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night owl
Since Bill McKibben's diary (via TomDispatch.com) got pushed off the Recommended List Sunday by diarists claiming there is never anything worth reading anymore at Daily Kos, I've linked and excerpted it heavily tonight. Because McKibben is always worth reading and now so more than ever. Obama Versus Physics: Why Climate Change Won’t Wait for the President:

Human institutions tend to work better when they have years or even decades to make gradual course corrections, when time smooths out the conflicts between people.

And that’s always been the difficulty with climate change -- the greatest problem we’ve ever faced. It’s not a fight, like education reform or abortion or gay marriage, between conflicting groups with conflicting opinions. It couldn’t be more different at a fundamental level.

We’re talking about a fight between human beings and physics. And physics is entirely uninterested in human timetables. Physics couldn't care less if precipitous action raises gas prices, or damages the coal industry in swing states. It could care less whether putting a price on carbon slowed the pace of development in China, or made agribusiness less profitable.

Bill McKibben ponders a question last November in Palo Alto during his
Bill McKibben ponders a question last November
in Palo Alto during his "Do the Math Tour."
Physics doesn’t understand that rapid action on climate change threatens the most lucrative business on Earth, the fossil fuel industry. It’s implacable. It takes the carbon dioxide we produce and translates it into heat, which means into melting ice and rising oceans and gathering storms. And unlike other problems, the less you do, the worse it gets.  Do nothing and you soon have a nightmare on your hands.

We could postpone healthcare reform a decade, and the cost would be terrible -- all the suffering not responded to over those 10 years. But when we returned to it, the problem would be about the same size. With climate change, unless we act fairly soon in response to the timetable set by physics, there’s not much reason to act at all.

Unless you understand these distinctions you don’t understand climate change -- and it’s not at all clear that President Obama understands them.

That’s why his administration is sometimes peeved when they don’t get the credit they think they deserve for tackling the issue in his first term in office. The measure they point to most often is the increase in average mileage for automobiles, which will slowly go into effect over the next decade.

It’s precisely the kind of gradual transformation that people -- and politicians -- like. We should have adopted it long ago (and would have, except that it challenged the power of Detroit and its unions, and so both Republicans and Democrats kept it at bay). But here’s the terrible thing: it’s no longer a measure that impresses physics.  After all, physics isn’t kidding around or negotiating.  While we were discussing whether climate change was even a permissible subject to bring up in the last presidential campaign, it was melting the Arctic. If we’re to slow it down, we need to be cutting emissions globally at a sensational rate, by something like 5% a year to make a real difference.

It’s not Obama’s fault that that’s not happening. He can’t force it to happen. Consider the moment when the great president of the last century, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was confronted with an implacable enemy, Adolf Hitler (the closest analog to physics we’re going to get, in that he was insanely solipsistic, though in his case also evil). Even as the German armies started to roll through Europe, however, FDR couldn’t muster America to get off the couch and fight.

There were even the equivalent of climate deniers at that time, happy to make the case that Hitler presented no threat to America.  Indeed, some of them were the same institutions.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, for instance, vociferously opposed Lend-Lease.

A current measure in parts per million for carbon dioxide
For a larger image, click here.
So Roosevelt did all he could on his own authority, and then when Pearl Harbor offered him his moment, he pushed as hard as he possibly could. Hard, in this case, meant, for instance, telling the car companies that they were out of the car business for a while and instead in the tank and fighter-plane business.

For Obama, faced with a Congress bought off by the fossil fuel industry, a realistic approach would be to do absolutely everything he could on his own authority -- new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, for example; and of course, he should refuse to grant the permit for the building of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, something that requires no permission from John Boehner or the rest of Congress.

So far, however, he’s been half-hearted at best when it comes to such measures.  The White House, for instance, overruled the EPA on its proposed stronger ozone and smog regulations in 2011, and last year opened up the Arctic for oil drilling, while selling off vast swaths of Wyoming’s Powder River Basin at bargain-basement prices to coal miners. His State Department flubbed the global climate-change negotiations.  (It’s hard to remember a higher profile diplomatic failure than the Copenhagen summit.)  And now Washington rings with rumors that he’ll approve the Keystone pipeline, which would deliver 900,000 barrels a day of the dirtiest crude oil on Earth.  Almost to the drop, that’s the amount his new auto mileage regulations would save.

If he were serious, Obama would be doing more than just the obvious and easy.  He’d also be looking for that Pearl Harbor moment. God knows he had his chances in 2012: the hottest year in the history of the continental United States, the deepest drought of his lifetime, and a melt of the Arctic so severe that the federal government’s premier climate scientist declared it a “planetary emergency.” [...]

The president must be pressed to do all he can -- and more.  That’s why thousands of us will descend on Washington D.C. on President’s Day weekend, in what will be the largest environmental demonstration in years. But there’s another possibility we need to consider: that perhaps he’s simply not up to this task, and that we’re going to have to do it for him, as best we can.

If he won’t take on the fossil fuel industry, we will. That’s why on 192 campuses nationwide active divestment movements are now doing their best to highlight the fact that the fossil fuel industry threatens their futures.

If he won’t use our position as a superpower to drive international climate-change negotiations out of their rut, we’ll try.  That’s why young people from 190 nations are gathering in Istanbul in June in an effort to shame the U.N. into action. If he won’t listen to scientists -- like the 20 top climatologists who told him that the Keystone pipeline was a mistake -- then top scientists are increasingly clear that they’ll need to get arrested to make their point.


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2003Ring of Truth?

I went to see The Two Towers last night, and I enjoyed it immensely—although not quite as much as the first Lord of the Rings movie, for esthetic reasons I won’t bother with here.

My real problem with the movie— the one I do want to talk about—is political, and it applies to the entire Lord of the Rings saga. As much as I love and admire Tolkien’s books, and Peter Jackson’s brilliant adaptations, I think it’s probably unfortunate these particular stories are being re-injected into the popular culture at this particular moment in history.

My fears were best captured in a single scene from The Two Towers, in which the traitorous and lecherous Grima Wormtongue accuses one of King Theoden’s bravest soldiers of being a "warmonger." This at a time when the foul orc brigades of the evil wizard Saruman are overrunning Theoden’s kingdom.

The scene is unquestionably effective—and true to the spirit, if not the precise text, of Tolkien’s original. But it also comes dangerously close to an Ann Coulter view of the world, in which anyone who seeks to avoid war is, by definition, either a traitor, a terrorist stooge, or both.

The entire Lord of the Rings saga can—and has been—interpreted the same way: As a parable for our times, a mythic lesson in the virtue and necessity of moral clarity in the face of evil.

And that is wrong: wrong and ignorant and, yes, in its own way, evil -- or at least an open invitation to evil. Because this isn’t Middle Earth. Our enemies are human beings, not subhuman orcs. George W. Bush isn’t Aragorn son of Arathorn. Osama bin Ladin isn’t the Dark Lord Sauron, and neither is Saddam Hussein.

But I don’t know if our culture—or, as Aragorn might put it, "our peeepul"—can still recognize the boundary between fantasy and reality. So much of what we say, do, believe and expect has been shaped by the entertainment industry, I don’t know if we’re capable of seeing the world as it really is, instead of as we would like it to be.


Tweet of the Day:

The US has the most unequal distribution of income of any major country in the industrialized world. #budget #fiscalcliff
@SenSanders via HootSuite
Good old American exceptionalism at work.



Every Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM PT by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio."


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Comment Preferences

  •  Global warming IS the issue of our... (94+ / 0-)

    ...time. That doesn't mean other issues—war, economic inequality and unemployment, human rights—aren't also important. But because these other issues are having an immediate impact and global warming is only at the beginning of its devastation and moving gradually (although not nearly so gradually as was predicted), the widespread view, even among many progressives, is that taking action can be put off until these other matters are dealt with.

    It can't. Delay is denial.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:05:37 PM PST

    •  YES!, We have blogathon next month re bill's WH (34+ / 0-)

      action in mid february to show president obama support for him to say no on XL tar sands pipeline.

      The president must be pressed to do all he can -- and more.  That’s why thousands of us will descend on Washington D.C. on President’s Day weekend, in what will be the largest environmental demonstration in years.
      NASA climate scientist James Hansen has said game over if we exploit the canadian tar sands.

      "It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish Proverb

      by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:42:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Huh. Thanks for the reminder; I might (8+ / 0-)

        be able to get out there for that. Although--not terribly carbon-efficient, is it? (Unless I hop a bus....) OTOH, I expect a lot of regional events too.

        Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

        by peregrine kate on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:56:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Idle No More and Tar Sands (15+ / 0-)

        I hope since this is an open thread and the topic is climate change, it's okay to mention a diary I posted earlier today that also quotes Hansen's bleak prognosis for the planet if the tar sands are developed, and also suggests a feasible way to stop this development: Idle No More: Native Civil Rights, Global Environment, Politics in Canada Largest US Trading Partner

        Our one and only hope of stopping the tar sands and pipelines are Canadian First Peoples. Under the Canadian constitution and international law, they have to be consulted on resource development projects, and they've consistently won in Canadian courts. Last month the Mayor of Vancouver, environmental groups and 130 First Nations reaffirmed the Fraser Declaration that "bans tar sands pipelines and tankers, as a matter of Indigenous law, from First Nations territories forming an unbroken chain from the U.S. border to the Arctic Ocean -- and spanning the entire length of B.C. from north to south.

        Here's a video of an 11-year-old indigenous environmental activist who summarizes the importance of Idle No More, and the relationship of this movement to stopping tar sands development and pipelines, or pipe dreams as she calls them. She ends her speech with the theme of this post: Why climate change won't wait for the President:

        It's so important with Idle No More that we're standing here today, because we're not waiting for our governments to change things, we're not waiting for the authorities to change things any more. Because we know now that if we keep waiting for the next day to come, we're denying the fact that if we keep waiting for change, it's never going to come. We stand united today to put an end to the pipe dreams and to the rights we're being denied. We stand united!
        •  Here she is from navajo and my ... (13+ / 0-)

          ...First Nations News & Views last April:

          Haunting Young Singer Punctuates First Nations
          Pipeline and Oil Tanker Protest
          By navajo and Meteor Blades
          11-year-old singer-protester Ta'Kaiya Blaney in traditional canoe
          Just days after the 23rd anniversary of the infamous Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, more than 2000 people came out in support of a March 26 rally in Vancouver organized by First Nations people and environmental groups to protest the oil tanker traffic along British Columbia's coastline and proposed pipeline expansion throughout Canada.

          Rain is an eternal presence in the region and did not stop the large crowd from gathering in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Many First Nations people turned out in full traditional regalia, perfectly designed to deal with rain. Among the many speakers was famed environmental advocate and climate-change activist Bill McKibben:

          Along with protecting this most beautiful coastline, and along with protecting all the people and other creatures that have been here for so long, you also have the great honor and the great burden of having to help protect the rest of the planet.

          What they want is for British Columbia to be a kind of carbon portal, a kind of carbon gateway for oil and coal ... and we just can’t let that happen. That oil has got to stay in the ground.

          McKibben's reference is to the tar sands oil of Alberta, much in the news in the United States because of opposition to the 1661-mile Keystone XL that builder TransCanada has proposed to deliver the hydrocarbon in those sands, bitumen, in a slurry from Canada to the Texas Gulf coast where most of it will be exported. McKibben and hundreds of other pipeline foes, including many American Indians, were arrested for protests around the White House last summer.

          The Vancouver protesters object to the proposed $5.5 billion (Canadian) Northern Gateway pipeline to be built by Calgary-based Enbridge. It would carry slurry bitumen the 731 miles from Bruderheim, Alta., to Kitimat, British Columbia. The Despite significant financial and other benefits being offered First Nations people, some 60 percent still oppose it on environmental, social and cultural grounds.

          Edwin Newman (Heiltsuk First Nation) one of the main organizers of this event, said, "We are trying to protect a way of life, a way of life that we’ve enjoyed as Heiltsuk people and as coastal people since time immemorial. We’re pleading with our coastal neighbours to stand with us to fight this issue."

          The Heiltsuk, which, with two neighboring First Nations people once populated a large portion of the central coast of British Columbia, are now based at Bella Bella on Campbell Island, 250 miles south-southwest of Kitimat and vulnerable to tanker spills. A Heiltsuk member read a statement in opposition to allowing pipelines and oil tankers passage through their territory.

          The most moving speaker, who actually sang her protest, was Ta'Kaiya Blaney (Sliammon First Nation), an 11-year-old actress, singer and songwriter who performed her song "Shallow Waters" (lyrics) for the crowd. Released in early 2011, the song warns that an oil spill along the northwest coast could end all hope of maintaining traditions for coastal First Nations people. A spill would devastate marine life and coastal habitat. The lyrics and melody are hauntingly beautiful.

          The studio version is here with amazing images and Blaney in her traditional cedar bark regalia. The documentation is very well done. It's had 87,333 views. Her crying voice pleads to our emotions to listen, please listen, and do something.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:07:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nice voice for such a little one:) Actually a (4+ / 0-)

            little vibrato in there:)

            202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

            by cany on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:36:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  What an amazing voice and presence (4+ / 0-)

            Thanks so much for the video and links, Meteor Blades. I didn't realize Ta'Kaiya was a professional actress, singer and songwriter until I read the site you linked. That explains her remarkable stage presence and eloquence in conveying the spirit and purpose of Idle No More. I hope we'll see more of her as the movement continues to grow.

            Her one-minute summation of attending Rio+20 was the most brilliant and scathing assessment of these endless expensive summits that lead to nothing but pretending the world is doing something so nothing really needs to change. She reminds me of the child finally crying out: But the emperor has no clothes! Then suddenly everyone can finally admit what was right in front of them all along. You're right. All other problems are dwarfed by global warming.

          •  Thanks guys for this and standing up for Bill (0+ / 0-)

            Mckibben and the imperative to do something now about climate change. I attended the Do The Math tour in Boston and although it was depressing to hear how close we are to disaster, the commitment and necessity of action that motivates Bill and all the activists at 350.org keeps me motivated to do everthing I can to push my local lawmakers to take this seriously. We can only get movement from the government by constantly speaking up through protests and petitions and activism
            NOT by putting it on the back burner. The threat of climate change IS an economic, social and jobs issue. We have to solve them together.
            I was discouraged to hear that some Dkos readers think this isn't an important enough issue to keep in the forefront but it won't keep me from speaking out!
            I love your diaries BTW meteor!

      •  Agree -Say NO to XL Tar Sands (7+ / 0-)

        Canadian Natives will NOT let this pipeline cross their land to the Pacific. SO the company is sending it down south! (The company allows for leaks and plans for clean up..........??????? )

        It will take one leak to ruin the Ogallala Aquifer and farming & ranching here in NE.

        People in NE were just given an XL review that only says "nice positives" for the pipeline, but not any neghatives were listed.

        No one listens to those who's land is being taken & are against this plan.

        Reading is for the brain as exercise is for the body.

        by Bateach on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:38:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Does the proposed route cross reservations in NE? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Puddytat, Wisewood, Ishmaelbychoice

          There have been countless rallies and round dances for Idle No More in the US as well. In Canada, there's growing cooperation between First Nations and environmental groups. Would a similar approach work in NE as worked for BC?

          The best solution to the pipelines would be to stop tar sands development at its source. Idle No More is the first group to push back effectively against Conservative PM Harper. His roots are in Alberta, home of the Canadian oil industry. Think Bush and Texas.

          •  No. The old route was about 100 miles... (4+ / 0-)

            ...east of the Santee reservation in northeast Nebraska. A piece of the new route comes much closer, but still crosses south of the reservation.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:44:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's unfortunate (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ishmaelbychoice

              The solution will have to be stopping tar sands development. Harper already fast-tracked the sale of Nexen's stake in the tar sands to the Chinese state-owned oil company CNOOC. Within a month of that move, he withdrew Canada from Kyoto and passed C-45 to remove protection from over a million lakes and rivers to facilitate pipeline development. 4 out 5 Canadians opposed the Nexen sale, including 57% of Conservative voters, but he plowed ahead anyway. He's moving aggressively and quickly to put all the pieces in place.

              He knows that First Nations are the only legal obstacle to stop this, and that they've already won 160 legal cases related to resources on traditional native lands. One of his next steps is to pass a foreign investment protection act (FIPA) with China. That means legal issues with CNOOC, including those affecting First Nations, will no longer be handled by the courts - where the government is continuously losing - but by a secret trade tribunal. It's a back door to removing the obstacle First Nations present to tar sands and pipeline development. But he's held off on FIPA for now. The public outrage would be immense, particularly with Idle No More growing.

              •  Well, screwing First Nations people... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                navajo, blueoasis, SilentNoMore

                ...has a five-century-long history in the "New World," so if he goes the way you describe, he's not exactly treading new ground.

                Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:53:19 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Tar Sands Pollution Report (0+ / 0-)

                  Let's hope Idle No More treads some new ground instead.

                  This article on tar sands pollution just came out today. It confirms exactly what the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation has been saying about health effects escalating over 40 years, while being told "the contaminants were naturally occurring."

                  The peer-reviewed study, published Monday by a research team including Environment Canada scientists, showed pollution, though it remains low, is as much as 23 times higher than predevelopment levels 50 years ago, extending as far as 90 kilometres from industrial development and rising.

                  In particular, researchers found levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have risen roughly at the same pace as development in six nearby lakes. PAHs are a category of toxic chemical compounds that are suspected carcinogens and are linked to infertility, immune disorders and fish mutation.

                  Critically, development and pollution are increasing, said John Smol, a Queen’s University professor, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change and study co-author. “You only have to start doing some back-of-the-envelope calculations of, in 15 years, where they might be,” he said.

                  Saw today that First Nations are planning legal action to delay the FIPA bill with China mentioned in my comment above.
          •  Harper... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SilentNoMore

            ... has made his home in Calgary but the claim that his roots are here, is kinda thin.  He did move to Alberta as an adult.

            But, that's just academic.  ;)

            There be no shelter, here. The front line is everywhere.

            by Wisewood on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:14:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Calgary (0+ / 0-)

              Thanks, didn't know that Harper was originally from Toronto. Reminds me of a Walrus article about Harper's chief advisor Tom Flanagan which noted he and many other members of  the neo-con Calgary School weren't originally from Calgary. Now I learn from you Harper wasn't either. Good article and also details Flanagan's assimilationist views which led to Idle No More.

      •  We should have ... (0+ / 0-)

        a 'mini'-blogathon for alternative paths to addressing climate change in the SOTU.

        Here is something that I did a month ago. This was not "SOTU" but a scenario where Obama goes 'off speech', in the middle of the SOTU, to speak emotionally re climate issues but the WH is issuing executive orders as he speaks ...

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

        by A Siegel on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:58:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Could you tell me more? (1+ / 0-)

        I'm still fairly new here, although I've been a dkos reader for a few years. I'm a member in the 350.org movement and just saw Bill in Boston recently. It would be awesome to attend the action next month but workwise just not doable for me.
        Thanks for the informative comments too, its good to see there are so many like-minded people here!

        •  what would you like to know? (0+ / 0-)

          welcome to DK. :)

          "It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish Proverb

          by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:43:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Tell me more about the blog (0+ / 0-)

            That is planned to coincide with McKibben's action in DC!
            I'm a timid blogger, never really sure about what to say even when I feel strongly about something cuz I don't think anyone cares what my opinion is. I want to get over that! Dkos is a great forum for learning to speak up and learning about issues that many others, like me care about.

            •  we're doing a blogathon next month (0+ / 0-)

              on xl tar sands pipeline. we will have special guests and dk bloggers. usually special guests include lawmakers, political activists, journalists, political leaders. we had vp al gore few months ago and van jones! this time, don't think gonna invite lawmakers. will focus on political activists and leaders.

              "It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish Proverb

              by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:05:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      renzo capetti

      along with other important issues such as luxury car buying, Obama hitting 51.0173123% and whatever Romney had for breakfast yesterday.

    •  To Meteor Blades thanks for diary! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, maryabein, thomask

      sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:47:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  647,319 registered users on dKos now. (29+ / 0-)

    Here are the 10 newest registered users on dKos.  Hope to see their comments and diaries here soon!  (If they're not all spammers.)

    girdlerandom18
    omar6900
    stacyI
    charlesfrith
    Swiftsure
    Reader65
    Roycetory (user #647,316)
    Roycetory21 (user #647,317)
    Imogenley
    hectorkent1231


    And since our society is obsessed with numbers that end in a lot of zeros as milestones, here's a special shoutout to users:
    #647,100: krist2lowo
    #647,200: apartment04848 (spammer)
    #647,300: laps891 (spammer)

    We've added 229 more users in the last two days.  This is a continuation going back to May where we've been absolutely flooded with new users.  I'm pretty sure almost all of these new users are spammers or bots.  While the rate had been getting faster, it seems they suddenly started slowing down right when Hurricane Sandy hit.  It slowed down to under 1,000 new users in a 24-hour period, and now we're back down to somewhat over 100 new users every 24 hours or so.  What were they planning?


    And for your Diary Rescue music pleasure, here's Coldplay's "In My Place".

  •  larry craig and jeff gannon walk into a bathroom (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, JekyllnHyde, winsock, randallt

    I really wish I had a punch line for that..

    I got a t-shirt (-6.88, -6.15)

    by guyermo on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:33:12 PM PST

  •  If Hagel is SecDef who is his deputy? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, jlms qkw

    Does Ash Carter stay on essentially as the COO? Or does he head to head the Energy Department, with Flournoy who was basically the #3 before she left coming back as Hagel's #2?

    President Obama would have been a Republican in the 1980's.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:36:06 PM PST

    •  I'm not sure Flournoy would want the position (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, Ishmaelbychoice

      She left DOD in 2012 to spend more time with her family, and for her that doesnt seem like a cliche.

      I read that she is eager to return to public service at some point, but maybe wasnt ready to do it right now as Defense Secretary given that her kids are fairly young. And if that's true, I dont know if she would want the Deputy position right either, given that it is a tough job as well. Her husband currently serves as Deputy Sec. of the VA.

      I'd keep Carter as Deputy, and choose someone else for Energy Secretary.

      •  I like Carter as Dep Sec Def... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jj32

        So would be very happy if he stays.   The complaint against Hagel is that he doesn't have experience running a huge operation so keeping Mr. Carter (basically as the COO) there would be a good move.   However I'm torn in that Ash Carter could to a lot of good things as Secretary of Energy given his stature and connections (Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics/Deputy SecDef) combined with his education - doctorate in theoretical physics/Rhodes Scholar.

        President Obama would have been a Republican in the 1980's.

        by Jacoby Jonze on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:01:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  1091 Signs posted in 2012 (20+ / 0-)

    Without ice, the Arctic Ocean will start absorbing all the sunlight it used to reflect. Pass it on.

    http://freewayblogger.blogspot.com/...

    When you put a sign up next to a freeway, people will read it until someone takes it down.

    by freewayblogger on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:41:16 PM PST

  •  One of the many good feelings (13+ / 0-)

    to which I can admit is that most of my activist life has been either feet on the ground or in a courtroom rather than considering myself oh, so right on the internet.  

    Right now we have a naturalized Ecuadorian who is ready to run for a local office -- and she has never read DKos much less anything else of political matter on the toobz.  She just talked and listened to her neighbors.  Interesting concept.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:42:29 PM PST

  •  Warranty Chutzpah (11+ / 0-)

    Researching electronic cigarettes, I came across a popular brand, V2 Cigs.  The manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty of their product.  Under the bold heading, Lifetime Warranty, I read on and discover the guarantee is  that "your V2 CIGS product will be free from defects in material and workmanship under normal use and service for the full life of the product."  A lifetime warranty for the lifetime of the product.  The product dies and so does the warranty.  Maybe it's not a bad idea to read the fine print.

    Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

    by winsock on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:42:54 PM PST

    •  Tell them it went bad just before you (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LinSea, winsock, OLinda, Eric Nelson

      found out it was broken .

      "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

      by indycam on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:50:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Geez. Sounds a health insurance company... (9+ / 0-)

      ...saying you're covered unless you get sick. Then you are on your own.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:11:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  V2 Rots (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      winsock

      I tend to use Volt X2s.  They're bigger, but more powerful and more sturdily built.

      I also like my Vision Spinner.

      (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

      by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:23:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Never tried any of them (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lonely Liberal in PA

        After a 40-year "analog" habit (that's what traditional cigarettes are now called, I've learned), I figure it's time to get serious about quitting -- or at least try to minimize the damage.

        So I'm a newbie to all the e-cig and vapor stuff --  and it is confusing, to say the least.  I don't know the terminology.  And I don't know what I want as I have nothing to compare except Kool 100s and a fondness for the occasional Cuban cigar.

        Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

        by winsock on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:49:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I seriously (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          winsock

          have to write a couple diaries on this and have them added to the GUS (Gave Up Smoking) halo of diaries...

          Fortunately, there's really only three things to decide:

          1)  Liquid.  You sound like you'd want a menthol, and I'd recommend starting at 18 mg.  Realize that you may need to go up or down from that to find your comfort point.  My mother went down to 12.  I went up to 22.  My cousin went up to 24.  Flavor...order samples of several menthols and see what you like.  Of the four I ordered initially, I ended up liking 2 of them.

          2)  Delivery system--a no brainer to start, go with the cartomizer, which looks like the filter end of a cigarette.  Many of us move on to something else eventually.  Some don't (Mom still uses cartos, I moved to a mini-tank, my cousin uses a full-sized tank).  Choose a carto that's compatible with your battery, and that only means that the hookup is the same.  There are three primary hookups, the eGo, the 510, and the 808.  The site you use to buy these should always tell you which hookup they are.

          3)  Battery.  The confusing one, I'm afraid.  To keep it simple, I'd recommend looking at the Volt X2 automatic from Smokeless Image.  There are three sizes--650, good for about six hours of moderately heavy use, and slightly longer and considerably thicker than a cigarette.  The 900 is much longer and looks more like a cigar, but it's good for around 9 hours.  The 1,300 is a little larger again, and good for 12-14 hours.

          (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

          by Lonely Liberal in PA on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:32:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is quite helpful (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lonely Liberal in PA

            I appreciate having things broken down this way, thanks.  My wife and I are both preparing to experiment and there are a number of "his & hers" starter kits on the market, though we may eventually go separate ways (she smokes non-menthol).  The few YouTube videos I've watched show folks vaping e-cigs, inhaling in a manner similar to taking bong hits.  Not sure I could get used to that.

            Please do write a diary or two if you have the inclination.  Vaping e-cigarettes is still controversial in a number of ways.  And I've no doubt the controversy will continue as there are definitely big money interests involved on all sides as well as perhaps some legitimate health concerns.

            Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

            by winsock on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:11:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't pay too much (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              winsock

              The Volt X2, Spinner, and plenty of other perfectly wonderful models tend to run about $25 per battery.  I notice a lot of the kits are horribly expensive for what they send.

              A lot of people start with those cig-look-alike things.  That's fine if it works.  Battery life on them is awful, though, frequently 2 to 3 hours of use.  Battery voltage (which relates directly to how much vapor they produce) is unregulated and drops rapidly as they're used.

              For most larger models, battery life is much longer (ranging from 6 to 20 hours), and the voltage is regulated to a given point (3.6 on the Volt, whatever you set it to on the Spinner).

              (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

              by Lonely Liberal in PA on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:17:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  I'd like to invite any new readers to my morning (25+ / 0-)

    series dedicated to building Kossack communities in meatspace. Please visit our series and see if there is a regional group organizing or an event taking place near you.

    New Day Grand Canyon Sunrise Banner
    Every day is a new day and with that, a new opportunity.
    EVERYONE is welcome and please join us each morning at 7:30 AM PACIFIC
    to tell us what you're working on, share your show & tell, vent, whatever you want...  
    ...this is an open thread. Nothing is off topic.
    On topic, the SFKossacks had a terrific event to see Bill McKibben speak:
    * New Day * - SFKossacks & Bill McKibben PHOTOS, Phoenix Kossacks Meetup PHOTOS - Hey Austin+Tucson! Check it out, we had a lot of fun. Meteor Blades attended and that is where the photo up above came from. MB knows Bill and it was fun watching them have a long conversation.
  •  And then there was (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    "The Flying Tigers" .

    People can choose ,
    Tiger or turkey ?

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:43:05 PM PST

  •  The irony of the openning sentence of the diary (8+ / 0-)

    Sums up things around here perfectly. Lately at least.




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:45:21 PM PST

  •  Still Time To Rec Up that diary (20+ / 0-)

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

    That was mentioned in MB's post above. See if you can resurrect it!

    Self-described political "centrists" believe the best policy is halfway between right and wrong. — @RBReich via web

    by BentLiberal on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:45:43 PM PST

  •  The sad thing is (6+ / 0-)

    McKibben is probably way too optimistic.

    “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” – Abraham Lincoln

    by Sagebrush Bob on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:46:21 PM PST

  •  watching Bill Moyers show on Global Warming now (13+ / 0-)

    http://billmoyers.com/...

    Ending the Silence on Climate Change
    Anthony Leiserowitz, a climate change communication expert, tells Bill what President Obama should say about climate change during his State of the Union address.

    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” - Dalai Lama XIV (-9.50; -7.03)‽ Warning - some snark above‽

    by annieli on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:47:09 PM PST

  •  I'm on season 6 (5+ / 0-)

    episode 7 of Cagney and Lacey.  Mary Beth has the same pottery coffee mug.  What are the chances of that?  There are truly esoteric questions which probably can't be answered here except for the fact that horseradish is great for clearing your sinuses.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:52:26 PM PST

  •  The MSM won't cover global warming (6+ / 0-)

    their Owners don't want American serfs troubling their heads about such nonsensical stuff. All the masses need to know is that it is all debunked... it was a conspiracy of leftist scientists.

    The Owners don't care if the masses die off as a result of global warming. They are sure their billions will keep them and theirs in perfect comfort for the next century.

  •  It boggles my mind (12+ / 0-)

    that people don't understand how our very existence depends on the health of this planet.  

    "It feels like President Obama still hasn't won. It never ends" - my very astute 9-year old watching MSNBC.

    by Ellinorianne on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:59:54 PM PST

    •  To say nothing of Cancer Centers of America (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      whose right wing owner will make a bundle from treating skin cancer. The circle jerk goes on and on.

      If you don't want to be kept in the dark and lathered with horse dung, stop acting like a mushroom.

      by nomorerepukes on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:45:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If the President doesn't (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marleycat, citisven, mightymouse

    ... bother with it, that maybe be his legacy.  His only legacy.

    1) First black President, that's very nice
    2) Fiddled while planet burned, like climate change would go away if we ignored it

    In generations to come, the failures of the present day to deal with this will be the only thing all of us are remembered for.

    What do we make of the contrast between heroic teachers who stand up to a gunman and craven, feckless politicians who won’t stand up to the N.R.A.? -- Nicholas Kristof, NYT --

    by Land of Enchantment on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:01:34 PM PST

  •  Another worthy diary getting lost in the noise (12+ / 0-)

    About the Idle No More movement in Canada that could have great environmental impact especially with regards to the Canadian tarsands-

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

    President Obama would have been a Republican in the 1980's.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:04:37 PM PST

  •  It's Not Humans, It's America's Framers. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, KatinHi, marleycat, 2020adam

    Climate change is a scarcity crisis. It's the ultimate scarcity crisis, because our planet cannot safely absorb 1 single new net molecule of atmospheric carbon. 1 new molecule emitted anywhere on the planet increases the damage to life, limb and property everywhere around the world.

    This is the mother of all scarcity crises, the absolute down-to-the-molecule end of waste absorption capacity.

    All traditional human cultures are the product of evolution to deal with conditions of both scarcity and surplus. Not always sufficiently, which is why societies crash from time to time. But all the surviving traditional cultures, while they may well eventually fail a test, have so far passed many tests of both surplus and scarcity.

    Moreover, individual humans are the product of millions of years of evolving to cope with both surplus and scarcity. Pick an advanced society such as, oh, ours, and toss a handful of capitalists from 20th century yacht cruisers  or 19th century Moby-Dick-inspiring whalers into lifeboats, and within minutes they set about adapting their communities to scarcities of survival supplies.

    Humans can do it. There wouldn't be humans if they couldn't.

    Our framers, however, compromised their way to building our so-called "system" in circumstances of some of the greatest per capita surpluses of resources, waste capacity and space ever known in human history. Because of that, our system is an extremophile system, deferring maximally to the liberty of individuals and private powers to serve their own interests, while minimizing their obligations to community.

    We've never had to look at our framers in this light before, so even 2 centuries later it's probably too early to choose between ignorance and blame.

    But they are the cause; and their gift to us, our system, is the core problem.

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

    by Gooserock on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:07:49 PM PST

    •  Your first paragraph violates the principle of (0+ / 0-)

      causality.....  you say:

      Climate change is a scarcity crisis. It's the ultimate scarcity crisis, because our planet cannot safely absorb 1 single new net molecule of atmospheric carbon. 1 new molecule emitted anywhere on the planet increases the damage to life, limb and property everywhere around the world.
      Sorry, but this sounds like gibberish to me.

      You are saying that emission of a single carbon dioxide molecule on the other side of the globe has an effect everywhere else in the world.   There isn't any way for emission of a single carbon dioxide molecule over Perth, Australia to have an effect at all on me in East Lansing, MI.

      •  yes, actually there i (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        2020adam, TJ

        is.  The atmosphere is very well mixed, so that a molecule emitted in Perth will travel all around the earth before it is done.  THe heat absorbed will also move around the earth and affect how the climate system behaves.  In fact, we are all pissing ito the only pond we have.  The climate is not separated into compartments.

        However, I think you know this already, so I'm probably misunderstanding you and talking past your point.

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

        by Mindful Nature on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:46:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is a republic, not a dictatorship. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pam from Calif, JeffW, LynChi, jan4insight

    Obama is a President, not a dictator.

    Thank goodness for that.

    Nonetheless, if you want Obama to do something, I have five words of advice:

    Give him a Democratic Congress.

    Protests at the White House will do nothing to avert the climate crisis when the President is already on their side.

    Protests at the Capitol might not either, but that couldn't be any less effective.

    If life was fair, we wouldn't need unions.

    by ScottyUrb on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:22:38 PM PST

    •  Did you read Bill's article? (8+ / 0-)

      The country also was a republic when FDR told automakers to stop building cars. This is an urgent issue of national security and survival on planet Earth, so what Bill is saying that the problem can't be addressed in the typical slow motion speed of politics, but in the fast motion speed of a national and international emergency. The President sets the tone and he doesn't need Congress to tell the American people how urgent the situation is. But that's the apparent problem that Bill is pointing out, that it doesn't seem like the President is aware just how urgent the situation is. And he doesn't need Congress to shut down Keystone XL, but the way it looks he's going to let it be built and burn up all the oil we're saving on the recently passed mileage standards.

      •  Keystone oil will flow. There is no "savings". (0+ / 0-)

        The oil either goes through the US or will will go through Canada to their west coast.  Whether Keystone is built, or not, there is no "savings".  It will end up on the world market no matter what.

    •  The problem with that approach (9+ / 0-)

      is that the current gerrymandering advantage enjoyed by Republicans is in danger of lasting until at least the next census.

      I think action needs to be started before that.

      If Obama is on the right side as you say, then he should welcome the protests  -- and he should come out and join them.

      Self-described political "centrists" believe the best policy is halfway between right and wrong. — @RBReich via web

      by BentLiberal on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:39:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  mckibben's WH actions have been both protest (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citisven, mightymouse

      of inaction and moving forward with pipeline AND to show obama that the public will support him should he decide to nix the pipeline.

      and have already been effective, forcing a delay of the process before, which is why the issue is still alive today.

      "It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish Proverb

      by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:43:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  McKibben's view is that what the president... (9+ / 0-)

      ...can do, in the absence of that Democratic Congress, he's not doing or not doing enough of. The president needs to push the envelope because climate crisis needs to be treated like World War II, a matter of survival.

      And let's not kid ourselves, while the denialists are mostly on the other side of aisle, we've got a very good governor in Montana still pushing for using coal (or exporting it) and favoring the Keystone XL pipeline. We have a new senator from North Dakota favoring the pipeline even though her election margin was provided by Indian voters in her state who oppose Keystone. So, it's more than just getting a Democratic Congress, although our mission of getting better Democrats there would surely help.

      The key point is that we have wasted 35 years in getting clean renewables and conservation further developed, 25 years wasted since Jim Hansen first warned us and 4 years of the best chance for changing this. We don't have that many years left before the devastation we've pretended isn't coming overwhelms us. It may already be too late, but we should take action now in case it's not because someday it definitely will be.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:59:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yet we are at 20 yr low in energy emissions (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, we can do better.  And, yes, we have squandered decades, although I would argue the technologies (except for nuclear) were not really available/ready on renewables 30-40 years ago.

        But this past year, our energy department announced we are at a 20 year low in CO2 output from energy production - simply because we have moved many dirty coal plants to using natural gas.  And that because of the plentiful supply.

        Yet we prefer to bury those numbers because it doesn't comply with the only-renewables-can-save-us meme.  Had we had a massive national project of building nuke plants 40 years ago, the US would be a leader in clean energy production.. but, no.. it doesn't fit the meme.

        I sometimes wonder if progressives even care about the real CO2 output numbers, as opposed to how much new energy generation we have per year from renewables.  It is almost as if we have lost sight of the forest for the trees.

        Yes.. we need to do a lot more.  But this is not a US only problem.  We need to take a hard look at the countries spewing CO2 and lots more into the atmosphere.. countries actually increasing their output each year, who seem to get a pass on the responsibility end.. it's always seems to be America's responsibility to do more and more and more.

  •  400 ppm CO2 Is The Looming Doomsday Benchmark (0+ / 0-)

    It's been the number used to estimate climate change. Not that it's a magic number, but it's been the threshold we should try to avoid crossing.  

    God knows what the projections will look like when they recalculate with 450 ppm.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:23:22 PM PST

  •  Thanks for re-posting (5+ / 0-)

    The Chronicle had this article today about "cloud brightening", spraying salt in the sky to reflect heat back into the atmosphere. What do you think of this kind of engineered response to climate change, is the situation dire enough to try this sort of stuff or are we just adding more unforeseeable problems on top of existing ones?

    Looking to sky to fight climate change

  •  since this is a replay here's a replay (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady
    DIVEST is a good idea but there's a big problem (1+ / 0-)
    here's a letter i just ranted off and sent via their comments address. the number of times over the years as a once in a while RW radio listener that i heard them working the denial angle is a horror- a form of treason, threatening the country's ability to deal with this problem and the people who advocate for solutions.

    I cheer your work but if you really want to get Universities to stop supporting global warming, you're going to have to get them out of right wing radio. Your work you will be much more efficient if you were also challenging the loudest and most effective enabler of denial on the local and national political level- right wing radio.

    This is a link to a list of  71 universities (out of 120 top football programs) that broadcast sports on Rush Limbaugh dominated talk radio stations  https://sites.google.com/.... and all those RW stations are dedicated and very effective enablers of the the national denial.

    Of 120 top ranked football programs, 71, or approximately 59% broadcast on Limbaugh stations (see below). Some broadcast on more than one Limbaugh station and accounted for 170 of Limbaugh's approximately 600 stations, or 28%. 15 of last year's final 16 NCAA tournament basketball teams (except BYU) broadcast on Limbaugh stations.
    Your activism is constantly countered on the national level by the main talkers. If you protest or start to make waves on the local level your efforts WILL be responded to by the local right wing talkers. If they don't attack you on their own initiative (as threatening the local oil and gas industry jobs etc.), the national think tanks, especiallly the Heritage Foundation, will send them talking points and programming suggestions including guest denialist hacks like Marita Noon and Ann McElhinney, who regularly seem to come throught the NM Limbaugh megastation, and home of the University of NM Lobos, 770 KKOB. Noon was sent through the area when the Arizona fires were blowing smoke across the state and there may have been some doubt among the  talk radio /GOP/teabagger base.

    These stations have a very big say in what regents get elected and which presidents are not acceptable. Your pressure to divest will go through those administrators, many of whom depend on those radio stations for reelection. Serious suggestions for official university policy and investment changes will get heavy duty coverage by those local right wing blowhards as prompted by the Heritage Foundation and other FF think tanks. Your activism will get shouted over LOUDLY by those local stations, that might be wearing stickers of the team logos on their soapboxes. Your basketball and football teams will be playing games on those stations. They'll be doing promos like "850 KOA, home of the Buffs and Rush Limbaugh!" while Limbaugh was calling climatologists like Michael Mann traitors to the human race and threats to capitalism.

    Denial still a problem because of the Republicans will continue to force delay, compromise, and obstruction, but they can't do it without right wing radio- their most important media tool. We cannot continue to ignore their main enabler, intimidator, and enforcer- the one that inspired death threats to Michael Mann, was instrumental to creating the 'climate gate' email fraud that Michael Mann said set us back years and helped scuttle the Copenhagen talks.

    Many other right wing stations (that don't do Limbaugh) also depend on US school sports for success in their communities. The percentage may be close to 40%. And most of those universities have mission statements that would prohibit the association with RW radio on many levels. For environmentalists and progressives to continue to ignore right wing radio on these issues may be the biggest blunder in politics because of the delay it has caused in dealing with this problem.

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

     PS and the thing is
    if more more than one person reads this, 95% of them will  say "no one listens to talk radio" "only the untouchable base listens to talk radio" or "talk radio is on the way out".  as usual

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

    by certainot on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:32:40 PM PST

  •  The one question I have for McKibben is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Skeptic, JeffW

    What have you done to reduce your own consumption of carbon-based fuels? He never seems to talk about what he and all of us can do as individuals to make the sorts of drastic changes in lifestyle that are going to be necessary. He just criticizes governments. Not everyone can live on a remote mountaintop like you do, Bill, because it's expensive. Wastes fuel, too.

    Governments will never get this done. Neither will criticizing them for inaction. May make you feel like you're doing something but that's about it.

    On a very basic level, protesting the production and/or transportation of fuel you would wait an hour in line to buy is at least a little silly. Isn't it? A little? Our tolerance for our own hypocrisy has reached dangerous levels when we use carbon-based transportation to travel 250 miles so we can attend a protest of carbon based fuels. Yet thousands of people do exactly that or something like it.

    We have to make the KXL pipeline useless and unprofitable. We have to quit buying what it transports. We have to quit making decisions on elective travel based only upon our ability to afford it. Be cause there I agree with Bill 100%. We can't afford it. Not even close.

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:37:04 PM PST

    •  It's less hard than you make it out to be (5+ / 0-)

      Carbon is not the only source of power.  In fact, I'm in a position myself to maintain pretty much a similar standard and style of living with dramatic reductions in carbon foot print.  HOwever, the fact that I can purchase 100% renewable power results from policy decisions made in Sacramento and at the county level.  The fact that I can handle virtuatlly all of my transportation needs from that power is the result of policy incentives to facilitate electric transportation.  If we did more, these options could easily be more widespread.  I also have access to a very good public transportation system which could be electrified, given the political will.  Similary, for those impacts that I don't control directly (e.g., the fuels used to truck food to my grocery store), policies can also make a large difference.

      In fact, we pretty much know already how to meet most needs without carbon.  HOwever, to date, we haven't been willing to make the changes required to get there.

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

      by Mindful Nature on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:51:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's just not true. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xgy2

        "In fact, we pretty much know already how to meet most needs without carbon."

        And still support 300 million people in anything vaguely resembling their present lifestyles? Still support a even half our nation's GDP? No. Not true. An absolute fabrication.

        The largest and longest recession in our history dropped GDP by a few percent. Our economy runs on carbon. We need to change that, and fast, but pretending we can do it right now doesn't help.

        It's just fibbing.

        It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

        by Fishgrease on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:00:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Still (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink, Meteor Blades, citisven

          We won't get rid of it by next Tuesday, but if we put our minds to it we could achieve substantial reductions in a very short period of time.  Even that might not seem realistic, but if things play out as projected we will have no choice.  We will take a hit, and a big one, in this century.  

          It's no longer a matter of "if".  The lifestyle to which we've grown accustomed is an unsustainable fantasy.  We've got to stop pretending that we will be able to maintain it forever.

        •  Well gee (0+ / 0-)

          In the one corner a guy who has actually made the transition already at least for all household energy use and most personal transportation, and in the other a guy who says, without any evidence whatsoever, that my existence is fibbing.  Now what is that based on?  

          For example California gets 40+ percent of its electrcity from non carbon sources right now.  Germany has hit 50% with solar.  Those were done with relatively minor effort.  With real effort, both transportation and electricity could be converted.   Just what do you think is impossible?  What evidence beyond the pronouncement a of the oil industry?  Mostly I just see a lot of anti environmental fee mom getting to try to make action harder. Sorry, but again, what evidence?  

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

          by Mindful Nature on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:19:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  not realistic (3+ / 0-)

      The top sources of man-made carbon pollution are electricity generation and transportation. Most people don't have a choice of electric providers, much less can they choose which power plant their power comes from. The source of power generation is in large part determined by government action, not individual choices.

      In transportation, most people can't wake up tomorrow and choose that their city suddenly has good public transit alternatives to driving a car. Our transportation choices are directed by government action.

      Furthermore, we can't afford to cross our fingers and hope that 90% of the public will suddenly make very difficult lifestyle changes to reduce their carbon footprint.
      It's good for everyone to reduce their personal carbon footprint, but it's completely unrealistic to think that we can solve this problem without significant government action.

      •  What government action? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marsanges, riverlover

        I'm in favor of taxing the hell out of carbon-based fuels. I'm in favor of laws that force people to conserve. Beyond that, what can, say, Obama do?

        I mean without bringing the economy to a standstill. And don't say "investment in green technologies" because that lacks definition. It's a bumper sticker. On the bumper of a carbon-spewing automobile.

        It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

        by Fishgrease on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:10:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Strangle coal with EPA regulation. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink, citisven, Fishgrease

          It's what everyone was afraid to say during the election, including environmental groups. I'm glad to see McKibben mention new EPA regulation in this article because I don't think he has given it enough attention while he works on the pipeline issue.

          Enough new regulations are in place under Obama to significantly increase the cost of operating an aging coal power plant. A significant number of plants will shut down. One or two more rules strictly enforced will shut down many more. That eliminates the #1 source of carbon pollution.

          Another action is to dramatically change our transportation infrastructure. Refocusing the Department of transportation to be less automobile-centric, and spend a ton of money on things like mass transit and high speed rail. Obama is already doing both of these things, but needs to do more with a second stimulus bill.

        •  On this: (6+ / 0-)
          I'm in favor of laws that force people to conserve.
          Absolutely.

          I don't keep my home lit. One light, plus my desk lamp. I am in the process of changing to all LEDs.

          I have managed in normal months to get my bill down to $30-$40/month from what was about $120.00. That was all done through conservation and habit changing.

          Next winter I hope to have my new walls etc. so my heating will be MUCH more efficient (really couldn't be less than it is now in this very old cabin-turned-house).

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

          by cany on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:52:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  wow, great job, cany (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cany, OLinda

            just think, if we could clone you x 300 million we could reduce our energy consumption by two thirds. It's amazing what conservation can do, it is in fact the easiest, cheapest, and most effective way to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

            •  Yep. I am now going to be getting into the (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              citisven, OLinda, Fishgrease, Eric Nelson

              most expensive part. Like it or not, it's got to be done both for my sanity and for the environment.

              Given I live in an oak woodland, essentially, and my roof is about 1/2 to 2/3 oak covered, solar isn't possible for me. So efficiency is the ticket for me.

              My neighbors across the way, OTOH, leave at least six outside lights on all night (beware, zombies!) and often forget to even turn them off during the day. They have a wazoo of kids with kids now and are completely mindless about anything environment. It's breathtaking, really, to see that level of uncaring and, perhaps, stupidity.

              202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

              by cany on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:05:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  sorry to hear about your neighbors (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cany

                it's frustrating to have people so utterly oblivious and unconscious, especially people with children. And the tough thing is that you can't give them shit for it, because the natural knee-jerk reaction usually is to spite you and turn on even more lights. Probably the best weapon you have is to just lead by example, and perhaps casually point out all $$$ you save by insulating your house and turning the lights off at night.

                •  Sadly, we don't even talk anymore. I have had it (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  citisven

                  with the leaking septic tank of theirs, the illegal apartment, driving like a bat out of hell on a steep one-car-wide street and the damn lights.

                  I'm afraid if I said something I would eventually lose my mind and start down the litany of issues. It's really the wife. The husband is just oblivious.

                  202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

                  by cany on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:24:12 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  We have to keep the slow economy in mind (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fishgrease

            While a lot of people would like to take big steps to reduce their own consumption, they can't all afford to buy a new car or install new solar panels or make numerous other expensive upgrades.

            When the economy improves, more people get back to work in decent paying jobs, when they're not overburdened by health care and student loan costs, they'll be able to make more of these investments.

            But for now,  most people's choices in reducing energy consumption are fairly limited.

            In a roundabout way, I'm saying an improved economy will help everyone do their part to make an impact on climate change.

            Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

            by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:59:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Your suggestion that we make lifestyle changes... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fishgrease

          is the same kind of bumper sticker gibberish. A single coffee shop down the street is creating more waste than most apartment buildings. And it only takes a few tenants regularly going to the shop to keep it in business. So while the whole rest of your building recycles toilet paper rolls and buys local, the daily shipment of milk and coffee took more carbon to get to your corner than the carbon saved by your whole building reducing the garbage hauled away by 50%.

          If you wanted to ignite the viral shaming campaign, I'd be your first Like or Retweet or whatever. But the two approaches aren't mutually exclusive. People can work to change their culture while insisting that their government play its proper role.

          We could easily tear the fossil fuel industry apart by demanding truly significant royalties. Our government could lend support to political movements around the world demanding nationalizing resources. The royalties and profits could easily fund an overhaul of transportation and power transmission - both necessities for just about any other large scale solution.

          "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

          by 2020adam on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:23:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agree. (0+ / 0-)

            I've argued that this isn't a task that can be covered by education programs, which were sufficient for seat belts, and things like that. Even there, seat belt laws did a lot more than seat belt ad campaigns.

            I was not asking a rhetorical question. For instance, I would like to see state regulations that don't allow air systems to heat buildings above 65 degrees in the Winter or cool them below 85 degrees in the Summer. That sounds extreme, but it's what we need. Massive reductions in consumption.

            My point is that no one is doing a lot of good protesting carbon fuels on the supply side. The only effective measures will be on consumption. There would never be a loader-full of oil sands processed if there weren't people lining up to buy it and burn it.

            And yes, I think protesting only the supply side is a little bit phony. That's pure logic.

            It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

            by Fishgrease on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:57:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I think you're presenting a false choice (7+ / 0-)

      We need to do both, change our lifestyles on a personal level to consume as little fossil fuels as possible, but we also need to be engaged on a larger level to break up some of the very big fossil fuel monopolies that profit from the destruction of the planet. And that's what Bill is doing, he's out there trying to change the status quo and rattling the big profiteers. Now I agree that he could talk a lot more about what must come after we slow down the oil faucets, personally I wish he would talk more about urban design and changing city infrastructure towards more access by proximity, because with 70% of the world's population living in cities and cities emitting the lion's share of CO2, that's where we could make the biggest dent. But the man only has so many hours in a day, he can't do it all by himself. And btw, his entire Do the Math tour was done in a biodiesel bus, so it's a bit strange to accuse him of not caring about his own footprint.

      Anyway, we can certainly find fault with any single approach, but why not support each other in the different fights we're fighting, acknowledging that we're all working towards the same larger goal?

      •  Yes. That. (6+ / 0-)

        urban design and changing city infrastructure towards more access by proximity, because with 70% of the world's population living in cities and cities emitting the lion's share of CO2, that's where we could make the biggest dent.

        Walkable communities. We need to become much, much more local. We need to become local to the point where it's really something crazy extravagant to have been 100 miles from our home more than once a decade.

        It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

        by Fishgrease on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:14:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And Bill McKibben is absolutely not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marsanges

        "rattling the big profiteers". They do not care about Bill Mckibben. At all. None. They're not afraid of him. They're not concerned about him.

        They don't care that he's having institutions divest because all divest means is they're selling their shares. Someone is buying those shares exactly as fast as those institutions are selling them.

        It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

        by Fishgrease on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:21:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's an uphill battle for sure (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades

          but you can't win if you don't try. And many little actions can change the whole trajectory and lead to big momentum. I for one am going to ride my bike to Chevron's next shareholder meeting with a bunch of other folks, something I wouldn't have done if Bill hadn't inspired me to do so. Whether Chevron executives are going to be intimidated by little me on a bike, I doubt, but there is strength in numbers and movements build one ripple at a time. For example, while the Occupy movement didn't necessarily bring down any banks, it did manage to change the conversation and create the kind of environment in which politicians felt compelled and empowered to talk about issues of inequality and corporate responsibility. So the more people voice their displeasure with the big oil companies for not being part of the solution (like becoming energy companies and investing in other things than just oil) the more acceptable it will be to talk about what they're doing and holding them accountable for their short-sighted profiteering motives.

          And while I'm at it, I will also be working in my community to promote biking, walking, composting, and smarter infrastructure. I'd rather believe that it CAN all be done than that it can't. I feel like we have no other choice.

    •  we need to put a Price on Carbon (5+ / 0-)

      to cover its hidden costs,

      to spur innovation to lessen that True Price, of carbon fuels.


      Until that happens, not much will change.

      Except for the rearranging of chairs on the USS Exxon.


      We also need to shift Oil Subsidies to Renewable Subsidies,

      like about the time the GOM became a tar pit.


      Here's how the game is really Rigged.

      by jamess on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:17:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  His book Deep Economy: (8+ / 0-)

      The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future discusses this in great detail. A local (including family level) approach. One thing he has done: Decided to stop after one child.

      But, one well-known environmentalist has challenged McKibben on this, particularly some things he expressed in the Do the Math Rolling Stone piece. You can read it here.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:07:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's a great article (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades, navajo, Eric Nelson

        This:

        The most important contribution to reaching energy security and climate goals comes from the energy that we do not consume.
        I really agree with. That's why my march on Chevron is only in addition to many other things I'm doing to get Americans to consume less.
      •  I've read the RS piece. (0+ / 0-)

        The day it was published. I've read most of everything Mckibben has written and that's probably his best.

        I agree with every sentence, word, punctuation mark of the RS piece.

        But then nowhere in that RS piece did he use the words "Obama is beholding to the Oil Barons" like he did in a Huffpo piece. I don't agree with that because it's bullshit.

        I also don't agree that oil sands are twice as carbon-producing as the average American oil well, because the actual number is between 6% and 15% (depending on your method of defining the average American oil well).

        If the total carbon load associated with a bbl of syncrude (well to wheels) was double conventional production, then it would be absolutely impossible to make any money producing it. I don't have to prove that. It's obvious. Yet Mckibben and other anti-KXL folks have quoted that exact number. I've also seen where 80% of the KXL oil will be exported. Not even close, and near as I can tell, a complete fabrication.

        We should leave quoting misleading numbers to the climate-deniers and anti-inoculation folks, both of whom claim to have science on their side.

        Don't get me wrong. I see numerous valid reasons to be against the KXL Pipeline. Among those reasons, someone just not liking pipelines and being against it because the GOP is for it. I'm drawn strongly by that last one myself. Wouldn't hurt my feelings one bit if Obama put the decision off for the rest of his term of office, just because it's part of the GOP platform.

        But if we're going to fault Obama for allowing the pipeline to be built, then when it comes to numbers, hard data, we need to look at the same numbers he, Secretary Chu (is he leaving or staying?) and Secretary Kerry are going to be looking at. Not a bunch of deceiving statistical/numerical horse shit that flies in the face of simple logic.

        It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

        by Fishgrease on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:49:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think what you mean to say is "I haven't... (0+ / 0-)

      read him, but I can't imagine he's ever written or spoken about this, or MSNBC would've mentioned it during its in depth coverage of Mr McKibben's work."

      "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

      by 2020adam on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:45:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  if we do nothing (5+ / 0-)

    our devastation of the earth will take 100,000 years to play itself out...meanwhile we've probably prevented the next Ice Age 55,000 years from now, but at what cost in destruction of species which will never ever come back?  That's if we cease CO2 emissions right now.  Worst case, if we don't, sea-level rises of up to 25 feet, 1 million years for the damage to be undone.  How can we contemplate doing that to our remote descendants...or are we planning to emigrate to Mars and ruin that place too?  Is that what intelligent species do to the planets which spawned them?  Has this happened elsewhere in the multiverse or are we the only sentient beings stupid enough to destroy our own habitat?

    •  Obviously we are NOT as intelligent a species... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citisven, richardvjohnson

      ...as we would like to think we are.

      If we don't act now and in a big way we will go into a catastrophic scenario that will end our primacy on Earth.

      Another specie will eventually emerge, intelligent or not.

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

      by Shockwave on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:19:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Check out the American Clean Energy Agenda (5+ / 0-)

    It's time we collectively push for a higher bar, and much faster timetable for leaving fossil fuels behind.

    http://www.americancleanenergyagenda.org/

  •  Nothing happens without dollar-signs hooked to it. (4+ / 0-)

    It’s the sad truth. Private enterprise (i.e. corporations) don’t give a SHIT about the general welfare (much less the environment). They’re too greedy to see an inch in front of their noses. They’re like rats hooked on cocaine (like they used to use in drug rehabilitation centers, except they’re hooked on $$$$$). They’ll slurp up as much cocaine (cash) as the machine will give them (while not even noticing what’s essential for their survival, food, cheese etc.) until they OD (except with $$$$$, they destroy everything around them when they finally OD). Saving the environment damn sure ain’t going to phase their $$$$$ addiction (they're probably already figuring out ways to profit from global environmental catastrophe).
    The kind of ideas I think would work (I’ll repeat this one) is a Fed-like 0% loan program/policy for renewable energy. Instead of the government lending money to big banks at near 0%, then borrowing it back at ~3% in the form of banks buying US treasuries, maybe the government could set up something that would guarantee banks that same kind of return on renewable energy investments (i.e. something like government bonds, except targeted toward renewable energy, or possibly even guarantees of so much per KWH etc. on renewable/alternative energy infrastructure investments etc.)? If they’re going to rob the taxpayers anyway, at least an idea like this would produce tangible results (i.e. something that would actually exist on the material plane), instead of just a camouflaged money-generating operation that punishes responsible investors (devaluing savings etc.) while rewarding reckless casino-style betting that contributes little (if any) to the general economy.
    Guaranteed returns on alternative/renewable energy investments (like they're already getting from the Fed's zero percent loan program) would at least produce real on-the-ground results (instead of taxpayer-funded a money-generating operation for the super-rich).

  •  Strange framing. (3+ / 0-)

    We need grass-roots action no matter what Obama does. It's odd to frame it as something we're doing because Obama failed. The campus divestment campaigns need to happen anyway, without any authoritarian expectations that Obama should have done everything for us.

    I hope McKibben figures out that constantly bashing Obama doesn't bring in new people beyond the tiny slice of activists who make up the third party left. I don't think it hurts the message to acknowledge that for the one EPA rule delayed, at least seven others impacting climate change have been put into place. At least he's not being as pointlessly critical as he was with his campaign to get Jimmy Carter's symbols of failure back on the White House roof. That was an odd distraction.
    The need to engage Obama supporters is more urgent than McKibben's need to feel like a righteous dissident.

    •  The office of the president holds much power (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigjacbigjacbigjac, RainyDay

      to address this situation, as the examples in the diary illustrate.

      Previous presidents have been able to make substantive change in energy and environmental policy on their own, without much assistance from Congress.  

      We should expect the same from Obama.  Sure, we all organize, write letters, attend meetings, write LTTE's, buy LED light bulbs, drive less, but when it comes to the policy changes that can make the most impact - the power is in the WH and Congress.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:15:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not sure if you think what you're writing contradicts my comment.
        Obama has already used his power as President to make substantive change without much help from Congress. He's already the best clean energy President in American history X100. I don't think there's anything wrong with acknowledging that fact, but McKibben rarely does. Constantly pushing the cynicism/disappointment meme appeals to a small slice of the online left, but I suspect it turns off far more.

        Even when he calls for grass-roots action it's with the conflicting message that one man was supposed to do everything for us. I'm bothered by the authoritarian implications of his messaging. He's reinforcing the idea that all we have to do is elect the right President to take care of  things for us, but it's never going to work that way no matter who we elect.

        •  Petitioning Congress & the WH IS grassroots action (0+ / 0-)

          in fact, its one of the most effective methods.  Standing in a park having a rally in the middle of a snow or rainstorm sounds interesting, but it doesn't accomplish nearly as much as getting hundreds of thousands of people to call and write Congress and the WH.

           It's how the corporate lobbyists accomplish their goals. They know that influencing our government leaders will help get them what they want.  If it works for them, it should work for us.

          Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

          by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:46:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  ok... (0+ / 0-)

            I'm still not sure if you're responding to anything I wrote.
            McKibben's 350.org group prefers the flashy protest tactic over writing letters to Congress. I wish he would have emphasized pressuring Congress and getting involved in elections over the past four years. But, he seems overly focused on Obama as the only target, which goes back to that authoritarian outlook he seems to have about the Presidency.

  •  the west Antarctic peninsula is one of the (5+ / 0-)

    canaries in the climate change coal mine.  I just started doing science down there this year, for that very reason.

    This is not my area of research, but it's something the general public can understand: Penguin populations have been declining there for decades already. Some species are down as much as 80% in the last 20 or 30 years.  

    And it looks a big factor in that decline is the decrease in sea ice.

    http://www.livescience.com/...

    Humans are (and have been for decades) altering ecosystems that have no direct human interaction... and yet the politicians and media give "equal time" to the deniers.  

    As you say, MB:

    Delay is denial.

    "The death penalty is never about the criminal. They've already done their worst. The question is always "will we join them"?" - jlynne

    by Hopeful Skeptic on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:20:14 PM PST

  •  Excellent Pick (0+ / 0-)

    I'm nominating you for "Rescue Ranger".

  •  thanks for reposting that article (4+ / 0-)

    our "planetary emergency"

    should be enough of a Pearl Harbor moment, in its own right.

    But sadly it's not.


    If Obama ever hopes to tackle this problem,

    he's going have to start with, Talking about this problem.

    Maybe he could ask his kids for the talking points.


    Here's how the game is really Rigged.

    by jamess on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:09:56 PM PST

  •  sorry - but we've already lost (3+ / 0-)

    we can only slow the progress.

    our president has shown that he's not going to stand up for things unless he has to, and there's no way americans are going to push him on this.

    there are too many people on the planet, and that's what's killing us.

    you think climate change is hard to get politicians to talk about ?  just try population control.

    the US is not going to be the driver of CO2 over the next 50 years, India and China are.  and if you think they are going to slow their "growth" you're crazy.

    every other developing economy is going to do the same thing, use fossil fuels to get leverage and then maybe start kicking into renewables.

    what's going to happen,  and this was always the case, is that fossil fuels are going to get too expensive and that will be the end of that.

    but that's hundreds of gigatonnes of carbon down the road.

    sorry kids, we really f*cked it up this time.

    big badda boom : GRB 090423

    by squarewheel on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:14:08 PM PST

    •  I don't buy despair as an option. n/t (5+ / 0-)

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:12:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Either help make things better for the eventual... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigjacbigjacbigjac, JeffW

      survivors or don't. We're not going extinct. Make whatever estimates and predictions you want about future reductions in population density. Unless the air becomes unbreathable, there will be Homo sapiens on this planet in two centuries.

      I don't see any reason to ignore them just because there will be fewer and civilization won't look like it does today.

      "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

      by 2020adam on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:54:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course we won't go extinct anytime soon. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marsanges

        My estimate is that,
        within 500 years,
        there will be famines so brutal,
        that folks will get very excited about population control,
        and will use contraception,
        so eagerly,
        and so aggressively,
        that we will have a very low number of humans
        on this planet,
        maybe within 800 years from now,
        and the number might be as low as
        100 million humans
        on the whole planet.

        That should be sustainable.

  •  Better Inform Yourself and Get Busy (0+ / 0-)

    Using a cloth bag or driving a hybrid is not even close to enough. We have to get a hold of bigger fish, like the way waste is recycled in major cities, like how we are taking too much carbon out of the earth, like not being content with 30% of all of our energy being renewable by 2050. By the way, the Chairman of Shell Oil says he hopes that if things go right that 30% of all our energy will be reneable by 2050. We better get busy about this in a big way. If the Democratic Party won't make this a major initiative we had better create a different party that will. Everyone on leadership, public or private, needs to lead now on this. Sustainability efforts, energy savings, and especially getting away from the "all of the above" energy mantra that Beltway politicos are mouthing from both aisles. We can't have this "different" approach to natural gas. We need no appraoch to that and need to get busy with renewables. Now.

  •  Free trade cost manufacturing jobs in US (0+ / 0-)

    WaPo:

    (T)he 2000 granting of permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) to China was the rare high-profile trade deal that really mattered. PNTR did not actually involve much in the way of new tariff reductions, but what it did offer was certainty. It suggested that previously eliminated tariffs on Chinese goods weren’t coming back anytime soon.

    That reassurance, Pierce and Schott argue, mattered a great deal. All told, they argue that employment in the manufacturing sector in the United States was 29.6 percent lower than it otherwise would have been absent PNTR... The effect was four times as strong for production-line workers as for non-production workers, which is in line with the usual finding that the losers from trade tend to be low-skilled workers in rich countries.

    Interestingly, much of the negative effect on manufacturing employment came not from actual job losses but from the absence of job growth that would have been expected without the agreement:

    I've always had mixed feelings about free trade but, not being an economist, never solidified my position on it. I remember being told something along the lines of "liberals getting suckered into supporting free trade," though I can't imagine anyone actually saying that.

    In any event, it seems that free trade has turned out to actually hurt domestic employment. Now, what do we do about it?

    I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

    by 1BQ on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:41:42 PM PST

    •  First step (0+ / 0-)

      is to stop shipping jobs overseas.  We're still letting businesses do it and still giving them tax breaks for it.

      Stop writing new free trade agreements.

      Enforce existing laws WRT to abuse of those agreements

      Reverse tax incentives so the reward is for keeping good paying jobs here and investing in new energy efficient plants and production facilities.

      I'm not an economist either, but there are quite a few things I can think of off the top of my head.

      It just doesn't make sense to have so much of what we use and consume in this country come thousands of miles away when we can make those products here.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:12:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This may not be an issue right at the moment, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigjacbigjacbigjac

    it will be again soon; new development.

    Until we change how we think about not only the loss of wildland but how we built and use transportation in its relationship to land use, we cannot--CANNOT--change a large portion of the problem.

    Where I live, people moved out to Riverside/San Bernardino areas to have newer, cheaper McMansions. In turn, they drive up to two hours ONE WAY to get to a job they cannot afford to leave in, for instance, L.A. or Irvine. We screamed about it. No one listened. Then the freeways got so congested they cut roads through wildlands (toll roads) and wiped out entire deer herds. We screamed about those too (along with telling them the finances didn't work--and they STILL don't, and may never particularly on the San Joaquin Hills toll road which was built, largely, as a convenience for The Irvine Company). They ignored us.

    Land use is boring to most. But the fact is, it controls almost everything. And we have fucked up beyond most people's wildest dreams.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:00:18 AM PST

    •  I agree with you. It makes me wonder, (0+ / 0-)

      what would it take
      to make people see things
      differently.

      I drive too far myself,
      but it only takes 13 minutes,
      almost 30 minutes
      if I take side streets.

      My excuse is,
      I'm afraid to transfer
      to a closer workplace.

      I'm afraid different bosses
      will examine my productivity more closely,
      and I'll be fired.

      I was living very close,
      but my new wife asked me to move in
      with her and her brother and uncle.

      But in my case,
      it's a matter of driving across town;
      what you're talking about
      is building new towns,
      far away from the jobs.

      It's nearly chaos.

      How bad does it have to get
      for folks to see,
      that it's out of control?

  •  Another perspective... (0+ / 0-)
    With climate change, unless we act fairly soon in response to the timetable set by physics, there’s not much reason to act at all.
    IMO, we are way past the point at which we could have done something to stop climate change...if we ever could have stopped it at all.

    No, the issue I now see now is; how is Humankind going to adapt? Again, IMO, this is going to be an evolutionary step for us.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abbey

    by SaraBeth on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:06:08 AM PST

  •  Protection, even in EPA, is a power play. (0+ / 0-)

    There has to be a threat to counter. Remove the threat and the rationale for protection (power) is gone. It's a good cop/bad cop situation in which the victim is restrained. Restraint is also the object of regulation. Trying to regulate the environment is a lost cause, if only because the natural system is random. Humans do not like random. So, when they regulate, it's always a negative from the environmental perspective.
    Finally, pinning one's hopes to permits is futile. Permits are based on the presumption that the target behavior is good, but some conditions would make it better. So, they have to be issued. Making the conditions so complex that complying with them (hiring engineers and monitors and collecting reams of data) becomes too expensive for an individual, whose monetary assets are constantly restricted, to comply. So, the only entities that can afford the compliance regimen are corporate enterprises, whose potential for environmental disruption and degredation is so much greater than a single farmer or miner or fisherman can contemplate. In other words, our regulatory regime has contributed to the exacerbation of environmental degradation--e.g. by industrial agriculture replacing millions of family farms.
    Unintended consequences are largely related to the false assumptions or prejudices we bring to the table. One of the main ones, in addition to the assumption that regular is better than random, is the assumption that ownership of private property is a guarantor of good management, preservation, efficiency and sustainable production. Ownership has proved not to be a guarantee of anything. However, more often than not, ownership is manifest either by destruction or abandonment. How else to explain our asphalt jungles, dust bowls, cratered mountain tops and poisoned lakes?
    Private property is not a good thing. It is not a good substitute for personal privacy and it does not guarantee respect for property. Never mind the obligation to care for it properly. Rights do not prevent abuse, certainly not abuse of the natural environment.
    Some of us assume that rights come with obligations, but that assumption has also been proven false. Perhaps it is simply a matter of some humans not getting the connection because they don't see it. Perhaps the lack of interest in carbonating the air we breathe is simply a matter of people not being able to see it, unlike soot, which was hard to miss.
    "Out of sight; out of mind." The operators of power plants building smoke stacks higher were motivated by that rationale. Ditto for the frackers sending contaminants underground. If they can't see it, no protection is required.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:31:46 AM PST

  •  Brennan for CIA? The "centrists" must be high- (0+ / 0-)

    fiving themselves right now. That "lesser of two evils" meme just got jacked and rolled.

    Wow.

    Life is the ultimate economic bubble; we cash out with all the capital we invested: none. On the other hand, the wise among us have enormous moral capital to easily invest in their children and their communities. Just remember where our real wealth is.

    by Superskepticalman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:45:07 AM PST

  •  In 1978... (0+ / 0-)

    I had a group of bitter, old geography professors... that were wonderful. They taught global warming as indisputable fact... angrily and frankly, frightened.

    Like all phenomena, the process is accelerating. National and global policies are too small, too late- but should still be enacted- as to what little they might help.

    The only possible driver for change, is as usual: Money.
    As for politicians, good luck.

    We need to adopt policies for impact and adaptation- if supporting 7 billion people is at all possible.
    For instance- sadly- hasta la vista Maldives.
    _____

    From Think/Progress- devastatingly accurate article

    "In this post, I will summarize what the recent scientific literature says are the key impacts we face in the coming decades if we stay anywhere near our current emissions path.
    These include:
    Staggeringly high temperature rise, especially over land — some 10°F over much of the United States
    Permanent Dust Bowl conditions over the U.S. Southwest and many other regions around the globe that are heavily populated and/or heavily farmed.
    Sea level rise of some 1 foot by 2050, then 4 to 6 feet (or more) by 2100, rising some 6 to 12 inches (or more) each decade thereafter
    Massive species loss on land and sea — perhaps 50% or more of all biodiversity.
    Unexpected impacts — the fearsome “unknown unknowns”
    Much more extreme weather
    Food insecurity — the increasing difficulty of feeding 7 billion, then 8 billion, and then 9 billion people in a world with an ever-worsening climate.
    Myriad direct health impacts"

    http://thinkprogress.org/...

    Good Post.

    People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think. -George Carlin

    by downtownLALife on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:18:10 AM PST

  •  glad i got this moon base (0+ / 0-)

    things look rather shitty down there- damn liberals destroyed our world.  -Newt Gingrich, 2018

    People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think. -George Carlin

    by downtownLALife on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:31:06 PM PST

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