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As many of you know, there's been lots of buzz, once again, about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which if completed, would greatly expand Tar Sands production.
While this project certainly would not mean "game over" for the climate(Sorry Jim & Bill, but it really wouldn't.....thankfully), there are plenty of real concerns, not just because it would make it somewhat harder to stay below our 2*C goal(adding perhaps as much as .4 or .5*C to the pipeline by the end of the century according to reliable estimates), but even more, because of the potential for serious ground-level damage if a major spill were to occur; Know what lies under much of the proposed route? The Ogallala aquifer. That's right, my friends, the very source of water for many of our crops in the region. And if even a small amount of that water gets contaminated, it will almost assuredly cause extremely serious damage to our food supply that couldn't quite be matched by even the steepest possible short-term temperature rises.

Thankfully, though, contrary to some fears and rumors(most of them unfounded), there have been quite a few indications that the President isn't exactly be a friend of the project, and definitely more of OUR ally. Freshwest, over at fellow liberal safe-haven Democratic Underground compiled a little history of past dealings with Keystone: What Obama did, and how the right-wing and the oil companies responded to it.

Since 2009, there were complaints, concluding in the Koch brothers creating the Tea Party in 2010 to stop Obama's agenda.

Some may not remember, but every budget bill Boehner offered had to be fought over as he put approval for the pipeline at the head of them.

From 2011:

Koch Brothers Positioned To Be Big Winners If Keystone XL Pipeline Is Approved

http://www.reuters.com/...

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: GOP seeks political price for Obama’s Keystone pipeline delay
By Ben Geman and Andrew Restuccia -11/30/11

State of play: Republicans on both sides of Capitol Hill are taking steps this week to impose a political price on the White House for delaying a final decision on the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline until after the 2012 election.

Senate GOP leadership on Wednesday promoted new legislation that would force a much faster decision on TransCanada Corp.’s proposed $7 billion Alberta-to-Texas pipeline.

They argue the bill (which E2 covered here and here) will help create jobs quickly, and alleged the recent administration delay was a political decision to appease green groups.

The pipeline puts the White House in a bind by splitting President Obama’s base — green groups loathe the project while a number of unions want it to proceed without further delay...

http://thehill.com/...

Obama Rejects GOP Bid to Tie Payroll Tax Cut to Keystone Pipeline ApprovalDec 7, 2011

President Obama warned congressional Republicans today that he will reject any attempt to tie a payroll tax cut extension to approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, which supporters say would create thousands of new jobs.

“Any effort to tie Keystone to the payroll tax cut, I will reject. So everybody can be on notice,” Obama said during a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Last month, the administration postponed a decision on the pipeline to allow for an extended environmental review that’s expected to last until after the 2012 campaign.

“The payroll tax cut is something that House Republicans and Senate Republicans should want to do regardless of any other issues,” Obama added. “The question’s going to be, are they willing to vote against a proposal that ensures that Americans, at a time when the recovery is still fragile, don’t see their taxes go up by a thousand dollars? So it shouldn’t be held hostage for any other issues that they may be concerned about.”

But Republicans insist Obama is playing politics with a project that has strong bipartisan support, including from labor unions, and which would help boost the lagging economy. Harper has also publicly pressured the administration to approve the deal...

http://abcnews.go.com/...

From 2012:

Sizing Up Obama's Keystone Pipeline Denial
By Amy Harder January 23, 2012

Was President Obama right or wrong to reject the Keystone XL pipeline?

Last week, President Obama denied approval of a permit to build the pipeline, which as proposed would have sent oil from Alberta, Canada's tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries. Obama said the "arbitrary" deadline set by congressional Republicans was not enough time to complete a review of the proposal for an alternate route that would not go through an ecologically sensitive area in Nebraska. TransCanada, the Canadian company seeking to build the pipeline, immediately said it would apply for another permit...

http://energy.nationaljournal.com/...

XL Pipeline: Oil Chief Threatens Obama

The Guardian 06 January 12

The head of the US's biggest oil and gas lobbying group said on Wednesday that the Obama administration will face serious political consequences if it rejects a Canada-to-Texas oil sands pipeline that has been opposed by environmental groups.

Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, said TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline would definitely play a role in this year's national elections.

http://readersupportednews.org/...

From 2013:

10 Lies Republicans Tell, over and over and over !

4. REPUBLICANS LIE about drilling and the Keystone XL Pipeline:

Much to the chagrin of the “drill baby drill” crowd, the President has kept the oil industry out of ANWAR, and recently disallowed the XL-Pipeline. To let Republicans tell it, the oil supply and employment in the industry have been stymied by this President. It is a lie.

From The Los Angeles Times:

Oil imports down, domestic production highest since 2003

“.... the United States reduced net imports of crude oil last year by 10%, or 1 million barrels a day. The U.S. now imports 45% of its petroleum, down from 57% in 2008, and is on track to meet Obama’s long-term goal, the administration maintains.

Imports have fallen, in part, because the United States has increased domestic oil and gas production in recent years....Current production, about 5.6 million barrels a day, is the highest since 2003.

The U.S. has been the world’s largest producer of natural gas since 2009, the report says. Use of renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar, is still relatively small but has doubled since 2008.

The report credits administration policies for the improvements. It cites initiatives such as the higher fuel efficiency of passenger cars, the jump in renewable energy output, and improved weatherization of 1 million homes.

http://current.com/...

A little more dirt from the above. Is this too many paragraphs? Tell me:

Boehner has significant investments in the Keystone XL Pipeline Project so he has actively promoted an agenda that will benefit him financially. If the Republicans were really interested in job creation, they would have passed the infrastructure bill. Construction workers could repair roads and bridges from now until eternity, but then again, I guess Boehner’s not invested in I-95.

And even the rightwingers know that Obama has been against the pipeline since the last three years, according to this undated blog here. If someone wants anything removed, just let me know. Here's a lament penned by a Keystone supporter, extra emboldening and underlining is mine:

President Obama Denies Keystone Pipeline Permit - By LD Jackson

Let’s all be honest with ourselves. Did anyone really believe President Barack Obama would approve the permit for the Keystone Pipeline and allow it to go forward? Even though the preliminaries are finished, the environmental studies have been done, alternate routes through Nebraska have been proposed, etc., President Obama still thinks more time is needed. He originally wanted to put the decision off until 2013. You know, after the 2012 election is out-of-the-way. The Republicans in Congress nixed that plan and tied the permit to the payroll tax cut or holiday issue. From November 30, 2011, the President had 60 days to approve or disapprove the permit. He made his decision yesterday and as is usually the case, he blamed the Republicans for forcing his hand. His excuse? We need more time, at least another 18 months, to do yet another review. As far as I am concerned, that statement ranks right up at the top of the biggest lies the man has told since he took office.

Does anyone want to venture a guess how long the reviews for the pipeline have already been going on? Try three years. That’s right, this project has already been in the works for three years. More than that, if you count the time and effort Canada has expended on its end. Three years, yet our current President thinks that isn’t enough time. He wants another review, mainly about the environmental impact (isn’t that always his excuse), which will take about 18 months. Even though the environment studies have been finished and any concerns addressed, he needs more time.

The President is walking a fine line with this. On the one hand, he has the labor unions, who favor the project. That’s why they call them labor unions. They want the jobs, and I happen to agree. Turn the coin over and you have an issue that is near and dear to Obama’s heart, the environment and clean energy. If he approves the pipeline, he will be facing the wrath of multiple environmental groups, including some that have threatened to stop the flow of donations they are providing to his reelection campaign. As much as he says he wants to create jobs, the environment will always win this fight in the President’s heart. He will always side with the environment, even if their argument is bogus. Once again, this should surprise no one...

http://www.ldjackson.net/...

Check out the Koch brothers comments here:

"I want my fair share--and that's ALL OF IT":
The Kochs & the XL Pipeline - By Greg Palast

According to the transcript of the secretly recorded tape, Charles Koch was chuckling like a six-year old. Koch was having a hell of a laugh over pilfering a few hundred dollars' worth of oil from a couple of dirt-poor Indians on the Osage Reservation.

Why did Koch, worth about $3 billion at the time (now $20 billion) need to boost a few bucks from some Indian in a trailer home? Koch answered:

 "I want my fair share -- and that's all of it."

Now "all of it" includes a pipeline, the Keystone XL, which would run the world's filthiest oil, crude made from tar sands, down from Canada to his family's refinery on the Gulf Coast of Texas...

http://www.opednews.com/...

Freshwest mentioned, on that same DU thread I took this informative comment from, that he believed that the GOP's most recent demands for sequestering may have been motivated in part, by his rejection of the Keystone project.

TBH, I was already considering the possibility that he was never going to approve it, but having seen this.....now I view it as more of a probability. But regardless, let's keep the pressure up on the White House as we have been.....the world's counting on us. =)

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Comment Preferences

  •  John Kerry's appt is a good sign (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superpole, Words In Action, ozsea1

    However, I worry that the administration has done little to educate the public. It's not our tar sands, and the oil produced will likely go to China (or other foreign countries) not to us.

    Those are the key points. If Obama were on a road to not approving it, I'd think there'd be more pr about them.

    And isn't part of it already approved? That seems to indicate they want another route, not no pipeline at all.

    My sense was that one of the reasons Rice backed out of SoS was that she had significant financial interest in Keystone and recusing herself from this decision was just not in anyone's interest.

  •  I would be thrilled if he rejected the pipeline, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    but it's not a sure thing by any means.

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

    by the fan man on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:08:54 AM PST

  •  Since Canada will ship its tar sands oil to (0+ / 0-)

    the Canadian west coast and then to China, if US doesn't allow Keystone, then why not just allow Keystone and the benefits of employment to US workers.?

  •  The oil will come out, to us, to China, to whoever (0+ / 0-)

    wants to buy it. Just like the copper mine in Bristol Bay. We've had some success in reducing our burning of carbon over the past 4 years, but our extraction has vastly increased.

    Obama could have stopped all speculation regarding XL years ago, but he didn't.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:34:57 AM PST

    •  Don't you think it will limit expansion and/or (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action

      drive up the price of tar sand crude from those provinces? Additionally, wouldn't it give some signal to the world about US intentions re global warming?

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

      by the fan man on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:49:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Reminds of the 2nd Amendment arguments against (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Naniboujou

      gun control. Since we can't prevent all gun violence with control, we shouldn't implement gun control. Or the weapons trafficking argument: if we don't sell 'em, someone else will.

      Bankruptcy comes to mind.

      An infinite number of more and better Democratic legislators will make little substantive difference in the Class and Climate Wars.

      by Words In Action on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 08:01:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  why not discuss the real question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steve Canella

    In terms of efficiency
    Why transport tar across the continent?
    Why not refine it in much closer proximity?
    Regulation, has made it practically impossible to build a new refinery

    Don't get me wrong, the energy extraction industry has made their bed & can lie in it
    Past & present abuses of the commonly held resources [air, water, earth], brought on a reaction, by the public>government
    Regulation

    The size of government is not the problem [quantity]
    The lack of quality is...

  •  Obama is pretty good on the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hooper, Steve Canella

    environment. He's not a ten, but he is a seven or eight. I have a feeling that if he weren't confronted throughout his terms thus far with a terrible economy he'd have been more forceful on global warming. He likely will be much better in his second term, especially as the economy improves and as the politics of global warming gets a bit friendlier. Whatever he decides on the XL Pipeline, one decision does not make or break a president's reputation. He's not perfect, we already know that. But he's a pretty damn good president (whatever he decides this won't change).

    •  Only if you consider Climate Change (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, PhilJD, Roger Fox

      a modest or distant threat. If you know better, then you realize that the entire center, including Obama, is actually a contributing factor to denial and truly responsible, "serious", moral climate action.

      An infinite number of more and better Democratic legislators will make little substantive difference in the Class and Climate Wars.

      by Words In Action on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 08:10:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama is not the problem. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hooper, Steve Canella

        He knows how bad climate change is. But he is only a president, not a dictator, and he is dealing with an opposition that is historic in nature in terms of their stubbornness and refusal to accept the verdict of science on a great many things (not only global warming). There is only so much that Obama can do. That said, I agree, as I said, that he could do a bit more. But not much more.

        •  You don't have to be a dictator to speak the (0+ / 0-)

          truth. Only recently has he truly begun to dance around it. Until he 1) publicly acknowledges the threat of continued use of ALL fossil fuels -- including coal, 2) outlines the urgency with which we must act, 3) uses all Presidential powers (Executive Orders) to immediately begin addressing Climate Change,  and 4) specifies and codifies his recognition of the urgency in concrete policy and program proposals, then he has not done nearly what he could do, given the seriousness of the situation.

          An infinite number of more and better Democratic legislators will make little substantive difference in the Class and Climate Wars.

          by Words In Action on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 08:34:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Under Obama, US carbon emissions (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Steve Canella, hooper

            have gone down each and every year. Under Obama, US solar installations have gone up every year, by a lot. His track record is actually quite good. Numbers don't lie.

            •  Realtive to Bush and all previous Presidents, (0+ / 0-)

              yes. Although you are giving him all the credit for the actions of many, many people.

              Relative to the scale of the problem, however, not so much. The planet does care about relative progress.

              An infinite number of more and better Democratic legislators will make little substantive difference in the Class and Climate Wars.

              by Words In Action on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 08:55:20 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  He spoke the truth in '08 and '09, and the Cap & (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Steve Canella

            Trade bills that represented his and our best hope at that time lost in the House.  After that made it clear he wasn't going to get anywhere legislatively he did what he could as an executive.  Quite a bit, actually.  

            Now that the election's over he's speaking the truth again, and will again do what he can.  The pipeline is not make or break, as the diarist points out -- despite that silly "game over" comment -- and it's getting obvious that the tar will get burned whichever way he decides on this.

            I'm against the pipeline, as any climate-concerned person would be, but I'd much rather have big demand-side victories like the new mileage standards (already happening), a higher price/tax on carbon, and EPA regulation of coal plant emissions than win this particular battle.

            •  correction: Markey's bill passed the House but (0+ / 0-)

              not the Senate, and Kerry's died in the Senate.

            •  "silly 'game over' comment" (0+ / 0-)

              Effective Denial tool.

              An infinite number of more and better Democratic legislators will make little substantive difference in the Class and Climate Wars.

              by Words In Action on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 12:31:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks, Hooper. (0+ / 0-)

              I definitely am quite concerned myself and I do wish, strongly, that we'd been able to make more progress. But it's still quite clear that we're continuing to face not only the corruption of Big Oil but also a largely Republican-controlled House. The gerrymandering in 2010 really screwed us over, big time. Whatever the case, though, I do hope Obama does indeed continues doing what he's doing. We need any support we can get right now.

        •  Stop apologizing (0+ / 0-)

          Stop stating the ultra obvious.

          Yes, the sun rises in the east.

          Stop sounding like a 4th grader explaining poly-sci.

          Stop insulting people.

          ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:39:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Re: tar sands, more denial (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, Meteor Blades, joedemocrat

    that contributes to the insidious efforts of the Denial movement to make it socially acceptable not to recognize  Climate Change as a clear and present danger. Do the Math made it clear: the fossil fuel industry ALREADY has 5 times at much CO2 producing reserves on the books. Their current stock values already assume extracting and selling 5 times more than we can afford to put into the atmosphere, without the tar sands. Even without factoring in the permafrost/methane effect, dumping the carbon from the tar sands into the atmosphere will certainly be "game over" for civilization as we know it. Collapse. Actual extinction may take more, for humans at least, but is that really the yardstick for what we should gamble?

    This attitude is far worse than not helpful. Worse even than dangerous. Being so cavalier with the threat of Climate Change to the entire biosphere -- including humans -- is at best amoral. Akin to allowing corporations not only to be "people" but to effectively allow them to behave like sociopaths without regard to people or the environment. Like treating the Class War and ongoing impact of destructive, bogus supply-side economics as merely the only "serious" way to proceed, as if there aren't people involved.

    Totally lacking in moral imagination.

    An infinite number of more and better Democratic legislators will make little substantive difference in the Class and Climate Wars.

    by Words In Action on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 07:58:57 AM PST

    •  This seems confused: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steve Canella
      Do the Math made it clear: the fossil fuel industry ALREADY has 5 times at much CO2 producing reserves on the books. Their current stock values already assume extracting and selling 5 times more than we can afford to put into the atmosphere, without the tar sands.
      Do the Math said that the FF companies have 5 times the reserves that -- if used -- we can "safely" burn.  But this is with or without the Tar Sands.  They're just another (huge) petroleum source.

      We can't block every field or well or pipeline, at least not yet when most people don't care enough.  We can try, and I think we must.  But approval of XL would not be the end of the planet or civilization or the movement.

      If it's approved, would you stop fighting?  I hope not.

      We are still energy pigs.  I don't see the movement stepping up against this yet.  The movement is still too polite or cautious to risk criticizing SUV drivers, big-home builders & owners, long-distance vacationers, etc.

      And the evidence that this is critical will continue to accumulate, painfully.  That does seem to make a difference, as we see after Sandy.

      •  We will burn those existing reserves if (0+ / 0-)

        the deniers and the minimizers continue to have influence. Adding the Tar Sands and the permafrost methane factor just drives us that much farther past the last exit to life without absolute living hell.

        Anything less than a unified front opposition to ALL fossil fuel capacity expansion is irresponsible. Ditto for giving Obama or anyone else room to equivocate in Keystone XL.

        An infinite number of more and better Democratic legislators will make little substantive difference in the Class and Climate Wars.

        by Words In Action on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 12:46:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You seem to imagine that anyone who doesn't agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Steve Canella

          with you 100% is somehow an enemy.  

          We're all part of the problem, at least here in the US.  We all burn fossil fuels, and we all take more than our share.  Most of us by a gigantic margin.

          •  It's a matter of whether or not people recognize (0+ / 0-)

            that, since we have to keep 80% of existing reserves in the ground...there are no responsible alternatives to drawing the line in the sand on opening up ALL future sources of fossil fuels, as a bare minimum...

            So yeah, accepting anything more than that as a matter of policy -- for any reason -- is worse than not helpful. It's destructive at best...

            An infinite number of more and better Democratic legislators will make little substantive difference in the Class and Climate Wars.

            by Words In Action on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 01:49:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yep, and that can be as harmful..... (0+ / 0-)

            As any doomsaying or hand-waving that you can think of.

            I mean, I'll be honest: I will very rarely agree with anyone absolutely 100% when it comes to many things, including climate change; but I try not to make enemies, either. And we need all the cohesion we can get right now, IMO.

            •  Cohesion would be aided if (0+ / 0-)

              the center would engage the deniers more vigorously.

              I doubt, for example, that few moderates were present on 2/17. In fact, moderates are too focused on touting the administration's accomplishments to even notice that we are still rapidly approaching limits. It gives people a false sense of security. Just as it gives people a false sense of security to think that we can rely on unproven technological silver bullets in the 11th hour.

              An infinite number of more and better Democratic legislators will make little substantive difference in the Class and Climate Wars.

              by Words In Action on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 06:37:22 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You and I apparently have different definitions... (0+ / 0-)

                .....of the word "moderate", it seems. I believe the term SHOULD apply, in the case of climate change, to those who don't go overboard with the scare tactics and the hyperbole(yes, this includes the implausible "human extinction solely by AGW" scenarios, the "Venus Syndrome" B.S., and other things), and do their best to stick to a fact and observation based approach. And I would assume, and, quite frankly, strongly hope, that at least the vast majority, if not all of the speakers at the 2/17 event were moderates, going by the criteria set forth by myself.

                And by touting the things that we HAVE managed to accomplish, whether or not the White House had a hand in it, is not only a good thing, but it may just be mandatory if we want to keep up the momentum.

                If done correctly, and it usually is, it gives people some hope for the future, and it's these people that will be the ones to keep fighting for change.

                •  The moderates have been in control of the (0+ / 0-)

                  agenda as much as the deniers the past two decades. And the threat has escalated into a full-blown crisis. Touting small accomplishments as big ones, especially when they aren't due to behavioral changes and therefore will be reversed the moment external factors blow away, simply confuses people into thinking acceptable solutions are at hand, when they clearly aren't.

                  It's like you've got a man with an axe chopping through the front door. You stack a few shoe boxes up against it. Then you walk into the next room and announce, "we're making progress in barricading the door." Sighs of relief.

                  An infinite number of more and better Democratic legislators will make little substantive difference in the Class and Climate Wars.

                  by Words In Action on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 03:37:33 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  ..... (0+ / 0-)
                    especially when they aren't due to behavioral changes and therefore will be reversed the moment external factors blow away
                    And your proof is.....oh, wait, you have none. Never mind. =)
                    It's like you've got a man with an axe chopping through the front door. You stack a few shoe boxes up against it. Then you walk into the next room and announce, "we're making progress in barricading the door." Sighs of relief.
                    More like the guys working our asses off to get a few chairs against the door and you guys keep coming over and either kicking them aside or telling us it's hopeless because it's not enough for you.......
                    •  Chairs against the door might actually deter the (0+ / 0-)

                      axe-man. Exactly what have moderates done to claim such an achievement?

                      The proof: it is well-known that the economic downturn has played a significant role in falling emissions. It is also well-known that the ice melt runneth apace...

                      An infinite number of more and better Democratic legislators will make little substantive difference in the Class and Climate Wars.

                      by Words In Action on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:03:53 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Muskeg (0+ / 0-)

          ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:42:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Sadly, as I've said before, the other problem is.. (0+ / 0-)

        We've given WAY too much weight to doomsday predictions and "Chicken Little" nuttiness, and yes, that does include James Hansen's comments about "Venus Syndrome" and "game over for the climate", re: Keystone.

        What we need, is messaging that isn't afraid to be more confrontational, but that also eschews "Chicken Little" theatrics and gets right down the nitty-gritty truth: 1.) Yes, climate change is real. 2.) No, humanity is not at risk for extinction, nor is the total collapse of civilization at all inevitable, even if Keystone IS built the whole way through. 3.)Yes, climate change is actually causing some problems RIGHT NOW and needs to be dealt with. 4.)No, it's not too late to start fixing the problem, and it'll never be too late. But we will be in a far better position if we start now rather than 40 years from now when the temperature may have gone up to anywhere from 1 to about 2.5*C(depending on what we do, but it's very likely we'll fall somewhere in the middle of that), and we're seeing worse effects from ACC(yes, including more extreme winters, too).

        •  This is where I disagree with you... (0+ / 0-)

          This sentence-

          No, humanity is not at risk for extinction
          There are many scientists who say we are at risk for extinction. There are a lot of people who are worried it may be too late.

          I disagree these opinions are "Chicken Little theatrics."  They are the opinion of informed scientists and informed environmentalists.

          Do I hope they are wrong?  Of course.

          I've been around so many people in my life who do not believe climate change is real. There are so many people who automatically equate environmentalism w/ paying more for gasoline. I think we need to find a way to break through that and show that environmentalism is a win/win situation for both the economy and planet.

          Also, There has been progress but just not enough. We need to find clean energy sources and get away from carbon based energy.

          But how do we do this with the GOP controlled House?

          As a member of Courtesy Kos, I am dedicated to civility and respect for all kossacks, regardless of their opinions, affiliations, or cliques.

          by joedemocrat on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 03:53:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Joe, I know you may not agree, but..... (0+ / 0-)

            What I have said is very much correct.
             

            There are many scientists who say we are at risk for extinction.

            No, there are NOT many, Joe. In fact, there are only a very select few actual climate scientists who actually believe this, and I can name a few of them right here: Jim Hansen, James Lovelock....and.....wait, that's pretty much all of the big names in climate science.


            I disagree these opinions are "Chicken Little theatrics."  They are the opinion of informed scientists and informed environmentalists.
            No, Joe, I'm sorry, but that's exactly what it is, is fucking theatrics.  

            I've been around long enough to know that none of the truly informed scientists OR environmentalists are even THINKING of claiming that human extinction is a supposedly "actual" threat, when it most certainly is NOT.

            There has been progress but just not enough.
            And we can thank the doomers, and those who enable them(Hansen, Lovelock and a few others are particularly guilty in that regard.), for a good chunk of the problem we've had with our messaging failure. All this talk of supposed human extinction, inevitable collapse of civilization etc., never did us any goddamn good. Never. If these people honestly thought that the public was going to wake up thru B.S. exaggerations and scare tactics, they were dead wrong.....not only that, but the deniers even ended up using some of this stuff against us to make us ALL look bad(have you seen Steven Goddard's site yet? He's probably one of the Top 5 worst offenders in that regard). And it worked.
            I think we need to find a way to break through that and show that environmentalism is a win/win situation for both the economy and planet.
            Then let's start by confronting Hansen or Lovelock, etc. whenever they slip up real bad(like Hansen did with his "Venus Syndrome" comments re: Keystone.). We can confront President Obama when he makes a mistake, so why shouldn't the leaders of the environmental movement be held to a similar standard?

            I get that some people have a predisposition to pessimism and may occasionally vent once in a while. They aren't the problem, not at all. It's this small group of people, the full-time "doomers", purposefully running wild with extreme predictions and highly flawed interpretations of the science, who haven't been held to account for their screw-ups. And those who won't stop, ought to be ignored and maybe they'll eventually go away, like what's been happening to the deniers as of late.

            We need to keep working. And if we want to have a decent shot at getting things done as a better pace, superstition and doomsaying has to be pushed aside in favor of actually science-based theories, ideas, etc.

        •  Well put. But the timeline's shorter than this, (0+ / 0-)

          imo.

          And we could easily, anytime cross some tipping point from melting permafrost, underwater methane, etc.

          •  Not anytime soon for methane. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hooper

            Even the most pessimistic mainstream estimates say it'd take about 2-2.5*C  or so before we really start having to worry about methane in any quantity that would cause climate globally( That may not be quite true about LOCAL effects though, I suspect).....personally I suspect it may be quite a bit higher than that.

            But then again methane isn't the only tipping point out there; hell, it can be argued that the first ice-free day in the Arctic might be a tipping point of some sort. And on the track we're on, it's liable to happen at some point between 2020-2030 or so(It MAY happen a little earlier, though I'm not willing to bet on that).

    •  What denial? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm sorry, but really? Are you REALLY accusing me of climate denial here?

      This attitude is far worse than not helpful. Worse even than dangerous.
      No, just no. what is far worse than not helpful, is the shitload of doomerist drivel that's still been thrown out everywhere, like this:
      dumping the carbon from the tar sands into the atmosphere will certainly be "game over" for civilization as we know it. Collapse.
      People are not going to come to terms with climate change if they keep hearing that the world is about to (inevitably) end every other day. And you know what? This stuff even enables the deniers, too, as you can see on the sites of Steven Goddard and others.

      There has been a clear failure in messaging, and this is perhaps the biggest reason why.

  •  more apologia, more fail (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, Roger Fox

    Obama is a decent enough president, but if he approves this pipeline, he will lose a lot support of the non-cheerleaders; you know, the ones that look at both public and private leadership with a healthy amount of reality-based skepticism.

    The "extreme wing" of the Democratic Party is the wing that is hell-bent on protecting the banks and credit card companies. ~ Kos

    by ozsea1 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 09:43:14 AM PST

  •  ALL YOUR PIPELINE ARE BELONG TO US (0+ / 0-)

    ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:34:03 PM PST

  •  Sigh (0+ / 0-)

    President has not kept the oil industry out of ANWAR, the shitty geologic conditions have.

    Meanwhile NPRA has seen new exploratory wells.

    ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:48:22 PM PST

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