Rolling Stone on “The Climate Killers: 17 polluters and deniers who are derailing efforts to curb the climate catastrophe.”

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"Rolling Stone on “The Climate Killers: 17 polluters and deniers who are derailing efforts to curb the climate catastrophe.”"

From Rupert Murdoch to Warren Buffett to, yes, John McCain

Rolling Stone has two pieces on climate politics in its latest issue, by Jeff Goodell and Tim Dickinson.  “Planet Earth 911” is on “Big Oil and Big Coal’s lobbying campaign to block progress on global warming,” and “The Climate Killers” is on Warren Buffett, Rupert Murdoch, Jack Gerard, Rex Tillerson, Sen. Mary Landrieu, The Swift Boat smearer, Inhofe, David Ratcliffe, Dick Gephardt (!), George Will, Tom Donohue, Don Blankenship, Fred Singer, Sen. John McCain (!), Rep. Joe Barton, Charles and David Koch.

I don’t agree with either piece 100% but they are well worth reading, and not just because the latter piece quotes me a couple of times.  Rolling Stone deserves a huge amount of credit for continuing to put out first-rate work on the story of the century.

Let’s look a little closer at three of RS’s “climate killers,” starting with Buffett:

The Profiteer
Warren Buffett
CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

Despite being a key adviser to Obama during the financial crisis, America’s best-known investor has been blasting the president’s push to curb global warming “” using the same lying points promoted by far-right Republicans. The climate bill passed by the House, Buffett insists, is a “huge tax “” and there’s no sense calling it anything else.” What’s more, he says, the measure would mean “very poor people are going to pay a lot more money for their electricity.” Never mind that the climate bill, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, would actually save Americans with the lowest incomes about $40 a year.

But Buffett, whose investments have the power to move entire markets, is doing far more than bad-mouthing climate legislation “” he’s literally banking on its failure. In recent months, the Oracle of Omaha has invested billions in carbon-polluting industries, seeking to cash in as the world burns. His conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway, has added 1.28 million shares of America’s biggest climate polluter, ExxonMobil, to its balance sheet. And in November, Berkshire placed a huge wager on the future of coal pollution, purchasing the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad for $26 billion “” the largest acquisition of Buffett’s storied career. BNSF is the nation’s top hauler of coal, shipping some 300 million tons a year. That’s enough to light up 10 percent of the nation’s homes “” many of which are powered by another Berkshire subsidiary, MidAmerican Energy. Although Berkshire is the largest U.S. firm not to disclose its carbon pollution “” and second globally only to the Bank of China “” its utilities have the worst emissions intensity in America, belching more than 65 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2008 alone.

As a savvy investor, Buffett would only buy a coal-shipping railroad if he felt certain that Congress will fail to crack down on climate pollution. “Whatever hurts coal also hurts the railroad business,” observes Peter Gray, a corporate climate attorney at the international law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge. “Mr. Buffett must believe that efforts to adopt cap-and-trade legislation will fail.”

That’s a strange position for the billionaire to take, given that he’s promised to donate more than 80 percent of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “As someone who is giving so much money to international development, Buffett ought to know better,” says Joe Romm, who served as an assistant energy secretary under Bill Clinton. “He ought to have spent a great deal of time considering the greatest threats to developing countries “” which would have quickly educated him about climate change.”

Buffett has been a great disappointment:

But at least CP readers found out a key reason why last year:  He hangs around with the wrong crowd — see Error-riddled ‘Superfreakonomics’, Part 2: Who else have Nathan Myhrvold and the Groupthinkers at Intellectual Ventures duped and confused? Would you believe Bill Gates and Warren Buffett?

Still I wouldn’t have put him on the list.  He’s not in the same league as most of the other folks.  He’s kind of the Tiger Woods of investors — a superstar at what he does (making money), but there’s no particular reason to believe his skill in that arena should carry over into other arenas are cause us to admire him as some sort of infallible a human being.  And it’s possible he’s placing a bet on peak oil with his investments in ExxonMobil and BNSF.

The Disinformer
Rupert Murdoch
CEO, News Corporation

In 2007, when the world’s most powerful media baron announced his newfound conviction that global warming “poses clear, catastrophic threats,” it seemed as though the truth about climate change might finally get the attention it deserves. Murdoch promised that not only would News Corp. itself become carbon-neutral by 2010, but that his media outlets would explain the urgent need for a cap on carbon emissions. Climate change, he pledged, would be addressed as a sober reality across the News Corp. empire, whether as a plot element on 24 or in a story on Fox News. “I don’t think there’s any question of my conviction on this issue,” Murdoch declared. “I’ve come to feel it very strongly.”

Since then, however, Murdoch and his media operations have become the nation’s leading source of disinformation about climate change. In October, Fox Business ran an extended segment on “The Carbon Myth,” inviting a hack scientist to “make the case” that more carbon pollution is actually “good for the environment.” The Wall Street Journal has continued to lie not only about the reality of global warming but about Obama’s efforts to prevent it, denouncing climate legislation as “likely to be the biggest tax in American history.” The New York Post insisted that the Copenhagen climate negotiations were little more than a meet-up for “shamsters, scam artists and assorted ‘global warming’ opportunists” who planned to “transfer a trillion bucks from the economies of the world’s developed nations to Third World kleptocrats “” with God-only-knows how much cash sticking to the fingers of well-connected U.N. bureaucrats.” And on Fox News, right-wing attack dog Sean Hannity misinformed his viewers that 2009 “” the fifth-hottest year in the past 130 “” was “one of the coldest years on record.” Hannity then summed up the deranged denial that permeates Murdoch’s media empire: “I don’t believe climate change is real,” he said. “I think this is global-warming hysteria and alarmism.”

Yes, Murdoch has enabled more anti-science disinformation than just about any other media mogul, in spite of his claims of some sort of conversion on the issue (see Jack Bauer becomes first-ever carbon-neutral torturer as Rupert Murdoch says “Climate change poses clear, catastrophic threats”).  You might call him “The Hypocrite,” but that title may belong to this man:

The Flip Flopper
Sen. John McCain
Republican, Arizona

McCain has been one of the Senate’s biggest climate champions since 2003, when he introduced a bill with Joe Lieberman to create a “cap and trade” system similar to the one currently being debated. But since losing the presidency to Barack Obama, McCain is taking his pique out on the planet. He’s now threatening to roadblock the very measure he once introduced, lying about its cost and distorting its goals. “What the Obama administration has proposed is not cap-and-trade,” McCain says. “It’s cap-and-tax.” He’s even trash-talking a bipartisan alternative by GOP colleague Lindsey Graham, calling it “horrendous.”

Although McCain frames his newfound stance as opposition to what he portrays as a $630 billion tax on corporate America, the measure as revised by the House actually provides the energy industry with more than $690 billion in pollution subsidies. McCain’s about-face may have more to do with his precarious electoral future: The senator is currently locked in a dead heat with likely primary challenger J.D. Hayworth, a knuckle-dragging former congressman. The one-time “maverick” now earns high praise from the far right: “He’s been a fabulous team player,” says Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “On message and effective.”

It appears that McCain has just become a sore loser.  If you want to actually pass a climate bill — rather than simply offer one that fails, as he did twice — you have to make compromises.  If McCain succeeds in obstructing the bipartisan climate and clean energy bill that his two friends — Graham and Lieberman — are working to develop, then he will certainly be remembered by history as the greatest hypocrite in the history of the U.S. Senate, which is saying something, considering the competition.  And, of course, he will be remembered in his state as The Dust Bowler (see “Absolute must read: Australia today offers horrific glimpse of U.S. Southwest, much of planet, post-2040, if we don’t slash emissions soon“).

Again, kudos to Rolling Stone for continuing its outstanding coverage of the climate issue.  I’ll end with the quote of mine they used about George Will:

“He positions himself as a conservative intellectual,” says Joe Romm, a physicist who serves as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. “But you can’t be an intellectual and be anti-science. He’s really just an ideologue masquerading as an intellectual.”

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38 Responses to Rolling Stone on “The Climate Killers: 17 polluters and deniers who are derailing efforts to curb the climate catastrophe.”

  1. Jeff Huggins says:

    Bravo! BRAVO!!

    I haven’t read the articles, yet, but I applaud the idea, the nerve, and the honesty.

    I’m glad that they’ve identified the obvious — ExxonMobil — and Rex Tillerson himself. That is something that The New York Times could not find the guts and honesty and verve, and accuracy, and insight, to do.

    Now, what will CJR’s The Observatory say, if anything, about the Rolling Stone issue and these articles?

    Tomorrow, I’m buying this issue of Rolling Stone. Forget the Sunday New York Times.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

  2. Thanks Joe ! Time to call out the names for blame and shame. But now as there is a better defined problem, those who fail to act are becoming more blameworthy.

    Recently saw another succinct list at http://www.alternet.org/environment/144990/the_15_most_heinous_climate_villains

  3. Jeff Huggins says:

    Also …

    I’d also like to say to Jon Stewart (or “his people”), I hope that this will help you get with it a bit more clearly and vigorously as well. I’m a big fan, in most cases, but (as some “tough love”) I’d like to suggest that genuinely informed humor, funniness, criticism, and so forth (whatever it should be called) can also be more clear than you’ve sometimes made it, in the past, regarding climate change. In some of your pieces, it has been fairly unclear (to many people) what you think and where you stand — so much so that your coverage has been “not nearly as on-target” as it usually is and, indeed, has been used by many folks to suggest that you don’t agree with the reality or importance of climate change.

    So, (and please forgive me for suggesting), — get educated on this vital matter! — and THEN do pieces that are “on target”, “smart”, AND FUNNY in a way that actually serves your audience — the youth of humankind. Help them laugh and “get it” at the same time, as you normally do, rather than laugh and not “get it” on this particular issue. In other words, make sure you “get it” first, yes?

    I’m a fan, but I’ve been disappointed with some of your climate change stuff. The Rolling Stone people seem to “get it”. You ought to be ahead of the curve, not behind it.

    Cheers and Be Well,

    Jeff

  4. Leif says:

    I have got to comment before I even reach the end of the article. … “Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad for $26 billion — the largest acquisition of Buffett’s storied career. BNSF is the nation’s top hauler of coal, shipping some 300 million tons a year. That’s enough to light up 10 percent of the nation’s homes —…” and goes on to say- that he is therefore convinced in the future of coal! Unless of course he knows that coal is “dead” and all that bio-mass laying out in the woods and needs to get to the “defunct coal plants” that he has picked up for pennies in the dollar…??? surely the cat is out of the bag. Oh I forgot about all those rural jobs created collecting firewood using bio-mass powered vehicles. ???

    Did I make it?

  5. espiritwater says:

    When young people finally realize it’s their life which is being thrown down the toilet, then maybe they’ll do something. (During the Vietnam War, they protested continually until the war ended!).

  6. Leif says:

    What a rush!

    Anyway, now I can slowdown. So you control all the major track over the most wooded portion of America filled with unemployed “ants” (just being, scientific here, nothing personal)…?. All those little spur tracks that must be built, maintained…? That fellow could just control a large portion of the “AWAKENING ECONOMY”

    Sweet Jesus… What a strange choice of words for an Atheist… Oh well…

  7. sasparilla says:

    Good list. The issue with Murdoch should not come as any suprise to those familiar with his past actions. He’ll do whatever will get him “the win” (in his eyes) for the moment – and that can change from moment to moment.

    If memory serves he said he’d stand up for free news and continue to provide it in Hong Kong as part of getting some channels there, then dropped it shortly thereafter to get a deal with the Chinese government. Whatever suits him at the moment, he’ll do it. The fact that he’s from Australia that is really being hit hard with all this, just serves to highlight this character issue.

  8. Tom Kimmerer says:

    Buffett spreads his bets. His purchase of BNSF was accompanied by purchase of Union Tank Car, the largest maker of rail tank cars. This appears to be an attempt to have a piece of the renewable fuels market: ethanol cannot be carried by pipeline, so growth of the cellulosic ethanol (or other biofuels). Buffet can afford to hedge his risks.

  9. espiritwater says:

    We should ALL buy Rolling Stone magazine from now on.

  10. The Wonderer says:

    I have to believe that one of the reasons Buffett is investing in railroads is because of the huge inroads they have been making in transportation at the expense of long-haul truckers since the surge in gasoline prices. Trains are much more energy efficient and less costly, but historically take longer and are less predictable. This is changing, and I think it’s a good thing for many reasons. Of course he must not be anticipating this being offset by reductions in shipping coal.

  11. Will says:

    Yup support Rolling Stone. The media (especially the AP and NBC) hasn’t done a horrible job with AGW, but they clearly don’t treat it as the story of the century as they should.

  12. Yogi -One says:

    Good. If the RS articles are even half as good as Matt Taibbi’s brilliant series on Goldman Sachs and the financial meltdown, they will be well worth the read. I’ll bookmark them promptly!

  13. Mark Shapiro says:

    Just got my copy of Rolling Stone — so thanks for the heads-up, Joe.

    So how do we protect our children from Rupert Murdoch?

  14. Chris Winter says:

    Naomi Klein’s essay “Climate Rage” on the Rolling Stone Web site is also worth reading — even though it’s pre-Copenhagen, published on Nov. 11.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/30841581/climate_rage

  15. pete says:

    Without energy, there can be no civilization. So, civilization is threatened not only by climate catastrophe, but also by finite fossil fuel reserves. It is no wonder then that the #1 authority on climate change in the country, Jim Hansen, blames the Clinton-Gore administration as playing a key role in the climate collapse in his new book “Storms of my Grandchildren.” Mr. global warming Al Gore made things far worse by canceling the one technology that actually holds promise to save the environment. The same year this technology was cancelled, 1994, Mr. Gore cast the tie-braking vote in the senate to make corn ethanol our environmental direction, which is horrifyingly damaging to the environment– far more so than fossil fuels. It isn’t just republicans who can be absolute, incompetent idiots:

    http://www.sustainablenuclear.org/PADs/pad0509till.html

  16. John P says:

    The tempreture anamoly is .28C degrees. About a tenth of one degree higher than it was 30 years ago when we started recording the Global temps by Satelite. http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_Dec_09.jpg …….. which is meaningless and well within naturally expected variations. So we know so far nothing threatening is come true. I am a farmer in the Corn-belt of the US and would look forward to warmer temps, higher Co2 and better yields so I can better feed the world. Now if you guys want to get someone concerned you may as well quit talking about what the Climate has done in the past. Because nobody with a knowledge of historical tempreture records will care that it is a little warmer like one would think it should be coming out of an ice age. You need to concentrate on the scientific proof that we surely are going to warm way more (3-8 degrees) if you want people to pay attention. Because so far your group is a laughing stock of the world, trying to make hay out of less than one 1/2 of one degree. Does anybody have a good answer on what the ideal tempreture should be for the Earth? As a farmer I would hope it would be warmer so the growing season was longer and food production in the World could increase……John…..

  17. dhogaza says:

    The tempreture anamoly is .28C degrees. About a tenth of one degree higher than it was 30 years ago when we started recording the Global temps by Satelite.

    There’s no satellite coverage of the arctic, which has been relatively warm in December and early January.

    GISTEMP’s coverage of the Arctic will reflect this.

    Regardless, “oh gosh, we’ve had a cold month!” doesn’t prove a thing, just as flipping heads three times in a row doesn’t prove that a coin has two heads.

  18. joe1347 says:

    Great quote by that Joe guy at the end of the article. Too bad the Washington Post still gives George Will a regular forum. Then again, with the Post’s declining readership – maybe it doesn’t matter that much anymore.

    Hopefully, more of the main stream media will follow Rolling Stone’s lead and devote more ink to Global Warming.

  19. Matt S. says:

    http://www.nanosolar.com
    http://www.firstsolar.com

    Forget about global warming. Supposing it was a threat, the technological solution already exists, and implementation for it has begun. Current technology makes solar energy cheaper than coal. Its just a matter of time before most fossil fuel usage stops. I guess all the simulators had a hard time simulating scientists brains…. duuuuh

    Matt

  20. Tim L. says:

    Good! Let’s keep naming names of the lying liars and hypocrites on climate change. Name and shame.

  21. It makes all the more sense to build sustainable cities under the Smart City initiative.

    I am all for more work on the Solar & Wind Power industry.

    Take a look at Auroville, their Solar Kitchen and their model for living.

    http://dancrissco.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/auroville-smart-city-model/

  22. espiritwater says:

    To John P. (#16): No, we’re not the laughing stock of the world; people like you are because you don’t understand the difference between weather and climate. “The only difference between the world as we know it today and the last full ice age is about 5 degrees C. A few degrees is not a neglibible amount.” — from the book, “thinking the unthinkable.”

  23. Eric Greenwell says:

    I own some Berkshire stock, so I pay attention to Buffett’s doings. Coal shipping was about 23% of 2008 Burlington revenues, so it’s an important but not a major factor. Here’s what Buffett said at the time (from the Huffington Post):

    Buffett has said he realized a few years late that railroads were an appealing investment. As diesel prices rise, shipping by rail instead of truck becomes more attractive, and it would be extremely difficult for a competitor to build a new railroad.

    “They do it in a cost-effective way and extraordinarily environmentally friendly way,” Buffett told CNBC on Tuesday. “I basically believe this country will prosper and you’ll have more people moving more goods 10 and 20 and 30 years from now, and the rails should benefit. It’s a bet on the country, basically.”

    So, I’d say he was betting on fuel prices rising, not coal becoming more desirable. Besides their effiency, he also likes railroads because they won’t be outsourced to China.

    I think Rolling Stone got the railroad purchase wrong, but I can’t give an informend comment on the Exxon-Mobile purchase.

  24. Jim Edelson says:

    Warren Buffett is tremendously dangerous to the climate. He has consistently tried to maintain a plausible deniability that it’s not really his decisions that are directing the enormous sums of capital to hasten emissions. He points to his managers, and this is where you can tell what a person thinks by the company he keeps.

    His number two person is Charlie Munger. Witness..

    ————–

    Munger, though, if the past is any indication, doesn’t really care to limit emissions at all. Here’s his take on global warming
    from a 2007 investor meeting: “So what we are really talking about with global warming is dislocation. Dislocations could cause agony though. The sea level rising would be resolved with enough time and enough capital. I don’t think it’s an utter calamity for mankind though. You’d have to be a pot-smoking journalism student to think that.”

    —————————-

    Buffett has been challenged on taking responsibility for his impact on the climate…and consistently failed. He needs to be held responsible for the destruction wrought by his investments.

  25. Richard Brenne says:

    How about launching a campaign to intelligently, articulately and even kindly (but firmly and with authority) have people with access (including progressive politicians, lobbyists, captains of industry, journalists, Yes Men, whoever) confront each of these people at every turn, in every upscale restaurant, hotel, country club, etc they frequent?

    I mean no rest for them for all eternity until they change their views, words and actions and quit condemning the rest of us to a literal hell?

    And publish and re-publish this list in every medium from placards to trading cards and make the list known in every possible way to everyone on Earth for all time?

    And have protestors with placards and trading cards behaving civilly, lawfully and even kindly on public property outside every home, office, mistress and bordello they own or frequent?

    What would Gandhi and Martin Luther King do? I think among countless other things, this.

  26. Wit's End says:

    Joe, that quote about Will is absolutely priceless! It’s right up there on my fridge now with this: “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”
    John Kenneth Galbraith
    Here’s a link to the original article of 15 Most Heinous Climate Villains referred to by RPauli above, from BuffaloBeast (for lively comments): http://www.buffalobeast.com/?p=1237

    I agree there are extra special climate villains but I still think the worst are the vast hordes of Ignorers. I am surrounded by them and they are impossible to engage, let alone convince.

  27. Leif says:

    Richard, #25: Like it! Perhaps a concisely worded “print out” for our home computers?

    AWAKENING ECONOMY: Do you know that 15 to 20 pounds of dry wood, (oak more, cedar less), has the same BTUs as a gallon of gas. A RR car 8′x8′x40′ would hold 2,560 cu. ft. of chips @~ 25 lb/cu. ft = ~ $8,000 @ $3.00/gal fuel prices. With a small home bio-mass generator, (Cyclone Power Technologies?) that energy can be converted to electricity cleanly and efficiently on site thru out the wooded parts of the Nation, (world), and sold locally without the “line loss” of long distance transportation or infrastructure improvements. Ta-da! Cleaner under-story, improved growth and quality of remaining forests, and cash flow to some of the most struggling parts of the Nation. Not making billionaires out of already millionaires struggling to pay an electric bill that is produced by destroying the very environment those folks live in.
    That 300 million tons of coal converted to wood waste would represent ~$90 billion dollars of GREEN economy per year, produced by the very people that currently pay to use dirty coal and make people like Warren richer!

    How cool is that?

  28. Leif says:

    Apologies for the “senior moment” in syntax above folks. … millionaires. The poor struggling… Thank you

  29. Richard Brenne says:

    Leif:

    Some things to say to these Captains of Greed and Selfishness (COGAS) (and I’d love to hear suggestions from others):

    “You’re on Rolling Stone’s list of the world’s 17 worst polluters, deniers of climate change and those allowing the acceleration of global warming. How does that make you feel?”

    “Your actions – as much as those of anyone on Earth – are changing the climate. Please, for the love of God or humanity or whatever it is you believe in, change.”

    “You know that you’re putting profit, greed and selfishness ahead of the well-being of your children, my children and all children, don’t you?”

    “You are promoting and profiting from the burning of more fossil fuels that are warming our planet to exceedingly dangerous levels. Please stop your greed and let others live.”

    “Is your greed and selfishness more important to you than countless lives of innocents? Is the profit that fuels your ego your only metric or measure of life?”

    In every case you’ll probably at most have time to say one of these examples. While those carrying placards and handing out the trading cards (with statistics of the harm that they’re doing, or at least the Rolling Stone’s brief biographies of each on the back) can dress how they want,those doing the confronting should dress in the most expensive and professional suits that are tailored and clean.

    They should not yell, swear, chant or name-call, but speak with the greatest authority, courage, firmness and conviction, getting as square to these greatest polluters as possible with the most politeness and professionalism and even kindness and (this takes genuine spirituality) affection.

    Begin by saying, “Excuse me, Mr. Murdoch. . .”, etc. You need to have access to where they are to do this and you need to stand in your power and realize that your motives and intent give you infinitely more power than they have. Wear a radio lavalier microphone that picks up your exchange and have this videotaped with anything from a glasses camera (tiny camera in the frame of your glasses) or a long lens from a distance so that you and the cameramen aren’t seen as being together.

    The placards and trading cards are held and handed out without yelling, swearing or name-calling. They are a completely different animal from those doing the confronting and shouldn’t be linked.

  30. Leif says:

    The AWAKENING ECONOMY: continued…
    Those very same folks that are “milking their cash cow” by burning the under-story above are charging their neighbors electric car for clean affordable personal transportation. To deliver goods, (eggs, bacon,…) and services, (health care, yard work, construction,…???). That $90 billion gets returned again and again within the the population. Not syphoned off to support some “fat cat’s” 50 gallon an hour yacht in the Bahamas and tax free bimbo entertainment. To top it off that slash would would be consumed under “controlled burning” not a rampaging forest fire that is it’s fate otherwise. Leaving behind a scorched earth devoid of life. Saving society many more billions of dollars in mitigation as well.

  31. Leif says:

    Richard: In keeping with your lead…

    Your personal Carbon Footprint, 200:1, 500:1, even 10,000;1 (for a corporation producing goods designed to be thrown away), means that many must suffer for YOUR excess!

  32. Barry says:

    Even more effective than occasional lists of villains would be an annual list of top villains — and top heroes.

    A number of years ago Slate online magazine (a tiny upstart in media world) decided to publish a list of top philanthropists each year to counter the Fortune wealthiest folks list.

    The reasoning is that people were driven by social status of the “best” list to horde wealth to get the accolades of society for being a Fortune 500er. So Slate created a “best” list for giving away money. The results were spectacular with a new race to give away billions by the likes of Turner, Gates and others.

    Knowing that you might be singled out randomly here and there as a villain isn’t as big a deterrent as knowing there is a well-read “losers” list that will feature you every year until you clean up your act.

    Likewise, giving major props for pushing climate clean would create a social river of praise and status running in the opposite direction.

    Is CP the right place for this, Joe? It could be a reader recommendation and/or vote thing each year perhaps. Lots of staff overhead to do it, I’m sure, but hard to think of a better or more respected site for it that already covers the social and political side of climate.

  33. Richard Brenne says:

    Barry (#32)-

    Great idea to add to the list of all actions – even one great idea like yours alone needs all the companion ideas to have the kind of impact we need.

  34. Leif says:

    The AWAKENING ECONOMY: Continued-
    Many thousands , even millions of small bio-mass electricity producers would be coming “on line” in the morning and producing thru out the day when energy prices are highest! Providing back up for other renewable intermittent sources. For the many with no wood lot access a concentrated solar collector or PV collector could serve the same purpose with less physical labor but probably less payback per dollar invested.

  35. Leif says:

    A-E, cont.: ” Waste” heat provided by those millions of bio-mass electricity generators could subsequently provide home heating in the winter while still making money, or greenhouse heat for year around fresh produce, perhaps enough to be sold locally. Value added income. There would be a place for “County Agents, (Government or private)” that could travel from house to house informing folks on the most efficient approach to manage “their” property in a sustainable fashion and maximize personal value. Assist with initial low interest?, no interest!, financing. Payed for with electricity generated within a year or two! Best of all… Every single dollar of that economy stays within the community, for the most part! Not entertaining bimbos in the Bahamas. Nothing personal if there are “bimbos” in the audience, (we all got to make a living), this rant is toward your keepers.

  36. Anna Haynes says:

    I’ve just sent an email to one of my favorite stores, Archie McPhee, suggesting/requesting that they sell these action inaction figures.

  37. Anna Haynes says:

    Perhaps we should send the 17 gentlemen Archie McPhee’s Angry Mob Play Set.

  38. Perhaps Buffett is investing in railways because they are transporters of the future, after road and air become prohibitively expensive. As he has invested extensively in GE (General Electric) who are developing more efficient trains and have embraced providing for a lower energy future, which is what is needed.

    The opposition by Skol, of the Midamerican energy company, part of Berkshire Hathaway, is to the trade part of cap-and-trade. There is no denial of climate change, rather a commitment and focus on providing much needed energy in a way that lowers emissions. Other respectable ‘environmental ‘ groups also oppose the ‘trade ‘ bit, warning of speculation building a bubble that makes all sorts of mess when it bursts. Sokol (of Berkshier Hathaway) says the trade doubles the cost for those who are already facing the cost of switching to other forms of generating power.

    And if a company is producing energy of course it is going to be a big emitter. It would be its attitude to changing that is important, and its participation in honest working towards a different future.

    The accusations made in this blog could be said to be unfair, ungenerous, un-researched and quick on the trigger.