EPA to Propose Broad Reductions in Carbon Emissions

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heatwaveIn a sweeping move, the EPA will announce later today that it will mandate power plants in the US to cut carbon emissions by 30% by 2030.

The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that the rule will set “in motion the main piece of President Barack Obama’s climate-change agenda and is designed to give states and power companies flexibility in reaching the target. But it also will face political resistance and become fodder in midterm congressional races, particularly in energy-producing states, and is destined to trigger lawsuits from states and industry that oppose it.”

“Earlier this month, hundreds of scientists declared that climate change is no longer a distant threat, it has moved firmly into the present,” the President stated in his weekly address. “Last year I put forward America’s first climate action plan, this plan cuts carbon pollution by building a clean energy economy.”

The President argued that, while this is a good start, “for the sake of our children we have to do more. This week, we will.”

“Today about 40% of America’s carbon pollution comes from power plants,” he said. “But right now there are no natural limits to the amount of carbon pollution that existing plants can pump into the air we breathe. None.”

A year ago the President called on the EPA to address this gap in policy by coming up with common sense guidelines, along the lines of efforts already taken by many states, cities and companies.

He said, “These new commonsense guidelines to reduce carbon pollution from power plants were created with feedback from businesses, and state and local governments, and they would build a clean energy economy while reducing carbon pollution.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The rule, scheduled to be completed a year from now, will give flexibility to the states, which must implement them and submit compliance plans to the EPA by June 2016. States can decide how to meet the reductions, including joining or creating new cap-and-trade programs—which allow companies to trade allowances or credits for emissions—deploying more renewable energy or ramping up energy-efficiency technologies.”

They added, “Each state will have different reduction standards, and the national average will be 25% by 2020 and 30% by 2030, people familiar with the proposal said. Additional details about the rule, including the percentage reduction for each state, and other particulars on how it would work, weren’t available.”

The President has attempted to cut greenhouse gas emissions substantially by 2020, but his efforts at the start of his second term in office quickly became bogged down in Congress. By going through the EPA, the President effectively bypasses Congress.

However, as the New York Times analysis noted, “By itself, the President’s plan will barely nudge the global emissions that scientists say are threatening the welfare of future generations.”

“Is it enough to stop climate change? No,” Ted Nordhaus, chairman of the Breakthrough Institute, an environmental think tank in Oakland, told the Times. “No political leader in the world has a serious agenda to do that.”

“It is clear Mr. Obama’s immediate goal is not to solve the emissions problem, but to get the country moving faster in the right direction,” the Times wrote. “The new rule alone offers little hope that the United States and other nations can achieve cuts on a scale required to meet the internationally agreed limit on global warming.”

On the other hand, experts believe this plan will help President Obama accomplish an interim goal of achieving the 17 percent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2020.

The Times writes, “Mr. Obama’s effort is aimed not just at charting a new course inside the United States, but at reclaiming for the country the mantle of international leadership in battling climate change. If the policy coaxes more ambitious goals from other countries, experts say it could be a turning point.”

“He’s the first American president to permanently push down the U.S. emissions trajectory and get us within striking distance of the kind of global leadership that will be needed to tackle the problem,” said Paul Bledsoe, an energy analyst with the German Marshall Fund of the United States he adds.

These announcements come at a time when scientists believe that the planet has reach a critical turning point. Right now, nations have set a goal of limiting the warming of the planet to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial temperatures. In order for that to happen, global emissions would need to peak by 2020 and then decline.

That does not appear likely.

The Times reports, “Today, emissions are not falling nearly fast enough in the West, and those reductions are being swamped by a rapid rise in the East. Experts say that a global peak in 2020 is exceedingly unlikely, if not impossible — and that will be true even if the United States and other nations manage to keep the pledges they made in 2009.”

They add, “Well into the 2020s, it will still be technically possible to meet the global warming target, but the longer nations put off taking bold action, the more expensive and disruptive it will be to do so once they finally get serious.”

While the 2010 Congress refused to pass critical guidelines, the Times adds that experts believe that the President is piecing together a set of policies that may ultimately be as effective as the law Congress refused to pass.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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135 thoughts on “EPA to Propose Broad Reductions in Carbon Emissions”

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          Four different studies mentioned in the article I posted, so far you have called one study into question in terms of funding source but not research.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            Fracking has helped us to decrease CO2 emissions by 20 percent, but the President doesn’t mention this?

  1. Barack Palin

    We cut CO2 and hurt our economy while CO2 rises rapidly in the East. This will just result in more busunesses moving to China while not doing squat for the global climate picture.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Obviously the global strategy has to include a plan to the east. The article made it clear: “Today, emissions are not falling nearly fast enough in the West, and those reductions are being swamped by a rapid rise in the East. Experts say that a global peak in 2020 is exceedingly unlikely, if not impossible — and that will be true even if the United States and other nations manage to keep the pledges they made in 2009.”

      Obviously that is something everyone recognizes. But if the leadership doesn’t come from the west, China and India are not going to follow suit.

  2. Barack Palin

    This plan all takes effect after Obama leaves office as he knows it will hurt the economy. Let future presidents take the heat so Obama can push his agenda, he’s doing the same thing with Obamacare as he pushes back regulations until after the elections and in many cases into the next administration. So typical of the community organizer.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Great points. Will this help the GOP to a landslide in coal-producing states?

      And what is the cost for the typical family? I heard in Germany it led to a doubling of energy costs for the typical family.

  3. Frankly

    The President argued that, while this is a good start, “for the sake of our children we have to do more.

    This President has done more to harm children than any other before him. He has effectively destroyed the job market for young people. He has forced them to purchase expensive health insurance that most of them do not need. He keep cranking up the deficit and debt to massive levels that if reversed it will still take generations to repair. He has failed to move forward on any meaningful education reform… instead he pushing Federal control and testing standard (Common Core) that leave NCLB in the dust as a giant mess of damaging intended consequences.

    And he has unleashed the EPA to put the US on a track to eliminate more industrialism so that we become another European nanny state.

    The good news is that this move will add pain to Democrats in the next elections because it clearly adds to their credentials as out-of-touch fanatical extremists and destroyers of jobs and economic opportunity.

    Last point. Global warming, global cooling, climate change, inclement weather… basically anything and everything that politicians on the left and their tools in the publicly-funded climate science industry complain is a big new problem…. even though the same has existed throughout the history of the earth… is not going to be affected in the most miniscule way by these actions of the EPA gestapo and Great Leader.

    So then ask yourself why and at what cost?

    Then vote to get these clowns out of office so the adults take charge again.

    1. Barack Palin

      “So then ask yourself why and at what cost?”

      The “cost” will be jobs and skyrocketing energy bills and will do nothing for the environment as China and the East keep polluting while they prosper and eat our lunch. The “why” will be so people like David can feel good. Yes, the USA will lead the way to the bottom.

      1. Frankly

        The “cost” will be jobs and skyrocketing energy bills and will do nothing for the environment as China and the East keep polluting while they prosper and eat our lunch. The “why” will be so people like David can feel good. Yes, the USA will lead the way to the bottom.

        Agreed.

        The left is bent on choking off American industrialism and American business so that it forces more to have to be taken care of by nanny government.

        They have to end game for their strategy to force their worldview on us. Their utopian society is unattainable and the drive toward it is unsustainable.

        Democrats are the great destroyers of economic opportunity. They have no clue what the true value of a strong population of producers is and how it funds their social justice obsession. They chase these feel-good environmental policies that will do nothing but give them a badge they can wear proudly with they rub elbows and shoulders with their European contemporaries. They want this so bad to help prop up their egos and fill the gaps in their self-worth, that they would do so at the expense of many… including themselves.

        The Democrat party is controlled by liberals, and liberals always eventually destroy the system that sustains them by spending all of other people’s money.

          1. Barack Palin

            You seem to not realise that ocean levels have actually DROPPED in two of the last four years.

          2. Barack Palin

            Yes it is impressive because it puts a crimp in your “flooding low-lying cities” alarmist falacy.

          3. Davis Progressive

            how so? the overall trend is still moving in one direction and within that trend you can see many year to year declines in sea level followed by far more substantial increases over the course of a century. there is nothing in the data that suggests that the trend has reversed.

          4. Davis Progressive

            bp – again look at the trend line over the last century, sea levels rose over time, but there were year to year fluctuations. that’s all you’re seeing now.

    2. Davis Progressive

      you act like there’s no possibility that humans can alter the climate of the earth despite the linkage between co2 and warming and the correlation between the amount of co2 in the atmosphere and the increase in global temperature.

      1. Frankly

        I believe that humans are part of the environment and that there are almost infinite factors that impact the environment, and humans are unable to create sufficient predictive impact models and they are powerless to control any changes to the environment.

        With respect to humans being part of the environment we should be focused on adaption to the environment, not control of the environment.

        Because throughout the history of humans, we have had to adapt and we could never control.

        And if you and other elites that have inflated your sense of power to believe that you can actually impact climate change with environmental policy, take action in pursuit of this inflated sense of power… the only think you will accomplish is damage to humans and no impact to thing you believed you had the power to impact.

        The ONLY policies we should be pursuing are in the economic development realm. Public investment in R&D for new low-emission energy production. Nuclear. Natural gas replacing coal. Better ethanol production advances. Improvements to batteries, solar panels and wind production. Provide incentives to spur production of these new technologies but don’t implement new regulations to penalize and halt the use of the only proven energy sources we have on hand.

        1. Frankly

          Note that my use of “environment” relates to the macro global environment. Certainly we can do small things that help a local or regional environmental issue. We are talking about global climate. And no matter how many advanced science degrees a person gets, he will not be able to control the weather.

          1. Tia Will

            “Note that my use of “environment” relates to the macro global environment. Certainly we can do small things that help a local or regional environmental issue.”

            This fails to consider the aggregate of our actions. While I agree that our primary emphasis should be on local environmental issues, I also feel that the United States as a world leader, as you have so often claimed has a responsibility to set an example for ecological stewardship just as you feel we have for economic advancement.

            “With respect to humans being part of the environment we should be focused on adaption to the environment, not control of the environment.”

            While I agree that we as humans cannot control all of the myriad factors that contribute to climate change, there is on set of factors that we can control, those that we have created through our avaricious use of our planets natural resources. This is most certainly under our control.

        2. Davis Progressive

          it’s hard to create a sufficient predictive model of the climate.

          “With respect to humans being part of the environment we should be focused on adaption to the environment, not control of the environment.”

          i agree. if you read the policy goal, it’s to keep the atmosopheric temperature from rising another 3.6 F – that’s not control obviously.

          “And if you and other elites”

          that implies that i’m an elite.

          “The ONLY policies we should be pursuing are in the economic development realm. ”

          that’s certainly part of the equation, but emission controls are in a sense part of economic development as someone needs to develop the technology to reduce emissions.

      2. Frankly

        you act like there’s no possibility that humans can alter the climate of the earth despite the linkage between co2 and warming and the correlation between the amount of co2 in the atmosphere and the increase in global temperature.

        The amount of human made Co2 in the atmosphere is miniscule compared to the total of all non-human-made greenhouse gases. There is no proven cause-and-effect with that miniscule bit of man-made Co2… there is only circumstantial evidence and that evidence requires that the time-scale be controlled. For example, going back to the Medieval warming period 1000 years ago, there was almost no man-made Co2 in the atmosphere. That was followed by the Little Ice Age… again… with very few humans around to blame. And if we look at the last decade, we see a cooling trend.

        The problem is that the left and their scientific tools have effectively put a noose around their necks in absolutism. Now there are such dire consequences for any change in the data that causes their absolute prognostications to fall apart… that they are shape-shifters… constantly tweaking the theories and models to provide them cover.

        1. tribeUSA

          Frankly: Re: “The amount of human made Co2 in the atmosphere is miniscule compared to the total of all non-human-made greenhouse gases. ”

          While the rate of CO2 release from fossil carbon reservoirs (coal, oil, gas) is only about 4% of the rate of natural release from the environment (mainly respiration from living organisms on land and in oceans); the effect is cumulative. The biosphere can handle only so much more CO2 (thru increased vegetative biomass and plankton, etc. in oceans); the excess goes to atmosphere and oceans. The balance between respiration and oxidation has been shifted. There has been a clear increase in CO2 levels in the atrmosphere of about 40% over the last 150 years–are you saying a 40% increase is negligible? There has also been a clear increase towards decreased pH (increased acidity) of ocean water in the last few decades due to higher carbonic species levels (CO2, when dissolved, produces carbonic acid and other carbonate species).

          That said; I too disagree with the new policy; and strongly disagree that such a huge decision should have been made by executive order. Continued funding of R&D for alternative energies, as well as various forms of tax breaks for alternative energies, is the way to go; a government mandate here is utter folly. Particularly the carbon-credit trading is likely to evolve into an insiders scam; further exposes our government to corrupting influences.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            Thank you for bringing a new voice to the discussion.

            For years I avoided this discussion, but then finally started reading a scientific paper on the topic. The amount of CO2 released by the oceans is amazing! There are so many supposed ‘facts’ that don’t add up, and we’ve had a 17-year hiatus in ‘warming’. Some argue global cooling is on the way.

            This will cause our energy prices to rise substantially, all based on an unproven theory.

          2. Frankly

            You missed the point here. I said that the human made Co2 in the atmosphere is a tiny percentage of all GREENHOUSE GASES. A small fraction of a percent.

            For example water vapor is the primary greenhouse gas. And water vapor has increased. And the models don’t account for this in any provable way.

            The correlation to increased Co2 are circumstantial. But what if the increase in water vapor is a greater correlating cause to climate change, and the causes for greater water vapor are solar or ocean currents or ????

        1. tribeUSA

          During the Industrial revolution; CO2 levels rose slightly. The rate of CO2 increase in the atmosphere has been much higher in the last few decades than during the industrial revolution, as has been the rate of combustion of hydrocarbons (coal, oil, gas).

          That said, the larger point is that CO2 is one of many factors that have a significant influence on mean atmospheric temperature. As Frankly points out above, water vapor is actuallly the main greenhouse gas, in terms of atmospheric IR absorption. The relationship between mean global levels of atmospheric water vapor and mean global temperature is an area of intensive research; last I heard was that the best models predict slightly increasing mean water vapor levels in the atmosphere as atmospheric temperature increases; not sure if there is yet sufficient monitoring data over a sufficiently long period to conclusiively evaluate the accuracy of such models.

          1. tribeUSA

            Forgot to mention that increased atmospheric water vapor and temperature levels each have an influence on cloud formation–and clouds reflect a large fraction of incoming solar radiation back out into space. An area of intensive research is whether or not mean cloud cover has been increasing or decreasing or has been roughly stationary; as well as other attributes of clouds (e.g. elevation) that affect the net radiation balance (solar and IR).

            So there are still many pieces of the climate puzzle that are unknown; some of which could turn out to be very important; many scientists working hard on many different aspects of how earth’s climate system works and how it responds to change in atmospheric composition.

          2. TrueBlueDevil

            tribeUSA – as a friend of mine once told me, “ou can take all the reductions in CO2 from windmills, solar panels, conservation, Natural Gas… and they are all wiped out by the explosion of one volcano.

            That puts the power of mother nature in perspective.

            And am I correct – that during the Industrial Revolution, temperatures fell?

          3. tribeUSA

            Re:did temperatures drop during industrial revolution?
            It wasn’t until the 1870s or so that reliable thermometers with an accuracy of +/- 0.1 C or better were widely deployed. Various surrogate data have been used; I think there is a consensus that from about 1800 to early 1900s, mean global temperature likely declined by about 0.1C. This is within the range of natural variability, based on similar surrogate data sets that extend back to roughly 1000 years ago. Since the early 1900s, global mean temperature has increased about 0.8C; which is much larger than the range of natural variability over more than one thousand years . The rate of fossil fuel use during the industrial revolution was a miniscule fraction of the rates of burn over the last few decades and currently.

        2. Frankly

          Apparently Yellowstone National Park sits over a giant super volcano that if and when it erupts will kill off about 70% of the global population from the ensuing climate change.

          Thinking of that little bit of time each of us might have after Yellowstone blows… how might we feel about the theory of anthropogenic climate change, and the people that made coin off it and the leftists who worked so hard to kill industrialization because of it?

  4. Don Shor

    This is actually a very reasonable and practical approach. The government is setting the goal and giving industry and public utilities more than fifteen years to achieve them. That means some old, dirty power plants will be replaced, we might actually see faster-tracking of nuclear plants, and there will be incentives to speed up technologies that allow cleaner burning of dirtier sources like coal. It means fracking will expand, since natural gas is cleaner, so states will have to ramp up their regulatory processes. But they have time; it’s not an overnight thing.

    There would be significant ancillary benefits. “Carbon emissions” includes things that are very harmful to human health. Moving to cleaner-burning energy sources will be good for everyone, even if you don’t believe in climate change. It will continue our trend toward national energy self-sufficiency, a goal set by presidents since the 1970’s but which we are only now beginning to achieve.

    Because it is a goal-focused approach, this will likely get only lukewarm support from environmental groups. It will, of course, be attacked from the right. But it is probably the best blueprint for how to get to greater energy self-reliance, cleaner air, and less carbon output that we are going to see. And, of course, if there are aspects that Congress doesn’t like, they can address those through legislation.

    1. Frankly

      It is not a very reasonable and practical approach. It is hazardous.

      Instead of this, the focus should have been on adaption. Because this policy is not going to change a thing. But the ignorant minions and the media-blasted uninformed will assume that because the US government EPA is implementing these policies… everything will be alright. The seas will not rise… the weather will calm down. It will be cooler again and we will have more rain… but not so much that it floods.

      Yeah right.

      We should be working on adaption in any case… because the US cannot afford many more giant hurricanes or earthquakes. And states cannot afford much of anything of a major environmental catastrophe.

      The other point here is that this move by Obama and his EPA gestapo will kill more American jobs.

        1. Frankly

          Because nothing we do to restrict carbon production through regulatory restrictions will have any measurable impact in global climate change. Even scientists concede this.

          So if we are going to do anything, we should push for policies that enhance the pace of development of alternative cleaner energy sources that are affordable and practical.

          This policy direction is asinine. It is for political show only. It is like Kennedy advancing our going to the moon goal by putting more constraining regulations on jet development so more people would work on rockets.

          1. Don Shor

            Do you believe there is no downside to putting the byproducts of various carbon sources into the atmosphere?

          2. Don Shor

            So if we are going to do anything, we should push for policies that enhance the pace of development of alternative cleaner energy sources that are affordable and practical.

            If the EPA sets a standard requiring reduction of emissions, it will have that exact effect.

      1. Don Shor

        No, it will shift jobs from coal to natural gas and nuclear. And it takes place over fifteen years. Nobody believes that reducing our carbon emissions will ‘fix’ climate change. It is the pace of change, not whether it will happen, that is at issue. If the major industrial nations reduce carbon output, sea level rise would be slower. As I’ve said before, the world’s focus should be on adaptation. But there are many benefits of making a national transition to cleaner fuel sources.
        You really should stop using inflammatory language. It makes it hard to have a conversation with you.

        1. Frankly

          “You really should stop using inflammatory language.”

          By this I assume you mean blaming Obama, Democrats, liberals and leftists?

          Don’t you see the correlation? Don’t you see all of them marching to the same policy direction and the same rhetoric and the same talking points?

          If there was any objectivity within these groups and individuals, I would treat them as objective beings worthy of just a nuanced debate of the pros and cons for any policy decision. But what we have here is an indication that the left views this climate change issue as a pseudo religious crusade.

          I am just too pragmatic of a person to accept policy that does not actually fix the problems the policy is claiming to address. It is only feel-good actions. The EPA, like all government agencies, wants to make a difference in their domain. But for them the difference, and their end game, is to pass some new regulations.

          If some project or program or action or legislation or regulations are not going to return the result that was just to justify their existence… it should not happen.

          1. Don Shor

            By this I assume you mean blaming Obama, Democrats, liberals and leftists?

            No, I mean using words like gestapo. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestapo

            If some project or program or action or legislation or regulations are not going to return the result that was just to justify their existence… it should not happen.

            The goal is reduction of carbon emissions. These regulations would help to achieve that.

          2. Frankly

            Not globally. Who cares if it does so locally if global Co2 is still increasing and the seas will rise? Again, non solution. Only feel-good.

          3. Frankly

            No, I mean using words like gestapo. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestapo

            Now come on… I am talking about the EPA. Are you really that sensitive about the EPA? Are they also a protected victim group?

            How about saying my language is provocative and not inflammatory? I think you calling my language inflammatory in the context I am using it is in fact inflammatory.

          4. Don Shor

            Why do you always leap to the “protected victim group” canard when you are called on your constant use of inflammatory, derogatory language? Why don’t you just discuss the issues without using that kind of language? You don’t think ‘gestapo’ is a little extreme? Why can’t you ever discuss something without insulting whole groups of people?

  5. South of Davis

    DP wrote:

    > you act like there’s no possibility that humans can alter the climate
    > of the earth despite the linkage between co2 and warming

    I think that everyone knows that humans “can” change the climate, but the question is how “much” can we (as Americans/About 4% of the global population) change the “global climate” and/or stop “global”
    warming.

    The world has about 7 BILLION people so if we put 7,000 people in Arco/Sleep Train Area each person would represent 1 Million people. The Chinese section would be the biggest with ~1,300 people and the Indian section would be second biggest with about 1,200 people, the US section would have about 300 people and the rest of the world section would have 4,200 people.

    If everyone was smoking and the US section decided to reduce smoking by 30% the people that could move to the Chinese section (the manufacturing companies) would move while the people that could not move (the power companies) would just reduce their smoke by using expensive e-cigarettes.

    Not to get in to the overall debate of if the sea is going up or down or if the studies are accurate, I’m wondering if anyone thinks that having 300 people in an arena with 7,000 people, cut back smoking over 15% over 30 years (with many of the heavy smokers moving to a section where they don’t have to cut back) will change the overall level of smoke in the arena?

    1. DavisBurns

      Here’s a radical thought. If 7 billion people are polluting the earth, regardless of their distribution, how will adding another 3 billion effect the problem? Somehow we think reducing pollution is important but fail to consider the rate at which we are increasing the demand for products which require more energy and food. And please note, the US increases it’s population by over one million annually mostly via LEGAL immigration. I don’t want to get into illegal immigration. If we hadn’t ruined Mexico’s economy with NAFTA, we wouldn’t have had the influx of illegals. Besides, I’ve read we had a net loss last year of Mexicans returning to Mexico.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Mexico is a more complex situation than that, we even had 3.6 million illegal immigrants in 1986. (Gov’t estimate was 1 million.) We have a large country which we have relatively unpopulated… but I find your no population growth stance interesting as you have 3 children, and you’re aligned with the Greenies.

    2. Davis Progressive

      so you have really a two-level problem. first, we need to be able to convince americans to change their behavior. but we also know that doing that is not enough. so we need to convince the chinese and indians to change theirs. it becomes this catch 22 – you can’t convince the indians and chinese without going first, but going first means that we get people like you crying foul that we can’t possible make a difference. meanwhile we have been debating this stuff for 30 years and things are only getting worse.

    3. Tia Will

      “I’m wondering if anyone thinks that having 300 people in an arena with 7,000 people, cut back smoking over 15% over 30 years (with many of the heavy smokers moving to a section where they don’t have to cut back) will change the overall level of smoke in the arena?”

      Certainly not if you limit your scenario to this limited set of actions. However, what your scenario does not include is the ability of human beings to learn, and their tendency towards imitation and innovation. So now one has to ask, what will be the actions of the children of those smokers. Some, whose parents and friends have died of tobacco related illness will chose not to smoke. Others realizing that smoking is very expensive and wanting to provide other items for their children will stop. Some will never have becomes attracted to it in the first place and will not take up what they see as an expensive, dirty, medically dangerous habit and increasingly less popular habit. As the numbers or smokers drops, more people will see the advantages of quitting, smoking will no longer be the default social norm and the number of smokers will drop still further. Now if the owners of Arco want to have an effect, they can mount signs around the arena factually illustrating just how bad smoking is for the individual and how costly it is for the group. They can designate areas where smoking is allowed and where it is not so that those who choose to smoke are not affecting the quality of the air for those who chose not to.
      The number of smokers will decline further. This is basically what has happened in this country in the recent past. I would certainly not refer to the owners of Arco as the “Gestapo” because they favor endeavors to move the social trend in a clearly more positive direction.

  6. South of Davis

    DP wrote:

    > that implies that i’m an elite.

    I have never met (or heard of) a poor uneducated person that cares about global warming. Almost anyone that has graduated from college and lives in California is in the top 10% of overall US combined income and education and can be called “elite”.

    If we were to poll the college grads in California about global warming I’m wondering if anyone thinks that the people who graduated with BAs from the CSU System will as a percentage be more interested in global warming than the people with advanced degrees from the UC System?

    1. Don Shor

      “Worry about global warming is not related to education in any systematic way; those with postgraduate education are no more worried than those with a high school education or less. This conforms with prior research showing that education bears little relation to Americans’ believing that human activities are the cause of global warming.”

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/168236/americans-show-low-levels-concern-global-warming.aspx
      The reality is that Americans overall are not that worried about climate change, regardless of income or education level.

      A little more than a third say they worry “a great deal” about climate change or about global warming, putting these concerns at the bottom of a list of eight environmental issues.

      1. South of Davis

        Don wrote:

        > The reality is that Americans overall are not that worried about
        > climate change, regardless of income or education level.

        And that is after having a person from Gallup TELL them that climate change IS a “environmental” problem when asking them the question.

        Without the leading question and asking American’s a simple “Tell me 10 things you worry about” I’m betting that “global warming” or “climate change” will be on less than 1% of the lists…

        1. DavisBurns

          The reality is most Americans get their news from corporate media. It’s taken a decade to get them to stop reporting climate change as a controversy and giving equal air time to the less than 1% of the climate deniers as they gave to the 99% who represent the scientific community. It was a decade in which the number of people who thought it was a problem decreased because of the broad based media bias. There motto is never bite the hand that feeds you and that includes PBS and NPR and their corporate sponsors.

          1. Frankly

            Yeah… they should get their information from Al Gore instead.

            Oh wait… is he a political information source, a scientific information source, or a corporate information source?

            Read “This Town” by Mark Leibovich. There is no difference.

            But I find it interesting that you are strongly implying that the population is too stupid to figure this stuff out for themselves. I seem to recall you calling me out for a similar claim.

          2. TrueBlueDevil

            Unfortunately, 99% of the world’s scientists don’t believe in so-called climate change. Sources?

    2. DavisBurns

      I have 3 disabled adult children who live on less than $11,000 a year. On has a college degree from UCD. All three are concerned with global warming. Now you HAVE heard of a poor person who has a brain and uses it.

      1. South of Davis

        Davis Burns:

        > I have 3 disabled adult children who live on less than $11,000
        > a year. On has a college degree from UCD. All three are concerned
        > with global warming. Now you HAVE heard of a poor person who
        > has a brain and uses it.

        I think you misses my point, I was talking about people that are poor AND uneducated (there are plenty of UCD Environmental Science grads making less than your kids that care about global warming).

        Let me know if you find a guy in his 30’s mowing lawns or mopping floors in town that didn’t finish High School who puts “global warming” on his “top 10 things he worries about” list…

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Last I read, its is about number 13 or 14 on the list of priorities for the average American.

          Jobs rate 1 or 2, which Obama can’t seem to figure out how to create (but he knows hot to kill em). Maybe he doesn’t want to create jobs, given his world view?

  7. Davis Progressive

    I have never met (or heard of) a poor uneducated person that cares about global warming.

    a lot of irony embedded in that statement.

  8. DavisBurns

    Don Shor–natural gas really isn’t clean. When burned it produces methane which is. 30 times more effective retaining heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide and vast quantities are released during the FRACKING process. To date they are just beginning to try to measure the extent of the methane released from various natural gas sources. Currently, they think it is maybe a bit cleaner than coal. Their clean natural gas campaign is as much hype as the clean coal campaign

    1. Don Shor

      It’s cleaner than coal and oil when you burn it. Extraction should be regulated to reduce environmental damage. But there is no question that natural gas will be an important part of transitioning away from coal and oil and reducing carbon emissions and pollution.

    2. Barack Palin

      “Their clean natural gas campaign is as much hype as the clean coal campaign”

      Just as the climate alarmist’s fake catastrophe end of the world scare tactics are all hype too.

    3. Frankly

      DavisBurns exemplifies the irrational extremist position that creates the brick wall of resistance.

      “natural gas isn’t really clean.”

      Well, I think if humans could somehow be eliminated from the planet, it would probably be more environmentally correct in the view of an environmental extremist. But then again, maybe not.

      The “irrational” part is that humans can somehow exist adequately today on just sunlight, wind and batteries… eating wild tubers and sustainable rodents while snuggling close together for warmth in huts made out of straw and mud.

    4. TrueBlueDevil

      Natural Gas is substantially cleaner than coal, and it is a major reason why we have dropped out CO2 emissions 20% the past 10 years. Can’t we even celebrate our successes?

  9. jrberg

    Contrary to F’ly’s end of the world scare tactics, there’s a lot of money to be made and jobs produced by moving away from a carbon based economy, especially as the stored carbon goes away. Here’s what my electric bill for the last four months looks like:

    March: $63.86
    April: $46.08
    May: $16.80
    June: $-4.37

    Anyone want to guess why? And no, we haven’t been on vacation.

    1. Frankly

      Don’t forget to include the other side of this. What are the expenses related to the green energy you are paying for… you don’t get something for nothing. And if you are just leasing the equipment and gave up the tax credits… well tax credits are costing all of us… so don’t forget that too.

      But your point?

      If it is that private industry is bringing solar to homeowners, and homeowners are taking advantage of it… well then yes, money and jobs are produced by moving to green energy. Now, if you ban fracking and cause other industry to decline and lose jobs, then you have not increases jobs… you have only maybe replaced some jobs for others. But more likely have a net negative impact on total jobs.

      1. Don Shor

        well tax credits are costing all of us… so don’t forget that too.

        I thought you said earlier this morning that we should encourage green energy. Do you support or oppose tax credits for solar?

        1. Frankly

          Yes – some. But temporary to move private industry to provide the needed solutions at a reasonable price.

          My point is that we need to keep the cost of these things in mind as part of the overall cost-benefit analysis.

      2. Davis Progressive

        you have to pay upfront costs to save on the backside. when we went to solar and better weather sealing our costs went way down.

      3. Tia Will

        Frankly

        “you have only maybe replaced some jobs for others. But more likely have a net negative impact on total jobs.”

        The nature of the jobs ,the overall impact of the jobs and the reason those jobs exist are all items that you are not mentioning. Let’s stick with tobacco for my illustration. So tobacco farmers, their employees and cigarette manufacturers and their employees as well as those who advertise tobacco and the shopkeepers who sell it all benefit from tobacco sales.

        Who else benefits from tobacco sales ? Doctors including radiologists, oncologists, surgeons and every job category who assists them while they try to take care of or lessen the harm from these completely avoidable illness,es which have cut short the ability to work of the person who gets COPD, or a stroke or a heart attack or cancer. Good for those who have those jobs ? Only if you only consider jobs and are unwilling to consider the impact in terms of the economic consequences to those who are unable to work and those who are dependent upon them, and ultimately those who are now dependent upon government programs. Not all jobs are created equal and some have an overall negative impact on our society.

        1. South of Davis

          Tia wrote:

          > Who else benefits from tobacco sales ?

          I read an interesting article a while back (keeping in mind I still think all smokers are idiots) that said we ALL (as taxpayers) benefit from tobacco sales since as taxpayers we get a lot of tobacco taxes and the extra (taxpayer funded) health care for some sick smokers is made up by the savings in (taxpayer funded) retirement/Social Security and (taxpayer funded) healthcare over the long term since smokers for the most part die younger than non smokers.

        2. Frankly

          I have a relative with a chronic health problem that smoking cigarettes helps with symptoms.

          I have other friends that have some ADD and smoking makes them able to focus and concentrate.

          The point about negative impacts to society from things that liberals want to ban… liberals will effectively harm many people with these bans. But liberals are clear about “good” and “bad” and have a trick to not only label the thing to ban as bad… but also those people that would be damaged by the ban as bad.

          Smokers = Bad. People working in the coal industry = Bad.

          Therefore there is no harm worth any liberal hand-wringing. The end demanded by liberals always justifies the means. It’s all good! Right…

          1. Tia Will

            “I have a relative …..”

            Fine Frankly, if you want to put up your three or so examples against the following statistics from the CDC:

            More than 480,000 deaths annually (including deaths from secondhand smoke)
            278,544 deaths annually among men (including deaths from secondhand smoke)
            201,773 deaths annually among women (including deaths from secondhand smoke)
            go right ahead. But anecdotes of minuscule numbers of people who claim that they benefit from tobacco does not even come close to those who are objectively harmed.
            Besides which, you have never called for a tobacco ban from me. What you have heard is that I think that it is the responsibility of all adults to protect children from the obvious harm incurred by addiction.

        3. South of Davis

          Tia wrote:

          > More than 480,000 deaths annually (including deaths
          >from secondhand smoke)

          Can you post a link to an obituary or a death certificate that lists the “cause of death” as “secondhand smoke”?

          1. Tia Will

            SouthofDavis

            We had this conversation before. Were it not for HIPPA, I could give you many examples of chart entries that read ” asthma exacerbation secondary to second hand smoke”, COPD exacerbation – recommend family members not smoke in the home, or in the chart of a newborn, intrauterine growth restriction, possibly secondary to maternal tobacco use. There are lots and lots of them.
            You may want to pretend that second hand smoke is not a danger, but with 30 years of medicine behind me, I can guarantee that it is.

        4. South of Davis

          Tia wrote:

          > I could give you many examples of chart entries that read
          > ” asthma exacerbation secondary to second hand smoke”,
          > COPD exacerbation – recommend family members not
          > smoke in the home

          I’m sure you can, but it was when you wrote: “More than 480,000 deaths annually (including deaths from secondhand smoke) I was asking for evidence of “DEATHS” from second hand smoke not “asthma exacerbation” or “recommendations that people don’t smoke around those with COPD”…

          Remember I had asthma real bad as a kid and spent time in the emergency room, and I know that smoking (and McDonalds) are both bad for you. I’m just trying to avoid exaggerations that say that people are “dying” because they breath in a little cigarette smoke every now and then (or DIE from eating fast food)…

          1. Tia Will

            SouthofDavis

            ” I’m just trying to avoid exaggerations that say that people are “dying” because they breath in a little cigarette smoke every now and then (or DIE from eating fast food)…”

            No one has suggested that anyone dies from breathing in “a little cigarette smoke every now and then”. What is true is that cumulatively when inhaled daily in one’s home through second hand sources during youth, there is an increased risk of chronic persistent asthma, of COPD, and of lung cancer even if the individual never smoked themselves.

            As for fast food, again, consumed regularly over one’s life time it does lead to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and a shortened life span. So yes, I would say fast food can kill you if the cause of death is a heart attack in a 45 year old 5’2″ 350 lb individual ….and yes, this I have seen.

        5. South of Davis

          Tia wrote:

          > As for fast food, again, consumed regularly over one’s life
          > time it does lead to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes,
          > cardiovascular disease and a shortened life span.

          Just like “second hand” smoke will not “kill” anyone (unlike actually smoking that will kill you) “fast food” does not cause any problems (the problem is “too much food” and not enough movement). I’m not proud to admit this but for years I would stop by a McDonalds for lunch quite a bit since it was fast and cheap (I always got a $0.99 plain cheeseburger and a $0.99 chicken sandwich). I’m sure the (under 40 minute at the time) 10K I ran before stopping at McDonalds to get something to eat while I was cooling down walking back to the office to take a shower had something to do with helping me avoid obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease…

          1. Tia Will

            “Just like “second hand” smoke will not “kill” anyone”

            It will if the child of a smoker ( with this as their only risk factor) ends up with small cell cancer of the lung as an adult. It will if, in the absence of any other risk factors, they die of a stroke or heart attack. No, it will not be on their death certificate since only the proximate cause is likely to be listed. This does not mean that the second hand smoke was not causal.

            I really do not understand why you are so devoted to the idea that second hand smoke is not a danger, especially to children and those with underlying lung or cardiovascular disease. This is well known, not a conspiracy against the tobacco companies as you seem to imply.

  10. Frankly

    Here’s a radical thought. If 7 billion people are polluting the earth, regardless of their distribution, how will adding another 3 billion effect the problem?

    Just feeding all of these people will require lots of fertilizer. The production of primary fertilizer requires taking the nitrogen from the air and binding it hydrogen from ammonia or nitric acid in a process that burns a lot of energy… usually natural gas (or gasified coal for those countries without plentiful natural gas)… of course energy sources that the environmental activists and EPA want to constrain or kill with more and more regulations before there is any reliable energy source alternative for the production of fertilizer.

    Demand for fertilizer is escalating worldwide. China, India and developing nations around the world are stepping up their agricultural output of both grains and livestock, and commodity crop prices are at record highs, encouraging farmers to fertilize heavily in search of higher yields. As fertilizer demand grows, supply is ramping up to meet it, and the U.S. is poised to capture most of that growth—in no small part because of rapid expansion of the nation’s natural gas sector over the past four years.

    In 2011 U.S. ammonia-producing facilities released 25 million tons of greenhouse gases (nearly all of it CO2)—just under 14 percent of the chemical-manufacturing sector’s total carbon footprint (and about 0.1 percent of total U.S. emissions). Globally, ammonia production represents as much as 3 to 5 percent of carbon emissions, according to some industry sources. And that doesn’t take into account the supply chain of natural gas production, energy-related emissions in the production process, fertilizer application (and misapplication) or industrial use of urea and other ammonia products.

    And note that this is just the fertilizer production… when you consider the entire life-cycle of food production and distribution…

    Agriculture and food production contribute up to 29 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121030210343.htm

    That is right… 29 PERCENT!

    What alternative do we have?

    Here is the way I see it…

    Those holding a left worldview and/or an environmental alarmist/activist worldview think we can feed more people without putting more carbon in the air and think there are two ways to do it.

    One – Level out global consumption so that it is the same for all. Those high-consumption countries should be regulated to send more of their “excesses” to the more needy countries.

    Two – Everyone go back to nature sustaining their diet… eat what you grow naturally or what you gather or what you buy at the food coop. Eat whatever is abundant, but not too much to cause depletion. The key is sustainability. For example, New Yorkers should start eating rat since there are so many of the critters running around their city. And we don’t need that many calories anyway. If you live where you have a little yard (not too big though… must not allow sprawl… and need to preserve open space… although not so much farmland these days because it is bad for the environment) raise chickens and eat the eggs and put their poo in the field for natural fertilizer.

    Of course these ideas are preposterous for a solution to the challenge of feeding the world… but just don’t tell your leftie or your environmental activist friend this. It will break his/her heart.

    Here is another consideration. Let’s do what climate and other left-locked scientists are seemingly incapable of doing… let’s assume that humans on this planet are part of the natural world. Maybe we can look at them like a fungus or a bacterial colony. With both and beneficial and damaging symbiotic relationship with the rest of the natural system. If the colony grows too large it stresses the system. But some population is optimum.

    So, in consideration of this, maybe our climate cycles are also part of the natural system… and will highly stress the total colony and certain areas of the globe where the colony has grown too large to sustain itself will not be able to adapt to system changes. And then the colony will shrink and those remaining will have learned some lessons for how to avoid the same stress.

    And the challenge to feed the entire colony moves back to sustainable… for a time.

    And if this latter idea is the correct one… that we are just part of nature… then I vote that we don’t perpetuate our agony by trying to mitigate the stress before the lessons are learned. Because we are never smart enough to accurately determine in advance what those lessons will be.

    That is the key point.

    WE ARE NEVER SMART ENOUGH TO ACCURATELY DETERMINE IN ADVANCE WHAT THOSE LESSONS WILL BE.

    That is why we should just focus on learning how to adapt to any and all possible changes.

    1. Don Shor

      of course energy sources that the environmental activists and EPA want to constrain or kill with more and more regulations before there is any reliable energy source alternative for the production of fertilizer.

      The EPA is not proposing any regulations that reduce the ability to use natural gas to produce agricultural fertilizers. The EPA is not in any way restricting the ability of private or public utilities to use natural gas. The EPA is setting an overall goal for reduction of output of carbon emissions, and gives the utilities and the states considerable latitude as to how to achieve that goal. Each state will have separate goals because each state has a different mix of power sources.
      You are making stuff up.

      1. Frankly

        Come on Don, you know that liberals want to ban fracking. And Obama is very much in agreement with all his followers.

        http://www.environmental-action.org/blog/nearly-650000-comments-call-obama-administration-ban-fracking-public-lands

        This new rule by the EPA is a way against coal, but all fossil fuel emissions are in their cross-hairs.

        But keep in mind that these new emissions standards will make it difficult for new fertilizer plants to be built in some states. And since food production and distributions accounts for 29% of the total global carbon emissions… and for every ton of carbon our anti-business EPA rules take out, hungry China will be adding 3-4 tons more.

        1. Don Shor

          I know that many liberals want to ban fracking. Environmental groups will probably split on the issue because some will see the benefits of natural gas, just as some have seen the benefits of nuclear power in this overall issue.
          I doubt you could show that there will be a shortage of fertilizer now or ever due to these EPA carbon rules. If the demand is there, those states will factor that into their policies as they adopt the EPA carbon goals. This is not a “way against coal,” it is an overall goal of reducing carbon emissions. Coal can be burned cleaner in those states where it prevails, or those states can join cap-and-trade programs with other states.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          So do I have this correct?

          Those on the left want to ban fracking.

          They wan to ban nuclear power.

          They want to ban coal.

          And they’d like to do away with hydrp power.

          Given this, we’ll be running our moribund economy on candle power.

        3. wdf1

          Frankly: Come on Don, you know that liberals want to ban fracking.

          Banning fracking altogether is not really examining where the problems are with fracking.

          The sensible thing to do is severely restrict shallow reservoir fracking. That’s what tends to contaminate shallower water aquifers that residents rely on. That was also the practice of a bunch of bottom-feeding petroleum companies featured in the documentary, Gasland, where there were memorable examples of someone lighting fire to water coming out of his tap.

          The other thing that should be done is that oil companies should be required to reveal the chemicals used in fracking. This is unacceptable:

          North Carolina governor signs law paving way for fracking

          The energy measure also prohibits local governments from outlawing fracking and makes it illegal to reveal the chemicals used to extract oil or gas from wells using fracking.

          Other than those two things, I don’t have any other problem.

          In China it would actually be a net benefit for them to do fracking to better extract natural gas to switch from coal, which is seriously screwing up their environment.

          1. Frankly

            The chemicals are an industrial intellectual capital trade secret.

            I don’t think China has much natural gas. I think they ate all the dinosaurs and plants before they could decompose and settle into the crust.

          2. wdf1

            Frankly: The chemicals are an industrial intellectual capital trade secret.

            And when those chemicals are contaminating groundwater used for human consumption? Then it’s a legal tactic to avoid taking responsibility for harm.

          3. Frankly

            Well there is a dilemma here. The intellectual property is the result of private R&D investment that has provided astounding benefit to human kind. If the answer is to destroy the value of that intellectual property over unsubstantiated environmental concerns, then the result is more business uncertainty going forward and less private R&D that would otherwise provide astounding benefits to human kind.

            But then I think you and others demanding this are ok with that result.

          4. wdf1

            In 2014 it is easy enough to figure out what such chemical substances are. A number of petroleum scientists I know have a pretty good idea what kinds of chemicals they are. But when you have laws like North Carolina’s, then you shut down the ability to do any legitimate research on potential toxicities.

      1. Frankly

        This is not happening in many Muslim-dominated areas of the globe. Birthrates are still very high in these areas. And with that trend, global climate change will be the least of our Western worries.

        1. Don Shor

          If those areas get better educated and income is distributed more across the population, birth rates will decline. It was always assumed that Catholic parts of the world would continue high population growth, but they didn’t. As the middle class grows, people have fewer babies.

          1. Frankly

            I’m not that optimistic about a theocracy that includes keeping their women as uneducated subordinate sex slaves. I think the trends for global demographics will be a shrinking Western civilization, a stagnant Far East and Pacific Rim population, a slowing but sill robust Latin American population, and a still exploding Mid East and African population… and least for the next few decades.

          2. Don Shor

            Um, no, Frankly. Do you even understand what that chart shows? Try this again. I’m guessing you didn’t even click on the study I linked. Do I have to go in and cut and paste text for you?
            http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/muslim-fertility-rates-dropping-faster-than-western-fertility-rates/
            Birth rates in Muslim-majority countries are dropping faster than Western fertility rates.

            fertility rates declined an average of 41% between 1975-80 and 2005-10, compared with a 33% drop for the world as a whole.
            Twenty-two Muslim countries and territories had fertility declines of 50% or more.
            …. we are seeing the effects of prosperity, a rising Middle Class and some influence leaking in from the West. As well as rising educational levels among women, particularly in Iran.

            Big cities in the Muslim world have seen especially sharp drops. Eberstadt notes only six states in America have lower rates than Istanbul. In Tehran and Isfahan, fertility rates are lower than those of any state in America.

            Nice effort, though.

          3. Frankly

            Fertility rate are dropping. So is the use of coal. So why ban the use of coal?

            I’m guessing that you don’t get the sarcasm in my question.

            You are making the point that population will stabilize at some point due to overall declining birth rates. I said that it is not happening in Muslim dominate areas of the globe. I was not clear that I agreed that there is some more global trend for dropping birthrates. My point was/is that Muslim area birthrates are still very high and will not stabilize any time soon and we are likely to see their populations increase even as Western birthrates drop.

            My point is that I am not optimistic that we will reach a stable global population before we add another 3 billion… and that the Mid East and Africa will provide most if not all of that additional 3 billion.

          4. Don Shor

            An interesting point of your chart is that the Muslim-majority countries now have about the same birth rates as the Catholic-majority countries. So clearly, some religions are an impediment to family planning. But in both Muslim-majority and Catholic-majority areas, birth rates fall as education and incomes rise. It’s uneven, but that is the clear trend. Projections of high world populations have almost always proven false for that reason; just remember what they were predicting in the 1970’s.

          5. Rich RifkinWDE 73

            FRANKLEE: “My point was/is that Muslim area birthrates are still very high and will not stabilize any time soon and we are likely to see their populations increase even as Western birthrates drop.”

            While this point is probably true in general, one of the more interesting Muslim countries for its birth rate is Iran.

            In the mid-1960s, the average Iranian woman of child bearing age had 7 children. By the mid-1980s, that was down to about 6 kids per woman. Today, Iran’s fertility rate is about the lowest in the world. The average woman has 1.64 kids, well below the American average.

            DON: “birth rates fall as education and incomes rise.”

            Not necessarily. There are two much more important factors. Most obvious is access to birth control. Mexico, for example, has had a dramatic drop in its fertility rate over the past 10-15 years, and one major factor in that has been its national campaign to push birth control access for all girls beginning at age 12. Today, the birth rate for Mexican women is lower than it is for Mexican-American women, despite the fact that the latter has a much higher level of education and income.

            Another major factor (for developing countries) is the nature of “women’s work.” If females are participating in the modern economy–that is, they are working in factories or offices or stores–they will have a strong incentive to have fewer kids. More children are a burden on the modern economy woman. If, however, they live on a traditional farm, where their work is farm labor and being a mother, it generally pays to have more and more children, because those kids can contribute to the family farm. (This pattern was true in the U.S., too, when most Americans lived on farms, and families were generally much larger in rural American than they were in urban American, among women who worked outside the home.)

            What unfortunately is the case in a lot of Arab countries (not necessarily of other Muslims) is that women are often prohibited from working in the modern economy by their husbands or fathers. Additionally, they have poor access to birth control. And so even if their families have money and the woman has an education, she will likely still have a horde of kids.

            The big difference in Iran is birth control access. The Ayatollahs decided long ago that Iran could not feed so many mouths, and they responded to that by making birth control highly available. Women there also tend to work outside the home. But even in rural Iran, where women are forced to work in traditional jobs, the birth rate is quite low. Also, since the mid-1980s, Iran’s cities have absorbed a lot of immigrants from the rural areas, modernizing the economy for those families over night.

          6. South of Davis

            Don wrote:

            > If those areas get better educated and income is distributed
            > more across the population, birth rates will decline.

            True, but what happens if the population becomes less educated and poorer (the video link below will tell you in less than 2 min):

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icmRCixQrx8

    2. Tia Will

      Frankly

      “Those holding a left worldview and/or an environmental alarmist/activist worldview think we can feed more people without putting more carbon in the air and think there are two ways to do it.”

      You have left out those of us who believe that another way to address this problem is to encourage less population growth. Before you start saying that I am encouraging forced social engineering, I am most certainly not. When women are allowed economic independence, and are aware that their children are likely to live into adulthood, they will tend to choose highly effective, long acting and reversible means of contraception. We are seeing the effects of improved education and awareness of resources in the decrease in teen pregnancies in our own county and this effect has been seen in a number of third world communities.

      1. Frankly

        The problem is that it harshly penalizes certain states and the people that live in those states and rely on coal for jobs. It will further depress some already pretty depressed economic areas of the country. And many of those areas are the very areas that many of our soldiers come from.

        1. jrberg

          Indeed? The Heritage Foundation, a source that even you can trust, says:

          “Members of the all-volunteer military are significantly more likely to come from high-income neighborhoods than from low-income neighborhoods. Only 11 percent of enlisted recruits in 2007 came from the poorest one-fifth (quintile) of neighborhoods, while 25 percent came from the wealthiest quintile. ”

          http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/08/who-serves-in-the-us-military-the-demographics-of-enlisted-troops-and-officers

          1. South of Davis

            jrberg wrote:

            > Members of the all-volunteer military are significantly
            > more likely to come from high-income neighborhoods
            > than from low-income neighborhoods.

            No surprise, the officers are mostly well educated and from good neighborhoods, while the enlisted men and women are mostly from poorer “working class” (not the ghetto) areas.

            The coal ban is meant to take jobs from the red state voters just like all the CA (and other blue state) military base closings were meant to take jobs from the blue state voters when the “red team” was in charge…

          2. Don Shor

            Nobody is banning coal. And nobody closed military bases in order to “take jobs from the blue state voters.” The military base closure plan was bipartisan and affected military communities all across the country.

          3. jrberg

            I really enjoy it when people comment without reading the source material – that gives me a window into their mind. Quote:

            “Every income category above $40,000 per year is overrepresented in the active-duty enlisted force, while every income category below $40,000 a year is underrepresented. Low-income families are significantly underrepresented in the military. U.S. military enlistees disproportionately come from upper-middle-class families.”

            My father was an enlisted Navy man for 24 years. I highly respect the enlisted force, and try to know what I’m talking about before I write.

          4. Frankly

            Penalizes people in TX, IL, IN, OH, PA, MO, KY and VA.

            TX, IL, MO, KY and VA are states that tend to be strongest at recruiting soldiers to serve.

        2. Tia Will

          “The problem is that it harshly penalizes certain states and the people that live in those states and rely on coal for jobs.”

          For me this is not an argument for maintaining the coal industry but rather an argument for retraining and helping to develop less harmful and dangerous technology in these areas.

          1. jrberg

            My government? It’s not yours as well? I could point out that a big problem is Republican obstructionism in the House, but I’ll be gracious and ask what are you doing to convince your party to do exactly what you have agreed with here? Most Democrats and other rational people I know are strongly in favor of investment and retraining to improve the job outlook in the US, especially in areas like Kentucky and West Virginia. Lifting up the poorest of us uplifts us all….

  11. Frankly

    Based on the EPA’s own carbon accounting, shutting down every coal-fired power plant tomorrow and replacing them with zero-carbon sources would reduce the Earth’s temperature by about one-twentieth of a degree Fahrenheit in a hundred years.

    But don’t let that stop you from wrecking still more of our fragile economy.

    And don’t underestimate what this type of things does for business certainty. It kills it. Nobody wants to invest capital where there is to much uncertainty. And when the federal government takes an executive move like this, it shakes the nerves of a lot of investors to do other things with their money.

    Next stop… natural gas. Investors can see it… they can see it because they are old enough to remember saying the same about coal… how the US government would NEVER force coal mining and coal-fired power to shut down.

    Fool me once, but not twice.

    1. Don Shor

      It does exactly the opposite of creating uncertainty. It shows what the carbon emission goal is through the next decades. It gives power plant planners and states complete certainty as to what they need to plan for. It gives them considerable flexibility as to how to get there. Nobody is calling for “shutting down every coal-fired power plant tomorrow and replacing them with zero-carbon sources.” It is a gradual process of reducing emissions. Just as you got used to your refrigerator and freezer using 50% less energy than it used to over a couple of decades, power plant operators can achieve these goals.
      Just curious: do you think anything at all should be done about carbon emissions and pollution from power plants?

  12. Frankly

    do you think anything at all should be done about carbon emissions and pollution from power plants?

    I have a friend that is a director of sustainability for HP. His department costs HP tens of millions every year. Some of what HP does in this area is to comply with state laws so that they can sell to government in those states. But most of what HP does they do on their own… for example, in other countries that do not require companies to recycle and reclaim.

    Yes, there are some bottom-feeder companies that would pollute the environment to save some money over the higher cost clean process. Yes we need some regulations to oversee and punish those that do. However, environmental awareness is very strong in the US and other industrialized countries. The damage suffered by these companies from an environmental catastrophe or from a press-media expose is severe and motivation enough for them to spend real money to mitigate the risk.

    A business will go green to save money. But it will also go green to help strengthen the company brand.

    Business motivation is really really easy to understand. Unfortunately government is generally populated with people that have the business sense of a flea. The basic motivation is profit. But not just short-term profit. There is a lot more sophistication these days in business strategy to maintain growth and profitability over a longer horizon. The reason for this is globalism… competition is such that a company cannot rest on current success. Every business manager is paranoid about competition these days. Everyone is looking for an edge.

    Effective environmental policy should leverage this dog-like business focus on long-term business profitability and financial sustainability. Oversight and regulatory pressure are not effective at moving business to a new positive behavior, just like beating your dog will not cause the dog to behave well.

    Incentives are the way to do. Temporary incentives with clear public policy goals… that once reached go away.

  13. TrueBlueDevil

    First, we have had no global warming in 17 years. There is a warming “hiatus” which the scientists can’t explain.

    Second, notice how this will hit after Obama leaves office?

    Third, notice that this Davis Vanguard piece didn’t mention what the cost would be for the average family?

    1. wdf1

      TBD: First, we have had no global warming in 17 years.

      How do you define warming? By surface atmospheric temperatures?

      Are you going to leave ocean temperatures out of the argument?

      How about melting and evaporation? Those are effects of “warming”. So are you arguing that none of that is happening either?

  14. TrueBlueDevil

    I find it a little amusing that we were told that temperatures were going to rise; and now that they haven’t, the goal posts of what are being judged are now being changed?

    LA Times: Global warming ‘hiatus’ puts climate change scientists on the spot

    “It’s a climate puzzle that has vexed scientists for more than a decade and added fuel to the arguments of those who insist man-made global warming is a myth.

    “Since just before the start of the 21st century, the Earth’s average global surface temperature has failed to rise despite soaring levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases and years of dire warnings from environmental advocates.

    “Now, as scientists with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gather in Sweden this week to approve portions of the IPCC’s fifth assessment report, they are finding themselves pressured to explain this glaring discrepancy.”

    http://articles.latimes.com/2013/sep/22/science/la-sci-climate-change-uncertainty-20130923

    1. wdf1

      TBD: I find it a little amusing that we were told that temperatures were going to rise; and now that they haven’t, the goal posts of what are being judged are now being changed?

      There is more to look at than surface atmospheric temperatures. I find it a little amusing that that’s what you’re focused on.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        I think you’re trying to come up with other secondary items you can quibble about because temperatures haven’t risen in 17 years and 8 months.

        1. tribeUSA

          TrueBlueDevil–although temperature has not increased measurably (above noise levels for measurement and interpolation over areas and across measurement intervals) for about 17 years; the mean temperature has been at a high plateau; i.e. it has not come back down to pre-1995 levels, let alone pre-1900 levels. It is my understanding that many climate scientists are indeed puzzled that mean T has apparently plateaued even though atmospheric CO2 levels continues to steadily increase–various theories on this; inclluding that we are in a metastable climate state now wherein negative feedbacks counter the positive influence of CO2 levels (acting alone) on temperature. Scientists are trying to figure out the nature of and strength of such metastable states of earths climate system; and what kind of a perturbation and how large this perturbation needs to be to ‘jolt’ the climate system out of this metastable state–could be that the climate system will not be jolted out of its current state until CO2 levels reach another 50% higher; or could be we are close to the threshold and just another 10% higher will jolt the climate system into another extended period of rising temperature. There are many feedforward and feedback systems in the climate systems that scientists are well aware of; however there may be additional important systems that have not been identified yet. It is well understood that the climate system is highly nonlinear in its response to forcings; due to the complex interactions between different variables that influence climate, which can operate at different timescales (e.g. steady-state CO2 exchange and partitioning between ocean water at all depths and the atmosphere likely takes decades to centuries to achieve).

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