Personal and Public Barriers in Responding to Climate Change

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 1:28 AM GMT on March 14, 2013

Share this Blog
25
+

Personal and Public Barriers in Responding to Climate Change

I want to continue on the subject of barriers to the use of information about climate change. In last week’s entry, I wrote about barriers like engineering standards and permitting processes that have not evolved to the point that they are flexible enough to take a changing climate into account. I ended with language barriers and how the political and emotional responses to climate-change knowledge influence language. For example, perhaps it is impossible to talk to city politicians about adaptation to climate change but possible to talk about vulnerability of their seashore to the increasing storm surges of the past 20 years. There is an aspect to the language barriers that is purely political. This charging of language with political purpose happens in any contentious process where there are advocates of different points of view.

I want to leave those political barriers in the realm of hopeless irrationality and explore more general barriers. There has been an enormous amount of effort to communicate about the science of climate change and global warming. I have argued before that polling data suggest that as a community we have actually done quite well in this communication path. A large majority of Americans think that global warming is real and concerning. Recent polling data suggest that a growing number of people are alarmed about climate change (Six Americas in September 2012). Yet there remains the general perception that, as a whole, we are not doing anything. One response to this is to communicate more, to educate more, with the idea that in a participatory democracy such as ours, the ultimate solution comes from the public’s demanding a policy response.

This experience suggests that there must be barriers to the public response of this knowledge of climate change. Often in environmental problems, people identify cost and inconvenience as barriers – think about recycling. In some instances, we try to reduce these barriers through policy to offset the cost or to improve convenience. A couple of years ago, for example, there were many programs of reduced cost or free distribution of compact fluorescent light bulbs. These bulbs use less energy, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and helping slow climate change (EPA on compact fluorescents). This is a typical approach that focuses on personal behavior, using essentially marketing techniques. Such approaches can be effective, but generally in a piecemeal way (Meeting Environmental Challenges).

In 2009, a group of my students looked into more systematic ways to instill the use of climate-change knowledge in day-to-day life. Their particular focus was on sustainable communities. They did a lot of analysis of energy and water use, house design, and transportation and then developed guidelines. But one of the ideas that they had in that document was the use of community associations and civic organizations to both promote and provide incentives to take behavior normally associated with individuals and to extend that behavior to communities. There were also ideas to extend across communities through, for example, competitive marketing techniques. One goal of such a strategy is to help reduce the reluctance that individuals might have to taking action in the absence of their neighbors, their social network.

An important finding from this work on building sustainable communities is that knowledge, even in combination with a receptive attitude towards sustainability, is not a strong predictor of whether or not individuals will alter their behavior to take action. Perhaps one could conclude that there is just too much anchoring in our old behavior to change. I know that I will drive by the ATM that takes deposits 10 times, thinking that the branch office has to be open to make a deposit. Perhaps reluctance to act is a matter of cost and convenience; yet in polls of those people with the positive sustainability attitude, they’re willing to pay more and be inconvenienced. These real barriers, small and large, in total retard our response to climate change.

Returning to the beginning and to the idea that communicating and educating more completely will motivate action. Though necessary, this is not sufficient. What is obvious is that there is a convergence of items that motivate any individual to take action. This is formalized in a paper by Hines and others in 1987 entitled Analysis and Synthesis of Research on Responsible Environmental Behavior. In this work, they pose that, in addition to knowledge, there is a need for information about what to do with that knowledge and training on the skills of how to use that knowledge. They state specifically, “The erroneous assumption is often made that skills evolve naturally from knowledge.” These knowledge and skill bases then need to come together with personality factors, including attitude and perhaps situational factors that become motivators for action.

Though this work does not suggest that there is an easy formula for breaking down these barriers, it does suggest training on what to do with the knowledge and the skills on how to do it are as important as the knowledge itself. With an accompanying structure of practice, there is an increased probability that people will take action, which should then beget more action.



Figure 1: Model of Responsible Environmental Behavior – Adapted from Hines and others in 1987 entitled Analysis and Synthesis of Research on Responsible Environmental Behavior. An individual who expresses an intention to take action will be more likely to engage in the action than will an individual who expresses no such intention. However, it appears that intention to act is merely an artifact of a number of other factors acting in combination. Before an individual can intentionally act on a particular environmental problem, that individual must be cognizant of the existence of the problem; this is prerequisite to action. However, an individual must also possess knowledge of those courses of action that are available and will be most effective in a given situation.


Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 364 - 314

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16Blog Index

They person who wrote this is "supposed" to be a science writer. The oceans are not part of the Globe now? )(*^)(&)_(*_)(*&^

No wonder no one gets it......

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/03/07/17 3702462/australias-heron-island-a-canary-in-the-co al-mine-for-coral-reefsLink

...............
Heat is also a problem. Most of the additional heat that Earth has absorbed as a result of the enhanced greenhouse effect has in fact been soaked up by the world's oceans. In fact, we're really experiencing ocean warming more than global warming...............


One more resource for learning about CO2 and the oceans.
http://www.coralreefecosystems.org/index.php?page =researchLink

Member Since: February 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
Quoting Neapolitan:
I say better we pay a relatively small emissions tax now than pony up the tens--or, by some estimates--hundreds of trillions of dollars climate change mitigation will cost.

At any rate, some of you seem to be missing the point: our use of fossil fuels is costing us now. Dearly. And it's a cost everyone pays, regardless of how much CO2 they actually emit. By imposing an emissions tax, that burden is fairly shifted to where it belongs: the wallets of the heaviest fossil fuel users. Ride a bike, pay a little; drive a Hummer, pay a lot. What could be more American than that?

It's time--well past time, in fact--that we stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry.
I agree we should all be paying more for our products and services. This does not just cost more for a Hummer vs bike, it would cost more for everything. I say stop subsidies for everything and I mean everything. Let the market show the actual prices for things when they are not subsidized. I think you are going to receive quite a sticker shock.

You seem hung up on one aspect of this, gasoline. It will also apply to everything you consume. These added costs will be passed along from every person or corporation to the end user of their products or services, namely you and me.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting allahgore:



how many youtube videos do you have for force1 force2?


One is all I needed to prove the concept works.... The other video just explains it somewhat. I capped the top inlet prior to submerging it showing how the water and red food coloring flows up hill due to Force 1 being greater than Force 2..... Did you see the comment 360 video?
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
Awesome video...

Link

Force 1 is greater than Force 2 prevents all that happens in the above video...Y'all with me yet?






......
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
Quoting spathy:
Thanks 1911.
From that it seems like we dont know exactly what % of phytoplankton ends up at depths to be sequestered. But some portion does end up sequestered. That at least answers if some sequestration is occurring in this way.
But I might add, fertilizing the oceans does not sound like a good idea ATM.


Carbonic acid kills phytoplankton..

Changes in the carbonate chemistry of the ocean may have a strong negative impact on many plankton and zooplankton species that form the base of the marine food chain.

In almost all calcifying organisms tested, ranging from single-celled organisms up to reef building corals, there is a decrease in the ability of the organism to produce calcium carbonate in more acidic waters (6). One study has documented the changes in two species of coccolithophores grown under conditions expected by the end of this century, where both species show significant decreases (25 - 45%) in calcification rates and clear signs of structural damage in their shells, which may affect their physical functioning and reproduction. However, not all species of calcifying organisms are negatively affected by increased acidity, and more research is needed to understand these mechanisms and possible adaptation pathways(7).

The first two photos on the left show scanning electron microscopy photographs of the calcifying phytoplankton Gephyrocapsa oceanica under CO2 conditions of today (top) and under the high CO2 conditions expected by the end of this century (middle).

Pteropods are small "winged snails" that form the basis of the food chain for many commercial fish species. A recent study has observed shell dissolution in living pteropods when exposed to the carbonate content of the ocean expected in the next 50 years in the high latitudes (6).

If ocean acidification leads to disturbances in the populations of these organisms, other non-calcifying organisms may out-compete them for food and nutrients, leading to a change in the ecosystem composition of the system. Although some of the affected organisms are important prey for higher organisms, it is not yet clear how such changes would affect fisheries.


Link


Force 1 is greater than Force 2 prevents this....











..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
CO2 is pretty well mixed in the atmosphere. The effects of warming are just showing up at the higher Latitudes more.

This is another good starting point to answer your questions.
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cmb-faq/globalwarming.ht ml
Link


http://co2now.org/Know-CO2/CO2-Monitoring/
Link
CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere, so observations of concentrations from a single site like the Mauna Loa Observatory are an adequate indicator of world trends for atmospheric CO2.

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/global.h tmlLink


The graph shows recent monthly mean carbon dioxide globally averaged over marine surface sites. The Global Monitoring Division of NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory has measured carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases for several decades at a globally distributed network of air sampling sites [Conway, 1994]. A global average is constructed by first fitting a smoothed curve as a function of time to each site, and then the smoothed value for each site is plotted as a function of latitude for 48 equal time steps per year. A global average is calculated from the latitude plot at each time step [Masarie, 1995]. Go here for more details on how global means are calculated.
Member Since: February 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
352. spathy 2:28 PM GMT on March 19, 2013 +0

............Second,does phytoplankton sequester Carbon or simply transfe..............

Give this a read:

http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/sea-c arb-bish.html
Link

This is a good place to start reading also


target="_blank">Link
http://www.sfos.uaf.edu/oarc/
http://www.sfos.uaf.edu/oarc/

Welcome to the Ocean Acidification Research Center

Illustration of the principles involved in ocean acidification, David Fierstein © 2007 MBARI, www.mbari.org/highCO2/

Over the past 150 years human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from processes and technologies developed during the Industrial Revolution has increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere from 280 to 385 parts per million (ppm).

This concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is now greater than at any other time on Earth for at least the last 800,000 years and likely 20 million years. The 105 ppm increase that has occurred during this time is greater than the increase that occurred between the last ice age and the start of the Industrial Revolution, a period of approximately 20,000 years.
Member Since: February 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
Quoting spathy:
If any of you have questions about why I raise these questions,I can tell you its because I came across an article that claimed that this study helped to debunk MMGW.
To the contrary of what many of you think about Conservatives,we are not all mind numb zealots blindly following the anti GW mindset.
I found several flaws in this take on the study.

Link

But I was very grateful for the limited info about the study that I was able to then look up/partially,for myself.

For instance: the writer took the leap to state that the warmer the water the more CO2 was used up by the phytoplankton. But clearly even in the brief overview it was plainly stated that
" We suggest that the coupling between oceanic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles may vary systematically by ecosystem."

Not simply the temp of the water.

So this is not a gotchya.It was an interesting study(what little I could gather) and being of scientific mindset I have further questions.
I thought youall could help and it would be a nice conversation.


I'm no biologist, so I cannot really comment on the issues discussed in the study in great depth, but from the little I know about oceanic nutrients, the amount of CO2 used by the phytoplankton would be totally dependent on the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen available as those are the "growth limiting" nutrients. The more phosphorus and nitrogen, the higher the ability for growth, the more co2 used. That's very elementary, and probably isn't what your looking for.

On the other hand, I am a social scientist and have done many research projects. A study of plankton has zero relation to proving or disproving Global Warming. If someone was able to use this data to test the hypothesis/null hypothesis of carbon forced climate change, then we could discuss that. But trying to infer some sort of correlation or proof from a study that does not tackle that specific question is just bad science and not valid.

Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 2661
Quoting NeapolitanFan:


Marcott is a fraud, to put it nicely:

Link

How many more times does McIntyre have to show how bad at climate science and statistics he is before skeptics show some actual skepticism?

Just to re-iterate how silly this all is, the most important snippet:

Joe Romm:
They are arguing that the warming of the past century the authors found in their proxy records is in error. What makes this so head-exploding is that the uptick just happens to match the uptick in the heavily documented and independently verified instrumental record. So the disinformers are spending most of their time attacking the one part of the paper we know is unequivocally is true. That is the quintessence of anti-science.


I couldn't agree more. The instrumental record is widely accepted as best dataset we have. Where we don't have an adequate instrumental record, we try to fill in the holes with proxies and anecdotes.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 2863
Quoting NeapolitanFan:


Marcott is a fraud, to put it nicely:
Joe Romm over at Climate Progress explains why he has been writing less and less of the desperate gibberish spewed by Klimate Klowns such as Watts, McIntyre, etc.:
Must-Have High-Resolution Charts: Carbon Pollution Set To End Era Of Stable Climate

...[R]eaders know I have scaled back my coverage of the denier blogs for two reasons. First, their traffic has flat-lined or declined since Climategate, and despite their best efforts, they can't get any real traction on social media. Second, and no doubt related to the first, they are so darn monotonous. Pretty much every story is, "The latest piece of peer-reviewed science about climate science and/or the danger of unrestricted carbon pollution is false because..."

Science put 12 men on the moon and got them back, science eliminated smallpox, science put massive computing power in the palm of your hand, and science saved the ozone layer with its just-in-time warnings of the dangers of CFCs (that people heeded). Science builds a beautiful edifice on a solid foundation.

Anti-science delayed action on smoking regulations, delayed or rolled back environmental standards, and, now, is working over-time to stop or slow action on carbon reductions needed to prevent needless suffering for billions of people and countless future generations. Anti-science destroys life, by suffocating it in a "foundation" of quick-sand.

For those who read the deniers blogs, you probably know that they have come up with a truly inane way to try to undermine the 2013 Science paper, "Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years" by Shaun Marcott et al...

They are arguing that the warming of the past century the authors found in their proxy records is in error. What makes this so head-exploding is that the uptick just happens to match the uptick in the heavily documented and independently verified instrumental record. So the disinformers are spending most of their time attacking the one part of the paper we know is unequivocally is true. That is the quintessence of anti-science.
Source
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13256
Welcome to the Anthropocene: Extending the New Climate Data

http://climatecrocks.com

The Anthropocene is an informal geologic chronological term that serves to mark the evidence and extent of human activities that have had a significant global impact on the Earth‘s ecosystems. The term was coined recently by ecologist Eugene F. Stoermer, but has been widely popularized by the Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist, Paul Crutzen, who regards the influence of human behavior on the Earth’s atmosphere in recent centuries as so significant as to constitute a new geological epoch for its lithosphere. To date, the term has not been adopted as part of the official nomenclature of the geological field of study.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
Quoting NeapolitanFan:


Marcott is a fraud, to put it nicely:

Link


Wow man, I have a nice bridge to sell you. Message me for details...
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 2661
Quoting Xandra:
Going Vertical

Jos Hagelaars has spliced together Shakun et al, Marcott et al, HadCRUT4 and the A1B scenario.


Figure 3: Temperature reconstruction Shakun et al (green - manual y-correction), of Marcott et al (blue), combined with HadCRUT4 (red) and the model average of IPCC A1B scenario (orange) until 2100.


Marcott is a fraud, to put it nicely:

Link
Member Since: December 10, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 303
Quoting spathy:
340. ScottLincoln

Yes I understand all those things.
But I wouldnt expect someone to call me out on the statement water is not toxic.


It's happened before to other people:

Material Safety Data Sheet for Dihydrogen Monoxide

Excerpt: "...Dihydrogen monoxide is considered to be a non-regulated product, but reacts vigorously with some materials. These include sodium, potassium, and other alkali metals, with elemental fluorine, and strong dehydrating agents such as sulfuric acid or calcium oxide. It forms explosive gases with calcium carbide. It is incompatible with strong reducing agents, acid chlorides, phosphorus trichloride, phosphorus pentachloride, and phosphorus oxychloride. Avoid contact with all materials until investigation shows substance is compatible. Expands significantly, upon freezing. If there is a possibility of freezing, do not store in rigid containers, as there is a possible explosion hazard..."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Warming Has Doubled Risk of Katrina-like Storm Surges

ClimateCentral.com

Global warming has already doubled the risk of Hurricane Katrina-magnitude storm surges in the U.S., according to a new study published Monday.

The study, which was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, estimates that for every 1.8°F increase in global average surface temperatures, there could be a two-fold to seven-fold increase in the risk of Katrina-magnitude surge events.

The latest climate projections call for the globe to warm by between 3.2°F and 7.2°F by 2100, depending on future greenhouse gas emissions and the precise sensitivity of the climate system to such pollutants.

When Hurricane Katrina struck the shoreline of Mississippi and Louisiana on Aug. 29, 2005, it carried a wall of water of up to 28 feet onto the shoreline, flattening communities and contributing to the deaths of more than 2,000. Storm surges — which occur due to hurricanes’ strong winds and low central air pressure — are hurricanes’ greatest killer, a point that was driven home again just last year, when Hurricane Sandy killed at least 72, mainly along the coast of New Jersey and New York.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
Quoting spathy:
340. ScottLincoln

Yes I understand all those things.
But I wouldnt expect someone to call me out on the statement water is not toxic.
Well, no one would. But your comment was tantamount to rowing out to a man drowning in the middle of a lake and telling him that water is necessary for life and perfectly safe, so he has nothing to worry about.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13256
Going Vertical

Jos Hagelaars has spliced together Shakun et al, Marcott et al, HadCRUT4 and the A1B scenario.


Figure 1: The temperature reconstruction of Shakun et al (green - shifted manually by 0.25 degrees), of Marcott et al (blue), combined with the instrumental period data from HadCRUT4 (red) and the model average of IPCC projections for the A1B scenario up to 2100 (orange).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting spathy:

329. ScottLincoln

Would it make you happy if I amended my comment to say..... CO2 is not toxic at levels below 2% of volume?


That would be more accurate. But a better answer is to not say that something is "not toxic" or "not a pollutant." Almost anything can be toxic or a pollutant - the key is the concentration and the level at which adverse effects occur.

Water brings life, but if you drink too much, you die of water intoxication. Water can be a pollutant and can be toxic.
CO2 is used by many plant species. In some locations plants are CO2 limited and growth will increase with additional CO2, but add too much and temperature increases will overwhelm benefits from CO2 increase and cause substantial reductions in flora (and by extension, fauna).

This is a very fundamental concept in environmental science that must be understood if you want to argue about pollutants or toxicity.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 2863
Getting some hail...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
Quoting spathy:


Be safe Cyclone.


Watch out Atlanta also....
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
Looks like tornadoes may be forming and headed my way here in Oxford Alabama....May have to run and hide...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
Quoting ScottLincoln:

LOL, no. Please research why what you have just typed is incorrect, and then come back to the discussion.

Hint: The answer isn't that CO2 kills people because of the greenhouse effect.


Yes it is and yes it does. Even if it killed just one person..We must have ZERO tolerance..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
Quoting pintada:


If congress makes the tax highly regressive they can punish the poor as much as they want. Simply by sending bigger refunds to the rich.

If congress makes the tax highly progressive then it could be a form of welfare.

Either way, burning carbon becomes expensive relative to solar/wind, and (rational) people do what they can to get their power more cheaply.

If the tax is high enough that people will move to solar and wind quickly enough to save the planet.


Problem with solar and wind is they are not 24/7/365 like Force 1 is greater than Force 2 is..But they are still good options..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
Quoting pintada:

........BUT to your question:
(1) If a power company has to spend 1 billion because of the carbon tax, there is an incentive of 1 billion to retool and provide the same amount of power (and make the same profit) from a solar farm or wind farm.

(2) If their competition has to charge $.15 per KwH and they can sell power for $.08 (but can get a contract where they are paid $.14) guess where the investments will go. The money will go to Non-carbon power.
Excuse me for adding the numbers but they make reference easier. And thanks for being patient.

(1) If the company had to spend 1 billion that they couldn't recover from anywhere, then that would be a great incentive to retool. But if they can pass the 1 billion on to their customers, there's no incentive to change. Now with power companies, this might actually work to some extent in states where they are regulated as public utilities. The regulatory commission might tell them they cannot pass through the tax to their customers. But in other industries, where prices are not regulated, the customer gets hit with it. Even in a revenue neutral situation, this doesn't provide any incentive for the company.

Now I suppose that if non-carbon based competition were developing that wouldn't be subject to the tax, carbon based companies would theoretically try to go non-carbon or less-carbon so they could compete on price. And I suppose that if part of the tax were used to support development of non-carbon based competition, this would work out sooner. Is the technology sufficient to support development of non-carbon based competition for the oil companies within any reasonable time?

Maybe you can refer me to some other articles?

(2) I see what you're saying - a carbon-based company would be motivated to go non-carbon because they could undersell their carbon-based competition (who would be passing along the carbon tax to consumers). OK. Have you seen any projections on how long it might take for this to start happening?
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 1883
Quoting spathy:
302. ScottLincoln
CO2 is no more toxic than Oxygen or any other portion of what we call air. You know what my point was.Being contrary in the extreme is not very useful in an attempt at dialogue.

LOL, no. Please research why what you have just typed is incorrect, and then come back to the discussion.

Hint: The answer isn't that CO2 kills people because of the greenhouse effect.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 2863
Quoting cyclonebuster:


In a way you are correct as the Oceans are rising due to GHG's...



But then again Force 1 is greater than Force 2 can restore those levels to what they were prior to the industrial revolution....


yeah, i'm done with this. ignore list.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting schwankmoe:


seriously, you're off the deep end.


In a way you are correct as the Oceans are rising due to GHG's...



But then again Force 1 is greater than Force 2 can restore those levels to what they were prior to the industrial revolution.... That should get us out of deep water..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
Quoting txjac:
@ 316 pintada

You had me ....until this statement "It isn't complicated. All we would be doing is making power from carbon way expensive, while keeping the poor from paying for it all."

Believe me, I am all for helping the poor but at some point they have to have to pay some ...it's not fair to any of us that are "low middle of the road" people that are subject to many taxes that others are not. They poor are exempt for many things already that others pay. (and I am happy that I make enough to pay) But if we keep on doing so much for the poor they will never learn the satisfaction of getting it together on their own.

Once again, before I get blasted, I'm talking about the healthy, working age people that feel they are too good to do some of the work that is available


If congress makes the tax highly regressive they can punish the poor as much as they want. Simply by sending bigger refunds to the rich.

If congress makes the tax highly progressive then it could be a form of welfare.

Either way, burning carbon becomes expensive relative to solar/wind, and (rational) people do what they can to get their power more cheaply.

If the tax is high enough that people will move to solar and wind quickly enough to save the planet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting spathy:
307. FLwolverine

I am going to dodge that question because my answer would be too long.
But I will say that there is no harm in reducing mans output of CO2. But the way its being done now is causing harm and is leaving us less able to combat and adapt to any sort of climate change,and reducing the available moneys to develop new technologies that can take us away from fossil fuel reliance.
It sounds like you are talking about priorities on what problems we focus and spend our money on. Determining risk is a good way to set priorities. If a giant meteor is about to strike the earth, that huge risk moves the meteor concern up to number 1 on most priority lists. If the possibility of a giant meteor striking the earth is one in 50,000 years, the meteor concern gets moved way down on the priority lists.

So I think it's important for people to figure out in a thoughtful way -- not some vague emotional I-haven't-noticed-anything-so-there's-no-problem sort of way -- how much risk they think GW/CC/AGW poses, and then to decide where that puts GW/CC/AGW on their priority list.

Some posters on here have referred to it as an existential threat to humanity; their priority ranking is probably 2 or 1.5, just behind the imminent meteor strike. Others say, warming has happened before, what's the big deal; their priority ranking is probably at the bottom of their list.

If someone is going to say (and this isn't what you said, so I'm not aiming this at you personally) there are so many other important problems in my life that I can't be concerned about GW right now, then that person needs to base their decision on some real knowledge and analysis. Maybe they'll find out that GW can have a major impact on their life, maybe not. But either way, they will be acting on the basis of knowledge and information, and not just the pressure of the problems they live with.

Actually, I see this last concern - on a larger scale - as a huge obstacle to getting something done about climate change. In addition to the corporations/investors saying "oh, no, you can't do that because it will hurt our profits", there will be a lot of people and organizations saying "oh, no, you can't do that because it takes away money/time/attention from [insert important problem: human rights, immigration, debt, poverty, health care]". Unless these people and organizations decide that climate change is a very important problem for them, they will, with the very best of intentions, stand in the way of action on AGW/CC.

Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 1883
324. txjac
Quoting pintada:


The point of trying to keep is as revenue neutral as possible is simply to make it humane. It isn't welfare.

Also, there are some people (believe it or not!!) who don't want the government to get any bigger (yep they are out there :-) ). Since all the money comes back to the citizenry it isn't a tax and spend scheme.





Giving something for nothing is a form of welfare.

I guess the only reason I hound along these lines is that I was two steps away from living on the streets about 30 years ago ....and through tons of hard work, friends, co-workers and no sleep I pulled myself up and onward ...I've done pretty much it al ..baled hay, tossled corn, changed oil, waited tables ...two jobs at a time for many, many years.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cyclonebuster:


In a way you are correct: Here is how: Since the effects of lower Co2 levels in our atmosphere will lead to more lush and greener crops due to less drought and desertification starvation will likely diminish. Since people are not starving as much this will led to better health and oral care which can help stave off Gum Disease... See how it is all interconnected? Don't underestimate the power of Force 1 is greater than Force 2.... Baldness may be another issue but hey two out of three ain't bad is it???


seriously, you're off the deep end.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting txjac:
@ 316 pintada

You had me ....until this statement "It isn't complicated. All we would be doing is making power from carbon way expensive, while keeping the poor from paying for it all."

Believe me, I am all for helping the poor but at some point they have to have to pay some ...it's not fair to any of us that are "low middle of the road" people that are subject to many taxes that others are not. They poor are exempt for many things already that others pay. (and I am happy that I make enough to pay) But if we keep on doing so much for the poor they will never learn the satisfaction of getting it together on their own.

Once again, before I get blasted, I'm talking about the healthy, working age people that feel they are too good to do some of the work that is available


The point of trying to keep is as revenue neutral as possible is simply to make it humane. It isn't welfare.

Also, there are some people (believe it or not!!) who don't want the government to get any bigger (yep they are out there :-) ). Since all the money comes back to the citizenry it isn't a tax and spend scheme.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
I say better we pay a relatively small emissions tax now than pony up the tens--or, by some estimates--hundreds of trillions of dollars climate change mitigation will cost.

At any rate, some of you seem to be missing the point: our use of fossil fuels is costing us now. Dearly. And it's a cost everyone pays, regardless of how much CO2 they actually emit. By imposing an emissions tax, that burden is fairly shifted to where it belongs: the wallets of the heaviest fossil fuel users. Ride a bike, pay a little; drive a Hummer, pay a lot. What could be more American than that?

It's time--well past time, in fact--that we stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry.


How about using that carbon tax money to study Force 1 is greater than Force 2 then implement the idea??
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
Quoting nymore:
I think a carbon tax is great. After all who will really pay this tax. Answer the end user of the product. This includes every product you can think of grown here, transported within the country, manufactured here, processed here. From fuel to corn flakes. Now all of you wanting this tax don't come complaining when everything you buy (goods and services) goes up in price.


What part of revenue neutral don't you get?

The money is paid in by someone (i.e. a power plant) that emits carbon and is paid out to people to reduce their living expense.

And then of course there is the moral argument (comment 315) that i'm sure you don't get.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
319. txjac
@ 316 pintada

You had me ....until this statement "It isn't complicated. All we would be doing is making power from carbon way expensive, while keeping the poor from paying for it all."

Believe me, I am all for helping the poor but at some point they have to have to pay some ...it's not fair to any of us that are "low middle of the road" people that are subject to many taxes that others are not. They poor are exempt for many things already that others pay. (and I am happy that I make enough to pay) But if we keep on doing so much for the poor they will never learn the satisfaction of getting it together on their own.

Once again, before I get blasted, I'm talking about the healthy, working age people that feel they are too good to do some of the work that is available
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
318. etxwx
I recently had a conversation with a nice person who had difficulty putting rising levels of CO2 in perspective. “It makes plants grow, how can it be bad if levels go up? It’s not like air pollution. The earth will balance it out just like it always does.” So here’s how I tried to I explained it to them, please excuse the down home analogy that will follow:

Is CO2 a naturally occurring, normally non-toxic, and even beneficial gas? Yup, all true. The problem is humans have thrown the balance out of whack and are raising CO2 to unnatural levels. Lots of things that work well in balance can become a big problem if overloaded and out of whack. The earth’s bio systems had an effective way of keeping CO2 in balance over many millenia: carbon based life forms (plants and animals) died, rotted, and eventually, over millions of years, those plant and animal remains become fossil fuels. Now, over only a couple hundred years, humans have removed millions of tons of those carbon based fossils fuels from the ground, burned them and released previously sequestered CO2 into the air.

For a time the earth’s bio systems could cope since the oceans absorbed some of the excess CO2 from the air and, of course, green plants also use CO2. But humans kept pouring more and more CO2 into the air and now the oceans have about reached the limits of their CO2 sponge capacity and are turning acidic. Humans have also destroyed vast swathes of other CO2 sponges: forests and other green belts. Sooo...we’ve essentially taken lots of CO2 that was sequestered underground for millions of years and over only a couple hundred years, chucked it back into the atmosphere and we’ve messed with the removal systems. We are now out of balance.

I don’t know if any folks on here have a septic tank but we do. It provides me with a rather basic but apt parallel: As long as it’s in balance, it all works great - the bacteria, tank, and the drain field keep up with waste, no problem. But if we were to suddenly overload the system with a lot of waste, kill of the bacteria, or mess up the drain field, the system is likely to become unbalanced pretty quickly. In a relatively short time the tank and lines will fill, stuff will start overflowing into the yard, and we’ve got a nasty mess on our hands. Sure, it’s all natural stuff, but at that point, I’m seeing “toxic” stuff that will not only wreck the yard for quite some time, but could make us sick. Time to call the plumber - it’s going to take time, work, and some bucks to fix the problem.

The earth will go on because Mother Nature’s plumbers work in time frames of millions of years. However, in only a few hundred years, we humans have managed to unbalance an ecosystem where civilization has flourished for several thousand years. We overloaded the septic tank and fouled our yard so to speak.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting schwankmoe:


it also cures hunger, baldness and the gum disease known as [echo]GINGIVITIS[/echo].


In a way you are correct: Here is how: Since the effects of lower Co2 levels in our atmosphere will lead to more lush and greener crops due to less drought and desertification,starvation will likely diminish. Since people are not starving as much this will led to better health and oral care which can help stave off Gum Disease... See how it is all interconnected? Don't underestimate the power of Force 1 is greater than Force 2.... Baldness may be another issue but hey two out of three ain't bad is it???
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
Quoting FLwolverine:

I'm sorry but I'm not getting this. First, I read The Economist article and saw that their own study showed there would be a 6% increase in CO2 emissions at the level of tax being suggested. The article went on to say "in return for slightly more emissions, Britain gains a significantly bigger economy and a useful revenue stream." OK......

Then I read more background in Wikipedia, especially about the progressive- and regressive-tax aspects. But I still don't see what incentive companies have to reduce their carbon use, if they are simply able to pass the cost of the tax along to consumers. If there is no reimbursement to the consumers, they will consume less, but that's so regressive and has such potential negative social and economic consequences, that it would never happen. On the hand, if there is reimbursement to the consumer, where is the motivation to consume less carbon? And if the consumers continue to consume, how does this accomplish any reduction in the use of carbon or in emissions or in global warming?

Some help understanding this, please.


I may have not found the best story or editorial from "The Economist", they put one out recommending a carbon tax just about once per year. And they try to sell it by making sure growth doesn't stop because of the tax. Actually, if the carbon tax caused the GDP to go flat for a time, people would still be better off because working construction on a solar farm is much safer than mining coal, and much more lucrative than flipping burgers.

BUT to your question:
If a power company has to spend 1 billion because of the carbon tax, there is an incentive of 1 billion to retool and provide the same amount of power (and make the same profit) from a solar farm or wind farm.

If their competition has to charge $.15 per KwH and they can sell power for $.08 (but can get a contract where they are paid $.14) guess where the investments will go. The money will go to Non-carbon power.

It isn't complicated. All we would be doing is making power from carbon way expensive, while keeping the poor from paying for it all.

As usual, I'm trying to explain something in one paragraph that might take a book to explain. So, i will try again if you wish. :-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nymore:
I think a carbon tax is great. After all who will really pay this tax. Answer the end user of the product. This includes every product you can think of grown here, transported within the country, manufactured here, processed here. From fuel to corn flakes. Now all of you wanting this tax don't come complaining when everything you buy (goods and services) goes up in price.
I say better we pay a relatively small emissions tax now than pony up the tens--or, by some estimates--hundreds of trillions of dollars climate change mitigation will cost.

At any rate, some of you seem to be missing the point: our use of fossil fuels is costing us now. Dearly. And it's a cost everyone pays, regardless of how much CO2 they actually emit. By imposing an emissions tax, that burden is fairly shifted to where it belongs: the wallets of the heaviest fossil fuel users. Ride a bike, pay a little; drive a Hummer, pay a lot. What could be more American than that?

It's time--well past time, in fact--that we stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13256
Also, over on Dr. Masters Blog the effects of Force 1 is greater than Force 2 can prevent the greening of the Arctic.

A dramatic greening of the Arctic over the past 30 years

Dr. Jeff Masters, March 18, 2013
Director of Meteorology, Weather Underground

A remarkable transformation in the vegetation of the Arctic has occurred over the past 30 years. Arctic vegetation growth and temperatures in 2011 resembled what occurred 250 - 430 miles father to the south in 1982. That's the approximate distance in latitude between San Francisco and San Diego, or Washington D.C. and Atlanta. More greening occurred in Eurasia than North America, and the Arctic's new greenness is visible on the ground as an increasing abundance of tall shrubs and trees.


Link


....
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217

Viewing: 364 - 314

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16Blog Index

Top of Page

About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.