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House GOP pledge to fight all action on climate. “Why do conservatives hate your children?”

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"House GOP pledge to fight all action on climate. “Why do conservatives hate your children?”"

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http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b231/mumbly_joe/cementshoes1.gifI am trying to come up with a tagline that best captures the conservative movement’s stagnation’s insistence on assisting, rather than preventing, humanity’s self-destruction. I can’t decide between “Why do conservatives hate your children?” and “Why do conservatives hate children?” Your ideas are welcome (but first see polling below).

Fundamentally, anti-science conservatives are now the cement shoes on the American people, pulling us down into the ocean hot, acidic dead zone. If that wasn’t clear before (see “Hill conservatives reject all 3 climate strategies and embrace Rush Limbaugh“), House Republicans codified their opposition to climate action today.

CQ Politics reports that the House GOP “offered six principles Wednesday that they say will guide them as they formulate an alternative to the president’s ambitious plans”:

The principles reflect the minority’s long-held views. GOP leaders said they will oppose any tax increases, either on income or energy, and will fight a cap-and-trade program to curb carbon dioxide emissions in order to combat global warming. Instead, the Republicans reiterated their “all of the above” energy proposals that stress new domestic oil and gas production and development of alternative energy sources.

Here we have in one paragraph the essence of conservatives’ long-held energy policy — the Big Energy Lie and the willful effort to destroy the health and well-being of your children and grandchildren and 50 generations after that:

The claim that conservatives support “all of the above” energy proposals that include development of alternative energy sources is the “Big Energy Lie” (see The Big Energy Lie — Blog round-up). Conservatives, even “moderate” ones, have consistently opposed R&D funding, incentives, and standards to promote alternative energy for over a quarter century (see “The greenwasher from Arizona has a record as dirty as the denier from Oklahoma” and “Who got us in this energy mess? Start with Ronald Reagan” and “Why is our energy policy so lame? Ask the three GOP stooges.“).

Needless to say, if you can’t raise the price of dirty energy (or pass strong carbon-control regulations), there is no possibility whatsoever of stopping greenhouse gas emissions from rising, let alone have a chance of cutting emissions sharply and stabilizing atmospheric concentrations at levels that won’t destroy a livable climate for the next 1,000 years. The House GOP principles inevitably lead to 1000 ppm and catastrophic 5.5 – 7°C warming by 2100.

How should progressives — or indeed anyone — respond to this brazen act of immorality?

I’m inclined to go with “Why do conservatives hate your children?” or “Why do conservatives hate children?” in part because of the major survey I blogged about yesterday (see “Major survey finds overwhelming public support for action on global warming and clean energy“).

Here is the key part of one figure:

yale-figure-8.jpg

Here is another key figure:

yale-figure-9.jpg

People care about their children and grandchildren, about all life, and about human health. That is indeed what makes us human. By embracing their six principles, House conservatives have rejected their humanity.

Yes, it is always important to take on their indefensible economic argument directly, as NRDC’s Laurie Johnson does in this great post, “Newt’s Voodoo Economics.”

But I also think it is crucial to reframe the issue. How would you do that — pithily and persuasively?

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73 Responses to House GOP pledge to fight all action on climate. “Why do conservatives hate your children?”

  1. Harrier says:

    Fortunately, the Republicans in the House have been mostly marginalized. It’s the Senate where the real fight is going to come.

  2. paulm says:

    This is why we are not going to see 450+ ppm. The half the human race is in self-destruct mode.

    By the way hybrid sales have stagnated now that oil and the economy has tanked so we will not be reducing our petrol consumption anytime soon.

  3. What would a GOP thermometer look like?

    Republican solution to global warming: everybody turn up the AC and hold open your refrigerators.

    The GOP bakes !

    GOP: Posterity Pederasts.

    Don’t ask my children to die for your wealth.

    GOP to revise laws of thermodynamics

  4. Gail says:

    I think

    “Conservatives…why do they hate children so?”

    has a bit more whimsy.

  5. lgcarey says:

    My wife is getting a bit tired of the question I’ve been posing periodically for the last year or so “Why do the Republicans want to kill our kids?” Seriously. Ever friggin’ proposal they’ve come up with regarding climate, energy, health care, etc., etc. seems obstructionist and designed to destroy our future well being.

  6. hapa says:

    “hate children” works. it ties in with current health and education spending. of course it’s walking into the “family values” area which is a minefield where someone who supports assistance for single parents is an enemy of marriage and so on.

    “why can’t republicans read the newspaper?” would be my submission. the information gap is startling, no?

  7. crf says:

    The republicans are rudderless right now. I really doubt that more than a minority really care for the discreditable direction their de facto spokesmen on climate and energy wish to take the country.

    Is there any republican that will stand up? Will you not stand up when your party is weak and rudderless and when some within it are insisting on a backwards policy, and when Obama is not averse to working with sensible propositions on climate and energy, including, I imagine, yielding greatly on quickly expanding nuclear and carbon capture and storage, which republicans have generally supported? Do you realize that if the party doesn’t take a sensible position on these issues, it may well become saddled with an unworkable, unscientific, tragically laughable climate policy, which few could ever vote for? Do you think your party becoming unelectable martyr to climate-denialism is a reward?

  8. Gail says:

    crf, I agree the Republicans are in disarray. Alas, they are not the only problem or even the major problem. It’s the obstructionist “moderate” Dems (and Lieberman), if you missed it, see the earlier post on this blog here

    http://climateprogress.org/2009/03/18/senator-lieberman-global-warming-cap-and-trade/

    and here as well http://www.themudflats.net/2009/03/18/mark-begich-is-officially-a-blue-dog-i-bang-my-head-on-my-desk/

  9. Gail says:

    Thanks, Joe, I didn’t even use any dirty words or veer too far off topic! Was it the double links put me into moderation purgatory??

    I really liked your description of climate change as “cascading”.

    It’s so visceral (and true), more graphic and gripping than isolated “tipping points”.

    I’m just fiddling around, how about something like, “Why do conservatives promote a cascading climate crisis? Don’t they have children too?”

  10. Harrier says:

    How about “Why do conservatives want to turn the Earth into a giant desert?”

  11. Gail says:

    Harrier, good question…we are so screwed. 1.5 million dead cows in Argentina this season, their farmers letting them starve to death because there is no water.

    I live in NJ and the state DEP only measures drought by aquifer level. They refuse to take into account that short heavy bursts of precipitation may fill aquifers but wreak havoc on vegetation that is adapted to steady, regular rainfall. The lack of snow cover means that winter cold snaps destroy the roots of trees and shrubs, and it’s killing them.

    Without the trees (never mind all the critters and fauna that depend on their nuts, fruits, and shade) we are on track for sooner rather than later desertification on the Eastern seaboard of the US. Even the fish in rivers and streams depend on the cooling shade of trees.

    It’s a rapidly accelerating mass extinction.

    I’m almost as angry at conservationists and scientists and foresters as I am at “conservatives”. They too are in denial of what is just outside their windows. I wish they would stop saying this that or the other thing will happen by the end of this century and start reporting on what is actually happening RIGHT NOW.

    Aauugghh.

  12. David B. Benson says:

    Gail — Two or more links puts your comment into the spam filter.

  13. Gail says:

    my bad! but one of them was a link to climateprogress itself! Oh well, now I know…I am old, I am just learning about the intricacies of the intertubes.

  14. Brian M says:

    Both okay.

    Some others…

    - Conservatives Are Killing Your Kids
    - Families’ Futures Crushed By Conservatives
    - Conservatives Support Their Right to Life, NOT Your Kids!
    - If you can’t stand the heat, kick the conservatives out of the kitchen.
    - Conservatives: Hating and Heating the Future

    Gotta be a thousand of them. Too much good material to work with. You can’t make this stuff up. ;-)

    Brian

  15. nobody says:

    Looks like Republicans are having an intellectual meltdown.

    Consider this: in the past they have been anti-regulation/pro-business, and have gradually built up a culture of “proving” big science is false and their underdog guys are right. Steamrolling over the environment has carried no real consequences. Would anyone here really even notice if the spotted owl went extinct? Or salmon? So people have been happy to look the other way.

    Now, environmental problems are on the verge of becoming legitimately serious. Yet Republicans have backed themselves into this corner of denying environmental science. They have to continue to reject it, because acknowledging would destroy their entire worldview.

    P.S. They don’t hate children. They think they are helping children by preserving the economy. Know your enemy better.

  16. DB says:

    Gail wrote: “The lack of snow cover means that winter cold snaps destroy the roots of trees and shrubs, and it’s killing them.”

    If trees or shrubs die from the cold they will be replaced by more cold-hardy ones. There are many beautiful and useful plants that are hardy in the colder planting zones of North America.

  17. David B. Benson says:

    Gail — The computer program is stoopid. :-)

  18. JCH says:

    Citing threats to the well being of children just gives conservatives a pep pill.

  19. Gail says:

    DB:

    Name some.

    They aren’t dying off from the cold, per se. They are adapted to the cold. What they aren’t adapted to is the DRYNESS. The lack of snow. Also I believe it is possible that they don’t go dormant from ENOUGH cold, and then when we get a snap, the leaves/needles are damaged.

    I saw this myself this season, watching carefully.

    Please, as a life-long planter of thousands of trees, shrubs, flowers, groundcovers etc., I would love to know of some species that are adapted to thrive in a dry dry climate that periodically gets down to 12 degrees.

    My 3-year old clumps of bamboo are all brown. My 10 year old holly are fried to a crisp. My 100 year old pines are almost bare.

    Tell me what is going to survive and I’ll plant it.

  20. hapa says:

    environmental problems are on the verge of becoming legitimately serious

    let’s rewrite this.

    “the sustainability of industrial practices was ignored for decades and the natural world is now on the verge of legitimately spinning out of human control”

    isn’t that better? *i* feel better.

  21. DB says:

    Gail, if you do a search for drought resistant trees (or shrubs) you’ll find a lot of suggestions. Here for example:
    http://www.utextension.utk.edu/publications/spfiles/sp570.pdf

    The sumac family in general works well and come in many sizes; honey locust trees are quite tough and there is a yellow leaf version that is very pretty. I also love the leaves on the ginko tree.

  22. Gail says:

    Ah ha ha! I live on a rural road (I have a paltry 12 acres, my surrounding neighbors have over 2000) lined with delicious, spring scented honey locust trees, dozens of them.

    Guess what?

    They are ALL in the last 3 years SNAPPED OFF AT THE TOP. Trunks are full of gaps, branches are falling.

    Try again, seriously, honey locust, maples, oaks, elm, osage orange, ash, black walnut, and every every coniferous tree here, is dying.

  23. MarkO says:

    ‘You can’t be pro-life and cook our kids.’ This seems the biggest ‘pro-life’ issue there is.

    I do think that this issue will be yet another stone around the conservative neck, but this one will hang for decades. It is sooo interesting that it’s a uniquely American-conservative position. They are totally in bed with big coal/oil/fossil.

    If the economy turns around before the next election, they won’t even be able to filibuster.

  24. James Newberry says:

    An average House campaign costs about one million dollars. An average Senate campaign costs about nine million. Most Senators are millionaires. In a plutocracy, the public decisions are made for those with the most money and they are the corporations, especially global fuel and utility corporations and bank holding companies.

    Our federal government and public laws have become so corrupted by the political power of money that unless we attempt to enact a law such as “No person shall lobby Congress who is paid to do so” we may be sunk as a nation, figuratively and literally.

    GOP: the goppidy goo, Global Oil Profits

  25. Harrier says:

    Gail, I am not sure what to say, except that I’m sorry you have to witness so many trees dying. It would be painful for me, and it seems to be painful for you as well. My sympathies may not count for much, but you have them.

  26. paulm says:

    Could this divide be explained to some extent by the new internet media.

    It seems that what happens everything becomes polarized and each camp gets caught in a virtual community which just keeps to itself. Arguing more and more how useless the other is and blindly stuck poles apart.

  27. Bob Wallace says:

    Why do Republicans care more about winning than about America?

    (They’re willing to screw us, and the rest of the world, just to get back into power. I don’t think they care all that much what they do when they have power. They just want it.)

  28. paulm says:

    Anti-Science Conservatives Kill!

  29. Harrier says:

    At least on the liberal side of things, the new media does better reporting than the old media. They’re also not nearly as stagnant and sycophantic a bunch as the elite reporters of the fourth estate.

    Couldn’t you consider Climate Progress part of the ‘new internet media,’ since it bypasses more classic forms of news delivery, and presents us with information that arguably hits harder than news that is more ‘packaged,’ intended to be easier to digest?

  30. Rick says:

    did I miss something? I thought the left was in power now. Skimming through this comment section leaves me with impression that Republicans are in charge.

  31. hapa says:

    rick: the extent of the ecological challenges requires real consensus.

  32. Bob Wallace says:

    Rick – Count the number of Democratic, Republican and Independent Senators.

    Then count the number of “left-leaning” Senators, don’t include the DINOs.

    I think you’ll see that we don’t have clear sailing toward our goal of cleaning up our mess.

  33. atticus says:

    I know a man who will swear to you that most CEO’s are intelligence-bootstrapping cyborgs; their suits are their real skin, according to him. My vote’s for Why do conservatives hate children?

  34. jorleh says:

    Looks like you have another civil war coming on.

  35. Russ says:

    Rick:

    1. “The left” is most definitely not in power. By any historical measure the mainstream of the Democratic party, exemplified Clinton and Obama, is right of center on social and economic issues.

    They may lean left given a particular environmental issue in the abstract, in isolation. But once the issue is to be confronted through real policy, the policy must then conform to a moderately right-wing ideology.

    That’s why I have such low hopes that any effective federal carbon policy can arise in time from this political configuration. I’d really be (pleasantly) surprised if they ever vote on a bill which is significantly better than Warner-Lieberman, which was hopelessly inadequate.

    As for the real Left, it’s for the moment still marginalized.

    2. Even granted the premise that non-rightists are nominally in power, that will mean nothing if they lack the will to use power, and since retaking the Congress in 2007 the Dems have clearly lacked the will to do anything but appease and let the Reps get away with everything the Dems themselves were too cowardly to do when they were in the nominal minority.

    So they result is that the Reps are still the de facto empowered faction, if only in the sense of having a veto over everything, which veto the Dems never force into the public arena by actually calling the Reps’ bluff and forcing them to actually filibuster everything.

    So for the Reps it’s cheap victory after cheap victory.

    3. This existing dynamic has been exacerbated by Obama’s bizarre fixation on “bipartisanship”. He’s so far been the most fanatical appeaser.

    Yet anyone even remotely paying attention in recent years could have told him bipartisanship is a pipe dream, that trying to work constructively with a gang of thugs and flat-earth cretins is a delusion, and that anyone who wants any real reform, any real attempt at a solution to America’s problems, like the climate crisis, will have to do so riding right over this obstruction.

  36. Bob Wallace says:

    Boy Russ, I sure see things differently.

    What I see is that the American public is well “left” of where the Republicans have been saying it is for the last several years.

    And I see the current administration (and the Clinton administration) a little left of the “real” center.

    I see both administrations as wanting to do more to fix our problems. (And I think the real solutions are found in the positions of the “somewhat-left”. Health care for all, moving away from fossil fuels, equal rights for all citizens, ….)

    I see Obama as more culturally astute than was Clinton. I think he will work at making progress while making as few as possible waves.

    He’s only been in office for a couple of months and entered with a table full of major problems vastly greater than what has confronted almost any other president. And look at how much he’s already been able to do, even with a green and incomplete administrative staff.

    Can you name a single social issue on which Clinton or Obama were/are “right of center”?

    I can accept that both may find themselves having to operate a bit “right of left” when it comes to economic issues. Some of the dreams of the left have to be tempered by economic reality.

  37. BobHam says:

    Off topic question:

    I was told last night that coral reefs produce a huge percentage of the oxygen we breath, thanks to a symbiotic relationship with a strain of algae that lives on reefs. Is that true? And if so, has anyone analyzed the impact of the die off of coral reefs to the climate? Theoretically that won’t directly increase the CO2 count, but it will result in a decrease in O in the atmosphere. What sort of impact (bad clearly) would that have?

  38. Lewis says:

    nobody Says:

    March 18th, 2009 at 7:50 pm
    Looks like Republicans are having an intellectual meltdown.

    Isn’t an intellect required before it can meltdown?

  39. Gail says:

    BobHam,

    I have read that after the drought in the Amazon in 2005 parts of it turned from sequestering carbon to emitting it. What’s that going to do for us oxygen breathers when it goes global?

  40. DB says:

    While it’s fun to think up bumper stickers, it is important to remember that 22% of Democrats and 44% of independents think reporting on global warming is exaggerated and almost everyone puts it low on their priority list.

    [JR: That's why multiple messaging strategies are needed. The polling you cite, however, was too vaguely worded to provide any genuine snapshot of what the public believes.]

  41. hapa says:

    actually that averages to 30% because there are twice as many registered democrats as registered other party or no party, compared to 66% of republicans saying it’s exaggerated. put another way, there are more climate worriers in the other parties than there are republicans, total.

  42. jonesey says:

    I would say “Why do Republicans hate children?” instead of “conservatives.” Republicans calling themselves “conservatives” is just part of the big lie. They are not in favor of conserving anything important.

  43. peter whitehead says:

    republicans – the party for human extinction

    or

    Global Obliteration Party

  44. Russ says:

    Bob Wallace says:
    Can you name a single social issue on which Clinton or Obama were/are “right of center”?

    I can accept that both may find themselves having to operate a bit “right of left” when it comes to economic issues. Some of the dreams of the left have to be tempered by economic reality.

    Well of course if you define all the fundamentals out of the discussion you can make terms mean whatever you want!

    Yes, Obama and the Dems are prone to be left of center on culture-war issues, which are mostly frivolous distractions.

    But as for the socioeconomic fundamentals, Republicans and Democrats largely adhere to the same corporatist ideology and gigantist nightmare of what a civilization should be: infinite growth, a pyramid scheme economy based on exponential debt, globalist piracy, the fraud of the “free market”, suburban sprawl, privatization.

    They also share an utter incorrigibility regarding the fact that none of these things are sustainable, that these things are in fact doomed.

    At best, Dems want to do some tinkering and “reforms”; they want to file off a few of the sharpest razor edges. But they love wielding the razor itself.

    As for environmental issues, as I said above Dems tend to be much better than Reps in theory, but in practice don’t show much follow-through.

    As for this:

    Some of the dreams of the left have to be tempered by economic reality.

    1. If you really mean “economic” reality, I can’t imagine anything less realistic than trying to prop up zombie banks, zombie debt, the zombie dollar, the zombie system. AMERICA IS INSOLVENT. The dollar’s phantom value is propped up only by an ever more Rube Goldberguesque delusion.

    2. The only remotely realistic (because the only remotely possible) way to unwind this civilizational position is by using what real wealth is left to dismantle these large structures before they collapse, and reinforce regional and local structures. If Wall St banks threaten to destroy Main St banks, the solution is not to give in to extortion and bail out Wall St, it’s to shore up the smaller banks, and help them continue to play a constructive role in a relocalizing economy.

    3. This policy transformation from top-down to bottom-up could also manifest in public-friendly agricultural, health, transportation, and education policies – in all of these dismantling the top-down corporatist power and restoring center of gravity to the public sector and to small enterprise. (That’s where “leftist” ideas, to the extent they’re not centralization-seeking, are far more economically realistic than the prevailing ideology.)

    4. Such a transformation could be done hand-in-hand with a green-jobs and general decarbonization offensive.

    (Yes, I didn’t forget this is a climate forum. But all of this is connected. As I said, you can’t effectively face the climate crisis within the framework of the economic system which created it. That can only lead to feckless, anodyne reforms which won’t suffice.)

    5. If by “economic reality” you really meant “political” reality, i.e. again with this absurd notion that the right wing is some monumental opponent which has to be appeased, I must say I don’t believe that at all. I think if they wanted to the Dems could be pushing through their agenda at least as effectively as Bush pushed through his. Granted, Bush had the advantage that everywhere Democrats fell all over themselves to collaborate with him, but the job can still be done. It’s just that they lack the courage and the will. Bush trumped up 9/11 into a crisis? But here we have a real domestic crisis which anybody can directly blame on Bush and the Reps themselves, just for the price of breaking with the Bush policy.

    But will Obama do so – on banks? on the “War on Terror”? Fer Chrissake, this morning I read that Obama was willing only under political duress to break with the Bush policy of trying to force soldiers to use private insurance to pay for treatment related to combat wounds! And this is the guy who claims to want health care reform?!

    “Left-wing” my ass.

  45. Ben Lieberman says:

    Something short and pithy is necessary to catch attention–something that plays on GOP–instead of GOP–GWP Global Warming Paarty

  46. Just FYI, Joe…

    If the Yale figures were saved as GIFs instead of JPGs, they would likely be easier to read and far less pixelated. Generally speaking, most graphs will look better as GIFs.

  47. papertiger says:


    WASHINGTON — Michigan’s senators, reliable allies of President Barack Obama, are emerging as potential obstacles to one of his top budget priorities.

    Both have raised major questions about a cap-and-trade system to limit carbon emissions. Last week, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, joined a handful of more moderate Senate Democrats in opposing a procedural move that could make it easier for such a system to become law.

    And Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Lansing criticized the administration for tying new money for energy research — some of which could help the auto industry — to passage of a cap-and-trade plan.

    Reality – it’s not just for Republicans anymore.
    Levin & Stabenow must be up for re-election in 2010. Too bad. I was hoping democrats would grow backbone enough to run on climate change – and lose.

  48. IANVS says:

    Joe,

    Apply heat to the entire body. Nothing like peer pressure.

    “Why do Senators hate our children?”

    or

    “Why don’t Senators love our children?”

  49. Joe says:

    Richard:

    Thanks. I’ll try that.

  50. Florifulgurator says:

    “In its final, frantic attempts to protect itself from the knowledge that threatens the narrative framework, the mind can instantaneously fabricate terminal doubt of extravagant proportions: This is not really happening.” — Val Plumwood, “Being Prey”

  51. BrooksB says:

    GOP: Damn the science, our children, and our children’s children, full speed ahead!

  52. Craig says:

    Blaming conservatives and big business is lots of fun. But is it enough? Maybe it is time to take this to the grass roots level:

    - Go to your local gas station and tell everyone who is filling up their cars that they should stop, they are killing your kids.

    - This winter, go to your neighbors and tell them they should stop heating their homes with oil or natural gas, cause they are killing your kids.

    - This summer, go to your neighbors and tell them that they have to shut off their Air Conditioners, cause the electricity comes from burning fossil fuels, and that is killing your kids.

    - Go to your local supermarket, check out the shopping carts and stop everyone who isn’t buying locally produced food. Tell them they have to stop getting food from far away places cause that produces CO2, and they are killing your kids.

    - Most of all, YOU stop doing all of the above, because YOU are also killing your kids.

  53. David B. Benson says:

    Gail — If you don’t mind, in what part of the country is your 12 acres?

  54. Gail says:

    Oldwick NJ

    you can look at my facebook page to see pictures of the trees, and keep in mind, they are getting worse by the day.

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=10777&id=1666320074

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=10798&id=1666320074

    Just this past week I came across this study which I believe has a lot to do with what I see, along with drought, and the trees and shrubs not going properly dormant because it’s too warm, and then getting damaged when we get a cold snap as we did twice this winter.

    http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/eij/article/fever_in_the_forests/

    “Yellow cedar decline was first reported in 1909. By 1920, there were aerial photographs indicating large stands of the dead cedar. The trees, which can live for hundreds of years, have evolved to grow slowly and dedicate resources to a chemical defense that guards against pathogens at the cost of being able to reproduce rapidly. By the 1970s and 1980s, the mortality among yellow cedar was so high that pathologists thought some kind of disease was infecting the trees. “It took a while to figure out that wasn’t a promising avenue,” says Paul Hennon, a US Forest Service pathologist who has been studying cedar decline since 1981.

    The decline, it turns out, is not caused by a disease, but by a lack of insulating spring snow pack. Snow, which used to linger longer into the spring, acts like a blanket on the ground, keeping the soil and fine cedar rootlets at a consistent temperature. When the regular snow pack disappeared, it left the cedar’s shallow roots vulnerable to late spring freezes. Because of its unique physiology, yellow cedar is particularly susceptible to late season freeze injuries. Once the fine rootlets of a tree are damaged, a chain reaction unfolds, ultimately causing the tree to die. “That’s what has really changed,” Hennon says. “The amount of snow.”

    and this is fascinating:

    “Despite the high stakes involved, there is only a small team of forest pathologists who are collaborating on the issue of disease and climate change. “Isn’t that scary?” asks Susan Frankel. ”

    Because the foresters and plant pathologists are almost uniformly resistant to the notion that climate change is affecting vegetation already.

    Thanks for your interest David B Benson!

  55. Gail says:

    David, I posted an answer with too many links again, so when Joe gets around to moderating it should appear, if you care to check back later. The short answer is a little village in western New Jersey called Oldwick.

  56. twinelm says:

    I find the doom and gloom crowd here absolutely hilarious. People, the climate is not some absolute. Mankind has only a hundred plus years of records and yet it is a scientific fact that climate has had WILD SWINGS in the past that were NOT caused by mankind, anymore than any current changes, however mild, are caused by or preventable by actions of humans.
    Please recognize the whole global climate change debacle as a political ploy to make your lifestyle into a 3rd world country while attempting to get you to buy into feeling like you are making a difference in the meantime. I am sorry you have bought into this hook line and sinker. It is quite sad….Please start to try thinking for yourselves, for your children’s sakes…

  57. Gail says:

    twinelm,

    If the doom and gloom is so f***ing hilarious, why are your here?? Can’t you find a joke somewhere else?

    Or is it may be just possible that ugh, we have a problem??

  58. papertiger says:

    Yellow cedar decline was first reported in 1909. By 1920, there were aerial photographs indicating large stands of the dead cedar. The trees, which can live for hundreds of years, have evolved to grow slowly and dedicate resources to a chemical defense that guards against pathogens at the cost of being able to reproduce rapidly. By the 1970s and 1980s, the mortality among yellow cedar was so high that pathologists thought some kind of disease was infecting the trees.

    Wrong time frame. Next.

    If the problem is lack of ground cover, put some mulch in.

    But your main problem, as far as I can gather, is you planted a subalpine species of tree in New Jersey.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nootka_Cypress

    This species goes by many common names including Nootka Cypress, Yellow Cypress, and Alaska Cypress. Even though it is not a cedar, it is also often confusingly called “Nootka Cedar”, “Yellow Cedar”, “Alaska Cedar”, or even “Alaska Yellow Cedar”. Its name derives from its discovery on the lands of a First Nation of Canada, the Nuu-chah-nulth of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, who were formerly referred to as the Nootka.

    Nootka Cypress is native to the west coast of North America, from the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, south to northernmost California, typically occurring on wet sites in mountains, often close to the tree line, but sometimes also at lower altitudes.

  59. Gail says:

    papertiger,

    yikes you just don’t get it.

    The tree and shrub decline is across so many species, it is mind-boggling.

  60. John Hollenberg says:

    Twinelm,

    Actually, we would be more likely to recognize your weak attempt to ignore the voluminous science on the subject of climate change as “a political ploy to continue the lifestyle” you don’t want to examine for problems. “Thinking for yourself” starts with some good solid scientific knowledge, which you appear to be lacking (or denying).

  61. Starve the oil and coal producers.

    To find out how, visit

    http://livinggreenlivingwell.com

  62. Col says:

    While so many conservatives don’t get science, especially climate science, most of them get the importance of energy system changes. For example, a recent Gallup poll shows that 63% of them want more investment in renewables (http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/mar2009/2009-03-17-094.asp).

    Perhaps we need to focus more on what they will help us do and less on what they won’t. After all, couldn’t people not see impending climate destabilisation and yet still engage in specific actions that will help in the fight to prevent the destabilisation?

  63. David B. Benson says:

    Gail — Thankss. I didn’t realize that New Jersey was wide enough to have an east and a west. :-)

    But for New Jersey as a whole, I have no understanding why you are not receiving enough moisture for those species. You are sure that is the problem, not diseases?

  64. Gail says:

    David B.B. – There are diseases and various other stresses on the trees and shrubs. But I don’t see how, logically, ALL the evergreen trees and shrubs would either croak or be barely limping along in one year because they aren’t all susceptible to the same diseases. Not to mention the deciduous trees. A hundred years ago, it was not uncommon for people to have to climb out of their second story windows to get outside in winter because the snow was so deep. Compare that to now!

  65. Bob Wright says:

    Hi Gail:

    As a neighbor in nearby Bucks County, PA, I have to report our trees seem healthy. A recent (guilty pleasure) drive down Rte 206 and 50 found the NJ farmlands and pine barrens looking good too.

    You should go canoeing in the Wharton State Forest some time. Incredible cedars along the creeks. I remember ice fishing in the NJ mountains (hills?). It was as cold as Michigan.

    These guys are more interested in the coast and shorebirds, but maybe they have some ideas:

    http://www.nature.org/initiatives/climatechange/files/new_jersey_fact_sheet.pdf

  66. Gail says:

    Bob Writght,

    I have driven through Buck’s County a couple of times or more, these past few months as one of my daughters is a student at UPenn Vet school in Philadelphia.

    The trees are NOT healthy, at all. If you think so, I’m sorry, you do not know what to look for.

    I’m not trying to be rude or insult you. I just want you to take a fresh approach.

    Look at it this way. A cut Christmas tree looks terrific for quite a while, even past New Year’s. But, it’s obviously dead. In other words, when a pine tree or evergreen shrub starts to turn yellow or drop needles or leaves, IT IS ALREADY DEAD.

    Take a tour around and make an inventory of shrubs like yew, cypress, rhododendrons, and boxwood. Do they look yellow? Check out the pine trees of any variety. Can you see their trunks? Can you see all the way through them to the other side? If so, they are dying.

    We will wait a bit to see what emerges this spring. So far, crocus and snowdrops are emerging at about 50% of their normal size.

    oh and where are the birds?

    Please keep in mind, I don’t WANT this to be true. I am simply making observations. How I miss this time last spring, when I had my usual seed catalogs spread all over the dining room table and was placing orders for hydrangeas, and roses, and fruit trees.

    This year I have only ordered vegetable seeds.

  67. papertiger says:

    Gail if I’m so far off the mark, why did you take down the pics of your sick trees?

    Could it be embarassment at having planted an Alaskan native in New Jersey and claiming it as a climate change victim?

    How are those clown fish you planted in the trout stream doing?

    And the flamingos you put in your duck pond, are they enjoying the New Jersey climate?

  68. papertiger says:

    Reality: it’s not just for Republicans anymore.

    U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is urging the U.S. Department of Interior to stop processing applications for more than a dozen solar energy projects sought on Mojave Desert land that was donated to the government by a conservation group.

    Feinstein, D-Calif., is preparing legislation to protect about 600,000 acres of former railroad company land deeded to the federal government. The deal was funded with $40 million raised by the Oak Glen-based Wildlands Conservancy and $18 million from a federal water and conservation fund.

    In a March 3 letter to U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, Feinstein said not all land is suitable for energy development.

    “Unfortunately, many of the sites now being considered for (energy) leases are completely inappropriate and will lead to the wholesale destruction of some of the most pristine areas in the desert,” Feinstein’s letter said.

    You’re losing your army Joe.

  69. Pangolin says:

    Sorry to smack you with reality papertiger but climate change effects have been observed all up the Pacific Northwest from Sequoia National Forest to the Tongass. In my local forest, Lassen and Plumas national forests warmer winters have contributed greatly to bark beetle damage that promotes fires. Changes in weather patterns have made things worse by hitting us with out-of-season thunderstorms that light fires. Month long smoke clouds aren’t conducive to productive economic activity.

    Climate change related damage in the Rockies is already well documented, also causing bark beetle damage, killing trees and leading to large, uncontrollable, wildfires. Warmer summers in Southeast Alaska will make the Tongass a carbon source if the muskeg the forest roots in starts drying out.

    Ultimately the problem is that all economic bets are OFF unless the environment can support economic activity sufficient to repay financial obligations. Crops must be available to feed urban populations without undue increases in costs. Businesses must have reasonable and predictable power costs in order to accurately predict pricing. Consumers must be able to have some funds left after food, housing, heat, light, and transportation in order to fund economic activity.

    A few more years like 2008 and half the population will be standing in soup lines while the other half scrambles to stay employed by governments with no tax base left. All the kings horses & all the kings men plus Barack Obama are not going to get product out of a planet wracked by ecological shock effects.

    Conversion to a highly efficient, sustainable, economic system is an absolute requirement if the network we call the “global economy” is going to shake off the current panic and continue in a forward direction.

    b.t.w.- Dianne Feinstein is widely regarded as a D.I.N.O senator who uses social liberalism as a smokescreen to cover economic conservatism and support for foreign wars.

  70. Gail says:

    i didn’t take the pictures down.

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=10798&id=1666320074

    I’ve considered taking more because the decline is marching along but then I think, why bother, most people won’t believe it or care until a tree falls on them. Or maybe when they have to dig deep into their wallet to remove all the shrubs and trees around their homes.

    PaperTiger I only cited that scientific study because it is the only one I can find that specifically says that a species of tree can die for lack of snow. I didn’t plant a yellow cedar. But the condition of the trees here and the lack of snow cover do corollate. That’s all!

  71. Anonymous says:

    The second most important reason to act, according to the survey respondents, is to “protect god’s creation.” The third reason is to “prevent the destruction of most life on the planet.”

    Could try these slogans:

    Why do conservatives hate god? or

    Why do conservatives hate life?

    Using them probably won’t help swing those crucial moderate Republican votes in the Senate though.

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