Would you like to borrow a slide or two from our top climate scientist? Here is his June 3 presentation, “Climate Threat to the Planet: Implications for Energy Policy” (or PDF here) at the PACON 2008 conference (rough gig you got there, Jim) Climate Change: Innovative Approaches to Solving Today’s Problems.
Cap and trade is the biggest threat to the US economy I’ve ever seen.
The reason this legislation is on the floor is fear. The other side wants you to be afraid. [But not our side, no, we don't want you to be afraid of anything, except that this bill will raise energy prices, destroy the economy, cost jobs....]
After Standing Against Everglades Restoration, McCain Visits Park To Bolster Environmental Credentials
Tomorrow, to bolster his environmental credentials, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will tour and likely marvel at the pristine Florida Everglades. What a difference a year makes: in 2007, McCain displayed far less concern for “one of America’s greatest national treasures.”
Bucking environmentalists and the state’s political establishment, who had spent seven years lobbying for sweeping Everglades cleanup legislation, McCain, too busy on the campaign trail to vote on the measure, “opposed spending $2 billion on restoring the national park,” and urged colleagues to let President Bush’s veto of the preservation bill stand:
I believe that we should be passing a bill that will authorize legitimate, needed projects without sacrificing fiscal responsibility.
But it’s not clear if McCain is familiar with what’s “needed” for Everglades restoration. The senator, who has called himself an environmentalist, “did not participate in the landmark debate over the state-federal partnership to preserve the Everglades in 2000″ and “was ‘out of town’ for the 85-1 vote in the Senate.”
In fact, McCain has “skipped every one of the 15…critical measures for the environment” in the past year and scored “a stunning zero out of 100 on the latest League of Conservation Voters Scorecard, which rates elected officials on their votes in the most recent Congress.”
McCain has been busy courting land developers who want to trample on the Everglades. Al Hoffman, a top fund raiser for McCain, and former co-chair of Bush’s presidential campaign in 2000, was the head of a group of developers who filed a legal challenge seeking to block the restoration project. At the time of the challenge, Hoffman believed that development of the Everglades was inevitable:
“You can’t stop it…There’s no power on earth that can stop it!…It’s an inevitable tidal wave!“
Indeed, despite his opportunistic photo-ops, McCain’s disastrous environmental record suggests that developers like Hoffman will certainly be unstoppable.
UPDATE: Yesterday, McCain told a group of Florida newspaper editors, “I am in favor of doing whatever’s necessary to save the Everglades.”
E&E News (subs. req’d) reports:
Senate debate over a major piece of global warming legislation will end tomorrow with a cloture vote and no substantive debate over amendments, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said last night.
Reid asserted his authority over the stalled climate bill after Republican opponents repeatedly blocked action on the measure over the opening three days of the floor debate, culminating in yesterday’s nine-hour reading of the bill.
GOP leaders forced four Senate clerks to take turns reading aloud every word of the 492-page bill in what they said was retaliation for Reid not scheduling confirmation votes on three of President Bush’s judicial nominees.
“It seems the Republican minority wants to do anything they can to maintain the status quo,” Reid said on the floor moments after the clerks finished their reading of the bill. “They don’t want legislation and they’ve proven that today time and time again.”
Reid then read into the record what he said was a GOP strategist’s e-mail his staff had obtained urging opponents to run the clock as long as possible to score “political points” against the Democrats. “You couldn’t make anything up more cynical,” Reid said.
Here is the email Reid read:
First thing constituents ask me about the bill — what’s it going to cost me.
What will this cost Utah citizens not in 2030, in the first year?
It will cost 32 to 34 cents at the pump, and 100% increase in the electricity bill — in the first year [not sure where he got those absurd figures].
I have concerns about the science.
Based on the reports I have read, I think it’s unclear what the long-term trend of the temperature of the Earth is
The last few years may have cooled a fraction of degree….
Back in the 1950s … Ice Age … blah, blah, … It was warmer in the year 1000 than it is right now … natural cycles … sunspots … we never landed on the moon [Okay, I added that last one].
Would hurt the bottom 20% of Americans, reducing their after-tax income by 3.3%. [Another compassionate conservative -- where were they all the last seven years???]
It is very hard to engage in any activity that does not use energy.
This bill means people Must turn off air-conditioning in the summer — those are the choices
My home state of Arizona would lose 62,000 jobs by 2030.
At 11 PM last night, following the eight-hour marathon reading on the Senate floor of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act forced by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) revealed the existence of a GOP strategy memo on the climate debate.
The anonymous memo, provided to Reid “by a lobbyist involved in Republican strategy meetings” and obtained by the subscription-only E&E News, admits that the only goal of the Republican caucus is obstruction and grandstanding:
The goal is for a theme (e.g. climate bill – higher gas prices) each day, and the focus is much more on making political points than in amending the bill, changing the baseline text for any future debate, or affecting policy.
The full memo explains the GOP strategy to obstruct and delay action:
As Senator Reid said in response:
Mr. President, you could not make anything up more cynical. This is the truth and they say truth is stranger than fiction, and this certainly is.
Download the memo here.
MENENDEZ: Do people say we can’t to afford to put cops on the street?
People said we couldn’t afford to build strong enough levies to protect New Orleans.
The question is not if we are going to put a cap on carbon emissions, but when.
Do we want to do it now when it would be cheaper to do and we could become leaders in clean technologies.
[Congrats to Thune -- he found a new way to spin the same old "higher energy prices" talking point!]
Minimal environmental benefits (since no China, India, blah, blah)
Profound and devastating impact on our economy
Will increase gasoline prices extensively
After months of debating high gasoline prices, we are now considering legislation that would increase gasoline prices.
Big impact on the aviation sector, which has been crippled by high oil prices:
UPDATE: I was on NPR’s “On Point with Tom Ashbook,” with William Nordhaus and Andy Revkin. The audio for the show can be found here after 3:30 pm EST. Here are the details:
I like and respect Andy Revkin a great deal. He is one of the best reporters on climate and certainly the most prolific climate journalist now that he has his Dot Earth Blog. But I must take exception to his recent posting, “Climate Debate: Democracy In Action?”
You would never know from his post that one side in the debate was desperately trying to save future generations from catastrophic warming and the other side was simply doing shameless political posturing. Here is how it opens:
David M. Herszenhorn has a piece today examining this week’s Senate action (or inaction, more accurately) as the debate over the Warner-Lieberman-Boxer bill aimed at curbing emissions of greenhouse gases stalled amid partisan parrying using age-old rules of order.
As I read the article, I was reminded of a conversation I had with Senator John McCain about climate and American politics in 2005, while we were taping an interview for the Discovery-Times documentary “Arctic Rush.” Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, said flatly that democracies don’t do well with this kind of long-term, looming threat.
David’s story may hold some evidence that this is true.
You MUST be kidding, Andy. McCain’s comment is utterly absurd. It is McCain’s own Republican colleagues who don’t “do well with this kind of long-term, looming threat.”
Boxer-Lieberman-Warner are trying to deal with this threat. The majority of Republican Senators don’t acknowledge the serious nature the threat — and many continue to reject the scientific understanding that there is any threat at all.
Yesterday, the referee gave future generations a standing eight count and gave the delayers a warning about unsportsmanlike conduct.
The Delayers certainly have been pounding future generations relentlessly with their powerful “higher energy prices” jab. Future generations have had difficulty responding since, of course, they don’t exist yet. Thus future generations can’t really explain that higher energy prices are inevitable anyway because of peak oil and gas and the success the Delayers have previously had at blocking any intelligent energy policy.
The subsitute boxer for future generations — aka the “Boxer substitute” [sorry, couldn't resist] — got tangled up in the ropes for several hours while the fight announcer was forced by the Delayers to read some meaningless gibberish. This strategy is sometimes called the Rope-a-Dope. Sometimes it is called hitting below the belt. The lack of respect the delayers have for future generations sometimes is truly shocking.
Now in some sense the fact that future generations are in this fight at all is incredible.