Smoking, Marriage and Climate: What Can I Do? (2)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 5:03 PM GMT on April 03, 2013

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Smoking, Marriage and Climate: What Can I Do? (2)

This week I have a guest blogger, Doug Glancy, who was one of the student advocates responsible for starting my class on climate change problem solving. Doug’s piece continues the series in response to the question, “What can I do about climate change?” It is a call for social organization.

What Smoking and Marriage Equality Can Teach Activists About Efforts to Catalyze Climate Action

In February, Duke University released a poll that found that more than 84% of Americans believe climate change is occurring. Climate activists were elated, and many began to say that we’ve turned the corner on efforts to catalyze action. However, beneath the encouraging headline was a far more important number: only one third of Americans support federal efforts to address the issue. I am not discounting the fact that the vast majority of Americans now believe climate change is occurring. However, overselling this statistic is fraught with peril, as it is the second number that defines our direction when the rubber hits the road.

For affirmation of this belief, one need only look at the decades-long struggle to reduce smoking. As early as the 1950’s, the majority of doctors believed smoking posed significant health risks. By the 1970’s, the majority of Americans believed that smoking had deleterious effects. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until the late 80’s that overall smoking rates began to plummet. The transition did not occur because a doctor or scientist said smoking was bad for one’s health, it occurred because smoking became socially unacceptable.

Unfortunately, in the battle to address climate change we do not have the luxury of time for opinion to sway. Fortunately, the strategic marriage of behavioral economics and technology provides the tools to speed up the pendulum. What is needed now is messaging which leverages cutting edge research into why we make the choices we do including core drivers such as moral conviction, a desire for equality and good old-fashioned peer pressure. (For a quick introduction read Contagious by Jonah Berger).

One need only look to the events of last week to see how opinions can change in a timeframe exponentially quicker than in the past. As recently as the late 90’s, the vast majority of American opposed extending marriage rights to the LBGT community. Just over a decade later, over half the nation supports marriage rights.

There is little doubt that some of the explanation for this remarkable achievement lies with Americans expanding their view of morality and furthering equality. However, it would be shortsighted to discount the tremendous impact of peer pressure. Last week, despite little coordinated effort, nearly 3 million Americans changed their Facebook profile to support marriage equality. These 3 million individual decisions provided a social cue to tens of millions more.

What does this all mean for the efforts to address climate change? It means that we must move beyond statistics about the beliefs of 99% scientists. It means we must move beyond over-reliance on frames, such as the plight of the polar bear, which only speak to certain segments of society. It means we must make addressing climate the moral imperative of the day and use technology-assisted peer pressure to spread the message. We have the knowledge and technology to be good ancestors, its time to leverage it.

Doug Glancy
Principal Resileris

Doug has over a decade working on climate, energy and sustainability issues across the public, private and nonprofit sectors. He holds a BS in Political Science from Trinity College and MBA/MS from the University of Michigan, where he focused on climate change and corporate sustainability. In addition to speaking engagements, Doug has contributed to a groundbreaking report on Corporate Climate Change Strategies for the Pew Center on Climate Change, and led two delegations to the United Nations Climate Change Conference. He is an Executive Board member of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.

The piece also fits well with my earlier pieces

The Optimist’s Time,

The Role of Short Timers

A Bridge of Time.


Links to the Series

Setting Up the Discussion Deciding to do something, definition of mitigation and adaptation, and a cost-benefit anchored framework for thinking about mitigation

Smoking, Marriage and Climate Behavioral changes and peer pressure

Organizing and Growing Individual Efforts A little detail on efficiency and thinking about how individuals can have more impact than just that of a single person

The Complete List Eight categories of things we can do to reduce greenhouse gases

We Are What We Eat Food and agriculture and greenhouse gas emissions

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Quoting Barefootontherocks:
My apologies for this lengthy comment. I do not have time/energy to respond here. This is my last statement. My final answer.
:)
No apologies are necessary - well fleshed out posts are good when dealing with the extraordinarily complex problem we face.

My beliefs are that the world is far into in overshoot with respect to its human population, and that a huge dieoff could happen, beginning perhaps even before I would expect to die of old age (I'm 71 y/o at the present).

And I don't believe that we can stop this inevitable "downfall," but I do believe that humans will survive, and evolve into something other than what we are now.

The scientific evidence supporting AGW/CC is solid and overwhelming, and AGW/CC alone will cause massive problems. I believe that these problems are beginning to manifest, and will become quite serious sooner rather than later. It's up to modern humans to recognize the disaster we face, and the time for more gentle measures has passed.

The dreams of space travel and migrations to other planets that were so prevalent in my youth are now forgotten dreams. Those dreams included endless energy and machines to free man from labor - but when the machines began to take over, mankind was not freed to enjoy leisure, but rather thrust into a new era of fewer jobs for a steadily growing population - while the rich got richer. The utopian dreams of my youth have been shattered, and the blessing of a long and healthy life has been tainted by the specter of the now arriving AGW/CC consequences caused by burning too much fossil fuel and adding so much CO2 to the atmosphere.

If I die tomorrow, I will have lived a long and healthy life and have few regrets. But if you are young or middle aged, you will likely not have the opportunity for such a long and happy life. Denial - especially the denial of the extremely high probability of the serious consequences of AGW/CC - is what will make the adaptation so difficult. It's your future, younger people. I will support you if you want to make changes, but you are the ones that will have to do it. And it will mean going back to a much lower usage of energy that will drastically alter your lifestyles.

As occurred with the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island, flaws in human psychology will probably prevent any timely and adequate serious attempts at avoiding the consequences of the existential threat that mankind faces.

I live in an area 1,200' above a small, fairly modern town. The Ngobe people here, one of the several indigenous groups in Panama, live literally side-by-side with wealthy Panamanians and gringos. They are resourceful and intelligent, and can easily transition from their tiny concrete-block hovels back to natural building materials and food sources. I am convinced that they will survive here in the tropical highlands at 8-9 degrees north Latitude.

It's modern, civilized man with his complex infrastructure and energy-dependent lifestyles who will suffer the most and see the greatest die-off. Like the Easter Islanders, some will survive, but the infrastructure and other elements of a high civilization will disappear.

So younger people, if you don't like that scenario of voluntary sacrifice, simply hang on to your energy and current climate dependent lifestyle until it collapses and disappears. You won't be prepared for the consequences, but it's your choice.

Or you can try to do something about it - and I will do what I can do back you in your efforts.

And now its back to watching the impending train wreck.

/endrant
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Quoting ScottLincoln:
The New Orleans Times Picayune had an editorial today discussing the recent article in The Ecnomist:

http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2013/04/gl obal_warming_alarmism_takes.html


Just based upon the writer's word choice and demeanor, you can tell his prejudices coming into the article. It also seems like he didn't consult an actual climate scientist, meteorologist, or environmental scientist of any kind before writing his piece.

From the NOLA oped piece: "Hansen's piece is a gem in many ways. But perhaps the biggest is his own acknowledgement the Canadian oil is coming out, Canada isn't going to just sit on it. So does it go across the Canadian Rockies to Pacific ports and hence on giant tankers to Asia, or will it come to us?"

How can it matter when the refined tars sands is for export either way? Last I read about where the refined KeystoneXL tar sands would go, it was to be exported, as in out of the U.S., after being refined. Has something changed? How much tar sands now being refined in the U.S is exported and how much will be exported if KeystoneXL gains approval for completion?

President Obama surely has the correct numbers about proposed (lock it in Mr. President) U.S use of refined KeystonXL tar sands goop and how much will be exported. He would need that for his decision-making on whether or not to approve KeystoneXL. Surely. Wouldn't he? Anyone? More questions for Bueller, 'cause (Darn real world) I really do have to get out of here.
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Putting pressure on government and elected officials through societal opinion is exactly how social change happens, in respect to types of non violent social change in America. I think it's unfair to say this hasn't worked since the 70's. Social movements are constantly influencing political parties and the government. A very recent example of this is the faux grassroots movement of the tea party. It fundamentally shifted conservative thought in politics and agenda. We aren't talking about social engineering here, we aren't formulating a devious plan to trick people to accept the science behind global warming, instead we are mobilizing resources to a point where our voices can be heard by our representatives to affect agenda change.

Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3377
Record Daily Arctic Ice Loss for Month of April

According to IARC-JAXA, today's drop in the Arctic Sea Ice Extent was more than 200K Sq. Km. In looking at daily extent losses, for the month of April, going back to 2003, there were only three times, prior to 2012, that the daily loss was greater than 100K. In the dramatic record-breaking year of 2012, there were 7 days with 100K+ losses. The below table shows all daily losses >100K, for April, dating back to 2003.

FYI, just posted same on Angela Fritz's blog about the fractured arctic ice.


Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
101. etxwx
In reference to greentortuloni's post (#85), this talks about churches using their economic power as well as their moral teachings:

Climate Change Divestment Campaign Spreads to America's Churches
Religious communities were crucial participants in many great American social movements. Is climate change next?
By Katherine Bagley, InsideClimate News Jan 10, 2013

Excerpt: A fast-spreading movement to persuade universities to rid their endowments of fossil fuel assets is now taking root in America's churches. "With the civil rights movement, the youth led and the churches followed," said Fred Small, minister of the Unitarian Universalist First Parish Church in Cambridge, Mass. The church is one of dozens of congregations across the country exploring how to divest their portfolios of coal, oil and gas companies.

More here.
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#96 - Barefootontherocks - re: S.O.A.P.I.E.

I need to think about this for awhile but I wanted to be prompt to thank you for putting this together. The first draft is always the hardest. Thanks.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2369
Quoting Barefootontherocks:
Too simplistic, too basic maybe, but any realistic approach to problem solving the human contribution to GW must include more than science and deliberate manipulation of public thought.
Certainly--just as any realistic approach to problem solving the human contribution to GW must include--in fact, not only include but actually start with--acknowledgement by those in positions of authority that such a contribution exists. (Study any 12-step addiction recovery program, and you'll see that the first step is always to admit that you have a problem. Unless and until that happens, it would be an absolute exercise in futility to skip to any of the other steps. Those suggesting otherwise are simply deluding themselves.)
Quoting Barefootontherocks:
I hope someday the bulk of comments in this blog will get on to brainstorming reality-based, useful solutions.
So do I. So do most of us. But that will, of course, never happen until there's tacit acknowledgement by those in power that solutions are necessary for our survival.

To be frank, your "let's talk about solutions to the problem before we actually talk about the problem" approach quite simply doesn't work. The walk-softly-and-don't-hurt-anyone's-feelings method was tried for years, and that resulted only in Big Energy using what amounted to an abandoned pulpit to push civilization even closer to the edge. So in my eyes, as well as the eyes of many others, that approach is dead. IOW, there'll be no more carrot; from now on, it's all stick...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13527
The New Orleans Times Picayune had an editorial today discussing the recent article in The Ecnomist:

http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2013/04/gl obal_warming_alarmism_takes.html


Just based upon the writer's word choice and demeanor, you can tell his prejudices coming into the article. It also seems like he didn't consult an actual climate scientist, meteorologist, or environmental scientist of any kind before writing his piece.
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From Forecast the Facts:

Thank you, Dr. James Hansen

Over 46 years at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Dr. James Hansen’s dedication to informing the public about the threat of climate change never wavered. As a leading expert on climate and the greenhouse effect, Hansen has repeatedly testified before Congress, challenged censorship by the George W. Bush administration, and was arrested at the White House gates in protest of the Keystone XL pipeline, all to get out the truth about global warming.

Join Forecast the Facts in thanking Dr. Hansen for his efforts to raise awareness of the climate crisis >>

Below is the thank you card we will send to Dr. James Hansen:

Thank you for your dedication to raising public understanding and awareness of the climate crisis. You have weathered backlash from climate change deniers, censorship from the White House, and never ceased in your firm commitment to informing the public about climate change.

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I don't see much "denialism" going on in this blog (at least not in the comments posted when I began typing this) or at the tail end of the previous one. Don't know about earlier in the previous blog. I was not reading those comments. Maybe some of you can read comments the rest of us can't see because we don't have a secret decoder ring.
:)

What I see... Some bloggers wanting to talk about action, plans for action, wondering how do we get from the current state to an improved state, and by that I mean wondering what is to be done now and into the future to reduce human-caused CO2 released into the atmosphere. I see some links to what has been done. Some ideas about PR campaigns. Also I see a couple jokes and maybe some shock about just how extreme some bloggers here come across. Whether for real or for effect, some of the comments from "regulars" here are extreme and, for me, a frightening reality check. Why frightening? Not because the state of Earth's atmosphere wigs me out, but because those kind of extremes will not lead to practical solutions. Talk about putting people off.

I see continued challenges to prove AGW wrong, more name-calling, partial reference*** to what's happening, as in comment 61, and no practical response to the person whose point seems to be "ya can't just turn off fossil fuel overnight, so where do we start?"

Doug Glancy, in his words above states, "What does this all mean for the efforts to address climate change? It means that we must move beyond statistics about the beliefs of 99% scientists. It means we must move beyond over-reliance on frames, such as the plight of the polar bear, which only speak to certain segments of society. It means we must make addressing climate the moral imperative of the day and use technology-assisted peer pressure to spread the message. We have the knowledge and technology to be good ancestors, its time to leverage it."

This sounds heartening until you realize he's talking about ways to place social and psychological pressure (leverage) on the populace who will then push governments into action. This hasn't worked in the 43 years since 1970, and I doubt it will work now.

I'd like to see governments, academics, industry working together. (Ha, you say. I hear your thoughts.) Theoretically they already do. Link to Federal Advisory Committee Draft Climate Assessment Report Released for Public Review until April 14..

Remarkably, this committee came into being by legislation passed in 1972. Maybe it needs some teeth. And talons. Wings perhaps? They last released a climate assessment in 2009.

From NOAA's overview of the Committee:
"The National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee was established under the Department of Commerce in December 2010 and is supported through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It is a federal advisory committee established as per the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972. The Committee serves to oversee the activities of the National Climate Assessment.

"The National Climate Assessment (NCA) is being conducted under the auspices of the Global Change Research Act of 1990, which requires a report to the President and the Congress that evaluates, integrates and interprets the findings of the $2.6 billion federal research program on global change (USGCRP) every four years. The National Climate Assessment (NCA) is being conducted under the auspices of the Global Change Research Act of 1990, which requires a report to the President and the Congress that evaluates, integrates and interprets the findings of the $2.6 billion federal research program on global change (USGCRP) every four years."


On to the asterisks.

***Yes, stating objective evidence is only a partial look at what contributes to the problem of putting together a practical, unified approach to reducing the human-caused portion of global warming. And that is the problem in need of solving at this moment. The problem is not how to increase public awareness.

A Problem Solving Template.
Here's a little something that parallels some business management theory I learned long ago but is actually an early form of the formalized "nursing process" that came about when professional nurses decided they needed to put what they do on paper.

GOAL (added): reduce human-caused CO2 entering the atmosphere.

S: Subjective. (Aha, that can't be useful. It's not science. I can hear you. lol) Think of being in a doctor's office and describing your symptoms and how it affects your ability to function. To attempt to solve any problem at hand, you must listen to what those involved say. For example, the utility companies come to mind. What is practical to be done immediately? Can we make more hydro energy than we now do and transport it practically? So forth. Make an assessment tool and ask every member of a given industry the same questions. Make it practical and applicable so that it reflects the true current state of affairs. This is the part where we listen, to all, and probably involves economists as well as industry leaders. Hi Kochs. Anyone? Bueller? Tell us what's real for you. Are you really all about money? If so, what would it take to...

O: Objective. (Ah. At last. Science.) Just the facts ma'am. The objective evidence available. There's plenty of it out there, including the draft climate paper mentioned above which describes the U.S. region by region. Parts might fall into the subjective area or even the P (see below).

A: Assessment. This is the statement of THE PROBLEM: Putting together a practical, unified approach to reducing the human-caused portion of global warming. (add: which theoretically we do not know in depth until we look at the S amd O. Perhaps initially the goal is putting together a unified approach, and here we will identify barriers. This is a dynamic process.)

P: THE PLAN Here you go, allahgore. Not instant but it will happen.

I: Implementation. What we are doing where and when.

E: Evaluation. Ongoing reassessment. Go back to "S", rinse and repeat.
...

Don't know what portion of this is idealistic and what portion realistic. Too simplistic, too basic maybe, but any realistic approach to problem solving the human contribution to GW must include more than science and deliberate manipulation of public thought.

Demolition Derby may be a riveting distraction for some. I hope someday the bulk of comments in this blog will get on to brainstorming reality-based, useful solutions.

My apologies for this lengthy comment. I do not have time/energy to respond here. This is my last statement. My final answer.
:)
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Thin, low Arctic clouds played an important role in the massive 2012 Greenland ice melt
As a former solar heating designer/salesman, I am well aware of this phenomenon with respect to its effect on liquid-based solar collectors. A lot of heat can be collected on cloudy days - as long as the clouds are not too thick.

However, the significance of this phenomenon with respect to land, ice and water surface warming was apparently not fully appreciated. I assume that it will become another factor to monitor - and include in AGW/CC modelling.
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Quoting ScottLincoln:

In all of these, I don't think one person changing had much of an effect. It was a collective cause, and required a collective response to clean-up. Many times this collective response was at odds with the desires of the biggest offenders.

Climate change and sustainability will likely work out just the same. People should use less energy and be less wasteful because it is the right thing to do and it saves money, but without a collective response, one person or family's action will not mitigate the problem.

The St. Louis incident of 1939 is interesting. This is from the wikipedia account.

"Smoke pollution had been a problem in St. Louis for many decades prior to the event, due to the large-scale burning of bituminous (soft) coal to provide heat and power for homes, businesses and transport.[1] In 1893, the Council passed an ordinance prohibiting the emission of "thick grey smoke within the corporate limits of St. Louis" but was unable to enforce it because of legal action taken by one of the worst corporate offenders.[2] The effectiveness of laws was also limited by the lack of adequate inspection and enforcement. In 1933, the Mayor created a "citizen smoke committee" and appointed his personal secretary Raymond Tucker[3] to take charge of efforts to improve air quality.

"Early efforts had relied on education such as teaching people how to build cleaner fires %u2013 but this had almost no impact. It was soon realised that real improvement would only come about by switching to a cleaner fuel %u2013 gas, oil, coke, or anthracite were all considered but ruled out on cost grounds. The alternative was to wash and size the existing soft coal to make it burn hotter and cleaner, and ensure that all coal sold in St. Louis was of this variety. In February 1937 a Smoke Ordinance was passed creating a "Division of Smoke Regulation in the Department of Public Safety", forcing larger businesses to burn only clean coal and setting standards for smoke emission and inspection. By 1938 emissions from commercial smokestacks had been reduced by 2/3.[4]

"Despite some improvement, smoke pollution was still a visible problem since the new law did not cover smaller businesses and domestic users %u2013 97% of homes still used coal. The city council was reluctant to pass further legislation that might alienate voters so the Mayor's "enforcer", Raymond R. Tucker, was limited to using persuasion through the press and radio broadcasts. One newspaper in particular, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, became notable for its campaign to persuade residents of the benefits of switching to cleaner forms of coal.[5][6]"
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Interesting story on conspiracy theorists.

"The poll found, for instance, just 15 percent of Democrats believe a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or New World Order; compare that with 34 percent of Republicans and 35 percent of Independents who believe the same.

"As one might expect, the more far-out the conspiracy theory, the fewer people endorse it. Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, which conducted the research, noted, "Most Americans reject the wackier ideas out there about fake moon landings and shape-shifting lizards." "

Whew! Glad the whackiest conspiracies are less believable.
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Quoting JohnLonergan:


Three examples of how well the free markets address negative externalities that immediately come to mind are:

1. The Cuyahoga River Fire

2. Love Canal

3. Woburn Massachusetts Groundwater Contamination Incident




How about the EPA, you seem to forget that Government Edicts, are the worst offenders.

The MTBE case shows how the finest, Earth-friendliest intentions can go terribly wrong when mixed with bad science.

Debate has raged over whether MTBE also causes cancer. The very same EPA that has promoted MTBE considers it a possible human carcinogen because it has led to leukemia, lymphoma, and thyroid, kidney, and testicular tumors in laboratory rodents. Others respond that these rats and mice were exposed to MTBE levels 28,000 times higher than what humans would confront in any given year.

This debate likely will be settled after many exhausting rounds of costly litigation among aggrieved parties, MTBE manufacturers, and various governmental agencies. Even if MTBE does not cause cancer, as some suggest, millions of Americans complain about MTBE-tainted tap water that tastes odd and smells like turpentine even in minuscule concentrations. As recent asbestos litigation has shown, the mere fear of future health effects can constitute sufficient grounds for massive tort awards. Along these lines, even psychosomatic health effects from "MTBE-phobia syndrome" could result in litigation. Trial lawyers eager to file huge class-action suits could do so almost effortlessly. After all, is there any larger class than water drinkers?

Whether the health risks are legitimate or not, MTBE clearly has caused significant confusion and distress, at a minimum. How could this pandemonium have been avoided? The following are lessons policymakers can learn to prevent such a fiasco from recurring:

1. Avoid single, top-down approaches. The federal oxygenated fuels mandate is the driving force behind the entire MTBE fiasco. Instead of such a one-size-fits-all edict for highly polluted communities around the country, the EPA should have allowed various localities to experiment with different approaches. True, air pollution%u2014unlike, say, landfill waste%u2014travels across state lines. In that sense, strict federal standards can be defended. Still, Washington could either have allowed states and cities to set their own reasonable pollution limits or at least given them maximum flexibility in their methods of achieving a standard federal emissions level.

2. Conduct scientific tests before rather than after requiring new substances. Just as schoolchildren are taught to look before they leap, the EPA should have subjected MTBE and similar fuel additives to rigorous testing before mandating their use. As Dan Fagin wrote in Newsday: The EPA "hasn%u2019t even completed a %u2018research strategy%u2019 to map out a comprehensive testing plan, the first step toward establishing a safety standard for MTBE in air and water." In essence, the EPA has used humans as guinea pigs in oxygenated fuels research. Had it bothered with such basic due diligence, MTBE might have been excluded from the oxygenated fuels mandate. And, if it were deemed safe, the EPA could point to such studies in order to calm an increasingly nervous public.

3. Try incentive-based approaches first. Most CO comes from older vehicles that lack the efficiency and high-tech fuel systems of today%u2019s cars. Tax credits, a waiver of new-vehicle registration fees, or similar inducements would give owners of older, polluting cars concrete reasons to trade them in for newer, cleaner cars. Such vehicles would also emit lower levels of pollutants beyond CO.

4. Make polluters pay cleanup costs. A much more direct and cost-effective means of reducing automobile emissions%u2014as Jonathan Adler of the Competitive Enterprise Institute describes them%u2014are remote sensing devices that can analyze a car%u2019s tailpipe fumes at freeway entrances, designated intersections, and so on. Just as radar detectors identify speeders, this technology can determine when a car is belching out pollutants above allowable levels. Automatically snapped photographs of the license plates of heavy polluters would allow motor vehicle bureaus to contact the drivers and require them to tune up their cars or replace faulty equipment. Rather than socialize air cleanup expenses, this approach would hand the bill to the 20 percent of the vehicles that produce 80 percent of the CO emissions.

"My own view and experience in working with state policymakers is that many would have opted for more remote sensing over MTBE had EPA just given them the chance," Adler notes. "It%u2019s good enough that it would have outcompeted EPA%u2019s preferred policies."

Jonathan Adler suggested that policymakers implement such a tailpipe-testing program in a Washington Times article in December 1992. Imagine all the grief that could have been avoided had the EPA simply heeded his advice seven and a half years ago.



Link

A New World in This Generation
for the Next 7 Generations

The Planetization Structure, Blueprint and Plan Provides
the New Coordinates and Scaffold to Change the World

Military is Killing the Earth


How about the Armed Services, also nefarious offenders, better talk to The Man in Charge :)




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a composite view of how the religious, conservative mind works. (The religious part is not obvious in this article, but I read this guy enough to know it is always there).

Normally he is railing against any population reduction ideas, and rants about the decline in fertility in the 1st world countries.

Not my view.

This provides info in to a particular world view.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/GECON -01-030413.htmlLink
Member Since: February 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
82. Exxon controls skies over Arkansas oil spill.

This seems to be the new worry (it's ok for drones & satellites to spy on us - but not OK for us to spy on "them"

Even Hobby Drones Could Be Made Illegal In Texas


PopularScience


On a hazy day last January, an unmanned aircraft enthusiast piloted his camera-equipped drone in the vicinity of a Dallas meatpacking plant, cruising around 400 feet in the air. To test his equipment, he took some photos of the Trinity River with a point-and-shoot camera mounted to his $75 foam airframe. When he retrieved the remote-controlled aircraft, he noticed something odd in the photos: A crimson stream, which appeared to be blood, leaking into a river tributary.

The pilot, whose name has not been released, notified Texas environmental authorities, who launched an investigation. On Dec. 26, a grand jury handed down several indictments against the owners of the Columbia Packing Company for dumping pig blood into a creek. They now face hefty fines and even prison time stemming from the water pollution, and the plant has since been shuttered. Neighbors had complained about noxious fumes and other issues for a while, according to the local news. But investigators didn’t get involved until this drone pilot took his pictures.

Under a new law proposed in the Texas legislature, sponsored by a lawmaker from the Dallas suburbs, this type of activity could soon be criminal. Not the pollution--the drone.

Texas House Bill 912--and similar laws under debate right now in Oregon and elsewhere--are driving a burgeoning debate about how to use and control unmanned air systems, from an AR.Drone to a quadcopter. The Federal Aviation Administration is in the process of drafting new rules governing unmanned aircraft in civilian airspace, including military-style aircraft. But in the meantime, plenty of cheap, easy-to-use aircraft are already popular among hobbyists and, increasingly, activists and law enforcement.

Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
AussieStorm posted this in Dr. Master's blog and I think it deserves a place here too.

NSSL, partners: Thin, low Arctic clouds played an important role in the massive 2012 Greenland ice melt
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8605
Quoting bappit:

Don't forget the smog deaths in cities. Famous London incident. Pittsburgh and St. Louis might be less well known.

In all of these, I don't think one person changing had much of an effect. It was a collective cause, and required a collective response to clean-up. Many times this collective response was at odds with the desires of the biggest offenders.

Climate change and sustainability will likely work out just the same. People should use less energy and be less wasteful because it is the right thing to do and it saves money, but without a collective response, one person or family's action will not mitigate the problem.
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Quoting Xulonn:
AGW/CC is based on science, and denialism is based on????
In no particular order:

--A lack of education;
--Willful ignorance;
--Inflexible ideological thinking;
--A deep-seated hatred and/or fear of science and/or scientists;
--Contrarianism for the sake of contrarianism;
--Religious dogma;
--The very understandable but dangerously irrational unwillingness to believe that anything catastrophic could possibly happen to us;
--Too much time spent listening to the blithering buffoons on right-wing talk radio and Fox News;
--Residence in a northern clime (Canada, Minnesota, etc.) coupled with the provincial view that the cold one experiences at home must necessarily extend to the rest of the planet...

For starters, anyway...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13527
More in relation to the topic, I was thinking today about the conservatives, religion and global warming.

As much as I've come to despise the Republicans in the last few years for corruption and hypocrisy.....etc etc, a lot of their attitudes are just that, hypocrisy. In other words, they will salute the wind. So perhaps the battle to fight is not in congress where no one can match the oil money but rather in a direct appeal to religion.

I really don't think all of the religious leaders would turn their back on being approached directly. Right now, they are being yelled at through the media, by both sides but scorned perhaps more by the educated scientists who respond to attacks on science.

Maybe the idea would be to try to get a grass roots movement started in churches to pressure congress. I think the only thing that has any chance of speaking as loud as money is loss of votes.
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
Quoting Xandra:
Exxon controls skies over Arkansas oil spill.
Transnational corporations pretty much control the U.S. and many State governments. Most American politicians are at their beck and call.

Both the spill and the attempts to hide the reality of the damage are an outrage, but "the people" of the United States have been pacified by materialism and lies, and are controlled and manipulated by the media. It will probably take a much larger spill - possibly from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, to have a real impact.

I hope I am wrong!

This is one of the reasons why I believe that nothing significant will be done about AGW/CC until it is far too late.

Living life from day to day and finding joy where we can is the only option for happiness for many of us. Older people like me who are aware of the coming disaster can only weep when we think of the existential threat of problems that our children and grandchildren will face. I hope that many of them can adapt, because, as Dr. Rood says, it is probably too late for mitigation.

Edit: If Greentortuloni is correct,and the no-fly zone is only 1000" high, I can live with that.

Here's the "general" FAA Rule for altitude:
Quoting FAA Regs:
91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General.

Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

(c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

(d) Helicopters, powered parachutes, and weight-shift-control aircraft. If the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface%u2014

(1) A helicopter may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, provided each person operating the helicopter complies with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA; and

(2) A powered parachute or weight-shift-control aircraft may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section.
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@Xandra The no-fly zone is only 1000 feet high. Living in a mountainous area, I can tell you that 1000 feet is nothing for a camera. To me it makes sense to allow Exxon to control the cleanup without worry about flight plans, etc.

If anyone knows different about the height, please post.


Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
Exxon controls skies over Arkansas oil spill.

From DeSmogBlog:

Exxon's Unfriendly Skies: Why Does Exxon Control the No-Fly Zone Over Arkansas Tar Sands Spill?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has had a "no fly zone" in place in Mayflower, Arkansas since April 1 at 2:12 PM and will be in place "until further notice," according to the FAA website and it's being overseen by ExxonMobil itself. In other words, any media or independent observers who want to witness the tar sands spill disaster have to ask Exxon's permission.

[…]

This comes one day after Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said his office would be opening an investigation into the incident. It also comes one day after federal pipeline regulators barred ExxonMobil from restarting the pipeline until it receives close inspection.

It appears the Pegasus spill is becoming the BP Gulf oil disaster take two, with the responsible polluter running every step of the show.

Here is a 5-minute clip of video taken (presumably before the no-fly-zone order took effect) by videojournalist Adam Randall over Mayfield on April 1, including footage of the impacted neighborhoods and surrounding areas (H/T LeeCamp)




Complete article here.

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"If a holocaust denier came to this site or any other mainstream site in the world and posted his filth, he would be banned instantly."

I doubt the instantly part, but it would be off topic. And what the heck does this have to do with Time-Warner?
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Quoting sullivanweather:


This is an outrageous statement. Is this part of the climate denial psychology xulonn was going on about?

I'll address this by saying I will never be aggressively confronted into remaining silent.


I have a rhetorical question (everyone knows the answer already):

If a holocaust denier came to this site or any other mainstream site in the world and posted his filth, he would be banned instantly.

BUT:

A global warming denier has RIGHTS!!

Meanwhile Less than 10 million people were killed by the Nazis


but at least 100 million will die as a direct result of the carbon economy during this decade alone.

Why does TIme-Warner protect the rights of the AGW deniers?
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Quoting Astrometeor:


I have a horrible example, yes. The turn of the 19th to 20th centuries and the private sector deciding to go against convention and use gas instead of the duct-tape of energy back then-electricity or electric cars.

If I thought about it some more, I might be able to come up with a better response.

People were still using horses at that time as well. So you might have to include them among your transportation options, too.
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From RealClimate: Movie review: SWITCH by Dr. Ray Pierrehumbert. Dr.Pierrehumbert describes the movie:

"This year, the Geological Society of America is rolling out their SWITCH Energy Awareness campaign . The centerpiece of the campaign is a documentary film, SWITCH, which purports to be about the need for a transformation in the world’s energy systems. Recently, I attended the Chicago premier of the film, presented as part of the Environmental Film Series of the Lutheran School of Theology. I had high hopes for this film. They were disappointed. Given the mismatch between what the movie promises and what it delivers, it would be more aptly titled, “BAIT AND SWITCH.”

In the comments Dr Pierrehumbert responds to a question regarding nuclear:

[Response: I hope I'm not opening the floodgates here, but since the movie did include the nuclear option, and I did mention it in the review, I suppose it is only fair to have some follow-up discussion here. In other threads we've tended to discourage this because it tends to very quickly wander off-topic, but here it is very much on-topic. So let's have a go at it. From my standpoint, I would start by acknowledging real dangers of nuclear, but to me the dangers of nuclear look more manageable than the dangers of caol. I'd rather see the whole climate problem solved with just renewables and efficiency, and I think probably if we had started 30 years ago we could have done that, but given how much time has been wasted I think taking nuclear off the table would make an already difficult problem much harder -- especially since one needs to allow for energy demand in China and India. The important physical issues concern waste storage, nuclear proliferation, consequences of accidents, and the extent to which all these things can be affected by improved nuclear reactor designs. The important economic issue is the expense of nuclear power, especially hidden subsidies or bad accounting that could conceivably unfairly advantage nuclear over renewables. My take on that is that even with hidden subsidies, nuclear is so expensive that renewables already compete pretty well with it. The real problem economically right now, at least in the US, is that nuclear can't begin to compete with currently cheap natural gas, so there's not much incentive to build nuclear plants. I'm not sure where China and India are going on expanded nuclear power right now, so if anybody knows, please chime in. Are there other important topics I've left out? So let's try having a focused, fact-based discussion on these issues. In this thread only, where it is definitely pertinenent. --raypierre ]


http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/201 3/04/movie-review-switch/comment-page-1/#comment-3 27383
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Quoting goosegirl1:


I have gone as far as to issue a challenge or two to convince me. I have no emotional attachment to any side- I can only see what the science is telling me. I'm still waiting...
Unfortunately, our resident denialists, including those flailing about on this blog/discussion and the last one by Dr Rood, seldom even attempt to support their positions - because they have little to no support from the world of rigorous science.

When they do make such attempts, it becomes clear that their "beliefs" are based on the very myths, dis-proven and bad science, and falsehoods that Drs. Masters and Rood refer us to in the WU/CC pages - and their feeble attempts to support their beliefs are quickly shot down.

They are entitled to have their beliefs, but that doesn't make those beliefs either valid or believable. As the old saying goes, "you are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts."

AGW/CC is based on science, and denialism is based on????

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Quoting RevElvis:
Germany Doesn't Get Much Sun. How Did It Become a Leader in Solar Energy?
Surely you jest!

According to Fox News,the reason that it is possible for Germany to get so much of its energy from renewables is that they get so much more sun than the U.S.
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"This week I have a guest blogger, Doug Glancy, who was one of the student advocates responsible for starting my class on climate change problem solving. Dougs piece continues the series in response to the question, What can I do about climate change? It is a call for social organization.?

Rick does Doug think my idea solves Fossil Fuel GHG Climate Change? What else more can I do about solving the issue? Heck I found out by mistake what my idea can do about it in the first place....
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
Quoting spathy:
Sorry folks. I removed that blathering. This is not the place for that. I was upset at something else and took it out on the blog.


Sorry for getting into it with you. I know we both have strong feelings, so let's just move on and discuss the climate. :)
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3377
Japan to Become Largest Solar Market After China, BNEF Says

My comment on the blog topic: I've found out that the German saying "Steter Tropfen hoehlt den Stein" is also available in English "Constant dripping wears away the stone". I'm hopeful that a combination of personal weather experience ("weird weather", air pollution etc.), news from Science, reports of damage done to environment and - not at least! - economical development towards renewables (in some cases enhanced by incentives by goverments) could change attitude and behaviour of the people. I don't like very much the idea to force people too much in a direct manner, even by too much strain of "political correctness". This will cause allergical reactions as can be seen f.e. in many forums in the internet (not only but as well concerning AGW/CC). It has become even fashionable not to be "political correct", and in some way I psychologically can understand this.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 5931
Obama Talks Up Climate Agenda at Keystone Foe’s Home
By Hans Nichols - Apr 4, 2013 6:50 AM GMT+0200

President Barack Obama told a group of Democratic donors, including an opponent of the Keystone XL pipeline, that his administration needs to do more to sell its second-term agenda on climate-change legislation.

The top challenge is to convince the public that measures to contain climate change can be pursued without harming the economic welfare of low- and middle-income Americans, Obama said yesterday at a $5,000 per-person fundraiser in San Francisco.


Read the whole article
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 5931
Quoting beell:
How Much Electricity Comes From Renewable Sources|NY Times Sunday Review, March 23, 2013


Nice link! Thank you.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 5931
as far as I can tell in my 10 second internet search, 'congress' is the correct word for orangatan.



Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
@Spathy:

The problem with marriage and the government is that government has no place in establishing marriage. Marriage is a religious institution and should be deon in church, period.

Any other relationships between people should be legal contracts.

If a person wants health insurance for their spouse or spouses or the entire block they live on, it should be calculated financially as a benefit of hte job and finished there.

If I want a congress of hermaphroditic orangutans to be able to visit me in the hospital, it should be up to me; all the hospital has to do is decided on the max number at one time and which ones are listed on my contract. Full Stop.

Typical blather from a new age conservative that the role of government is to enforce their view of religion. Whatever happened to 'smallest government possible'? it is ok to force wierdo ethics on others but god forbid the environment gets protected.
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
Quoting FLwolverine:
If you haven't figured out that Pintada is at the extreme end of the spectrum around here in terms of presentation,, then you haven't been paying attention. But I think he's extreme because the situation is extreme.

So don't be silent. Apparently you do not agree with the WU positions on AGW/CC. What is your position and why? I've been waiting for months, ever since I started reading this blog, for someone to present a logical, coherent, science-based analysis of why AGW/CC is wrong or exaggerated or not-as-bad-as-we-think. Because I agree with Pintada: I think the situation is very very bad.

Thanks in advance.


I have gone as far as to issue a challenge or two to convince me. I have no emotional attachment to any side- I can only see what the science is telling me. I'm still waiting...
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Quoting sullivanweather:


This is an outrageous statement. Is this part of the climate denial psychology xulonn was going on about?

I'll address this by saying I will never be aggressively confronted into remaining silent.
If you haven't figured out that Pintada is at the extreme end of the spectrum around here in terms of presentation,, then you haven't been paying attention. But I think he's extreme because the situation is extreme.

So don't be silent. Apparently you do not agree with the WU positions on AGW/CC. What is your position and why? I've been waiting for months, ever since I started reading this blog, for someone to present a logical, coherent, science-based analysis of why AGW/CC is wrong or exaggerated or not-as-bad-as-we-think. Because I agree with Pintada: I think the situation is very very bad.

Thanks in advance.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2369
Quoting nymore:
As always the devil lies in the details, Which I noticed you gave none.

I liked the post earlier by etxwx showing what Ontario did. Switching to a mix of green and Nat Gas. This is a good start and a way that makes sense. I notice many on here like to scream and shout about oil, when coal is by far our biggest enemy for what we get out of it to what it produces. I believe many here are blinded by what they see as something making to much profit. I see Exxon and others railed on all the time, while I rarely see anyone if anyone rail on Arch Coal or Peabody for example. Time to see the forest and stop focusing on one tree.


I live in the land of Coal with a capital "C". You must not have been listening when I occasionally spout a bit about King Coal.

From my home, I can see 2 wind farms, and the stacks at Dominion Power, a coal fired plant. It's an interesting juxtaposition, isn't it?

And now, a flash back to my college days...Link

Link

Link

So I suppose you've found your coal opponent :)
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#56 - spathy: afterall slavery is contrary to our constitution.

A little review seems appropriate. "Slavery is seen in the Constitution in a few key places. The first is in the Enumeration Clause, where representatives are apportioned. Each state is given a number of representatives based on its population - in that population, slaves, called "other persons," are counted as three-fifths of a whole person. This compromise was hard-fought, with Northerners wishing that slaves, legally property, be uncounted, much as mules and horses are uncounted. Southerners, however, well aware of the high proportion of slaves to the total population in their states, wanted them counted as whole persons despite their legal status. The three-fifths number was a ratio used by the Congress in contemporary legislation and was agreed upon with little debate.

In Article 1, Section 9, Congress is limited, expressly, from prohibiting the "Importation" of slaves, before 1808. The slave trade was a bone of contention for many, with some who supported slavery abhorring the slave trade. The 1808 date, a compromise of 20 years, allowed the slave trade to continue, but placed a date-certain on its survival. Congress eventually passed a law outlawing the slave trade that became effective on January 1, 1808.

The Fugitive Slave Clause is the last mention. In it, a problem that slave states had with extradition of escaped slaves was resolved. The laws of one state, the clause says, cannot excuse a person from "Service or Labour" in another state. The clause expressly requires that the state in which an escapee is found deliver the slave to the state he escaped from "on Claim of the Party." Link

And speaking of revisionism, you might want to review recent history of the civil rights movement to see who supported the civil rights legislation and why the South went from Democratic to Republican after that legislation was passed in the 60's.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2369
Quoting allahgore:


That seems extreme but now I understand. when are you going to start pulling down transmission lines? do you start on the west coast or east coast first?


Fine, I'll explain briefly;

1 These guys explain that this fall when the water in the arctic is warmer than it has been in thousands of years and the ice is less than it has been a storm could destabilize the methane clathrates on the continental shelf and 20 - 100 gigatons of methane could be released in an eruption.

Next year, the water will be still warmer and the ice will be less.
The year after the water will be warmer again and there will be even less ice.

How long before it is inevitable that the first eruption happens?
What will prevent the second eruption? (Hint: Nothing.)

2. California oyster growers have been having difficulty because the ocean is more acid than it was. The antarctic krill is being affected by the acid as well. More CO2 means lower ocean pH. Add in over fishing and ... no more fish.

3. A 4 degree world gives a 6 degree world that is not survivable.

We must stop making it worse and as i say the best way is to just fracking STOP! ... and there is good neeewwws everyone!

If this bubble doesn't do the economy completely then ...

The EROEI issue will.

It would be nice if we could do it as a matter of choice. It would have been nice to fix the AGW problem starting in the 70's or 80's. Luckily, we may run out of oil or give bankers money until the economy explodes and that will fix it.

Like i say, the plan is to just leave the carbon in the ground where it belongs. Simple.
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Quoting pintada:


And really, how does one make any activity socially unacceptable?

The action must become associated with ridicule, shame, and confrontation. Deniers should be shamed, ridiculed, and confronted using the most aggressive methods available to us.

The insane, the psychopaths, the a$$holes, and the paid liars need to be called out and shamed into silence.


This is an outrageous statement. Is this part of the climate denial psychology xulonn was going on about?

I'll address this by saying I will never be aggressively confronted into remaining silent.
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Quoting spathy:


Naga
With all due respect you completely missed the point of the post,aside from the correlation to a change in societal thinking.

I ask you this: Do/did any of those societies have the precise frame of Governance that the United States of America has?
Being that they didnt....
How well did they survive as a beacon of freedom and prosperity?
Did they manage the historical advances and Worldwide benefit that these Free United States Of America has?
And when they strayed from their foundings(comparable foundings) how long did they last?And how much have they financially supported the rest of the World?
We as Americans have the best form of Governance. Having that great foundation has benefited the World as we have prospered from its unique greatness.
When America has failed it is when we have failed to follow our foundations.
History has proven this if you dont have a before America set of glasses on. Or the (I only focus on Americas worst,mindset)
Afterall Slavery was contrary to our Constitution.
Many on the Left seem to think it was a foundational goal/rite. The left fought to keep it till their very last gasp.
Revisionists have a problem with that direct provable history.


I didn't miss anything. You took an opportunity to espouse a specific moral viewpoint, while tying it into the current topic. Now you continue to try and make arguments based on more subjective statements like "failing to follow our foundations", and a slavery/leftist kick to boot. What leftists were those? I don't think I missed a thing...

edited to say: You are completed entitled to your subjective viewpoint. I'm not here to change your mind, but don't try and sit here and call me out as a "revisionist" and claim your moral view on what America "is" is the only correct one. It shows a blatant disrespect for the members of society that don't adhere to your worldview. You obviously understood the can of worms you were opening when commenting on government's role in marriage and beyond.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3377
Quoting JohnLonergan:


Three examples of how well the free markets address negative externalities that immediately come to mind are:

1. The Cuyahoga River Fire

2. Love Canal

3. Woburn Massachusetts Groundwater Contamination Incident


Don't forget the smog deaths in cities. Famous London incident. Pittsburgh and St. Louis might be less well known.
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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.