US and China Agree to Further Reductions in Carbon Emissions

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One of the big criticisms of the US global climate strategy is that, without the cooperation of emerging industrial nations like China, efforts in the US to cut back on carbon emissions will be inconsequential.

That is starting to change, and this week the US and China have announced they have reached an agreement on targeting reductions in greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change in the post-2020 period.

After 2020, the United States will reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions, to 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. In a release from the White House, “This goal is both ambitious and achievable, grounded in an intensive analysis of what actions can be taken under existing law, and will double the pace of carbon pollution reduction in the United States from the pre-2020 period. It also means the United States is doing its part to contain warming to 2 degrees Celsius, though achieving that global outcome will require global ambition and commitments from all economies.”

Chinese President Xi announced for the first time his intention to peak Chinese CO2 emissions around 2030, and further committed to make best efforts to peak early. China also announced a target of expanding the share of zero-emission sources in primary energy, namely renewables and nuclear, to 20% by 2030. To achieve that goal, China will have to deploy an additional 800-1,000 gigawatts of zero-emission generation capacity by 2030, about the same as all their current coal-fired capacity and nearly as much as the total installed capacity in the U.S. energy sector today.

President Obama said he believes we have a moral obligation to take action on climate change, and that we cannot leave our children a planet beyond their capacity to repair. Over the last year, a spate of scientific studies have laid out the scope and scale of the challenge we face in the starkest of terms.

“Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” says the U.S. National Climate Assessment. “Without additional mitigation efforts…warming by the end of the 21st century will lead to high to very high risk of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts globally,” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes.

“There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other,” President Obama said in September. “And that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.”

In Copenhagen in 2009, President Obama pledged that the United States would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

The White House said, “We’re on track to meet that goal while growing the economy and creating jobs, thanks to the historic fuel economy standards enacted during the President’s first term; the measures to reduce carbon pollution, deploy more clean energy, and boost energy efficiency through the President’s Climate Action Plan; and the leadership demonstrated by a growing number of U.S. businesses, who have increased their investment in clean technologies and pledged to phase down the potent greenhouse gases known as HFCs.”

Nearly 20 years ago, as the Deputy Interior Secretary of the U.S. Interior Department, John Garamendi helped draft America’s position during the Kyoto Protocol climate change negotiations. Today, Congressman Garamendi, who represents Davis and much of Yolo County, said he is pleased to see America move forward with a groundbreaking climate change agreement between the world’s two leading contributors of greenhouse gas emissions: the United States and China.

“We need decisive action from our lawmakers to seriously address the climate crisis. Presently, far too many lawmakers willfully ignore the overwhelming scientific consensus. They are making the planet more dangerous for all of humanity,” Congressman Garamendi said in a release. “Today’s announcement of a climate change accord between the United States and China, the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters, is an important but incomplete step forward.”

“We must accept the reality that through our inaction, we are creating a planet with more extreme weather, more volatile food production, more dangerous infectious diseases, rising seas levels, and scarcer freshwater supplies,” Congressman Garamendi. “We should embrace the need for action as a moment to build the middle class through robust investments in American-made clean energy and conservation technologies and research, preparing our economy for the challenges of the future. What we can’t do is pretend the problem doesn’t exist.”

The new U.S. goal will double the pace of carbon pollution reduction from 1.2 percent per year on average during the 2005-2020 period to 2.3-2.8 percent per year on average between 2020 and 2025. The joint announcement marks the first time China has agreed to peak its CO2 emissions.

Congressman Garamendi’s office stated: “California’s 3rd District, which Congressman Garamendi represents, is an agricultural district that has been hard hit by the worst drought on record in California. While the drought has been driven by a lack of precipitation, the rapid melting of the Sierra snowpack, California’s largest freshwater reserve, has made the problem much worse. Climate change will only make the Sierra snowpack less reliable and available in the years to come, putting thousands of 3rd District jobs and billions of dollars of economic output at risk.

“The 3rd District is also a leader in clean energy development, epitomized by the wind turbine farm in Rio Vista and cutting-edge environmental research at UC Davis in transportation, lighting, agriculture, and other areas.

“Congressman Garamendi has long been focused on climate science and clean energy. As a State Legislator, he authored the first state alternative energy tax credit in America. He is the author of H.R. 1524, the Make It In America: Create Clean Energy Manufacturing Jobs in America Act, which would create U.S. jobs by ensuring that taxpayer dollars are spent on American-made renewable energy systems, including solar, wind, geothermal, and biofuels. Phased over a four year period, the bill requires the federal government and any state government buying renewable technologies with federal funds to purchase renewable sources of energy grown, produced, or manufactured with 85 percent American content.”

John Podesta, the President’s science advisor, writes, “Today in Beijing, the leaders of the world’s two largest economies — and the world’s two biggest emitters — stood together and committed to tackling that threat head-on. If other leaders follow suit, if more businesses step up, if we keep our level of ambition high, we can build the safer, cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous world future generations deserve.”

—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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60 thoughts on “US and China Agree to Further Reductions in Carbon Emissions”

        1. Don Shor

          [moderator] to BP and DP: I would like to request that blog participants avoid these kinds of comments. They don’t contribute to

          an inclusive, civil tone that will encourage greater participation in the community dialogue fostered by The Vanguard.

        2. hpierce

          Don:  two things:

          [compliment]  Thank you for posting when you did.  Saved me (by a few seconds) from a scathing (intended, at least) post I was about to make to each of them. Which would also have been “off-topic”.

          [suggestion for improvement]  “I would like to suggest…”  Nope. You did “suggest”.  ‘Would’, and ‘like’ are extraneous modifiers.  Perhaps it would have been better to be even more direct.  As in, “knock it off”, or “please cease”.

          What happened to the concept of “work and play well with others”, or its corollary, “debate and opine well with others”?

  1. Frankly

    Obama is the leader of the APK… the American Prosperity-Killing party that is otherwise known as the Democratic (aka Democrat) party.

    Just consider the modern Democrat party goals:

    – Tax increases = American Job and Prosperity Killer

    – Socialized healthcare (aka Obamacare) = American Job and Prosperity Killer

    – Immigration “reform” (aka amnesty) = American Job and Prosperity Killer

    – Global Warming “remedies” = American Job and Prosperity Killer

    – Minimum Wage Increase = American Job and Prosperity Killer

    And to top it all off, the Democrats also have a sub-party called RAS… the Reduced American Security party.  For this they pursue the goal of weakening American defense capabilities while empowering other countries against us.

    What’s not to like about this modern Democrat party?

     

     

      1. Frankly

        The article is on national politics.  It is relevant because it is another example of Obama and the Democrats implementing policy and making concessions to other countries that weaken us and kill American prosperity.

        There is one primary tradeoff for all the environmental policy demands from the left and the environmental extremists in this country… and that is American prosperity.  From my perspective it is the health of American prosperity that is suffering under the Obama administration and the last six years of Democrat domination of the legislature from the blocking malice of King Reid.   I think this last election was proof that a majority of Americans are feeling the same way.

        1. Don Shor

          The U.S. is already on path to meet the goals the president agreed to. Unless we go back to full-bore production and utilization of coal without any cleaning technology, and stop our increased use of natural gas, we won’t have to do anything to meet these goals. And neither will China. This agreement is being rather over-hyped.

          1. Don Shor

            I think the president saw an opportunity to take a symbolic position that required no further action by either the US executive or legislative branches, as it largely encompasses only current policies, and reflects current trends of our shift to cleaner petroleum sources. I think the Chinese leadership cares a great deal about their reputation on the world stage, and saw an opportunity to sign an agreement that makes them look good without actually having to do much of anything. There’s nothing especially groundbreaking or controversial in this thing.

      2. TrueBlueDevil

        Not to mention that we have had a warming “hiatus” for 13 or 14 years, and the 40-odd computer models that the Warmists offered have all failed in their predictions.

    1. hpierce

      Pretty much the same things that’s not to like about the modern Republican Party.  Leadership of both tend to be oblivious to any sense of situational awareness.  Much to the detriment of the American people.

      The topic “de jour” is ‘pollution mitigation’.  Even a puppy generally knows that it should not “foul” its own bed space.  I am not a firm believer that ‘climate change’ is due primarily to human actions, but I think it makes sense to try to minimize the footprint we ‘leave on the land’, but we need to balance that with other economic and moral values (IMHO).

      1. Frankly

        Balance is the key.  But as you point out you are not a firm believer in the theories of anthropogenic climate change, and so then lacking that absolutism you are left to play poker with prosperity over a potential dubious cause.   And then add the point that the same scientists that believe that man is causing global temperatures to rise also admit that humans are not going to be able to stop it.

        Look around.  Check the water.  Check the air.  Check the land for evidence of garbage and pollution.  Compare it to 50 years ago.  Skyscrapers were basically invented in Chicago so that wealthy people could live above the coal soot line that enshrouded the city.  We have made tremendous progress eliminating pollution.  We already have volumes of business-crushing environmental rules, laws and regulations.

        The problem is that environmental activists are on a perpetual environmental pursuits hedonic treadmill.  They will never stop for long to smell the roses before they again need to fill their tank with validation for their being.

        We are so far out of balance with respect to environmental protection and economic development to support American prosperity that we should be doing the opposite of what this president and Democrats are doing.   We should be cleaning the books of frivolous and irrational environmental regulations to help business start, grow and thrive.

        Let me tell you about an example.  A client of mine had his business property red-flagged because of recent EPA regulations for having certain “wet” cleaning equipment.  His product was unique in that it was dry, and the wet cleaning equipment was not only ineffective, but would be harmful to his manufacturing process.  Nevertheless, they closed him down because of the rules.  My client is now contracting with a Chinese company to manufacture the product.  35 American jobs were lost.

        This type of thing is not unique… it is happening all over America all the time.

      2. TrueBlueDevil

        The House today, which included over 30 Democrats, voted to move forward with the Keystone XL Pipeline, which has to be far safer than moving oil by train car. But Obama has already threatened to veto it, which will cost America jobs, business, and energy.

        [moderator: edited to remove off-topic comment]

      3. hpierce

        To be clear… I believe that we could be experiencing a period of climate change, as we have many times over the last ten centuries.

        I also believe in not “fouling our bed”, even if that does mean some costs/inconvenience.

        1. Davis Progressive

          i think if anything the green tech wave will be a boon not the destructor of our economy.  that’s part of what davis is hoping to jump on board on.

        2. Frankly

          You three are a hoot.  So the environmental sky is falling, but the economic sky is just fine?

          Over 50% of greenhouse gasses are produced by farm animals.   So why not outlaw that business and shut it down?  Maybe because limousine liberals like steak?

           

          1. Don Shor

            So the environmental sky is falling, but the economic sky is just fine?

            Scrolling back up to see if anybody said that. Nope. Straw man, as usual. Next?

        3. Davis Progressive

          “Over 50% of greenhouse gasses are produced by farm animals. ”

          sort of.  51 percent or more of ghg emissions are due to animal agriculture.

          Producing one calorie from animal protein requires 11 times as much fossil fuel input—releasing 11 times as much carbon dioxide—as does producing a calorie from plant protein. Feeding massive amounts of grain and water to farmed animals and then killing them and processing, transporting, and storing their flesh is extremely energy-intensive. In addition, enormous amounts of carbon dioxide stored in trees are released during the destruction of vast acres of forest to provide pastureland and to grow crops for farmed animals. On top of this, animal manure also releases large quantities of carbon dioxide.

          Read more: http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/global-warming/#ixzz3J61a9k6e

        4. Davis Progressive

          so of course peta’s solution to that is to stop eating meat.  a more realistic answer might be to use alternative agricultural techniques and move away from fossil fuel energy.  it’s really the energy for transport and processing that is the problem here.

  2. Anon

    This is laughable.  China’s pollution is so bad, in major cities people have to wear masks.  Sometimes the smog is so bad individuals cannot see where they are going.  China clearly knows it has to clean up its act (pardon the pun), or it is doomed.  If it can manipulate the U.S. into crippling American businesses in the process by putting excessive demands on carbon emission reductions on United States businesses far in excess of what is expected from China, that is all to the good – for China.

        1. Davis Progressive

          since we’re not going to invade them, we can only do our best here.  we have to reduce carbon emissions anyway, so it’s not like we’re doing something extra.

      1. Barack Palin

        This will lead to more businesses closing shop in the US and moving them to China where they don’t have to worry about and carbon cutbacks until 2030, that’s even if they abide by this deal.

        1. South of Davis

          BP wrote:

          > This will lead to more businesses closing shop in the

          > US and moving them to China where they don’t have to

          > worry about and carbon cutbacks until 2030

          Less jobs in America means more people with EBT cards, and people with EBT cards almost always vote for the people that gave them the cards…

  3. TrueBlueDevil

    Here is the context, the information, behind the window dressing, if you believe in the so-called Global Warming.

    1. China, a huge polluter, has to do nothing until 2030.

    2. The US has reduced it’s CO2 emissions from 25% to 17%.

    China has increased it’s CO2 emissions from 15% to 25%.

    3. By 2030, with current projections and this great “deal”, China will produce 35-40% of CO2, before they start to reduce emissions.

    4. There is no agreement with India.

    5. The world community, which includes the US, because of the supposed harm we have caused, will soon send send $100B to dictators in Africa and South America. (I wonder how many will contribute to Obama’s Presidential Library?)

    6. We will also sign a Treaty with GW goals, and if we don’t meet them, we will be “shamed”.

     

    Basically, the deal is a travesty, the USA and the EU have already made substantial CO2 reductions, and we’ll be sending tens of billions of dollars to corrupt leaders in corrupt countries, a giant slush fund.

     

        1. South of Davis

          Don wrote:

          > You really need to check your sources and

          > stop believing people like Morris.

          I’m no fan of Morris (or Fox News), but just because they are pro GOP right wingers does not mean that everything they say is a lie.

          Did TBD or Morris say anything that is not correct?

          Would if be a “good deal” if the Redwood Barn agreed to spend $100K to get “greener” TODAY when your competitors agreed that they would spend the money to get “greener” in 2030?

          1. Don Shor

            Did TBD or Morris say anything that is not correct?

            I have no idea what Dick Morris said. I don’t watch his videos. A fund has been established with monies from private and public sources. The “to dictators in Africa and South America” part may or may not be true. Some countries aren’t democracies. Surprise. It is irrelevant, really, what the nature of the governments is; that’s just a pointless political spin. And the

            (I wonder how many will contribute to Obama’s Presidential Library?)

            was also pointless.
            Folks, it is really tedious reading this stuff from anonymous conservative commenters on the Vanguard. If you want to have a discussion, quit with the constant denigrations and irrelevancies. They don’t contribute to a conversation. For the most part, they’re just troll bait.

        2. Frankly

          It is much more likely that a contagious disease similar to Ebola will cause far more human misery and death than will man-made global warming… assuming man-made global warming even exists.  And with this last Ebola outbreak it as made clear that poverty in these African countries was a cause of the spread.  African countries with stronger economies have better healthcare services and did well containing the disease.  Conversely, the poorer countries had a much bigger outbreak and a much higher mortality rate.

          But this global push to restrict carbon output will serve to delay or prevent poor countries from advancing their economy and their healthcare.

          And poor countries also seem to be the most attracted to Islamic extremism… and this too results in crappy healthcare and lots of human misery and death.

          Fossil fuels will naturally increase in price as the resource is depleted, and industrial innovation will continue to make advances in and lower the cost of alternative green energy.

          But by advancing policy to reduce carbon in advance of these industrial innovations… it is not only futile for having any impact on global temperatures, it is potentially much more destructive to humanity.

          There is significant cognitive dissonance on display by those advocating the US pursue remedies to global warming.  Some of it is just “I saw it on NBC so it must be true” ignorance.  But with so much of the charge coming from highly educated intelligent people that should be able to connect all the dots, it is clear that the global warming crusade is primarily ideological.  Even Marx was reflective of American industrialism under democrat free market capitalism.  He acknowledge, but did not like, the fact that it worked as well as it did.  Leftists are not well served by a working economy.  They need great misery of the working class in order to advance their ideological goals and idea.

          So this is my theory.  I call it Global Collectivist Warming.  It is man-made.  It is destructive.  We need to reduce it and contain it.  Otherwise humans will surely suffer greatly under its aims… as they always have and always will.

        3. South of Davis

          Don wrote:

          > I have no idea what Dick Morris said.

          > I don’t watch his videos. 

          If you are not going to watch the video and point out something specific that is wrong before saying “stop believing people like Morris” you are doing the same thing as the crazy right wingers that tell you “not to believe anything Obama says (because he is really a Muslim)…

          Look like I said I am not a Morris fan (now, when he is spinning for the GOP, or 20 years ago when he was spinning for the Dems), but just screaming out that we should not believe a guy because he works for Fox does not help make a point.

          1. Don Shor

            I am not going to watch it because I don’t feel like fact-checking him as it is too complicated to do that with a video. No, I’m not “doing the same thing” as what you call the “crazy right wingers.” Morris is a known liar, a partisan hack, and has no particular expertise in anything except political campaigns. So I see no reason to waste my time on any analysis he might put forth.

        4. Frankly

          [Debbie Wasserman Shultz] is a known liar, a partisan hack, and has no particular expertise in anything except political campaigns. So I see no reason to waste my time on any analysis [she] might put forth.

          Don – Given your apparent dislike of so much partisanship I would expect you to agree with the previous too?

          From Ms. Shultz:

          Climate change is real and we’re causing it, and without action, the potential effects are devastating. It’s time to stop questioning the forecast and pull out our legislative umbrella.

          As a member of Congress from South Florida, I share my constituents’ sense of urgency to act. Most of South Florida sits 9 feet or less above sea level, with cities like Miami Beach sitting just 3 feet above sea level, so even small increases in sea level make it much more likely that our communities will flood during storms, or have increased sea water intrusion into our drinking water aquifer.

          Already we’ve seen 9 inches of sea level rise in South Florida since the 1920s, and a 2009 Army Corps of Engineers’ report predicted sea level rise in Southeast Florida of 3 to 7 inches by 2030 and 2 feet by 2060. If that happens, many South Florida communities will simply be gone.

          The ocean itself will also be a victim. Carbon dioxide absorbed into seawaters changes PH levels. It leads to serious ocean acidification. This chemical process will profoundly impact the ability of some sea life, including corals, to survive at all. Needless to say, vibrant ocean ecosystems are critical not only to Floridians, but all of us.

          Likewise, the case for Congressional action isn’t isolated to Florida. Of the 25 most densely populated counties in the U.S., 23 of them are coastal. Major cities like New York, Charleston and San Diego are vulnerable to sea level rise. The infrastructure and economies of many of these communities are dependent upon things like commercial and recreational fishing, maritime transportation and tourism, all of which could be adversely affected by climate change.

           

          1. Don Shor

            I won’t bother to review her comments on the subject, either. You are correct: she is not an expert, and her comments about climate change or any other topic don’t carry any weight with me. I could fact check what you posted, but I don’t see the point. She has one advantage over Dick Morris in terms of expertise: she has actually been elected to office. So I assume that she has some knowledge about whatever district of Florida she represents.

        5. TrueBlueDevil

          Too tough to look at common sense? I thought most knew that China has a huge pollution problem, uses a ton or coal, and their CO2 production will continue to rise. What is controversial about that?

          On the flip side, thanks largely to Natural Gas, our CO2 levels have dropped. Again, ditto.

          Third, can’t you either address facts or concepts, instead of calling names? Dick Morris may be a toe sucker, but he also was an advisor to President Clinton. Sure he was wrong on the last election, but that doesn’t make him the devil.

          1. Don Shor

            Ok, I watched it. Distortions and misrepresentations and political invective. Why should I or you or anyone care what Dick Morris has to say about this issue? Next I suppose I should turn to James Carville for analysis of foreign policy.

    1. Davis Progressive

      “1. China, a huge polluter, has to do nothing until 2030.”

      if you believe they can gain that kind of reduction overnight.  but i don’t think they can.

  4. Tia Will

    I am really at a loss about what this whole controversy is about. Air pollution is not healthy for human beings. It was not healthy when I lived under a yellow sky in Southern California in the ’70s and ’80s. It is not healthy during the “spare the air days” in the central valley now. It is not healthy in the Chinese cities where people are wearing masks. Regardless of one’s beliefs about global warming or the role of human activity and regardless of how one feels about the posturing of two politicians, it is up to us to do what we can to reduce the amount of environmental pollution.

    I fundamentally disagree with Frankly that what we need to do is reduce regulation of pollutants. It is precisely these regulations that has allowed the improvements that we have seen. These regulations are why the sky over LA is now blue rather than yellow most of the time. This is fact, verifiable by me because I lived there when my then two year old daughter was amazed on the first day she saw a blue sky.

    Many of the conservatives ( and probably some of the liberals) who post here have a huge investment in believing that the United States should be a leader in the world. If we are to serve as world leader, should we not lead by example? Should we not be that “shining city” that we claim to be with the cleanest air, the healthiest population, the best educational system, the least impoverished population ? Is this not what would constitute a model worth living up to ? If we are going to claim that America is exceptional as a nation, should we not live up to that term ?

     

    1. Frankly

      Apparently you believe we should lead in poverty and reduced economic opportunity since your demands for ongoing and increasing environmental regulations destroys jobs and opportunities for many to grow their prosperity.

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      Yes, but at what cost?

      So environmental snobs in Palo Alto, Davis, and West LA can pass laws and regulations that hurt, hinder, or cripple the common man and woman?

      You’re right, a certain amount of regulation is good. Old timers tell me the first few regulations of the 70s – the catalytic converter, and using unleaded gas were two – made en enormous improvement in air quality. People in Orinda couldn’t see Mt. Diablo 5 miles away! The changes made all the difference.

      But now we are micro managing minutia that makes very little difference at a substantial cost, like this “summer blend” gasoline we use which artificially reduces the Supply  that we can use, thus raising our gas rices in California. (Few sates use this special ‘summer blend’ which Democrats championed.)

      The Keystone Pipeline, or outright lies about fracking / Natural Gas, are larger examples where the left seems to work against the common man and woman. And if CO2 (plant food) is the monster they want to slay, why are they so anti nuclear power, which emits zero CO2?

      If you follow it long enough, it looks as if some liberals are against man, energy, and progress.

      1. Tia Will

        TBD

        People in Orinda couldn’t see Mt. Diablo 5 miles away! The changes made all the difference.”

        Interestingly enough, the same arguments that you are making ( micromanagement, will hurt the “common man and woman”) were all made by those who wanted to protect their own financial status quo back when I was living under that yellow sky with the “inability to see Mt. Diablo”. Fortunately, gradually over time, the “environmental extremists” of that era ( yes, they were called that then too ) won and the necessary regulations were put in place over strong opposition.

        We all tend to see “good solutions” in the practices that are in line with our own ideologic perspective and disparage those that are not in alignment with our pre-conceived notions. The idea that we are somehow protecting the “common people” by continuing practices that are not beneficial to their health, and that have detrimental effects on the environment that we all share is not a sound position in my mind. Here we are seeing a difference I believe not even so much of political difference of opinion although that certainly exists but of different priorities based on life circumstances. You and Frankly seem to see the world primarily in terms of economics. I see the world primarily in terms of what is even more basic, health, including personal, community, and environmental.

        In our country, the majority of us are not struggling with subsistence issues of how to acquire enough clean water, food and shelter although we still have some pockets of abject poverty. When we are talking about the ” common people” we are usually talking about the lower spectrum of the middle class and perhaps the “working poor”. We have become a consumption based society. So what we are really weighing is not environment vs subsistence, but rather more material goods or more convenience vs the health of individuals, communities, and the environment. Framed in this way, which is how I see our current circumstance, I feel that we need to be placing more, not less emphasis on health and wellness.

         

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Economics, yes, I’d say Frankly and I key on that, as well as common sense and the viability of everyday life for “Joe Sixpack”, not the Granola Prof at Whole Foods or the Davis Coop.

          “Health and wellness” has to be seen in it’s full effect. If you charge Joe or Jane Sixpack $4.50 or $6.00 a gallon for gas, they can’t buy braces for their child, they have no savings, they take no mini vacation, and they probably have an extremely difficult time saving up a down payment for a condo or a fixer upper. Gas at $3.00 a gallon really helps them, but a doctor or attorney doesn’t feel it.

          Further, these half-baked theories or ideas drive away jobs, like manufacturing jobs, that Joe and Jane Sixpack could really use. Fracking, which has given us bountiful supplies of cleaner Natural Gas, is also being fought by Libs and Hollywood. We have dropped our CO2 levels by approx. 20%, and clean NG has played a huge role in that, which the Democrats fight. Obama fights oil exploration, production, and transport here; but then sends Billions to South America to help them develop the same industries he throttles here. Makes no sense, if he really wanted America to succeed.

          Wow, your description of “common people” sure comes off odd to me. I guess I am a “common person”. No, we have tens upon tens of millions of  “common people” who struggle to pay their rent or mortgage every month, who have minimal or no savings, who work 2 part time jobs in this Obama Recovery (because full time work was discouraged by Obamacare regulations). “Common people” don’t shop at the Coop or Whole Foods, and don’t get into philosophical debates about how they would gladly make half the wages they make, because they are scratching to get by. Joe Sixpack doesn’t buy organic tofu gluten-free soy crackers, he shops at the Dollar Store (which I think you don’t like), Target, and Supermercados to make ends meet.

          I know you prefer “wellness”, he prefers his monthly energy bill to be $100 a month lower because he can’t afford the extra costs associated with the do-gooders dreams (solar power, etc.). You know, when you add in all the extra costs the do-gooders add to the system, one of those “common people” could take home an extra $300-500 a month without all of that market manipulation.

          Look at North Dakota, thank goodness the Democrats can’t block that economic boom! Two percent unemployment, workers at Sam’s Club start at $21 an hour. “Last year, Williams County was ranked as offering the highest wages in the state with its employees earning $78,390 annually.” I think you’re a little out of touch.

  5. Tia Will

    I feel that we could employ people in less polluting and more healthful industries if the currently reigning and very powerful established oil companies and the their representatives were not busy blocking the alternatives, or claiming that they are not yet developed enough while constantly undermining their development to belie your statement.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      What are oil companies blocking, the sun? Solar power is the perfect example. It doesn’t work well in the winter, doesn’t work well in Syracuse, and it doesn’t even work well in the Mojave Dessert!

      Recently, some of Obama’s cronnies got massive assistance to built a giant solar farm in the Mojave Dessert. Do you know the results?

      1. Their estimates of  the energy that would be produced were off by over 70 percent! 7-0.

      2. They estimated that 1,000 birds would die a year, but it now turns out that they kill 20,000 birds a year!! 20,000!! (The birds think the panels are water, and fly into the scorching panels.)

      3. The Democratic billionaires who already were helped out, now want us to give them even more money. I think one of the guys is the owner of Facebook or Google.

      How does this make any sense? They’ve been selling us solar power for 40 years, and it still isn’t economical to most.

      1. Tia Will

        TBD

        I do not dispute that we are not yet at the point where sustainable energy techniques can fulfill all our perceived energy needs. I also am aware that we use much, much more energy than we need to lead satisfying, productive lives. While we may see this as our “right”, I see it as stealing the options of future generations. Our current rate of utilization of resources is simply not sustainable. I strongly believe in our responsibility of stewardship of the earth. What we are doing now is closing our eyes to the destruction caused by our desire for ever more material goodies.

        Increased pollutants so that we can “enjoy” our large gas consuming vehicles is not part of my idea of good stewardship. Nor are acidification of our oceans and chemical spills into our waterways.

        I also know that money that is put into more and more techniques for extraction of traditional fuels is money that is not being spent to develop better sustainable technologies.

        What I would favor is a comprehensive approach that would:

        1. Strongly encourage conservation efforts

        2. Provide incentives for the use of less polluting vehicles and environmentally destructive “toys”

        3. Provide even larger incentives for the use of alternative transportation modalities ( walking, biking, public transport)

        4. Gradually replace our culture of consumption with one of service and contribution

        5. Gradually replace our societal obsession with convenience with one of awareness of the impact of our own actions on the lives of others on our current community as a whole, and especially on future generations who will have to live with our decisions.

         

         

         

  6. Tia Will

    Frankly

    But this global push to restrict carbon output will serve to delay or prevent poor countries from advancing their economy and their healthcare.”

    I believe that this is a very limited view of the options available if we would only choose them. The kinds of assistance needed by third world countries are very basic. Amongst the biggest immediate needs are clean water, sanitation,  secure food supplies, basic medical services  and education all of which should be developed by projects on the local level. The goal for the foreseeable future should not be for these communities to develop along the lines of a consumption based economy but rather to fulfill their basic needs. Once these needs are met with outside assistance ( not domination), provision of amenities could be considered.

    If we were to chose to fully fund projects to meet these very basic needs instead of the vast amounts that we do expend on expanding our political and military influence ( for example) we would do far more good in the world than any theoretical benefit these countries might someday see from less restrictions on carbon output. If you believe that I am incorrect in this assertion, please tell me specifically how you see less restriction on carbon output as directly related to the well being of these most impoverished communities.

    1. Don Shor

      But this global push to restrict carbon output will serve to delay or prevent poor countries from advancing their economy and their healthcare

      I think the general principle is that the biggest polluters work to reduce their output, while the poor countries are given a pass for a while.

  7. Anon

    Don Shor: “Folks, it is really tedious reading this stuff from anonymous conservative commenters on the Vanguard. If you want to have a discussion, quit with the constant denigrations and irrelevancies. They don’t contribute to a conversation. For the most part, they’re just troll bait.”

    This statement really made me wince – very intolerant IMO, especially coming from the “moderator” of this blog.

    Global warming, IMO, had become a very politicized issue.  Liberals want to spend enormous amounts of money, in defiance of the law of diminishing returns, to gain fractional percentages in reduction in GHG.  Conservatives want to support the oil industry no matter what, even if fracking leads to dangerous chemicals in ground water.  Both sides, IMO, tend to the extremes – it is their extreme way or the highway.  I like the idea of exploring all energy alternatives (a diverse portfolio is what makes sense to me), but with proper gov’t oversight (which I know is almost impossible to achieve w the way our gov’t is run).  I’m not in favor of air pollution, but I am not in favor of spending enormous amounts of capital that will destroy/drive out business to achieve minuscule gains in reducing GHG emissions.  Some common sense needs to be brought to the global warming issue, but both sides are so polarized, it is hard to have a rational discussion.

    1. Don Shor

      This statement really made me wince – very intolerant IMO, especially coming from the “moderator” of this blog.

      Yes, so discuss global warming on a thread that is about global warming. Gratuitous comments about, for example, dictators contributing to Obama’s presidential library were what I was referring to. There are frequent attempts by certain conservative commenters on the Vanguard to make disparaging comments about politicians, liberals, etc., that are not related to the topic at hand.

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