Karl Rove: “Climate Is Gone”

Karl Rove, former consigliere to the worst president of the modern era, who has done as much as anyone to help destroy a livable climate for our children, blurted out the awful truth this week.  Brad Johnson has the the story.

Republican strategist Karl Rove, who helped organize the outside groups that spent millions to install Republicans in the midterm elections, spent election day celebrating with Pennsylvania’s growing drilling industry. Like other corporate sectors, the fossil industry is hoping that Republicans will be able to roll back regulations that limit their profit-seeking at the expense of people’s health and safety. Rove told the attendees of a shale-gas conference in Philadelphia that the incoming Republican House of Representatives “sure as heck” won’t pass legislation to limit greenhouse pollution from fossil fuels:

Climate is gone,” said Rove, the keynote speaker on the opening day of a two-day shale-gas conference sponsored by Hart Energy Publishing L.L.P. And Rove told the trade show, “I don’t think you need to worry” the new Congress will consider proposed legislation to put the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing under federal rather than state regulation. The procedure, known as “fracking,” is responsible for the dramatic growth of shale-gas drilling in formations such as Pennsylvania’s vast Marcellus Shale.

Rove’s pronouncement that the “climate is gone” may be more accurate than he realizes. The Geological Society of London is warning that the planet will take 100,000 years to recover from man’s global warming pollution, the permanently warmer Arctic is altering weather patterns across the Northern Hemisphere, and scientists continue to warn that global policy ambitions “” if the United States even acted “” are likely too weak to avoid catastrophe.

Brad Johnson, in a ThinkProgress cross-post.

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57 Responses to Karl Rove: “Climate Is Gone”

  1. Prokaryotes says:

    Fracking poses uranium contamination risk

    Put oil firm chiefs on trial for crimes against humanity!

  2. Jonah says:

    That’s the truest thing that man has ever said.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Climate is gone and so are we. When checks on animal population growth are removed the animal in question usually propagates until it outstrips its environment, at which point typically 90% of the population dies. One might have hoped people would be different, but apparently not. Let’s see, if the human population reaches 9 billion and 90% die, that’s 8.1 BILLION. Actually, I fear that it may be WORSE than that (if that is imaginable) because unlike other animals, most humans are now completely dependent on our infrastructure and it is difficult to imagine that staying intact if 90% of us die.

  4. Jeff Huggins says:

    “If I have anything to do with it, the climate movement has barely even begun!”

    If you think about it, this statement is true nearly by definition. If each person realizes that his/her own decision — to join the movement or not — will help determine whether the movement is on the decline or has barely even started (and will grow and grow and grow), then it will grow and grow and grow. We need to look each other in the eyes and get each other, and other people, active, one by one by one by one.

    Today is Friday, going into the weekend: Good days to begin thinking creatively.



  5. Scrooge says:

    Let’s face it we lost a battle but we can’t afford to lose the war. I think we need to write off places like New Orleans, Miami, the southwest, and Oklahoma. No federal money should go to these places because of natural disasters. It is just wasting money because the outcome now looks inevitable. Can the Neb farmland be saved? Are things like what we need to focus on now?

  6. Prokaryotes says:

    Dangerous gas drilling
    US-Energieriese presste giftige Chemikalien in Niedersachsens Boden U.S. energy giant pressed toxic chemicals in soil of Lower Saxony,1518,725697,00.html&

  7. Mike Roddy says:

    Whatever happened to the legal investigations of this man? Why is he not in jail?

  8. Robert Brulle says:

    Rove is politically right but empirically wrong. The natural systems are not negotiating, and will not stop changing just because the political system ignores physical reality.

  9. gecko says:

    Bloomberg Addresses Climate Conference In Hong Kong

  10. John McCormick says:


    you said:

    “We need to look each other in the eyes and get each other, and other people, active, one by one by one by one.”

    That is neither practical nor doable because this is a time related chaos we are facing. The great emphasis on one by one “what can I do as an individual”, etc. is a paliative, a sugar coated strategy to make us feel that we are real patriots who care about each other and our planet.

    What is missing from this approach is the damned fire alarm going off and responsible adults like Colin Powell and other respected figures shouting directions to us…not one on one…ALL OF US in a nationally televised broadcast to the nation of confused and scared consumers that the damned building is on fire and the gas line is about to explode.

    For some, even going to go door to door is a program But, ask people to DO WHAT??? Use a closeline, pick up trash, plant a garden. That a movement will not make.

    Instead, we have to scare the hell out of the rest of us…take a chance….what do we have to lose by turning this whole problem into a national crisis…would we lose a few legislators…would rushbag go ballistic…we have; he does.

    Look, if we were blogging about the 17 mile long and 6 mile wide asteroid heading for our planet, would we by going to the one on one approach to get people to react? No. People would be jumping out of windows but at least we would have their attention.

    Either we believe what we are reading about the pending chaos or we still have some uncertainty or cannot face the facts. I’d rather we deal with the reality of climate change than the blind hope that green jobs and RPS will save us. Ten more years and the sixth extinction begins to take shape.

    John McCormick

  11. Ranger47 says:

    But we’ll be warm and cozy ’til we go…

  12. Dano says:

    Two years is a long time for corporate profits. Maybe four years. It is indeed a victory.

    IMHO mankind is unable to assess and solve their larger problems. But it could be argued that we are just ensuring a perfectly normal, natural, typical population crash, just like every other species on this planet that outgrows resources. Perfectly in line with every other species on this planet. Nothing out of the ordinary.



  13. Ben Lieberman says:

    @ Jeff and Scroogie

    I could not agree more with you: now is the time for climate hawks to get even more energized to fight those who favor the destruction of the environment.

  14. Wally says:

    The Democratic Party (and Climate Hawks) need to get behind a push to support the fee and dividend approach to reducing carbon based fuels as our primary source of energy. There are pluses and minuses with this concept to be sure, but the American public needs to be engaged and the idea of a dividend (cash money) for all citizens and legal residents might get their attention.

    If James Hansen’s math is correct and every adult would receive around $3,000 annually, people will listen. Of course, the naysayers will point out that people will go to the casino, and be frivolous in other ways with their new found revenue but that’s a rather pessimistic view of the average American. Most Americans will do whats right and whats in their best interest when they get all the facts.

    I attended a “Kitchen Table Talk” sponsored by Claire McCaskill’s office yesterday and when I brought the subject of climate change and the fee and dividend approach as one solution, I got everybody’s attention and, judging from the reaction, the majority of those in attendance were interested.

    Cap and trade is dead, an outright carbon tax won’t fly – what’s left?

    karl rove is wrong when he says “Climate is dead”. His advertising campaign along with the other pro-carbon ads may have won round one but nobody has been knocked out. Just dazed.

    Just my thoughts.

  15. Mimikatz says:

    After the 2004 election, Rove was the subject of a rather fawning story in the NYTimes predicting a permanent Republican majority. We all know how that turned out over the next 4 years.

    There are two things we can count on: (1) the GOP will overreach and (2) the pendulum will swing again as a result.

    This tiome we have to be better prepared. We were pretty good at capitalizing on some of Bush’s mistakes, like taking on Social Security, and the Katrina catastrophe reminded people why we need a government. But the Dems didn’t take advantage of power once they had it.

    So we need to push back with everything we have against the inevitable overreach and do a more effective job of pushing the debate our way and taking action when ther is the opportunity–as there assuredly will be.

  16. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    Hope is gone!

  17. Lou Grinzo says:

    Rachel Maddow shows exactly what we’re up against:

    This is an incredibly important video, not for those of us already engaged in the mud fight of climate change and politics, but for all the “moderates” in the US who don’t know how bizarre and effective the right wing echo chamber has been. I beg everyone reading this to watch this clip and forward the link to everyone you know who might watch it and learn from it.

  18. Catchblue22 says:

    Dark age ahead.

  19. Leland Palmer says:

    Oh, yes, Rove- the man with the trillion dollar mouth.

    A man who has cost this country trillions of dollars- with his mouth.

    I still have some faint hopes that the Democrats will grow a pair, and do something in a lame duck scession of Congress. What would the Republicans do, if they had the opportunity to do it, and still had a majority?

    Speaking of methane hydrate destabilization (we are but some of us don’t know it yet), here’s an intereting- and topical- paper on modeling methane releases of 4 or 5 trillion tons of carbon during two oceanic anoxic events.

    By the way, I’ve said “billion tons of carbon” in one of my past posts about this subject. It’s actually trillion, not billion. This peer reviewed paper, and others like it, are talking about the release of trillions of tons of carbon, not billions of tons.

    It’s hard to wrap your head around a number like a trillion tons of carbon. By comparison, the entire industrial revolution to this point has released maybe half a trillion tons of carbon in the form of CO2. These papers are talking about roughly ten times that figure, in the form of methane- a greenhouse gas 25 or so times worse than CO2, when its effects are averaged over a century.

    These are not the End Permian and the Paleocene-Eocene events, those most often associated with methane hydrate destabilizaion scenarios. These are two other events – the Early Toracian and Early Aptian oceanic anoxic events of 184 and 120 million years ago:

    Beerling- Methane Hydrate Dissociation During the Toracian and Aptian Oceanis Anoxic Events

    The magnitude and timing of a major rapid negative carbon-isotope
    excursion recorded in marine and terrestrial matter through the Early Toarcian (Early
    Jurassic) and Early Aptian (Early Cretaceous) oceanic anoxic events (OAEs) have been
    proposed to be the result of large methane gas-hydrate dissociation events. Here, we
    develop and evaluate a global carbon-isotope mass-balance approach for determining
    the responses of each component of the exogenic carbon cycle (terrestrial biosphere,
    atmosphere and ocean). The approach includes a dynamic response of the terrestrial
    carbon cycle to methane-related CO2 increases and climatic warming. Our analyses
    support the idea that both the Early Toarcian and Early Aptian isotopic curves were
    indicative of large episodic methane releases (5000 and 3000 Gt respectively)
    promoting warm ‘greenhouse’ conditions in the Mesozoic. These events are calculated
    to have increased the atmospheric CO2 concentration by 900 and 600 ppmv
    respectively and land surface temperatures by 2.5° to 3.0°C. However, we show that
    much of the methane released from oceanic sediments is rapidly sequestered by
    terrestrial and marine components in the global carbon cycle, and this effect strongly
    attenuated the potential for ancient methane gas-hydrate dissociation events to act as
    major amplifiers in global warming.

    Oh, yes, the global carbon cycle buffered the consequences of the releases from our estimated half a million cubic kilometers of methane hydrate.

    But those releases occurred apparently over thousands of years.

    What will save us, this time?

  20. Esop says:

    #18 (Lou):

    Excellent link. Rachel Maddow is absolutely brilliant.

  21. John McCormick says:

    A note to John Podesta:

    Do not write another book or report on the condition of ouor planent and our politics.

    Instead, go to national figures such as Colin Powell, George Schultz, Bob Dole, Warren Buffet and others you know and plead with them to go on national television and plead with us Americans to wake up to the truth of climate change. Then, lobby the Chinese, EU and India to wage a verbal war against the US climate deniers. If we are in a war with the kroch brothers and Rabid Madduck then bring out a front line who can get press attention and public attention.

    We don’t need to switch to closelines and plant gardens. We need to scare the hell out of people. is seeming to be another version of the duck and cover approach used on us kids in the 1950s. Fight with smarts and not slogans.

    John McCormick

  22. MarkG says:

    Already we see the overreach. The Kock brothers may have spent enough money to convince the central Pennsylvania electorate that AGW isn’t happening but those people WILL blame the drilling industry when their drinking wells start to stink. Let’s hope the stench sticks a bit to every pollution denialist argument. I really don’t wish toxic water an someone for voting GOP but as bad as that might be it’s local and relatively fixable. Better for people to wake up to the lies with something locally bad the something globally, irreversably catastrophic.

  23. Sailesh Rao says:

    Re: Lou Grinzo, #18: Please listen to Chris Hedges interview with CBC at—pt-3-american-liberalism.html

  24. Jeff Huggins says:

    To John McCormick (Comment 11)

    John, in your Comment 11, you’ve misunderstood me. To be sure, I also — and strongly — agree that we need voices from above (leadership, the movements, etc.), big initiatives, compelling messages, and so forth. You’ve certainly seen my other ideas and suggestions, and in no way am I saying that we should just slowly go “one on one” as if that’s the only or main approach.

    Just as context, whenever I suggest an idea or make a (hopefully) motivating point, I’m never suggesting the idea as the “only” thing or “main” thing or “silver bullet”. All of my comments are made in the context of others, and (to be sure) many approaches and tactics and strategies will be necessary. But, as you can appreciate, it would be impossible for me to write (and impossible for others to read) if I provided full context and every single idea TOGETHER in each and every post of mine.

    So, please take my suggestions or thoughts “in context”. I do usually find myself agreeing with you on many matters.



  25. LucAstro says:

    He could have said: mission accomplished. Yet again! Hopefully it is no more accomplished that the previous mission, in Irak.

  26. Roger Wehage says:

    Jeff @4: If each person realizes that his/her own decision — to join the movement or not — will help determine whether the movement is on the decline or has barely even started (and will grow and grow and grow), then it will grow and grow and grow.

    Has the movement been well defined? And if so, has it been posted on the Internet? Link? Is the movement realistic? Will it reduce CO2 to 350 ppmv? Will it convince the populace to sacrifice for the well-being of future generations?

    Maybe Empowering a Climate Change Movement, excerpted from Social Change 2.0: A Blueprint For Reinventing Our World, is a good starting point.

  27. Susan Anderson says:

    Re statistics on CO2 and population, some of you might like this:

    Revolving quotes at top are good; yesterday I saw Koran and just now Nixon (!):
    “what a strange creature is man who fouls his own nest.”
    (may not be 100% accurate, moved on while I was posting)

    Remember Nixon created the EPA – how far downhill we have come.

  28. Raul M. says:

    Duck and cover- If you are brave enough to
    have someone paint the roof of a public school
    portable building don’t forget to duck and cover.
    Even though it may already need reroofing and
    just painting the roof with radiant barrier paint
    could prolong it’s use easily 10 years. Duck
    and cover cause doing something so different
    would at the least cause people to talkif they
    ever even noticed it had been done. Maybe,
    help would come from the teacher, students,
    and parents when they noticed that for some
    as yet unknown reason their room was more

  29. Andy says:

    Many pundits and papers have coined this election the “Red Tsunami”. Given recent events (in Indonesia)does anyone else recognize the cruel irony of this “Red Tsunami”? After all, what does a tsunami leave in it’s wake – destruction, misery, suffering, and death. My advanced apologies to future generations!

  30. John McCormick says:


    I take your point and recognize the many constructive posts you have made which add substance to this blog. I will be more careful to read your context.

    Now, would you please make a comment on my incessant demand that we find much larger and more viable voices than Fred Krupp and Carl Pope. Tell who your real front line would be on this offense team to turn Americans back to sanity?

    John McCormick

  31. Sasparilla says:

    Disgusting…interesting comment about national regulation and fracking. Having restrictions in one state because of experiences with poisoning the water table doesn’t mean anything to the other states….just what these guys need.

    #24 LUcAstro – great comment – if they had that same banner up behind Rove as he said this, it would have been totally appropriate.

    Watching this guy announce this (justifiably) just 2 years after getting rid of his administration is extremely disheartening.

  32. Ben Lieberman says:

    Regarding a new voice who can really take this fight where it needs to go: is this a job for California’s retiring Governor?

  33. Mimikatz says:

    Good suggestion on Schwarzenegger. He does get climate change and he has been pretty strong in CA. Plus he’s in many ways the perfect climate hawk–kind of the Charlton Heston of climate. He needs a bigger national role.

    But I don’t think abstract messages like “350 ppm” really will get people. There should be a campaign framed around a specific probably upcoming event that people can relate to, such as the next really big hurricane to hit the US (since we seem to be able to care only about disasters that affect us), the Arctic going ice-free in summer in the next 5 years, drought in the Southern half of the US that requires water rationing, major ice sheet loss in Arctic or Antarctic etc.

  34. Colorado Bob says:

    The record event report in So. Cal yesterday –


  35. Colorado Bob says:

    From the report –

  36. caerbannog says:

    If you haven’t seen this Rachel Maddow piece already, take some time to watch it. It’s a sobering (well, crushingly discouraging is more like it) assessment of what we are up against.

    Linky here:

    How in the world is anyone going to get through to those people??

  37. BillD says:

    Back to the original article with Rove. He thinks that ‘climate change” is the main problem with ‘fracking” as a mechanism for obtaining natural gas/ Natural gas is better than coal for the environment and for climate. I assume that most people with concerns about climate change generally approve of substituting national gas for coal for electrical power. As noted in several comments above. The problem with fracking is its threat to poisoning the water support. People like Rove don’t even know the most basic fact.

  38. Andy says:

    What an ignorant idiot.

    He was speaking at a shale gas conference. Shale gas probably has as much to win from strong climate legislation as any renewable energy source.

    Similarly, I predict it won’t be too long before the shale gas industry is screaming for federal oversight as one by one the states follow New York’s lead and begin clamping down on the industry with a hodge podge of regulations. The rest of the world ain’t Texas or Wyoming.

    Rove is a know nothing idealogue as is the entire Republican Party at this point.

  39. Jeff Huggins says:

    A couple quick responses:

    Roger Wehage (Comment 27), your points in your message are well-taken, and good ones, and I’ll try to visit that link you suggested.

    John McCormick (Comment 31) — John, no problem, and thanks for your comment. Regarding your question about the key voices, I wish that my answer could be John Lennon and Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein and Thomas Jefferson and John Muir, but they all seem to have left us to deal with our present problems. Apart from the efforts of Al Gore and Jim Hansen, and Bill McKibben, and a few others (and Joe’s efforts are impressive and deeply helpful!), the other people who will become today’s John Lennons and Bertrand Russells and Albert Einsteins and Thomas Jeffersons and John Muirs regarding the climate and energy issues have not fully found their voices, yet, or stepped up to the plate, but they will. I know of some individuals who have made, and are making, heroic efforts of their own: One is Roger (the Lexington MA Roger) — and also his wife and gang. Another is a lady named Elizabeth Tjader, who was one of the very first Dot Earthers and has been working for the Earth and animals all these years. And then there are Anna H, and Laurie D, and Susan, and some others. There are some great hearts and folks out there, with the will, but the “movement” itself just hasn’t gotten itself together. If I could write songs, and sing, and look cool, and had a big record contract, and three talented pals, and could shave a few decades off my age, then I would be happy to give a shot at becoming a John Lennon-like voice for the movement, but a good number of those ingredients are missing, alas.



  40. Geza Gyuk says:

    >Now, would you please make a comment on my incessant demand that we find much larger and more viable >voices than Fred Krupp and Carl Pope. Tell who your real front line would be on this offense team to turn >Americans back to sanity?
    >John McCormick

    Probably the “voice” that is going to turn the tide is going to be Mother Nature’s… a searing heat wave killing thousands in the US, or dramatic loss of crops, etc. Mother Nature is going to be much more eloquent that any human…the only question is whether the response can possibly be fast enough.

    In case you are feeling depressed, remember that in WWII ~50% of GDP went towards munitions production (broadly defined)… Given that strong climate action is closer to a fraction of a percent, you can see what a true “war footing” will do for addressing the problem. For another comparison, consider the effects of 9/11: we now spend between 0.25% and 1% of GDP more on security (not counting war costs).

  41. mikkel says:

    Jeff, all the legends that you list were simultaneously idolized for their contributions to the status quo and reviled for their calls towards greater consciousness and foundational change. Climate change is almost all the latter and not the former, so I fear not even the giants would have much impact, especially considering the time lag between action and effect.

  42. dp says:

    we all know the national unemployment rate is an average, right? some places the labor market is better, some places worse.

    here’s a map of US unemployment by county, over the last year. purple counties have low job rates. gray counties are a disaster zone.

    from michigan to florida and along the pacific coast, americans are in real trouble.

    the costs to invest in our future have never been lower and the work we can do with that investment has never been more important or more productive. conservatives want to screw around seeing space aliens & al-qaeda behind every job program, but americans want those jobs, need those jobs, are ready to get started.

    the planet needs our hard work and american families need to get paid. case closed!

  43. dp says:

    by the way the seats of the country’s leadership are in new york, washington dc, and texas. as you can see — whether because of bailouts, control of the country’s purse, or historically high oil prices — these areas weren’t hit as hard. red politics or blue, people working in these areas may not quite understand the worry the rest of the country is feeling, because they may only see it on paper. they may be thinking of keeping their good fortunes to themselves only because they’re just not aware how good they have it, or how much good their direct financial help could do for people.

  44. Jeffrey Davis says:

    It’s the kind of statement that could only be uttered by someone as banally evil as an Adolf Eichmann.

  45. Adrian says:

    Many of us are doing something–response to climate change is gaining mass, I believe.

    I went to the Chicago Wilderness Conference yesterday and it was heartening to listen to the scientists, educators and ecologists discuss climate change data, and more importantly, to hear of the education and ecosystem projects going on in the Chicago region. People going into the neighborhoods and schools, working through community centers and with policymakers. The atmosphere was one of “the debate is settled, this is what’s working, we haven’t much time, let’s do more.”

    Then in the evening I went to the first big meeting in my town (partnering with another town) for our citizen-created sustainability plan which explicitly includes reducing emissions, planning landscaping to act as a carbon sink, reducing car use, managing water, accessing alternative energy and so on–all the things we need to be doing. And the village governments are on board with this.

    We can’t wait for our legislature: real change must come from the ground up.

  46. Wonhyo says:

    The Right Wing has won the climate change debate in the U.S. Climate change has very little power to motivate the average American to political action. Obama and the Democratic Party have failed to take the lead on climate change when they had the chance. The Right Wing can create climate denial/deception/obfuscation far more easily than progressives can create clarity on the issue. It is probably a waste of resources to continue to fight the climate change battle.

    Instead, progressives should redouble efforts to promote renewable/sustainable/clean energy using issues that the average American cares about, that is difficult for the Right Wing to obfuscate. Green jobs is the most obvious example. Once someone has a green energy job, no amount of FUD from the Right Wing is going to convince that person that promoting green energy jobs is a bad thing. Of course, the best opportunity to establish a green energy economy was when the Democrats had control of the House, and that opportunity was squandered with a very minimal impact. Perhaps it is now up to the states to stimulate a clean energy economy. I have to wonder if Jerry Brown is going to take the lead on this, or if Jerry Brown will turn out to be California’s version of Barack Obama. Some of the comments Brown has made suggest he will make the same mistakes Obama has made.

    We now know that we will be affected by climate change disasters. No amount of policymaking now (even if we could do it) will magically erase the hell and high water that has been in the pipeline for the last 160 years. Progressives should now focus on preparing for these climate disasters. While we can’t prevent the Hurricane Katrinas any more than the Republicans could, progressives can most certainly prepare for and handle such disasters better. Successful preparation for, and recovery from, climate disasters will do a lot more to gain positive recognition for progressives than any effort to promote an understanding of climate change.

    The climate change battle is lost. It’s time for progressives to find more productive battles to fight.

  47. Wonhyo says:

    As a followup to my previous post…

    There are also implications for climate scientists. Climate scientist should be redirecting much of their efforts to more localized and near-term forecasting of climate change effects, with an eye toward aiding policymakers in preparing for and recovering from climate disasters.

    There’s little point in making 100 year global climate forecasts when the sustainability of social order beyond the first 10 years of climate disasters is in doubt. As climate change unfolds, the climate research that helps policymaker prepare for and recover from the Hurricane Katrinas will be far more valuable than the climate research that simply reaffirms the general and long-term conclusions of climate science that we already know of.

  48. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    Just a friendly little quote from the link that Leyland Palmer provided “involving the cataclysmic decomposition of continental-margin methane gas-hydrate reservoirs.”

    8C temperature rise, plants no longer a net sink, and anoxic oceans scary stuff and they do not even discuss hydrogen sulphide associated with anoxic oceans.

    Rove and co called the IPCC alarmist, it’s got so much more alarming since then. Come on Joe how about some real worst case scenarios, what are the odds?

    Colorado Bob’s Merapi is getting more than a little interesting.

    I come for Joe’s blog but many of the links other provide are fascinating also.

  49. dp says:

    wonhyo @ 47: what is your evidence that big carbon cuts before 2030 would not reduce the risk of worst case climate disruption.

  50. dp says:

    also i don’t know how smart it is to call climate denialism a right-wing thing, rather than a pollutocratic thing. no matter how much they embrace it today, tomorrow conservatives may want to kick big oil & other industrial parasites out of their political bed. every relationship has limits.

  51. Climate Warrior says:

    Karl Rove is wrong politically (although I hear you all on the physical side.)

    He may have won this battle, but he is seriously underestimating the deep, deep commitment that many Americans have to this issue. I mean it’s only trying to save the only inhabitable planet we have for ourselves, our families, our pets, wildlife… and even for Mr. Rove. We are not giving up, and we are not going away.

    We absolutely need more powerful, well-known people taking the lead on this issue (thank you, Governor Schwarzenegger and Senator John Warner, as two examples.) And we do need to organize one by one. You never know who may become the next Al Gore and capture the imagination and energy of the American public. At the local level, just a few citizens can completely change the dialogue and direction of that locality (seriously, check out your council meetings — not that many people show up, so you can really make a difference.) Action at the local level changes states, and with enough strong states demanding action, we can get the federal leaders to finally lead. And it doesn’t have to take a decade – or a Democratic majority.

    Businesses, too, need to be even more upfront about what they are doing, especially the economic opportunities they see and managing risks to their physical plants along the coast, dealing with drought, etc. Does Karl Rove watch the Sunday morning talk shows and see the ads about dealing with climate from companies like Northrop Grumman?

    And finally, Mr. Rove, the ultimate media manipulator, will not be able to stop the media’s and the public’s fascination with bad weather stories. People are already catching on to the weather weirding that is happening in their own hometowns, and they are seeing the images on TV from other communities. It’s not that hard a step to think that maybe, just maybe the climate is actually changing.

    I may sound pollyanish, but I have a lot of bruises from the fight, I know how hard it is, and I believe we will prevail.

    But will it be in time? The urgency makes me even more determined. I’ve got to try.

  52. Richard L says:

    My vote is to petition Warren Buffett to become the Climate-hawk-in-Chief. He would influence the deniers and get massive media attention.

    After all, business will collapse along with our planet, and the right-wingers care about their businesses rather than the earth.

    Any one know him?

  53. Raul M. says:

    You know it’s easier to deny it’s happering
    than to learn about it. Also even if smart enough
    it’s easier to deny it’s happening than io learn
    about it and to be able to talk coherently. Then
    the third difficulty is to teach well. I agree it is
    important to rate those who undertake a topic
    on their abilities. But it is a vast jump to rate
    someone else when one has yet to show basic
    understanding of basic concepts. Math for
    example, ask around can calculators that can
    handle vastly complex functions be learned as a
    tool in a day, a week?

  54. John McCormick says:

    # 53

    Richard, at least someone is listening. Thanks.

    “My vote is to petition Warren Buffett to become the Climate-hawk-in-Chief.”

    I would add about a half dozen similarly statured Americans who could and must be lobbied to step up and tell us the building is on fire and the heating oil tank is about to explode.

    John McCormick

  55. Wit's End says:

    rabid doomsayer: 8C temperature rise, plants no longer a net sink, and anoxic oceans scary stuff and they do not even discuss hydrogen sulphide associated with anoxic oceans.

    No, no. The plants are ALREADY no longer a net sink. They are all dying, not from climate change but from exposure to toxic ozone. Seriously. Forests are now carbon emitters.

    The only good news would be, that maybe ozone will dissipate fairly quickly once human civilization collapses from starvation, thirst, and wars.

    Something to look forward to! For the rest of Life on Earth.

  56. Wonhyo says:

    dp @ 50 asks: “What is your evidence that big carbon cuts before 2030 would not reduce the risk of worst case climate disruption?”

    To give you a very literal answer, I didn’t claim big carbon cuts “would not reduce the risk of worst case climate disruption”. Technically, the risk would be reduced, because any amount of reduction (even if it is simply reducing the rate of increase) in carbon will cause some finite reduction in the progression of climate change.

    What I wrote is:

    “We now know that we will be affected by climate change disasters. No amount of policymaking now (even if we could do it) will magically erase the hell and high water that has been in the pipeline for the last 160 years.”

    When JR promoted 450 ppm and Bill McKibben promoted 350 ppm, those figures really represent “upper bounds” estimates of “safe” CO2 concentrations based on the scientifically very conservative conclusions that went into the 2007 IPCC report. We’re already seeing the ice sheet melt rates that IPCC 2007 predicted 150 years into the future are happening now.

    Ice core records show that the CO2 concentration never exceeded 300 ppm during the 800,000 years before the industrial age. Anything above that was uncharted territory until the last 100 years. In fact, in the last 10,000 years, during which human civilization developed, the range was 260 to 280 ppm. What makes you think that stopping CO2 additions at 450 ppm, or merely cutting back to 350 ppm will halt the continued melting of ice and release of permafrost methane?

    Even if we are to halt human CO2 emissions right away, the atmospheric concentration isn’t going to drop to a safe level overnight. With human forcing, the CO2 concentration has been increasing at about 2 ppm/year for several decades. Let’s be ridiculously optimistic and assume we can somehow reduce the concentration at the same rate (-2 ppm/year). Even with that ridiculously optimistic assumption, it will take 45 years to get below the 800,000 year maximum of 300 ppm, and an additional 10 years to get below the 10,000 year maximum of 280 ppm. During that 45 (or 55) year period, atmospheric warming will continue to progress at rates beyond the 800,000 (or 10,000) year maximum rate.

    At this point, it’s questionable whether we can get back to even 350 ppm. The natural mechanisms for CO2 removal from the atmosphere are trees and phytoplankton. The extent of these CO2 sinks have decreased more than 50% in 50 years. Now, even without human logging, trees are dying at a fast rate from climate change effects (drought, increasing bark beetle populations, fires, etc.). The natural mechanisms of CO2 removal are rapidly diminishing. Technology-based methods of CO2 removal (CCS) have proven impractical, and even if they weren’t fundamentally impractical, they’re designed to remove carbon from *additional* CO2 emissions from coal plants. They are not designed to removed CO2 from the ambient air.

    So, short of some Act of God miracle, climate change hell and high water will happen (is happening). We can slow it down (slightly) but we cannot stop it by any significant amount.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am a very strong advocate of renewable energy. I just believe that advocating renewable energy on false pretenses (that it will “save us from climate change”) will eventually backfire, once people realize that saving the climate is futile. Instead, I would like to see a shift in advocacy from a false goal (which very few people really believe, anyway) to a more immediate and tangible goal, such as national security, reduced dependence on oil, and domestic jobs.