May 10 News: Biden Says ‘You Should Be Attacking The Carbon Emissions, Period’

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"May 10 News: Biden Says ‘You Should Be Attacking The Carbon Emissions, Period’"

Joe Biden waxes prosaic about the impediments to action on climate change and what accomplishment he is proudest of: the clean energy investments in the Recovery Act. [Rolling Stone]

In the very beginning, we decided that we had to move on this. And we thought, cap-and-trade. But it got shut down, even when we had a Democratic Congress. So from that point on, the president has been trying to figure out how he can use his executive authority to make some real changes. We’ve been dealing with a Congress where a significant portion of the other party thinks there’s no such thing as global warming. …

The thing I’m proudest of that we were able to get done in the first term was the Recovery Act. It had $90 billion in clean-energy programs. We had a lot of money going into research and development, and also tax credits for wind and solar energy. Republicans say to me, “That’s not government’s role,” and I say, “Why in the devil do you think we have the investment tax credit you guys get for drilling for oil? How did that start?” The reason it started was six, seven decades ago, we didn’t have the technology to know how many dry wells you had to dig before you hit a gusher, so we rewarded people for going out and exploring. We still spend $4 billion a year on that – and they don’t even need it anymore. And yet they fight us on renewable-energy tax credits. …

But it’s been hard to get our arms around, with this Congress, what you know you should be doing. You should be attacking the carbon emissions, period, and whether it’s cap-and-trade or carbon tax or whatever, that’s the realm in which we should be playing. In the meantime, the president is going to use his executive authority to, essentially, clean up the bad stuff, encourage the good stuff and promote private industry moving in that direction. If we had a different Congress, I think you’d see a more aggressive emissions legislation.

Senate Republicans continue to prevent a committee vote on Gina McCarthy’s nomination to head the EPA after boycotting the meeting yesterday morning. [New York Times]

Bob Semple on the GOP “temper tantrum” yesterday: “What’s truly dumb about this charade is that Ms. McCarthy is not an ideologue.” [New York Times]

Organizing for America continues to roll out its offensive on congressional climate deniers, recommending investment in tin foil hats. [The Hill]

The Economist on hitting 400ppm: “The last time such values prevailed on Earth was in the Pliocene epoch, 4m years ago, when jungles covered northern Canada.” [Economist]

Is there a civil war brewing in the Republican Party over acknowledging the reality of climate change? [National Journal]

If it’s cold, it must be time for a poll to show that fewer Americans believe climate change is happening. [U.S. News and World Report]

Prince Charles tees off on climate deniers and “the international association of corporate lobbyists,” saying they are turning the Earth into a “dying patient.” [Guardian]

U.S. oil production is at a 21-year high, which makes it hard to argue that the Obama Administration is waging a war on fossil fuel leasing. [CNBC]

More concerning than fracking putting fluids into the groundwater is fracking taking all the groundwater. [Huffington Post]

Air pollution increases the risk of resistance to insulin, which can turn into diabetes in children. [Bloomberg]

The U.S. Global Change Research Program released a tool that helps researchers examining links between public health and climate change. [The Hill]

The Army is starting off a $7 billion investment in renewable energy with a set of power purchasing agreements in geothermal energy. [GreenTech Media]

Myanmar will have the world’s third-largest solar plant. [CleanTechnica]

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24 Responses to May 10 News: Biden Says ‘You Should Be Attacking The Carbon Emissions, Period’

  1. Raul M. says:

    Exclusion principals based on symptoms rather than cause of a problem. Making the chance of mutiny a overriding symptom is a change of subject from the original problem and only shows an inability to deal with the problem. If an exclusion principal is based on curing a symptom different than some of the definitions of alleviating a symptom then there is some chance of applying the exclusion principle to the causes of the symptom and working to stop progression of the dysfunctional behavior.
    Probably the wrong time to look at the personification of religion.

  2. Mike Roddy says:

    Biden would like to do the right thing, but he’s Gore to Clinton, or Humphrey to LBJ.

    Obama could have enabled utility scale solar in the Southwest, but it has stalled. According to BLM, there are only about 4 GW of solar in various stages of permitting in the Southwestern desert, out of 1050 GW in the US grid. It has gone from a solution to a boutique experiment, and not just because we don’t have a carbon tax.

    Obama announced support for solar in 2009 with a lot of fanfare, including fast tracking on BLM land, but folded when false flag green groups contested every project, creating long delays. Many firms BK’d, and risk capital dried up. The President could have declared an emergency or enacted other administrative remedies, but he buckled under pressure.

    Even with plummeting solar prices, gas plants are being built in the Southwest, and coal plants’ lives are being extended (as with the dirty 2250 mgw Navajo plant).

    Biden should join the Climate Caucus in the Senate, and break from the President in campaigning for a shift to clean energy.

  3. prokaryotes says:

    We have to understand that the amount of carbon emissions determines about the survival of the species. This is a matter of life or death.

    Since over 30 years the most respected medium on this subject, James Hansen – and with tine the entire branch of science and related science came to similar conclusion – we have to do everything possible to stop further burning fossil fuels!

    It took just a few days under extensive heat / high ozone conditions (exactly what becomes worse with climate change and what we can observe more often) to wipe out about 50.000 people in Europe (2003).

  4. David Goldstein says:

    Here’s what we’ve been waiting for from the official Mauna Loa site. The daily Co2 reading yesterday: May 09 – 400.03 woo-hoo! Thank you for your hard work fellow Homo Sapiens and remember at the rate we’re going 450 is attainable in less than 20 years!

    • prokaryotes says:

      3.6-3.4 million years ago, summer temperatures were ~8°C warmer than today when pCO2 was ~400 ppm http://tinyurl.com/cpsfqg5

      • David Goldstein says:

        Yep – on the one hand, the co2 will have to stay at 400 for ‘geologic time’ (tens of thousands of years) to push temps up that high BUT, on the other hand we are, of course, going to zoom way past 400 in short order.

        • Colorado Bob says:

          There is evidence the number is closer to 15 million years :

          “The last time carbon dioxide levels were apparently as high as they are today — and were sustained at those levels — global temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit higher than they are today, the sea level was approximately 75 to 120 feet higher than today, there was no permanent sea ice cap in the Arctic and very little ice on Antarctica and Greenland,” said the paper’s lead author, Aradhna Tripati, a UCLA assistant professor in the department of Earth and space sciences and the department of atmospheric and oceanic sciences.

          http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008152242.htm

  5. prokaryotes says:

    Stunner: “shows that 3.6-3.4 million years ago, summer temperatures were ~8°C warmer than today”

    Pliocene Warmth, Polar Amplification, and Stepped Pleistocene Cooling Recorded in NE Arctic Russia

    Understanding the evolution of Arctic polar climate from the protracted warmth of the middle Pliocene into the earliest glacial cycles in the Northern Hemisphere has been hindered by the lack of continuous, highly resolved Arctic time series. Evidence from Lake El’gygytgyn, NE Arctic Russia, shows that 3.6-3.4 million years ago, summer temperatures were ~8°C warmer than today when pCO2 was ~400 ppm. Multiproxy evidence suggests extreme warmth and polar amplification during the middle Pliocene, sudden stepped cooling events during the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition, and warmer than present Arctic summers until ~2.2 Ma, after the onset of Northern Hemispheric glaciation. Our data are consistent with sea-level records and other proxies indicating that Arctic cooling was insufficient to support large-scale ice sheets until the early Pleistocene. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2013/05/08/science.1233137.abstract

  6. john atcheson says:

    Please stop with the “it’s the other Party’s fault” meme. When your response to know-nothings and Neanderthals is to go completely mum on the greatest challenge facing humanity in its brief existence, you don’t get to say that unless you took them on in the public forum and at least tried to annihilate their ignorance with facts and science.

    Until you’ve done that, you share the balem and the responsibility for innaction.

  7. prokaryotes says:

    Video: 3.6-3.4 mil years ago, summer temps were ~8°C warmer than today, CO2 was ~400 ppm
    http://galaxymachine.de/2013/05/10/3-6-3-4-mil-years-ago-summer-temps-were-8c-warmer-than-today-co2-was-400-ppm/

  8. prokaryotes says:

    OT

    Behold: New York’s Glorious New Skyline, 4,259 Days in the Making

    Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/05/10/behold-new-yorks-glorious-new-skyline-4259-days-in-the-making/

  9. prokaryotes says:

    Citrus Disease With No Cure Is Ravaging Florida’s Groves
    “…Concerted efforts by growers and millions of dollars spent on research to fight the disease have so far failed, growers and scientists said. The situation was worsened this season by an unusual weather pattern, including a dry winter, growers said…” http://www.cnbc.com/id/100726306

  10. SecularAnimist says:

    Mike Roddy wrote: “Obama could have enabled utility scale solar in the Southwest, but it has stalled.”

    This continues to be a grossly inaccurate and misleading characterization of what’s going on with utility scale solar in the Southwest.

    The reality is, that prior to the Obama administration there was NO — none, zero, zilch — development of utility-scale solar on public lands that could “stall”.

    Under the Obama administration’s Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for large-scale solar development on public lands, the Department of the Interior has identified 285,000 acres of public land as priority areas for commercial-scale solar. Projects in these designated areas could potentially generate over 23,000 MW. Interior has already authorized 10,000 MW of renewable power generation on public lands, including 18 utility-scale solar facilities, 7 wind fars, 8 geothermal power plants, and associated transmission corridors and infrastructure. Outside of these designated areas, about 19 MILLION acres of public lands have been designated as eligible for solar projects, though such project would require additional environmental impact studies.

    Utility-scale solar in the Southwest has not “stalled” — it is just getting started, largely thanks to the Obama administration’s policies.

    As for the “false flag” environmental groups you keep talking about, I have yet to see any documentation of your claims. National environmental groups such as the Sierra Club have raised legitimate concerns about the local impact of utility-scale solar, but have nonetheless strongly supported development of solar energy on hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands that are NOT environmentally sensitive. And in fact their participation in the DOI process has contributed to the development of a policy that is already accelerating the deployment of utility scale solar.

    There are plenty of good reasons to harshly criticize the Obama administration’s climate and energy policies. But the administration’s unprecedented support for utility-scale solar on public land is not one of them.

    • Mike Roddy says:

      Your numbers are wrong, Secular. I didn’t need to look any further than the 10,000 mgw solar figure. Go to the BLM website: all solar projects combined in the Southwestern desert total about 4,000 acres, in various stages of entitlement. No plants have been completed, and only Three large projects are under way, to my knowledge.

      That’s because investors went broke waiting for entitlements, spooking capital. Brightsource is only building Ivanpah because they BK’d and found new money.

      I’d like to discuss this with you privately- my email is mike.greenframe@gmail.com

  11. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Australia marked 400ppm in traditional fashion, with a heat wave and bushfires, ME