bubba moron, because THEY are white racist bubba morons themselves, this problem won't go away.

    This country has, in a sense, gotten precisely the leaders it deserves. We are as messed up as we are because we're literally the stupidest mofo nation in the developed world, bar NONE.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:00:30 AM PST

    •  Tens Probably Hundreds of Billions Have Been Spent (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, 6ZONite

      over the last half century making sure the country has gotten the leadership it has, out of fear that voters weren't stupid enough without a massive propaganda machine.

      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 Jan 27, 2013 at 07:39:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wilderness voice, 6ZONite

        But it still doesn't excuse every mentally competent person from at least trying to educate and keep themselves informed about the issues. The roots of our stupidity precede the attempts by certain money and cultural elites to exploit it, going back to the Great Awakenings and their emphasis on anti-reason.

        Religion and tribalism have done vastly more harm than good to the US.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:46:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Our mentally competent, able to self-educate must (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          6ZONite, kovie

          do more and take some responsibility for educating neighbors. We need Earth Science and Ciimate Science to become legitimate topics presented in every town, on every media source, by those who have any sort of reputation of being 'serious' people, who have any respect accorded by Bubba.  

          Small town Bubba views certain people as being educated and tends not to trust outsiders (with agendas they don't care for). The local politicians pandering to Bubba's views are a special challenge.  Bubba also listens (if not in total belief) to the local pastors (often the 'most educated' in their region) and doctors.  Teachers should be able to teach, but immense political and financial pressure is squeezing teachers harshly for attempting to teach real science.  We need the country doctors, vetenarians, and pastors committed to linking humanity's purpose with loving caring for this world and all it's life, even to the End of the World.  We need the EMTs (volunteer or paid) to point out how climate change is affecting whom they are treating and for what.  We need grocery store owners providing exhibits, explaining how the availability of foods and food varieties is changing, and the effects upon costs and quality.  We need the quick mart gas & snack & beer stores doing the same.  It needs to be shown how climate change is affecting the crops needed for beer, wine, whisky.  We need to see the impacts in military related stories. We need missionaries coming back home with stories of climate change. We have to learn to 'speak' Bubba and communicate in concrete terms that Bubba is at risk, and at risk not just from Bubba's behavior, but corporate and military behavior. (Keep in mind our military consumes 70 to 80% of our annual fuel production. Civilians only use a little more than 20%)

          Educating the Bubba Next Door needs to become a national if not global priority.  Bubba ain'ta goin' to no school cuz he don't need more of that edumacation'.  Bubba does watch cable news. So we need to go where Bubba goes: bars, bowling alleys, shooting ranges, tractor pulls, scouts, church BBQs, county and state fairs, etc. and create events that do get covered by cable news and keep pointing to climate change as the explanation behind weird bouts of weather, huge hurricanes and tornados, bizzards, hail, and prolonged droughts, fires, and unanticipated floods.  We need to link regional experienced weather to climate change.  We need to tie the odd effects in one region to seemingly opposite effects in another region with overall changes in planetary temperatures, weather systems, current flows, water cycles.

          We cannot just show up with fliers or speeches. We need to find, assemble and provide effective public demonstrations, using everyday materials as much as possible, where Bubba can get hands-on, and smell, see and feel for himself how the build-up of greenhouse gasses affects us as Americans and citizens of this planet.  We need the demonstrations to show that impacts have already begun to hit (as any gardner or farmer knows), and that the impacts become much worse within any timeframe they may have for the Return of Jesus.

          It has to be made clear that 'getting all that they can', 'whatever is due them', 'what American working man deserves to have', comes at increasing great cost to their children, and children of the whole nation and all living things in this world.  We can appeal to God of the Bible creating humanity as caretaker of this world's life: gardener, tiller, animal husbandry, even charged with keeping nature in balance, with battling back against thorns and weeds to maintain room for the fruitful grains, fruits, trees, to keep waters pure and fit for supporting all life, not just beer. Violating Mother Nature needs to become a taboo as violating one's own mother or daughters, maybe more taboo than that.

          When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

          by antirove on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:17:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is where populism comes in (0+ / 0-)

            a skill I have not the talent or temperament for. We need people who can talk to, organize, enlighten, exhort and be liked, respected, trusted, listened to and followed by everyday people, our own versions of Reagan. I'm no good at that. When confronted by abject ignorance and stupidity, my reaction is to want to throttle the person (I don't of course), not enlighten them. My mental reaction is to think "Arggh! How can anyone be this stupid, gullible, ignorant and lazy!", leaving me emotionally incapable of enlightening them.

            I simply do not relate well to the lesser half. Not having come from privilege or sophistication and to a large extent being self-educated, I have a hard time respecting people who have no excuse for being stupid, lazy and ignorant.

            And yet, as you say, we do have to educated such people.

            Clearly, we've got our work cut out for us.

            And btw, I think this is one of liberalism's great failings, to leave such people behind and either assume that they'll be able to enlighten themselves, or figure that they're not worth our time and effort. Such elitism has caused us much damage. Progressivism has succeeded and failed based in large part of its willingness to embrace or reject populism.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:48:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  B r o k e n G o v e r n m e n t. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      6ZONite

      There are so many ways this government is rigged to fail the people of this country and serve the global plutocracy, thinking we are a nation of laws and solutions to our biggest problems can be addressed through this system, is as grand a delusion as thinking we are unicorns.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:51:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Viable alternative being...? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6ZONite

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:38:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Gosh. I've said it so many times I feel (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          6ZONite, Steve Canella

          like a broken record.

          Today's version of the Civil Rights movement to address the Class, Terror and Climate Wars will have to be much, much bigger and much more unrelenting and sustained. And it will have to be well organized.

          Picture 3 million or more flooding the streets, squares and parks of D.C. every day and proclaiming a specific set of demands involving election reform, legislative reform, ethics reform, financial sector reform and a 15-year plan for a war effort on Climate Change, and not leaving until they have happened.

          Think of the organization, planning, logistics and infrastructure that would be necessary. Think of the message control.

          Frankly, it's either going to be that or it will be violence, either from right-wing militias or the eco-terrorist types (eco here referring to economics and/or or ecology).

          I realize this sounds virtually impossible, but the traditional approach has proven insanely ineffective now for a couple decade.

          I also realize that plenty can go wrong with this approach as well, but if the alternative is something we know will not work on any time-frame that matters, what are we waiting for? Superman?

          The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

          by Words In Action on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:59:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The powers will shut it down (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Steve Canella

            They have the will and the means. OWS was a trial run. They're ready for this, even welcome it. We're not going to have real change come through rallies OR violence. We have to elect more progressives, period. That's the only way this works. I'm not about to give up on the system. Not on this site especially.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:16:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  OWS was way too small and disorganized. (0+ / 0-)

              Early on, at the peak, there were still well under a 100,000, and never that for more than a day or two, in NYC.

              In D.C., we never had more than about 10,000 in the two camps, and it quickly settled down to 1-2K, on weekends.

              3 Million in one place is NOTHING they are prepared to shut down.

              The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

              by Words In Action on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:15:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Elections and letter-writing are minimums. (0+ / 0-)

              You participate in them merely to avoid the worst of two ineffective options. No matter how many Democrats you elect, they will always be able to flip enough to protect themselves on the most important votes.

              You won't avoid the worst effects of Climate Change if you rely on them solely. Maybe that's enough for you, but not for me.

              The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

              by Words In Action on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:19:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Agreed that formal participation (0+ / 0-)

                in the democratic process isn't enough, e.g. voting and petitions, and that we need protests, rallies, legitimate acts of civil disobedience, etc. But ultimately, there's only one way that lasting structural change happens in the US, and that's through the political process, where laws are made and unmade. All efforts to effect change, whether within or outside the formal political process, must ultimately be directed towards this end. Which requires participation in that process. So while it's necessary to push the leaders we have to do the right thing, it's also necessary to elect better leaders and get rid of bad ones.

                "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                by kovie on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:40:15 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No argument there. The exceptional case I refer to (0+ / 0-)

                  is Climate Change, which cannot wait for normal, glacial political change, especially since it is the direct result of Class War, which is raging as hot as ever and also seemingly impervious to ant winds of political change.

                  The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

                  by Words In Action on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:30:45 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

                    Normal political change is literally the only way we can deal adequately with climate change, since the only people who can do that happen to be the ones in power. Hopefully, though, it won't be glacial. There are certainly precedents for that, e.g. getting Obama to do a rapid turnaround on gay rights, or getting out of Iraq. Not all political change need be glacial, but all structural change needs to go through the political process. There is literally no other way to force polluters to stop polluting and take whatever other measures we need to properly fix this. So we have to bring extraordinary pressure to bear on politicians, and replace the most difficult ones with better ones.

                    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                    by kovie on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 09:08:04 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Not cowardice but dysfunction (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pigpaste

        We live by an eighteenth century Constitution written by people who had in mind a nation of gentleman farmers and a world of inexhaustible natural bounty.

        We also live under an economic system whose essential principle is: every man for himself. Capitalism invariably robs the commons to enrich private interests; much of the history of the United States is that of gold rushes, land rushes, boom towns, and other examples of this principle. For politicians and business alike, the notion of making private interests pay to replenish the commons goes against all they hold dear.  It will never happen.

        If we want to do something about global warming, we'll need a new economic and political order, one in which, as Mr .Spock would say, the good of the many outweighs the good of the few or the one.

        It's time for Democrats to become socialists and to help build a new post-capitalist America.

        •  Not gonna happen (0+ / 0-)

          American going socialist? In our lifetimes? What fantasy world is this? It has nothing to do with whether or not it's the best way to go in an ideal world (I don't believe it is as I don't want government running everything), but with viability. It simply WILL NOT HAPPEN. Most Americans don't want it, the people with power don't want it, and the left doesn't even begin to have the power to do anything about that. Anyone who thinks otherwise isn't living in reality.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:22:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Dumping capitalism (0+ / 0-)

          would not necessarily help avoid climate change.  Fossil fuels are still logical because they are cheap.

           Our worldwide leadership lacks painful awareness of the chore we face, no matter what type of government a country has.

          Even kinda-socialist Venezulea is mining the daylights out of their own tar sands oil.

          I personally favor tightening the regs on natural gas production to reduce the methane emissions, increased use of gas and nukes, stop building new coal  power plants, and subsidize conservation, wind and solar all day long.

          Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

          by 6412093 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 10:43:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Effective climate action. Work to get (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mindful Nature

    cowards out of politics.  

    If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

    by John Crapper on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:12:42 AM PST

    •  Not going to happen. (0+ / 0-)

      There's no number of "more and better Democrats" that can't be flipped to rig any given vote in this system. And the participants will not un-rig the system.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:53:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So the Earth Suicide Assurance Bill.... (4+ / 0-)

    ... itself died in the Senate?

    If these people were holding assault rifles to the heads of your children, you might take offense, but when they hold virtual assault rifles to the planet's head.... so-kay?

  •  That language cancels the Clean Air act. (7+ / 0-)

    All gasses have a greenhouse effect. True, most are very small, but this bill makes no mention of that. So it covers all gasses.

    And the second part says gasses cannot be regulated for any purpose.

    Ergo --- zero air pollution regulations.

    What a bunch of slimy motherfuckers.

    "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

    by nosleep4u on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:32:24 AM PST

  •  Sticking their in sand about climate change (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    I guess being a moron does not disqualify you from Congress. You know, this is really sad.  Let us hope Republicans and some Democrat "Who stick their head in the sand" approach works, or that End of Days is actually approaching, otherwise those of us that actually believe in Reason (on climate control) will have only ourselves to blame when humans make this planet uninhabitable (or at least miserable to live on) because we couldn't find a working method for combatting idiocy. It is sad that the most obstinately ignorant among us so often rise to power by simply protecting their benefactors.

  •  Broken government. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, 6ZONite

    Anyone who is thinking we can address the crushing issues of the Class, Terror and Climate Wars through this system -- through elections and representative government -- is every bit as delusional as someone who thinks he can win the arms race with the U.S. military. Every bit.

    There's no conceivable number of "more and better Democrats" that could be elected to address this problem. The number that need to be flipped on any given vote will always be manageable in this system. As we saw in the recent filibuster "reform" kabuki, the participants themselves will NOT fix the system, either.

    So, who's ready to add another approach, one that actually can work?

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:40:22 AM PST

    •  Change can happen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steve Canella

      It sometimes happens so slowly you just think it is itself impossible.  

      Would African-Americans of decades past ever DREAM it would be possible to have one of their own as POTUS?  Women got the vote after years of struggle against a similarly broken system.  How about the pursuit of gay rights?  Would the rioters at a New York gay bar, rebelling against repression at the hands of the NYPD in 1969, ever think their struggle would be directly acknowledged in a presidential inaugural address?  That change happened only because thousands organised, fought and kept on fighting for decades.

      Change happens, but only if WE organize, fight, fight more and NEVER give up, and keep the pressure applied for as many years, as many decades as it takes.

      The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

      by mojo workin on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:11:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the report (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    I was not aware of these bills. Very worrisome to still see so much burying of the head in the sand at this late stage of climate change. I do what I can to reduce my carbon consumption, but really, is changing my light bulbs to CFLs really going to make that much difference? Seems like a drop in the ocean.

  •  But their are many here who do not think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6ZONite

    we are really in a crisis, otherwise they'd be organizing for a sane response that has a chance in hell of working.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:56:04 AM PST

  •  WV's corporate whores (0+ / 0-)

    Capito and McKinley came out on top of their opponents, largely because the state party and the DCCC offered no help whatsoever. Rahall, of course also won re-election. Now they are making noise about running for for Rockefeller's Senate seat and Capito has already announced.  

    "Idiocracy. It's not a comedy, it's a prophecy."

    by wv voice of reason on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:05:44 AM PST

  •  Republicans seem to have based their views on EPA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6ZONite, Calamity Jean

    on the Simpsons Movie.

    British guy with a big interest in US politics; -1.88, -4.05. A liberal, a moderate and a conservative walk into a bar. The bartender says "Hey Mitt".

    by General Goose on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:06:28 AM PST

  •  The war on reality continues (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6ZONite, Calamity Jean
    ..but Republicans were never trusted what they read in books..
    Noah's Ark was in a "book." Only "book" you'll ever need. The Book. Just skip the red letters, 'cause they're confusing.

    Why is it that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn't want to #&@$ in the first place? - George Carlin

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:19:32 AM PST

  •  If this an IQ Test, then epic fail - WALL OF SHAME (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Batya the Toon, 6ZONite

    There's no better demonstration of how dysfunctional the American system of government has become than the continued denial of climate change.

    Anyone got a blank wall handy? We ought to start engraving names on it, for a Wall of Shame. We can make an annual awards ceremony out of it, take nominations, and vote for the worst of the deniers and obstructionists.

    We could have one section just for extreme weather events, along with the cost and toll of life from it.

    Sounds like a good project for a dedicated web site.

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

    by xaxnar on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:21:07 AM PST

  •  We have a plan for climate change... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zinman, Calamity Jean

    And we are well into the implementation phase.  First, we burn every economically recoverable spec of hydrocarbon on earth, then we quit.  The planet will overheat for several centuries, maybe a millennium, and many species will be wiped out, but viewed from a geological frame of mind that's just a blip. Any other plan would just be too costly.

  •  "greenhouse gas" is a euphemism. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    Greenhouses are nice and gas is only bad when one passes it in company.

    Pumping carbon out of the earth's crust into the air we breathe is something else. That's nasty, even if the particles of carbon are too small to see. There's a reason we exhale it with every breath. Carbon is not good for us. Humans need oxygen, also a gas, to live.

    Euphemisms serve a definite purpose. They make nasty things seem good. We should not use them. People employing euphemisms should raise a warning flag.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:12:41 AM PST

  •  this planet is (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean
    Hidden by:
    Steve Canella

    doomed to a fate that will not support human life because of the cowards and charlatans here in our govt and those around the world, i won't be here to see and deal with the consequences but mother earth will be a better place without our pathetic species and one can only hope that whichever species survives will treat earth with more respect than we have and have a better existence because we are gone.

  •  EPA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    The Environmental Protection Agency mission is to protect the air, water, and land of this country from being polluted. To try to enact legislation to prevent that makes no sense. The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, is legislation that is not rational to the EPA's mission. We must all think of the world we will leave our children. Because it is that world they will have to survive in. Thinking of money before the welfare of the environment, leaves you in end with less money and a environment hard to survive in.

  •  Koch brothers money at work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    (also BP and the rest of the usual suspects).

    Congressthings are cheap investments for Big Oil.

  •  As always (0+ / 0-)

    with your writing, you capture key points clearly and powerfully.  

    I very much appreciate this paragraph:

    Why didn't the votes help hold onto their seats? Because to Republicans convinced that any name followed by a (D) was equivalent to voting for Stalin, these votes were invisible. For Democrats looking for leadership, the vote was evidence that these representatives all too readily put their careers ahead of their principles. If you made it into a book, it would be "How to Lose Friends and Not Influence Enemies." Everyone can tell when you're just voting in the hopes of saving your ass, and everyone knows what that means. It means you're a coward.

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

    by A Siegel on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 02:41:56 PM PST

  •  While the killers in high places say their prayers (0+ / 0-)

    out loud" is a line from a song, Anthem by Leonard Cohen, that comes to mind. Obstruction on dealing with carbon emissions and the resulting acceleration of climate change in fact (as best we can predict the future consequences of climate change) will result in the death of many people. Of course this being a life and death issue is not part of the mainstream discussion. The killers in high places continue to get to say their prayers aloud.

    Love = Awareness of mutually beneficial exchange across semi-permeable boundaries. Political and economic systems either amplify or inhibit Love.

    by Bob Guyer on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 02:57:50 PM PST

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