Climate change: leadership and the will of the people

Leslie Carlson

Jeff Alworth's excellent post about the uncomfortable and tough decisions that face us around climate change has got me thinking. If we are going to solve climate change--and for me that remains a very big "if"--we're going to need two things.

The first are strong leaders with the backbone to stand up to entrenched and powerful interests. The second are voters and citizens who are willing to back those strong leaders, despite the fact that fighting climate change may cost us personally and will undoubtedly require us to way we live.

One need only look at the state fight over cap-and-trade to see the interests lining up against regulatory and economic changes. While cap and trade appears to be all but dead at the state and regional level, but SB 80 has been amended to try and have Oregon businesses meet the greenhouse gas reduction standards that were set in 2007. Again, there has been strong pushback from utilities who say that the reductions are impossible without astromical rate increases for customers.

While I disagree with their analysis (these figures don't account for energy efficiency efforts nor the various proposals for softening the financial impact for low and middle-income people, I'm not surprised to see the pushback. Industries like utilities and large manufacturers have the most to lose in a rapidly changing regulatory environment around energy. The fact of the matter is that we will have to pay more for energy and become more energy efficient if we are going to succeed in slowing climate change.

However, the rapidly changing economic and regulatory model also provides these companies and many others with new economic opportunities, if they are smart and nimble enough to take advantage of them.   

On a related note, tomorrow is the Oregon League of Conservation Voters' 12th annual Dinner for the Environment featuring Dan Kammen, a Berkeley professor, Obama energy advisor and contributing member of the International Panel on Climate Change. I'll be there to support OLCV, which provides voters with report cards on the environmental positions and votes of elected officials--and allows us to support those that demonstrate the strong leadership that is so necessary in these uncertain times. I hope to see many of you there.




Comments

  • (Show?)

    Leslie, this really could be a time of enormous opportunity, if the fossil-fuel dinosaurs could only see it.

    By the way, what's the current thinking on the nomenclature of "global warming" versus "climate change?" I see you went with the latter. Am I passe with my 'global warming' references?

  • jamie (unverified)
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    Leslie---we're going to need two things. Me--- No, you left out the third thing:

    A populace willing to see their energy bills triple (or more) and their jobs go away. That is the result of what you are proposing.

    Are you too illiterate to understand that there is NO ALTERNATIVE energy ready to supply our needs?

    Wind & solar both come & go. We have no way to store utility scale amounts of power.

    Solar costs 5 or so times what we now pay.

    Cap & trade works by raising the price until people cannot afford enough energy.

    Why can't you see that. You are proposing that people go back to the 1920's standard of living -- poverty by today's standards.

    Leslie---One need only look at the state fight over cap-and-trade to see the interests lining up against regulatory and economic changes Me–Now tell us what will happen if cap & trade were forced on these businesses. Tell us how many jobs will be destroyed. Tell us how much they will raise their prices to cover the costs you want to force on them?

    Leslie----Again, there has been strong push back from utilities who say that the reductions are impossible without astromical rate increases for customers. Me—Do you expect these companies to eat the high costs of your scheme? No, they will raise their prices to YOU. Are you ready for your heat bill to double or triple?

    Leslie---the various proposals for softening the financial impact for low and middle-income people ME—Only softening? You have to ELIMINATE the impact for low and middle income people. Of course, you will also remove the incentive to save energy. If you merely soak the rich, they will leave. By the way how many low income people have you ever worked for? Most jobs are supplied by those corporations that you hate and those nasty rich folk that you will drive out of the state.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Leslie,

    Once upon a time, Democrats debated issues and ideas rather than being polarized into the 2 choices which could be described as the D team and the R team.

    One of the beauties of the large victory last November is that we no longer have to be fighting the Rove et al political machine and should be able to get back to debating ideas.

    What bothers me is that some people are still polarizing everything into "which side are you on" as if there are only 2 "sides" and everyone must choose a side and then not ask questions.

    On a similar topic, Paul G. says,

    "So the takeaway from the interview is that because of a badly deregulated financial market, we should abandon all monetized / marketized solutions to problems, even if they work??

    Every analysis I have seen, from the left, right, and middle is that cap and trade works to effectively reduce emissions. <<

    So, we should believe him and not old friends who we trust who say there may be logistical problems with cap and trade?

    The alternative to polarizing this into 2 camps is the "let 1000 flowers bloom" approach. That might come up with some better solutions.

    Telling me I don't really think this is a crisis if I ask questions (or some such) will not cause me to say my friends who worry about the details are wrong.

    Will of the people means individual decisions. NOT "the people want.." as if individuals can't think for themselves.

  • (Show?)

    So, we should believe him and not old friends who we trust who say there may be logistical problems with cap and trade?

    No. You should read research from those who lead field in this area. "Old friends" are nice for many things. But rarely are they appropriate resources for such expansive issues.

  • Richard (unverified)
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    Carla,

    You left off the part about ignoring all of the scrutiny, criticism and fatal flaws raised by experts.

    Your notion that one who "reads the research from those who lead the field in area" will some how come down on the AGW-cap and trade believer side is a lame suggestion those who are skpetics haven't read same.

    I, like most skeptics have read more than most everyone here at BO. The skepicism is borne from the research by AGW leaders. The expansive scrutiny by other experts that follows has revealed many criticial weaknesses, contradictions and problems which should not be ignored by anyone interested in accuracy and sound public policies. That isn't what you're advocating of course.

    I too urge people to read and google for the rest of the story which reveals no need to reduce CO2 emissions.

  • dddave (unverified)
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    Bush had bad, bad science. But hey, as dems we will use bad science if it furthers our views. We could stop driving in Oregon tomorrow and ban all use of fossil fuels,etc, and it WOULD NOT DO A DAMN THING except reduce our standard of living. Let's do the math. Oregon Tri-county area 3000 sq miles, 1.6 million Oregon State 96,000 sq miles, 3.7 million folks USA 3.5 million sq miles, 301 million folks Earth land 17 million sq miles 6.7 billion folks.

    So Oregon is .564% in land area and .0552% in population. So we could kill all Oregonians and let crap sit here and rot and we could not possibly alter worldwide climate. We all want to save the world, but taxing the holy crap out of all of us with a fake cap and tax economy will not solve ANY CLIMATE PROBLEMS. If you want to help people, go to a third world country and feed some folks, otherwise, leave us the hell alone.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    I am not optimistic about our ability to slow down climate change before it can be clearly tied to wide-spread disastrous results. This is not because of skeptics of the science - alternatively referred to as deniers - who need to suggest either improbable conspiracy or wholesale incompetence among the most notable experts throughout the world in order to make their position tenable. My pessimism derives from the difficulty of convincing enough of the world's governments to take the necessary actions to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, especially nations where much of the population is poor.

    There is an interesting article in City Journal that discusses this difficulty. The author believes that vigorous development of carbon sequestration programs is the sensible route. I agree that sequestration is important, but I doubt, minus some cheap gee-whiz technological breakthrough, that sequestration can compensate for the continued burning of fossil fuels in developing nations, along with their continued carbon release from deforestation and desertification.

    What is required to make sure we escape run-away climate warming - excepting the use of force - is wholesale enlightenment of the world's leadership, along with their ability to maintain authority as their economies convert to sustainability.

    How likely is that?

  • (Show?)

    Jeff, I can't decide where I fall on the "climate change" vs. "global warming" issue--however, it seems to me that climate change (or climate crisis) has become the more used term and thus I went with it.

    However, I have been told before by folks smarter than myself that "climate change" risks sounding rather pleasant while "global warming" sounds more ominous and in reality, reflects what's happening to the planet.

  • LT (unverified)
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    This was in our local newspaper recently.

    http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20090406/COLUMN0703/904060320/1097/OPINION

    Here is an excerpt:

    When Gov. Ted Kulongoski chose a regional cap-and-trade system as his weapon of choice, one noticeable characteristic of his forays into policy and implementation was a minimalist role for the Public Utility Commission.

    Considering that the PUC regulates the electricity supply for nearly three-fourths of the state through an extensive resource-planning process, this seemed odd. One suspects there was a reason for that: It is the one agency that is most concerned about actual costs to ratepayers.

    The "trade" part of the cap and trade proposal has since fallen by the wayside, but many legislators and environmental groups still cling to the concept of a cap on emissions in Oregon, either economy-wide for the state as a whole or for the electricity sector.

    The cap is treated like magic. Set the cap and then we'll somehow figure out how to get there. Increased costs are assumed but the amount becomes irrelevant or subservient to the goal.

    Can we reduce carbon emissions by more that 30 percent in the next 10 years? Maybe, but at what cost? Before we establish any hard caps, shouldn't we have a realistic idea of how far we can actually go?

    The PUC already required utilities to submit carbon reduction plans later this year. Before we set a cap on emissions, wouldn't it make more sense to first see what can be done, at what pace and at what cost?

    Strikes me as being closer to the DeFazio approach than to an unquestioning support of cap and trade.

    Leslie calls on voters and citizens willing to back up strong leaders.

    Carla says "read the research from people who lead in this area" without specifying what to read, where to find it, who she considers the "leaders in this area".

    The "will of the people" is more likely to be gained by individuals deciding for themselves who to believe than an approach of "if you care about this issue, you will believe..... and trust the information from ...".

    Carla, what role do you see for the PUC? What will the cost of cap and trade be? Or is a former legislator who became chair of the PUC not a leader in the field unless he agrees with what you have read?

    Folks, did the years of Bush, Cheney and Rove at the national level and Minnis & Scott at the legislative level erode your critical thinking skills?

  • Dale (unverified)
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    I am a democrat but come on now people. You folks need to get with the program.

    Reducing greenhouse gases in Oregon will not have any discernable influence on global temperatures whatsoever. In fact, if Oregon completely reduced its emissions to zero now and into the future our state’s reductions in greenhouse gases would be completely replaced by foreign growth in 16 days, and the growth in China alone would replace any Oregon emissions reductions in 25 days.

    Global temperatures have been declining for the past few years(since at least 2002) despite increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. It is obvious that there are more factors that affect global temperatures than just the small amount of human emitted greenhouse gases thus a policy geared towards reducing human emitted GHGs in Oregon is a low leverage policy at best.

  • (Show?)

    Carla says "read the research from people who lead in this area" without specifying what to read, where to find it, who she considers the "leaders in this area".

    I don't presume to tell you who you should read or trust, LT. I would leave it to you do research and read the information yourself, and form your own opinion. You've got as much access to the internet as I do, I suspect. I just don't think it's wise to rely on "old friends" who may or may not have a comprehensive understanding of Cap and Trade.

    Carla, what role do you see for the PUC? What will the cost of cap and trade be? Or is a former legislator who became chair of the PUC not a leader in the field unless he agrees with what you have read?

    Who would this "old friend" be?

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Dale wrote:

    Global temperatures have been declining for the past few years(since at least 2002) despite increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. It is obvious that there are more factors that affect global temperatures than just the small amount of human emitted greenhouse gases thus a policy geared towards reducing human emitted GHGs in Oregon is a low leverage policy at best.

    This is total bullshit if it means anything at all, Dale.

    • Nine out of ten of the hottest years on record have occurred in the last decade.

    • Human activity in fossil fuel combustion, cement manufacturing and gas well flaring alone is 25,000,000,000 metric tons per year - not a smalll amount.

    • Doing our share and setting an example are not "low leverage policy", whatever that means.

    As I wrote earlier, I am not optimistic about coping with the problem. That does not mean we should not try.

  • LT (unverified)
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    I have known Ron Eachus and Peter DeFazio for decades.

    I consider them to have more sense on a lot of what I have heard on this subject.

    Maybe this will explain why he is concerned about costs and the role of the PUC.

    http://www.mresearch.com/pdfs/290.pdf

    One of the benefits of being over 60 is the people met and reading done and meetings attended and all the other things which contribute to a lifelong knowledge base. Along with the right to form a suspicion in some people who hear "we have a great idea, therefore it will work" along with supporters not wanting to answer detailed questions. I've had that suspicion longer than blogs have existed. It goes back to some of LBJ's good sounding ideas which ran into unintended consequences. Many of my friends over the decades have been of the same pragmatic persuasion which distrusts ideology.

    Does that answer your question, Carla?

  • LT (unverified)
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    I've never met Tom C. but what he says over at Salmon, Nukes and Taxes makes sense to me. His very well thought out comment there is

    Posted by: Tom Civiletti | Apr 23, 2009 5:13:49 PM

    I'd love to see more such intelligent commentary.

  • jim edelson (unverified)
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    L T

    The -3 amendments of the SB 80 bill, the current version pending in the Senate, puts the OPUC and the IRPs of the utilities at the center of the process to meet Oregon's statutory GHG reduction goals FOR THE ELECTRIC AND GAS PRIVATE UTILITIES. Period.

    But you will see. This is what the utilities asked for six months ago. Now that they have that on the table, they oppose it. Senator Dingfelder called PGE to the mat on this - and they had no response.

    And you will see, as soon as this is passed, they will come back asking for permission to trade credits. Just wait.

  • (Show?)

    One of the benefits of being over 60 is the people met and reading done and meetings attended and all the other things which contribute to a lifelong knowledge base. Along with the right to form a suspicion in some people who hear "we have a great idea, therefore it will work" along with supporters not wanting to answer detailed questions. I've had that suspicion longer than blogs have existed. It goes back to some of LBJ's good sounding ideas which ran into unintended consequences. Many of my friends over the decades have been of the same pragmatic persuasion which distrusts ideology

    It's all fine and good to have a healthy suspicion. But it can't be the basis of how an informed opinion is formed.

    You're vastly underestimating and short-selling those who support cap and trade. Just because you don't agree with them, or your friends don't, doesn't make them wrong (or right). Even if they are older.

  • Greg D. (unverified)
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    If substantial carbon taxes or caps - large enough to choke off demand - are going to eventually be the law of the land, it will take a generation or two or three or four or five of brave politicians who are willing to throw their political careers onto the grenade of overwhelming public opposition. Like those brave young men in WW I who marched into the machine gun fire, it may take 5 or 10 or 20 or 100 political leaders to throw down their careers in the face of overwhelming public hatred and ridicule. Perhaps in a decade or two, the voting public will become tired of rejecting carbon tax proposals, and the environment can be saved.

    Or, perhaps we will all drown in the rising Pacific Ocean first.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    By the way, what's the current thinking on the nomenclature of "global warming" versus "climate change?

    Definitions

    Global warming: the increase in Earth’s average surface temperature due to rising levels of greenhouse gases.

    Climate change: a long-term change in the Earth’s climate, or of a region on Earth. Source:NASA

    Of course, it is hard to convince people who are freezing their arses off that "global warming" is real.

  • LT (unverified)
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    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/92xx/doc9276/05-20-Cap_Trade_Testimony.1.1.shtml

    is a lot more intelligent than much of the discussion here.

    Posted by: jim edelson | Apr 23, 2009 6:50:18 PM at least had concrete informaion on SB 80 amendments.

    Carla, I respect concrete information from anyone on any side of this issue. Disagreement does not mean disrespect. Some of my closest friends and I have fought over issues and still remained friends. Is that an experience you have had?

    What do you think the role of the Oregon PUC should be in all this? Why is cap and trade better than regulation as DeFazio has suggested?

    Because of your interest in SB 80, I assume you watched the possible committee work session online to see if it passed out of committee.

    Over on the topic "DeFazio muses on cap and trade", Posted by: Torridjoe | Apr 23, 2009 11:42:36 AM has a very intelligent comment.

    Carla, if you believe that cap and trade is the only way to solve the problem and all good people should quit asking tough questions and just lobby their legislators to give unquestioning support to SB 80, that is your right.

    However, I enjoy the debate. I'm a logistics person, interested in the pragmatic questions of "why do it this way instead of that way?". I don't see how complaining about people who question the cost and logistics of cap and trade (is that system working perfectly in areas where it has been in effect for years?) helps win support for legislation like SB 80.

    Richard has an intelligent comment. Posted by: Richard | Apr 23, 2009 1:25:22 PM

    Carla,

    You left off the part about ignoring all of the scrutiny, criticism and fatal flaws raised by experts.

    Your notion that one who "reads the research from those who lead the field in area" will some how come down on the AGW-cap and trade believer side is a lame suggestion those who are skpetics haven't read same. <<

    It may well be that SB 80 is the answer to everything. But what if it has flaws?

    Or is raising the issues I have raised here evidence that I don't have adequately "informed opinion"? If so, what makes you the sole judge of that?

  • riverat (unverified)
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    Dale,

    Whatever Oregon can do to reduce GHG's is part of the total solution. Getting ahead of the curve might be a good thing. The longest journey begins with the first step.

    If you look graphs of the global average temperature anomoly (here or here) you'll notice plenty of 5 or 10 year periods where the temperature drops but the overall trend for the past 100 years or so has been upward. There's no reason to think that trend won't continue. If you know anything about radio climate is a carrier wave, slowly but steadly increasing, weather is a signal that rides on top of the carrier, sometimes up sometimes down but always following the carrier in the long run. Climate scientists use a 30 year window to smooth out the short term variations and complications of weather when determining trends.

    The past couple of years have been on the cool side, especially in North America, mostly because of La Niña conditions and the shifting of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation to a cool phase but as Tom pointed out this is still the warmest decade on record. CO2 in the atmosphere is rising about 2 ppm/year yet if 100% of human emissions remained in the atmosphere it would be rising around 3 ppm/year so about 1/3 of human emissions are absorbed into the oceans and biosphere. Since 1832 CO2 has risen from 284 ppm to over 380 ppm, a 35% increase. At the current rate of increase it will be over 500 ppm before 2070. It's been at least 800,000 years since it's been much over 300 ppm (modern humans only evolved around 200,000 years ago).

    Dave

  • (Show?)

    Carla, I respect concrete information from anyone on any side of this issue. Disagreement does not mean disrespect. Some of my closest friends and I have fought over issues and still remained friends. Is that an experience you have had?

    Lots of times.

    What do you think the role of the Oregon PUC should be in all this? Why is cap and trade better than regulation as DeFazio has suggested?

    I don't know what the PUC's role should be yet. Cap and Trade is a regulation, so I'm not sure what you mean.

    Because of your interest in SB 80, I assume you watched the possible committee work session online to see if it passed out of committee.

    I haven't actually expressed interest in this particular bill that I'm aware of. What I expressed interest in is how it can be difficult to rely just on opinions from "old friends", as a way to essentially slam the door on others.

    You left off the part about ignoring all of the scrutiny, criticism and fatal flaws raised by experts.

    Robert's statement above didn't appear to me about cap and trade..but about any regulation of C02 emissions. The "experts" on that scale are vastly outweighed by credible science to the contrary.

    Or is raising the issues I have raised here evidence that I don't have adequately "informed opinion"? If so, what makes you the sole judge of that?

    No more or less than that which makes you the sole judge, LT.

  • anon (unverified)
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    The latest news from Salem is that environmental activists are picketing the homes of and sending out negative mailings about Democratic legislators.

    The resulting backlash appears to have killed the Metolius protection bill, Senate Bill 80, and other environmental priorities.

    Smooth move.

  • anon (unverified)
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    The latest news from Salem is that environmental activists are picketing the homes of and sending out negative mailings about Democratic legislators.

    The resulting backlash appears to have killed the Metolius protection bill, Senate Bill 80, and other environmental priorities.

    Smooth move.

  • (Show?)

    The latest news from Salem is that environmental activists are picketing the homes of and sending out negative mailings about Democratic legislators.

    I can't find a single source to verify this. If anyone can, please email me at carla (dot) axt (at) gmail (dot) com.

  • (Show?)

    The latest news from Salem is that environmental activists are picketing the homes of and sending out negative mailings about Democratic legislators.

    I can't find a single source to verify this. If anyone can, please email me at carla (dot) axt (at) gmail (dot) com.

  • (Show?)

    I can't find a single source to verify this. If anyone can, please email me at carla (dot) axt (at) gmail (dot) com.

  • Insider (unverified)
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    The enviromentalists picketed the home of Rep. Tobias Read.

    Stupid, stupid.

  • billlly (unverified)
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    Leslie Carlson: eff, I can't decide where I fall on the "climate change" vs. "global warming" issue--however, it seems to me that climate change (or climate crisis) has become the more used term and thus I went with it. B: The real climate crisis is the proposed cures to non-existent AGW. The real climate criminals are those that ginned up this crisis to make money.

    Want proof? Just ask a true believer for the real proof that CO2 can actually cause dangerous warming? Beware convoluted logic & vague references to the IPCC report. Demand the quote and journal reference. I have been asking for months with no proof appearing.

    Or, refer to realclimate.org/index.php?p=142 (a true believer site set up to defend Al’s hockey stick) to read that CO2 is not even the most effective greenhouse gas, water vapor is.

    Where are the proposed restrictions on water emissions?

  • dale (unverified)
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    good luck on comparing this decade to other decades

    to say that this decade is hotter than any other decade on record is preposterous. We have only had accurate temp record back to 1979. hardly a good record to compare to.

    now we have had significant surface temp records but these are severely flawed.

    check out surfacestations dot org and get educated

  • billlly (unverified)
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    Tom Civiletti : This is total bullshit if it means anything at all, Dale. B: Sorry it is NOT bullshit. All of the major temperature records now show a downturn. Some started 10 years ago, some more recently.

    Tom Civiletti : - Nine out of ten of the hottest years on record have occurred in the last decade. B: Please cite a primary source for this. The USHCN, considered the most accurate in the world and maintained by alarmist, Jim Hansen at NASA, shows the 10 warmest years scattered throughout the record, with many in the 1930s. It also shows 1934 ties with 1998 for the warmest year.

    Satellite measurements show no recent warming.

    Please quit getting you “facts” from money grubbers like Al Gore, and the multinational environmental corporations like the the Sierra Club.

    Tom Civiletti : - Human activity in fossil fuel combustion, cement manufacturing and gas well flaring alone is 25,000,000,000 metric tons per year - not a smalll amount. B: You are so full of it. Man’s total CO2 emissions is about 3% of the annual total. The rest is nature. See this NASA source: //earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/CarbonCycle

    Please get your facts right before trying to force your religion on others.

  • Assegai Up Jacksey (unverified)
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    You sure you've got the "will of the people" on this one? I can't move for guys with goatees in SUVs that are very, very proud of not giving a shit about the environment.

  • DontSellViagra2Billly!!! (unverified)
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    J A M E S K A R L O C K I S A T O S S E R!!! Keep adding those "l"s. Each one represents your progression to the next level of being a bold faced liar.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Better yet: The 17 warmest years have all occurred in the last 20 years. This is from Met Office, which provides the UK Public Weather Service.

    Billy, you are a smart guy. Unfortunately, your conviction that the world can do without government leadership makes you unable to accept the scientific consensus that calls for government action to stem global warming.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    TypePad is eating links: Temperatures are continuing to rise

  • riverat (unverified)
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    Dale,

    Accurate global temperature records go back to about 1850. That's the period I was talking about. Certainly as time goes on the coverage and accuracy of the records has improved but that doesn't invalidate the earlier data. Mercury thermometers were invented in the early 1700's and were being accurately calibrated before 1750. If well made they don't lose accuracy over time.

    I'd guess based on your citing 1979 that you think the satellite records are the only accurate measurement but they don't measure temperature directly. They infer it from measuring emitted light energy. Different groups analyzing the data produce different results that nevertheless track pretty well with the surface record. It's interesting that on the graph in the link the two satellite trend lines shown cross the surface trend line in opposite directions.

    surfacestations.org only covers the continental United States. I wonder about the neutrality and rigor of the volunteers doing their ratings. But if they can come up with <u>useful</u> information more power to them.

    Scientists are well aware of the sources of inaccuracy in the data and compensate for them. The data isn't perfect, nothing in science ever is, but it keeps getting better as we learn more. I think you want a certitude that science can't provide.

  • riverat (unverified)
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    billllllllllllllllllly, Re. your response to TomC.

    As I pointed out in my first post, if you look the long term temperature records a 5 or 10 year downturn is meaningless. If it's still cooling in 10 or 20 years then we have something to talk about.

    It's not useful to cite the USHCN (US Historical Climate Network) when we're talking about global climate. If you look at the G(lobal)HCN data from the same source (NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies) you'll find it's accurate to say 9 of the 10 hottest years have occurred in the last decade. You can download the data from here or here, load it in a spreadsheet and see for yourself. I did.

    Please quit getting you “facts” from money grubbers like ... As opposed to corporations like Exxon/Mobile or Peabody Coal?

    The Earth Observatory page on the Carbon Cycle you cited isn't helpful to your argument. If you click on the link for The Human Role it has a diagram of the CC that shows the sources and sinks as we currently know them. The natural sources of CO2 are roughly balanced by natural sinks. Of the 7.1 Gigatons of Carbon (GtC) released by human activities yearly 3.2 GtC remains in the atmosphere accounting for the long term increase in atmospheric carbon. Even 3% adds up over time.

    For anyone confused by references to CO2 vs. carbon, CO2 isn't the only carbon containing GHG. Methane (CH4) is a powerful GHG as are several others like chlorofluorocarbons. So scientists often talk in terms of total carbon to simplify the discussion. Still CO2 is by far the largest component of human emissions.

    Please get your facts right before trying to force your religion on others. The irony of that statement is overwhelming :-)

    Dave

  • conspiracyzach (unverified)
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    When a decaying Oregon bridge fails(because the money got diverted to global warming research) you Dems will all still be arguing over whether the great apocalyptic flood is coming in 75 years or 80. Dont you guys ever get tired of this global whining political merry-go-round ? Fix dangerous Oregon bridges now. Leave light rail for the Mister Rogers show.

  • Car Bun Kisser (unverified)
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    When a decaying Oregon bridge fails(because the money got diverted to global warming research) you Dems will all still be arguing over whether the great apocalyptic flood is coming in 75 years or 80.

    I for one will be cheering. Exterminate the brutes! Every ride in a car is roulette. Time it felt like it.

    All environmental regs are stupid. You want to see where you're heading? Want to see that it can cause financial collapse ?

    riverat illustrates the hopelessness. Big talk, but what he actually DOES is argue with a stupid old man that gets off sticking it up his car's tailpipe! DO MORE. ASSERT EGO LESS!!!

  • George Anonymuncule Seldes (unverified)
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    Interesting tax article on responding to climate change:

    http://www.tax.com/taxcom/taxblog.nsf/Permalink/MSUN-7RCRFE?OpenDocument

  • fbear (unverified)
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    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this yet--documents filed last week in a court case show that an oil, coal, and automobile industry group had a study in 1999 that showed that the climate is warming due to human activity.

    So, deniers are either dupes or stooges.

    This should be front-page news.

  • George Anonymuncule Seldes (unverified)
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    @fbear: Nobody needs those documents, and they make no difference. Climate change denialism is a variant of creationism and needs no evidence -- rather, it starts with the answer (humans can't be affecting climate) and tortures the data until it confesses the desired answer. You only need to read the misdirection and nonsense regularly posted here by confusionists and denialists to know that their sole aim is preventing useful action to reduce emissions, because an effective response to human-caused climate destabilization puts paid to the notion that all problems have market solutions and government is the problem. Thus, rather than see that, the denialists and confusionists would rather roll the dice and condemn the future to whatever emerges once the planet warms enough to trigger some more positive feedback loops (as it has many times in the past).

    The denialists love to point out that climate has varied catastrophically for eons with no human presence or cause; they draw the wrong conclusion, which is that climate cannot vary catastrophically from a human impetus. The reality, which they prefer not to see, is that in a choatic system in overall balance, even a small, constant forcing signal from a smaller climate chemistry player can disrupt the system by forcing it out of its metastable state.

    The forces acting upon and balancing the bank vault door dwarf the tiny force that human agency puts on the door -- yet, because the human's tiny force exerted unbalances the previously balanced system: the multi-ton bank vault door moves. Thus with climate.

  • Idaho River Journeys (unverified)
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    The forces acting upon and balancing the bank vault door dwarf the tiny force that human agency puts on the door -- yet, because the human's tiny force exerted unbalances the previously balanced system: the multi-ton bank vault door moves. Thus with climate.

    We need to elect Pavel Goverman. He can pull a bus with his teeth.

  • conspiracyzach (unverified)
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    <h2>Car haters-If a bridge fails it may take walkers, bikers, and boaters too. And then there are the former property owners who were overtaxed and now live under the bridges that will also be affected.</h2>

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