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John Kerry spoke yesterday at the National Geographic Society delivering some of his most powerful words yet on climate change.  Here is some of text:

Think Progress/Climate

   I have seen this fragile ecosystem change before our very eyes, whether it’s a problem of acidification, a problem of pollution and development, a problem of ice melt and potential ecosystem collapse, to the rise of the sea levels, which is happening in various parts of the world….

    The entire system is interdependent, and we toy with that at our peril….

    So climate change is coming back in a sense as a serious international issue because people are experiencing it firsthand. The science is screaming at us, literally, demanding that people in positions of public responsibility at least exercise the so-called “precautionary principle” to balance the equities and not knowing completely the outcomes at least understand what is happening and take steps to prevent potential disaster.

    … I’m here to tell you that, proudly, President Obama has put this agenda back on the front burner where it belongs, that he has in his Inauguration Address and in his State of the Union Address and in the policies he’s working on now said we are going to try to exercise leadership because of its imperatives.

Kerry obviously understands the urgency and the disaster of inaction. How will this influence his actions? That is an unknown at this point. As Secretary of State, he heads the agency which has the ultimate responsibility for the decision to approve or reject the Keystone XL pipeline. To not consider the environmental impacts of the XL pipeline would seem to betray his own words and jeopardize his credibility especially with the international community hoping that Obamas reelection and the appointment of climate hawk John Kerry as SoS would finally place the US in a position of leadership on climate change.

Originally posted to Climate Change SOS on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 04:31 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots.

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Comment Preferences

  •  well, people seem to say most indications (9+ / 0-)

    are that it will be approved. But I don't know...

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

    by joedemocrat on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 04:38:59 PM PDT

    •  that would really fly in the face of Kerrys (18+ / 0-)

      remarks.  You would think if he thought it would be approved he would be backing off some of his strong climate change statements.

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 04:42:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  unless (14+ / 0-)

        he uses the seis as an excuse. but he knows better. whether or not he does better, we shall see. and i'm a long time fan- he was my first choice in 2004, primarily because of his environmentalism.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 05:11:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've been a fan too. If he approves the pipeline (8+ / 0-)

          it can only be considered a major compromise of his character and jeopardize his standing internationally.

          Macca's Meatless Monday

          by VL Baker on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 05:15:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  hmm (5+ / 0-)

            What if it is not his choice?
            If an official serves in an administration and the boss wants one thing the official another (even thought the official came out strongly for it).

            Is the official's character necessarily comprimised if it ultimately goes the way they do not want and they don't have the power to stop it?

            Now I don't know for sure this is the situation. But I also dont know how Secy of State can overrule others.

            Obama kept Guantanimo open. Some could judge his character negatively on that. HE said he'd close it.

            But really, it's more complicated. He wanted to and tried to close it and got no where with Congress who's approval apparently is needed in some way. He hadn't realized how hard it would be to close when he said he'd do it.

            me, I dont' hold it against Obama too much. I remember when he tried something to close it and remember he got no where.

            I would have to really understand the details on why this Pipeline was going to happen if it does in order to judge John Kerry's character as flawed.

            Actually I trust John Kerry's character, I really do. I trust it enough that if this goes through AND he's said it's bad for the environment (has he opposed it? I have not followed this issue much) my first response would not be anger or feeling let down, it would be wanting to understand more about it before I judge.

            Kerry was my Senator for over two decades. I trust that he really cares about the environment and is NOT in this job for power, money, or glory but to help our country and the world. That is what I think

            •  Hard to believe it wasn't discussed when Kerry was (6+ / 0-)

              nominated for Sec of State.  The SEIS is so flawed it is hard to see how he could, in good conscience, approve it, but then Obama has to face his much younger daughters and he seems to want to approve it.

              The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

              by Mimikatz on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 06:55:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I could never be in government (0+ / 0-)

                if it was like this. I can't make these kind of "best of bad choices" decisions without feeling ill. Assuming it was a best of bad choices type of decision

              •  It is very likely that the report was not finished (0+ / 0-)

                at that point. It is likely that Kerry could have seen the administration leaning to approving it. They had approved building the lower part of it and the people chosen to review it had links to the oil industry.

                It may be that the decision is already made and no one can change it, but  Obama has seemed not 100% behind it.  At least once he mentioned that it would create only 35 jobs. It may be that there is some chance to  get Obama to reject it. I can't think of anyone I would prefer in Obama's inner circle on this issue than John Kerry.  It might have been that he knew that OUT of the cabinet he would have no chance to speak against this issue (and others) within the cabinet and likely few people would.

                •  What I hear is that XL could be approved at the (0+ / 0-)

                  same time as other, arguably more important, climate measures are taken.  Closing coal-fired power plants, regulating carbon as a pollutant under the EPA,etc.

                  Would this be a betrayal?  Maybe, maybe not.  Imo it really would depend on what we got.  

                  Best would be to disallow the pipeline and do all the other things too.  But....

            •  HE knew this going in, come on. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SolarMom, Creosote

              Its not like KXL just showed up on his schedule 2 days ago.

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

              by Roger Fox on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 07:33:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Kerry voted against Keystone at least once (0+ / 0-)


              Also one of his last speeches in the Senate  was on the environment and against Keystone.

              I agree with your take on Secretary of State Kerry.

          •  I hope environmentalists look at the big picture (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Steve Canella, Fishgrease

            I could see Kerry "cave" on Keystone if he got something that OVERALL helped the environmental situation more.

            Someone below mentions carbon tax.

            My bet is if this comes to pass this way many on the left will not trust Kerry that he made the best decision for the highest greater good that he could given all the options and their nuances that we do not know.

            we may find out for example some thing Kerry got in exchange for Keyston and judge it an innadequate trade. But truly, we will likely not know the details well enough to be in that position to judge. We won't have all the data those who were negotiating have.

            I've seen the latter kind of scenario happen quite a bit. Obama and Kerry and other leaders do in fact have more information as to why they choose something, sometimes hidden information. It is not that we should give them a free pass, just that we should keep that in mind to perhaps mitigate our feelings of "betrayal".

            Who knows what the Reps will cook up behind the scenes that may force someone's hand to avoid something worse...just for example.

            Thinking this way keeps my mind open to the possiblity that when choices are made that seem like a betrayal of ideals may not be quite that...may be the best of bad options given information I may not have.

          •  And he know this going in. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SolarMom, Creosote

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

            by Roger Fox on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 07:31:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  or he's not the one that decides really (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SolarMom, Laurence Lewis


          •  It's not ultimately up to Kerry (5+ / 0-)

            The buck stops at Obama.  I work at EPA, and the White House has prevented the EPA Administrator from doing things she wanted to do.

            Kerry's choices are to go along, resign in protest, or convince Obama.

            Of course he knew about this going in, so he could have made it a condition of his taking the job - but it doesn't seem as if he did.

            “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” -- FDR, 1936

            by SolarMom on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 08:49:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  For all the young voters leaving the GOP (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              beach babe in fl, SolarMom

              for its social platform, as many young people may leave the Democratic Party if Obama blows this XL call.

              Seems like a no-brainer to me ethically and politically.  Oil companies are predominantly giving money to the GOP anyway and this won't change if he approves XL.  Nothing but negatives accrue to Obama -- and the planet -- if he approves it.

              "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

              by Mogolori on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 11:03:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  right thats what I'd think (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              karenc, SolarMom

              someone said that Kerry's character would take a hit if he flipped on Keystone.

              I thought...but it's not up to him really.

              in taking the job while knowing:

              Kerry probably thinks that he'll either be SoS or not and Obama would still decide the same. He (legitimately) thinks he's the man for the job.
              It makes sense  he'd take the job.

              and who knows maybe all this time he's been trying to convince Obama also. Maybe he took job thinking he could convince him.

              See people judge government leaders by the result. Someoe said, again...if this happened it'd be on Kerry and a if Kerry were dishonest or manipulative or false.
              seems to me it needn't mean that at all. IT coudl be he miscalculated thought he'd convince the Pres. Or Pres changed his mind/didnt share where he was at openly with Kerry.

              my point was (to others) that we can't know all the nuances about why a "decision" is made. People see Kerry say, doing this, and they will just judge him. But we dont KNOW all the nuances. And it's not only because of a lack of transparency.

      •  Without trying to start a pie fight (0+ / 0-)

        It wouldn't be the first time a leading Dem (cough cough) made some fierce and urgent-sounding progressive noises only to reverse themselves in policy.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 10:02:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There are signs both ways. (3+ / 0-)

      It's odd. There are quotes from Obama telling the pipeline proponents that it's not as great as they make it out to be. But, he has also said it's not as bad as environmentalists claim it is. And there's so much cynicism about Obama that it's hard to know whether the negative predictions can be taken seriously.

    •  Enbridge 9 reversal permit applied for Nov 2012 (4+ / 0-)

      Which would make this possible:

       photo Screen20shot202012-06-2120at209055820AM-1.png

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

      by Roger Fox on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 07:31:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Use the public comment period - now (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      liz, Mogolori, beach babe in fl, Creosote

      The environmental impact report given to the state department (and then released by the state department) is now in its public comment period. Go to the link, make your comment.

      Some points:
      The study mentions only the impact of the pipeline when it's working as designed. What happens when it isn't working as designed?

      The report needs to be amended to cover readily foreseeable impacts, such as leaks similar to those that have occurred in other pipelines; as well as impacts that may be unlikely, but still possible - such as a leak into a major aquifer, lake, or river along its route.

      In addition, the report needs to include impacts on local land and wildlife from construction and maintenance activities - unless, of course, the pipeline will magically appear in place, and will float above the ground via a newly invented anti-gravity device.

  •  Powerful words, but I want actions. (22+ / 0-)

    Actions speak louder than words. I have high hopes for Kerry, but I had high hopes for Obama a few years ago.

    Halfhearted actions just aren't enough, that just means that civilization lasts a few more years than expected. We need wholehearted and unrelenting action, which we just haven't seen yet.

    •  sometimes the opposition is so strong (3+ / 0-)

      that actions look halfhearted becasue we dont' know the details of what the person was up against.

      I agree with what you say but also know that in our positions as regular citizens we very likely rarely know all the nuances and details the flesh out why decisions are made.

      Many on the left judge Obama harshly for example for keeping Guantanamo open against what he said. That is still open does not mean Obama wanted to keep it open, however. He tried to close it and was opposed by a brick wall. He didn't talk about it  to the public so many people were left thinking he made no effort at all.

      NOT that there are not necessarily things to be dissapointed about Obama.

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

        If we only lived in a transparent democracy, these questions wouldn't be asked.

        If we only lived in a society where the people we voted in office actually wanted our input, instead of just telling us half the story, then maybe we wouldn't be upset when they make decisions we don't like.

        Just a thought.

        Meanwhile, the Washington Post writes an editorial that basically says Obama should kiss Israeli's right-wing, settler movement government because it is all Obama's fault that the relationship got off on the wrong foot. Lord knows most of the idiots in Congress will echo this nonsense as they have no real knowledge of the region (and most of the leaders in this Congress, and the many Congresses before, have no problem with obnoxious right-wing governments. As long as they get a comfy place to stay when they visit. And the company that paid for their election gets a high-reward deal in said country.)

        Meanwhile, Kerry goes to Wahabi-land and praises the reform of one of the most restrictive nations in the planet.

        Israeli settlers and Sunni fundamentalist. That is our friends these days. And woe be it on anyone to dare mention this basic fact. If you do, you are either an anti-Semite and an Islamaphobe.

        It is about as serious a crime in the media/political world as bringing up Global Warming.

        Or income inequality (in the form of a systematic problem, vice a Republican/Democratic problem).

        When was the last time the NYT or Washington Post put up a basic graph of income disparity over the last 30 years? You know, a very basic metric on our society. Something that easily shows how well are nation is taking care of all its people. And just shoved it in the face of the the nation. And said, "HERE IS THE FAILED STATE WE LIVE IN".

        Instead, we get William Safire selling us a war in Iraq. Kristof selling us a war in Iran.

        And this is the 'liberal' media. Then you have Fox news. And even further, you have Rush.

        Sorry for the rant, but the whole problem is the lack of trust with our government and our media. Obama said there would be transparency. Instead of providing it, he is pretending he is playing a 'leader' while not telling a single citizen a believable sentence.

        There is no way he would let Biden say Social Security was off the table without a plan. These are both seasoned politicians. Yet while Biden says this, he was already working to undermine Social Security.

        He never explained his passion against letting big pharmaceuticals get money before his election and his allowing them to keep their lucrative monopolies after he was elected.

        If Obama wants to bypass the media and talk directly to the people, he better do a better job of explaining his changes. Right now, he looks like every other politician that is making decisions based on who gave him the most money. And as someone that is more than willing to look straight at me and lie to get me to vote for him, then do whatever the hell he was planning on doing anyway. You know. A normal politician.

        He is doing nothing to change Washington when it comes to A. Climate Change, (pollution? we are #1)  B. Arms sales (we are #1)  C. Prisoners per capita (We are #1!).

        It is no different than Clinton. When a Republican steps in, there will be no institutional change to our policy, so taxes for the rich will be cut, defense will thrive (gotta have jobs in all those voting districts!), poor will be poorer and in jail.

        •  I do agree with your overall point, (0+ / 0-)

          but the NYT did do a very thoughtful series on class, "Class Matters," in the U.S. a few years back (2005). There were a lot of pretty blunt charts as part of their presentation.

          Could they do better? Should they update their coverage now that things are measurably worse? Yes and yes. All the same their effort was good for its time and well worth reading even now.

          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 Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 08:15:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  well put rant, though (0+ / 0-)

          when I say there might be more to things, I don't mean or mean only that they haven't been transparent. I think they make decisions and the nuances of why are just not explained in detail.
          Part of it is that Obama in some ways is NOT a good explainer of things.

          I'm so with you about the MSM not putting out the REAL DATA such as the Income Inequality graphs. OR even the graphs showing the DEFICIT HAS GONE DOWN by GDP since Obama took office.

          they are horrible at their jobs


        This is what gets me so super pissed off at our government and firmly convinced only its radical disassembly will fix it. These pompous egomaniacs from the president down to the least junior congressman all SEEM TO THINK WE'RE IDIOTS who can't or won't be able to understand all the various factors that should be BE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE for all to know.
        This is why we get all this stupid shit done to us and the rich get their way because our dumbfuck leaders decide  we're not "good enough" to have any say in major policy decisions. So Kerry gives a "happy-time green" speech and that's supposed to make us FEEL better while right now the slow machinery that will approve the XL pipeline is locking into place, AND OUR LEADERS KNOW IT.

        Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizzam!

        by fourthcornerman on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 08:16:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  when he was my Senator I could call and ask (0+ / 0-)

          when something was vague and they would answer or get back to me with an answer

          but alas can't just call him up anymore.I'm sure they won't get back to me.

          part of it is that Dem suck Obama sucks at "explaining things".
          and you know how if something is nuanced. If Obama tries to explain a nuance he gets SKewered by the Reps who will take him out of context or overgeneralize something so everyone hears he said something he did not.

          Probably he feels it will just be worse if he explains it. At least partly

  •  Keystone may be bartered for moving a (11+ / 0-)

    post petroleum era forward. Be prepared.

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

    by the fan man on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 04:50:33 PM PDT

  •  President John Boehner (8+ / 0-)

    ... once he assumes office tonight, will negate any action taken by Secretary John Kerry.

    Don't believe me?  Check this diary out - President John Boehner? Don't Count Him Out.

  •  it's screaming (6+ / 0-)

    reject kxl!

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 05:09:58 PM PDT

  •  Kerry has been speaking out quite a bit (9+ / 0-)

    around climate change even in his confirmation hearing he was very emphatic about it.

    Good for him to use his bully pulpit for this purpose. Proud of him.

  •  I still wonder what impact NAFTA (3+ / 0-)

    is going to have on this decision. How big a fine can the Canadians place on the US?  And what if any impact is this having on the decision?

    •  fine for what? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      if I may be so rude

      Are you saying the pipeline was an integral part of the NAFTA treaty? Dear goddesses......say it isn't so.

      "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

      by Sybil Liberty on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 06:10:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Expectations raised by US. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sybil Liberty

        Some weird clause in NAFTA might apply.

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

        by Roger Fox on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 07:41:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  wow (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roger Fox

          we might be fined because we'd nearly prefer having raw sewage pumped into our natural aquifers than their filthy oil

          "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

          by Sybil Liberty on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 07:52:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "WE got lots of work to do". (0+ / 0-)

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

            by Roger Fox on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 07:59:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  See anyone doing it? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wonmug, Calamity Jean, Roger Fox

              I mean on a scale which would make a real difference in shifting the climate back from the brink? Last I checked:

              They are still cutting down the forests of Brasil, Peru, Colombia, Indonesia and South Asia, Africa... The lungs of the world. Don't count on the taiga to take up the slack as it is changing even faster than the rain forest.

              The ocean is still acidifying, compromising the carbon sink and causing the greatest mass extinction since the Permian.

              China continues to build coal-fired plants. Brasil burns ethanol for fuel, sure, from sugar cane grown on -you guessed it- land from burned-down forest.

              Russia burns tires just for spite.

              No developing country is making any great strides in self-dependence without harshing their own environment. Witness the ship-breaking yards of Bangladesh and India and elsewhere.

              Go ahead and feel good that you are "doing your part" by recycling, et al. But until we have a huge crisis, nothing meaningful will happen.

              "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

              by CanisMaximus on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 08:31:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Hey boatsie :) I won't put it past the Koch Bros. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright, boatsie, SolarMom

      but I think Canada would have to prove that the US raised 'legitimate expectations' to encourage the pipeline. There are going to be lawsuits on both sides, hopefully that will defer the decision and construction until it dies  the death of obstruction.

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 06:50:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is no try. There is only do. In the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zerelda, wonmug

    immortal words of Yoda.  n/t

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 07:27:17 PM PDT

  •  Love the speech but actions are what matter. (5+ / 0-)

    Too often he speeches go our way and the actions don't. I guess we'll see.

  •  Probably the most important diary (3+ / 0-)

    on the rec list. Thanks beach babe.

    "The answer to violence is even more democracy. Even more humanity." Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg

    by poe on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 07:30:47 PM PDT

    •  Did you see that horrible map for Michigan?? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poe, Calamity Jean, beach babe in fl

      We've already too much of that dilbit going through our state. Enough is enough.

      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 Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 08:17:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here, there and everywhere (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peregrine kate, beach babe in fl

        I hope we can make the leap from the apathy of the past and the recent action to actual policy changes. That's the only way we can truly win, with political will, (the kicking and screaming kind, no doubt), if we haven't lost already.

        Hi Kate - good to see you!

        "The answer to violence is even more democracy. Even more humanity." Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg

        by poe on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 08:42:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hugs to you too, my dear. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          poe, beach babe in fl

          Yes, I think we're going to need a LOT of direct action before we can rest assured that the necessary changes will happen. It's truly up to us.

          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 Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 09:28:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  If Kerry were looking at the numbers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    being spread by anti-KXL activists he would certainly shut down that pipeline. They say it's 83% dirtier (carbon emissions) per bbl than "conventional oil".

    Truth is, it's between 6% and 15% dirtier, depending upon your definition of  "conventional oil". That's oil produced in the USA. Compare it to some Venezuelan and Nigerian oil and it's actually a few % cleaner. It's also cleaner than about 8% of USA-produced oil from wells right here on this continent.

    There's also that 80% export number which is just a complete falsehood.

    So if you want to make this a test for Kerry on whether he'll buy fabricated reality, just because it's progressives doing the fabricating, go ahead. I'd just as soon he looked at facts.

    Presidents approve pipelines. Republican Presidents approve them, Democratic Presidents approve them as well. They have to.

    I don't know enough to write John Kerry's job description. He won't be coming into my office to complete his performance evaluations. So I won't judge him.

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

    by Fishgrease on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 07:36:32 PM PDT

    •  6% to 15% is dilbit not bitumen (6+ / 0-)

      And doesnt count the GHG released from Muskeg destruction. And doesnt count nat gas used for in situ.

      Youre using CERA numbers and the CERA study has been discredited. The NRDC showed that the CERA study cant be realistic. EPA Administrator GIles says 82%.

      And CERA was funded by the oil industry according to Think Progress.

      The tar sands are GHG-intensive.  Yes, you can whip up an analysis that shows it isn’t so bad as people think compared to not-quite-conventional oil, but you have to do a lot of massaging of the data, as NRDC’s Mui explains in his critique:

          It’s clear that the Alberta government has a credibility problem regarding tar sands. After years of academic and government studies showing tar sands being significantly dirtier than conventional sources of crude, they’ve now unleashed a wave of oil industry consultant studies. These industry consulting studies attempt to show emissions from producing unconventional petroleum sources like Canadian tar sands aren’t as bad as the science shows.

          Time after time, however, the reports still show that global warming pollution from tar sands are higher — often significantly higher – than what the U.S. currently uses. At a time when the U.S. is trying to reduce the environmental impacts from our oil dependency, Alberta and the oil industry are trying to sell us on how clean their tar sands product really is.

          The latest salvo from oil industry comes from IHS CERA’s “Oil Sands, Greenhouse Gases, and the US Oil Supply,” purporting that a review of the literature shows “only” 5-15% higher emissions. Putting aside for the moment that even CERA’s range is actually significant – for instance, the entire U.S. biofuels mandate of 36 billion gallons by 2022 will result in only 3% lower carbon-intensity in our fuel pool – there is another big problem here. How did IHS CERA actually come up with this range?

          The answer is: it’s really hard to tell. I’ve personally asked IHS CERA to be more transparent in their meta-analysis and how they converted these estimates from the literature. Earlier this summer, NRDC surveyed the results from published studies and  showed that the results show a much higher and wider range of emissions. The link is here.

          When we take the primary source numbers from literature, the range shown is  actually 8 to 37% higher in carbon-intensity compared to the 5 to 15% range given by CERA. So what gives? I’ve tried to figure this out and as far as I can tell from the limited information from the CERA study, the difference is due to:

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

      by Roger Fox on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 07:58:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wrong (0+ / 0-)
        And doesnt count the GHG released from Muskeg destruction. And doesnt count nat gas used for in situ.
        It's well to wheels, which is the only valid means for comparison.

        Don't expect you to agree, just know that Kerry isn't looking at that 84% number which is well to tank.

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

        by Fishgrease on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 08:19:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Does it really matter if it's 80 or 8% (3+ / 0-)

          given that it's going to increase the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere at a time we should be decreasing it?

          Is oil from conventional drilling really a good baseline for acceptable?

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 10:07:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good point, and no. (0+ / 0-)
            Is oil from conventional drilling really a good baseline for acceptable?
            No. But then it was the anti-KXL folks who first used that data-point.

            Note that I don't call anti-KXL activists "climate change" activists. Coal fired electric-generation facilities just in the USA alone produce 30 times more emissions than the entire Canadian oil sands industry. We don't see anyone protesting those with any sort of organization or vigor. The Canadians have taken note of this.

            I'm not against climate change activists. I am one, however active I presently am. I would like to see attention paid to other carbon emitters with some attention to how much carbon they emit, rather than this drawing a line in the sand and daring The President of the United States to step over it.

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

            by Fishgrease on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 04:09:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Oh the irony (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl

    I want John Kerry to admit this was wrong and set about to reverse the impact of his earlier actions.  From the book by the guy in charge of the Integral Fast Reactor project, Chuck Till: Here (warning big PDF of textbook)

    The anti-IFR forces were led by John Kerry. He was the principal speaker and the floor manager of the anti forces in the Senate debate. He spoke at length, with visual aids; he had been well prepared. His arguments against the merits of the IFR were not well informed and many were clearly wrong. But what his presentation lacked in accuracy it made up in emotion. He attacked from many angles, but principally he argued proliferation dangers from civilian nuclear power.

    While all serious weapons development programs everywhere in the world have always taken place in huge laboratories, in specialized facilities, behind walls of secrecy, and there has been negligible involvement with civilian nuclear power, it is impossible to argue that there CAN be none. For this reason the IFR processes were specifically designed to further minimize such possibilities, and, if developed, they would have represented a significant advance over the present situation. This did not slow Senator Kerry, as he went through the litany of anti-nuclear assertions, articulately and confidently.

    After both sides had their say the vote came, and the pro-IFR forces prevailed. But now the funding bill had to go to conference  a compromise committee of both houses whose job was to consolidate the different versions passed by the two houses into one bill to be sent to the President for signature into law. There was brief hope that IFR development could continue even in the face of the powerful opposition.

    But the conference committee, behind the closed doors normal to such meetings, upheld the House position. There was to be no IFR funding. The IFR was dead.

    A few weeks later, the mid-term elections swept Republicans into power in Congress. The IFR votes had always been politicized. With some significant exceptions, in fact just enough each year to fund the IFR, the vote had always been along party lines. Had the IFR been able to hang on for a few more weeks its development almost certainly would have gone on to completion.

    and, the IFR turns spent nuclear fuel, aka "nuclear waste", into nuclear fuel with a recycling scheme that never sees pure plutonium at any point, and nothing ever leaves the same plant (the "integral" part).  So, an IFR takes nuclear waste, and generates up to 100 times more energy by proliferation-impervious nuclear recycling.  The 60,000 or 70,000 tons of spent fuel around the US has enough potential energy to power all of America's energy needs alone for CENTURIES, and the IFR is a practical, proven, safe design to tap it.   Moreover, they had proven that it was impossible for a loss-of-coolant accident to fail the reactor based on the physics of the solid-metal fuel design and coolant scheme.  In a nutshell, next generation nuclear technology typified by the IFR can solve our energy problems and concomitant climate change crisis.  

    John Kerry, Al Gore, Hazel O'Leary and Bill Clinton killed it because cheap, safe, sustainable abundant energy "wasn't necessary."

    Words fail...

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

    by mojo workin on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 08:08:44 PM PDT

  •  Epic battle on the way (3+ / 0-)

    With frackin gas and frackin oil we are sitting on an economic boom as a major exporter of fossil fuel and consumer of cheap energy. On the other hand as science begins to understand global temperature mechanisms we are approaching, at, or over the tipping point where methane release from the Arctic results in run-away global temperature increase. This will result in a monster fault line in our society. Do we go with the free market model or does government step in and save the planet? This is huge, as everyone on the economic side is planning to finance and invest in US oil and gas. That's where the action is and that's where it is growing exponentially. If we do the right thing we will be declaring the end of the free market in this sector. We will not be making the biggest investments based on return, but based on the greatest value to society. And how does the government do this? It will have to guaranty better long term return on sustainable energy  investment and it will have to hobble fossil fuel profitability. Do we have the determination in Washington to do the right thing? Can science reach a clear consensus that we have no other alternative? The correlation between atmospheric methane levels and global temperatures is striking. Combine that with the total amount of carbon sequestered in methane hydrates and you get a very scary picture. Is this Earth's global temperature regulation mechanism? Is this why we have ice ages and warm periods? Have we already triggered the next extremely hot geological period?

  •  Yeah but, the same asshole released State Dept.... (0+ / 0-)

    .. endorsement of the Keystone Pipeline.

    If we burn all that Canadian oil and gas, the Earth will risk runaway positive feedback loop of methane release and eventual FIREBALL EARTH repeat.

    I don't know about you Ketchup Man, but I like breathing, and not bursting into flames. Call me crazy.

    Kerry has long since passed his expiration date on any value to the real world. I'm so happy with the prospect of Markey joining the club.

  •  Then why did he allow that industry-written (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonmug, beach babe in fl

    Keystone report to be released soon after he was sworn in? Was this done stealthily before he had a chance to get settled in, or with his approval?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 09:59:57 PM PDT

  •  Kerry has been on this for years (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Kerry has tried to call people's attention to Climate Change for years. Too bad he wasn't our President instead of Baby Bush's second term. Of course two terms of Gore instead of two terms of Cheney/bush would have been even better.

    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. NYC's Progressive/Reform Blog

    by mole333 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:02:41 AM PDT

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