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Christmas Eve Open Thread: What Do You Want For The Environment This Holiday?

By Stephen Lacey on December 24, 2012 at 9:56 am

"Christmas Eve Open Thread: What Do You Want For The Environment This Holiday?"

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If you could get one thing for Christmas that benefits the environment, public health, or global warming, what would it be? Opine away on this and anything else on your mind this holiday!

(Note: Climate Progress is mostly on vacation this coming week. Please feel free to post links to news below).

 

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70 Responses to Christmas Eve Open Thread: What Do You Want For The Environment This Holiday?

  1. Nell says:

    That just one person in a position to do something about it recognize that we’re approaching the point of no return.

  2. Leif says:

    I wish the powers that be realize the Western socially enabled capitalistic paradigm that allows the few to profit from the pollution of the commons is not good for Earth’s Life Support Systems or us critters dependent on same. Please: Stop profits from the pollution of the commons.
    Give Green a chance…

  3. Mandy says:

    That all Canadians recognize the importance of the #IdleNoMore campaign and protest by the millions to oppose the Harper Government’s destructive agenda.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Harper may very well represent some sort of nadir in Rightwing pathology. The latest crop of Rightist politicians in Australia are similarly extreme and viscerally anti-environmental. Soon they must become endangered species, otherwise we really have no hope whatsoever.

  4. paul magnus magnus says:

    That Harper resign his post and Obama comes out and makes it clear to the world the state of environmental emergency we are in and starts to act.

  5. Nell says:

    Winter storms get names now. It will help to punctuate the escalating chaotic weather.

  6. prokaryotes says:

    20,7C Summer temperature in Munich today. Hottest day on record for this day in Germany. http://www.pnp.de/nachrichten/bayern/617795_207-Grad-Muenchen-bricht-den-Temperatur-Rekord-zum-Fest.html

  7. Spike says:

    Some drier brighter weather would suit me as a Bit currently surrounded by water filled fields under leaden skies:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/9764722/Floods-and-more-rain-before-Christmas-as-Britons-struggle-to-get-home.html

    And for the New year, some serious international carbon taxes, and some serious wartime scale CO2, methane and GHG reductions as argued for by Joe so consistently as a voice crying in the wilderness.

  8. todd tanner says:

    Hmmmm …. think I’d ask for the conservative side of the political spectrum to focus on addressing climate change and creating strong, bi-partisan climate & energy legislation. Either that, or a pony.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      My wish- for ‘the conservative side of politics’ to be beamed up to an alien mother-ship and transported to a distant planet which they can set about destroying in their inimitable way.

  9. rollin says:

    I want all management of fossil fuel companies,pesticide and genetic seed companies, along with their investors to have recurring nightmares about our future until they straighten out their acts and take us in the right direction toward anthropogenic CO2 and pollution elimination. If they stop they get the nightmares back and get bitten by hordes of mosquitos.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Pretty hard on the mosquitos. They might catch something nasty.

      • rollin says:

        We have gone to such trouble to make a warmer and wetter world for the mosquitos to live in, so they should at least do something for us.

  10. Greatgrandma Kat says:

    Wow, the longer I ponder this question the longer my list becomes. My best wish is for at least 6 billion people to wake-up Christmas morning knowing beyond doubt that we are in real trouble on this planet earth and demand change, and not take delay for an answer.
    Than we could get to work on world wide emissions reductions and making plans to survive the changes we can no longer stop. I’m afraid however that all the wishes in the world will not save those lives that will continue to be lost to climate disasters. We have so little time left to act every day that is lost is a victory for the deniers. What will be their reaction I wonder when it finally comes to the point where any denial is impossible in the face of horrifying inpacts, will they be the ones demanding each others heads on platters for letting it happen? That would be my guess. We have to just keep up the fight, inform as many as we can and prepare our families for what we can no longer change. To you Joe a special Merry Christmas and Thank you for all you do to keep us going.

    • Dave Kahn says:

      They will be demanding of scientists: “Why didn’t you warn us?”

      • David B. Benson says:

        Warned in 1979 via the Charney et al. 1979 NRC/NAS report:
        http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12181&page=R1

        • prokaryotes says:

          Woha, spot on! Thanks for the link David

          To summarize, we have tried but have been unable to find any overlooked or underestimated physical effects that could reduce the currently estimated global warmings due to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 to negligible proportions or reverse them altogether. However, we believe it quite possible that the capacity of the intermediate waters of the oceans to absorb heat could delay the estimated warming by several decades. It appears that the warming will eventually occur, and the associated regional climatic changes so important to the assessment of socioeconomic consequences may well be significant, but unfortunately the latter cannot yet be adequately projected.

      • William P. Gloege says:

        The absolute king of the “Warners” was Dr. Alvin Weinberg, Director of Oak Ridge Labs in the 60′s. He predicted with great accuracy the CO2 we’d have in the atmosphere today. His solution was Thorium reactors for all power generation and get off fossil fuel altogether. He built a Thorium reactor working model. But he was politically sidetracked by President Nixon.

        We aren’t going to curb emissions and should get ready for the next phase – survival in a 500+ ppm environment in the polar regions. But we very probably won’t prepare for that one any more than we listened to Wineberg.

  11. David Goldstein says:

    This may be a bit of a selfish wish (can I make it a Hanukkah wish? :) )…I would like a cogent, emotionally connective way to explain to a 7 year old what his/her world may look like in 60 years. I want it to be scientifically accurate (within the bounds of uncertainty that a 3-4 C warmer world will look like). More and more in my activism I am looking for ways to get across what our world may actually be like in about 2070 or so. Any thoughts?

    • Good question. I struggle with the same thing…how to describe reality to my granddaughter without scaring the wits out of her. (She’s nine.) I don’t have time to ruminate, speculate or ramble right now, but I’ll share a couple of thoughts later and would love to hear from others.

      • David Goldstein says:

        Thanks, Phillip. I am curious about other;’s takes on this: I have recently been struck by a strong sense that, well, we are going to go over the cliff. The recent IEA report about the ramp up in coal usage (an additional 1.2 billion annual tons by 2017) kind of cemented it for me. Those kinds of ‘mega trends’ that are in those comprehensive reports just don’t get off-tracked very often. And the reality is with the kind of ramp up in emissions we are seeing (3% a year)- we are rapidly running out of room for more carbon in the atmosphere. and so…my mind has been turning towards our grandchildren (I am 49)- I am feeling the almost visceral need to apologize- right now – for what we are visiting upon them. Look- we WILL act at some point (beyond the tepid measures of today)- our survival instinct WILL kick in at some point. But- does it not seem that, given the apparent feedback effects already kicking in- that we will be a day late and a dollar short? I am working on ‘drafting’ an actual apology right now.

      • prokaryotes says:

        There are a few sites which are made specially for kids(maybe you know some already), though i did not assessed it yet but here is one. http://www.epa.gov/climatestudents/

        Psychic or existential distress caused by environmental change, such as mining or from climate change is called Solastalgia.

      • John McCormick says:

        Philip and David, you are approaching a moment that has to be thought through more carefully..for the effect it might have rather than the accuracy of the projection.

        May I suggest you take your loved ones down a more constructive path. Lead them to understand the earth’s systems being affected and damaged by what you and I have done in the past 50 years.

        Let them grow into understanding the climate crisis on their terms and at their speed.

        I fear a direct confrontation with your view of how their world will fare in 2070 might be more than they need to hear at their young ages.

        More to be gained by saying “Yes, we have some serious problems to confront very soon and they are of our doing. People come together in times of emergency and children of today will be in the lead trying to sort out a solution. We pray our generation will wake up soon and we’ll need your energy to put things right. There is time but you can help us move faster by demanding that we look out for your future more than we invested in ours.”

        • John McCormick says:

          Most, maybe all of us feel the same way; need to tell our children and grandchildren what is coming at them and how we are to blame.

          Choose the degree of their involvement with their age group. Children not able express their emotions easily might harbour ‘no escape’ ideas. Be careful and watch the response and feed any tangent that speaks of optimism based in reality.

          I’m only saying this because David and Philip raised the topic and dialogue. Then I responded and that will last for about 8 more hours. Think about this!!!

          We risk putting our children and grandchildren at risk of finding an escape where there is none… rationally. We have to rely upon our children because we have run our rope as leaders.

          Joe, we need some broad shoulders and Bill McK is only one individual with connections. You can tap John Podesta’s shoulder with an idea he has never considered but we most need.

          • William P. Gloege says:

            David Stockman said reality is what’s on the 6PM news. Global Warming is not on that news, except slight mentions. Never would Brian Williams dare to spell out the full implications of the threat which will take our food supply first. That’s when full panic mode will “kick in” as one poster mentioned earlier. We aren’t far from that point with mass crop wipe outs in our grain basket last year, Texas and the South the year before and Russia two years ago.

            Why doesn’t the full story of global warming get told? Maybe it’s a story too big to tell and too big for the public to believe. They’ve heard the Doomsday bell rung many times before and have learned to ignore it.

            The great climate scientist James Lovelock of the UK said at one point man may survive in the far north (“The Revenge of Gaia” and “The Vanishing Face of Gaia” – two excellent books by Lovelock). We better get ready to make that move, or we’ll make it in a terrible, Mad Max chaotic manner.

    • Mark E says:

      In my view, attempting to “explain” all this is a wrong turn at the starting gate. Instead, if they get Wonder, Curiosity, and Interconnectedness now, they’ll get global warming just fine later. Don’t forget walking-the-talk. Here’s a few….

      http://www.amazon.com/Children-Learn-What-They-Live/dp/0761109196

      http://www.amazon.com/Sense-Wonder-Rachel-Carson/dp/1433207222

      (from your library’s loan program maybe)
      “Walk when the moon is full”

  12. Stop sequestration (CO2 underground storage). Nobody has any plan to dispose of the highly saline water that must be displaced to make way for CO2 injection. Contrary to popular belief, there are no empty caverns for securely storing the CO2; the pore space is full of brine, at high pressure. Salt in the groundwater will be a worse disaster than climate change. The “clean coal” fantasy based on sequestration is based on stove-piped science.
    The Sep. 2012 GAO report on the water-energy nexus (http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-880) found that “energy and water planning are generally ‘stove-piped,’ with decisions about one resource made without regard to impacts on the other resource.”

  13. prokaryotes says:

    California Law Tests Response of Companies to Carbon Costs

    The Morning Star Company’s three plants in California emit roughly 200,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.

    Beginning Jan. 1, under the terms of a groundbreaking California environmental law known as AB 32, Morning Star and 350 other companies statewide will begin paying for those emissions, which trap heat and contribute to global warming.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/25/business/energy-environment/california-manufacturers-weigh-costs-of-new-greenhouse-gas-rules.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  14. Bob Lang says:

    Let’s be realistic. Climate change will not be addressed until there is a major shock, such as a food crisis.
    My wish is that this shock happens before we reach the point of no return.

    • Merrelyn Emery says:

      Well then Bob, I hope you become very unrealistic and very, very unreasonable, very, very soon, ME

      • Bob Lang says:

        Merrelyn, one such shock that never gets mentioned is the total collapse of financial markets, throwing the world economy into a depression of unprecedented proportions because the credit/debt bubble which preceded it is unprecedented in magnitude. I’m 70% sure that a good dose of that will happen in the next 2-3 years.
        So, there is still hope.

        • Merrelyn Emery says:

          We share a hope Bob and it could be closer than that. It would be our best chance to severely reduce emissions and save something of the planet, ME

        • William P. Gloege says:

          Bob, maybe we don’t want such a sudden, severe economic depression. That might well cause all the industrial soot, dust, contrails to suddenly disappear from the skies. That in turn would allow a lot more sunlight to hit earth, and that could cause a sudden, sharp rise in temperatures worldwide. There was such a rise from just the jets being grounded worldwide in 9-11 – a one degree C jump that stumped scientists for a while. If all the gunk came out suddenly we would be in for a quick, large spike in heat.

    • John Mason says:

      As it happens, Bob, I’ve been thinking along similar lines:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/world-bank-report-2012-food-security.html

    • William P. Gloege says:

      Good job, Bob. You nailed it. Only in wake of an extreme crisis do democracies act because any action, especially a drastic one, offends some voting block – and we don’t ever want to do that, do we? Except in that extreme crisis.

      Unfortunately, by the time the food crisis hits, or a sudden sea rise event caused perhaps by the Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica sliding into the Southern Ocean, the CO2 genie will be too far out of the bottle.

  15. I would like two things:
    1. A fee-and-dividend system put in place in order to properly price carbon.
    2. A feed-in tariff to encourage the production of renewable energy by every citizen that wants to.

  16. fj says:

    Best whole system solution for dealing with ongoing environmental, humanitarian and financial crisis is going at climate change with everything we have.

    The narrative must be clear and simple how this can be done.

  17. Paul Klinkman says:

    The Wise Ostrich

    Some people say that ostriches hide their heads in the sand to hide from danger. People of a more scientific bent say that ostriches are rummaging deep in the sand for small pebbles, which they swallow as an aid to digestion.

    One morning Dr. Doolittle came upon an ostrich with his head in the sand. The ostrich didn’t seem to be rummaging for stones. Dr. Doolittle cleared his throat and asked, “Are you searching for anything?”

    The ostrich pulled his head out of the sand. “Yes. I’m looking for wisdom.”

    “Is that where you can find wisdom, in the sand?”

    “Actually, yes. When I place my head in the sand I’m away from the world for a little while. I meditate, and I receive a little bit of wisdom every day. Wisdom is a great gift. King Solomon asked for wisdom, and God extolled his request.

    “But, what can an ostrich do with wisdom?”

    The ostrich sighed. “Not that much. Ostriches don’t have opposable thumbs. Nor can they speak English. However, every great once in a while, someone with opposable thumbs that can speak Ostrich comes by, I can impart a bit of wisdom, and the world changes just a bit for the better. You’re the only such person in my lifetime, so far.”

    Dr. Doolittle was both surprised and a little uncomfortable, feeling put on the spot. “Well, what can you tell me?”

    “Probably no more than you know already. Hopefully I can make things just a bit clearer for you. Your government doesn’t work that well, and it can be fixed up. Also climate change is going to make a mess of the earth and you really don’t want to get in to all that trouble.”

    “That’s the whole message?”

    “I could actually tell you a whole lot more about the political and engineering details, but you, doctor, are no political science major, nor are you an engineer. So, I’m keeping it simple for you.”

    “Well then, how can you, how can we, change the world?”

    “You can develop your own search for wisdom. Then you won’t need to ask an ostrich for help.”

  18. ryan says:

    dear climate santa,
    this year i want globally coordinated systems disruption of the industrial economy, networked resilience/ecological restoration, and lumps of biochar in the stockings of every boy, girl, and post-industrial mutant in the world.

    and a firetruck. with a HERF on it.

  19. prokaryotes says:

    Jewel in the Night

    Chris Hadfield’s first recording from the International Space Station. You can hear the slight buzz of the station’s fans in the background.

    https://soundcloud.com/colchrishadfield/jewel-in-the-night

  20. Nell says:

    Better than my first wish… do I get a second? I want the MSM to report on all the strange weather that has happened this century, is happening right now, and what’s in store for us if we continue BAU.

  21. prokaryotes says:

    Researchers at Stanford University have created the first peel-and-stick solar cells. These cells are flexible, can be attached to a variety of surfaces (windows, business cards, clothing), and most importantly they can be produced using conventional, industry-standard facilities and materials. Furthermore, it should be possible to use Stanford’s new process to create peel-and-stick computer chips and LCD displays.
    http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/144027-stanford-creates-flexible-high-efficiency-peel-and-stick-solar-cells

    Maybe a game changer?

  22. FWhite says:

    Would a science literate, responsibly informed public be too much to wish for?

  23. John H. Cato, jr. says:

    One thing?

    Honesty.

    – jhc

  24. no one in particular says:

    I would that in the New Year all those who can plant a tree with thought and care for it.

  25. prokaryotes says:

    My wish is, that oil companies would acknowledge that the time has come to go full force for solar and wind tech.

    :-)

  26. Brooks Bridges says:

    I would like for all the world’s leaders to be visited by Scrooge’s ghosts – only the subject would be humanity w/o action on climate change.

  27. Terry Floyd says:

    The Dr Alvin Weinberg’s Thorium Molten Salt Breeder Reactor deployed to consume 98% of the worlds
    270,000 tons of Nuclear weapons and LWR spent fuel as a fuel to produce CO2 free thermal and
    electrical power with many valuable by products, such as radioactive medical cancer fighters, fuel for
    NASA Space Gizmos and desalination/purification of water. Use the $35B funds paid to the various utilities to
    store the LWR spent fuel for 10,000 years and the savings from reducing the Nuclear arsenal.
    Merry Christmas Yall

    • William P. Gloege says:

      Weinberg is the genius we ignored.

      He predicted CO2 output and consequent global warming with amazing perfection in the 60′s.

  28. Here in Canada, people start preparing to get ready and vote Harper out of office by the next election in 2015.

  29. Anne says:

    Wish List:
    1. The insurance industry stops underwriting activity that puts its customers at risk of climate-related damage and destruction. (e.g., no more policies that cover rebuilding on vulnerable coastlines)
    2. Improve disclosure of climate change required by the SEC, http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2011/03/02/sec-climate-change-disclosure-improves-still-weak
    3. Require major fossil fuel conglomerates to create and put a percentage of their profits into a fund, similar to Superfund, to “clean up” after major climate-related extreme weather. There is no reason why taxpayers should carry the entire burden of this.
    4. Require all upper management of any energy company using fossil fuels to take a set of courses on climate change and to become certified as a prerequisite to their employment.
    5. Remove the duct tape from John Holdren’s mouth! (I know, sounds crude, but, geez, he’s been as quiet as a monk!) If he doesn’t start to speak out soon, demand he be replaced by someone like Bill McKibben.
    6. Replace Lubchenco and Chu with top notch people. (CP: think of top picks and submit names to White House).
    7. Make sure Pres. Obama treats whistleblowers and potential whistleblowers with more dignity, respect, and appreciation. Sign the new whistleblower bill into law with great fanfare!
    8. The White House shall give the EPA all the political cover it needs to regulate CO2 emissions under the Clean Air Act, and celebrate its success!
    9. re: solar — study what Germany did, and copy it here.
    10. Outlaw stupidity and anti-science shenanigans.
    What can I say, it’s a WISH list!

  30. Anne says:

    Just read the comments about Revkin. Idea — ask him to be interviewed by Joe Romm here on CP and face these questions directly! My theory? He got burned out. Or maybe he’s just catering to a new readership, capitalist style. Whatever is going on with him, let’s just ask him! On tape.

  31. Gestur says:

    A bit like the ‘good child’ who asks Santa for something she knows her family can afford (and is content with it), I’ll ask for something that I hope is very reasonable of attainment. Back at the end of November there was a great piece in the Guardian online that was essentially an in-depth review of a recent book of contributed pieces written by a group that includes psychoanalysts, psychologists, sociologists and others titled “Engaging with Climate Change: Psychoanalytic and Interdisciplinary Perspectives”. In fact, before this Guardian piece came out I had been walking around asking myself why we didn’t see more good pieces that discuss global climate change denial from many important perspectives and in a thorough and scholarly way. This Guardian review was intriguing enough for me to order the book and I’ve been reading it and carefully mulling it over this past week. It is an amazingly well written and thought out set of essays that is providing me with important new ways of thinking about denialism of all stripes. An outrageous Christmas gift request would be for boatloads of this book to be distributed gratis to Americans to read. A request that’s much more realistically attained would be for the editor of this fine collection and the author of two of its essays— Sally Weintrobe—to be invited to give a TED talk on this subject. Don’t know how one goes about registering one’s TED talk wishes, but I’m guessing that this one would make a difference. BTW, the Guardian review is here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/30/climate-change-you-cant-ignore-it

  32. catman306 says:

    I’m over a Climate Progress World watching a newly posted James Hansen video and there’s a shell oil symbol at the top of the page!

    Tipping points, Carbon Tax and organized denial
    Interview 2008

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCxDOs5Taew

  33. Been thinking a lot about what was life in the time time Jesus’ birth. A decree to kill all babies under 2 years (!*!), taxes to a foreign military, greed, violence… And then a moment of wisdom and grace. I’d like some redemption at this critical time in history. A star to follow, a message of peace and justice found in an unlikely place. Of course we have to be actually listening for this, not just buying more gifts.

  34. David Goldstein says:

    Mike- I saw that you commented on Andrew Revkin’s latest NY Times article (which- surprise, surprise – essentially tells us not to feel ‘too urgent’). I also commented as dagold56 and would love your response over there at the mystifying and frustrating NY Times climate world!

  35. Mike Roddy says:

    I chimed in at Andy’s blog to support your nice comment, David.

    Andy Revkin is a mystery, who is concerned about global warming unless someone dares to propose an actual solution, in which case he will oppose it.

  36. David Goldstein says:

    Clearly I am naive- when I was growing up the NYT was thought to be a respected, liberal oriented ‘paper of record’. I look at the majority of the commenters after Revkin’s article and they are flat out flat-earthers AND they seem to take him as a kind of ally. Revkin seems to be utterly complacent about the comlexities, uncertainties and gravity of the situation. I sense no fear in him at all about climate change- actual visceral fear – and to me that is an enormous red flag- it speaks to a basic disconnect,

  37. Brooks Bridges says:

    He is worse than an out and out denier. Despicable the way he will give non-scientists or non-peer-reviewed scientist equal weight with the real thing. He lulls people in a subtle way.

  38. John McCormick says:

    Andy lost it about four years ago. You are right on point. His dot.earth is a lullaby for the deniers. They trust he will downplay the next Sandy, dust bowl and mega-fire as a serious event the earth has experienced many times in its 6000 year history.