Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

What are the prospects for comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation in the coming years …

Posted on  

"What are the prospects for comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation in the coming years …"

Share:

google plus icon

… in the real world, in the world where people believe the BS analysis in the Washington Post, and in an alternative universe where the GOP isn’t anti-science and pro-pollution

The chances for either an economy-wide shrinking cap on greenhouse gas emissions or a major push on clean energy investment over the next several years are not large — on this Earth.  The chances would be higher on planet Eaarth, where (in descending order of importance):

  1. Senate Republicans aren’t in the thrall of the anti-science, pro-pollution ideologues and special interests.
  2. The media coverage of climate science, solutions, and economics isn’t so abysmal.
  3. The President gives a full-throated push on such legislation.

On planet Earth, the majorities in both houses that favor any serious action will dwindle in 2011.  If 2010 is the third straight wave election and the GOP takes the House, then there is no prospect for any action whatsoever as long as they control the House (that goes double for GOP control of the Senate, which is less likely because of too many Tea-Party-driven GOP candidates).

On Earth, the best one could plausibly hope for in the next Congress, assuming only modest Republican gains, is some sort of weak cap on utility emissions, possibly with some weak oil saving measures, though that would still require Obama to do what he refused to do under more favorable political circumstances — push hard for a bill.

But we also have planet DC, where media outlets like the Washington Post drive a factually dubious but potentially self-fulfilling conventional wisdom, as in their front page story today, “Among House Democrats in Rust Belt, a sense of abandonment over energy bill,” which opens:

When Democratic Rep. John Boccieri went home to Ohio early this year to talk with voters in his Canton-based district, he figured he would have to do battle with at least some constituents over his support for health-care reform. And the economic stimulus. And the auto company bailouts.

But at a meeting with business leaders, he had to come up with fast answers on something completely different: Why, the businessmen wanted to know, had Boccieri voted for a bill last summer to cap carbon emissions, which they feared would drive up their energy bills in the middle of a recession?

So few words, so much BS.

If you think Boccieri wasn’t prepared for questions on his climate vote in a meeting with business leaders — aka a meeting with many Republicans with even more likely planted questions — and hence had to unexpectedly and suddenly “come up with fast answers,” then you just passed the entrance examination for Washington Post political reporters.

You can tell that either the questions were planted or the WP reporters themselves have bought the right-wing talking points (or both), when you realize that the House bill would not have even started to cap emissions until 2012, hardly “the middle of a recession”!  And, of course, with a very modest cap in the early years and strong efficiency measures, the bill would have lowered Americans’ electric bills according to EPA, but you can’t expect the Washington Post to explain such complicated matters to their readers, can you?

The story continues:

Boccieri said he was tired of wars based on “petrol dictators and big oil.”

“If I can take a tough vote today, I’m going to take that vote,” said the freshman lawmaker, an Air Force reservist who flew C-130s over Iraq for more than a year.

But 13 months after that tough vote, Boccieri and dozens of other House Democrats along the Rust Belt are not at all happy with the way things have turned out. The White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had assured reluctant members that the Senate would take up the measure. Although Senate passage wasn’t a sure thing, House Democrats hoped to go back home to voters with a great story to tell — about reducing dependence on foreign oil, slowing climate change and creating jobs.

That didn’t happen. Senate leaders, sensing political danger, repeatedly put off energy legislation, and the White House didn’t lean on them very hard to make it a priority. In the aftermath of the gulf oil spill, the Senate is set to take up a stripped-down bill next week, but the controversial carbon-emissions cap is conspicuously missing.

This has left some House Democrats feeling badly served by their leaders. Although lawmakers are reluctant to say so publicly, their aides and campaign advisers privately complain that the speaker and the president left Democrats exposed on an unpopular issue that has little hope of being signed into law.

DC “pack journalism 101″ requires that you never let the facts get in the way of the narrative you want to tell the reader.  In fact, the Post‘s own June poll found:

Some 71 percent of those surveyed back federal regulation of the release of greenhouse gases from sources like power plants, cars and factories in an effort to reduce global warming. The idea also had strong majority support in polls last year.

CAP’s Dan Weiss wrote a letter the Post published two weeks ago calling the paper out for  similar piece of journalistic malpractice, but the Post has never really taken its letters to the editor seriously — they appear to be mainly placebos for readers (see here).

While it is absurd for the Post to keep ignoring its own polling — along with countless other polls (see Yet another major poll finds strong public support for global warming action, “even if it means an increase in the cost of energy” and links below) — the view that this is somehow an unpopular issue has taken hold as some sort of perverse conventional wisdom by otherwise smart people like Rahm and Axelrod.

The Post continues:

Some Democrats liken the situation to that of the 1993 “Btu” tax. The House passed the tax, but the Senate never took it up. Many House Democrats felt hung out on a limb in the 1994 elections, when Republicans reclaimed control of Congress for the first time in 40 years.

The implication that the Btu tax was the primary cause of the Republicans reclaiming control of Congress is nonsense.  This ignores the House banking scandal, redistricting, trumped up Clinton controversies like Whitewater and the travel office firings, the assault weapons ban that ignited the NRA, and many other issues.  But the conventional DC wisdom is that it did matter, even if it probably didn’t matter much.  Similarly, if House Democrats who voted for Waxman-Markey lose, that may also become the conventional wisdom, even if the economy, the bailout vote, and the grotesqueness mis-messaging on the healthcare bill and stimulus are the main reasons.

On Earth, the House Democrats have not been hung out on a limb by environmentalists and clean energy advocates, which have kept up their relentless campaign for the bill, which is why the poll numbers for it have actually grown.

But the House Democrats have been hung out on a limb by the White House, which failed to use many persuasion tools at its disposal, only occasionally used the bully pulpit to make a strong case for the necessity of the bill, and never forced the Senate to take a vote on a similar bill.  So you can be sure that even if that Democrats retain control of the House next year, they aren’t going to pass a new bill until the Senate passes one of its own, which will probably require nearly 10 Republicans to vote for a bill, an unlikely proposition given that it was fairly clear that not even a single Republican was prepared to vote for a comprehensive bill that had a chance of getting close to 60 votes — and many former Republican supporters of action, like McCain, were actually demagogueing against it.  Certainly, it is inconceivable that the next Congress would even contemplate strong climate or clean energy legislation without Obama undergoing a major strategy change and taking a very strong leadership role in crafting the bill and lobbying for the bill and selling it to the public.

So that leaves post-2012, which requires us to move into the realm of even more difficult speculation.  To imagine the possibility of comprehensive legislation in 2013, you have to hypothesize a pretty good economic rebound and/or the Republicans nominating a dreadful candidate like Palin, leading to a landslide for Obama (a la 1964 and 1984).  Then you have to imagine the long-sought-for strategy change by the White House leading to fairly rapid passage in both houses of … what?  Something stronger than a cap on utility emissions?  It still requires the Obama reversal, for him to get carbon cojones.

Yes, there is the possibility of near-term climate Pearl Harbors stimulating action but then again there is also the possibility of Iceland’s Katla volcano erupting in the next year, cooling the Earth a tad for a year or so, giving the disinformers another talking point to befuddle the media and public with.  And remember, we just had one of the biggest fossil energy Pearl Harbors imaginable in the Gulf of Mexico, but Obama let that opportunity to create a call to action pass.  Oh, and yes, there is always the equally slim chance of filibuster reform, ending the extraconstitutional, supermajority requirement.

I will look at the domestic and international implications of this analysis — and alternatives to comprehensive climate or clean energy legislation — in coming posts.

« »

44 Responses to What are the prospects for comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation in the coming years …

  1. homunq says:

    It’s actually shocking to me that you could write this whole post without once mentioning the word “filibuster”, and with the only mention of “60 votes” stated as if this were a constitutional requirement.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/26/momentum-for-senate-filib_n_659821.html : “Last week at the Netroots Nation political conference, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) gathered environmental writers to discuss energy legislation; the first few questions were related to energy, the rest of the conversation was dominated by the filibuster.”

    Filibuster reform is a bit of a longshot. But once it passes, the chances of a climate bill, even in a Senate with 53-56 Democrats (plus Charlie Crist) are actually better than even. So it’s the best chance for a climate bill we have – in Earth or Eaarth. And as such:

    Fibuster reform should be the primary US national political issue for environmentalists right now. It’s irresponsible to analyze that arena without mentioning it.

    [JR: Yes, it's true, in the alternative universe where the extraconstitutional, supermajority requirement doesn't exist or is somehow changed, then maybe we could get a utility cap in the next Congress. I write so many posts on this subject, I don't always stuff everything I've written into each one of them.]

  2. homunq says:

    I don’t mean to imply that there aren’t other more important issues at the local, state, and global levels; just that the filibuster is the biggest one at the US national level.

  3. Daniel Ives says:

    “I will at the domestic and international implications of this analysis – and alternatives to comprehensive climate or clean energy legislation – in coming posts.”

    I greatly look forward to this, Joe. It would be nice to see what can be done in the next few years to help clean energy and the climate. I think many readers were very depressed to hear the news when the Senate abandoned the American Power Act, myself included. It would be great to have something to hope for, to look forward to.

    Perhaps you intend to address this in a coming post, but I am curious if meaningful action can be taken at the state level, which would then pressure the federal government into taking action.

    Once again, thank you for the great information and analysis you provide on this blog. You do the world a great service!

    -Dan

  4. Jim says:

    I dunno, Joe. Politicians generally treat the symptoms rather than address root causes. As such, it seems unlikely that comprehensive (or even well reasoned) climate legislation will be crafted.

    Instead, we’ll muddle along until, say, 2030, at which point geo-engineers will convince politicians that we can ameliorate warming by pumping low-cost sulfates (or whatever they come up with) into the atmosphere to reflect some solar energy away. Hey, volcanos do this, so why can’t we?

    Admittedly, this is a pretty pathetic prospect, but it is also very consistent with how humans interact with the world. When it comes to pollution, out of sight is often all we worry about (think Plastic Garbage Continent in Pacific.)

    However, I at least can draw some solace that my daughter may at least have some relief, however imperfect, from global warming. If I were counting on legislated changes in energy policy alone, I would be far less optimistic.

    [JR: Not sure where you are disagreeing with me.]

  5. dbmetzger says:

    Nothing will be done until after the off year election in Nov. and then the GOP will put a finger to the wind in order to decide what is most politically expedient for them. In the meantime Greenpeace goes into action in the UK by shutting off the flow of fuel to 50 of central London’s BP stations, following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon Rig. http://www.newslook.com/videos/233081-greenpeace-closes-bp-london-stations?autoplay=true.

    Tony Hayward may have been demonized (everyone needs a face beyond the anonymous corporation) but he received a nice pension package despite BP taking a financial hit. BP has revealed an 11 billion pound loss over the last quarter, going into the red for the first time in 18 years, following the http://www.newslook.com/videos/233082-bp-reveals-11-billion-pound-loss?autoplay=true

  6. john atcheson says:

    When the epitaph of the demise of our consumer culture is written, assuming a much diminished human population is still writing and reading, it will be recorded that the death blow was delivered by the press, whose willfull ignorance and consistent misinformation campaign kept us complacent until it was too late.

  7. richard pauli says:

    We ignore the fact that any action requires a great time to take effect.

    Not to decide is a pretty strong decision. We are committing ourselves to ignore the situation and suffer consequences. Pity.

    The British Met Office offers climate forecasting:
    “A Met Office study has shown that our weather and climate could continue to be affected long after any reductions in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The latest findings published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters show that we may be committed to changes in rainfall patterns long after stabilising carbon dioxide and other gases responsible for climate change.”

    http://info.ma002.com/anony/articles.asp?link=*3130302C303633352C43342C32353133313_13335392C68746D6C2C2C392C2C323135302C

  8. Tod B says:

    Homunq -

    You really think the filibuster is of more importance than campaign finance reform? Not in a cajillion years. On Earth or on Eaarth. Without finance reform the odds of comprehensive ANYTHING is pretty much zippy.

  9. richard pauli says:

    Or it is better said in the Guardian:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/17/cutting-emissions-not-fix-water-cycle

    “Cutting greenhouse gases will be no quick fix for our weather, scientists say – UK study predicts increased floods and droughts will continue for decades after global temperatures are stabilised”

  10. Rick Covert says:

    This sums up the United States Senate. The United States Senate where good bills go to die.

  11. Rockfish says:

    It all hinges on the economy, a point this administration has repeatedly failed to grasp. If people have jobs and money, you can do (almost) whatever you want politically. The last 8 years are proof of that!
    Unless Obama’s plan to allow Wall St to create another massive bubble succeeds, the economy will not recover substantially by the 2012 election, and people will be pissed off enough to elect even Palin. Obama will be another Carter/Bush I – a one-termer pushed out by a recession.

    There will be no climate or energy legislation from a Congress with GOP control either chamber. They have no interest in it whatsoever. Obama has already given up every possible bargaining chip and got nothing. Where does he even begin a negotiation with a GOP-controlled House?

  12. jean says:

    it doesn’t really matter. all the governors and mayors are onboard with reducing carbon emissions. all the bug corporations are going green. I think we’ve reached a tipping point. climate legislation would be nice but ordinary folks are going green and that will help.

    [JR: Actually, the GOP are poised for big gains in the Governorships, and the Meg Whitmans of the world are walking away from this issue. State and individual and corporate action are important -- but we must fight for those too. Just look at proposition 23 in California funded by Big Oil and using tobacco industry tactics.]

  13. catman306 says:

    That floating plastic continent in the Pacific may be a new ecosystem in the making. I imagine that larger and larger fish will start living beneath the plastic garbage. There’ll be plenty of food, plants and animals clinging to the flotsam, growing barnacles and such. Fishing boats with large nets will avoid the area to prevent them netting tons of plastic trash. Anyway, the fish might not be edible to humans because of concentrated plastic poisons.

  14. homunq says:

    Tod B (#7):

    You are absolutely right that campaign finance reform (and, by the way, electoral method reform – the US, like the UK, should move towards non-party-centric proportional methods, which would help the money problem) is more fundamental than filibuster reform, and more vital for the long term.

    But the current situation is that NOTHING controversial passes the senate without filibuster reform*. Not campaign finance, nothing. Filibuster reform has to come first. So filibuster reform has to come first, to enable action in all the other vital areas, starting with climate.

    (I myself am an exile of US immigration policy, my wife can’t get a visa, but of course climate is still more important to me than immigration.)

    *(Yes, Obama has managed to pass some key things despite the filibuster. But each time, it’s been a herculean effort, and he’s spent political capital. Since he’s shown himself reluctant to strongly sell a new, post-Reagan set of principles to the voters, he’s not building any new political capital. So he’s pretty much spent it all by now, and I don’t see any more big bills passing until the filibuster’s reformed.)

  15. homunq says:

    JR, thanks for the response to my first comment. I’m not saying you should have focused on the filibuster in this post, just that it deserved at least a mention.

    Cheers.

  16. Wit'sEnd says:

    Jim, #4, your postulate the geoengineering will save humanity, or at least any portion, ignores many effects of climate change, but most glaringly these:

    1. acidification of the oceans, which is going to kill just about anything useful for humans including the source of much of our oxygen – and

    2. the destruction of forests and crop failure due to the pollution of the atmosphere from volatile organic compounds causing ozone and acid rain – which is separate from the greenhouse effect from increasing levels of CO2.

  17. catman306 says:

    Jeff Masters reviews

    Storms of My Grandchildren by Dr. James Hansen

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/article.html

  18. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    jean at 11 -

    “it doesn’t really matter” . . . . “ordinary folks are going green and that will help”

    Sadly your blithe optimism is unfounded. Without national legislation, fossil fuels displaced by clean energy tech are being, and will be, bought and burnt elsewhere within the US. Without the legislation of a global cap on emissions, displaced fuels are being, and will be, bought and burned abroad.

    And national legislation was a critical requirement for US participation in the global treaty.

    As for “all the bug corporations are going green” this is just wishful thinking – who do you think funds the disinformation machine in the press (mostly via advertizing-fee leverage) and on the web (mostly via front groups) ?

    Without demonstrating that climate legislation is feasible in the US, Obama has nothing to offer the treaty negotiations but dubious promises to try for it – as he blatantly failed to do on the APA.

    This matters very much indeed, given that the stakes include the greatest genocide by serial famines the world has ever seen. But maybe you can’t conceive of famine afflicting the US, and are less interested in what happens elsewhere ?

    Regards,

    Lewis

  19. Chuck Chu says:

    This piece of work will promise jobs but we know it will kill jobs. It will promise savings and be very expensive.
    This is very low on peoples priorities. People want jobs and this is not what they want.
    Most Americans don’t want the left to tell them what to do.
    There are still stupid people that believe this deal is relevant.

  20. Andy says:

    This is seriously depressing.

    Seems to me there are three priorities for the (domestic) climate fight at this point:
    1) Protect EPA CAA authority
    2) Protect AB 32 in California
    3) Filibuster Reform

    Getting RPS and Energy Efficiency (not to mention campaign finance reform) would be great, but I am inclined to agree with homunq that filibuster refrom has to come first and is vitally important.

  21. LAC says:

    Two small points make me more optimistic than this post. First, Democrats can use the budget reconciliation process to avoid the 60 vote rule for a broad cap and trade plan with auctioned permits. 2010 was taken by health care, but in subsequent years climate could take its place. Second, EPA regs may cause additional corporate donors to push for legislation, as they figure they’re better off with the U.S. Senate as the decider than with an aggressive EPA. Some centrist Dems and Republicans will likely follow.

  22. Peter Mizla says:

    At the earliest-2020- reality says 2025-2030.

  23. Robert Nagle says:

    LaC: I guess the key question is when will EPA announce their regulations?

  24. Prokaryotes says:

    Remarks by the President After Bipartisan Leadership Meeting

    We also talked about the need to move forward on energy reform. The Senate is now poised to act before the August recess, advancing legislation to respond to the BP oil spill and create new clean energy jobs.

    That legislation is an important step in the right direction. But I want to emphasize it’s only the first step. And I intend to keep pushing for broader reform, including climate legislation, because if we’ve learned anything from the tragedy in the Gulf, it’s that our current energy policy is unsustainable.

    And we can’t afford to stand by as our dependence on foreign oil deepens, as we keep on pumping out the deadly pollutants that threaten our air and our water and the lives and livelihoods of our people. And we can’t stand by as we let China race ahead to create the clean energy jobs and industries of the future. We should be developing those renewable energy sources, and creating those high-wage, high-skill jobs right here in the United States of America.

    That’s what comprehensive energy and climate reform would do. And that’s why I intend to keep pushing this issue forward. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-after-bipartisan-leadership-meeting

  25. homunq says:

    #21: That’s an interesting point. If budget reconciliation can get around the extraconstitutional 60-vote requirement, then that would be as good as filibuster reform – once.

    But of course, the first bill is not going to be enough. So there’s three ways we can get enough action:

    1. A) A 60-vote bill now.
    B) Further 60-vote bills later
    2. A) Filibuster reform (probably in January, though now is technically possible)
    B) A 50-vote bill soon
    C) Further 50-vote bills later
    3. A) A 50-vote reconciliation bill now
    B) Further 60-vote bills later

    I’d still say that p(2A) * p(2B) * p(2C) > p(3A) * p(3B) >> p(1A), so filibuster reform is still the best chance. But your point is good.

  26. That’s okay. There’s no need to panic yet. I’m sure climate change will come up next year…during the impeachment proceedings.

    I’d like to thank all the voters in advance for staying home, btw. Good Jorb!

  27. paulm says:

    Locate you flotation devices!

    Blue men message the America – Can U Hear!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM-mfEMssy8&feature=player_embedded

  28. BobbyBob says:

    So that’s it, we’re doomed? Game over? We just hope aliens show up with new tech?

    Or should the fight continue? I say, what more could we lose by holding out hope?

    Not that I even know how to “fight”… but all this feeling sorry for ourselves is a bit tiresome.

    Just $0.02 from Bob public.

  29. Windsong says:

    I keep wondering if possibly, when mass die offs occur, when cities are inundated, etc., if we’ll discover the GOP, Bush, Cheney,or whoever, up in some tree, strung up by their (you-kno-whats)? I’m not suggesting someone do this, of course not! I just keep wondering if this will occur, as a result of their refusal to help the citizens all over the planet when we desparately needed their help!

  30. fj2 says:

    Potential of near-term climate “Pearl Harbors”, rapid change in China on enormous scales, government big green buys, potential development of dramatic commercial opportunities, etc. greatly limit the clarity of vision for stasis driven by business as usual.

  31. Prokaryotes says:

    BobbyBob “So that’s it, we’re doomed? Game over? We just hope aliens show up with new tech?”

    Eventually – still processing and calculating data.

  32. CW says:

    Joe — do you see any possible game-changing wild cards out there in the policy and politics world with ‘real-world’ potential? I’m thinking of some European leaders talking about trade barriers to nations doing nothing on climate or the possibility that China might be getting into cap and trade (if the China Daily report is true). Any other ones with real potential?

  33. Chuck says:

    “the House bill would not have even started to cap emissions until 2012, hardly “the middle of a recession”! ”

    Now that is optimism! Normally, rebounds from recessions happen quickly, and the rebound from deep recessions tends to be more dramatic…. EXCEPT when the recession comes from a financial/banking crisis. At least that is what the book “This Time is Different” suggests.

    The more likely prognosis is a very weak recovery extending over a long period of time (that seems to be the historical pattern after a financial crisis). I think there is a very good chance that ten years from now we could be looking back on this as a lost decade economically. Businesses (and the market) could do OK for awhile because of cost cutting measures by businesses. But for the average person dependent on a job for income, it will not feel like a recovery.

    Needless to say – such a long period of economic malaise will not be helpful to the progressive agenda. On the flip side, the Republicans might be better off if they don’t regain complete control of Government too soon, for they would then risk taking the blame for the sluggish recovery.

  34. Prokaryotes says:

    Chuck, interesting book title “This time is different”.
    Though i did not read it, but i expect with the new clean economy we will experience an economic growth larger than from the industrial revolution.

  35. Edward says:

    Reference: “Climate Wars” by Gwynne Dyer, 2010: GW impacts cause regional nuclear wars over food and water before a climate treaty can be negotiated. The wars prevent any further efforts at negotiation. The hypothetical wars are scattered over the next 50 years. Some are rather soon. So what did you expect of a bunch of big apes? The book is a good, but depressing, read. It is realistic fiction.

    Senators are not required to have degrees in hard sciences. That is the problem.

  36. Prokaryotes says:

    Gwynne Dyer: We are passing the point of no return on climate change http://www.straight.com/article-335913/vancouver/gwynne-dyer-we-are-passing-climate-change-point-no-return

  37. Prokaryotes says:

    Why is he not mentioning biochar …

  38. Jim says:

    I wasn’t disagreeing with you. It was more pondering whether spending time and energy debating and writing about climate legislation is even worth the effort. At this point, guys like Tom Friedman I can’t even read…

    From my perspective, the science is there, the will to act is not, and the political theater is not worth following. There needs to be a point of coalescence that forces the average person to recognize that people are not entitled to their own facts – perhaps some utterly unprecedented and catastrophic weather event.

    But even if Americans unschooled in science come to fully believe in the majority opinion regarding climate, windmills and solar cells and LEED buildings are not going to do it. It would be great if a few serious, logical thinkers in Congress would stop hiding from this discussion and force us to start thinking about very sketchy and dangerous actions like geo-engineering as the solution we will probably be forced to try.

  39. LAC says:

    I can’t share everyone’s unbridled enthusiasm for filibuster reform. First, it’s very unlikely to happen anytime soon, and your efforts would be better spent pushing substantive change that has a chance of resonating with the public. Second, I still recall a godawful Republican regulatory “reform” bill in 1995 that would have tied the government in knots and prevented most new environmental, health, or safety regulations. The Democrats were only able to stop it with a filibuster and 41 votes against cloture. I still admire Al Gore for working tirelessly to round up those last few votes.

  40. John McCormick says:

    RE # 39

    Jim, you don’t get it!

    Stop for a second and say the words “ocean acidification”. Now, put the words geoengineering and ocean acidification in the same sentence.

    I’ll give you a suggestion for starters:

    “Geoengineering will not have an effect on the amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed into the 70 percent of the earth’s surface that is ocean and steadily becoming more acidic.”

    I will leave it to you to understand the impact of ocean acidification on our survival.

    John McCormick

  41. Roger says:

    With environmental legislation on the back burner, particularly with the upcoming August recess, what we need now more than ever is President Obama to inform misinformed Americans and to lead by example.

    Sign the petition to President Obama at http://www.change.org/global_warming_education_network, and meet in front of the White House in Washington on October 10, 2010 to tell President Obama to re-install President Carter’s solar panels, http://www.350.org/node/17165

    Warm regards,
    Roger

  42. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    John at 41 -

    if one does the maths of future carbon emissions under a radical termination program, alongside the minor annual subtraction by the predictably declining carbon sinks, alongside the rising emissions from sundry carbon feedbacks,
    it seems fairly obvious that the oceans are “dead men waving” if we fail to deploy geoengineering in the form of carbon recovery rapidly and on a relevant scale.
    Therefore your statement could do with amendment for clarity’s sake, perhaps as follows ?

    “Geoengineering, in the form of Albido Restoration, will not have an effect on the amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed into the 70 percent of the earth’s surface that is ocean and that is steadily becoming more acidic. A prior form of geoengineering, Carbon Recovery, is thus pre-requisite as a means to reduce airborne CO2 both to steadily lower rates of warming as well as to mitigate ocean acidification.”

    Regards,

    Lewis

  43. John McCormick says:

    Lewis, I appreciate the comment but I do not accept that carbon recovery would ever be deployed (whatever it might be)at a scale needed to reduce atmospheric concentrations of CO2 by any more than few parts per million, if that.

    John McCormick