Weekend Open Thread

Last weekend’s Open Thread was so successful I’m making it a regular feature.

It’s a chance for you to post links to interesting weekend news/links.  Or opine on whatever’s on your mind.  Or suggest topical topics that CP should cover in the coming week.  Or link to some jokes and cartoons “” can’t get enough of those in these new Dark Ages!

99 Responses to Weekend Open Thread

  1. Prokaryotes says:

    Renewable Energy a Key to National Security, Top U.S. Military Official Says

    Pentagon going green, because it has to
    The U.S. military’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels is a dangerous vulnerability, officials said Wednesday as they made a fresh push to develop renewable energy solutions for the battlefield.

    In the wake of a spate of deadly attacks on tankers carrying fuel to foreign troops in Afghanistan, Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke of a “strategic imperative” for the U.S. military to become more efficient and find new sources of energy.

  2. Prokaryotes says:

    “Many of us can see that the right technology is emerging,” he said, “and I hope all of us can agree that the time for change is now.” – The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

  3. David Cardill says:

    I think we should have declared a state of emergency years ago. Everything I know and love is either already dead, or is about to die. The canary is not in a coalmine, the canary is on the surface, and, the canary has fallen. Every calendar day we loose an area measured in hundreds of cubic kilometers of pure Oxygen in gasseous form from our atmosphere, to the 85 million barrels of oil that is being burned daily.

    Children can do this calculation and tell you that you cannot continue to do this, and Einstein said it about 7 decades ago now: “It is a mistake for us to share our world with devices that, like me, consume Oxygen”

    We in the scientific community are aware of this, however every radio and television the world over do not agree. Nor does printed word, and the reason is that oil is everywhere now, and takes hundreds of billions annually from all governments to subsidise their existance, and, they have no intentions of stopping these subsidies. Why don’t you just look and see what the U.S. give annually as subsidies from their tax monies to big oil? A couple hundred billion, at least, and if you factor in their deffered taxes (as in, they don’t pay taxes) and road and infrastructure allocations, it is much much more. And it is money that they absolutely must have too, for without subsidies, gassoline would have reached $10 a gallon a long long time ago. Oil is not solvent, and, they cannot stand on their own and generate a profit.

    But right now in my small town south of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, more than 75% of all the insect and bird species are gone. And, this is true the world over. I have colleagues in Brazil, Germany, U.K., China … all around, and my reality here is the same as theirs, with one factor affecting it: elevation. O2 is a fat heavy gas, realatively speaking, and is at its’ highest concentration at sea level. Averaged over all liveable elevations (which is dropping) our Oxygen level has gone from 25% the first time we checked, to under 20% today, and, every day it drops a little more. Fossil fuels are anaerobic, insofar as they contain no Oxygen, so, the only way to make trillions of tons of GHG’s, is to simultaneously remove trillions of tons of Oxygen from the atmosphere. Like I said, children can make this calculation for you. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. CO, CO2, NO, NO2, SO, and SO2 all come from burning fossil fuels, and, what do they all have in common? O, which, they don’t have in them, and need in order to have the chemical reaction known as fire occurr.

    This is an uphill all the way journey to all of us in the scientific community.


  4. Colorado Bob says:

    Thailand’s flood death toll rises to 32, Bangkok threatened,rises-32-bangkok-threatened.html

    As Thailand’s problems increase Giri comes a shore , bringing more moisture into Indochina.

    Thailand is the world’s leading exporter of rice, watch the price of rice .

  5. Jeff Huggins says:

    Positive Social Change

    As a few of us discussed last time, it might be a helpful idea to share thoughts regarding positive social change and how we can more effectively “make things happen”, for lack of a better way of putting it. And FAST! (pardon my enthusiasm)

    So anyhow, I’ll be reading messages here having to do with “Positive Social Change” and other titles that might sound somewhat related: “Pick up the Cry!” and all that.

    In this message, I’ll just share a few thoughts — some of them obvious — in skeletal form. It would take a much longer comment to go into detail on each, so I’ll just “state” the feeling as it comes to me.

    First, of course, the young generations will have to do a lot to “speak out” and compel society to get its act together. Of course, we all have to do that, and generations should help each other. But, the point is this: Silence and passivity and once-per-year events, and phone calls to politicians, just won’t do it. We’ll all need to do much more and get much more creative. History shows that changes of the size that we need (in order to face and address climate change) don’t happen without a great deal of “energy and persistence”. Indeed, in some ways humankind has never had to make a change this darn BIG, on a global basis.

    Another thing that occurs to me: There are many major and important institutions that are sort of sitting on a fence or being far too silent, because that’s what they can normally do out of their own “convenience”, when the stakes aren’t as high. Most of the universities fall into this category, sitting on a fence or at least not taking a very loud stand, if they are whispering at all. And, there are other sorts of institutions — such as the major and credible management consulting firms (I used to work for one) — that are FAR too silent and preferring to sit on the fence, for the most part. I was told by a fairly senior leader of one of the major firms that taking a stand and really pushing companies to face and address climate change, and making public statements to that end, and expressing that view to government too, would alienate a substantial number of clients, so they don’t do it. Pooh on that! (sorry for the technical terms) Such management consulting firms have a self-identity of being full of extremely bright people — and they often are. With understanding and perks come responsibility!! There are plenty of folks in those firms who can (and undoubtedly do) understand the science AND the stakes. So, enough of being on the sidelines! Some of these firms have a high degree of credibility, which they should understand will fall through the floor, and dissolve, and rightly so!, if they don’t take a solid responsible stand on climate change and the necessary energy transition, even if fees drop by 25 percent initially, or even 45 percent. Anyhow, in the mid- and long-run, there will be more, and more important, and more meaningful, consulting to do IF and AS we make the necessary transitions than if we just slowly stumble along in status-quo land. So, for these reasons and more, firms like McKinsey and others should take a strong, credible, informed, future-oriented, ethical, and courageous stance — and move, compel, advise, and facilitate movement into a responsible and clean future. That’s my view, and I’m sticking with it. People in the movements should address those firms, appeal to them, seek their help, and shine bright light on those firms that don’t take a responsible stand commensurate with their abilities.

    Also, briefly, we need to better integrate the clear-and-simple aspects of the “moral case to address climate change” into our arguments and efforts. Donald Brown and others are doing an excellent job of pointing out those arguments. The movements need to pick the best ones, find ways to communicate them clearly, and NOT SHY AWAY from making the passionate moral/ethical arguments, strongly and well. There are clear, compelling, and commonsensical ethical arguments that entirely debunk most of the purely economic arguments that are often offered against addressing climate change. So, we should all know them, in my view. Especially the leaders of the movements.

    Also, we need to understand that action is required. We need creativity and positive visions to move us to action, much more so than at present.

    Finally, in our present society, money talks, and too often it’s the only thing listened to. So, part of the movement(s) will necessarily need to involve very large, extremely well-targeted, prolonged and effective boycotts. I won’t mention the two or three companies that would make the best (and most appropriate) initial targets here, but there is no doubt in my mind that such boycotts — and big ones — will be necessary. If society can’t develop that sort of “targeted and effective boycott skill”, then all bets are off.

    (One last thing: A kind person mentioned to me that it might not be a great idea to discuss specific initiatives here. If we get to that point, and hopefully so, people should discuss specific initiatives perhaps outside of the blog here — or whatever you like, of course, but just something to keep in mind. Otherwise, the hills have eyes, so to speak. But, of course, broad ideas and “philosophy” and “types of approaches” are great and necessary to discuss, and I don’t think there’s any way around it.)

    Those are my “two cents worth” right now. I’m interested to see whether it’ll make sense to discuss “Positive Social Change” here, weekly, and whether it’ll be helpful to anyone? It’s worth the time IF the leaders of the movements take note and “mine” our comments for thoughts and suggestions. On the other hand, if nobody reads the comments, or if we don’t get positive feedback, it’ll probably die out as a “nice try”. Time is valuable, and we’ll see whether this is worth the while.

    That’s it for now. Cheers!


  6. Colorado Bob says:

    The price of B-class 100-percent white rice has been raised to $505 per ton, while in September it was sold at $475 per ton ……–but-vietnam-doesn-t-have-rice-to-sell.html

  7. Leif says:

    “When dissent becomes impossible, Revolution becomes inevitable.” MLK

  8. Jeff Huggins says:

    Positive Societal Change / For Those Who Didn’t See

    For those who didn’t see some of these the last time I included them, take a look:

    Some brief activism history: Mario Savio’s impassioned “free speech movement” speech at Berkeley, 1960s

    A great interview clip (BBC) of Bertrand Russell, discussing activism, life, and etc. (stick with this to the end: the best parts are in the middle and at the end)

    Joni Mitchell at Big Sur, California, late 1960s. (I include this as inspiration, perhaps, for the Boomer generations that still have time to make a positive difference.)

  9. Michael T says:

    NOAA State of the Climate 2010

    3 regions had their warmest April-September in the 116 year record:
    (Southeast, Northeast & Central regions)

    19 states in the east also had their warmest April-September in the 116 year record:

  10. Adam R. says:

    In America, restraints on secret corporate funding of political broadcasts have been removed by the right wing majority on the Supreme Court. The fruits of this fascist triumph are now ripening: corporate stooges are leading in polls for many upcoming congressional elections. If this wave of Know-Nothings overwhelms the American Houses of Congress, meaningful pro-environment law, both old and new, is dead in the USA.

    What can thinking persons do against the mighty propaganda machine of Exxon, Massey, Koch, et al.? The money backing it is, for all practical purposes, unlimited; certainly enough to swamp any counter message. I suspect little, for now, besides what is already being done in blogs like this one and RealClimate. That will not be enough, unfortunately, and the headlong rush to destruction-for-profit will continue, with the enthusiastic support of most of the American electorate.

    This is bad, folks. The bad guys have the advantage and they are pressing it. A lot of thinking people in the USA–conservatives included–need to realize what the prize is in the game they are in with the forces of greed and ignorance. It is nothing less than the control of what the population at large conceives reality to be. When reality reverts from what science reveals to what a fascist cabal dictates, a new Dark Ages is upon us.

  11. Theodore says:

    Is a solar thermal power plant extremely vulnerable to a high-altitude nuclear attack? Could one high-altitude nuclear blast disable all solar power plants within a large area? I have never read anything about this, but it seems to me that the intense blast of energy could be concentrated by mirrors to vaporize pipes or boilers in hundreds of power plants at once. Tell me what you think.

  12. David Smith says:

    PSC (Positive Societal Change) – Bumper stickers are a way to participate in a public dialogue. According to a well publicized poll, 77% of registered voters support action to limit CO2 emissions. That’s a lot of people, (Statistics from the 2008 election suggest 102,000,000 people share this view) the sane majority. Where are they? Why aren’t we hearing from them?

    I would encourage anyone who is concerned about AGW to come out of the closet and place an appropriate message (bumper sticker) on their car or bicycle or back-pack, in support of global warming action. The great thing about bumper stickers is that you can say whatever you want, but it is important that you say it. This public display would help those who care to become aware of others who share their views. It will also help to raise the public awareness of the issue in general, one small step.

    I think the only antidote to the secret hundreds of millions of dollars being spent to influence our elections is populism, for those of right mind to stand up an be counted. If the opposition launched a similar campaign, it would become obvious that there numbers are small in comparison.

    You can design your own sticker at any number of web-sites. If you don’t feel too creative, I have been designing a collection of bumper stickers for sale at my site My favorites are “LIFE-Hugger, Global warming is everyone’s problem” and “Global Warming is not healthy for children and other living things”. There is a variety to choose from and the number is growing. In selecting a message, I would recommend being gentle and avoid sarcasm. This campaign would be most effective if it appeals to a broad range of participants. Getting 10 or 20,000,000 people to go public in this way would have tremendous impact.

  13. Jeff Huggins says:

    ExxonMobil Ad (again) — This time it’s right above your book on the screen, Joe. Is CAP allowing ExxonMobil ads to run, or how does that work, I’ve forgotten?

    Cheers, thanks,


  14. catman306 says:

    Theodore, I would guess (!) that only those solar thermal power plants that would ‘see’ the blast in the vicinity of the sun in the sky, would focus the energy into the collector. That would disable those power plants, but others where the blast was seen nowhere near the sun, would escape undamaged.

  15. catman306 says:

    NPR’s take on Climate Change Politics, Bill McKibben
    (the text doesn’t match the sound)

  16. Michael T says:

    NOAA: Another Winter of Extremes in Store for U.S. as La Niña Strengthens

    October 21, 2010

    “The Pacific Northwest should brace for a colder and wetter than average winter, while most of the South and Southeast will be warmer and drier than average through February 2011, according to the annual Winter Outlook released today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. A moderate to strong La Niña will be the dominant climate factor influencing weather across most of the U.S. this winter.”

  17. bje says:

    For a few facepalming moments this weekend, we have the latest in denialism buffoonery:

    1. Christopher Booker on “Scientists in Hiding”,

    “Academics who dare to question the scientific establishment’s consensus on Darwinism or global warming increasingly find themselves ostracised and demonised.”

    2. James Delingpole, and his latest blog entry, “Warmists plot secretly to kill off the Medieval Warming Period. Again.”

  18. Its really concerning to read all the reports on the way the election in the USA is shaping up. The process of coming to terms with climate change seems to be taking a turn for the worse. Certainly, it looks like there will be yet more delay in reducing our emissions.

    Australia got close with the last Government under Rudd, but he has been manouvered out and action by the newly elected Labor Govt. seems uncertain (hung parliament with an alliance with Green Party and independants).

    What is starting to make impact here is the collapse of waterfront property prices. Reports from locals in my area indicate buyers are not coming to see properties annd that insurance premiums are skyrocketing. The local waterfront community are upp in arms about recent local State legislation that looks to saddle them with the costs of coastal protection and beach nurishment.

    There are a lot of hurting and angry people.

    The denialists like the rich people running the anti-science campaign should be tasked with helping these people. That might be a good use of their riches.

  19. Robert says:

    Fascinating summary of the UK’s energy problems. Shows how the money/energy security impact will likely trump all concerns about emissions:

    Factor in the level of external debt and you can see the scale of the problem. The UK is #2 in the world, only slightly behind the much larger US economy.

  20. Prokaryotes says:

    An 8-billion-shilling renewable energy entrepreneurship fund targeting East Africa has been launched in Nairobi.

  21. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    The Wegman Report is getting a fair hammering lately.

    When do we get Joe’s analysis?

  22. catman306 says:

    Corporatists should understand that if there should be an insurrection, the corporatist system will fail from lack of cash flow. No one will pay their bills if there is a massive revolution. Corporatists should be selective and not support candidates who get too wild in their rhetoric.

    A revolution won’t necessarily stop CO2 from roasting us all. But it would make life impossibly miserable for all those effected. To borrow a phrase from the devil, “We are stuck between a rock and a hard place.” How can we save the world by blowing it up?

    The Tea Baggers think they are part of a revolution, too, but it’s a revolution to further empower billionaires and their wealthy supporters. Who could possibly vote against their own best interests? A Tea Party voter.

  23. David B. Benson says:

    catman306 — They are mad hatters, the lot of them.

  24. villabolo says:

    Theodore says:
    October 23, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    “Is a solar thermal power plant extremely vulnerable to a high-altitude nuclear attack? Could one high-altitude nuclear blast disable all solar power plants within a large area? I have never read anything about this, but it seems to me that the intense blast of energy could be concentrated by mirrors to vaporize pipes or boilers in hundreds of power plants at once. Tell me what you think.”

    Theodore; I suspect, without hard data but intuition, that there is a limit of energy that those mirrors can reflect before they start cracking and glazing. They won’t be able to reflect 100% of the light, which means that, even with a small percentage of unreflected energy, they will absorb too much heat themselves.

    More important is the fact that a 1 megaton nuclear burst is survivable by human beings at a distance of several miles. Let’s say 5 where suburban structures suffer extensive damage from the blast wave. It could cause first, second and third degree burns but instinct will cause the person to turn away and probably keep turning for the 5 or so seconds that the thermal pulse takes to release it’s energy.

    This leads me to believe, that even if concentrated, the pulse of a bomb that size will be too diluted at, let’s say 50 miles. That would be an altitude that may cover a radius of a few hundred miles but it will reduce the energy at ground level by a 1000 fold.

    High altitude explosions of that kind would be more effective as electromagnetic pulse weapons which would be better utilized over urban areas.

  25. sailrick says:

    Coverage of climate change, such as that done by Bill Maher, is very effective. Isn’t that what comedians are good at, showing us in a humorous way, what we normally don’t want to look at?

    If you haven’t seen the YouTube video, here’s the link at Desmogblog

    I would also like to see more focus on climate change by some of the few progressive talk show hosts. Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Oberman, Tom Hartman and Randi Rhodes on radio, etc. That at least would take it beyond the blogosphere to a larger audience. Since we can’t expect them to know about the climate science debate in depth, they could use a link to Skeptical Science, to answer callers skeptic arguments.

    I’ve sent such suggestions to a few of these people, also noting the failure of the mainstream media on climate change. I don’t know if they’ve actually read them.

  26. Joe1347 says:

    What about Al Gore doing another global warming ‘movie’ to capture the public attention again. Would it help or hurt now given the public seemingly pro teabagger mood? Or would anyone even watch it this time around?

  27. Mike Roddy says:

    The fossil fuel companies have purchased Congress and our media conglomerates. The military and the executive branch need to nationalize the oil, coal, and gas companies, and exert more control over public utilities. Included will be immediate reductions in fossil fuel consumption, and serious efforts to implement clean energy technologies. Events will dictate this sooner or later anyway, and we might as well get it over with when the opportunity arises.

    High on the agenda should be the arrests of fossil fuel company owners and executives who have flaunted environmental regulations and used their influence to subvert regulation of CO2.

    There will be screams all over the place. So what? The majority of Americans get it, in spite of the despoiling of our great democracy by irresponsible and sociopathic wealthy individuals.

  28. David B. Benson says:

    Bryan Lovell
    Challenged by Carbon: The Oil Industry and Climate Change
    Cambridge University Press, 2010.

    Dr. Lovell is a geologist who was an important BP insider for about twelve years. While wordy in places, he describes PETM
    briefly and well; it was influential in his realizing we have a carbon problem. He offers some most intesting insights into CCS. He describes two locations where it is already being done, one for only $6 per tonne of CO2. He then describes what are, from the perspective of a geologist, good and less good places to conduct CCS. He also opines that it will be only after considerable experience that the price will drop to about half of the extimated average initial cost of $95 per tonne of CO2 captured and sequestered.

    This book is one you might encourage a local lending library to acquire.

  29. Geza Gyuk says:


    The answer is “almost certainly not”. The energy in a 1 MT explosion is approximately 4 petaJoules. The thermal pulse is about 1/2 the total energy and lasts around 5-10 seconds. As catman309 notes, only solar power plants that “see” the explosion near the sun in the sky would be seriously effected. Let’s assume that means, within 10 degrees. To effect any serious number of plants one would want to cover at region at least 100 km on a side. That means the explosion would have to be around 600 km up. At that distance the thermal pulse delivers only around 500 J per meter squared or 50-100 Watts per meter squared over the duration of the flash. As a comparison the Sun delivers over 1000 Watts per meter squared. So even the largest bomb ever produced would result in only about the same level of insolation as from the Sun.

    The solar thermal power plant would barely notice the blip in power….

    To get any serious damage the explosion would have to be much closer which would effectively target just that plant…. which of course could happen with a “conventional” power plant in any event.

    Bottom line, solar thermal is not particularly more vulnerable than any other type of power plant.

  30. Michael T says:

    Northern Hemisphere summer (Jun-Aug) 2010 is the warmest summer on record with an anomaly of .78, edging out the .73 record in both 1998 & 2005:

    Globally, Jun-Aug was the 4th warmest such period on record with an anomaly of .55:

  31. Prokaryotes says:

    Robert the GB is not 2nd or what do you refering to?

    The Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011

    Note that many countries which invest heavily into clean tech are most competitive.

  32. Michael T says:

    NASA dataset:
    Northern Hemisphere spring (Mar-May) 2010 is the warmest spring on record with an anomaly of .99 deg. C, easily topping the previous records of .83 & .84 deg. C recorded in 2005 & 2007 respectively:

    Globally, Mar-May is also the warmest such period on record with an anomaly of .75 deg. C:

  33. Mike says:

    I’d like to see us re-frame the discussions on uncertainty by expressing the uncertainties in terms of time instead of magnitude: instead of saying there such-and-such probably that we will have 5C of warming by 2100, say we will have 5C of warming sometime between 2080 and 2140. It is a matter of when not if. Of course the numbers need to be correct, but I don’t see any scientific reason why uncertainties cannot by validly expressed in this way.

  34. Roger says:

    Many good comments above about the need for those of us who know what’s up to get our acts together, to get organized, to work together, in unison, to ACT. Otherwise it is just “blah, blah, blah…BOOM!” Who’s gonna lead? Joe?

  35. Mike says:

    @Joe1347 #29: I do not think another Al Gore movie would help. But I’d like to see him debate, not deniers, but reasonable critics on what policies we should adopt. How serious is the situation? What are the likely implications for agriculture and fishing and how certain are they? C&T vs a carbon tax, or the merits and problems with different types of C&T. Can we trust China? Would big government programs impinge on the economy or our liberty? All valid debates within a scientific understanding of climate. Get the press to cover these sorts of debates instead of the nonsense.

    @catman306 #17: I heard the NRP story he mentioned. It is excellent.

  36. Matto says:

    mike roddy #30:

    “The military and the executive branch need to nationalize the oil, coal, and gas companies, and exert more control over public utilities….”


  37. OregonStream says:

    Joe1347, how about instead of Al Gore (a political whipping boy), we get business leaders like John Coomber and Richard Branson to team up with a few articulate scientists to present the case. Including the latest findings that make the IPCC report look like something less than a serious risk assessment.

  38. Michael Y says:

    A great NPR story on climate change and the republican party…

    I hope we can get is spread widely!



  39. dp says:

    @Ricki (Australia)

    in looking at how the USA federal greening debate goes, james hansen talks about the mismatch between present-day polluters and the “children and animals” who will live with the consequences in the future, right, because those two groups obviously don’t have equal influence over politics in the present.

    while fast steep pollution cuts for the whole USA are not now under official discussion, there are pockets of progress and there’s real work being done on how to supersize that progress when at last a majority of industrial leaders & ordinary people decide to clean up their own damn messes, for whyever.

    go back to the children & animals thing though. if you want to get REALLY DEPRESSED about how america is handling and will handle its eco-footprint, don’t look at the actual mess we’re making, instead look at the quality of life of black folk here. it’s been about 150 years since the official end of slavery and 50 years since the civil rights laws & court decisions, and the black population still can’t get a fair shake, across the country.

  40. glen says:

    Study by ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University as reported by CNN;

    This comes as no surprise — “Coral reefs are dying around the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia at rates that may be the worst ever recorded, scientists said this week.”

  41. perceptiventity says:

    “To quote one of my NOAA colleagues, ‘whatever is going to happen in the rest of the world happens first, and to the greatest extent, in the Arctic,'” said Jane Lubchenco

  42. Esop says:

    #28 (Sailrick):
    Thanks for posting the Bill Maher Youtube clip.
    Absolutely brilliant monologue by Mr. Maher. Sums everything up nicely.

  43. I’m not so focussed on the USA but on the chances for an international agreement. Currently Europe gets the picture, but no-one else seems to be stepping up to the plate.

    I discussed (20 above) the USA political outlook above as what the US does is critical to what the rest of the world might agree to. Action (or inaction) in the US appears to be leading the world at present.

  44. dp says:

    @Raul M

    here in 2010 we can guess what kinds of disruption to expect and how long nature might take to quiet down, but how can we know what we ourselves will be able to do in 2060, let alone in 2210, or 2510, or the next millennium? by then no doubt we’ll be much better planetary doctors. better late than never.

  45. dp says:

    @Ricki (Australia)

    maybe copenhagen was only ever going to get a handshake agreement, even w/o the extra variables of a financial implosion and a short-but-frightening oil shock. world politics has gone nuts since the IPCC’s 2007 report!!! and there’s a new economic order, and it looks greener. hmmm how quick we commit to deep cuts probably depends on how quick we all place orders for the great green overhaul’s needed parts & service.

  46. Sarah says:

    Still looking for more responses to Jeff’s positive social change action request.

    Large scale boycotts would be great, but very hard to implement when it’s hard to discover who owns what. Try to figure out the Koch empire.

    Smaller targets than exxon would be better place to start. We need specific information on specific actions of a target company. For example, any company involved in planning, financing, engineering, constructing, etc of a coal plant should be investigated. First collect the facts, then show up at their offices for a demonstration, follow up with open letters to their CEO, shareholders, etc. Follow up with positive actions toward a company that does pro-climate work.
    So, to begin, we need to identify targets with direct connections that will resonate with the public.

  47. Jeff Huggins says:

    Another Message On Positive Societal Change: Bumper Stickers, Yard Signs, “Ribbons”, Starbucks, FedEx-Kinkos, and So Forth

    As part of the dialogue on positive societal change, I’d like to note and add to a suggestion made earlier by David Smith in his Comment 14.

    (First, of course, this is just one suggestion about one range of tactics, and this isn’t to suggest that this tactic will be sufficient by itself, of course: just one thing in a mix of things that needs to get more energetic, more impassioned, and more creative.)

    David mentioned bumper stickers in Comment 14. I think that — and that sort of thing — is a necessary idea. We need a way to make a concern about climate change increasingly apparent and to allow the great many people who are concerned about climate change to “let it be known” routinely. Hence, bumper stickers, in a wide assortment and expressing feelings in ways that connect with people.

    What’s more, there should be yard signs as well as bumper stickers. And, without necessarily being a ribbon, there should be something akin to the ribbon(s) that people hang to express certain feelings and commemorate certain events. Something symbolic but clear. Something that expresses, in effect, a deep concern over the climate and a responsible caring for life, for future generations, and for healthy climate stability. So, so far: bumper stickers, yard signs, and appropriate and meaningful symbols.

    There should be tens of millions of these things, for free (ideally) or very cheap, provided and distributed by the movement’s organizations, on campuses, and (importantly) by businesses that are genuinely supportive of the cause and whose nature lends itself to making such items available.

    For example, Starbucks. Starbucks claims to have, as an aim, sharing the news about climate change and helping to address it. So, Starbucks is — if they are genuine about that claim — a perfect candidate. Starbucks could make available, and offer, and give away, things such as bumper stickers and/or window stickers and/or yard signs and/or symbols of concern (the “ribbon” type of thing). Indeed, it could do so in a very “smart” and cool fashion, completely in keeping with its image and aim. It could give things (e.g., buttons or bumper stickers) away with the purchase of any drink — or with the purchase of a large drink, or whatever. There are ALL SORTS OF creative things that Starbucks could do in order to facilitate the distribution of such things. Is anyone (who is creative and strategic and persistent) talking to the folks at Starbucks?? Does Starbucks have a person focused on climate change? If not, they should.

    Also, FedEx-Kinkos. I have no idea about Fed Ex’s corporate stance on climate change, but FedEx-Kinkos would be a great fit, business-wise, with the notion of yard signs, bumper stickers, and other symbols. They could offer them for free, or in packages at a modest cost. Again, many creative possibilities.

    And then there are WalMart and McDonalds, of course. Those businesses could help spread the word — and they should. How many people have driven how many miles and have used how much gasoline to go to McDonalds over the decades, and how much CO2 is generated by the cows that McDonalds prefers to feed us? Well then, wouldn’t it be at least a great deal better if, eventually, we were all riding around in electric cars, on bikes, on public transit, and walking? Well then, let’s get with it, McDonalds. Does McDonalds have an excellent and able person, focused entirely on the climate change problem? If not, they should.

    In any case, you get the idea. We need to make the messages prevalent, and ubiquitous (although done genuinely and in good taste, please!). Use recycled and climate-friendly materials. Partner with businesses that genuinely care and that can carry at least some credibility on the matter. Apple Stores too.

    Cheers for now,


  48. spiritkas says:


    Perhaps positive buying campaign lists. There is just too much to boycott, it would be easier to have the reverse kind of list. Many have been working on it, but they are mostly industry related. Good forestry product organizations and lists, fairtrade lists (slavery being unsustainable), organic certified lists.

    I think there is an opportunity there for a widely based collaboration of these various listing agencies for good, green, sustainable products. I was just reading a piece by Malcomn Gladwell in the New Yorker (print edition) and he was writing about the stengths and weaknesses of networks versus hierarchical structures. Some things just take a higher order of organization and decision making that networks can provide. I think a positive social change companies and products listing and meta-certification list could work. In many ways the myriad of symbols and organizations and astroturf/counter-to-truth industry funded rating agencies is confusing. Confusion leads to disinterest. Green products today are ineffectively messaged. I’m into buying that way (consumer activism not being the only route to change of course) and I still have a hard time figuring out what to buy. In many ways we end up trusting a retailer. ‘I know whole foods or trader joes or my local co-op or better yet my local farmers market or local soap maker will do things right’. I don’t like how brand and company identified we can become that way.

    I would support a quickie universal symbol and meta agency being adopted. Allow each individual rating agency to go about its own certification scheme, but be allowed to brand itself under this new universal Global Green Product label. Or something to that affect.



  49. Jeff Huggins says:

    Positive Societal Change: Emerson on Nature

    A few quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Nature”:

    “Literature, poetry, science, are the homage of man to this unfathomed secret, concerning which no sane man can affect an indifference or incuriosity. Nature is loved by what is best in us.”

    “… our hunting of the picturesque is inseparable from our protest against false society. Man is fallen; nature is erect, and serves as a differential thermometer, detecting the presence or absence of the divine sentiment in man.”

    [Take note of that quote, just above: “nature is erect, and serves as a differential thermometer, detecting the presence or absence of the divine sentiment in man.” I love that image: nature (serving as a thermometer, no less) measuring us! To the degree we overheat nature and cause her a fever, that will reflect a deep absence of divine sentiment in man, so to speak.]

    “The appearance strikes the eye everywhere of an aimless society, of aimless nations.”

    “He who knows the most, he who knows what sweets and virtues are in the ground, the waters, the plants, the heavens, and how to come at these enchantments, is the rich and royal man.”

    “We nestle in nature, and draw our living as parasites from her roots and grains, and we receive glances from the heavenly bodies, which call us to solitude, and foretell the remotest future. The blue zenith is the point in which romance and reality meet.”

    Be Well,


  50. fj2 says:

    David Gershon’s 2009 book “Social Change 2.0” discusses social entrepreneurship scaled to mitigate climate change in his “A Blueprint for Reinventing Our World.”

  51. fj2 says:

    #47 fj2 (continued),

    Success will likely depend on intense investment, integration and regeneration of natural capital where human capital is the dominant component.

  52. Chris Winter says:

    Lou Grinzo asks, “Anyone here surprised?”

    I’m gobsmacked that a candidate for Congress, a pastor no less, would speak of violent revolution merely because his party lost… Oh, wait — he’s a Texas Republican.

    Never mind.

  53. Chris Winter says:

    Theodore wrote (#13): “Is a solar thermal power plant extremely vulnerable to a high-altitude nuclear attack? Could one high-altitude nuclear blast disable all solar power plants within a large area? I have never read anything about this, but it seems to me that the intense blast of energy could be concentrated by mirrors to vaporize pipes or boilers in hundreds of power plants at once. Tell me what you think.”

    First of all, if anyone starts using nuclear weapons, the safety of power plants will not be priority 1.

    But to answer your question, the boiler(s) of a solar thermal plant will have considerable “thermal inertia.” if the bomb is close enough to affect them by heat radiation, the blast effects will do far more damage. The mirrors would be more vulnerable to the heat pulse. It’s hard to say how much more.

    Solar photovoltaic plants would be more vulnerable to the heat pulse. But there again, blast would be more damaging.

    Of course, the EMP would likely wipe out control circuits for most everything within a hundred miles or so, depending on the bomb yield. But, as post #32 says, for physical damage the bomb has to be fairly close. One bomb cannot take out hundreds of power plants.

  54. Joe1347 says:

    Regarding my comment about Al Gore making another movie. I think the more important point is that we desperately need to get out a “completely” unfiltered message in the mainsteam media. A polished, scary, and not boring (lets skip Al Gore this time) two hour movie attended by a large number of people seems to be one ideal medium. Some sort of prime time TV show also would be great and probably better. The dilema is who would fund it.

    Now if we’re in a mood to really make the teabaggers go absolutely bonkers – how about having the federal government fund a two hour TV on the “grave” dangers of Global Warming – hosted by George Clooney – and broadcast it in primetime (several times just to make sure everyone gets a chance to see it!) – as a public service? It seems like we need something to make a big splash that gets more of the general population thinking and talking about the grave dangers of global warming (to human civilization). It’s not just a few cute polar bears that will starve – which is what the few that even believe in global warming think. We need to scare the pants of the public to get them to demand action NOW (from our politicians).

    Hey, we have to get past a few obscure technical papers on climate change that nobody pays attention to – from those boring scientists. Or some blather on NPR – that again nobody pays any attention to. It seems like we’re shouting from a mountaintop and nobody is listening. It’s time to change strategy and quit playing fair. Of course, there’s the one little minor detail regarding how to funding this sort of public service. Seems like a great use of recovery act stimulus funds for struggling artists to put together an important scientific documentary.

  55. Mike Roddy says:

    Matto, #39, I don’t blame you for the LOL on my earlier comment. Ain’t gonna happen in the foreseeable future.

    Things can change fast, though, if the Republicans screw things up even worse and climate events (such as methane releases) get even scarier. Time to think about moving the bar now.

  56. Jeff Huggins says:

    Positive Societal Change: One Helluva Movie! (and Badly Needed!!)

    Speaking of movies … here’s an idea …

    James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ken Burns, and Michael Moore should get together and produce — or at least fully fund — a completely excellent, totally credible, clear, compelling movie regarding the reality of climate change, the human and natural stakes, and the most viable solutions. It must be real, totally credible and well-informed, human, and compelling.

    And why not? Those folks are all deeply concerned about climate change (as far as I can tell), and they’ve made oodles and oodles — and OODLES — of money from making movies, and they know how to do it and better than anyone else. Why not be REAL heroes — and use the cinema heroically — rather than stick to the more usual theatrical scope of telling heroic stories, often fictional at that?!

    Get the top scientists, the most credible and genuine and humane spokespeople, the right (genuine and humane) celebrities, and so forth.

    Ideally, give it away! In other words, distribute it and show it for free, all over the place, and then make it available on DVD and TV promptly, without delay and for free (to TV) and sold at cost (on DVD). It will be a gift to the world! The folks I just mentioned have enough money to do that, AND key companies in the entertainment business SHOULD do their parts for free or (at most) at cost. For example, if Disney doesn’t help distribute it (along with the others) and chip in, then we ought to shine light on that fact and its juxtaposition with what people like to think of Disney as standing for.

    Make it, do a great job, show it free, and give it away. Do an entirely credible job that is beyond reproach.

    (I’d like to be a very brief “extra”, please, like Ginsberg in Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues, or like Hitchcock used to do in his own films, or at least a face in the crowd.)



  57. Prokaryotes says:

    I really like to see a Roland Emmerich flick again, just within a 100% scientific frame and which offers a solution!

  58. Chris Winter says:

    Somewhat OT:

    Search for Moon water yields surprises

    Papers in Science describe new results from LCROSS, which crashed into a crater near the Moon’s south pole a year ago to test the water content of the shaded soil* there. The data indicate water in higher concentrations than previously thought, along with other volatiles like methane.

    Here’s another reason to keep our climate healthy. We need to get up there and set up a base.

    * Or regolith, if you prefer.

  59. Edward says:

    get pdf at:

    We have very little time to switch to low carbon ways of getting energy. Under Business As Usual [BAU], agriculture and civilization collapse in the middle of THIS century, about 40 years from now.

    Barton Paul Levenson’s simpler calculations are CONFIRMED with the more complex and complete mathematics.

  60. Pbo says:

    Greenland lost 500 Gt of ice this year according to Sebastian Mernild of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

  61. John Hollenberg says:

    EPA and transportation department to propose first ever truck fuel efficiency rules:

  62. Colorado Bob says:

    New Movie ?

    James Cameron

  63. Colorado Bob says:

    WASHINGTON — Future tractor-trailers, school buses, delivery vans, garbage trucks and heavy-duty pickup trucks must do better at the pump under first-ever fuel efficiency rules coming from the Obama administration.

    The Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department are moving ahead with a proposal for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, beginning with those sold in the 2014 model year and into the 2018 model year.

  64. Colorado Bob says:

    Winter arrives late in Southcentral Alaska

    Indian summer making skiers antsy

    Read more:

  65. David B. Benson says:

    My #31 is now out of moderation, in case you missed it.

  66. fj2 says:

    What Can One Person Do, When 6.8 Billion Are Frying The Planet?

    Nice graphics at

  67. David B. Benson says:

    At about the same time that world agriculture comes to an end,
    1 in 3 Americans Will Have Diabetes by 2050, CDC Says

  68. Gord says:

    Thanks Joe. It’s great to have this open space to play in.

    Here at the Project we are really struggling with our latest paper on Household Carbon Accounting. We have the carbon sinks pretty well understood. It’s the carbon sources that are really problematic. Our carbon tracking both in the natural gas we use for the house as well as the gasoline used in the car are well understood. The carbon content of our electricity is well known. But, and this goes to the heart of the matter, we have no idea of how much carbon goes on the household balance sheet when we purchase a new item.

    The thorny issue of the status of the carbon debt of second hand items is also difficult. From our thinking so far, any carbon debt allocation other than the household assuming total debt for a new item and no carbon debt for a secondhand item gets really crazy after the first iteration. Like for instance, what carbon debt do you assume on an item that has been owned by three other persons?

    There used to be a time when ingredients and other data were not part of the packaging of consumer goods. Over the last 40 or so years, things have changed to a point where one “reads” through a store while shopping.

    If information provided by household carbon accounting is something of value to the household and society in general, then consumables must include some number representing the amount of carbon used in them.

    I liken it to a diabetic who requires lifesaving information on packaging so that he/she does not consume too much sugar.

    The earth will quickly, in our view, reach the point very much like a diabetic but instead of sugar content being of key importance, carbon content becomes the key ingredient. This critical data gives us the ability to moderate our carbon consumption. It would be nice to see carbon content displayed on future packaging similar to the fat content data seen on today’s packaging.

    Anyway we are unfortunately at a dead end with this paper if we try to reach some definite conclusion. We are information / data poor and can’t get around it. We may still publish it but it will become a paper outlining / defining the holes in household carbon accounting that must be filled in order for each household to track its carbon consumption.

  69. Roger says:

    1 in 3 Americans Will be Worse Off than Having Diabetes by 2050!

  70. sailrick says:

    Joe1347 @57

    Yes, I’ve been arguing for such a movie. Certainly there are many in Hollywood, who would be willing to be involved. Mat Dammon, Robert Redford, Cameron, and many others. Something like a “Greenzone” or “No End In Sight” on climate change. This kind of help would ensure an impactful movie, done well.
    I like your idea, while I was advocating for a movie more along the lines of some of the books, like “Climate Cover-Up” , “Merchants of Doubt” etc that expose the denier climate confusion campaign. Enlist people from blogs, like Desmogblog, etc., and the authors of these books and scientitsts.

    I would be more worried about airplanes being crashed into nuclear power plants, than nuclear bombs effecting solar thermal plants.
    why? Because a report from Argonne National Labs said an airliner crash could cause a meltdown of a nuclear power plant.

    There is a vast amount of land spread over the American southwestern states where solar thermal would do well. Not to mention enormous potential for solar across the border in Mexico.

  71. Roger says:

    Jeff, Joe1347, Sarah, and Gentle Others,

    Yes, we NEED positive social change, NOW! (Yesterday, to be exact!)

    Alas, I fear our numbers are still too small, and we are still too disorganized to have a noticable, significant, or motivating impact.

    It’s only a rough estimate, but I’d guess there are just a few percent of the population that are aware of how deep the do do is going to be.

    To be noticed, we’d need roughly an order of magnitude (10x) more folks who would be ready willing and able to act together in unison.

    So, I like the idea of a new movie, or something along those lines, in order to get the word out to a few dozen million more Americans, ASAP.

    Warm regards,


  72. Mike Roddy says:

    Joe, 1347, good idea! Gore doesn’t have a good speaking stroke- too much da da, da da- and the deniers have already succeeded in demonizing him.

    I’m all for a 2 hour George Clooney special on global warming, professionally produced, and shown over and over again. Besides his being a better presenter than Gore, the science has evolved a lot since An Inconvenient Truth.

    The Feds won’t pay for it, and PBS has been corrupted, along with the networks. Someone is going to have to step up and pay for the TV time, with maybe one commercial break- perhaps Berkle, Google (as a Google TV breakout show) or Laurie David’s group.

    We also need a good movie, and not a magical allegory like Cameron’s, either. Imagine how well something would do that is authentic and true to the science. There must be a good script out there. The problem here, more than TV time, is money. Whoever steps up here will need to do it with nine figures. I know a bunch of established screenwriters is someone wants to volunteer to fund the movie.

    The studios won’t make it- they are in bed with the banks- big lenders and investors in coal and oil- and you may have noticed that they don’t tackle these issues anymore, unless it’s couched in fantasy.

  73. Black Crude Hysteric says:

    NYT has the craziest article on proximity claims. Apparently, tourists “irrationally” avoided Florida beach vacations:

    “Of course, anyone who bothered to look at a map would have known that St. Pete Beach — and hundreds of other vacation spots throughout the Sunshine State — would have pristine beachfronts through the summer, even under the worst of the worst-case scenarios.

    But Mr. Overton (hotel manager) and others don’t blame tourists or the news media for failing to grasp basic geography and ocean currents. They blame BP, and they think the company should compensate them for money they would have earned but for the onset of black-crude hysteria.”


    Check out the comments — they all support BP,and “BP’s money.” The most blatant, though, is from some fake guy — they are all fake, but comment 7 ,– seeking “retirment” in “f”lorida, who wants to fish all his food supply from the “g”ulf. Unfortunately, the British guy writing the fake comments for British Petroleum (oops, they aren’t called that anymore) spelled behavior, “behaviour.” See for yourself:

  74. Roger says:

    It strikes me that the combination of: a) inherent complexity, b) fossil-fuel-funded misinformation, and c) the natural human denial that occurs when one hears bad news, makes the ‘climate future’ message an extremely difficult one to deliver successfully.

    If the above is true, the message will need to be delivered by someone in a position of power or authority, and/or by someone with a lot of money to spend on an effective communication strategy—a strategy that can reach a reluctant, distracted audience.

    Who in American society has access to more money than the Koch brothers, and/or might have the ability to directly or indirectly reach the American public? Hmm, it seems our choices are Bill GATES, Warren BUFFETT, the WALTON family and Barack OBAMA!

    Warm regards,


  75. Roger says:

    Oh, further to my above comment, since ‘Citizens United’ now opens America’s future to foreign monied interests, we can include Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim HELU among the folks who can outspend Kochs.

  76. Roger says:

    AN ACTION ITEM: Do any Climate Progress readers have access to the world’s richest billionaires (mentioned in earlier comments)? If so, please try to get word to them as soon as possible regarding our need for them to take up the cause, and to become eligible for being named the penultimate mortal savior of mankind. We are running out of time.


  77. Roger says:

    Suggestion for a future Climate Progress topic: Joe, it would be interesting to learn your thoughts, and others’ on the following: How does one generate helpful headline stories about climate change?

    By ‘helpful’ I mean serving to bring more Americans into the circle of folks who are aware of, concerned about, and willing to do something about, manmade climate change?

    I ask this having recently met with some major paper journalists who confirmed what I suspected. Namely, that climate stories, ironically, represent “old news,” even when they foretell our ultimate demise, and–more importantly–even when we could very likely save ourselves, if we could simply alert and inform enough people about the problem!

    It’s not the same as saying “the sun will burn out some day,” or “a huge asteroid could wipe out life on Earth,” or “mother gives birth.”It’s more like a huge orange sign saying “STOP: Bridge Out Ahead!”

    Maybe it’s not possible. But if THAT’s true, something’s seriously wrong! If so, what? Why? And what can we do, getting really creative now, to get around the problem?



  78. Prokaryotes says:

    This year is now tied for sixth place for most hurricanes in an Atlantic hurricane season. This year’s 17 named storms also ranks 6th most in history. Atlantic hurricane season records go back to 1851.

  79. Edward says:

    “The Covert Origins of the Af-Pak War – The Road to World War III
    Posted on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 at 11:35 am, Filed under Feature, Hot List, News, Politics & Government, War . Follow post comments through the RSS 2.0 feed. Click here to comment, or trackback.admin

    Editor’s Note: This report is an excerpt from David DeGraw’s new book, “The Road Through 2012: Revolution or World War III.” It is a continuation from the previous section, “Inside the Global Banking Intelligence Complex, BCCI Operations.” This is the fourth installment to a new series. To be notified via email of new postings from this series, subscribe here.

  80. David Smith says:

    A must read articlefrom the Washington Post. “Gauging the scope of the tea party movement in America

  81. Leif says:

    New News? I am a boat builder in the PNW and for over twenty years my focus has been to improve fuel efficiency in the commercial fishing fleet. There is lots of room for improvement as the fleet has not focused on fuel efficiency for almost 100 years. Large catches and vessel size limits tended to tip the scales to carrying capacity tubs. A few of the svelte older vessels that remain in the fleet can use 50% less fuel than their counter parts. (A seasonal fuel bill difference of ~$15,000 for a 65 foot tender.) There is much inertia and little money in the commercial fleet today an so the transition has been slow to say the least. Looking for success I have been focusing on the small First Nations Fleet. (I have a good working relationship with numerous tribes in the area from past boat repair projects.) Many of the same roadblocks are present but cracks are appearing in unexpected fronts.

    First the tribes are very open to addressing the problems of climatic disruption, having intimate daily contact with weather. Although funds are tight money does flow and the tribes generate much more capital than they are given credit for. I have been on four of the Canoe Journeys serving as a support captain and vessel. This activity has further enhanced my standing and counsel. I have frequent interaction with a Skokomish Elder at my home and his on a wide range of topics. State, Federal, Tribal coordination on mass transit is a current work in progress. Wet lands restoration. Rural sewage treatment enhancement. Green housing. All of these topics have received helpful insights from CP and many of the commentators. Climate Progress has become a “work approved sight” for the above mentioned Elder to access. On my personal front, developed surface Canoes and perhaps even a High School building class.

    So, to make a long story short:
    To Joe and numerous personal efforts of the Commentators,

    Two Palms Up.

  82. catman306 says:

    #36 Mike wrote:
    “I’d like to see us re-frame the discussions on uncertainty by expressing the uncertainties in terms of time instead of magnitude: instead of saying there is such-and-such probably that we will have 5C of warming by 2100, say we will have 5C of warming sometime between 2080 and 2140. It is a matter of when not if. Of course the numbers need to be correct, but I don’t see any scientific reason why uncertainties cannot by validly expressed in this way.”

    I think you may have hit a key to changing the perceptions about climate change held by the general public. They don’t understand statistics beyond simple averages for the most part, but they DO, every single one of them, understand time.

    Putting the error bars in terms of time would un-cloud global warming for many people. It’s not a question of whether the Greenland Ice Cap will disintegrate, it’s when.

    Americans know the concept of ‘momentum’. They use it for political campaigns, and sports teams every day. There is now tremendous climate change momentum built into CO2 buildup.

    Stress momentum wherever possible and more Americans might understand you.

  83. Here is an article worth sharing:


    Tea Party talk show host Glenn Beck recently labeled progressivism a cancer that must be cut out of America. I challenge that statement.

    There are many sides to most important issues but for some of these the progressive side and the conservative side are an easy way to think about them.

    1. Had the conservatives (Tories) prevailed in the late 1700s, we’d be singing “God Save the King.”

    2. Had Thomas Jefferson’s conservative

    adviser won the day, he would not have signed the Louisiana Purchase and today the USA would be a small country on the east coast.

    3. Had the conservatives prevailed in the 1860s, we might still have (eventually) eliminated slavery, but we would be, today, two nations.

    4. Had conservatism dominated in the 1890s, big business and a two-class system, based on family wealth and monopolies, would be our lot today.

    5. Conservatives in the early 1900s opposed progressive Teddy Roosevelt’s proposals at almost every turn. For instance, had conservatives been successful in keeping large tracts of land in private hands, we would have no national parks today.

    6. Progressives won in 1919, else women would still not be able to vote and would still be considered as the property of their nearest male relative.

    7. If the conservatives had won the 1928 election, we would have suffered a great depression, with bank closings and 25% unemployment Oh — I forgot — they DID win that election!

    8. The conservatives fought against Social Security in the 1930s.

    9. Had the conservatives (isolationists) persuaded the U. S. electorate to vote their way in 1940, Europe today would be groaning under the Nazi flag.

    10. Had the conservatives had their way in 1945, the Marshall Plan would not have been implemented. “Can’t afford it,” they whined. They lost. Thousands of lives were saved.

    11. Harry Truman integrated the military in 1943. Conservatives howled.

    12. Remember Governor Faubus? He was a conservative. So was George Wallace. So was the KKK!

    13. Had conservatives prevailed in the 1960s, segregation and Jim Crow laws would still be in effect in many places.

    14. Had conservatives won the debate in 2003, we would have entered into a vast, expensive, unfunded war overseas and pretty much ignored the real enemy in Afghanistan. Oops. That really did happen.

    15. In 2008 a bipartisan coalition passed the $700 billion “bank bailout” plan. Then President George W. Bush signed it into law. Many conservatives whine about it, even today in 2010. By the way, only 388 billion of the 700 were ever used, and as of late 2010, about 288 of that have been returned. Current estimates are that the final bill, which averted a 1930s like depression, will be about 50 billion.

    Mr. Beck says that “progressivism is America’s cancer.” He is welcome to his uninformed opinion. I don’t know why anyone should care.

    John (Derfloss) Spode, 11-12-2010. Comments on this essay are welcome at I will try to respond to those offered in a civil manner. Permission given to anyone to copy/distribute/modify it — I hold no copyright.

  84. David Smith says:

    Burgy @87 – Western culture is predominantly progressive. Big energy in its time was leading edge progressive. Even FoxNews is progressive (they have transformed the news business into something new).

    As time goes on I become more and more convinced that conservatives and organizations like fox news view the bulk of their own contituents, viewers … as unthinking morons who’s primary reason for existing is to be manipulated.

  85. David Cardill says:

    No, carbon capture and storage will NOT help anything! CO2 is what happens to my Oxygen after it gets burned in a fossil fuel system, and I need the O2 portion of it back! So do the insects and birds and every other Oxygen dependant creature here …

    Infact, just about everything ‘green’ in media is a bunk idea that does not come from an actual scientist or person working in the sciences. The pot has been stirred by outside forces, and you cannot see through it anymore.

    Yes, a movie would be a great idea, if it is done correctly this time. Gores movie failed me on sooo many levels, like firstly, you cannot tell people that they are in grave danger, but then leave them with that and offer no solutions. We have solutions for all of this, and in every single case the solution is a non-fossil one, not a reduced fossil one. We call it the 100% renewable energy imperative. Humankind also do not need any new inventions or devices to facilitate this transition, we have it all in the can already.

    It is not a matter of using new things, it is simply a matter of using other things that we already have.

    And the movie title will be “Science Speaks” and the cover is a picture of a scientist type with his mouth taped shut! (hahahahahaha) And it also better not sugar coat anything for anyone! If you really want to know where your Homeworld is right now, prepare to be brought to your knees.

    You think you have decades?

    Wrong! Pardon the pun, but any spare time we HAD to work on this has all been burned up.

    In about 2-4 years from now, the remainder of the insect and bird populations will have perished, and once the sky is completely free of insects and birds, recovery will not be possible.

    Again, I’m sorry. I am soo sooo sorry that this got this far, but we really did try, and for a long time now too.

    We started the Oxygen Enrichment Program (OEP) in China, but, without the co-opperation of many more nations, it will fail. And, we started the OEP BECAUSE we no longer have the time to systematically turn off all of these fossil systems and replace them with non-fossil ones in an attempt to maintain a habitable home. The level of Oxygen depletion is too great, and it is getting worse by the day. At some elevations and higher, right now, there are no insects and birds at all.

    Canary in a coalmine, as it were.

    And the other thing we NEED is to have Oxygen sensors installed into every major city, and then the data from those sensors needs to be printed in the local newspaper daily alongside the daily weather data.

    “All I need is the air that I breathe, and to love you.”

    Warm REgards
    David Cardill,
    P.E. Energy Specialist,
    Union of Scientists, AWEA,
    富氧中国, 永恒的地球

  86. David Cardill says:

    … and if the movie route gets taken, the opening scene, and the closing scene, is an Oxygen sensor display. It will read somewhere around 19.78 right now, but, before the movie is finished being made, it will be less.

    In other words, during the making of this movie, this is how much the Oxygen level of the atmosphere of your Homeworld has dropped.

    Call this the most important work of your life?

    I think so.

  87. Prokaryotes says:

    David Cardill, there is a decline trend of oxygen, we discussed this in more detail at CP around last june. The problem will become very serious once wast methane reserves enter the atmosphere – change state. To counter this we need reforestation and carbon sequestration with biochar(BECCS), to help stabilize/balance the oxygen source/carbon sink.

    If you have current research and data to share a link would be great.

  88. David Cardill says:

    If you have one of something, and then you add another one of the same, you will then have two.

    If you have one of something, and then you take it away, you will then have zero.

    1 + 1 = 2
    1 – 1 = 0

    Science is NOT subjective!

    Methane, and all the talk around it, is bunk and diversionary to the real cause and solution.

    Turning useable O2 into CO, CO2, NO, NO2, SO and SO2, none of which can be used by Oxygen dependant creatures, is nowhere even related to the simple addition of other gasses to the atmosphere which in and of themselves do not alter the actual O2 content.

    Why don’t you begin by telling me how you plan to increase the Oxygen level of our atmosphere back to 25%. What are your methods of turning CO2 into O2 ??? Does carbon sequestration do that?

    I think not.

  89. Prokaryotes says:

    I suggest you start reading here

  90. David Cardill says:

    Exactly, and, the answer is NO, it does not restore the O2 in CO2 back to O2.

    This is from the link you provided, and this is why no actual scientist on Earth will get behind this.

    “Carbon, in the form of CO2 can be removed from the atmosphere by chemical processes, and stored in stable carbonate mineral forms. This process is known as ‘carbon sequestration by mineral carbonation’ or mineral sequestration. The process involves reacting carbon dioxide with abundantly available metal oxides–either magnesium oxide (MgO) or calcium oxide (CaO)–to form stable carbonates. These reactions are exothermic and occur naturally (e.g., the weathering of rock over geologic time periods).

    CaO + CO2 → CaCO3
    MgO + CO2 → MgCO3

    Calcium and magnesium are found in nature typically as calcium and magnesium silicates (such as forsterite and serpentinite) and not as binary oxides. For forsterite and serpentine the reactions are:

    Mg2SiO4 + 2CO2 = 2MgCO3 + SiO2
    Mg3Si2O5(OH)4+ 3CO2 = 3MgCO3 + 2SiO2 + 2H2O”

    … and none of this will help us.

  91. David Cardill says:

    No help here either:

    [edit] Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS)
    Main article: Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage
    BECCS refers to biomass in power stations and boilers that use carbon capture and storage.[25][26] The carbon sequestered by the biomass would be captured and stored, thus removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.[27]

    This technology is sometimes referred to as bio-energy with carbon storage, BECS, though this term can also refer to the carbon sequestration potential in other technologies, such as biochar.”

  92. catman306 says:

    Biocharcoal can sequester just the carbon without removing the oxygen that we all need.

  93. David Cardill says:

    I’m sorry, Prokaryotes, but we haven’t met, and, who are you and what is your background?

    I am an Engineer, amongst other things, and my background is in the sciences. I have been to Washington D.C. and Beijing China as an expert in various fields, not to mention Ottawa Canada, my hometown.

    That’s a total of 3 capital cities from 3 countries, and I’d like to know that you are at least in the sciences, because from what is above, you do not even seem to understand chemical symbols, and what they mean.

  94. David Cardill says:

    And if I assume that none here are actually in the sciences, then these words are needed too:

    All of what is up with carbon sequestration is just going to cost us tons of money (pardon the pun) and if you look at the chemical symbols of what happens to the CO2 after it is sequestered, you will see that the O or O2 (Oxygen) ends up further buried into a compound that will only make it harder to get at.

  95. David Cardill says:

    DDDDDaaaand in any event, I can see that you do not want me to be a part of this charity drive, so, I’ll just refrain from making comments here anymore ….

    Nice talking to you though … no matter what happens, you do have brothers …