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No need to pay attention to this. I'm sure everything will be fine.

The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the air jumped dramatically in 2012, making it very unlikely that global warming can be limited to another 2 degrees as many global leaders have hoped, new federal figures show.

Scientists say the rise in CO2 reflects the world's economy revving up and burning more fossil fuels, especially in China.

Carbon dioxide levels jumped by 2.67 parts per million since 2011 to total just under 395 parts per million, says Pieter Tans, who leads the greenhouse gas measurement team for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

That's the second highest rise in carbon emissions since record-keeping began in 1959. The measurements are taken from air samples captured away from civilization near a volcano in Mauna Loa, Hawaii.

The great tragedy here is that we have three gigantic problems right now, each of them with the same simple solution. We have a climate problem, first and foremost. We have a global economic and unemployment problem, second. And we have a global terrorism (or imperialism, depending on your point of view) problem focused largely on oil producing states, third.

All of these problems have the same solution: a global effort to create jobs in renewable energy, conservation and climate adaptation technologies while transitioning away from fossil fuels.

The importance of this effort to the climate problem is obvious. The human race is quite literally going to go extinct if we don't solve this problem by mitigating the climate crisis and bringing emissions under control. The longer it takes us to solve this problem, the more in danger we are of civilization collapse unless we figure out significant adaptation solutions. And it may well be that, dangerous as it certainly is, we may be forced to attempt geo-engineering as well.

But this is also of crucial importance to the economy. When people think of "green jobs", they tend of think of highly trained engineers working on solar panels. But that's only the tip of the iceberg. Conservation involves all sorts of projects: weather stripping and insulating homes, painting rooftops, creating bicycle lanes and railroads, enabling telecommutes, and a host of other variegated economic activity, much of which creates jobs that don't require advanced training. Transitioning from fossil fuels also involves some massive conversion projects, including altering and retrofitting every gas station in the world and all the associated infrastructure. We're talking about untold millions of jobs here in nearly every sector of the economy. It wouldn't even hurt capital markets much, except insofar as it would require the taxes to pay for them. But then, with the Dow Jones and wealth inequality at record levels, it's not as if the investment community can't afford to pitch in a little to help.

Finally, there's the security angle. The Right and the Left like to argue about who is to blame for the horrors in the Middle East. The Right points to Islamism and other cultural problems, not without some justification. The Left points to the long history of imperialism and war that has decimated those societies, again with no little justification.

But the biggest problem is simply oil wealth. When a country has vast quantities of the world's most precious resource under its soil, two things happen: first, every other nation wants to control it; and second, the leaders of that nation find it easier to buy off their public with easily gotten money than to build a stable, diversified middle class with a tax base.

Political scientists know that one of the most crucial factors in creating a society built on principles of democracy and constitutional liberalism respecting human rights, is the presence of a vibrant, diversified middle class that demands a say in its own government. Although it may cause increased instability in the short term, ending both imperialism and despotism in the Middle East will require the devaluation of oil as a commodity.

All of these problems have the same solution. And yet our leaders across the globe are taking precisely the wrong measures at every turn.

Instead of focusing on renewables and conservation, we are working to extract and transport as much fossil fuel energy as quickly as possible.

Instead of embarking on a massive jobs program, we are slashing deficits and enacting austerity in order to placate bond investors who are fatter and wealthier than ever.

And instead of defusing the military security problems in the world by reducing the power of oil, we are actively and expensively making them worse.

History will not be a kind judge. But it's important that the record show that there were voices shouting sanity from the rooftops, even if they only amount to cries in the wilderness. It's that or just giving up. And giving up isn't an option.

The future of our species depends on it.

Cross-posted from Digby's Hullabaloo

Originally posted to thereisnospoon (David Atkins) on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 04:56 PM PST.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (188+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, One Pissed Off Liberal, Potus2020, FishOutofWater, RLMiller, luckydog, some other george, Cassandra Waites, Ree Zen, Bisbonian, Eddie L, northerntier, Egalitare, WarrenS, MeToo, luckylizard, Haningchadus14, cwsmoke, Brooke In Seattle, blueoregon, Burned, ursoklevar, hubcap, NoMoreLies, ladybug53, FogCityJohn, pat bunny, TiaRachel, chantedor, teresahill, Words In Action, DrFood, emmanuel, greycat, Agathena, muddy boots, WheninRome, wader, slathe, countwebb, RWood, eeff, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, carpunder, juliesie, Nowhere Man, Shockwave, deha, TomP, bluedust, eagleray, petulans, Canis Aureus, brainwave, 207wickedgood, mskitty, erratic, susakinovember, Dobber, livingthedream, nomandates, LinSea, AZ Sphinx Moth, peteri2, Trendar, JesseCW, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, HeyMikey, maggiejean, tacet, asterkitty, KatinHi, Dahankster, Renee, Yellow Canary, Leftcandid, ChemBob, bloomer 101, Bluesee, pdx kirk, tofumagoo, also mom of 5, RJDixon74135, fumie, adrianrf, bekosiluvu, grollen, majcmb1, reflectionsv37, Alumbrados, pixxer, Orinoco, Regina in a Sears Kit House, Captain C, DMiller, SolarMom, gr8trtl, Free Jazz at High Noon, marleycat, bronte17, Ginny in CO, squarewheel, Mathazar, Chaddiwicker, YucatanMan, kbman, nailbender, bluesheep, FinchJ, Nebraskablue, fou, out of left field, nirbama, asym, rat racer, DWG, musicsleuth, Cat Whisperer, sunny skies, leeleedee, Chi, tonyahky, cskendrick, DRo, Creosote, DefendOurConstitution, deviant24x, rivamer, coppercelt, roonie, Smoh, sandrad23, Nadnerb in NC, fisheye, Prospect Park, Mrs M, oortdust, Karl Rover, anodnhajo, Oh Mary Oh, copymark, Sam Hill, WearyIdealist, theKgirls, raines, 2thanks, TracieLynn, oakroyd, S F Hippie, bartcopfan, ricklewsive, Amber6541, Ed in Montana, Thunder, jnhobbs, Steve15, Beetwasher, ARS, roses, stunzeed, flowerfarmer, Sun Tzu, Cronesense, VA Breeze, bfitzinAR, Steven D, TheDuckManCometh, JBL55, RebeccaG, golem, FutureNow, Jbearlaw, poliwrangler, BlueDragon, filkertom, surfbird007, Mimikatz, keirdubois, RiveroftheWest, elwior, side pocket, Robynhood too, jrooth, Turbonerd, Calamity Jean, Wino, Nada Lemming, left of center
  •  Because That Same Problem Staffs Our Represen- (28+ / 0-)

    tative government. Our system doesn't provide free infrastructure for that function, and funding from the people isn't competitive.

    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 Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 05:00:23 PM PST

    •  Actually the human stuff is symptomatic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies

      but the three real problems are mass extinction, overpopulation of humans, pets and livestock, and climate CO2 concentration. All three have the exact same graph.

      Of course that doesn't fit the diarist's neoliberal perspective. He has before denied reality and said that we need population growth. Called to mind the same way that an addict must have more crack.

      If the unemployment rate was back down to 5.5%, do you think this diarist would be raising a stink over the chronic unemployment in Oregon's timber country or West Virginia's coal country?  I doubt it, even those are exactly symptomatic of the ecological crisis we're in and predate current climate debate (over what to do).

      Neoliberalism failed. It had a chance in 2008 to try the ecocapitalism route, not that a try would have guaranteed success. Don't blame Obama, there was never any serious intention from the part of anyone about something so radical.

      Governments care only as much as their citizens force them to care. Nothing changes unless we change -- George Monbiot.

      by Nulwee on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:16:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  wait a minute (13+ / 0-)

        now you're "neoliberal" if you don't advocate population die-off? When did I advocate population growth, anyway? I don't support mass sterilization.

        •  Typical word-twisting creepiness from you. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          second gen

          I'm American Indian. You should be more thoughtful about who you accuse of supporting mass sterilization.

          Governments care only as much as their citizens force them to care. Nothing changes unless we change -- George Monbiot.

          by Nulwee on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 10:26:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't really understand your critique of the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jds1978, bfitzinAR, Nada Lemming

        diary.

        I think the diary is spot on (except for "literal extiction of the human race") and I think your suggestion for fewer humans is spot on.

        We have the technology for a controlled power-down from our crazed, over populated world: contraceptives and lower energy usage, less meat production, etc.

        I don't think we have the collective wisdom to implement these solutions.

        On the other hand, I hate the phrase "destroy the world". Humans don't have that kind of power. What we can do is cause massive damage to the ecosystems that support large numbers of humans. We can, and probably will, massively reduce the numbers of humans and other species on the planet. Others will take their place.

        I think I remember reading the newest estimates are that even detonation of all nukes in existence would  result in a few lucky pockets of humans surviving nuclear winter to repopulate.

        If not, bacteria exist (recently discovered) deep within the Earth that survive on nothing but minerals in the aquifers and heat from the Earth's core. In a few hundred million years, new species would make their way to the surface.

        The point of my rant is this: Humans can destroy the habitat that supports us in great numbers. We can't destroy the planet.

        Reaganomics noun pl: belief that government is bad, that it can increase revenue by decreasing revenue, and unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources.

        by FrY10cK on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 04:52:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, the UN has an initiative called (9+ / 0-)

      Sustainable Energy For All that looks promising.

      http://www.eenews.net/...

      Progress towards climate protection has been modest over the past decades despite the ever-increasing urgency for concerted action against global warming. Partly as a response to this, but more directly as a means to promote sustainable development and poverty eradication, the United Nations has initiated a process to promote three global energy objectives: energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Here we discuss the consistency of the proposed energy-related objectives with the overarching climate goal of limiting global temperature increase to below 2°C. We find that achieving the three energy objectives could provide an important entry point to climate protection, and that sustainability and poverty eradication can go hand in hand with mitigating climate risks. Using energy indicators as the sole metrics for climate action may, however, ultimately fall short of the mark: eventually, only limits on cumulative greenhouse gas emissions will lead to stringent climate protection
      (emphasis mine)

      It's not perfect, but it's better than a lot of plans that have been placed on the table.

    •  hey, they'll all be dead, right? (22+ / 0-)

      so who cares? And their kids can just move to an armed fortress in the tropical forests of Delaware.

    •  The only solace I get in witnessing (18+ / 0-)

      the tipping point being crossed is that those responsible for this will likely get to actually witness the extent of the destruction and loss of human life they caused. It is going to be a Biblical kind of calamity, with hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, dying in the process. And even today half of America doesn't believe in global warming and most of the other half is concerned but not enough to actually sacrifice in the present.

    •  You might not be able to "take it with you"... (8+ / 0-)

      ...but you'll probably get to figure out just where you ended up on the final Forbes list. And that's all that really matters, amirite??  :-p

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 05:37:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oil is *the only* thing that... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, Words In Action, Fishgrease

      ...allows us to run what we are currently running.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 06:11:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because it was/is tightly controlled (15+ / 0-)

        and all other avenues were made illegal. Look how we legislated gas guzzlers and huge SUVs into existence. Hummers garnered large writeoffs. CAFE standards were a joke. Gasoline blends are now injurious to a lot of engines, motorcycles especially. Diesel is gerrymandered and controlled and artificially inflated in price. Formulations for fuel are different in every region.

        Petrol/Car Makers are a cabal that controls our buying choices, while killing public transportation. Republicans freak out if someone proposes a goddamn bike path. We lose 30-60& of our electricity through transmission because our infrastructure is old, yet our energy costs are higer every day. The game is rigged. TPTB want centralized generation of fuel and energy and have done everything they can to squelch innovation, conservation and control newer technologies to bury them.

      •  Depends on what you mean by allow (12+ / 0-)

        Technically, we could virtually everything we do now without fossil fuels, and could eliminate a cool 80% of emissions.  The problem of course being the massive sunk costs in the old dirty technologies, which means replacement will cost a lot.  HOwever, given the will and the money, we certainly could shift over.

        If you mean from an economic power and political perspective, yes, oil is the only thing allowed to be used to run what we run now.  The political power of entrenched interests is what prevents change.

        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 Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:08:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Re (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RainDog2
          Technically, we could virtually everything we do now without fossil fuels, and could eliminate a cool 80% of emissions.  The problem of course being the massive sunk costs in the old dirty technologies, which means replacement will cost a lot.  HOwever, given the will and the money, we certainly could shift over.
          Nope, we couldn't. Not without dropping our economic productivity by a massive amount. Wind and solar (while I strongly advocate them) simply do not produce the necessary amount of BTUs of energy.

          Oil and gas represent hundreds of millions of years of stored energy. We're burning through it rapidly. Every year we burn something like 100,000 years of stored energy in chemical bonds of fossil fuels.

          There is no way we can replace that with renewables and run anything close to what we are currently running. The idea is fantasy.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:38:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We could with nukes, though. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mindful Nature, elwior

            And land use planning.

            Nuclear energy could generate a shitload of electricity.

            With different patterns of land use, we could make it feasible for most people to walk or bike to work and shopping.

            "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 Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:50:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Re (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HeyMikey, Nada Lemming
              With different patterns of land use, we could make it feasible for most people to walk or bike to work and shopping.
              Good luck with that. Americans will die before they give up their cars (probably literally). Tell the average American that they're going to have to give up their suburban only-accessible-via-car house. In fact, run for office on that platform. See what happens.

              I like your ideas (I'm one of you and think your idea is what has to happen) but even read this diary from someone who's supposed to be a progressive. Reforming land use (other than throw-away lines about bike lanes) isn't exactly on the agenda, let alone a fundamental driving issue.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:20:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's not so black and white... (6+ / 0-)
                Tell the average American that they're going to have to give up their suburban only-accessible-via-car house.
                Check out residential real estate prices in areas that are towards the center of cities, with good schools and low crime. They're astronomical. What does that tell us? It tells us that people would LOVE to live closer to work--they'll pay a PREMIUM to live closer to work--but only if they can have good schools and low crime.

                1. Tax carbon (thus motor fuel, thus commuting), but the money into education and police.

                2. Change the zoning laws to allow only new residential development in areas that are already heavily commercial, and only new commercial development in areas that are already heavily residential.

                Nothing has to be taken away from anybody. What we have to do is figure out how to enable people to get what they already want.

                "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 Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:44:12 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  It is called SB 375 (4+ / 0-)

                And it is already law in California, that most car cultures state.  

                I love it when naysayers say things can't be done and I can say "nope, been there, done that, California already does that!"

                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 Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 11:42:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  So why (0+ / 0-)

                  in many areas of California, is nothing in walking distance?

                  If you live in a city, with good public transit, you probably don't have to drive much.

                  But anywhere else in the state? That's the only way to do much of anything.

                  And California is a BIG state.

                  •  SB 375 was passed two years ago (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Calamity Jean, HeyMikey

                    the point is, this idea that change is impossible because Americans are all stupid and lazy simply is not born out by the fact that the state legislature is taking some serious measures to reduce Vehicle Miles Travelled by changing land use planning.  Thus, going forward, there are singificant planning efforts that will require development provide for more walkability and lower VMT.  

                    You'll notice that other cities have also taken similar steps.  Thus, it can be done.

                    So, the original point of throwing up hands and saying "nothing can be done!" is merely a Ringwraith move, and should not actually be taken seriously.

                    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 Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 11:25:25 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Oil (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mmacdDE

              Doesnt merely provide energy. It also provides feedstocks for a huge chemical industry.

              You can't make medicine, plastics, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides etc from electrons. you can't pave roads with them either.

              look into the chemicals that make up crude oil sometime. it's absolutely insane how useful the stuff is.

              I'm not saying we can't get off the stuff, but nothing else comes close in terms of utility and energy density for the money. nothing.

              anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

              by chopper on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 06:59:01 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  But that said (0+ / 0-)

                there are ways to convert one type of material into another. It might be possible to convert organic waste into something similar to oil, with a similar chemical structure.

                But it would likely take a lot of energy, which has to come from somewhere. At this point, probably oil or a derivative.

                Which really doesn't help much.

                •  A couple of points. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Calamity Jean

                  1. We don't need to get to zero oil. We need to cut out the majority of our oil. If we cut back drastically on oil used for transportation and grid power, we can probably continue to use oil for "medicine, plastics, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides," and to pave roads. (And if we do land planning right, we'll need much less road construction & maintenance.)

                  2. There are processes to turn organic waste into oil, most notably thermal depolymerization. TDP looked set to take off when it seemed the USDA was on the verge of banning animal slaughterhouse waste from animal feed (due to the Mad Cow scare), but that didn't happen, so TDP still hasn't become financially viable. But the price will probably continue to come down, and if we taxed GHG then TDP might be competitive instantly. Further reading:

                  http://discovermagazine.com/...

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

                  "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 Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 11:48:30 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's what I was thinking of (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    HeyMikey

                    Thanks for the links.

                    I doubt we could ever get to zero oil. But drastic cutbacks would be great.

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

                    is nice, but much more energy intensive than extracting oil. for now, anyway.

                    now, if we taxed GHGs to make stuff like that competitive, oil would cost a ton. like a lot. now, it should cost a ton, but our entire system is based on oil being cheap. so you also have to rearrange our entire civilization and economy to operate on a base energy source that costs many times as much.

                    anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

                    by chopper on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 06:59:05 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Trends are good. (0+ / 0-)

                      According to that Discover Magazine article I linked, the TDP process is 85% energy efficient.  It requires 15 BTUs for every 100 BTUs in the feedstock. The fuel gas it generates can power the process, leaving a lot of liquid fuel and useful solids for sale.

                      Of course that was 2003, early in the process. Scaling up and refining TDP might have resulted in improvements, or might've shown the efficiencies wouldn't scale, at least not yet. I dunno. But I assume the original figure is still in the ballpark. And can, sooner or later, be improved with experience.

                      Extracting oil is getting less and less energy-efficient, and more and more water-intensive. Getting oil from tar sands and natural gas from fracking both require a lot of water; was reading an article earlier today noting the fracking boom in the American west is exacerbating the effects of the drought, taking water away from cities and agriculture. And getting oil from tar sands and shale deposits also requires a lot more energy input than the traditional oil extraction method of just drilling a hole in the ground.

                      In other words, the cost of fossil oil is going up--in terms of money, energy input, and water. And the similar costs of TDP will probably drop, as the technology matures. At some point the lines will likely cross.

                      As we've noted, that point would come a lot sooner with a greenhouse tax.

                      "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 Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 09:32:33 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  which means (0+ / 0-)

                        tdp has an EROEI of about 6:1. that's at absolute best.

                        that's about the same as heavy oil and some of the really marginal oils we're going after right now. our country was built around oil with an EROEI of about 50:1 or better.

                        anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

                        by chopper on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 06:51:41 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Those days probably over. And... (0+ / 0-)

                          There is of course some oil left at 50:1 EROEI. But not enough for everybody. The average EROEI of today's oil surely must be lower than that, and it's only going to get worse.

                          And then there's the water problem posed by tar-sands oil and fracking of gas. TDP actually produces ultrapure water.

                          And finally, the energy consumed by the TDP process is internally generated. That's not perpetual motion, since TDP is only unlocking energy that's already there.

                          "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 Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 09:56:25 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm not saying (0+ / 0-)

                            Anything about perpetual motion. I'm talking about EROEI.

                            also, tdp needs to be tuned for the feedstock, so it doesn't really work well if you just dump landfill in it. great for disposing of old tires tho, but that won't power our transportation sector.

                            if we're honestly trying tdp, you know we're scraping the bottom of the barrel. which is a real bad sign for the stability of our economy, which is based on free-flowing cheap oil.

                            anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

                            by chopper on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:13:18 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't get the pessimism. (0+ / 0-)

                            Worse come to worst, we can build a bunch of nuclear plants. They'll provide all the grid power we need, and all our vehicles can be plug-in hybrids. They'll still need some oil, but a lot less. Nuclear energy might (or might not) cost more than coal or oil, but not outrageously more.

                            As a worst-case scenario for the economy, that's not so bad.

                            "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 Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 06:42:33 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  well (0+ / 0-)

                            sorry but hybrids don't do much for our addiction to oil. it improves efficiency but we'd still need way too much of the shit. also it's not like nuclear is cheaper than fossil fuels. not even close.

                            of course i'm pessimistic. the only solutions anybody has involve wholesale massive changes to our entire economy and infrastructure and involve much more expensive forms of transportation fuel than our modern country was basically built on. i love a nice liberal fantasy land full of small walkable cities and people working huge community gardens full of organic beets as much as the next guy but i also live in the real world here, and more importantly so does everybody else in the country. you know, the guys who don't want to dig up beets for a living.

                            to me the question is 'why wouldn't anyone be pessimistic?'

                            anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

                            by chopper on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 07:17:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're overdramatizing. (0+ / 0-)
                            sorry but hybrids don't do much for our addiction to oil. it improves efficiency but we'd still need way too much of the shit.

                            You don't get the significance of plugin hybrids. The Ford C-Max Energi can go 21 miles without burning any gas; the Chevy Volt can now go 38 miles without any gas. Those ranges will surely improve with competition. This means if you work within the battery range of your car, you drive to work on battery alone; charge while you work; and drive home on battery alone. When you have extra driving to do, you have to burn gas, but most people can cut out most of their motor fuel use with no changes to road infrastructure or driving habits.

                            And changes to zoning laws cost essentially nothing, but would significantly reduce total miles driven.

                            We'd have to beef up the power grid if most car owners were plugging in daily and nightly. Fine. That's doable at reasonable investment. Especially if we deploy widespread solar and wind, so more power is generated near point of use, and doesn't have to be transmitted long distances.

                            also it's not like nuclear is cheaper than fossil fuels. not even close.
                            The price of nuclear is likely to come down with tech improvements on the horizon. But even at the current price, it's affordable.

                            So...

                            the only solutions anybody has involve wholesale massive changes to our entire economy and infrastructure and involve much more expensive forms of transportation fuel than our modern country was basically built on
                            I don't see it. In Europe gas has cost $8 a gallon or so for decades and that hasn't been a problem. (They have problems, obviously, but not due to $8 a gallon gas.)

                            "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 Mar 11, 2013 at 09:39:29 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  basically (0+ / 0-)

                            everything you're talking about here is technology that is arguably better than what we may have now, but it's not like we can just snap our fingers and replace the cars and trucks that make up our entire transportation sector. plug-in hybrids are not a cure, they're just better than what we have. besides which, miles per gallon is going up in america, but not as fast as the cost of oil. oil is about 6 times what it was in 2000 and rising. plug-in hybrids also do basically nothing for our trucking industry.

                            and 'changing zoning laws' does not magically move people closer to their jobs.

                            as to nuclear, no, sorry. even with better technology it's still very costly to site, build, run, insure and decommission these guys. nuclear has all manner of hidden costs. it just can't compete with fossil fuels currently, and if it becomes cost competitive it isn't because nuclear got better, it's because FFs got worse. which is a very bad sign.

                            as to europe, europe is for the most part designed differently. from a transportation standpoint we should be more like europe, but we can't just up and become europe. it isn't viable at all without a great deal of pain. this is why we are so sensitive to high energy costs and europe is far less so.

                            you're arguing technology, i'm arguing sociology. these technofixes would have a much better chance of 'saving us all' if we started implementing them 35 years ago. but this is like quitting smoking after you're diagnosed with emphysema. yeah, it's never too late to quit, but you're not going to get better.

                            anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

                            by chopper on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:26:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Half-full, half-empty. (0+ / 0-)
                            you're arguing technology, i'm arguing sociology. these technofixes would have a much better chance of 'saving us all' if we started implementing them 35 years ago.
                            At last, some agreement.

                            Yeah, nothing I'm suggesting is going to make a dramatic difference by next year, or even next Presidential term.

                            But before we can tackle the sociological problem of getting people and corporations and government to change, we have to settle the technology and tech-use questions of what changes they should make.

                            Seems to me there is a package of technologies and tech-uses that would bring about significant change over, say, a decade; and dramatic changes over two decades; if pursued vigorously and consistently.

                            So we have a target. Time to commence pursuit.

                            Nuclear is expensive: Assume you're right that it can't be made much cheaper. Even so, compared to the consequences of climate change, it's a bargain. That again is a problem of sociology/politics, not really tech or even money.

                            "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 Mar 11, 2013 at 10:48:28 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  a decade (0+ / 0-)

                            is far too optimistic. it takes a great deal of time to construct a nuke plant and get it running, for good reason. it isn't the area to cut corners. much less a hundred, or several hundred, which is what we would need.

                            forcing auto makers to raise average fleet efficiency also takes a very long time to put into effect, and that's for a reasonable rise, not a large one.

                            unfortunately, the rise in the cost of oil and gas does not take nearly as long, as 2008 and years subsequent has showed us. our time to brace ourselves for a tight oil market was decades ago, back when we had the time to develop and implement these technologies such that they'd be very widespread by now.

                            as for the sociological problem of getting americans and corporations to change, good luck with that. we, as a people, and corporations, are willing to change if our backs are truly against the wall, but at that point it's even more 'too late' than it is now. we're not a forward-thinking people.

                            to me, all the cornucopian techno-talk is like bragging about the really great lock you bought for the barn door when it's already open and the horse is long gone.

                            anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

                            by chopper on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:08:37 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  WWII. (0+ / 0-)

                            What needs to be done is less of a societal and industrial transformation than WWII was. So it's mainly a question of political will.

                            Will we get off our asses without a climate Pearl Harbor? (The fact we didn't recognize Katrina and Sandy as such argues the answer is No.)

                            Seems reasonably clear that a high enough GHG tax would motivate us sufficiently. Again, that's a sociological-political problem, not a tech problem.

                            Krugman says a GHG tax high enough to prompt significant action would NOT significantly harm to the economy. Krugman in 2010:

                            The Congressional Budget Office, relying on a survey of models, has concluded that Waxman-Markey “would reduce the projected average annual rate of growth of gross domestic product between 2010 and 2050 by 0.03 to 0.09 percentage points.” That is, it would trim average annual growth to 2.31 percent, at worst, from 2.4 percent. Over all, the Budget Office concludes, strong climate-change policy would leave the American economy between 1.1 percent and 3.4 percent smaller in 2050 than it would be otherwise.

                            And what about the world economy? In general, modelers tend to find that climate-change policies would lower global output by a somewhat smaller percentage than the comparable figures for the United States. The main reason is that emerging economies like China currently use energy fairly inefficiently, partly as a result of national policies that have kept the prices of fossil fuels very low, and could thus achieve large energy savings at a modest cost. One recent review of the available estimates put the costs of a very strong climate policy — substantially more aggressive than contemplated in current legislative proposals — at between 1 and 3 percent of gross world product.

                            Let's assume the three years we've wasted since then mean we have to take more drastic action now. Maybe strong enough climate action would now have double the effect on the US and world economy. We're still talking about a slower rate of growth, not economic shrinkage. In fact, the US and Euro economies could use a jolt of Keynesian stimulus, so now is the perfect time to borrow or print a lot of money and spend it on green tech.  Or to induce corporations to spend down their record profits and cash hoards on green tech. But again we come back to politics.

                            "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 Mar 11, 2013 at 11:38:15 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                            Will we get off our asses without a climate Pearl Harbor?
                            of course not. we wouldn't even do so with one.

                            taxing GHGs may not cause a large hit to our economy by itself, but it hardly is an overnight fix. we'd still emit too much carbon and be dependent on oil for many decades. we can't just up and build hundreds of nuclear plants overnight even if we had the will - that isn't a technology issue either.

                            to me, our dependence on oil is much like the climate change problem. people keep saying we can avoid 2C by just 'building nukes', the truth is we're hitting 2C no matter what, and even if we went full-bore building nukes (which we won't), what the hell do we do for the decades it takes to build them all? bike everywhere?

                            my point is, and always has been, what we're talking about now is palliative. and palliative is nice and has it's place, but it isn't a fix. it's far too late for fixes, like with my aforementioned emphysema patient. once you accept that, you still push for changes, but you realize that it isn't going to be painless. it's going to be pretty bad.

                            anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

                            by chopper on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:58:46 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't really disagree. (0+ / 0-)

                            There is a range of possibilities--from bad to worse to horrible. I agree it's too late to avoid bad. But I think we can still avoid horrible, and that it's worth the effort.

                            "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 Mar 12, 2013 at 06:00:26 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  That is nonsense (4+ / 0-)

            That makes no sense.  Wind and solar are both modular and can be scaled.    Do the math.  California right now has several solar plants that generate around 1TWh per year  and larger ones are in the mix.  Add distributed and that is significant generation. For example, California produces right now around 20% renewable of its electricity use and another 25% from nuclear.  The total is arpund 200 TWh per year plus another 100 for transportation. There no principled reason why we cannot simply build more.  We are nowhere near capacity for generation.  Frankly even with decent rooftop penetration into LA and SF metro area that would do most of it right there.   What is the basis for your hypothetical limit?

            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 Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 11:39:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  EROI (0+ / 0-)

              Energy Return On Investment.  That is Solar's downfall.  The amount of energy produced over the life of a conventional solar panel is pitifully close to the amount of energy it takes to make one.  While there may be some hope in solar concentrating devises, it is highly doubtful that we could get anywhere close to solving our current energy/ecological crisis by putting solar panels on every available roof.

              •  Again, this is simply not true (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Calamity Jean, Nada Lemming

                Again, I wish I knew who started this particular zombie lie.  I think it may have come from a misreading of Tom Murphy's back of the envelope blog.

                In fact,  EROI of solar pushes a 90% ratio (that is manufacturing a PV panel takes only 10% of the energy it would generate, even under reasonably conservative assumptions)  for wind the EROI is around 18-22, which means that of a wind turbine's production, around 5% would be required to produce it.  I didn't have time to track down DOE's numbers, but wikipedia has a decent summary

                And of course, the EROI is increasing all the time, since both technologies are gaining greater efficiency.

                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 Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 11:16:01 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Okay... (0+ / 0-)

                  7.8 is the EROI value cited in the wikipedia article.  That is not as bad as I construed it, but certainly isn't great.  Solar also has serious other upscaling issues  Manufacture of solar cells requires various rare metals, and the fluctuating nature of the power source requires that it be integrated into a grid with a more stable power source, such as nuclear.  I think there is a little too much blind faith and optimism in the pro-solar community.  But events may well prove me wrong.

                  •  I think there is fr too much misinformation (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Calamity Jean

                    Some panels require rare earths, but then so do cars.  Designs in the pipeline use carbon and other materials.  Will this still be an issue in five years?  Maybe

                      It isn't blind faith, it is born of paying close attention to trends and the engineering math.  We still hear that solar is outrageously expensive even as it becomes cheaper in various places and ever more places.  We hear it can't contribute much even as Spain and Germany break 50%. As CSP develops solar may even provide base load power.  However I am a proponent of nuclear for this reason. Also there are a lot of efforts in dispatch able power.  

                    It'll be easier than not say.  Fossils fuels must go.  Keeping them is not an option.

                    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 Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 01:23:15 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Dr. Amory Lovins, RMI, and others disagree. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calamity Jean
            Nope, we couldn't. Not without dropping our economic productivity by a massive amount. Wind and solar (while I strongly advocate them) simply do not produce the necessary amount of BTUs of energy.
            See Reinventing Fire.

            A much more descriptive version of Reinventing Fire - TED Talk (~27 min.).

            "Fire made us human; fossil fuels made us modern.  But we need a new 'fire' that does our work, without working our undoing."

            "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

            by bartcopfan on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 07:18:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thereisnospoon (6+ / 0-)

    You are a very smart person, but I think you are blind in this instance. The answer is so obvious.

    The obvious, obvious reason why all of the issues you describe exist is overpopulation. There are just too many people to soak up all the available jobs, there are too many people burning too much fossil fuels and other resources. Every day, more jobs get automated and more people become redundant. The market everywhere is screaming about overpopulation.

    The future is going to be about fewer people that are more highly educated.

    Thought experiment: let's imagine that I can snap my fingers and magically whisk this energy infrastructure you imagine into existence. What will the result be? Even more unemployment as previous fossil fuels jobs are gone too!

    And what are the builders of this infrastructure going to do while it's being built before they are all unemployed again? Consuming like mad, right? And having more kids while they have jobs, who will also expect to consume like mad, live in wasteful exurban single family houses, and so it goes.

    So I can't buy your thesis, because to me it's an obvious attempt to paper over the actual fundamental problem with a stopgap 'solution'.

    The irony here is that I'm a huge green energy supporter, but talking about these issues without talking about population is like trying to lose weight by exercising while consuming 10000 calories a day of candy bars.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 06:10:18 PM PST

    •  In the US we aren't even at (6+ / 0-)

      replacement birth rates. Exurban will be where the action is because there are no covenants to defeat wind turbines, solar panels and greenhouses, chicken coops etc., that the suburban and urban communities eschew. It doesn't take extreme technical education to be a food and energy farmer. It's all about labor, lots of it.

    •  you speak of "available jobs" (19+ / 0-)

      as if jobs were somehow a known quantity, distributed by decree of the Almighty Market Gods.

      There are as many jobs as we choose to create. Creating those jobs with the public sector will spur economic growth in the private sector. And we have the resources to create those jobs.

      It's just that all the money has been hoovered up by the top 1%

      •  As if more people did not in turn create more (5+ / 0-)

        demand.

        It's like he thinks the job creators have just so many jobs in a great big job gumball machine in the sky.

        income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

        by JesseCW on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:40:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Government jobs... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soros

        ...are just transfer payments from some people to some other people. You are just proposing a giant transfer scheme from the rich and employed people to unemployed people, because the market isn't doing it (because there are too many people in the world).

        Your 1% comment is very telling, because it demonstrates the lens through which you see the world. The idea that we are living in a resource-constrained world is unimaginable to you. Everything, everything, is a battle between the 1% and everyone else. If  the rest of us can just win the battle, we can have 100% of us living in single-family homes, consuming massive amounts of resources, driving wherever we please, and having as many children as we feel like. I'm sure it gets you on the rec list, because the idea that we're all going to have to tighten our belts is something no one wants to hear.

        In reality, 'the 1%' make 19% of all income, and pay 40% of all income taxes. Certainly 19% is a lot, but if you expropriate half of the 1%'s income, the rest of us get a 9% raise (one time).

        In any case, your solutions are similarly flawed because they do not understand limited resources and they take as a basic element of the world that the government can 'stimulate' the economy back to health. It cannot. Maybe this massive renewable investment is a good idea. At the end of it, though, we're going to end up laying all those people off. What do we do for an encore?

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:55:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes, yes I am (13+ / 0-)

          you are making the presumption that the 1% actually earned their preposterous wealth. You think the CEO is worth 3000x their lowest paid worker? I call bullshit. The market is not an effective nor accurate distributor of rewards.

          The market works for society, not the other way around. The market is broken. It rewards a few people far too disproportionately high, and rewards working people far too disproportionately low. It's broken. B-R-O-K-E-N. It's not a divine force. It's a social tool, and that tool is broken.

          Now, we can do one of two things about that. We can prevent people from taking that much surplus value of labor to start with. But that's a very top-down approach that rarely ends well. Or we can redistribute it with transfer payments afterward.

          You say you have to lay those people off. Maybe some, but maybe there are other jobs to do. What is certain is that taking money uselessly stashed away by the investor class, and reinvesting it in the demand side of the equation, will boost private sector job growth.

          Because it sure as hell isn't being provided by the greedy assholes on the supply side, even though they're "making" (really, stealing) record wealth despite increased productivity and stagnant wages.

          •  Exhibit #2 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            soros
            The market works for society, not the other way around. The market is broken. It rewards a few people far too disproportionately high, and rewards working people far too disproportionately low. It's broken. B-R-O-K-E-N. It's not a divine force. It's a social tool, and that tool is broken.
            That's your theory. My theory is that the market is working perfectly fine, and is sending the message that there are too many people on the planet. This result is exactly what you'd expect when there is a surplus of labor in a resource constrained and highly automated world (I.e. overpopulated). If there were less people, there would be less people to compete for desperately needed resources and 'working people' would have it much easier without crazy schemes (since there would be less competition for labor).
            Now, we can do one of two things about that. We can prevent people from taking that much surplus value of labor to start with. But that's a very top-down approach that rarely ends well. Or we can redistribute it with transfer payments afterward.
            So you admit that this entire scheme, and whatever follow-on scheme you come up with once all the renewable work is done are just a transfer scheme from the rich and employed to the unemployed?

            In what way, then, can you possibly resist the idea that our major problem is population, when your plan is apparently to endlessly subsidize a portion of our population with transfer payments?

            Because it sure as hell isn't being provided by the greedy assholes on the supply side, even though they're "making" (really, stealing) record wealth despite increased productivity and stagnant wages.
            If there were less people in the world, wages wouldn't be stagnant because the value of labor would be higher. As it is now, the relative value of unskilled and semi-skilled labor may be the lowest it has ever been in history. Why bother paying a worker more. There will always be another... Unless the population was lower.

            Besides, can you look up and get back to me on the total % of AGI earned by the top 1%, and the total percentage of taxes they pay? I already cited it above, but I want you to look it up and post it. Because I think the numbers are relevant and are being ignored.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 10:35:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is the "only income taxes count" argument. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FutureNow, Calamity Jean
              Besides, can you look up and get back to me on the total % of AGI earned by the top 1%, and the total percentage of taxes they pay....  (emphasis added)
              Of course the rich pay more income taxes--they have most of the income. But how much of Social Security taxes do they pay (taxable income maxes out at $113.7k for 2013)?  For about 80% of Americans, Social Security is a larger form of taxation than income taxes.

              I highlighted the word "taxes" in your comment above to emphasize that I'm quite sure you meant "income taxes"--and not taxes in general. Lower-income people pay much higher percentages of their more-modest income in sales taxes, payroll taxes (like SocSec), fuel taxes, and the like, than in income taxes.  There is no doubt the rich pay more in INCOME taxes--but there is plenty of doubt about the percentages of TOTAL taxes paid.

              Quoting directly from the WaPo article (after the critical 2nd graphic--which contains the answer (29 percent) to your breathless attempt at a "gotcha" question--in which you actually only ensnared yourself):

              That’s really what the American tax system looks like: Not 47 percent paying nothing, but everybody paying something, and most Americans paying between 25 percent and 30 percent of their income — which is, by the way, a lot more the 13.9 percent Mitt Romney paid in 2011*.

              When politicians [to which I would add, "or their (blog commenting) apologists"] try to convince you that half of Americans aren’t really paying taxes, it’s usually because the real data undermines their preferred policies. For instance, you wouldn’t look at these numbers and think tax cuts for the rich need to be a huge priority. And that’s one reason people who want more tax cuts for the rich don’t like to show you these numbers.

              I'd only add that the "market" (as well as most of "The Government") is working for those who own it (as the beloved George Carlin said, "It's a big club...and you ain't in it.").  

              People, esp. often conservatives, love to talk about taking the US back to the 1950s.  There are plenty of things about that time economically (forget socially) that I'd love to see, the main one being that all income brackets saw rising incomes and employment.  And guess what the top income tax rates were then?  (In casual conversation a few years ago,  I asked a salesman at a Houston bar what he thought the top marginal income tax rate was in the glorious 1950s.  He gave the guess I expected--"about 15-20%".  He about fell off his stool when I informed him of the truth:  never less than 91%!)

              That top marginal rate didn't fall from 91% to Reagan's 28% or W's 35% by magic, or God, or Fate.  It fell when plutocrats (for lack of a better shorthand) convinced less well-off folks (the vast majority of us, most likely including you) that we (the less-well-off) would be better off by voting in politicians who'd make the plutocrats even better off.  Well, it worked out great for the plutocrats.  For us, not so much and the trend is most assuredly NOT our friend.

              "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

              by bartcopfan on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 08:53:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  The global economy is expanding rapidly (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          due to the inclusion of vast new populations. Underdeveloped populations contain exponential growth potential. Capitalist economy will expand into that potential, by it's nature. Capitalism has no overpopulation problem, ever. Besides that it is dependent on it.

          BTW. You might want to reconsider your numbers. The top 1% have 40% of the nations wealth. The top 20% have over 90%.

          Redistribution of half of the income of the top 1% would result in a still grotesquely skewed share of the economy.

        •  All economic activity is just transfer payments (3+ / 0-)

          from some people to some other people.

          Government jobs... (1+ / 0-)
          ...are just transfer payments from some people to some other people.

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 08:46:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nextstep

            Meat plants and private meat workers make meat.

            Meat inspectors don't make meat, but they eat meat.

            'Hang on', you're going to argue. 'Without meat inspectors, you're going to have bad quality meat!'

            My response: I completely agree. However, that's an argument for hiring as few meat inspectors as you need to get the job done, not hiring more and more and more.

            The same goes for all other government workers. It's like auto insurance, you may 'need' it but you sure as hell aren't going to pay more than you think you have to.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 04:55:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but the political will to create gov jobs, (0+ / 0-)

        she ain't so great.

        When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

        by Words In Action on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 09:15:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  While I agree that overpopulation is (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG, fisheye, S F Hippie, flowerfarmer

      a massive resource issue, this may be the clearest admission I've ever seen by anyone at this site that they flatly do not understand the most basic rudiments of economics.

      There are just too many people to soak up all the available jobs,

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:39:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Overpopulation is a massive resource issue (0+ / 0-)

        So, we are in complete agreement then? And you are just nit picking?

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:03:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  A problem for which there is no solution (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nirbama

      outside of a massive increase in human deaths. Run the numbers for chrissake. Just to get the world population down to 5 billion in 40 years (& it's not clear that civilization has 40 years) is going to require the mortality rate to roughly triple. That means an increase in deaths equivalent to all civilian & military fatalities in World War II, all of Stalin's purges & famines, & all of Mao's idiocies, per year.

      I see no prospect for a soft landing. What's your proposal?

      BALTIMORE RAVENS--SUPER BOWL XLVII CHAMPIONS! WOOO-HOOO!

      by Uncle Cosmo on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 10:59:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't have a proposal (0+ / 0-)

        Do I need one?

        Step one is recognizing the disease. Certainly if we're speeding toward a cliff the first step is take your foot off the accelerator.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 11:03:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well said, David. Many of us have been (5+ / 0-)

    saying similar things about global warming and green energy for a long time. Tipped and rec'd...

    Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately it kills all its students. - Berlioz

    by cwsmoke on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 06:16:27 PM PST

  •  True, but it's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FutureNow

    not a good idea to point it out, because that might suggest Obama and his supporters have not done everything possible to address these problems. And that makes there heads 'splode. So better to leave the economy and planet to stew until there's a Republican in charge. Then we can complain about it. That's the way the Republicans do it, anyway.

    When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

    by Words In Action on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 06:52:25 PM PST

  •  Keep shouting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AZ Sphinx Moth, HeyMikey

    You are not alone, the crowds will gather.

  •  Heat your home with branches and scrap wood (11+ / 0-)

    Truly, using a thing called a rocket mass heater, you can burn a freaky hot fire using very little fuel.  It has a reburn chamber so that all of the gases put off by ordinary combustion are also burned, making for very clean exhaust.  Just that part is called a rocket stove, but the genius addition to this is to run the exhaust through a mass--maybe rocks with sand, maybe cob, which is mud and straw, thus storing the heat.  You tend the fire for a couple of hours, and the mass remains warm for the rest of the night!

    Paul Wheaton, founder of Permies.com has a Kickstarter campaign which is offering 4 DVDs about this.  I recommend watching the video even if you're not going to build one, just because it is amusing.  Paul has many, many videos on cool things available for free on YouTube, but these videos are worth paying for.

    Some people heat their living space with junk mail.  Just think--you could sign up for Republican fundraising lists, and then harvest the paper!

    Universal Health Care - it's coming, but not soon enough!

    by DrFood on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 07:02:36 PM PST

  •  . . . and, this is the best diary today (n/t) (0+ / 0-)

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 07:08:04 PM PST

  •  I would have recced this, but for one thing....... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    "The human race is quite literally going to go extinct....".

    This, sadly, is the kind of hyperbole we really DON'T need right now;

    There are plenty of real and valid concerns about global warming in and of itself, including some that you've listed.....but human extinction is not one of them(nor is the collapse of giobal civilization.....short-term at least).

    •  Did you get your crystal ball at a discount? (5+ / 0-)

      Or is it a time-machine?

      I think it's quite possible that we'll burn ourselves out of existence. Plenty of people with really good brains and decades of study agree.

      Input is one thing, stupid is another

      by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 07:34:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tony....this opinion of yours..... (0+ / 0-)

        .....is NOT one shared by a vast majority of climate scientists, though, that's the problem. Sure, you've got a few Mavericks, like Hansen, and Lovelock, who might sincerely believe in that possibility....but they are in the minority, by a long shot.

        •  Stevie - (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action, Calamity Jean

          Resource wars or plagues or failed geo-engineering attempts gone terribly wrong are just a few climate catastrophe scenarios that could leave humanity a footnote in geologic history.

          We're in uncharted waters here and repeated smug assertions that civilization isn't at risk because you say so aren't working for me.

          Input is one thing, stupid is another

          by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 08:45:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  At risk? Yes. But collapse? Not in the short term. (0+ / 0-)

            Not by AGW alone. I'll grant you that a LONG-term possibility does exist particularly if things continue to go pear-shaped and we end up in a dictatorship or whatever, but even then.....

            I think we need to focus on what IS happening, right now.

    •  that's actually not true (9+ / 0-)

      We are on course for a 25 degree Fahrenheit increase in global temperatures within 75-100 years if we do nothing. And that's according to current models.

      I leave it to you whether humanity can survive that--and even if it could, whether someone wouldn't launch the nukes at some point given the resource scarcity and mass war we'll be seeing.

      I leave it to you whether we're talking full extinction, or just almost extinction. I'd rather not roll those dice.

      •  25 degrees? I'm sorry, but are you serious? O rly? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RainDog2

        I'd like to know where you got that figure from.....(although  it's pure & complete B.S. regardless.)

        All the most current and accurate models I've seen are now suggesting a maximum temperature rise of about 4-4.5* Celsius, or about 10-11 degrees Fahrenheit, by the year 2100(maybe a little higher). I don't need to point out that could potentially cause some serious long-term damage to the environment that would take several(I'm talking as much as a millienium or more possibly) centuries for a relatively complete climatic recovery, and many, many times that to replace all the biodiversity that's been lost and will continue to be lost.....but we really shouldn't be getting in over our heads, either. Do you want the deniers to be able to have ammo to use against us?

    •  indeed. Great crystal ball (6+ / 0-)

      since the civilization depends on agriculture, and agriculture on an industrial scale depends on a reasonably stable climate, and we are screwing with that big time.  Will civilization survive in the short term?  Hard to know.  I would wager you that five years of global food shortfalls sufficient to run out food supplies could give our civilization a massive kick in the head.

      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 Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:11:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  On the possibility of global collapse (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FinchJ

      Trade Off: Financial system supply-chain cross contagion – a study in global systemic collapse That is a brief discussion of the longer paper by the author. (with PDF link)

      David Korowicz is a physicist and human systems ecologist.  His interests include systemic risk, risk management and emergency planning.
      In Tipping Point: Near-Term Systemic Implications of a Peak in Global Oil Production (review for PDF download) he argues that the defining dynamic of our civilization is the withdrawal of energy from a complex and integrated system adapted only to growing. A managed “de-growth” is impossible; what is required is rapid emergency planning coupled with a plan for longer-term adaptation.
      Article led to the site. Feasta:Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability.
      Feasta was launched in Dublin in October 1998 to explore the economic, cultural and environmental characteristics of a truly sustainable society, and to disseminate the results of this exploration to the widest relevant audience.
      Not surprising
      Feasta is badly in need of funding at present. Early in 2013 we will lose a sizable proportion of our core funding owing to the winding down of a trust fund.

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

      by Ginny in CO on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 12:08:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You make too much sense spoon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radical simplicity

    We now live in an age of political paralysis in DC.

    Could we lead the way in California somehow?

    Who knows even some Repugs may see the wisdom of your plan in the left coast.

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

    by Shockwave on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 07:46:40 PM PST

  •  Great Thinking If You Had a Time Machine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adrianrf

    But likely about 30 years too late to accomplish anything. The (relatively minor) effects we are seeing now are reflective of emissions from the 70's and 80's, unshielded by the reduction in visible pollution. Climate is like a flywheel, and this one has been being loaded for decades. Being an optimist, I give large-scale agriculture maybe 40 years before it collapses due to erratic growing seasons (note it's FAR more likely to be 25 years than 50), but nothing important really depends on agriculture, does it?

    Sea-levels and such will be only minor annoyances to the nomadic bands who survive the collapse of agriculture, and of course there will be isolated pockets where small-scale agriculture can still succeed maybe three years out of five, but predicting where those pockets will be is beyond me. If forced to bet I'd probably go with some of the inland valleys in Alaska...

    Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

    by The Baculum King on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:01:59 PM PST

  •  One thing I've wondered about this international (0+ / 0-)

    transformation in energy sources is why one should not expect the same sort of energy politics. It's not as if every location/region/country has equal renewable energy resources.

  •  maybe the rest of the planet will lead the way (0+ / 0-)

    because, like every other major issue, there is no way to discuss this rationally on a national scale in the US as long as the right has its dominant talk radio monopoly megaphone.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:50:56 PM PST

  •  Two words: "Joseph Stiglitz" ... (11+ / 0-)

    ...embodied in one person's philosophy, virtually all of the problems discussed in this post are solved. That being said, four massive obstacles remain...from Stiglitz' Columbia University colleague Jeffrey Sachs via the economics editor of the Sydney Morning Herald (I do agree with just about everything Stiglitz stands for; but, Sachs isn't nearly close to that as far as my personal view of his batting average is concerned; however, here's commentary from Australia from December 31st, which provides somewhat of another way of looking at the matters discussed by the author of this diary):

    The four business gangs that run the US
    Ross Gittins
    Economics Editor
    Sydney Morning Herald
    December 31, 2012

    If you’ve ever suspected politics is increasingly being run in the interests of big business, I have news: Jeffrey Sachs, a highly respected economist from Columbia University, agrees with you – at least in respect of the United States.

    In his book, The Price of Civilisation, he says the US economy is caught in a feedback loop. ”Corporate wealth translates into political power through campaign financing, corporate lobbying and the revolving door of jobs between government and industry; and political power translates into further wealth through tax cuts, deregulation and sweetheart contracts between government and industry. Wealth begets power, and power begets wealth,” he says.

    Sachs says four key sectors of US business exemplify this feedback loop and the takeover of political power in America by the ”corporatocracy”.

    First is the well-known military-industrial complex. ”As [President] Eisenhower famously warned in his farewell address in January 1961, the linkage of the military and private industry created a political power so pervasive that America has been condemned to militarisation, useless wars and fiscal waste on a scale of many tens of trillions of dollars since then,” he says...
    ...

    ...Second is the Wall Street-Washington complex, which has steered the financial system towards control by a few politically powerful Wall Street firms, notably Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and a handful of other financial firms...
    ...

    ...Third is the Big Oil-transport-military complex, which has put the US on the trajectory of heavy oil-imports dependence and a deepening military trap in the Middle East, he says...
    ...

    ...Fourth is the healthcare industry, America's largest industry, absorbing no less than 17 per cent of US gross domestic product...

    If Stiglitz had been appointed Treasury Secretary instead of Geithner, and if Stiglitz had been granted just HALF as much power as Geithner (if Stiglitz held Geithner's job for the past four years), I would be willing to bet that we'd be well upon our way to solving all three of the problems of which this diarist writes.

    That being said, the greater reality is there are FOUR MAJOR obstacles in our way (along with those four groups maintaining a stranglehold on virtually all power, etc., etc.). Again, they're listed above.

    Looked at yet another way, we don't have the time it's going to take to elect "better Democrats," if such a thing even exists or is even remotely feasible within today's corporatocratic world.

    So, we have massive converging emergencies, and sea change was needed "yesterday." Yes...it IS that simple.

    Supporting the status quo is beyond hypocritical in terms of solving the problems mentioned in this diary, IMHO. And, that's a bipartisan issue, for sure.  So, there's a fifth obstacle here, and  (in many ways) that's overcoming widespread inherent/manifested cognitive dissonance, which is what's rearing its ugly now, too.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 10:22:11 PM PST

    •  Also politicians and the law (4+ / 0-)

      Socrates: First, shouldn't we explain how a democracy becomes an oligarchy?

      Adeimantus: Yes

      Socrates: The crucial step is that the rich figure out how to manipulate politics so the laws benefit them instead of the public.

      Adeimantus: So it seems.

      Plato, Republic, 550d translated by Keith Quincy in his book

      "Worse Than You Think: The Real Economy Hidden Beneath Washington's Rigged Statistics, and Where to Go From Here."

      Excellent book.

    •  Pretty much a ready-made diary, there, Bob. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobswern

      Ship her out!

      When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

      by Words In Action on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 09:12:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can't argue with any of your points. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nirbama, Words In Action

    All any intelligent person needs to see is the graph with the four squares:
    We do nothing and we were wrong.
    We do something and we were wrong.
    We do nothing and we were right.
    We do something and we were right.

    The win-win-win situation exists also: we can help the planet, bolster the economy, and most importantly the greedy can keep making tons of money.

    So where's the problem with taking action ?

    Tar sands oil company lobbying, that's where.

    As with all the other problems ailing the US, a small consortium of plutocrats are dictating policy because it seems easier to them to ignore climate change (and their progeniture) and keep promoting fossil fuels.

    We've all seen the commercials: " They's nuff earl fo a huned yeas in that tar". Just like the gun crowd, gay crowd, fetus crowd, religious crowd, and tax crowd it's all Koch roots instead of grass roots.

    I hope we wake up and take your advice, but I'm not holding my breath (although we'll soon all have to).

    •  What I hear from those commercials is... (0+ / 0-)
      We've all seen the commercials: " They's nuff earl fo a huned yeas in that tar". Just like the gun crowd, gay crowd, fetus crowd, religious crowd, and tax crowd it's all Koch roots instead of grass roots.
      ..."fuck those dumbasses living 101 years from now!"  :-)

      "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

      by bartcopfan on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 09:36:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  four problems, actually (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    we also face peak oil and peak coal (and not long after that, peak natural gas) globally, so getting off those fuels before the downside of the slope in production helps a lot with that too.

  •  I'm with John D Liu- we need to value the source (4+ / 0-)

    greater than the derivatives. Functional, healthy ecosystems should be worth more than the products and services we create from them. Without them, we fail.

    I've been putting off writing about this recent documentary, Green Gold, for a long time now but I feel that time has come for a diary on it.

    If we were to combine the regenerative design processes that implement agroecology (design systems such as permaculture & Holistic Management) with the funding that only governments can provide, along with healthy citizen engagement, I feel strongly that we could sequester the majority of the carbon emitted since industrialization in less than half a century.

    To me it is obvious that we need to fundamentally restructure our value system. Not just our moral values, but the financial ones upon which the world economy exists. If we don't do this now, if we attempt to tackle anthropogenic climate change with the same system that facilitated its rise in the first place, we will only fail.

    Part of this includes ending the ridiculous depopulation of the countryside in favor of massive urbanization. If we are going to shift the way our species interacts with the planet, we need to reintegrate with the biosphere rather than falsely believing that if we cordon the majority ourselves off in cities that all will be fine. Besides, the idea that people use less energy in cities is only true if we are hell bent on continuing the way of life that is destroying the planet to begin with.

    We absolutely need a new system. From the bottom up, to top down. Either we abandon infinite growth economics or we die. And don't start with me on colonizing space and mining asteroids as some sort of solution. Yeah, space is infinite. But mining asteroids isn't going to save us. Only valuing the planetary systems upon which our species depends will.

  •  The government must tilt the playing field (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, Words In Action, mmacdDE

    I'll give you one example that I am familiar with. We have a natural gas power plant in development locally. They have the opportunity to integrate offshore wind into their power generation. They have studied it and determined that the cost per watt of offshore wind is too high. If they build the site without supporting the development of wind it will make future development of wind difficult or impossible. Decisions like this are being made daily and if we don't have a clear policy from the government then not only are we making the wrong decisions but we are losing opportunities. We have to either support sustainable energy development or make fossil fuel pay for the long term effects of carbon release, or both.

    •  Actually, it would be levelling the field. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Wizard, FutureNow

      The fossil fuel industry gets off Scott-free on the "external" environmental, healthcare and military costs...

      Existing extraction, refinement and power facilities should be taxed, perhaps by age & or condition &/or emissions, and new facilities even more, to slow down expansion. At moratorium, should go into effect within five years and stay in effect until we re-establish 350 ppm and demonstrate that we can sustain it.

      At the same time, renewable energy R&D, site environmental impact studies, installation and operation should be subsidized and expedited.

      Car and trucks should be subsidized by mpg, with a bonus to hybrids and electrics.

      Renewable energy system installation should be subsidized, possibly supporting with leasing programs (i.e., install free, pay for the power...)

      Homes should be taxed by sft over 400 sft per person.

      MEAT should be taxed and the taxes should increase for at least ten years.

      When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

      by Words In Action on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 09:09:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Human nature (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    With very few exceptions (I'm thinking the Scandinavian countries as examples), societies do not act rationally.  Individuals can act rationally.  As a rational individual, a person can make decisions for his own best interest.  Think of the people who left for Canada rather than submit in the Vietnam era.  Today, one might think about where one lives as a current example.  I'm very happy that a series of lucky decisions finds me living in the American Midwest.  There will be, I think, a period where we will see a major decrease in population due to climate calamities, and people can make decisions now to optimize their survival chances in an uncertain future.  

  •  Another solution to this problem is to reduce (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, mmacdDE

    consumption. Don't. Buy. Crap.

    I know that's hard for us Americans to imagine, but buying crap is what drives global warming. And if we must buy crap, buy used crap. As much as we can. Everything else seems like tinkering around the edges anymore.

    Sadly, we humans seem to have a genetic predisposition to consume crap. We can't help ourselves. The wealthiest nation on earth is just an example of human consumption taken to its apex. And now we're running around the world convincing everyone else to consume crap like we do.

    Maybe if all the crap we consume were made of grass and cockroaches then we might have a fighting chance.

    As you can see, I'm a bit pessimistic in this case. Yeah I'm going to put solar panels on my roof, and yes I try to buy used crap instead of new whenever I can. But, looking out over the horizon and seeing human behavior does not give me much hope. Couple that with over population (that giant elephant in the room no one wants to talk about) and I really start to fear for future generations.

  •  It's unlikely that "history" will be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    a judge at all as the societies necessary for a recording of it won't be there.  Global warming is already here and quite probably cannot be reversed which is not an excuse for not trying - especially since everything you mentioned would make survival more likely.  On the other hand the collapse of the industrial societies responsible for it are at least a few generations out and maybe a few centuries out.  Species extinction, if it happens, is a good 5,000 years out from when the great ocean circuits ("Gulf Stream" etc) stop.    With this kind of timeframe, unfortunately the probability is "Yes, we can.  No, we won't."

  •  Transitioning away from oil / fossil (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, Whatithink

    would create millions of jobs and solve the climate crisis.  It is so sensible, but it challenges the power of well established, powerful vested interests that have captured our government.  It works for THEM, not us.  

    My only quibble is that we shouldn't be prescribing solutions in top-down fashion.  The market is a form of natural selection, where thousands of good ideas can be tried and tested with the strongest / best ideas surviving.  Public policy should encourage that mechanism to help find the best solutions that will actually work as quickly as possible.  

    Put a slowly ramping price on carbon.  With the proceeds, fund R & D and demonstration projects, provide seed capital for a venture capital pool (following normal rules of risk financing) to grow start-ups, optimize regulations (enough to ensure public safety, fairness, but no more than necessary).  Unleash creativity of our scientists and engineers to move us to where we need to go using market mechanisms driven by price signals, with public support to prime the pump and set the course.  

    My personal choice is a new generation of nuclear technologies, but who am I to say.  We need to create the environment for innovation to flourish in myriad ways toward one goal: reducing carbon on a trajectory toward eliminating large-scale use of fossil fuels.  We'll need to put all options of the table and let the best ideas win.

    But, firstly we have to tackle the oligarchs that have captured governments here and around the world using dirty money from fossil fuels.

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

    by mojo workin on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 08:39:44 AM PST

    •  I like the part about tackling the oligarchs. (0+ / 0-)

      The rest was pretty good, too, though I am ambiguous, at best, about nuclear, unless the building codes for the reactors and containment facilities are dramatically beefed up, and regulations are enforced, which would mean having the power companies pay for regular inspections and stuff, perhaps in permit fees...

      I wouldn't mind seeing a combination of carbon tax, small gas tax and car and truck registration tax (by size/mpg/gas/diesel), to spread it out. Also, some huge new fees on new fossil fuel extraction sites, refineries and power plants. They can be phased in, but not too slowly. 3-4 yrs, tops.

      When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

      by Words In Action on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 09:00:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I see, comrade. (0+ / 0-)

    You want to give the edge to those Commies in China, don't you?

    Sigh.

    The sad thing is, there are those who think that's exactly what green technology means, and by "those" I mean idiots.

    "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

    by JBL55 on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 09:13:44 AM PST

  •  I love this diary. (0+ / 0-)

    More please.

    When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

    by Words In Action on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 09:18:45 AM PST

  •  There's only one minor problem with this... (0+ / 0-)

    ...simplistic formula.

    So called "renewable energy" doesn't work and 50 years of similar simplistic cheering for it has produced no real result.

    Hundreds of billions of dollars have already been thrown at the solar talisman, for instance, and the world output in terms of energy is the equivalent of less than 3 medium sized coal plants.

    Now we announce that if we do it again, and over and over and over again, we'll have a different result.

    Good luck with that.

    No one wants to hear difficult things in this time of overwhelming tragedy, but solving the climate change problem has essentially become impossible, mostly because people have been repeated the same simplistic rhetoric for decades.

    If anyone here ever bothered to open a science book, or even better read a journal article in the current literature, they'd understand, but that difficult problems must be solved by hard work and realism.

    Unfortunately, what we get instead is glib handwaving.

    This is why the planetary atmosphere is collapsing, everyone is too lazy to think.

    Have a great day.

  •  You are 100% correct (0+ / 0-)

    I'm just wondering how long or more likely who needs to tell big business about this for it to sink in.

    The greedy scum that run our politics and really write the policy just need to realize that they can keep on being greedy AND help the planet and employment.

    It's tough trying to explain anything of course to a group that is opposed in principal to anything that the President (Democrats) have to offer.

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