State of the Union Drinking Game: Climate Change (aka Sobriety) Edition

BREAKING:  Energy parts of speech posted below — one, resigned, mention of climate plus lots and lots of hydrocarbons.  It’ll be a long, long night….

I propose the following drinking game:

  1. The first time the President uses the phrase “climate change” or “global warming,” down the drink of your choice.
  2. The second time, empty out the liquor cabinet.
  3. The third time, it’s a weekend in Las Vegas with Charlie Sheen or Chelsea Handler., perhaps this is best called a sobriety game, if this is anything like his last State of the Union Address (see Obama calls for massive boost in low-carbon energy, but doesn’t mention carbon, climate or warming).

Given that Obama is apparently going to push domestic hydrocarbon production but not a price on carbon, I’m adding this:

  1. Every time Obama talks up domestic oil production, drink one cup of coffee.
  2. Every time Obama talks up domestic natural gas production, drink one cup of non-herbal tea.

And remember, if you don’t get any sleep tonight, it’s not my fault!

UPDATE:  The energy parts of speech posted below

But with only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, oil isn’t enough.  This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy – a strategy that’s cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs.

We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly one hundred years, and my Administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy.  Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade.  And I’m requiring all companies that drill for gas on public lands to disclose the chemicals they use.  America will develop this resource without putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk.

The development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper, proving that we don’t have to choose between our environment and our economy.  And by the way, it was public research dollars, over the course of thirty years, that helped develop the technologies to extract all this natural gas out of shale rock – reminding us that Government support is critical in helping businesses get new energy ideas off the ground.

What’s true for natural gas is true for clean energy.  In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries.  Because of federal investments, renewable energy use has nearly doubled.  And thousands of Americans have jobs because of it.

When Bryan Ritterby was laid off from his job making furniture, he said he worried that at 55, no one would give him a second chance.  But he found work at Energetx, a wind turbine manufacturer in Michigan.  Before the recession, the factory only made luxury yachts.  Today, it’s hiring workers like Bryan, who said, “I’m proud to be working in the industry of the future.”

Our experience with shale gas shows us that the payoffs on these public investments don’t always come right away.  Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail.  But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy.  I will not walk away from workers like Bryan.  I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here.  We have subsidized oil companies for a century.  That’s long enough.  It’s time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s rarely been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising.   Pass clean energy tax credits and create these jobs.

We can also spur energy innovation with new incentives.  The differences in this chamber may be too deep right now to pass a comprehensive plan to fight climate change. But there’s no reason why Congress shouldn’t at least set a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation.  So far, you haven’t acted.  Well tonight, I will.  I’m directing my Administration to allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to power three million homes.  And I’m proud to announce that the Department of Defense, the world’s largest consumer of energy, will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history – with the Navy purchasing enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year.

Of course, the easiest way to save money is to waste less energy.  So here’s another proposal:  Help manufacturers eliminate energy waste in their factories and give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings.  Their energy bills will be $100 billion lower over the next decade, and America will have less pollution, more manufacturing, and more jobs for construction workers who need them.  Send me a bill that creates these jobs.

Building this new energy future should be just one part of a broader agenda to repair America’s infrastructure.  So much of America needs to be rebuilt.  We’ve got crumbling roads and bridges.  A power grid that wastes too much energy.  An incomplete high-speed broadband network that prevents a small business owner in rural America from selling her products all over the world.

During the Great Depression, America built the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge.  After World War II, we connected our States with a system of highways.  Democratic and Republican administrations invested in great projects that benefited everybody, from the workers who built them to the businesses that still use them today….

But I will not back down from making sure an oil company can contain the kind of oil spill we saw in the Gulf two years ago.  I will not back down from protecting our kids from mercury pollution, or making sure that our food is safe and our water is clean.

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28 Responses to State of the Union Drinking Game: Climate Change (aka Sobriety) Edition

  1. prokaryotes says:

    My guess he will mention climate change at least once.

  2. B Waterhouse says:

    It’s far more important that he addresses climate change in his second inagural address and that the new Congress supports action on cap and trade or a carbon tax.

  3. prokaryotes says:

    I read Boehner’s expression:”I want Obama to say Climate Change too!”

  4. A Jessen says:

    Well, at least we’ll be taking plenty of bathroom breaks from what’s likely to be the same ol’ platitudes and back-patting. Surprise us, O. Please.

  5. john says:

    agree with B waterhouse. not a great idea for Obama to propose C&T/tax pre election. Remember its _hard_ to pass legislation that introduces new costs on an economy during a recession.

  6. David Goldstein says:

    Ha!- I was just wondering the same thing about the address tonight. Yep, I guess the ‘big hope’ is that he will come out guns ablazing NEXT YEAR and say something like “well, many reputable scientists were saying we needed to start curbing emissions to get toward 80% reduction by 2050 4 YEARS AGO. Climate Change. Climate Change. Climate Change. Climate Change. Bite me fossil fuel companies and sundry denialists. I actually want to do something about this.”…and then he will say climate change about 10 more times and actually DO SOMETHING substantive towards the 80% reduction.”….well, a guy can always hope, can’t he?

  7. prokaryotes says:

    If he says “it” the 4th time, we win a weekend with Zach Galifianakis?

  8. prokaryotes says:

    He will focus on energy topics, it is rumored.
    He will make something happen without congress?

    I think the best would be to work out the plan “How to transition to clean technologies within a few years.” And then start from here. Infrastructure, subsidies, incentives, manufacturing..

    The carbon tax can be easily sold, when returning it to the public, 100% (as James Hansen is suggesting).

  9. SecularAnimist says:

    Obama will not mention global warming or climate change, will give short shrift to wind and solar if he mentions them at all, and will focus on increasing extraction of fossil fuels, which he will claim can be done “safely” and “responsibly”.

    I hope I am wrong.

  10. B Waterhouse says:

    How about if, after the November election, Steven Chu and Jane Lubchenko gather about 100 top climate scientists to have a “come to Jesus” — or in this case — come to AGW meeting with the President to expain we have run out of time to act?

  11. Paul Magnus says:

    Well done Obama. Great speech!

  12. John Tucker says:

    There was a lot to complain about in the energy segment. The Gas thing getting out of hand most of all (told you so). But there is also a lot to be encouraged about.

    It has been a very good speech.

  13. John Tucker says:

    And yes he actually mentioned climate change – so you got at least one drink. (and arguably more)

  14. A Jessen says:

    Not bad, and kudos to him for the one mention of climate change. But for the most part he’s talking to the hand. Much of what he wants, of course, relies on “send me a bill”. And suggestion that we further develop all forms of energy (something he’s said before) is a bit disturbing. As is the implication that shale gas could be a major source for nearly a century, given the potential consequences, costs, and uncertain rates of sustained production.

  15. ZS says:

    terrible. Is this the first time he’s adopted the “all of the above” rhetoric of the misinformers? I mean, obviously he has supported this through his actions (expanding domestic oil exploration and production, referring to “clean coal” as a clean energy source on the White House website), but is it the first time he’s used the words “all of the above”? Frank Luntz is cheering right now, mission accomplished.

  16. Russell says:

    I hope Joe was able to chug enough gasohol during his 15 seconds of fame to protect his heart from caffeine infarction in the hour that followed .

    At least Steve Chu got some well deserved facetime.

  17. Lore says:

    He mentioned Climate Change and I quickly took my shot, but unfortunately couldn’t swallow it when he said, we’re never going to get an agreement on it.

  18. prokaryotes says:

    The climate hawk’ish message here is “fight climate change”. I too m a bit surprised why so much jazz about shale gas. But Obama wasn’t very quick with developments before and i’m positive he will acknowledge these.

    Complex problems need simple solution and the carbon tax should be the next step on our roadmap. With an approach where 100% of the income generated, send back to the taxpayer, he can win every heart and starts the real fight against climate change.

  19. John Tucker says:

    Actually I think its kinda a relief in a way to get the plan laid out. Good or bad its where we are. We are in a better place than we were and he is after all probably a “bridge president” considering how far to the right we actually swung back there.

    As public support goes for standard direct government financing of large green projects the country is probably close to being tapped out. Or that is the overwhelming opinion I get.(not that I share) Thats just the unfortunate political reality now I feel.

    Three important positive things I noticed were, his mention of support for US clean energy manufacture at several places, green tax incentives and surprisingly the DoD clean energy programs. (which has been/is probably a rather brilliant move to fund rather large projects)

    Something also that could be an opportunity is the mortgage refinancing program. If somehow energy improvements/repairs/a guaranteed flat electric rate and rooftop solar in the southern US could somehow be bundled with a loan product it could do wonders. Financing probably is the only obstacle to needed large scale rooftop solar implementation.

    Too bad there is such a across the board anti bank/anti financing sentiment now.

    Honestly I would have liked to finally see nuclear power addressed again as the reality of 100 years of gas and fracking was seriously thrown out there.

    I guess its all to be expected. Probably about time to just let others think about it.

  20. david g swanger says:

    No one’s commented yet on his proposing to end oil subsidies, which would be a very positive thing. And hard for Republicans to complain about without looking like hypocrites who don’t really believe in free enterprise and support industrial policy.

  21. BBHY says:

    Most likely Obama will be reelected. The next president will almost certainly be a Republican, since Americans have only elected back-to-back Democrats once in the past 150 years.

    So most likely that brings us to 2024 when we may have a chance to elect a climate friendly president.

    We are going to make progress on climate change, but the politicians are not going to lead us there. This has to come from the people.

    I think everyone is grossly underestimating the change in people’s thinking when they experience alternative energy, mostly through electric vehicles and solar power.

    The fossil fueled lifestyle has most people chained down, unable to think about or even imagine what it’s like to live on clean energy. When you no longer have to buy gasoline, this “all-of-the-above”, and “we-need-the-oil-companies” talk goes from sounding reassuring to sounding horrifying.

    When you no longer have to buy gasoline, and then you realize that you are still paying for it through taxes breaks for oil companies, then you become angry.

    When you suddenly realize that most of our military misadventures are all about protecting the oil supply, and you no longer need it, then you become an agent for change.

    Soon there will be 100,000 people with this new attitude toward oil and other fossil fuels. In a just few years there will be a million. This is a movement that will just keep growing like a tsunami wave that will wash away the fossil friendly politicians.

    It won’t come from the president. It won’t happen from the top down, it will come from the people, from the bottom up. But it will happen.

  22. Raul M. says:

    Oh yes,
    Years ago I did have the rep that I didn’t understand because I had been drinking too much. Rep’s next was what is your excuse.

  23. MarkfromLexington says:

    The president made it clear that we won’t be seeing action on climate change from Washington.

    He could have reminded us that while Congress can’t agree on climate change, our military does. That they are seeing the effects of climate change, how it affects their mission and they are taking action.

    He could have reminded us of the unprecedented extreme weather events of the past year and what it is costing our country and our world today, right now.

    In addition, Obama’s definition of clean energy just doesn’t cut it. Unless Obama’s definition of clean energy has changed since the last SOTU address, he counts “clean” coal, “efficient” natural gas and nuclear as clean energy sources.

    I’m disturbed to hear Obama promise accelerated offshore drilling when we have taken little to no action to improve the safety of drilling after the BP Deepwater disaster.

  24. Michael Glass says:

    The President touts his administration’s dedication to cooking the planet, says nothing can be done about climate change, and throws in a few generalities about clean energy.

    As Romm’s SOTU drinking game proves: The lack of leadership is, in a word, sobering.

  25. Brooks Bridges says:

    Kudo’s to Joe for calling it so perfectly. I only got one lousy drink and actually got that earlier because I was beginning to think he wouldn’t mention CC at all.

    Amidst my disappointment verging on despair, theres the realization that he is probably working from the very realistic fear that this country would be crazy enough to elect Romgrich = game over on climate. This leads to supporting drill baby drill, etc., to hold the “wrong” at bay with just enough “remove tax subsidies to oil”, “stabilize subsidies to wind energy”, etc., to keep us from abandoning ship. Cynical or realistic?

    What do we do?

    Activism, not complaints.

    One: quit putting it all on Obama and get a greener congress in there.

    Two: Make him do more. More, no, FAR more of what Bill McKibben has been doing – “boots on the ground” and also social networking. Continuous pressure.

    Again: watch “Iron Jawed Angels” for inspiration.

    Lastly: This is primarily an informational site and crucial in what it does. Messages such as mine mainly belong elsewhere. Suggestions?

  26. Jeff H says:

    I’m All Ears

    Rather than commenting on the President’s speech right now, I’m eager — and “all ears” — to hear Joe’s assessment. I’m also eager to hear what Joe, and others, think could be done, or should be done, to prompt the President into a real Leadership role.

    I’m also confused about something else now, so I’ll pose this question to Joe, to Bill McKibben, to Stephen, and to anyone else who’s willing to attempt an answer: If we take President Obama at his word — that is, if we take his most recent official public statements literally (his Keystone XL statement, and now his State of the Union Address) — then what is his reason for not permitting K-XL, how do we reconcile the fact that he didn’t permit it with his comments last night about oil and gas drilling and production, and what should we (thus) expect him to do in his next term, if he’s elected and if he keeps to what he said last night?

    In other words (although I feel silly explaining this, because it was so apparent), Obama said last night that he supports an American energy strategy based on all forms of energy: we need ’em all, and lots of ’em. He mentioned oil and gas numerous times. He as much as said “drill baby drill” without actually using the phrase. So, in that context, how does one explain his denial (for now) of Keystone XL? If we take him at his word — and his words are rather clear — perhaps he really DID deny it only, or mainly, because of the route and because of the decision time-line forced upon him. Last night he emphasized oil and gas in a positive way, that is, as positives that we should find, develop, and produce. In that context, on what basis will he deny approval to Keystone XL once it is proposed to follow a better route?

    OR, has Obama’s terrible strategy and messaging gotten so confused, so off-mark, that in order for us to continue to believe that he really will deny a rerouted Keystone XL, and in order for us to continue to believe that he’ll show sufficient climate leadership in the future, we find ourselves in the position where we have to actually deny what he says, literally, or argue that he’s really just playing political games and misleading other audiences as to what he will or won’t do, if reelected?

    In order to continue to believe what we’d like to believe about him, do we have to believe that he’s lying to us, and to others, or trying to mislead others on important matters?

    We should ask ourselves these questions. (That said, something tells me that we probably won’t.)

    In any case, I’m looking forward to an assessment of last night’s speech, and what it means.



  27. prokaryotes says:

    Excerpt from last nights ..

    Obama State of the Union 2012 Energy + Climate Change