Monday, November 10, 2008

What happens next

69 days till the end of an error.

Our President Elect is undoubtedly getting advice from any and every corner.

Here's mine.

The day he is sworn in he can issue executive orders and accomplish much. And I think he should.

He needs to address the global economic crisis.

But what he needs to take on, boldly and immediately is Climate Change.

Nothing that the President Elect does will be as important, long term, for this country and for the entire planet, as addressing Climate Change.

In 2000, President Bush ran, among other things, on a pledge to institute carbon caps as President to address the dangers of Global Warming. One of his many lies to the American People.

John McCain supported a Cap and Trade ssytem of controlling and then reducing CO2 emissions in this campaign.

We have waited too long, wasted too much time, and the consequences of inaction are too great. We can not, should not, wait until we have fixed the economy. There is no credible dispute about humankinds contribution to the pace and eventual size of the increase in global surface temperatures. The only dispute is about how hot it going to get and how fast its going to get there.

Its clear that the predictions of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change were, if anything, conservative. All the indicators seem to point to things moving faster than those predictions.

I just finished reading what may be the most important book I have read in a very long time, perhaps the most important book I have ever read. "Hot, Flat and Crowded" by Tom Friedman presents a clear and compelling prescription for radical action and for the huge economic opportunites that exist in creating the new industries that will emerge in alternative energies, conservation, more energy efficient transportation.

It requires bold and decisive leadership, the kind that a newly elected President with strong majorities in both houses can show.

I encourage anyone and everyone to read this book.

Starting with our new President.


Matty said...

I had to laugh.....

Your post and this one:
hit my aggregator at the same time.

As a note, I think even the more fanatical environmentalists have taken to using the term "global climate change" to cover their butts for when the natural cyclical warming trend begins to go back down.

Uncle Walt said...

I just love this.

You look at the title of the article and think/assume/hope that it somehow is evidence that Climate Change/Global Warming/Increase in Average Global Surface Temperatures is somehow not real.

Then I thought I might actually read the article.


"Bill Chapman, a researcher with the Arctic Climate Center at the University of Illinois, says the rapid increase is "no big deal". He says that, while the Arctic has certainly been colder in recent months, the long-term decrease is still ongoing. Chapman, who predicts that sea ice will soon stop growing, sees nothing in the recent data to contradict predictions of global warming."

Even better is this quote from a Senior Fellow at that lefty liberal CATO institute says this:

"Others aren't quite so sure. Dr. Patrick Michaels, Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Virginia, says he sees some "very odd" things occurring in recent years. Michaels, who is also a Senior Fellow with the Cato Institute, tells DailyTech that, . . . the behavior of the Arctic seems to agree with climate models predictions. . . "

Patrick Michaels goes on to talk about Antaritc ice using 5 year old data to support his point:

" . . the Southern Hemisphere can't be explained by current theory. "The models predict a warming ocean around Antarctica, so why would we see more sea ice?" Michaels adds that large areas of the Southern Pacific are showing cooling trends, an occurrence not anticipated by any current climate model."

So both scientists agree that the state of Artic ice is consistent with the Climat Change models, which was the subject of the article.

The current models are not perfect, but are still largely supported by what is happening in the real world.

One of the reasons I usually use the term "Increase in Global Average Surface Temperatures" is that I don't want to get stuck debate labels.

I find it fascinating that those who want to deny that the world is getting warmer and that mankind is a major contributor to that trend, can't reference one peer reviewed study that supports their position. Not one.

I, for one, have no doubt that if a reseacher had a proposal for demonstrating that human activity was not contributing to the increase in global average surface temperatures that he would have gotten grants from all over, including the Bush Administration.

But no such studies exist. So people like Dr Grey, formerly of Colorado State University and the oft quoted predictor of hurrican season strength, testifies about his belief that its all a myth and people belive him despite not his not having any peer reviewed studies to support his belief.

Despite the fact, also predicted by the climate models, that the increase in temperature is not a straight line increase and isn't the same increase all around the globe, there is no doubt that the earth is warming.

There is also no doubt that human activity is making it worse.

Matty said...

I wasn't all that interested in the actual article. It was just funny timing.

You have no doubt that the climate is warming? Since when? 1975 when these same scientists were convinced we were heading into another ice age - also human caused. I am not doubting that the earth has been warming over some period but it's a more compelling argument that this is cyclical and due to fluctuations in the massive and ongoing thermonuclear explosion that provides nearly all the heat for this planet of ours.

Don't get me wrong, I want a clean environment but I prefer that this is done more through innovation than regulation. When it is commercially viable to replace fossil fuels, the market will make it happen.

It's always tougher to prove a negative and the climatologists are a terrible echo chamber that doesn't tolerate contrary opinions, so its unlikely that we'll see much in the way peer reviewed research to the contrary.

Uncle Walt said...

In the 1970's the world really was cooling. And, like now, we knew the reason then. Our cars and factories and power plants were putting so much soot and ash into the air that we were literally blocking out the sun. Its call Global Dimming. And, like now, we knew what to do. We passed laws like the Clean Air Act which required dramatic and sweeping reductions in the amount of soot and ash that our cars and factories and power plants were allowed to dump into the air.

And it worked. We dramatically cleaned up the air. Air Quality through the industrialized world improved and Global Dimming went away as an issue and the effect of the other, less visible, pollutants became more evident.

So we know what the problem is and we know how to address it.

The question is will we?

The answer is we must.

Uncle Walt said...

And when you dont' agree with the scientists, just question their honesty and integrity

"It's always tougher to prove a negative and the climatologists are a terrible echo chamber that doesn't tolerate contrary opinions, so its unlikely that we'll see much in the way peer reviewed research to the contrary."

So if there is real research to the that seriously challenges the concensus that human activity is driving the pace of global warming, Climatoligists around the world will just refuse to acknowledge it, or deny it. Some massive conspiracy by every published Climate Scientist to decieve us all.

So they are all lying?

Uncle Walt said...

"I am not doubting that the earth has been warming over some period but it's a more compelling argument that this is cyclical and due to fluctuations in the massive and ongoing thermonuclear explosion that provides nearly all the heat for this planet of ours."

More compelling to who. Our President has publically acknowledged that human activity is driving the pace of Global Warming. The Republican Nominee for President of the United States acknowledges that human activity is driving the pace of Global Warming and has called for a Cap and Trade system to address the issue.

Who is making this compelling case?

Can you give me some references where I can find this compelling case?

The Coach said...

Walt -

So is the answer to put more soot and ash back into the air? Can we dim the planet back to cooling and then start cleaning up again?

word verification: ducespap

Uncle Walt said...

The successes of our efforts to clean up the air in the 70's is a classic example of the law of unintended consequences.

Because of that cleaner air we live longer and healthier and we have created whole new industries decidated to finding ways to clean it up even more since the requirements are becoming more restrictive all the time.

The 70's and how we cleaned up the air and our waterways are the model for what we need to do know.

Our cars don't run cleaner now because the American people wouldn't buy polluting cars, our Power Plants and factories are not pumping out millions of tons of ash and soot because the market decided that polluting was a bad idea, those things happened because the governement saw that there was a major problem and demanded that things change.

And the protestations from the Auto Industry and from other major polluters was loud and filled with predictions of doom.

And we were able to clean up the air AND grow the economy and live healthier.

Corporations won't undertake the massive changes needed without government involvement, direct and bold, in the market.

We can create market based changes, but we can not wait for those changes to come by themselves. And the longer we wait, the more those industries will not be based here.

We are still the world's leader in industry and technology. And if we, as a nation, decide to remake our power systems and stop being part of the problem, we can and will lead the world in fixing the problems.

Whats at stake is both the future of the American Economy AND the future health of our planet.

And taking bold action to address the future health of our planet will be very very good for the American Economy, creating millions of new jobs, here.

I have been told that the Chinese symbol for chaos is a combination of the symbols for Danger and Opportunity.

That is what we have here. We are facing a threat to not only our economy, but to the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world, and the opportunity to address with vigor and energy that threat presents opportunites like we haven't seen in years.