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The most important piece of news yesterday, this week, this month, and this year was a new set of statistics released yesterday by the Global Carbon Project. It showed that carbon emissions from our planet had increased 5.9 percent between 2009 and 2010. In fact, it was arguably among the most important pieces of data in the last, oh, three centuries, since according to the New York Times it represented “almost certainly the largest absolute jump in any year since the Industrial Revolution.”

What it means, in climate terms, is that we’ve all but lost the battle to reduce the damage from global warming. The planet has already warmed about a degree Celsius; it’s clearly going to go well past two degrees. It means, in political terms, that the fossil fuel industry has delayed effective action for the 12 years since the Kyoto treaty was signed. It means, in diplomatic terms, that the endless talks underway in Durban should be more important than ever--they should be the focus of a planetary population desperate to figure out how it’s going to survive the century.

But instead, almost no one is paying attention to the proceedings, at least on this continent. One of our political parties has decided that global warming is a hoax--it’s two leading candidates are busily apologizing for anything they said in the past that might possibly have been construed as backing, you know, science. President Obama hasn’t yet spoken on the Durban talks, and informed international observers like Joss Garman are beginning to despair that he ever will.

Who are the 99%? In this country, they’re those of us who aren’t making any of these deadly decisions. In this world, they’re the vast majority of people who didn’t contribute to those soaring emissions. In this biosphere they’re every other species now living on a disorienting earth.

You think OWS is radical? You think 350.org was radical for helping organize mass civil disobedience in DC in August against the Keystone Pipeline?  We’re not radical. Radicals work for oil companies. The CEO of Exxon gets up every morning and goes to work changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere. No one has ever done anything as radical as that, not in all of human history. And he and his ilk spend heavily on campaigns to make sure no one stops them--the US Chamber of Commerce gave more money than the DNC and the RNC last cycle, and 94% of it went to climate deniers.

Corporate power has occupied the atmosphere. 2011 showed we could fight back. 2012 would be a good year to step up the pressure. Because this time next year the Global Carbon Project will release another number. And I’m betting it will be grim.

Originally posted to Bill McKibben on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 06:09 AM PST.

Also republished by The Durban Daily and DK GreenRoots.

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  •  Tip Jar (387+ / 0-)
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  •  1st, 2nd, 3rd derivative (89+ / 0-)

    Wow, that's a stunning number.

    So, to stop the increase in atmospheric CO2 (ppm), it appears we have to:

    - Reduce the rate of increase in annual CO2 emissions (WTF?)

    - Then, reduce the absolute amount of CO2 emissions bvy turning that rate of increase negative

    - Finally, drive the absolute amount of CO2 emissions below the quantity that leaves that atmosphere

    That's a really big oil tanker to turn around in a short period of time before it hits the rocks.

    Thanks so much for your work day in and and day out.

    •  there appears to be only one sure way to do it. (66+ / 0-)

      And that's with a huge dieoff of human population.  Something larger than 50%.  

      A combined all-out nuclear war followed by a new disease pandemic might be sufficient.  Either by itself probably won't be.  

      The generalization here is: the longer we wait, the fewer the options remain, and the remaining options become uglier and uglier.  

      We could have put a stop to this with global zero population growth and conversion to non-carbon energy sources in the 1950s - 1960s.  (Bell Labs discovered the first evidence of anthropogenic climate change in the 1950s.)  ZPG could have been achieved at that point by "nice" measures such as cultural changes to support family planning and birth control.  

      Every decade we've waited, has cost us in terms of taking some of the "nicer" options off the table.  At this point there are no remaining "nice" options.  Ironically, the present economic circumstances where the plutocracy are doing their darndest to destroy the middle class, may be the "mild" end of the spectrum of things that reduce carbon output in the long run.  Isn't that a hoot?

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:11:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just took my 1968 edition of the paperback (41+ / 0-)

        Sierra Club-Ballantine Book publication of Dr Paul Erlich's The Population Bomb: Population Control or Race to Oblivion off one of my bookshelves. We have had the time to do what was needed. We didn't heed the warnings. Just like the Easter Islanders chopping down the last tree as described by Jared Diamond in his remarkable book Collapse.

        Everything I've read this morning makes my despair deepen. Maybe I need to go over to ICanHazCheezburger......

        In any case, thanks for the post.

        Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it. --- Bob Dylan.

        by figbash on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:35:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  don't get depressed: get pissed, and resist! (11+ / 0-)

          Despair isn't what got humans through their previous evolutionary bottlenecks.

          You have to be willing to fight.  Roll up your sleeves and do whatever, just do something concrete and specific.

          If every one of us registers ten new voters, that will translate to a landslide victory next year.  And then we have to take to the streets and relentlessly clog up the arteries of business-as-usual, and force Congress and the President to deal with this.  

          And we have to ratchet up the pressure by inexorable "degrees" that symbolize the degrees Celsius of climate change (hell, use Fahrenheit, it allows more "degrees").  

          For example start the protests with "plus one degree," as nothing more than mass marches, all fully legal, no civil disobedience and no sit-ins.  

          At "plus two degrees," the protests become more angry and begin to become disruptive.

          At some point along the way, some "degree" of protest becomes ferociously disruptive: human waves that seek to truly shut down business-as-usual by occupying and clogging up whatever target and shutting it down.  

          Now +5 Celsius, and its equivalent in Fahrenheit, is expected to produce that "evolutionary bottleneck" and mass die-off.  So it's going to take some creative organizing to figure out what the corresponding "degree" of protest should entail.  But I'm sure someone around here will think of something.

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:18:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, I won't give up. (12+ / 0-)

            Not in my genes.  Today's just one of those days, you know?  Not all is well in the family at the moment.

            Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it. --- Bob Dylan.

            by figbash on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:24:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The worst problem we have is that these (13+ / 0-)

            'low information' voters that have actually heard both sides of the story - will continue to consider Climate Change as a 'theory' until it actually has physical effects that they can mentally link the two together with.

            By the time that physical evidence of all of this is prevalent, it will be too late to do anything about it.

            An information war, or rather a dis-information war is very literally going to kill millions of human beings.  They would ignorantly spell doom for all of us.  If only we had two separate climate systems - one for us, and a different one for them.  But, we don't.  

            I think they really do want Armageddon.  We want a nice, clean, pleasant Earth to live on.  They believe more fiercely in a completely unprovable after-life, than they do in a scientifically proven set of facts about the one, single atmosphere we all share.

            #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

            by Evolutionary on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:32:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  yes, the other-worldly desire for hereafter. (5+ / 0-)

              Definition of a rational foe is one who is interested in material wellbeing in this world.

              Definition of an irrational foe, in fact a raving lunatic terrorist, is one who is more interested in the next world than in this world.  

              Al Qaeda & the Taliban, and the "Christian" Taliban in the US.

              Yes they really are that other-worldly.  

              Nutcases all, who should rightly be hauled off to padded cells before they cause any more damage.  

              "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:59:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I sometimes wonder if this would be a different (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek, ggwoman55, figbash

                country if all the mental health facilities weren't closed by Reagen.  I then wonder if most of the people running our country would probably have been institutionalized at some point.  Violent crazy people will do violent and crazy things if they aren't stopped.

                The question is, how do we stop them?

                #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

                by Evolutionary on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:32:38 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  except that personality disorders... (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Evolutionary, ggwoman55, LynChi, figbash

                  .... are an unrecognized pandemic, and sociopaths & narcissists who become "successful" tend to evade diagnosis.  

                  So yes, they should all be committed to inpatient treatment until there's a cure.  But even pre-Reagan, the worst of the worst would manage to slip through.

                  Our best chance for getting this dealt with is to stir up a mass buzz about personality disorders, similar to the pandemic parental paranoia over ASDs (autism spectrum disorders).  

                  "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 04:48:28 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I think that the low-info voters you reference... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Evolutionary, figbash

              ...will continue to think that climate change isn't real as long as it continues to snow somewhere anywhere.  They're a deeply uncurious people, so they're happy to actively remain stupid about climate change.  They enjoy the sense of superiority they feel when they look down on scientists.  They're still the same people they were when they were busy picking on "nerds" in high school; they think it's a sin or inhuman to be smart.

        •  Erlich- Hundred of millions will die of starvation (2+ / 0-)
          Early editions of The Population Bomb began with the statement:

              The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate...

          Alarmist crap to sell books...  And, I would submit that the alarmist books and theories of the 60's and 70's has made the job of warning people of the seriousness of what we are facing today all that much harder.

          I don't argue for one minute that we would be much better off with a much smaller global population.  If there is some sort of tipping point for population, we are a helluva lot closer to it now than we were back then.  But sensationalist authors still haven't a clue.

          •  We strip-mined the future to save the present (8+ / 0-)

            All that "Green Revolution" stuff that allowed us to skate through the 70's without the threatened disasters - all of it was heavily technological and based on cheap fossil carbon power.

            And all of that allowed the population to keep exploding, and hastened the day when fossil fuels would be exhausted, and accelerated global warming.

            And what that means is that it won't be any mere "hundreds of millions" of people who starve. Try billions.

            Mundus vult decipi, decipiatur

            by TheOtherMaven on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 12:46:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There are some nasty questions (8+ / 0-)

              If you look at population growth by continent it's clear that population has grown fastest in parts of the world where it will be most difficult to support it as the climate shifts. Between 1950 and 2010 in Europe and North America - where despite politics becoming increasingly dysfunctional we still have a fair chance of feeding ourselves in difficult times - the share the world's population has gone from 29% to 16%.

              On the one hand, we've released most of the carbon, so we owe the world. On the other, it's going to be very politically difficult to convince people who haven't had too many children that those elsewhere who for generations have had far more deserve to be saved from starvation.

              The reluctance of the Germans to save the Greek economy is but the slightest foreshadowing of the total lack of compassion that could easily overwhelm the world in the coming decades, if we aren't extraordinarily clever in crafting messages that can work against the strong urge to not help those who can be seen as having engaged in a moral wrong - the "lazy" Greeks who borrowed too much from German banks (never blame the banks!), or the "thoughtless" Africans who kept producing 12-child families even as modern medicine began allowing most of the children to survive. (One of my grandfathers was from a 12-child family; 6 didn't reach adulthood. They likely would today.)

              Yes, it's not the fault of the Africans. Yes, more education for women is key (since educated women choose to have smaller families, on the whole). But we're about to face an epidemic of blaming those who suffer for their own plight that will make the Republican betrayal of the American working class look like angelic ministration.

              Unless we can counter it with a stronger, more coherent message.

              •  Again and again, those most responsible (0+ / 0-)

                suffer the least.  We saw it in the bank bail outs, and we will see it in the effects of climate change.

                There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                by AoT on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:34:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  If people would just sacrifice a little we could (7+ / 0-)

        make a dent. Turn the thermostats back this winter.

        "Nothing preserves Democracy better than the stupidity of its opponents" - KO

        by buckshot face on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:44:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sacrifice (5+ / 0-)

          i thought you were going to say
          If people would just sacrifice a little... Just their eldest child... that might bring the population down quickly enough to save the planet.  

          Okay, I admit I'm not in a cheerful mood these days.  

        •  would that it was that simple. (4+ / 0-)

          I'm ferocious about conservation, but the blunt fact is that it's going to take more than that to do the trick.  

          The longer we wait, the fewer the options left, and the worse they become.

          At some point it literally comes down to choosing who dies.  

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:02:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you're not part of the solution, you're part of (0+ / 0-)

            the problem.

            "Nothing preserves Democracy better than the stupidity of its opponents" - KO

            by buckshot face on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:57:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  dude, you don't know who you're talking to. (10+ / 0-)

              I live in rental housing (so far), so no rooftop solar for me (yet).  However:

              I built my own refrigeration system, dropping the yearly power consumption for refrigeration from 1,400 KWH/year (the energy-hog that came with the place) to approx. 450, a saving of about 950 KWH/year.

              I built my own graywater recycling system, laundry to toilet, reducing water consumption by 20%.

              With LED bulbs I got my electricity consumption down to 105 KWH/month, compared to an average of about 300 for an apartment dweller.  The cheap LED bulbs burned out in a matter of months, so it's back to compact fluorescents (until there are reliable affordable LED bulbs) and approx. 200 KWH/month, which is still 1/3 less than average for American apartment dwellers.

              My gasoline consumption is about 16 gallons per month, compared to an American average of about 13 gallons per week.

              My solid waste and recycling output are about 5 lbs. per week in total, compared to an American average of about 4-1/2 lbs. per day.

              Not only do I telecommute, but I also design telecommuter infrastructure.  I invented the feature for office telephone systems that enables companies as small as 3 people to have their incoming calls transferred automatically to remote employees' home office landlines or cellphones.  That feature is now available worldwide on the market-leading PBX platform in the small to medium business market (up to about 100 lines), and the 2nd or 3d place PBX platform in the market up to about 500 lines.

              If you work in an office, chances are that my feature exists in your telephone system.

              It enables telecommuting, which takes commuter cars off the road, and their CO2 emissions with them.  

              I've got a folder full of patentable eco-industrial technology dating back to the early 1980s in fields from appliances to waste management, some of which is "big heavy machinery", not just small stuff for the home.  (Find me the capital to get it all patented or don't complain.)

              So if I were you I'd stop shooting from the hip, or one of these days you're going to shoot yourself in the foot.  Like today.  

              "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 04:58:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  LED's for general purpose lighting... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek

                ...haven't made much sense as yet.  When I check the specs every year or two I find that the lumens output per kilowatt is the same as a CFL...well, unless you want a blue LED--color spectrum is part of the issue.  In addition the price of LED's is much higher.

                My experience with LED's is mixed, for lighting apps I've mostly I've found them overpriced and unreliable.

                Not that LED's don't have a place or can't make a large impact.  I'm finally ready to replace my 20+ year old CRT with a large LED TV which will use less power despite being much larger.  I've been waiting and waiting for this to become mainstream and for prices to drop.  

                And LED's for spot/directional lighting are much more efficient than a CFL because they require fewer lumens to do the job (and therefore much less energy.)  This is the area where I suspect you made the big gains, correct?

                For backpacking/camping/astronomy LED's are tremendous battery savers and much preferred by me over the other options.

                "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

                by Celtic Pugilist on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:54:37 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  How about in terms of production and (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  G2geek

                  pollution of the land fill.  It seems like LEDs would be a lot less polluting in those respects.  Also, what are the differences in life, is LED longer?

                  There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:40:21 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  LED's theoretically longer lived (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    G2geek

                    But in practice there have been a lot of teething problems for LED's at least these less expensive ones.  I don't know what the real lifetime is of the bigger, general-purpose LED replacements.  However, I've had a high percentage failure of LED nightlights and such, enough that I'm not even tempted to buy a much more complex LED bulb assembly at roughly 10x the cost of a CFL.  The LED's have a much longer potential lifetime, so eventually I expect winners to emerge.

                    I'm not an expert on the relative pollution track.  However, I'm not worried about CFL's in that regard since there is collection of them in big box stores.  I save the failed ones on a shelf until I have few, then take them in when I need some replacements...about once every 2 years.  

                    I've been using CFL's for about 7 years in various homes.  There are over 100 installed inside/outside my home at present, including in garage door openers and a range vent.  1 to 2 have failed per year for the past several years.  This year I had a spike of 4 failing--three of them in the 6-7 year old age range, one infant mortality in its first year.  

                    The standard GE CFL's I've used were crap though.  They had high infant mortality in the first year or two and I have very few of them left in "backwater" services.  They also are not instant on so I really detest them.  The enclosed CFL types (replacements for spots and globes) are also lousy because they are not instant on and take forever to warm up/come to full brightness.  However, I can't recall any of them failing yet, and a few get heavy use.  A big problem with the spot replacements is physical length, they project too far.  This is also true of the standard GE spiral CFL's.  That is one reason I use the Home Depot store brand for standard CFL's...that and because they are instant on and have typically been cheaper.

                    "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

                    by Celtic Pugilist on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 12:10:20 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  though, i'd suggest switching brands because.... (0+ / 0-)

                      .... the CEO of Home Despot is a rightwinger extremist, who was largely responsible for the downfall of Elliott Spitzer, who if he had remained if office, would have taken down some of the more egregious fraudsters on Wall Street.  

                      Whatever source Home Despot has for their branded bulbs, is almost certainly selling under other brands through other retailers, and it's worth looking for them elsewhere.  

                      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                      by G2geek on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 03:36:07 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  HD's name isn't on the package, but model #'s (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        G2geek

                        ...haven't changed during this whole period.  The name has changed though.  Started as "Commercial Electric"  then went to n:Vision, now EcoSmart.  They seem to sell them as the house brand, not sure where else to find them, haven't seen them elsewhere.

                        There were some small changes to the form of the 100 W equivalents from the Commercial Electric since they had an issue with nearly melting when they failed (one of the dozen or so I have of the originals finally went out this way after 7 years.)

                        "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

                        by Celtic Pugilist on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 05:04:00 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  no, i was using LEDs for generic and task light. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Celtic Pugilist

                  Generic room lighting was reduced overall and task light was used in a few areas.  I don't believe in "decorative" lighting and similar applications.

                  Interesting point about lumens per watt.  That's an instant meme and a new metric added to my evaluation of light sources.  As it is I'm sticking with CFLs for the near term, though the discovery that they don't last as long as claimed when they are cycled for short periods, is a problem.  That would be the application for LEDs: short-cycle lights used when quickly entering and leaving a room.  

                  For emergencies and power failures, clearly any low-wattage light source preferably DC, is preferable; and I have a couple of LED flashlights and so on (but am generally underprepared in this area; in any case candles are viable in emergencies, provided that one is highly vigilant about fire safety issues).  

                  "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 03:33:19 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't do decorative lighting either (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    G2geek

                    We have some exterior lights like that, but I probably don't turn them on more than a few hours in a whole year.

                    The lumens/watt measurement is one I've manually calculated to put things on an apples-to-apples basis.  The typical LED replacement uses a fraction as much power, but also puts out a fraction of the light.  This is terrific efficiency improvement if the location only needs that much, but not when it needs the original amount to illuminate an area.  The CFL range is typically more limited, but I have not really needed to go below the ~40 W equivalent (about 9W actual).  I use a mix of the 40, 60, and 100 W equivalents with some of the 250 W equivalents in the garage.

                    I replaced the chandeliers and most other fixtures in the house.  Part of it was to update (2nd owner), but the primary reason is that many of the old fixtures were stuck with candelabra bulbs, globe bulbs, or couldn't take an appropriate brightnesss CFL.  CFL globes are awful for baths because of low initial brightness/long warmup.  And CFL's in candelabras are too bulky, don't look right, and are too expensive--they just aren't good physical matches.

                    I modified the garage door openers to take CFL's.  The issue was that there was a cone shape for the neck of a regular bulb, while the base of most CFL's is broader and squarer.  So I took a dremel grinder head to the plastic housing.  Some folks warned me that the vibration of the opener would kill the CFL's, but it has been about two and a half years and I haven't lost one yet.  

                    I have lost two CFL bulbs so far in the range vent hood.  They were both older GE's that were never very reliable to begin with (and were taking longer and longer to turn on.)  The service is pretty rough and each has lasted about a year in that location (in addition to their previous services elsewhere.)

                    Enclosed fan light fixtures are tricky, but I've found the Sylvania micro-mini spiral CFL's can fit in the tightest applications, so I reserve these more expensive bulbs for that.

                    "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

                    by Celtic Pugilist on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:30:08 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  wow, pretty good! (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Celtic Pugilist

                      And extra credit for taking the Dremel tool and modding the fixtures in the garage door openers.  

                      If you own the house you can replace the fixtures that don't take standard bulbs.  Bathroom light/fans may need to have separate light fixtures installed alongside, and of course it also saves energy to not cycle the fan when it isn't needed to remove poopy smells or steam from the shower.

                      IMHO chandeliers, candelabras, and ceiling fixtures are silly: they take more time to clean, it's dangerous to have to climb ladders to replace bulbs, and the bulbs are nonstandard.  I'd get rid of all of that stuff and replace it with fixtures that use standard bulbs that can be replaced from a standing position.  One exception is the bathroom, where a light on the ceiling or above a mirror seems to be the only viable solution (lamps on cords are a hazard around water and in any case there's limited space for them).   That and the garage door opener, where the light needs to come on at the same time as the door goes up.  

                      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                      by G2geek on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:57:03 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  We've got extra tall ceilings (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        G2geek

                        ...and open layout so the two chandeliers are needed for the spaces.  It's not the home I would have built, particularly because of the inefficient cathedral ceiling, but it has grown on me.  We don't use the largest one as much since usually a floor/table lamp and/or light from the adjacent space is sufficient.  I got a great dimmable double circular fluorescent torchiere for free when I bought bedroom furniture--I rave about that thing because it is perfect for what would otherwise be a dark corner in the living room.  Because of the torchiere I rarely need the chandelier.  Since I purchased chandeliers with CFL's in mind, I don't have to replace bulbs much--haven't had any go out yet in the big one after 3 years.  Replacing bulbs/cleaning will be easy compared to the time I spent 16 feet up on a ladder reworking the messed up box and hanging it.  I don't need to go nearly as high to work on the chandelier itself.

                        The other chandelier is over the dining room table and gets a lot of use.  I had to erect scaffolding to hang it because of the height and lack of nearby walls.  It is hanging from about 14 feet of chain as memory serves.  But the bulbs are just accessible standing from floor level.  After three years it burned out two bulbs in the past few months.  Both of the bulbs had already spent several years in two other homes.

                        I prefer a good overhead light fixture for rooms to provide even illumination.  A well designed two or three light fixture works well for me.  Ceiling fan lights, spots, and cans I don't care for.  Many of the ceiling fan lights are poorly designed with nearly opaque glass.  They just don't put out the lumens or do so very unevenly if they are spot style.

                        What I consider a good overhead fixture is one where the glass is near white and not quite transparent, so that it diffuses the light well, but doesn't reduce it too much or alter the hue greatly.  I shouldn't be able to see the bulb directly as that produces glare.

                        "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

                        by Celtic Pugilist on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 09:00:51 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Your exactly the example I was looking for. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek

                If everyone lived as you do we wouldn't need a government solution to every problem. The problem is people assume individual effort won't make a difference and expects the gov't to do the heavy lifting while they sacrifice nothing.

                "Nothing preserves Democracy better than the stupidity of its opponents" - KO

                by buckshot face on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:08:29 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not true, industry is a huge part (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  G2geek

                  of the problem, not just individuals.  Not to mention the huge amount of emissions from the agricultural industry.  The single biggest thing you can do to reduce your carbon foot print is to stop eating animal products, meat most of all.

                  There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:44:04 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    G2geek

                    "Nothing preserves Democracy better than the stupidity of its opponents" - KO

                    by buckshot face on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 10:29:16 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  and the way to reduce meat in the diet... (0+ / 0-)

                    ... is to provide recipes and food products that use little or no meat but that people will eat because they like them.  

                    For instance who could turn down a nice spaghetti dinner?  If the meat is reduced to a couple of small meatballs or a little meat in the sauce, nobody misses it and says they're "reducing their meat consumption," they say they're "having spaghetti."

                    From there to tomato sauce with chopped veggies instead of meat, is a short hop and relatively easily made.

                    How'bout stir-fried veggies with rice?  That's not "a vegetarian meal," it's "Chinese food," and everybody loves "Chinese food."

                    "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                    by G2geek on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 03:44:06 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  and/both (0+ / 0-)

                  Thanks, but the thing is, individual solutions need to be backed up by systemic solutions.  Starting with shutting down coal fired power plants and replacing them with non-carbon energy sources.  

                  And, there needs to be a significant cultural shift for any of this to catch on at the appropriate scale.  

                  Part of the value of individual solutions is in encouraging the cultural shift.  It starts with tech fixes that don't involve lifestyle changes, and then gets people onboard with the overall mindset, and then moves to encouraging lifestyle changes.  

                  "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 03:39:49 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Well... (15+ / 0-)

        That population die-off would most like occur in areas that have a very small carbon footprint.

        The 'Free Market' will decide. It will decide that the United States cannot consume 25% of the world's resources and the upper 1% cannot control 50% of the wealth.

        by RichM on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:15:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  and then sooner or later.... (8+ / 0-)

          ... the high footprint areas will begin to die off as well, assuming that various tipping points have been exceeded.  

          There's no escaping this.  It's like a meteorite heading straight for Earth.  

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:19:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  but an invisible meteorite, (10+ / 0-)

            and therefore deniable. Even though we made it ourselves as a golden idol to our material greed.
            Like one's own mortality.
            we are not wired to respond with our big ol' cerebra to this type of threat, even if we intellectually accept the incontrovertible facts.
            we respond with our emotional centers, and pretend it isn't real.

            (I am typing this from a ski resort in Vermont that is on the verge of closing once again; it's not only not snowing, it hasn't even been cold enough to make snow. At elevation. In Vermont. In December.)

            Class war has consequences, and we are living them.

            by kamarvt on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:59:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  you know the irony of that, right? (5+ / 0-)

              Skiing is a fairly high-impact sport, especially downhill skiing.  The energy required to operate the lifts, the snowmaking and trail-grooming equipment, etc. etc.

              OTOH, high-impact sports aren't what's killing the planet.

              What's killing the planet is the daily grind of commuting by car and using electricity produced from fossil fuels.  The mundane stuff that huge masses of people do every single day.  

              "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:29:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  actually, we are pretty good in that regard (6+ / 0-)

                all sustainable sources for electricity, biodiesel in the groomers, an aggressive recycling program.....but a parking lot full of SUV's with NY plates.
                and we market ourselves overseas.

                Class war has consequences, and we are living them.

                by kamarvt on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:50:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  oh, well that's excellent. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kamarvt, LynChi

                  The fact that you're running the resort on as sustainable a basis as possible, resolves the impact issue for the sport itself.  

                  The SUVs are the problem of each of the people who drive them, though if they own hybrids and only rented the SUVs to drive to the resort with all their gear, that's not a killer-diller.  

                  As for airplanes, their passenger miles per gallon equivalent is somewhere near a Prius, so that's not a killer-diller either.

                  The thing that kills the planet is the mass behavior of millions who act "by default" and fail to make other choices, despite other choices being readily available.  

                  "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:56:11 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  It used to rain here in Sacramento every year (6+ / 0-)

              by September.  I haven't seen but a single day of light rain this year.  We have two seasons here - dry and wet.  So far, there hasn't been any 'wet' yet.  That isn't good.

              #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

              by Evolutionary on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:35:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oakland: similar. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Evolutionary, Creosote, AoT

                Not a whole lot of rain.  Been getting more that way every year.  Not good.  

                But the thing that makes it or breaks it for CA is the snow in the mountains.   When that starts going away, we are all well and truly screwed.

                "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:03:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, if it becomes too warm, that snowpack melts (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  G2geek, LynChi

                  early.  I've seen that happen too.  It creates flooding, and later, drought (no water storage).  We are very dependent on the 'normal' rate of snow melt water to feed the crops we grow that in turn - feed the nation.  Beef will soon become a scarce commodity.  Much of the nation's meat producers are in the Mid-West and South-West, where water is no longer falling from the sky.

                  I should really figure out how to grow soybeans, or any kind of beans really.  I can't really grow rice, but potatoes grow easily.  At least I am near a river.  Even if the water flow becomes limited and seasonal, I can store some water.

                  I wonder exactly how much water each person uses each year?

                  #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

                  by Evolutionary on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:29:14 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  household water consumption is a small part... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Evolutionary, LynChi

                    ... of the total.  Agriculture is the Big Thing.

                    Residential water consumption can be cut 20% with graywater recycling, and I have an invention toward that end, seeking capital to patent it and get it produced.  But even a 20% savings on the residential side will only be offset by population growth in California in a decade or at most two.  

                    Agriculture is the area where the serious gains have yet to be made.  Technology exists for this; Israel is the world-leader in the field and the most critical elements of that have probably gone off-patent and into the public domain.  The difficult part isn't the technology but the regulatory will to require using it.

                    "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                    by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 06:52:49 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yep. We will need plenty of regulations to put (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      G2geek, LynChi

                      corporations back where they belong - at the level of public utilities.  
                      And, good for you!  You are DOING something ;).  Every little bit helps eh?

                      #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

                      by Evolutionary on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:16:08 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  every finger in the leaking dike and a tsunami... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Evolutionary, LynChi

                        ... approaches.

                        Sure, I'll conserve energy until someone pries my Kill-A-Watt meter out of my cold dead hands, but an entire lifetime of my efforts are nullified by someone, somewhere in the US, who decides his DNA is God's Gift to Mankind and engages in reckless reproduction.  

                        As long as population and consumption levels grow, conservation just makes it easier for them.

                        What's needed is the full-on complete paradigm shift.  The entire culture on a WW2 footing, damn the torpedoes, and damn the corporados.  

                        The value of all of our efforts in terms of conservation and so on, is when they go viral and spread, and when we succeed at bringing down the plutocracy with a cheer, like bringing down the statues of dictators in the public square.  And the metric for it is CO2 output per capita, measured individually through items such as energy and water consumption, waste output, and so on.  Arithmetic doesn't care about our feelings, and Ma Nature doesn't either.  

                        "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                        by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:15:20 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Yeah, it doesn't feel good when you do the right (0+ / 0-)

                          thing, and then see someone else do the wrong thing, effectively stopping your own good deed from having any effect.

                          BUT,  we should always try to keep our own side of the street clean :).

                          #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

                          by Evolutionary on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:36:44 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  one has to anyway, like not-looting after a storm. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Evolutionary

                            Regardless of whether everyone else is looting.  

                            However, passengers on a bus with a flaming drunk at the wheel had better do something quickly, because there's no alternative when he starts swerving around on the road.

                            "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                            by G2geek on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 03:26:20 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  You're in Oakland too? (0+ / 0-)

                  I was just talking with a friend about how weird the weather has been.  It rained into August this year and has hardly rained since.  There was about a week where we got some rain, but there should be more.  Maybe we'll have another warm January.

                  There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:46:03 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Even worse (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RichM, G2geek, B Amer, AoT

              It's a La Niña year - cooler waters upwelling in the Pacific mean the air masses crossing the continent are cooler than they would be in a non-La Niña year, leading to a "cold winter" on the North American continent.

              If this is the new version of a "cold winter," I dread the return of El Niño. I've only had to wear my coat 4 days this year, in December in Vermont. Sure, I like the less bulky apparel, and it's nice that I was able to dig a trench for electrical conduit in the frost-free ground without power equipment today, but for crying out loud, my son wore a t-shirt to school today!

              Did I mention we had mosquitoes over the weekend? Mosquitoes. WTF?!!

            •  Come to Colorado... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, Paul Ferguson

              We are having a cold snap.

              The 'Free Market' will decide. It will decide that the United States cannot consume 25% of the world's resources and the upper 1% cannot control 50% of the wealth.

              by RichM on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:09:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  We are (4+ / 0-)

          if not the 1%, the 5% to the rest of the world. Even if you throw in Japan and W. Europe it's still only 12%.

      •  The Free Market Solution (6+ / 0-)

        The right wing die-hards will tell you the Free Market Solution is the most effective. And depending on your metrics, perhaps it is. What they don't tell you is the form the F.M.S. will take. They don't tell you, because the poor little dears do not really understand the implications.

        Don't fuck with the F.M.S. The F.M.S. is remorseless and entirely willing to kill.

        •  the FMS = five billion deaths. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IowaBiologist, mightymouse

          Not three billion, not four billion, but five.  

          Another hundred Hitlers' worth.  

          (New measurement: One Hitler = ten million deaths.  100 Hitlers = 1 billion deaths.)  

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:06:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Don't mess with the F.M.S. (0+ / 0-)

          Very nice comment.  However, "Don't mess with the F.M.S.," would be more alliterative.

          FOX News: For entertainment purposes only. Not to be confused with actual news broadcasting.

          by IowaBiologist on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:54:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Nuclear war has the additional benefit (5+ / 0-)

        of the nuclear winter. Lots of dust.

        Best argument for a Gingrich Presidency I've heard yet!

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:29:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I really, really don't want GinGrinch to have (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          access to the 'football'.  I was very worried that Caribou Barbie might end up with access to it.  McCain is liable to drop dead any minute.  Probably from a brain hemorrhage from being so angry all the time.

          #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

          by Evolutionary on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:38:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The ultimate climate mitigation strategy? (5+ / 0-)

          Nuclear winter balances out global warming?  Is this the ultimate corporate scheme for addressing the problem that they publically claim doesn't exist?  Of course, it would be too bad that most of us wouldn't be around to enjoy the results.  In such a case, perhaps the richest few would imagine they could prevail through stealth and forward planning.  Yet it is likely that they, too, would be metaphorically, if not literally, butchered and eaten.

          FOX News: For entertainment purposes only. Not to be confused with actual news broadcasting.

          by IowaBiologist on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 12:02:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No it won't. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, IowaBiologist, sockpuppet, JeffW
            Nuclear winter balances out global warming?
            The dust and soot would rain out in less than five years and warming would resume.  It might proceed at a slower pace because of the reduced population, but the amount of fossil carbon already in the atmosphere today means that there is a lot more warming to come, even if fossil fuel burning came to a dead stop right now.  
            In such a case, perhaps the richest few would imagine they could prevail through stealth and forward planning.  Yet it is likely that they, too, would be metaphorically, if not literally, butchered and eaten.
            Yep.  Their guards would quickly figure out that the 1% were just as edible as anyone else and no better armed.  

            Renewable energy brings national global security.      -6.25, -6.05

            by Calamity Jean on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:26:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Perhaps it could. (0+ / 0-)

              It might result in permanent cooling if nuclear winter left us with a brilliant, world-wide sheet of snow and ice that reflected most of the solar radiation back into space.

              Continuing bravely into the world of snark, even if this didn't happen after the first time, one might try something in analogy with the instructions on the shampoo bottle, "Lather. Rinse. Repeat."

              FOX News: For entertainment purposes only. Not to be confused with actual news broadcasting.

              by IowaBiologist on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:24:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think it would get that cold in (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JeffW

                the time it took for the crud to fall out of the air.  I could be wrong, but I just can't imagine it.  

                ...even if this didn't happen after the first time, one might try something in analogy with the instructions on the shampoo bottle, "Lather. Rinse. Repeat."
                I don't think we'd have the technological ability to have two big nuclear wars.  

                Renewable energy brings national global security.      -6.25, -6.05

                by Calamity Jean on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 03:35:00 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Read Eaarth (McKibben) and Heat (Monbiot). (8+ / 0-)

        The places with growing populations probably do need to level off purely for their own sakes (i.e., for there to be enough food and water for future generations).  

        However, they are NOT the ones causing global warming.  And as important as global population is in terms of weathering our new Eaarth, I think it is a convenient distraction for us first-worlders from what we, our communities, and our governments, need to do right now.

        The U.S. birth rate is about at replacement level, and yet, we are among the worst malefactors in terms of destroying the ability of Bangladeshis to survive the coming decades -- and oh yeah, the Bangladeshi birth rate has dropped precipitously over the past couple decades, too.

      •  Japan has a low birth rate and China has tried to (5+ / 0-)

        … limit Han* births as a matter of government policy (while being roundly condemned by many in the West for doing so).

        * The Han family of ethnicities make up by far the largest part of China's population. Non-Han ethnicities ("national minorities") have always been officially exempt from the one-child policy.

        Some northern European countries also have low birth rates, a circumstance much decried by the nationalist Right ("we're being swamped by Arabs and Turks").

        Aside from that, though . . .

        48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

        by lotlizard on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:05:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  All developed East Asian (5+ / 0-)

          countries have a low birth rate, even Korea which is around 33% Christian. It's a combination of relative irreligosity, heavy social sanctions against out-of-wedlock childbirths, wide gender attitudes between men and women (to grossly overgeneralize, middle class Asian women think similarly as middle class Western women, whereas Asian men still expect a more traditional wife) and economic factors (income inequality, low government support of working mothers compared to Scandinavian countries, which makes it hard for women to choose both family and work). Faced with these social and economic obstacles, most middle class East Asians of today's generation tend to choose personal happiness and well-being over having children, although for most it's not a matter of not having children, as having children later, and then only having one child.

          "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

          by randomfacts on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 12:29:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Fundamentalist elements of all the major religions (10+ / 0-)

        are still dead-set against controlling human population. It's become a touchy subject since evangelicals entered the political arena.

        Thirty years ago we were able to talk openly about population control, although many Americans still thought it was a problem to be solved only in "poor" countries (not here). Now we have to argue about whether or not federal funds can be used to buy condoms to prevent AIDS.

        Population limits need to be discussed in public, but these days you never know if you're going to get flamed by a "Full Quiver" zealot or a libertarian who thinks "you have no right to tell me how many children I can have".

        So I try to frame it differently, by asking people to "imagine what life would be like today, if everyone's mother and grandmother had stopped after having two children."

        There were only 150 million people in America in 1950. Now we have over twice that many. Imagine two cars ahead of you at the stoplight instead of four. Ten families sharing the campground at the lake with you instead of twenty. Twenty students in a college classroom instead of forty. Four applicants for the job you want instead of eight.

        Of course it's not that simple, but it gets people thinking in terms of a living in a less crowded world. What a wonderful gift to bequeath to the next generation.

        I'm afraid that disaster/competition scenarios only trigger an atavistic impulse to "outbreed the other tribe".

        I have also put signs by the road that say" Slow down. Leave Some Oil in the Ground For Your Grandchildren". And... if a Christian really wants to defend her god-given right to have five children, I just raise the issue of "sinful pride".

        Have you noticed?
        Politicians who promise LESS government
        only deliver BAD government.

        by jjohnjj on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:17:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And they would outlaw birth control. Idiots. (5+ / 0-)

          #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

          by Evolutionary on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 12:10:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Even tho america generally has a low birth rate (4+ / 0-)

          American kids have a huge carbon footprint compared to kids in Africa and other less consumerist societies.

          Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

          by murasaki on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:28:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  nicely done. and what to do about "Full Quiver." (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          technomage

          Someone says they're in the Full Quiver movement, the proper response to that is, "Oh, as in, sex without sin?  A Full Quiver, a Loud Moan, and a Long Sigh?"

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:12:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  we could stop encouraging them (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, too many people, LynChi

            by flooding TLC and other networks and their advertisers with complaints and turning them off. It doesn't help that these "educationally driven" outlets promote horrific stewardship (environmental, family, and otherwise) by airing crap like the Duggars "38 and counting" or whatever the hell it is now and all the plural marriage shows with their families of 4, 8, 12, ... 67 kids. Nobody is entitled to this many children, ever, even if you can support them without public or community assistance. I don't care what your so-called religion is.

            •  right on! with you all the way on that. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              technomage

              Bottom line is, in an overpopulated world, for a man and woman to decide they're going to breed like mice is nothing short of pure genetic selfishness:  ME ME ME, MY GENES, MY GENES, MY GENES!, as if their precious DNA is so damn important to the world at-large.

              I could go on a rip-tear about how we should require parenthood licenses and mandatory sterilization after 2 children and how much better it would be to have a one-child policy as China does, and all that stuff.   And of course I'd get slogged with donuts for saying any of that in enough detail to attract attention.  

              There are other ways to get at this, via tax policy (no more tax credits after the second kid, as if that pittance is worth anything more than a symbolic gesture), and I would also impose exponentially escalating taxes on exponential birth rate families, and so on.  

              Or we can sit back and watch the Titanic run into the iceberg, and listen to the nutjobs say it was the Jewish Conspiracy (TM) because Iceberg rhymes with Weissberg, and hope to scramble onto a lifeboat and get far enough away to not be sucked under when the whole thing sinks beneath the waves.  

              Or something.

              Either way, life in interesting times.

              "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 06:59:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Re Bell Labs and the fifties... (4+ / 0-)

        The then hypothesis of anthropogenic CO2 induced warming was  proposed by the 1820s, experimentally supported by bench-scale laboratory work a couple decades later, and accurately described mathematically by 1896, in work done to explain the ice ages.

        •  Hmmm ... 1820s is a stretch ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          True, Fourier proposed the idea of an atmospheric greenhouse effect, but as far as I'm aware he didn't suggest any anthropogenic change nor even identify carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

          But as you say, by 1896 Arrhenius had made those connections and laid the foundation for modern-day climate science.

          With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

          by jrooth on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:08:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  none the less, Bell Labs was getting findings... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jrooth, offgrid

            ... in the 1950s and going on at length about this.

            Bell Labs was also feverishly developing photovoltaic materials, to power long distance telephone relay towers in places such as the Rocky Mountains that did not have grid electric power.  

            I can't help but think that some of the people at Bell Labs made the connection between one and the other.

            "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:14:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The best part of that is that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        "Let's have nuclear war followed by plague" fits on a bumper sticker!

        I keeeeed, I keeeeeed.

        Democrats must
        Earn the trust
        Of the 99% --
        That's our intent!

        "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

        by Seneca Doane on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:32:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hmm (29+ / 0-)

    I have seem articles online projecting that we're going to blow past 2c rise, and that given the current rate of carbon emissions and the total failure to cut back in any meaningful way (except to shove blame in China's direction) that now 5c is a lowball.  The high-end predictions, previously "catastrophic" 5 and 6 degree changes, are now drifting up to 7-8c.

    I have also read that book called Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, and while it gets a bit funny/wierd at the end, the broad point is that 5c turns existing equatorial areas uninhabitable, moves bread baskets northwards, encourages mass migrations...

    Is that realistic?  Are we, well, screwed?

    •  I really want to be careful with binary outcome (23+ / 0-)

      terminology.  If, after a certain point, we are "screwed" or it's "game over", that suggests we give up and go home after that point for our few remaining wretched days.

      What's the best way to communicate urgency without that approach which could easily turn into defeatism?

    •  in short, yes, but not totally. (29+ / 0-)

      We're facing a "darwinian bottleneck" in which the human population may dwindle down to a single-digit percentage of its present level.

      However humans have survived darwinian bottlenecks in the past, including one that reduced the total number of humans down to something in the low five figures, as in, an estimated 12,000 or so humans.  

      The bottom line is, never give up the fight, because no matter how bad things are expected to get, they will get worse if we give up.  Fighting for every inch right now, or every degree as it were, could end up making the difference between a future in which humans manage to sustain a scientifically and technologically capable culture, and one in which humans revert to a caveman existence.  

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:01:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  this is excellent: (17+ / 0-)
        The bottom line is, never give up the fight, because no matter how bad things are expected to get, they will get worse if we give up.

        exactly - global warming means bad thing happen. more CO2 means more bad things happen.

        As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

        by mightymouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:08:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  it comes down to a few thousand (11+ / 0-)

        "humans" (in name only), executives of the corporate world and their political concubines, of whom the Kock Bros and the Republican Party could serve as the archetype, killing the planet for their personal enrichment.  Killing, potentially, Billions of humans.

        Hansen was not kidding in the least when he said that the fate of humanity rests in the hands of a few US Senators.

        There is no denying this "human" agency; the evidence is irrefutable.

        What parent would not act to save their children?  What parent would not do whatever it takes to save their children from an existential threat?

        So, what does "whatever it takes" mean for you?

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 09:21:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "whatever it takes" means, for example... (4+ / 0-)

          ... if you're out walking with your 8-year-old daughter, and someone runs up and grabs her and starts trying to suffocate her right in front of your eyes, you do whatever it takes to save her.  First you yell, next you try to pry his hands off her, next you try to knock him down.  But if none of those things work, and you pull the pistol out of your purse and shoot the guy, the law will consider that to be justifiable homicide on the grounds of defense of self or other, and you will not be charged with a crime.  

          There are billions of daughters and sons, and grandsons and granddaughters.  

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:10:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  end:civ makes this analogy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            corporations are the nazis herding us into gas chambers.

            what do we do?

            The idea of an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea. ~ Mark Pauly

            by stolen water on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 06:22:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have a strategy for this. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              stolen water

              Basically you look at the number of degrees of temperature increase until civilization ends and until humans likely go extinct.   And you map those to degrees of escalation of protest tactics.  

              So if we were using Celsius, there is basically a spread of up to six degrees before the point of an evolutionary bottleneck after which it's the end of Homo Sapiens on this planet.  

              So now we come up with six degrees of protest, matched to the six degrees Celsius between here and extinction.

              The first degree would be relatively mild.

              They would escalate by degrees.

              The clear message from day one would be: "If this is not dealt with, we will escalate by degrees, to match the degrees of climate change."  Make that extremely clear from the get-go.

              And then follow through.

              The first stage would be mild and they would escalate.

              At some point we're talking about enormous mass civil disobedience sit-ins that aim at nothing less than shutting down coal-fired power plants and the financial infrastructure that supports them.  

              Use Clamshell Alliance tactics (look it up; interesting history; highly successful nonviolent protest movement).

              There has to be enough time between each stage, for it to truly make as much media and get as much shift of public opinion as possible, before escalating to the next stage.  Perhaps a year for each "degree."  

              And this type of protest has to be highly disciplined.  No more of the kind of loose standards that have so far served the Occupy movement well enough.  Every participant has to be in an affinity group, and has to have been fully trained in the relevant methods of protest.  No alcohol or illegal substances anywhere near any of this, and no psychologically marginal hangers-on.  This has to go like a ballet dance: choreographed and well-practiced so the most strenuous sort of athletics looks effortless and flowing and smooth.  

              The problem crops up with how to effectively symbolize, or not even symbolize but directly act with respect to the degrees of climate change that produce mass human die-off.

              Simple "die-ins" aren't sufficient.  There has to be something enormous and ferociously strong that conveys the gravity of the situation.  Perhaps this will occur as the movement builds and gains more participants: the sheer numbers of people involved will add the necessary gravity to the statement.   For example imagine ten thousand people sitting on the railroad tracks by which coal is delivered to a power plant, and imagine that going on simultaneously at ten or twenty coal fired power plants across the US.  

              I can't predict what form the protests would take at that point.  But I don't believe that destruction of property, such as driving a bulldozer through a coal fired power plant, is "violence," especially when what's at stake are literally multiple billions of human lives.  

              To be really clear, I'm not "calling for" someone to do that, or even "hinting at calling for" someone to do that.  I'm laying out the framework for the arguement that doing that may at some point become necessary in the last ditch effort to save humanity from extinction.  And the clear hope is that we can effect change at the ballot box instead, by moving public opinion on a large enough scale to do it.  

              But would it have been justified to drive a dozer through the walls of a Nazi death camp?  Hell yeah.  "Violence?"  Not in the face of genocide.  What if the Jews inside one of those camps had managed to get hold of a dozer and drive it through the walls?  Who in their right mind would have told those people that such an act was "violent" and therefore impermissible?  

              Lest anyone try to haul out Godwin on this (see also my other comment about that), this is hardly an exaggeration: 3 billion deaths = 300 times the number that Hitler had killed in the camps.  It's a holocaust on a scale larger than that of all-out nuclear war, but it happens in slow-motion, and it's all preventable if we're willing to roll up our sleeves and fight.

              So let's at least come up with the first few "degrees" of protest:  One, large and noisy but wholly legal, no sit-ins, no civil disobedience, using creative tactics to get public attention.  Two, the beginning stages of civil disobedience, for example where the protesters generally get up and disperse when ordered by the police.  Three, where the protesters politely decline to disperse, and take their arrests for trespassing.   Now we've covered three degrees, three years of activism.  That should be sufficient to get the ball rolling.   And then we'll figure out what comes next.  

              "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:31:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  i don't count that as violence. (0+ / 0-)

                i call that self defense.

                The idea of an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea. ~ Mark Pauly

                by stolen water on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:19:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  just as an aside: (0+ / 0-)

                policy in ows nyc:

                the Occupy Wall Street General Assembly unanimously adopted a “Good Neighbor" policy that included the statement, “OWS has zero tolerance for drugs or alcohol anywhere on Liberty Plaza.”

                this activist in occupy detriot is adamant about kicking out ppl caught with drugs or alcohol.

                The idea of an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea. ~ Mark Pauly

                by stolen water on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:54:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Defend your children from rapacious greedy f***s (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean, mightymouse

          WHATEVER IT TAKES.

          What an interesting frame for revolution.

          The money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the republic is destroyed. ~ Abraham Lincoln

          by ozsea1 on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:55:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  technology is the reason we are where we are. (0+ / 0-)

        The idea of an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea. ~ Mark Pauly

        by stolen water on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 06:18:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I've been in the 5-7c school a long time (20+ / 0-)

      Not supportive of it... rather resigned to it.

      And I think that happens by the end of the century...then gets much worse, perhaps terminally so for all life on the planet.

      It's exactly that bad...and the 1% can't end life on Earth fast enough, that's what is so astonishing.

      They know it's coming.. and they're looking forward to it, because when you make human beings out of things that don't need oxygen to live, then give those beings power to decide global matters on behalf of humanity.. pretty soon humanity stops being a driver of those decisions.

      Thus the absurdity of having human-peopled corporations making all the judgment calls...the decisions are abstracted so far away from what makes biological sense, that issues of biology stop being part of the discussion...and start being considered distractions from...cough.. important matters like profitability and increasing market share.

      At some point, even the CEOs won't be biological humans. By then, that will be fine and dandy, on accuont there won't be any humans left - not as employees, vendors or as consumers.

      At which point, concerns about weather won't be concerns at all.

      Astonishing to think this is where we could be headed - replacement by bureaucratic organizations, both public and private.

      We were wondering where the AIs were - we've been living inside of them as brain cells. Now we are about to be replaced.

      •  these are all good points (26+ / 0-)

        and it makes me conscious i've been sloppy with my language. here's the deal. we've raised the temperature of the planet one degree already and it's causing great trouble (drought/flood/melt). it looks almost certain we've got another degree coming, given these latest trends--the heat will accumulate in the oceans for a while but eventually expresses itself in the atmosphere.  the questions remaining are, do we go for 3-5 degrees increase this century, or do we pull back immediately, get off coal and gas and oil in a matter of the next 15 years, all out effort.

        we're going to have a difficult century; the question is whether it's going to be an impossible one. and that's still in our power to control, at least if feedbacks from Arctic methane and a couple of wildcards don't prove to be completely disastrous.

        •  Shy of controlled consumption reduction (16+ / 0-)

          concurrent with population controls, I don't see how there is any sort of controlled landing scenario. If it's not done contraceptually, it will happen through more cataclysmic means - famine, plague and that most famous apocalyptic horseman of all, war.

          Still.. it's not clear exactly what the implact on potency and fertility are from paleohistorically high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. So this might be a problem that the planet truly can solve on its own- the more 'the market' ignores, the more aggressive the dieback.

          So I think we are looking at a dieback scenario - it is just a question of severity and mode of population reduction.

          And human beings, wont to be paranoid, don't wait for hammers to fall - they lash out pre-emptively. I'm going with widespread political instability and warfare being in the cards as it becomes very clear the rulers of the planet have been lying to the world to get a head start toward the lifeboats.

          •  We are already in a die off scenario (8+ / 0-)

            the media just ignores it.  

          •  Carbon use will accelerate under climate stress (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cskendrick, Evolutionary

            As food yields drop, farmers will apply more fertilizer, and lift more water to keep producing the more and more valuable crops. Fixing nitrogen and lifting water from the ground both take energy. And, the more water is taken, the farther it has to be lifted.

            As food yields drop, people will die off. But, it won't be the high-consumers, it will be the poor dying first. The rich will still be hungry, and they will still have the money to pay for food. Pay for it directly, or via their armed forces. Armies burn energy, and cheap, mobile engines emits carbon.

            As food yields drop, some regions will have steeper drops than others. Those willing to pay for that food will also be willing to transport it long distances. Transport of both food and water will use more energy, as production patterns fall farther and farther away from established consumption patterns.

            Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

            by chimpy on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:58:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  N. Africa, E. Africa, SW Asia, S Asia, Central too (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chimpy, Evolutionary

              Those will be the areas hit first and hardest - they already are being hit first and hardest.

              •  And mass starvation won't be pretty. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Calamity Jean

                #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

                by Evolutionary on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 12:26:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  There will be wars, and nasty ones, ahead of that (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Evolutionary

                  As a rule, human beings are more forward-looking than we often deride, enough to see scarcity coming even if the drivers of it are ignored.

                  My money is on the four "I"s - Israel, Iran, India and Indonesia - all being close to major war theaters in the coming century and by 2100, all four are likely nuclear powers. Two are already.

                  •  We like to pretend that we aren't already having (3+ / 0-)

                    resource wars.  Water and food will become precious commodities, even here in the most fertile valley in the world where I live.
                    If I were profit-motivated, I would buy up land in Northern California, and Oregon.  There will be mass exodus from the southern half of the most populated state - to more northern areas.  
                    I guess I have a good start.  I live near a river in Northern California, and I am an expert at growing food in my climate conditions - in my front yard.  My neighbors either think I am crazy, or applaud me for doing it.

                    #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

                    by Evolutionary on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:00:55 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Wealth of all forms is carcass meat (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Evolutionary

                      Something larger predators steal from smaller ones - or from the bones of herbivores.

                      A crass way to say that things of any kind are ephemeral.

                      There's just nothing that's worth anything but time and good people to spend it with, and work on ways to spend it lovingly in their service.

      •  Hmmm ... (3+ / 0-)

        That's a very interesting twist on the old "artificially intelligent machines wipe out humanity" theme in SF/fantasy.  We've already created the species that will replace us - corporations.

        I need to think about that one ... definitely has possibilities.

        With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

        by jrooth on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:07:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just goofin' on Olaf (Stapledon) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jrooth, Evolutionary

          Where in both Star Maker and The Last and First Men, he maps out a social-evolutionary arc reaching toward increased emotional stability, factual actuity and efficient participant in group-collective needs.

          You know.. what Weberian rational bureaucracies, public and private, profit- and nonprofit-minded alike, need from their component volitional particles.

          The best way to fight one class of organization is match it against another kind of organization which is why, shocking, a renaissance in labor would do homo sapiens a lot of favors - not because organized labor is a panacea, but because its robust presence is an effective check on the unbridled power of corporations.

          And vice-versa, when done right.

          (It's the striking a working balance thing that's gonna be a challenge - since we swung so far awry, any reaction is going to be very strong the other way. I figure eventually the pendulum will settle down. I hope so, anyway.)

      •  It's "Death by PowerPoint", just seven orders of (4+ / 0-)

        … magnitude greater in terms of the number of potential victims.
        Link: article explaining the term Death by PowerPoint

        Thus the absurdity of having human-peopled corporations making all the judgment calls...the decisions are abstracted so far away from what makes biological sense, that issues of biology stop being part of the discussion...and start being considered distractions from...cough.. important matters like profitability and increasing market share.

        48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

        by lotlizard on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:13:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There is no surviving 5 - 7c. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, cskendrick

        All surface water on earth will be so acidic as to be deadly to most life forms - plant and animal.

        It is incumbent upon us to change. Now.

        We just installed off-grid solar PV (and if you knew my old UID, you'd know that's no small feat, given our poor income picture over the last several years) and are about to add solar hot water. We bough chickens and let them free range, and buy as much food as possible from local farmers. We buy used clothes (except shoes and underwer), and we grow our own veggies in the 3 seasons when it's possible.

        Next up: planting an orchard, building a greenhouse from used sliding glass doors, and finding a way to dramatically reduce our driving, most of which will have to wait until June due to weather and current obligations.

    •  many, many moving parts. (3+ / 0-)

      climate systems, ecosystems, the web of life are so complex, so fragile.
      What of increasing ocean acidification linked to our greedy need to foul our nest?
      What of new and horrific diseases that will spawn in ever-warming, moist habitats?
      What of the collapse of the food web as those breadbaskets "move north"(Which won't be anything like orderly)?
      What of the increasing levels of chaos of storms like Irene that cripple my state in August?
      What of the fact that every 'scaremongering' worst case scenario gets exceeded by reality before the damned ink is dry?
      What of all the things I didn't mention, and cannot foresee? What of all the things current science can't foresee?
      Yes, we are screwed. Worse, so are so many species that are blameless.
      At this point, my motivation is to mitigate the damage to salve my own conscience.

      Class war has consequences, and we are living them.

      by kamarvt on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:08:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  One recent study indicated that a doubling of CO2 (0+ / 0-)

      will result in a 2.3 C increase in temperature with a 66% probability range of 1.7 to 2.6 and a lessened chance of catastrophic warming as compared to current models. See the diary here.

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      Of course this is just one study and it is being subject to intense scrutiny, and a 2.3 C increase is still a major concern to all of us who inhabit this planet.

  •  See this diary linked to same story (8+ / 0-)

    with some comments.

    Here

  •  Date When We Stop Adding Net New Carbon (47+ / 0-)

    to the air is the same type of figure as the date when the middle class stops losing ground to the rich.

    Nobody can foresee it, nobody knows yet how to bring it about.

    Every issue collapses down to the same situation: we need to establish a responsible system of government.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 06:29:03 AM PST

    •  i think that's exactly right (45+ / 0-)

      We started to show, with the Keystone fight this fall, that we could take on corporate power at least around the edges. They're fighting back hard now in Congress, where everything is in the shadows. This is going to come down to a fight eventually about whether corporate power trumps everything else

      •  A similar battle (20+ / 0-)

        is about the several proposed coal export terminals.  Massive pollution, more climate disruption, a paltry few jobs, large health effects, to make a few people rich.

        Here in Whatcome County WA, the fix was in!  They were going to break ground on the new terminal this spring.  Thanks to great awareness raising by people including Bill, at least it appears there will be a real evauation, and now it's a few years off - hopefully stopped in its tracks.

        •  that is good news (7+ / 0-)

          thanks for updating us on this story.

          As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

          by mightymouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:25:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  a lot more help is needed from across the Country (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Wells, mightymouse

          to fight the building of the biggest coal terminal in North America, and the 1% are fighting hard for this with robocalls (I got one 'broadcast but my question never got asked), free 'meals at the big hotel, 'conferences' at the Middle School (last week), another at Whatcom College, and playing with environmental rules in the next City Council meeting this Thursday.

          I met with others to listen to Bill McKibben's webcast recently (one attendee was a "Tar Sands arrestee") and afterwards when we talked about what is needed no one disagreed that we need help from across America like the support against the Keystone pipeline.
          The question was how do we get more exposure to this fight, like some celebrities, fundraisers, protests, etc. across the Country to highlight this. This is no less a critical fight than any other one, the damge will be critical as this dumps massive amounts of cheap coal on China to burn.

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:11:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Bill, let's be frank about this: (11+ / 0-)

        +5 Celsius = a darwinian bottleneck: a massive dieoff of the vast majority of humans, a near-extinction event.  

        That appears to be an emerging consensus, though one that most climate scientists won't admit to in public so as not to sound like doomers or spread despair.

        At what point do we give up the pretense that there are any "nice" options left?  At what point does it become justified to go directly for "harsh measures" aimed at those who are at fault?  At what point does it become justified to engage in physical revolt such as masses of people physically destroying coal-fired power plants?  

        Or to put it differently, if someone was choking your daughter before your eyes, at what point does the instinct for immediate and physical defense of self and family kick in?  

        This isn't about a "call for" such acts, only an assessment of the point at which they could be expected to occur or would have some kind of justification.  

        "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:22:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would say it's time to call (7+ / 0-)

          for actions against infrastructure that pollutes.  If the Keystone pipeline gets approved I think there is a strong moral case for the physical disruption of construction, whether that means putting our bodies in the way or sabotage.  I know there we can argue in the abstract whether property damage is violence, but when it comes to protecting the lives of million, if not billions, of people then I have absolutely no compunction about calling for property damage that will prevent those deaths.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 09:07:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  HR for advocating property damage (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quicklund

            Yes it's violence (for one, it commonly results in injuries such as spiking trees has) and also distracts because it would allow the elite to howl "terrorism".

            •  This isn't about tree spiking (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, Agathena, Evolutionary

              But on that subject there have been no confirmed injuries, despite the fact that the industry like to talk about it as if there has been.

              More importantly, I don't care if property damage is considered violence, I think it is a necessary evil at times.  If I saw someone choking to death inside a house and I had to break a window to get in and save them then I would have absolutely no moral problem with doing so.  In fact I would say that there is a moral imperative to do just that.  Similarly, when the lives of millions are at risk I see no moral obligation to refrain from damaging property to defend those lives.  Certainly there isn't as strong of a moral obligation in this case, but to rule out a tactic that may well be our only chance seems short sighted and, frankly, stupid.

              "Just say no" is not a tenable position.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:23:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  think of biological terrorism. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, Evolutionary

                A terrorist runs around spreading a disease that takes a week or so to develop, and has a 50% fatality rate.

                The fact that the disease takes a while to kill people does not lessen the urgency of stopping the terrorist immediately, as if the threat was as "clear and present" as someone with a bomb.

                "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:37:00 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe it's time for the construct of just (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Evolutionary

              who the actual "terrorist" is should come to a head?

              Time is running out and being afraid of what the elite howl is a costly distraction.

            •  Suggest pulling the HR (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Agathena, hester

              Re-read the last few comments. They are coming after our children.

              Property damage They'll be lucky if that's all the retribution in store....

              The money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the republic is destroyed. ~ Abraham Lincoln

              by ozsea1 on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:59:26 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Al Gore in 2008 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              James Wells
              Gore made the following statements in a speech given at the Clinton Global Initiative:

              "If you're a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration."[38]

              These remarks were similar to ones he'd made the previous year:

              “I can’t understand why there aren’t rings of young people blocking bulldozers,” Mr. Gore said, “and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants.”[39]

              Wikipedia
            •  Withdrawn (0+ / 0-)

              I'm deeply concerned about advocacy for violence, and I think that sabotage falls in that category.  I think it's an incredibly bad idea.  Sabotage would be self-sabotage.  If Bill M had destroyed a few bolldozers during his recent advocacy, would his action have been more effective or less?  The answer is pretty clear.  They would be laying pipeline by now.

              But looking at the population of recent hidden comments - they are in a different league of incredibly bad and need to be hidden.

              I am sorry if my HR threshold was too low.

            •  God (0+ / 0-)

              you sound pathetic defending the criminal elites' property.

          •  No to violence; no to sabotage (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quicklund
            •  tell that to the French Resistance. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek

              tell that to the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto.

              Or try to tell us that you would not react violently yourself if someone had their hands on your child's throat.

              don't always believe what you think

              by claude on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:09:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ridiculous analogies (0+ / 0-)

                The French Resistance in WWII was fighting a war against Nazis.

                The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were fighting a war against Nazis.

                You are not fighting a war against Nazis.

                •  We are fighting against something that will kill (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mightymouse, Evolutionary

                  millions if not billions.  No it isn't the Nazis but it certainly is a dire situation.

                  There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:25:27 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  we're fighting something 300x worse than nazis (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ozsea1, claude

                  Hitler managed to kill about 10 million people in the death camps.  

                  The climate catastrophe is expected to kill 3 BILLION over the next century.

                  That's 300x Hitler's total.

                  It's a three-hundred-Hitler Holocaust.  

                  Now what were you saying about not fighting the nazis?

                  "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:33:37 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Surprised to see you getting sucked into Godwin (0+ / 0-)

                    If Nazis had been successful, what do you think the body count would have been by now?

                    •  I was in THAT discussion with Godwin. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AoT, mightymouse

                      I was in the discussion with him where he came up with his "law."

                      Basically it came down to: in a long enough online discussion, the probability of any given word appearing approaches unity.

                      The simple mnemonic for which is, in a long enough online discussion, someone is bound to mention Hitler or Nazis.

                      That is ALL.  Then it became a meme, and only then did it accrete the rest of its baggage since that point, such as "whoever mentions Hitler first loses."

                      As for "if the Nazis had won," the fact is that they didn't win because we fought a war to stop them.

                      Seems to me it would be fully justified for some alliance of small countries, whose very existence is threatened by the near edge of the catastrophe that would, if not stopped, end up killing three or four billion of us, to declare war upon the countries that are the primary cause of it.  

                      And if that's the case, then we're back to the hypothetical about the French and Jewish resistance.  

                      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                      by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 12:40:45 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  exactly. we took action on a national level. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        G2geek

                        everyone was involved. it was a total commitment.

                        that is what we need now.

                        As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

                        by mightymouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 06:38:40 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  this is what Jimmy Carter was getting at.... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          mightymouse

                          .... when he called for "the Moral Equivalent Of War" in the energy crisis.  Aside from the bad acronym, he didn't get the PR effort behind it that it needed.  And then the rest as they say, is history.

                          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                          by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:06:37 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  he lost the election, unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

                            largely on account of Iran and the economy.

                            As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

                            by mightymouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:38:01 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  not on account of Iran, but rather, Ed Meese... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Mathazar, AoT

                            ... secretly traveling to Iran and telling the Ayatollah that Reagan would be glad to give them all the weaponry they wanted in exchange for releasing the hostages.

                            That is called "treating with a foreign foe," which is the paradigm case definition of treason.  

                            With that, Iran had no further interest in negotiating with Carter.

                            And we all remember seeing the hostages released in the very moment that Reagan was taking the Oath of Office: a coincidence that rates right up there with the 2000 and 2004 elections.  

                            The rest, as they say, is history.  But when it came out that Meese had stolen the election with an act of treason.... well I'll just say that mass civil disorder would have been an understandable reaction to that.  Instead, you could have heard the proverbial pin drop.

                            And the moral of the story is, the way to deal with a psychopathic bully is to make it damn clear that you can and will send him to the hospital for a month if he so much as raises a fist.  Instead, Democrats have been practicing the "lie back and enjoy it" theory of rape crisis counseling.  And thus have gone the past thirty years, a race to the bottom with the eagerness of a meth fiend opening up his latest plastic bag of brain-poison.  

                            At this rate we will be back to the caves before the end of this century.  And that's why I have nothing but contempt for the idea that jamming the proverbial crowbar into the wheels of our demise is somehow impermissible when literally billions of lives and the possible extinction of humanity are at stake.  

                            "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                            by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:23:20 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thus why I love talking with those people that (0+ / 0-)

                            love Reagan.  I can't tell you how good it feels to tell them that he is a damn traitor, and I don't use that word lightly.  Occasionally they will argue that it was a good thing, they don't win that one.

                            Fuck Reagan.

                            There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                            by AoT on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 09:30:24 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  actually that misses an opportunity. (0+ / 0-)

                            If the goal is to try to shift opinions and votes, which it always should be, then demonizing Reagan as such loses an opportunity.  

                            Emotional narratives are what shift opinions and votes.  The emotional narrative around Reagan was "morning in America" and "optimism" and so on.  

                            That sets up a useful contrast to the state of affairs at the conclusion of the Bush II administration, with the economy crashing, and the past three years of Obama's efforts, despite Republican obstructionism, to keep it from going down the drain.

                            In this context, Reagan becomes useful to us: as a contrast to the obstructionists and obscurantists presently running things in Congress.  For example:

                            Reagan, idealistic; Congressional Rs today, cynical.
                            Reagan, optimistic; Congressional Rs today, merely selfish.

                            Emotional contrasts are analogous to electrical potential differences and topographic hills and valleys, that can be used to create incentives to move in a particular direction.

                            By starting out "agreeing with someone" by "agreeing that Reagan was a great man," and then contrasting to the present Rs in Congress and the present crop of candidates, you can gain some credibility with these voters and help shift their opinions.  It doesn't happen all at once, but every little increment of feedback helps.  

                            As for Meese's treason, topics of that kind won't get traction outside of the progressive left, and so shouldn't be used to attempt to convince lifetime Rs that they've been wrong all their lives (something which in any case is an aversive stimulus: would you agree with someone who told you that you had wasted your life supporting evil people?).  We can discuss Meese in these pages, though doing so doesn't help change our present reality.   But Meese is not useful for helping change opinions and move votes.  The contrast of emotional narratives between Reagan and the present crop of lunatics and crooks, is.  

                            "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                            by G2geek on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 03:23:10 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  not too ridiculous (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Evolutionary, Calamity Jean

                  Global warming has more destructive potential than the Nazis.

                  Actually it's a good analogy (for which I thank you) - we need a WWII-level effort to stop carbon pollution. That means maximum national commitment - leadership, spending, public education

                  As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

                  by mightymouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:52:58 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "destructive potential" (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mightymouse, Evolutionary

                    The Nazis were beyond destructive potential, they were destructive and genocidal.

                    I believe we can make alot of progress on climate change without violence or sabotage.

                    •  I hope so (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Evolutionary

                      But it's possible to foresee frustrated people turning to violence or sabotage, given the glacially slow pace of progress on climate even though we know what a problem it is.

                      I agree that this isn't the place to advocate violence or sabotage.

                      As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

                      by mightymouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:54:21 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Metaphors are not reality (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fcvaguy, jrooth

                The metaphor is used to communicate the concept of mortal danger, not absolute equivalence.

                There will be no shortage of violence as the temps rise.  The idea is: to LESSEN that violence.  Advocating violence in order to stop violence is... insane.

                •  Are you suggesting people should go to (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT, Evolutionary, mightymouse

                  their deaths peacefully? Or watch peacefully as the fatal trappings of climate instability are laid out for their children?

                  OK, I know you're not. But...

                  I personally don't know what the answer is or how actions going forward should be taken. I don't have children, or nieces or nephews for that matter. I don't have a long-term dog in this race so to speak, other then that I give a damn.

                  I do KNOW however, that time is running out on humanity. The rats are instinctively aware that the ship is sinking and are scrambling about frantically. The 1% are biting and eating up everything in site without 'rhyme nor reason'.

                  The question for me becomes: Will a majority of people realize the motivations for said violence and accept that it is necessary? If so, that's when true revolution occurs. Otherwise, the perpetrators are just terrorists.

                  •  No (0+ / 0-)

                    I am saying the direct response to an immediate, personal assault might not be the same response to an oil pipeline.

                    •  I wasn't specifically referring to the pipeline (0+ / 0-)

                      Just to be clear.  I wasn't saying we should just start destroying all the construction sites that are threatening the world with global warming.  The path of resisting that the protesters are taking now is the first step, but we have to be aware of the fact that it will not always work and that often these things will get approved.  When that happens we need to have this discussion.  As I said elsewhere "Just say no" is not going to cut it anymore.  This is a clear threat to millions of human lives and we need to treat it as such.

                      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                      by AoT on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:47:45 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Advocating property destruction to stop death (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Evolutionary

                  is not insane at all.  If I see someone choking to their death and have to break a window to get to them that would be exactly what I should do.  That doesn't make breaking the window not property destruction.  A better analogy is that I'm sitting in a closed garage with a running locked car that I can only stop through property destruction, I would have no compunction about doing so.

                  There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:59:09 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Neither of those are oil pipeline projects (0+ / 0-)

                    Being as the oil pipeline is an entirely different situation, it follows that there might, just might be a different apt response.  Even if both examples are dangerous.

                    •  Yes, it is a different response (0+ / 0-)

                      but property destruction isn't insane in either situation.  I'm not saying that property destruction will always be necessary, in fact it looks like it may not be needed at all in the case of the pipeline.  I am saying that if other methods fail then it may be necessary. And other methods appear to be failing in most cases.

                      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                      by AoT on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:27:19 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  This is sort of the "Kitty Dukakis rape question" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mightymouse

                … in the climate debate.

                Many observers think that a fumbled answer to this question was a major reason why Dukakis lost the 1988 election.

                48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

                by lotlizard on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:20:23 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  yes to mass murder? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT

              Yes to dieoff to the tune of four billion humans?  

              That's one hell of a huge mass-murder.

              What exactly do you have in mind?

              "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:30:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  please don't put words in my mouth (0+ / 0-)

                I don't support violence or sabotage. Change can happen without it.

                •  that's why I specifically asked: (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Evolutionary

                  What exactly do you have in mind?

                  We already know what you don't have in mind.

                  What I want to know is, what specifically do you propose doing?  

                  "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 12:35:39 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Advocating for violence (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jeff in nyc

                    on this blog isn't acceptable in any context. That's my point.

                    •  duck, duck, duck, GOOSE! (0+ / 0-)

                      I asked what you DO support, and you re-iterated what you DON'T support.  

                      So basically, you ducked.  He who ducks, loses.

                      On the other hand, I have proposals:

                      Massive nonviolent civil disobedience protest, based on the Clamshell Alliance model that successfully shut down the construction of new nuclear plants in the US (terrible irony, that, as nuclear is a non-carbon energy source, despite whatever controversies it raises).  

                      Those tactics can be applied to anything related to coal and fossil fuels.  Starting with coal is best since it's the biggest offender in terms of CO2 output per unit of power delivered.  The straightforward goal being to shut down coal plants and create enormous publicity about climate risk, moving the debate off its present stalemate.  

                      Apply the same tactics to the financial powers-that-be, shutting down Wall Street repeatedly and demanding economic justice.  

                      And I have a long long long list of specific types of tactical moves that can be used in those types of demonstrations, probably more than anyone else on this site has proposed.

                      So when I come out against violent acts (by which I do not include damage to property), I have a phonebook-thick batch of alternatives to propose.  If you duck that issue, you lose your standing.  It's that simple.  

                      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                      by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:52:47 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Actually, I think you know I don't duck (0+ / 0-)

                        If you were following along properly, you'd see I was trying to keep you out of hot water. Advocating for violence is a bannable offense.

                        •  there's a difference between saying: (0+ / 0-)

                          "Yo dude, cut it out, you can get banned for that," vs. saying "I repudiate that evil language!"  

                          The latter, without something substantive to back it up (such as principled pacifism or in my case tactical nonviolence) looks like an attempt to curry favor with management, by making yourself out to be Someone Who Supports The Rules.  

                          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                          by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:18:40 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I am indeed someone who supports the rules (0+ / 0-)

                            I think its a big part of whats made this site successful over time. And ya, I don't support violence under any circumstance.

                          •  I don't believe you when you say (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            G2geek

                            that you don't support violence under any circumstances.  Unless you are an idiot or heartless, which you clearly aren't, I can imagine a number of situations in which you would support violence.  Clearly you don't support violence in this context, but would you really say that breaking a window to save someone trapped behind it is something you wouldn't support?  Even if there were no other way to save that person?

                            There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                            by AoT on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 05:33:19 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  so if someone was trying to kill your kid... (0+ / 0-)

                            .... while you stood there, you wouldn't try to stop him physically?  

                            And if someone attacked you with a baseball bat, you wouldn't try to defend yourself physically?  

                            You do realize, don't you, that the ability for such pure pacifists to exist in a society, is directly dependent upon the willingness of others to use force to protect them?  

                            I used to be an absolutist pacifist since the age of about 6.  I found the limits of my pacifism when someone I knew was working in Nicaragua and got murdered by the Contras.  When under attack, you fight back or you die, so there's no "sorry I can't fight I don't believe in it" while your friends are getting their throats cut by fascist thugs.  At that point you grab the rifle and you fight off those Contras, or they win the darwinian sweepstakes and you lose.

                            "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                            by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:04:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

          •  uprated to counter censorship of ideas (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            Tell me, Mr. James Wells, what you would do, in the moment, if someone were choking your daughter?  Have you got what it would take to save her life right now?

            Would you actually stand there and watch your child die, because the action required to save her might entail "violence" on your part?  A yes or no answer will suffice.

            don't always believe what you think

            by claude on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:02:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The chasm between (0+ / 0-)

              immediate, urgent self-defense, as in the example, and pre-meditated violence is stunningly wide.  I believe that pre-mediated violence against people or property is not only wrong but very counter-productive, it simply provides a lever for the elite to justify crushing violence in return.  They just live for that chance, they wait salivating for any excuse to unload on dissent.

              I believe that advocating violence is a violation of dKos community norms.  On this question, so far I'm outvoted by 3 to either 0 or 1 (1 if I count my vote).  I'll be interested in how it stacks up.

              •  Given that we have been working on this issue (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek

                for what, thirty years now?  If there is ever a time to discuss this it is now.  Simply saying that property damage is off the table unless you are immediately threatened is the easy way out.  There are a huge number of people around the world who are immediately threatened, would you be ok with them damaging the source of that threat or should they just rely on the kindness of the rich and they powerful?

                There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                by AoT on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:32:47 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Beyond the fact that as a (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  James Wells, aliasalias, mightymouse

                  Christian I can't tolerate violence, it always seems unwise to me to choose the weapons your opponents have in abundance. Our experiments in nonviolence around keystone, and the instinctive nonviolence of occupy, seem to me far more threatening to the powers that be

                  •  As I said above (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm not advocating we just start breaking things.  I think it would be necessary to exhaust all other options first.  I would prefer to see a physical blockade of the pipeline if the efforts so far fail.  I understand that a lot of people have a problem with breaking things even if those things threaten their lives, mainly because the threat is so abstract.

                    There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                    by AoT on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:32:15 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  consider a bioterrorist. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, Evolutionary, Calamity Jean

                He runs around spreading a plague that takes a week to make someone sick and has a 50% chance of killing them.

                It's going to take a week before anyone gets sick.

                Does that make it less urgent to stop the bioterrorist now?

                How'bout if it was a month?  You get infected today but you don't keel over and die for a month.   Less urgent?

                And hey, you only have a 50% chance of dying from it.  Does that make it less urgent to catch that bioterrorist now?  

                How'bout catching the 9/11 plotters when they first came to the US, armed with their plans to fly planes into buildings?  Was it urgent to catch them in Spring of 2001?  Was it urgent to catch them in early summer?  Mid summer?  

                Or does it not become "urgent" until they've already killed a flight attendant at the rear of the plane and they're trying to get into the cockpit?  

                We already know what history has to say about Bush's immortal line to his CIA briefer over the summer, when the CIA was sounding the fire alarm that Al Qaeda was plotting something huge:  "OK, you've covered your ass."  

                What do you think history is going to say about us if we just tootle along as one tipping point after another is crossed, while fossil fuel executives have their way and the political process remains stalemated?  

                What's your proposal?

                "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                by G2geek on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:17:46 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  "Actions against infrastructure" (0+ / 0-)

            Once we start calling for those, doesn't it make more sense to talk social revolution?

            As long as the economic system that created that infrastructure is in place, it would just create more.

            I actually think that talk of "actions against infrastructure" is more about romantic action in the face of political frustration than part of any serious plan to change things.  And I have little hope for violent revolution (which has a terrible track record of producing positive change).

            But we need to keep our eyes on the prize here: there's simply no substitute for systemic change, however hard it will be to achieve.

            Turning down your thermostat, while a fine idea in and of itself, won't do it.

            Neither will monkey-wrenching the local power plant.

            Tunis...Cairo...Tripoli...Wall Street

            by GreenSooner on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:19:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The problem is that we don't have the numbers (0+ / 0-)

              for a social revolution or it would have happened already.  If there were a committed group of people doing these sorts of actions it would be completely possible to affect the carbon output.  To be clear, I was specifically referring to new infrastructure being built.  Shutting down power plants without new energy sources could be potentially deadly.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 09:05:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  The threat is not perceived to be immediate. (0+ / 0-)
          At what point does it become justified to go directly for "harsh measures" aimed at those who are at fault?

          Those at fault include most Americans -- everyone who drives a car or uses electricity. The problems caused by global warming -- extreme heat, drought, floods, crop failures, etc -- will not be blamed on the Koch brothers or the local power plant. Direct action against power plants will be seen as terrorism and not supported by most Americans. The main response to extreme heat will be to crank up the AC.
    •  The government reflects the will of the citizens (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, chimpy, Evolutionary

      To have a responsible government requires informed and responsible citizens.

      According to the latest Pew poll, only about 1/3 of Americans understand that global warming is occurring because of human activity. People are not concerned about the next 50 or 100 years. They are concerned about jobs and the economy. No one in government is proposing a carbon tax, for example, because it would raise bills for people and might hurt the economy in the short run. On the other hand, people generally support conservation measures if they save money. Obama's better buildings initiative and better CAFE standards can be sold to the public, but not because they might slow global warming.

      •  Government can sway public opinion (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cocinero, Evolutionary

        Check out the WWII era propaganda teaching the people that Germany and Japan were evil and frightening.

        Or the various efforts through our history to paint leftists as unpatriotic.

        Both types of campaigns have had success. It could happen.

        As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

        by mightymouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:04:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, if it wants to. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Evolutionary, mightymouse

          During 8 years of Cheney/Bush, there was no interest in educating people about global warming. (What a difference Bush/Gore 2000 made!) Then we have the well-funded and politically motivated denier propaganda. The Pew poll indicates that the deniers are winning on the idea that the warming is caused by human activity.

          •  this is the problem (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cocinero, too many people

            Government leaders don't want to inform & persuade the public.

            You mention Bush and Cheney. They had great success persuading the public that Iraq was a real threat to us.

            Somehow we need to get Obama to be a presidential leader here. I don't know how, but it needs to happen.

            As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

            by mightymouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 06:45:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  They had the media's help (0+ / 0-)

              Which is not there on the issue of climate change.  If the media got on board it would be a whole 'nother story.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 09:06:47 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  This is very bad news. (20+ / 0-)

    You have to wonder, where in government and corporate leadership are the adults, the responsible leaders and elders of the country, the ones who take care of their people as well as they possibly can, the heroes?  They are supposed to be looking beyond their own perceived personal, private, electoral benefit, to secure the survival and prosperity of the people.  

  •  Keystone (26+ / 0-)

    What do you think the chances are that Congress will remove the authorization power from the President for the pipeline?  

    News stories have been floating around all week about how Republican Senators are going to force Obama to approve the deal.  Thing is, last time I looked, Democrats controlled the Senate and the President had veto power.

    •  Or.... another backroom deal is made (13+ / 0-)

      where the republicans vote for a two-month payroll tax cut in return for Obama approving the pipeline.

      We delivered. They failed us. We have moved on. (h/t to my good friend)

      by gooderservice on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 06:59:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More importantly, what are the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, Evolutionary

      chances that we'll get over our obsession with Keystone, which at most amounts to 1/5th of the increase that occurred in just one year when it is fully developed?

      The key issue to me is why we're so distracted by this mirage while the world burns (quite literally!!)

      •  Keystone is worth stopping in any event (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Evolutionary

        and it's a good MacGuffin ...

        I am sure if there were a better idea for climate activism people would follow up on it ... Keystone worked out well. I got climate and environmental activism out in the public again, and it even got Obama to mention the "C-word" (climate).

        As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

        by mightymouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:10:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The only thing that stopping Keystone (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mightymouse

          does is transfer jobs out of the USA - it does absolutely nothing wrt global climate change.

          Whether that's worth it simply for appearences (or to salve one's conscience) isn't entirely clear to me.

          What this country really needs is a carbon tax with teeth.  Everything else is mere window dressing.

          •  It makes it more difficult to exploit tar sands (4+ / 0-)

            it slows it down - that means two years extra production is held back - that is a plus, even if the pipeline goes thru eventually.

            it means tar sands oil is less valuable. ergo, less investment in development. again, this slows it down. slower is better than faster.

            it keeps open the possibility that no one will let them export it - the possibility of total victory.

            delaying the pipeline is definitely a positive.

            I understand the point, it's a small victory, but it's a net positive. People ballyhoo it because there isn't anything else. Bill McKibben doesn't go around saying this is the greatest victory ever. He and others are pleasantly surprised they got any traction in DC at all.

            We can keep perspective.

            As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

            by mightymouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 06:50:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This type of thing is said over and over (0+ / 0-)

              on this site with absolutely no proof.

              The major thing holding back tarsands production is a lack of labor - heck, the average income in Wood Buffalo is $177,000 - more than any county in the US.

              But again, if it pleases people on this site that the "dirty" work will be done by Canadians or in Asia, instead of in Texas, I can clearly see that that's an argument that I will never gain much traction for here at DailyKos.

    •  How about - who will 'own' this pipeline? (0+ / 0-)

      I believe it is Koch Industries.

      #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

      by Evolutionary on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 12:59:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If the US killed Keystone, why wouldn't (0+ / 0-)

      the Canadians just get their oil out by another route?  Say a port on their own west coast?

      You cannot evict an idea whose time has come.

      by rsmpdx on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 04:27:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very sobering indeed, but (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Wells, WarrenS, divineorder

    here are two pieces of good news, to help give people just enough hope to keep fighting:

    http://wantsomewood.blogspot.com/...

    http://wantsomewood.blogspot.com/...

    An armed society is... a society in which a lot of people get shot.

    by lungfish on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 06:47:24 AM PST

  •  This is a powerful statement: (26+ / 0-)
    The CEO of Exxon gets up every morning and goes to work changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere.

    We delivered. They failed us. We have moved on. (h/t to my good friend)

    by gooderservice on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 06:56:38 AM PST

  •  Bill, while I agree with your sentiment, (7+ / 0-)

    and your diaries here are still a breath of fresh air, isn't there something more to it than this?

    The CEO of Exxon gets up every morning and goes to work changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere.

    I feel like there's a little too much emphasis on the big-bad other (in this case oil companies, etc.) and not enough focus on personal responsibility.  Each and every one of us is benefiting from the energy system that's changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere, and many are driving cars regularly to do so, among other things.

    I'm reminded that Carter's plan for energy independence was in large part based upon personal conservation, carpooling, etc. as well as national efforts.  That's been lost in the conversation, though I know one reason why (it's seen as politically unpalatable.)  We need both.

    contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

    by barath on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:01:01 AM PST

    •  while I agree with the personal responsibility (19+ / 0-)

      idea, I'm not having any impact by myself.

      I live in TN on the Cumberland Plateau. Cans and bottles dumped on the sides of the country roads--beer mostly, but sodas too.  Lots of folks still "ride the roads" in incredibly inefficient cars, burning rubber, and drowning the fields in petrochemical products.

      They even ACKNOWLEGDE changes in the weather, the land, the ponds, and the trees--BUT, it has nothing to do with humans, it's just how things are. "God will provide."

      NO ONE recycles out here in the stix. I called every office in the state that I could think of when we wanted to remove the asbestos siding from our house to find out about disposal--but NO ONE knew what I should do. Many told me just to dig a hole and bury it on my land.  

      People willl stop driving when THERE IS NO GAS. People will stop wasting electricity and water and food when they have none. THEY DON'T BELIEVE there are problems.

      I sometimes buy extra reusable grocery bags and give them to people in line behind me. They tell me they like the FREE plastic bags so they don't have to buy trash bags. When I explain how damaging those bags are (to cars, trees, small animals, and sea birds), I get angry yet somehow blank stares.

      They have been convinced that alarmists are assholes who want to ruin their lives.

      I don't have a lot of hope for change or enlightment these days.

      •  Agreed (4+ / 0-)

        Which is why I think combining the messages of peak oil and climate change is the way to go.  Bill is one of the few popular authors on climate change who discusses how peak oil is the second factor we must consider in our plans for the future.  Once you consider both together, it's a lot harder to argue against action.

        We need more climate change activists to start discussing peak oil too.

        Here's my reason why: a lot of folks still think that doing anything about climate change is just to "help the environment" - but when confronted with the peak oil message, then are forced to understand that not transitioning away from fossil fuels has dramatic economic consequences as well, and that we're just a couple of years away from a global decline in oil and GDP.

        contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

        by barath on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:42:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sorry, I thought I said: (5+ / 0-)
          They have been convinced that alarmists are assholes who want to ruin their lives.

          You add:

          We need more climate change activists to start discussing peak oil too.

          Peak oil?

          Sarah says and they concur: "We have ALL the oil WE WILL EVER NEED! The enviromentalists just won't let us drill baby drill!"

          In order to understand ANY of this discussion about OUR future, you have to understand the response of most of my neighbors to ANY claims: lalalalala --I can't hear you!

          See also: any argument we make depends on enough education to understand what is a stake, why it is happening, scientific evidence and understanding, and a willingness to listen.

          Your point: more talking will get them to understand.

          My point: God will provide, and besides, the end times are here.

          •  There's a middle... (5+ / 0-)

            There are plenty of uninterested folks in the middle who don't care about drill-baby-drill or climate action.  Who just care about what stuff costs them.  If they realize that those costs are going to keep going up (at least in purchasing power terms), and that conserving energy doesn't have to be for environmental reasons but economic ones, there might be a shot at getting more folks to take action.

            contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

            by barath on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:33:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Right. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              barath

              We can't win this fight so long as most people believe mitigating or preventing climate change is expensive and doing nothing is free.

              We need to get that mushy middle to understand that inaction will be very, very expensive in the not-so-very-long run.  And also to understand that mitigation/prevention can be a huge economic opportunity, not just a huge cost.

              With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

              by jrooth on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:20:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  This, I think, is humanity's deadliest problem - (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DSC on the Plateau
            My point: God will provide, and besides, the end times are here.

            If enough people believe that Armageddon is coming, and that they will be living forevermore in Heaven, then why should they give a crap about this world?

            #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

            by Evolutionary on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:03:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  please (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      claude, Situational Lefty

      some of us are multi millionaire douchebages who make their living pushing this dirty nasty energy ont he world,  then there are others of us, like myself and I am a sure many here that live a life that has virtually NO CARBON footprint.  So please dont equate everyone as equally guilty.

      Bad is never good until worse happens

      by dark daze on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:44:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a common response. (4+ / 0-)
        So please dont equate everyone as equally guilty.

        That's actually not what I did...

        The point is that most people, even those who say they care about the environment and climate, etc. are in complete denial about how much of our modern civilization exists completely because of fossil fuels.  Most of the technological development of our society since the industrial revolution would not have happened without the prodigious amounts of coal, oil, and natural gas that has been burned either by us or by organizations (governments, etc.) on our behalf.

        It's this denial, combined with a diversion of blame (to the CEOs of oil companies who don't get me wrong, are definitely bad guys), that I'm saying we need to examine.

        contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

        by barath on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:55:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  not in denial (5+ / 0-)

          in mid 20th century world given the tech and so forth, those energy sources made sense, in the 21st century they do not.

          What people need to understand is that these energy sources were last centuries, they need to go.  

          The problem is people act as if these energy sources are the ONLY ones, as if they have been with us for 4 thousand years, fact is, they have been here a hundred years, they help built this civilization for better or worse, but now its time to move on.

          It's this stupid idea that we need to hang on to 1950 energy tech that is the problem.

          Bad is never good until worse happens

          by dark daze on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:07:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  you may not be, but most are. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Evolutionary

            Most folks are in denial (or in most cases, ignorance) about how dependent our world is on fossil fuels.

            It's this stupid idea that we need to hang on to 1950 energy tech that is the problem.

            Agreed, but the question is how to motivate them to understand that we need to move on.  My point is twofold: a) most people don't understand how much our economy depends upon oil and so peak oil can help the conservation pitch and b) many people who claim to care about conservation are in denial (or ignorance) about how much they really benefit from the way things are today.

            I mean, I bet more than 75% of the people at this site drive a car on a regular basis, just to pick an example at random.

            contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

            by barath on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:37:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Show me the ergs. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, Evolutionary, DSC on the Plateau

            There is a reason why the global economy relies upon fossil fuels. They are the only energy sources that exist in the mass quantity needed. Biofuel? There is not enough cropland in the world to produce the ergs. Fission? That can work for 50-100 years but only at the cost of "reburning" fissionables (something we donot do now) and that produces a lot of REALLY unwanted waste.

            Only solar (augmented with wind/geothermal/tidal/etc) or fusion can theoretically produce the ergs in the quantity needed. And solar, wind etc require massive mining efforts to extract the elements needed to manufacture the components.  Powering 7 billions on solar might prove to be a massive ecological disaster on its own. And failing that, there simply might not be enough lithium and rare earth elements on Earth to build all the panels and generators needed for such a system.

            Only fusion seems likely to provide the amount of energy needed to power modern lifestyles.  Unfortunately, fusion brings with it an engineering problem or two. And it is nowhere near likely to become available in time.

            That leaves us with the old technology answer to environmental pollution: boom and bust massive die-offs.

            You couldn't pay me enough to move to San Antonio.

            •  It is so ironic that the areas of the US with the (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Quicklund, DSC on the Plateau

              most damage from Climate Change so far, are the same areas with majorities of people that don't believe it.  They don't believe what is right in front of their face.
              How much more pain is it going to take?

              I also, would never consider moving to Texas.  I might have 30 years ago, but now it looks like a disaster area, and it isn't getting better.

              #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

              by Evolutionary on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:07:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Fission is a better alternative than you think (0+ / 0-)

              Uranium can be produced from seawater at reasonable cost.

              Of course the problem of waste disposal is a difficult one, and I agree the best long term prospect is fusion.

              There may already be trends in place that will prevent us from getting there. When population pressure collides with dwindling fossil fuel and the Greenland and antarctic ices sheets start melting, I shudder to think what the world will be like. I will escape it, but you young folks may be in for a really bad time.

              Occupy is the symptom. Fundamental reform is the cure.

              by Tim DeLaney on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 10:27:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  START BY (0+ / 0-)

              conserving, american waste more than we use.  Tell me why every car on our highways isnt at least 50mpg?  The amount of energy saved right there is massive.  We have had the tech to have 50mpg cars for many many decades.

              We dont need nearly the amount we produce.

              Bad is never good until worse happens

              by dark daze on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 03:21:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  and wealth insulates (4+ / 0-)

    If you are wealthy, you can insulate yourself from an AGW crisis.

    Large, secure, off-grid, sustainable ranches/homes/palaces, etc. - or - Rich nations insulating themselves with military force and resource grabbing.

    If you are poor, you are stuck right in the middle of it.

    •  huh? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rhubarb, Evolutionary

      secure?  from the weather?  from mother nature?  really?

      PLus hell, people living in jail are secure, is that really the measure of living?

      Bad is never good until worse happens

      by dark daze on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:46:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lots and lots of people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Evolutionary

        know they will be dead before things get bad in the US.

        Why they don't care about their own kids and grandkids is kind of hard to fathom, though.

        We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

        by denise b on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:01:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  i'm just saying the margins hurt first, longest (0+ / 0-)

        people or nations without the insulating comfort of wealth (material or resource wealth) hurt first, for the longest.

        an example would be how climate change may have caused more extreme drought in the horn of Africa and more extreme rains in India.

        meanwhile, wealthy nations can still afford to "aruge" over what's causing it.

        sure, on a long enough timeline, all survival drops to zero, and i'm sorry if my point about wealth being an insulating factor was misleading.

        and yes, i think wealthy "Go Galt" ranches and compounds are preparing for social/climate collapse, like you or i would just have a little extra food and water around during stormy season.

    •  They have some advantages (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Evolutionary

      But they might be weighed down by their disadvantages. Living in a massive population density zone is likely to be the kiss of death to 95% of the local residents when the crops stop coming in.

      Moi? J'étudie français. Au Québec il fait froid ... aujourd'hui.

      •  They think they have that covered. The biggest (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse

        selling items right now are emergency/survival supplies.  What they don't comprehend is that when those supplies run out, they won't be able to order more on-line.

        I've said before, people that live in gated communities will become prisoners in them.  They can't generate their own power (for long), they can't grow food, and there is a limit to how much water they can pump by hand out of the ground.  They are all waiting to be 'translated to Heaven'.

        I think the 'end of the world' predictions are going to start coming more frequently now.  And, instead of attempting to save the world, they comfort themselves with thoughts of an afterlife.  

        #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

        by Evolutionary on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:13:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I recently had... (18+ / 0-)

    ...a letter published in the Trinidad Guardian:

    The temperature is rising everywhere on Earth; likewise, the scientific evidence confirming the reality and the danger of human-caused climate change. And yet, the world’s richest nations are seemingly paralysed, unable to utilise their economic power to help avert catastrophe. Why? There are many answers, but many of them boil down to a fatal combination of two factors: short-sightedness and greed.

    In most of the industrialised world, the profit cycle reigns supreme. Programmes or projects that do not offer immediate returns on investment are automatically excluded from the policy-making process of nations whose economies are dominated by multinational corporations. The inability of the US to address the disaster it has in large part created is a symptom of the control of government by these corporate forces. Until their power and influence are checked, none of the world’s nations will be able to offer genuine solutions to the climate crisis.

    Warren Senders

    They considerately changed all my American spellings to the British versions.

    Keep on fighting, Bill.  It's an honor to be able to support your work.

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:04:15 AM PST

  •  Honestly, I think the window to act has passed. (5+ / 0-)

    The kind of coordinated, global response required to address this issue, especially at this late stage, just is not going to happen.

    If you feel like depressing yourself, here's a great fictional novel written 40 years ago that describes what life might look like: The Sheep Look Up

    "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

    by Apost8 on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:06:02 AM PST

    •  Except there has been progress on a number (6+ / 0-)

      of fronts since the publication of that book. Yes, the pushback has been tremendous and we have lost ground since that time.

      The pollutant we seek to curb this time is the "spice" that keeps the Empire in business. Tall order to change. Almost like trying to move the iceberg instead of the Titanic.

      “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

      by the fan man on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:16:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's my view as well. (4+ / 0-)

      The time when we could have done something to prevent it is long past as far my limited information tells me. We're just going to have to learn our lesson the hard way and suffer.

      Of course, we should still seek to limit emissions as this is the right thing to do. But the idea that there is something we humans can do to reverse climate change? Nope. Not gonna happen for at least another 20-30 years.

  •  This is how you look at the Earth (15+ / 0-)

    if you are an artificial person.....

    Cover the Earth!

    Mankind's epitaph should be:  

    We trusted profit driven corporations with our planet.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:07:30 AM PST

  •  Maybe what we need (13+ / 0-)

    is to have the Kardashian publicity machine talking about carbon and global warming. Maybe then people would pay attention.

    The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it is difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine. -- Abraham Lincoln

    by Mnemosyne on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:13:27 AM PST

    •  Rec'd despite use of the word "Kardashian" (5+ / 0-)

      I don't usually rec snark, but this one hit the bull's eye.

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:30:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've only recently (5+ / 0-)

        learned this word

        Rec'd despite use of the word "Kardashian"
        mostly from looking at supermarket tabloids while in line. I still have absolutely no idea of who they are or why they're famous. Nor do I much care.

        Although if the cover of one weekly is to be believed, they're now breeding and possibly replicating themselves, so perhaps we should be wary.

        The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it is difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine. -- Abraham Lincoln

        by Mnemosyne on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 09:24:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  According to Wikipedia (4+ / 0-)

          she's basically famous for being a friend of Paris Hilton and for making a sex tape. Seriously. Everything she's done since has springboarded off that. Whiskey tango foxtrot.

          "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

          by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 09:37:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "she"? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Evolutionary

            I thought there was a whole bunch / gaggle / flock / crowd / mess of them.

            The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it is difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine. -- Abraham Lincoln

            by Mnemosyne on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:17:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The others are only famous (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Evolutionary

              because the one is.

              "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

              by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:46:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Father Robert hadn't practiced law... (0+ / 0-)

                ...for 20 years prior to joining the O.J. Simpson legal defense team (He and O. J. were friends dating back to the early 70s).

                And there's this:

                Mr. Kardashian, who received his law degree in 1967 from the University of San Diego, reactivated his dormant lawyer's license after Mr. Simpson's arrest. As a businessman, he turned the idea to have music play between films into a company and in recent years served as president of Movie Tunes.

                Kardashian NYT obit

                There is a history that precedes the Reality Series for finding the limelight and profiting from it in this family.

                Occupy Wall Street AND K Street!!!!

                by Egalitare on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 02:09:36 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  yes - we need a major education/propaganda (7+ / 0-)

      campaign.

      we had one in WWII - it did indeed turn the country from isolationist in 1937 to active participants in a total national commitment to defeat fascism in 1942.

      not only soldiers - but manufacturing was completely re-directed. Everyone's life was affected.

      that's what it will take.

      we need leadership big-time.

      As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

      by mightymouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:31:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  but even that national campaign (4+ / 0-)

        took several years, including the yelling and hollering around Lend-Lease, and wasn't completely effective until after Pearl Harbor.

        And back then the country was smaller in population and less fractionated amongst political extremes.

        The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it is difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine. -- Abraham Lincoln

        by Mnemosyne on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 09:19:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  maybe (4+ / 0-)

          But still it is the right approach. Public opinion can be swayed. Even now most Americans view climate change as a problem.

          Pew reports, “A majority of Americans (65%) say that global warming is either a very serious (38%) or somewhat serious (27%) problem.” Interestingly, that 38%  figure is quite close to the Pew’s June 2006 poll, which found 41% of  Americans say global warming is a very serious problem.

          this after years of heavy disinformation from Koch/Rush/Fox/GOP candidates and minimal pushback from elected Dems.

          I guess I don't understand where you are coming from. Do you say it is pointless for the government to educate Americans about a very serious problem that requires major action?

          As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

          by mightymouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 09:36:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Part of the problem is (6+ / 0-)

    that people just don't understand how serious the situation is becoming.

    Back in the '80s, we faced a potential catastrophic loss of the ozone layer because of CFC emissions, and emergency action worldwide saved us from untold grief. But there seems to be no sense of urgency today about AGW. So it's getting a bit warmer, what's the problem? Drill, baby, drill.

    When our 14 year old granddaughter visited us last week, I apologized in advance for what our generation is doing to the planet. We are seem intent on making the planet uninhabitable.

    Occupy is the symptom. Fundamental reform is the cure.

    by Tim DeLaney on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:47:55 AM PST

    •  The president should tell the people, repeatedly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard, hester, Evolutionary

      That would be the most effective way to get the message through.

      As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

      by mightymouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:31:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Were it only that easy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, AoT, Evolutionary

        We have had a current and now ex-VP trumpet it for 20 years now.  If all it took was a powerful spokesman, we'd all have windmills on our roofs right now.

        •  The president's job is to warn the nation (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          denise b, Evolutionary, aliasalias

          of existential threats, especially those requiring major national commitment. Whenever we have gone to war, the president has explained why and looked for support of the people (usually getting it) by making a persuasive case.

          An ex-VP, while a valuable spokesperson, is not the same thing.

          As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

          by mightymouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:15:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And it won't be "easy" in any event (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Evolutionary

          The point is it takes national leadership.

          As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

          by mightymouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:17:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's not a good place for them. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW
          ...we'd all have windmills on our roofs right now.
          There's too much turbulence in the wind to make them efficient, and they tend to transmit noise and vibration to the building.  Roofs should have solar panels, both water heating and photovoltaic for electricty.  Wind turbines belong in open countryside where the wind blows smoothly.  

          Renewable energy brings national global security.      -6.25, -6.05

          by Calamity Jean on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:22:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  the earth will right itself (5+ / 0-)

    what will happen IMHO, is that the extreme weather will continue and grow,  entire population centers will be hit will be hit and semi destroyed. Some coastal areas will need to be abandoned and migration of millions needed.  Drought and so forth will cause resources shortages and ultimately war.  Civilization in many areas will collapse.  Human population will greatly decrease.  The world will have a few pockets of what we would call a thriving society.  Most of the world will become worse then 3rd world for anyone still living in it.

    Funny thing is , many of our scif fi movies may have gotten it right, imagine that.

    Once earth rids itself of much of the virus which is our species, it will become healthy again.  

    Bad is never good until worse happens

    by dark daze on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 07:51:54 AM PST

  •  Why not blame China? (0+ / 0-)

    China already emits 20% more CO2 than the US.  Last year it sold more cars than the US.  And over the next decade, while the US car stock will barely grow, China expects yearly growth of 10%.

    Over the last decade, the median income in China has grown at a 9%+ clip.

    During that same period, the median wage in the US is stagnant.

    And some of you want US working and middle-class families to take home less pay?  Well, that's precisely what would happen if energy prices went up.

    You want to address CO2?  Fine, have China be part of the solution.

    If you want the US to curb CO2 emissions by 40% of what it used in 2005, mandate that China must do so as well.

    If you don't, all you're doing is ensuring that the Chinese middle-class continue to gain at the expense of the US middle class.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

    by PatriciaVa on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:00:24 AM PST

    •  well, china does need to act (9+ / 0-)

      but in per capita terms they're using far far less energy than Americans. They have a lot lot fewer cars per capita. And a lot of what they're using is energy our corporations are displacing overseas by sending manufacturing jobs there. And in fact, as I wrote about in an issue of the Natl Geographic this summer, the Chinese are way ahead of us in deploying renewables.

      So, the picture is more complicated than you paint. That said, 350.org is hard at work in China too--they don't call this problem 'global' warming for nothing

      •  The China Renewables Scam (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Evolutionary, i like bbq

        DWG wrote an exceptional diary a couple of days ago outlining just how China is scamming the system..

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        China takes Western intellectual property (from GE and Vestas, for example), has homegrown firms manufacture solar panels and wind turbines, and exports over 90% of its products.

        Now, you say that the Chinese are way ahead in deploying renewables.  I ask, why don't they deploy their manufacturing output domestically, instead of exporting it, thereby competing with GE and Vestas?

        Because Chinese bureaucrats want Western taxpayers not only to buy their equipment, but to subsidize the operating losses (difference between kilowatt generated by coal and renewable energy) as well.

        As for the Chinese, they're very content with coal-fired power plants.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

        by PatriciaVa on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:35:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why not take responsibitly for what we control? (4+ / 0-)

      Sure, blame China ....

      But what will really move the situation is the US doing something. We remain a major CO2 emitter, and have per capita emissions 3-4X the Chinese iirc.

      Pointing out others' shortcomings will be more effective if we are seen as leaders rather than slackers.

      As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

      by mightymouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 09:39:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also we started first. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, JeffW
        But what will really move the situation is the US doing something. We remain a major CO2 emitter, and have per capita emissions 3-4X the Chinese iirc.
        And the total amount of global warming depends on the cumulative total emissions, not just what has gone out in the last year or two.  

        Renewable energy brings national global security.      -6.25, -6.05

        by Calamity Jean on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:31:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  from a great interview at the Climate Conference (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      http://www.democracynow.org/...
      (emphasis mine)

      AMY GOODMAN: And yet, you have 16 chief American NGOs, nonprofit environmental groups, a big base of constituency for President Obama, really harshly criticizing Obama, saying that he’s become the chief obstacle to climate negotiations.
      JOHN VIDAL: I think—I think that’s been sort of an ever-present in the last—the last four or five years, America has been seen as the problem. America is playing a very clever hand, basically sort of saying, "If other countries want to sign up their own legally binding agreement, that’s their problem. They can do that. We won’t do it." They only will do it if China will do it and if India will do it. And if those won’t, then it won’t. It knows perfectly well they won’t, therefore it doesn’t have to do anything at all. And that’s its "get out" clause.

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:28:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No. Most important: Population bomb of 7 billion. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ice Blue, Evolutionary, i like bbq

    The carbon emissions is based on the underlying population bomb. It is the population bomb that is the root cause and driving force behind the carbon bomb.

    There top polluters, China, India and US. There top populations, China, India and US.

    Population will go up by 50% to 2050. At the same time, scientists tell us we must reduce emissions by 50% by 2050.  The numbers on population tell us that carbon emissions will go up by 50% by 2050 because of the population.  

    The reason is overpopulation the biggest story of the millennium.

    •  population is important too (9+ / 0-)

      see for instance my book on the subject: Maybe One: An Argument for Smaller Families.

      But actually most of the pop growth this century is coming in places that use scant quantities of energy, and hence whose emissions are very low. The biggest growth is coming in places like China, with stable populations but with, as a commenter noted above, populations that would like to live like Americans. So the consumption curve is almost certainly the single biggest driver

      •  Population and carbon numbers say otherwise. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Evolutionary
        But actually most of the pop growth this century is coming in places that use scant quantities of energy, and hence whose emissions are very low.

        That math proves you wrong.

        China uses very little carbon per person but the huge population has propelled China to emit the most carbon, more than the US.

        Same for India.

        The carbon emissions are clearly based on the population due to the technological nature of our world.  It is impossible to feed, cloth, house the growing population without INCREASING carbon emissions.

        Not saying we don't make a massive effort in US, Europe, China etc. to reduce emissions but carbon emissions will continue to rise as population rises.  

      •  Population impact not all seen w/in borders (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Evolutionary, Calamity Jean

        Populations need fertilizer and clothing, for example, that might not be produced with their borders. Same for automobiles, steel, rubber, and countless other goods and commodities. The full carbon impact of a large, poor nation is very unlikely to be found w/in that nation's borders.

    •  Half the story (5+ / 0-)

      The problem is unsustainable consumption. You can't solve that without solving the population problem. But solving the population problem doesn't solve the consumption problem.

  •  Naomi Klein, in The Nation (7+ / 0-)

    --has a great story.

    Dear Ayn Rand fans: Please, would each of you just go all John Galt, immediately? Thank you.

    by CitizenJoe on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:39:06 AM PST

    •  that is a must-read (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Evolutionary

      best thing I've read in a while.

      thanks for pointing it out.

      As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

      by mightymouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 09:40:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is no one at higher levels of government (10+ / 0-)

    acting responsibly in any way to prepare and position people for the coming changes. They do appear to be preparing and positioning themselves to profit if at all possible from any potential Armageddon.

    Notice Rumsfeld and his avian flu vaccine, the Bushes buying up aquifers, the Fed propping up banks with our money so they can continue to pay themselves their obscene salaries and bonuses, etc. etc.

    Perhaps some or all of the current lawless, immoral, and mathematically impossible (CDSs, leverage levels, derivatives, etc.) behavior by those at the top is driven by the insider knowledge that nothing really matters because the jig is truly up. If the ship is going down, they prefer to be on the upper decks drinking the remainder of the champagne, and dancing the last dance to the ship's orchestra and not to be in a sweaty and suffocating steerage with the rest of us.

    And that, I guess makes it all worth it. They would literally rather die themselves and kill off the planet than institute some egalitarian remedies where the lifestyles of the rich and famous and corrupt are constrained in any way.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:53:32 AM PST

  •  Thanks so much, Bill ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnN

    You sure hit the proverbial nail on the head with this posting.

    I think the entire COP process is operating from an obsolete model which mirrors the corruption and infiltration of corporations and power to the point it is so top heavy and bloated there is about as much chance of getting anything which mirrors the political situation here in the US.
    But what's the answer? I was thrilled to see the rally on Saturday but 9 thousand does not a movement make.

    We move next to Rio ... and then the next talks in Qatar .. but it all seems such a waste of precious time. I keep thinking plans are being made in back rooms, under the radar, kinda like how the US has so much of its climate change work under the auspices of DOD ...

  •  The 99% are hardly without culpability (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Evolutionary

    This more than any is not an issue to paint as a 99% pure matter. Far more than the 1% drive SUVs, eat fast-food burgers many times a week, etc etc etc etc etc.

    On this issue, we really need to be inclusive to a fault or else "Slim just rode out of town".

    •  You don't really get anywhere with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare

      the "personal responsibility" meme, whether you're pushing leftie or rightie ideas. If you want the 99% to consume less, you need structural changes, and you need some leadership in changing how people think.

  •  I call him "headlights" (7+ / 0-)

    For every warning about reality, climate change etc. there will always be an argument to the contrary, by the greedy.

    Every morning when I pull into my favorite parking spot, I try to be early.  I know he's a nice guy and all, but here he comes, with his bigass pickup truck..  Headlights.  Blinding me at eye level as I contemplate what a head on collision would be like in my civic.  
    Surely he needs such a large truck,  we almost have hills and every 15 years or so.. a flake or two of snow.   He doesn't seem large enough to need so much metal to get his solitary self to work.  

    But could you call him on it..  No.  
    "It's every americans right to drive a bigass truck if he want's to".  

    It's been my dream to have a roof full of solar panels and a plug-in car to get my skinny butt to work.  Sigh.

    Am I the only one who measures car safety considering not only the occupants but who they run in to? By what it does to the environment?
    Taking my chances with road warriors?

    You know,  I've argued zero population growth and conservation since 1971.
    When I really get to the bottom of things.  It boils down to how people are trained to "believe" in what they were told when they were young.  They cannot be swayed by reason or fact.

    It boils down to teaching critical thinking along the the three "R's" ..  readin rahtin and rithmatic  Ah guess.

    Teaching people how to think and not what to think.
    More education and less indoctrination.

    End rant,   Thanks for the excellent wake up call diary.

    Prove me wrong and I'll change my mind.

    by willbjett on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:39:24 AM PST

  •  Age of Thirst (4+ / 0-)

    Check out this article on the CBS News web page. Not a pretty picture.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/...

    •  The bursting of the housing bubble may have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      been a positive thing in some respects.  It stopped some of the development of housing tracts in the desert.  I doubt that developers take into consideration the actual number of homes that can be sustained by pumping water from North to South.  
      At some point, there will be mass migration from the Southwest to the Northwest.  Water will become the source of real wars.  

      #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

      by Evolutionary on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:53:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My country, Canada is so bad that it's called (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias, Calamity Jean

    The Fossil Nation, mostly because of the Tar Sands. And yet owners of the company TransCanada are multinational.
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    The work is so odious at the Tar Sands site that the company has to import workers from all over the world and their immigration is fast-tracked by our Federal Government, a right-wing fossil fuel government.

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:18:54 AM PST

  •  It seemed clear no one was going to stop Climate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i like bbq

    Change. I'm a little surprised people thought that was actually going to happen when no powerful interests were lined up the other way. It's not like debit card fees at restaurants - there is internal or external check.

    I don't say that to be cynical or disparaging I deeply respect everyone who fought this fight but yes, even if a majority supported climate saving measures - big if - it would require a DEMOCRATIC political system to enact changes.

    And in America at least, that doesn't exist.

    It seems more fruitful to try and push for R&D on how to deal with a changing world at this point. Helping people adapt and building alliances and formulating policies to lessen the damage.

  •  Once saw the clown Dennis Miller say that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, mightymouse

    he couldn't tell the difference between one degree and another, why not just turn up the air conditioner.

    Or some such drivel.  But he made an inadvertent point:  it is hard to visualize the problem.  We need to make it immediate.

    It would have been great if the host had said something like: "Turn your freezer from to 32 to 31 for a week and then eat what's left."

    I think we need less talk about the environment and more talk about specific damage, particularly to life, health and property. "Environment" is too abstract a word. Hell, "life", "health" and "property" are, too.

    But causes of death, disease and damage are not.  "Hurricane", "tornado" "drought" "flood" "cancer", "lung disease" and more are hard-hitting terms all directly associated with the industrial destruction of the environment.  They are scary, and rightly so.

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

    by TheGrandWazoo on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:34:49 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the hard work, facing and bringing (0+ / 0-)

    us the truth.

    Why is the reporting of these dangers regarded as "Henny Penny", the sky is falling alarmism, when the tampers, and shushers are regarded as sane?

    You are right, they are the radicals, since continuing the path they advocate is destructive and for many species extinguishing.

    Republished to DK GreenRoots.

    Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

    by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:46:42 AM PST

  •  Most important? Ehh... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    I'm not sure I'd call this the most important news story of the millennium.  Maybe the day, but that depends on what else happens today.  Which is not to say that climate change is not real (it is) or important (it is).  But frankly, at this point, I doubt there's very much we can do about it.  Yes, we should continue to reduce carbon emissions and pursue green solutions.  But we delude ourselves if we think doing so will accomplish anything more than slowing the rate of change.  And that sucks, but it is what it is.  The world's climate will change -- indeed already is changing.  As I type these words on December 5th, 2011, the temperature outside is a balmy 61 degrees Fahrenheit in northern Massachusetts.  25 years ago there would have been a foot of snow on the ground.  Global warming -- and global wettening -- is well and truly upon us.  But humans are an adaptable species.  We survived an ice age, we can survive this.  I don't mean to come off as dismissive.  More resigned and pragmatic.  We created this (not so brave) new world, now we will have to learn to live in it.

    "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

    by Jon Stafford on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:58:57 AM PST

    •  I read this as ... (0+ / 0-)

      the 5.9% increase in carbon emissions between 2009 and 2010 is the most important story of the day, and the climate change we are wreaking on the planet is the most important story of the millennium.

      I think there's a very strong case for both propositions.

      With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

      by jrooth on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 12:55:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I guess I just see it differently (0+ / 0-)

        If there is a snowstorm predicted, and the forecast says six inches but you actually get twelve, that's not a huge story.  Again, I don't mean to minimize the importance of climate change.  But we knew most of this already.  That the specific numbers are higher than we expected is worthy of note, but it doesn't change the overall picture.  As for whether it's the most important story of the millennium?  Given that the millennium is barely over 1% complete, I'd say it's a little too soon to make that assertion!

        "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

        by Jon Stafford on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 04:52:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Most important story of the millennium? (0+ / 0-)

    Seriously?

  •  Democracy Now! is broadcasting all week from the (5+ / 0-)

    climate conference in Durbin (maybe someone down thread has posted this IDK) with some great interviews.
    http://www.democracynow.org/

    without the ants the rainforest dies

    by aliasalias on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:38:54 PM PST

  •  There is a solution of last resort ..... (4+ / 0-)

    http://climatecolab.org/...

    I don't think we should stop fighting but we need a plan B and I think this can be done with enough education.  I will be presenting this proposal to the UN in NY on Jan. 24.

    thanks for you heartfelt work, Bill

  •  I've found the solution to all our problems: (0+ / 0-)

    My wife says I couldn't have done it. And leave my wife out of this.

    by Inland on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 03:10:50 PM PST

  •  If only Al Gore fought harder for his presidency.. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Can the problem be solved without governments? (0+ / 0-)

    Of course this is not an ideal solution, but sometimes I wonder if progressives would be better off completely shifting focus and solving these problems on our own. Forget Republicans, they don't want to solve problems, they want to continue on a willfully-ignorant path. Let's just solve them.

    Say we want the government to invest $100 billion in renewable energy in the next 5 years, creating a wind energy company that could replace a significant amount of coal. That's $333 per American over that period.

    Obviously if not everyone is participating, it would cost more per person... but would the most left-leaning third of American adults voluntarily invest $300 each per year ($1,500 over the period) into a nonprofit corporation serving as a renewable energy provider?  It might be less profitable than the stock market as a whole, but it would be more profitable than the interest rates in a bank. You're not losing the money; it's not a "donation."

    I often wonder why we don't see more efforts to do this kind of thing already. If we get to the point where we are mass-producing green energy technology, not only does it create an immediate effect as it goes into use, but eventually it reaches a point where it gets cheaper than fossil fuels, and even conservative investors start to transition over.  

    Somebody explain to me why this doesn't happen.

  •  Agreed....but we need to do more to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Wells

    promote renewables and energy efficiency in our local regions and states. The federal gov't. is in hopeless gridlock. So EVERYONE needs to work locally to put the fossil fuel industry on the defensive and promote clean energy and fuels.

  •  The negativism in this article and comments.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Wells

    isn't helpful when it results in people saying "we have to accept it".  I'm working on a feed-in tariff in Indiana of all places that has resulted in 30 Megawatts of renewable power. These kind of successes need to be multiplied across the country. Let's stop crying "the sky is falling" and get to work.

  •  At best we have indiference ...... (0+ / 0-)

    ..... from our political leaders.   I am referring to the lip-service only approach of our President.

    At worst we have hostility to science and belief in the magic of words.

    I have followed and admired your writing on this and other subjects for many years.   Too bad so few are listening, and unless all of this changes very, very soon, I expect the earth's ecology will have the last vote on whether our sorry and foolish "civilization" will survive.

    The only real hope I can muster is to take a deep-time view, and imagine a distant world, after the radionuclides have transmuted to lead, with the surviving small mammals feeding on plants fertilized by our burnt bones.  Absent us, it will be beautiful again.

    Labor was the first price paid for all things. It was not by money, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased. - Adam Smith

    by boatwright on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:27:28 AM PST

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