August 23, 2014
Art, politics, angels, demons . . . and righteous dogs.

Pardon My Boehner

BoehnerRep. John Boehner is right: the Climate Bill is a “piece of sh*t” (that family values crowd sure has a way with words).  But not for the reasons that Orange John asserts. But because the thing is so weak as to make it ridiculous. Here’s an assessment of the bill by Dennis Kucinich:

“The bill allows two billion tons of carbon dioxide a year, roughly equivalent to 30 percent of all US greenhouse gas emissions. Supporters of the bill point out that coal use will increase by 2020, because electric utilities will continue to use dirty coal, the prime source of pollution. With two billion tons of offsets per year, we’re told electric utilities will reduce carbon emissions at places other than their generating plants. So they really don’t have to actually decrease their emissions, and coal-fired CO2 emissions will increase through 2025. No wonder there are twenty-six active coal plant applications. Increased CO2 emissions will be our gift to the next generation. Apparently, the planet is not melting; with this bill, it’s just getting better for polluters.”

But even something like this nearly didn’t get through the House and now is facing an uphill battle in the Senate.  And Republicans are actually doing the chicken dance thinking they have a great anti-Obama issue for the mid terms!
Let’s get the rogue’s gallery straight here. The bill stinks because the deniers have spooked everyone else.  Democrats and Obama are at the point of being happy with much less than half-a-loaf.  None of them, of course would be the problem if this issue were important to us.  But it isn’t. It’s much easier to whip people up over taxes. It would take an intense project of public education to help people connect all these dots.  This from Paul Krugman yesterday referring to the House debate:
“Indeed, if there was a defining moment in Friday’s debate, it was the declaration by Representative Paul Broun of Georgia that climate change is nothing but a “hoax” that has been “perpetrated out of the scientific community.” I’d call this a crazy conspiracy theory, but doing so would actually be unfair to crazy conspiracy theorists. After all, to believe that global warming is a hoax you have to believe in a vast cabal consisting of thousands of scientists — a cabal so powerful that it has managed to create false records on everything from global temperatures to Arctic sea ice.
Yet Mr. Broun’s declaration was met with applause.
Given this contempt for hard science, I’m almost reluctant to mention the deniers’ dishonesty on matters economic. But in addition to rejecting climate science, the opponents of the climate bill made a point of misrepresenting the results of studies of the bill’s economic impact, which all suggest that the cost will be relatively low.

Still, is it fair to call climate denial a form of treason? Isn’t it politics as usual?

Yes, it is — and that’s why it’s unforgivable.”

As Pogo said, “we have met the enemy and he is us.”

Comments

  1. Joe Bluhm says:

    Yes, however it is a farce to quickly say that the economic impacts will be low. Lower than what? Lower than a crippling impact? Lower than 2 cents/month? Lower than $500/month? What is low? The real issue, as you note, is making the bill effective without FORCING all Americans to pay for such a move. I was talking with an eco-green-obsessed friend the other day and my personal opposition of this bill, which has to do with the false constructs of cap-and-trade, and the inefficient way of going about it, and she heard only that I hate the environment. We need to have a real discussion, and remember that often our first effort is not the perfect answer. On the flip-side, that may be something we have to accept, but I’d rather get a more complete construct that allows us to create a real impact without allowing companies to simply trade emissions and let us all pay the bill for the smog that will still exist.

    It’s great to support 80 or 90% of a bill, but in my mind that doesn’t make it ready to be law. Great site, Steve… loved catching up in NYC. Let’s do it again soon!

  2. Steve says:

    Joe:
    Thanks for the very thoughtful reply. Are you writing form the Big Easy? Hoping all’s going well.
    This is not complicated. We have to stop using this stuff. The only way to stop is to stop. And how quickly we can change over to renewable and non-polluting energy sources will determine how much or little damage we cause to the world our kids will live in. So, yeah there are lots of good ideas out there, but the gov’t has to start this off. And nations not in so tight a grip of corporations have shown a willingness to cut far more than we. This from Krugman again:
    “To fully appreciate the irresponsibility and immorality of climate-change denial, you need to know about the grim turn taken by the latest climate research.

    The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking, arid zones spreading, at a terrifying rate. And according to a number of recent studies, catastrophe — a rise in temperature so large as to be almost unthinkable — can no longer be considered a mere possibility. It is, instead, the most likely outcome if we continue along our present course.

    Thus researchers at M.I.T., who were previously predicting a temperature rise of a little more than 4 degrees by the end of this century, are now predicting a rise of more than 9 degrees. Why? Global greenhouse gas emissions are rising faster than expected; some mitigating factors, like absorption of carbon dioxide by the oceans, are turning out to be weaker than hoped; and there’s growing evidence that climate change is self-reinforcing — that, for example, rising temperatures will cause some arctic tundra to defrost, releasing even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

    Temperature increases on the scale predicted by the M.I.T. researchers and others would create huge disruptions in our lives and our economy. As a recent authoritative U.S. government report points out, by the end of this century New Hampshire may well have the climate of North Carolina today, Illinois may have the climate of East Texas, and across the country extreme, deadly heat waves — the kind that traditionally occur only once in a generation — may become annual or biannual events.

    In other words, we’re facing a clear and present danger to our way of life, perhaps even to civilization itself. How can anyone justify failing to act?Temperature increases on the scale predicted by the M.I.T. researchers and others would create huge disruptions in our lives and our economy. As a recent authoritative U.S. government report points out, by the end of this century New Hampshire may well have the climate of North Carolina today, Illinois may have the climate of East Texas, and across the country extreme, deadly heat waves — the kind that traditionally occur only once in a generation — may become annual or biannual events.

    In other words, we’re facing a clear and present danger to our way of life, perhaps even to civilization itself. How can anyone justify failing to act?”

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