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June 17, 2009

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The only question is, do we grab our fiddles while Rome drowns, or finally get serious about averting an unthinkable catastrophe?

the former.

human lives - and more importantly, human time scales - are too short for it to be of concern for enough people until it's far too late. the legislature will never force people to sacrifice their comfort for the idea that something bad could really happen in a generation or so, because nobody will ever get elected running on a platform of "Conservation, Restraint and Rationing".

Do they ever run those models to show what progress we can make by taking various steps? For example, if Kyoto was fully implemented, what would the expected result be in 2100 compared to business as usual? I think it would be helpful to understand the "bang for the buck" that we can expect for changes made now.

Seriously, you're worried about global warming when WOMEN IN KNIT GARMENTS ARE STANDING IN THE SAME ROOM AS BILL CLINTON, AND THEY ARE NOT DIRECTLY FACING THE CAMERA!!!!

I think people are already doing stuff about climate change etc., they're just doing it with little or no government endorsement.

If in fact climate change is something we can make a dent in, I'm with cleek, it won't receive widespread popular support until it affects most folks directly.

By the time that happens in this country, lots of people in other places will already be in a lot of pain.

There's enough data on the table now for folks to be concerned, but there is no widespread interest in actually changing how we live. And I don't see dramatic leadership coming from, well, anybody. Al Gore, that's about it, and he's not in a position to make policy anymore.

So I'm not sure what's going to happen.

"Do they ever run those models to show what progress we can make by taking various steps?"

Jrudkis, I believe they do. Click through to the MIT study - they apparently crunch many models together, so they might have what you're looking for (or at least how to find it).

"WOMEN IN KNIT GARMENTS ARE STANDING IN THE SAME ROOM AS BILL CLINTON, AND THEY ARE NOT DIRECTLY FACING THE CAMERA!!!!"

What you can't see in the picture is that I'm wearing nothing but a leopard print speedo on the bottom.

cleek & russel,

Clinton was also emphasizing rev neutral means, such as retrofitting existing buildings. Due to savings in energy costs, buildings can obtain good loans that will be paid out of savings and at the end, everybody wins. Plus these projects create mucho jobs. Click on the "innovative" link in this post for Lemieux's piece.

OK, here's a weird notion: cap-and-trade will be the linchpin of a decent climate change remedy. If the permits are auctionable, it'll be a rather major new revenue stream for the Federal government.

Univeral health care will need a new revenue stream to finance it. Even though it'll save us all money in the long run, the government will be paying more for health care than it is now.

So why not wrap the two together? Pass a climate change bill, with a chunk of the revenues dedicated to funding UHC?

Who are the other people in the photo? I only recognize a handful.

Oh course you’re Scaremongering. But you forgot the protocol. In this 11th year of cooling you can’t use “global warming” anymore. It’s now “climate change” to encompass, well, any damned thing that happens.

One of the few data points I have on effectiveness comes from this old Greenpeace report:

The issue of the environmental effectiveness of the Kyoto Protocol is often lost in the
discussion over the details of its implementation. It is well known that the Protocol,
with its nominal reduction target of 5.2% relative to 1990 for the industrialized
countries included in Annex B to the Protocol will have only a marginal effect on the
build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Prof Bert Bolin, Chairman Emeritus
of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has calculated that the Kyoto
Protocol slows the projected rise in global temperatures by only one-tenth to twotenths
of a degree Centigrade by 2050. The rise in CO2 levels in the atmosphere,
projected to be up 8% above 1990 levels by 2010, will only by about only 0.4 percent
lower if the Kyoto Protocol is strictly adhered too.

link

So it seems like that particular effort is high cost with limited utility (not including the rest of the study which concludes that the loopholes will result in a higher output of greenhouse gas: it is limited utility even if strictly adhered to).

I searched a bit for an estimate on what level of greenhouse gas emissions would be sustainable and reverse the course, but I have not found anything that seems authoritative. If anyone can point that out, I would appreciate it.

I can't keep my eyes off your breasts, Eric. You hussy.

Hey! I have those same folding chairs. I've always felt very formerly presidential. Now I know why.

Left to right back row (to the best of my recollection):

Armando (Open Left), Susie Madrak (Suburban Guerilla), Scott Lemieux (LG&M), Tall Guy from Treehuggers blog (forgot his name), Chris Bowers (with the glasses), Bill Clinton, Me.

Right to left front row/medium row:

Amanda Terkel (ThinkProgress), health care blogger whose name I forget, Samhita (Feministing), Vanessa Valenti (Feministing), Deanna Zandt with the spikey hair (AlterNet), Kim in the way front sitting down, Eve in the orange top (DailyKos), Natasha Chart (Open Left), behind her Emily Douglas (RH Reality Check), and finally Lindsay Beyerstein (Majikthise etc)

No, wait. My folding chairs have padding on the back support, not just he seat. Mine are better than President Clinton's.

"In this 11th year of cooling you can’t use “global warming” anymore. It’s now “climate change” to encompass, well, any damned thing that happens."

HA! The funny thing is, "Climate Change" was a term dreamed up by Republican pollster Frank Luntz because "Global Warming" was deemed too frightening. Climate Change was a milder euphemism.

So now you're going to blame environmentalists for the flat-earthers' tendentious choice of words? Brilliant!

You sure it wasn't a tangerine speedo?

"You sure it wasn't a tangerine speedo?"

Have we met before?

In this 11th year of cooling you can’t use “global warming” anymore. It’s now “climate change” to encompass, well, any damned thing that happens.

Oh, for the love of...

[Counts slowly to ten]

I keep wanting to believe in the ObWi dream of common ground, but sometimes it gets so difficult.

Oh course you’re Scaremongering. But you forgot the protocol. In this 11th year of cooling you can’t use “global warming” anymore.

Steve: I don't see why not.

Yeah, that's pretty nasty if it happens. But, Kyoto, whose effect was down in the noise, isn't implemented, and our chances of persuading the developing nations to shut down their CO2 production are minimal.

Better invest in geoengineering. Oh, and lots of nuclear plants.

Thanks for that link MGK.

Wasn't Bill Clinton President of some major industrial country in the nineties when carbon dioxide emissions got much worse? I am sure I remember the name from somewhere.

"Wasn't Bill Clinton President of some major industrial country in the nineties when carbon dioxide emissions got much worse? I am sure I remember the name from somewhere."

Yeah, but he wasn't a king. Or a dictator. He couldn't act by fiat. He had a GOP dominated Congress that didn't want to act on curbing emissions, despite Clinton's efforts and inclinations.

Hee. Slamhita looks like she got a kick out of your speedo, Eric. :P

And look -- Deanna is the lucky one holding the J-Val pose in front of Bill. Wonder if Althouse is spinning lurid fantasies as we speak...?

" He had a GOP dominated Congress that didn't want to act on curbing emissions, despite Clinton's efforts and inclinations."

Yeah, Kyoto was rejected by the Republican Senate, 95-0. A few more Dems, it would have passed by acclamation.

Yeah Brett, and that was clearly Clinton's fault. But to the extent you're arguing that the Dems were weak also, agreed.

OCSteve:
"Oh course you’re Scaremongering. But you forgot the protocol. In this 11th year of cooling you can’t use “global warming” anymore. It’s now “climate change” to encompass, well, any damned thing that happens."

Hey Steve, a question: why /11/ years of cooling? What about the last 10 years, or 12 years? Could it be that you're cherry picking your baseline year? What could have happened 11 years ago that might affect this data?

Oh, look - 1998 had one of the the strongest El Nino events on record, producing a massive outlier in the global mean temperature. If we change your baseline by one year either way we get quite different numbers: for 1997, the GISS mean surface temperature anomaly is 0.40, for 1998 it was 0.57 and for 1999 it was 0.33. For 2008 (the last year with published data) it was 0.44 - changing the baseline magically produces three different numbers, two of which are temperature /increases/.

On top of that, if we take 11 year windows starting in 1995, 1996 and 1997 (for which data is currently available), we get 1995: 0.38, 2006: 0.55; 1996: 0.30, 2007: 0.57; 1997: 0.40, 2008: 0.44. All I see in this set of numbers are /increases/ - the whole 'x years of cooling' disappears pretty quickly when you start picking different data points.

But all of that is basically cherry picking, same as you were doing - it's far too susceptible to outliers like 1998. What would be more useful is the five year average temperature anomaly - GISS publishes that number, but they calculate it for the center of the five year window, which means that the last published number is for 2006. Calculating it myself for the end of the window, so that I can give numbers for 2008, I get 0.38 for 1998, and 0.53 for 2008 - again, not a hint of cooling.

Oh, by the way, 2008 had a reasonably strong La Nina event, which dropped global temperatures significantly: it was an outlier, same as 1998, only in the other direction. Current forecasts for this year are that a strong and prolonged El Nino will occur - if 2009 or 2010 beat 1998 by a significant margin, will you (and all the other idiots who repeat this stupid talking point) drop everything and start working on mitigating global warming?

I wait with bated breath . . .

himi

Good points, himi.

How about it, SteveOC? Will you address himi's points, or just ignore them and repeat this very same debunked talking point the next time global warming comes up?

Or need I ask?

I must say, it seemed that OCSteve was more prone to discussions of fact prior to the election, but since has retreated behind ramparts of propaganda.

Where have you gone OCSteve?

I finally got around yesterday to finishing The Mellowing of Bill Clinton, cover story of The New York Times Magazine a couple weeks back.

If you are pro-Clinton, as I, you will like it. If not, you won't (although, in person, Clinton himself has a knack for winning over past enemies, according to the piece).

His fits of anger showed during Hillary's presidential campaign are attributed to his pushing things too far physically and an accompanying lack of sleep, which seems both plausible and a bit of a stretch.

As was the case with Eric's sitdown, Clinton strongly pushes measures to combat global warming, talking about the retrofitting and jobs it will bring that EM references above.

Clinton's command of the issues -- he is more policy wonkish than ever -- made me wish for a fairy-tale debate between him and President Obama.

I also came away thinking that Clinton's feel-good style of leadership had an edge to it, while Obama seems intent on being all things to all people and, in the process, is leaving many people behind (i.e. the gay community, which seems to include "half" citizens in the Age of Obama, and the middle class, who aren't nearly getting the love that Obama has shown Wall Street). The end point being: If Obama was supposed to be more progressive than Clinton, I have not seen it.

thanks btfb.

my biggest problem with Obama is that he seems like a smart and reasonable guy, but he's making decisions which seem really really dumb. so, either he's not that smart (which means i'm a lousy judge of character) or he is actually making the smart decisions (which means i'm a lousy judge of decisions).

this dilemma aggravates me. and i dislike aggravation.

serenity now!

No dilemnia. Obama is a genuinely smart guy, but even genuinely smart guys can't be competent at everything. Obama has chosen to be competent at politics. And in that area, he's a master.

This doesn't even begin to guarantee being competent at governing.

How about it, SteveOC? Will you address himi's points, or just ignore them and repeat this very same debunked talking point the next time global warming comes up?

Where have you gone OCSteve?

Well, I generally ignore these threads. It’s not really productive for any of us. Occasionally though I backslide when something really outrageous makes it too irresistible to pass on by. Eric’s “we’re not scaremongering” headline did it. And I’m only back here today because Eric’s last comment to btfb caused it to show up in the most recent comments on the side panel.

If anyone has talking points and debunked talking points its Hansen, Gore, and crew. Worse – “adjusting data”, algorithms that yield desired results, and total reliance on the (as yet unproven) theory (hell, it’s not even a theory – it’s a working hypothesis) that CO2 correlates with temperature. And cherry-picking data points? Please. Every scaremongering graph we see relies on that. It’s like trying to talk someone out of their religion…

As to the 11 years? Well, one year, two years, a season – that’s weather. But it’s generally agreed that a decade or more starts to count as “climate”. The most recent decade would seem to be relevant in these discussions. Conveniently, 11 years is also the average sunspot cycle (which some of us happen to think has some bearing here).

You’re worried about 2100? If you really want to worry, worry about shortened growing seasons, decreasing crop yields, and the near term potential for global famine.

Anyway – for the record, I try not to get into this here as it is totally fruitless. If anyone is actually interested you can read a more detailed post on my thoughts here – as well as lots of comments and back and forth with Turb and actually digging into the IPCC report.


I’m going to let that long TiO post stand as my position on this, and I’ll try to do better at avoiding taking the bait over here.

Really? You see no reason why people should question the 11 year mark when the 150 year trend is up, and 1998 such an obvious anomaly?

You're better than this Steve. You are.

Well, I generally ignore these threads. It’s not really productive for any of us.

You should really have stopped there... but hey. You believe religiously and without reason in the doctrine of the oil industry, and Eric baits you... ;-)

"If not, you won't (although, in person, Clinton himself has a knack for winning over past enemies, according to the piece)."

From people I know who have met him (and frankly even from just watching him on TV) he has enormous amounts of will-warping charisma. Such that if he intentionally focuses on you in person, you will like him at least so long as he is in your presence. I normally consider myself resistant to that kind of thing (though a recent ugly incident in my personal life has caused some reevaluation of that) but with Clinton giving a speech I remember a number of times when I would find myself drawn along nodding my head until the speech ended only to turn off the TV and think: wait a minute, I don't agree with that at all.

I think as intelligent human beings we like to think we are above that, but often we aren't.

I don't think Obama has that kind of charisma. Or if he does, he is a lot more subtle about it.

Which is fine. Frankly that level of charisma is kinda scary.

I think that only worked on some people; My own reaction on listening to Clinton was that my BS meter pegged itself, and then exploded in a shower of sparks. I could hardly stand to listen to the dude speak, due to the overwhelming urge to beat his head against a wall while shouting, "I'm not a moron, stop treating me like one!"

Of course, his efforts weren't calibrated to appeal to everybody.

Eric: Really? You see no reason why people should question the 11 year mark when the 150 year trend is up, and 1998 such an obvious anomaly?

Sure. Let’s question it all. I’m all for that. But you aren’t really allowed to question it any more are you? Its “settled science” after all…

Look – I spent about 30 hours laying out my position at TiO, debating Turb and others, etc. What pisses me off is someone claiming I’m just spouting “talking points”. I put a lot of damned time into this stuff. It mattered to me and I followed it – I researched it. Read my damned post at TiO. Argue with that, not your caricature of who you think I am.

No one is obliged to read my TiO post, and the debate in the comments, and all my cites. But it is pure bullsh!t to claim I am just spouting talking points if you have not.

Argh. Another influx of lefties. I’m not going to do this again. I’ve been here for years, but when something happens and a bunch of new lefties show up, it’s me who has to establish myself yet again. They are welcome because they have the right outlook after all.

Screw that. I’m done. Have a good life all.

OCSteve:
"Sure. Let’s question it all. I’m all for that. But you aren’t really allowed to question it any more are you? Its “settled science” after all…"

Question whatever you want, just be sure to do it in a way that doesn't ignore current research, and doesn't ignore counter arguments from science. Because so far you've basically ignored any counter arguments that have been presented.

"Look – I spent about 30 hours laying out my position at TiO, debating Turb and others, etc. What pisses me off is someone claiming I’m just spouting “talking points”. I put a lot of damned time into this stuff. It mattered to me and I followed it – I researched it. Read my damned post at TiO. Argue with that, not your caricature of who you think I am."

The problem is, you /are/ spouting talking points. You're repeating arguments that have been demolished any number of times, by any number of different people, and which have reached the point where they're nothing more than a big red flag indicating someone who isn't willing to change their mind. Or, alternatively, someone who's basically anti-science.

If you don't want to be typecast like that, stop repeating these arguments.

"Argh. Another influx of lefties. I’m not going to do this again. I’ve been here for years, but when something happens and a bunch of new lefties show up, it’s me who has to establish myself yet again. They are welcome because they have the right outlook after all.

Screw that. I’m done. Have a good life all."

I've been reading your comments for a while now, and you generally seem pretty sane - I was honestly surprised (and disappointed) when you started spouting global warming denier talk. If you're going to leave because people are calling you out on this, so be it, but it's your loss as much as it is ours.

himi

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