Update on the Waxman-Markey climate change bill: House energy bill gains support

Unfortunately some of those supporters fail even the the ecoweenie test. Case in point: Debbie Halvorson (from IL):

A presidential phone call helped win at least one vote: Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.), a freshman lawmaker and former state senate colleague of Obama’s, said Thursday evening that after months of indecision, she “feels great” about the bill.

Here’s why she feels so great about it:

“I think it’s something that I’m going to support,” Halvorson said. “It’s a thousand-page bill. It has a lot of amendments. I wanted to read it, take my time.” Later, she added: “I had a nice chat with the president this morning.”

Well, hell, why wouldn’t you support a thousand page bill with lots of amendments that you’ve never read after “a nice chat” with the president.

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You know, this shit writes itself. Today’s contributor is none other than President Barack Obama. In his press conference today, he threw his support behind the Waxman-Markey climate change bill. And he is supposed to be the smartest guy in Washington:

At a time of great fiscal challenges, this legislation is paid for by the polluters who currently emit the dangerous carbon emissions that contaminate the water we drink and pollute the air we breathe.

I’m no science whiz but the water I drink hasn’t turned into Perrier yet. And I’m confused. Am I included in the “polluter” category because I am emitting “dangerous” emissions that “pollute the air we breathe” by breathing out?

In the end I suppose it doesn’t matter. I will pay for it.

Today’s example is Julie Johnston’s comment on Real Climate. Julie says:

I keep thinking that what would actually help is a little bit of urgency, of panic, of fear, of scared-shitlessness on the part of the scientists. These are the people who *know* what is going to happen…

Holy flying leaps, what does it take to get 2500 scientists excited? “Difficult for contemporary societies to cope with”?! Thousands — hundreds of thousands — of people are already losing their lives and their livelihoods, their food security and water sources, their homes and their whole nations at only +0.78 degrees C!

Holy flying leaps, Julie, you do love your drama (and your exclamation points).

She was kind enough to link to her site. Now it all makes sense. Julie says:

Sometimes I just break down and weep. I am one of the unlucky ones … I understand global climate change, I see it happening, I know who is being impacted the worst (and it ain’t rich white people with big cars) – and it breaks my heart.

Now I might feel sorry for Julie but her martyr complex is totally out of control:

I lament that more people don’t share this burden.

And then she goes on to quote global warming jokes. This was her favorite:

“According to a new UN report, the global warming outlook is much worse than originally predicted. Which is pretty bad when they originally predicted it would destroy the planet.” – Jay Leno

My professional diagnosis and prescription: Irony deficient Julie needs either a drink or a smack upside the head.

Answer man

June 15, 2009

Some recent commenters have suggested that I put up or shut up on this global warming shit. “Give a solution instead of being part of the problem” they say (damn that was hard not to put “problem” in quotes). Maybe you bitches have a point so here we go. Problem: Global Warming. Solution: Warming tax. If temperatures rise as predicted by what the UN climate models and their “consensus” of scientists say are correct then the tax on carbon emissions goes up dramatically. If the temperatures fall, the tax goes down. Surprisingly, this is not my idea but that of economist Ross McKitrick. He points out:

The IPCC predicts a warming rate in the tropical troposphere of about double that at the surface, implying about 0.2C to 1.2C per decade in the tropical troposphere under greenhouse-forcing scenarios. That implies the tax will climb by $4 to $24 per tonne per decade, a much more aggressive schedule of emission fee increases than most current proposals. At the upper end of warming forecasts, the tax could reach $200 per tonne of CO2 by 2100, forcing major carbon-emission reductions and a global shift to non-carbon energy sources.

Global-warming activists would like this. But so would skeptics, because they believe the models are exaggerating the warming forecasts.

Under the T3 tax, the regulator gets to call everyone’s bluff at once, without gambling in advance on who is right. If the tax goes up, it ought to have. If it doesn’t go up, it shouldn’t have. Either way we get a sensible outcome.

That makes sense. Wow. Look at me. Promoting a solution.

Ecoweenies on parade

June 14, 2009

I saw this comment from Gail on Climate Progress and had to laugh:

I have 3 daughters who are well cognizant of the threats of climate change because they hear my wails of outrage rather frequently.

It’s not that they give little thought to it, I think. It is that they have concluded that they are so screwed, that they want to enjoy what opportunities are left open to them before the s**t really hits the fan.

For instance, one daughter is going this summer to tour the Grand Canyon and from there to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. When I pointed out to her that flying is deleterious to the environment, she insisted that she wants to see the snows before they disappear.

So it’s obviously not that she is under any delusion that flying isn’t bad, or that the climate is going to stabilize.

It seems she wants to live while she can because she recognizes that there is already a predetermined limit programmed from past emissions locked into the pipeline, never mind business as usual, so, why not?

I totes love this reasoning. My kids care but WTF the planet is screwed so my kids are going to party like it’s Sixteen Ninety Nine. I’m betting that my “carbon footprint” is much less than Gail’s little fucking traveler. And why go to the Grand Canyon first? That shit isn’t going away any time soon.

Doing something

June 10, 2009

Frequent commenter (and all around good guy) Dave’s response to my last post inspired this post. His comment (referring to global warming/climate change/CLIMATE CRISIS!)

Doing something about a problem is better than doing nothing.

I’ve heard this a lot recently. This “doing something” must be important. I guess if you are “doing something”, that means you care. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter if “doing something” is an effective way of reducing the problem. It doesn’t matter how much “doing something” costs. It doesn’t matter that “doing something” might actually do more harm than good. The important thing is that you are “doing something”.

A recent example: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. President Obama said we had to “do something” (or else) to save and/or create new jobs. If we didn’t do something right now it would get worse. Here are the results:

unenployment

So much for “doing something”.

I support doing things that may make actual differences, not just feel good measures that, in the end, could do more harm than good.

Kate says

June 7, 2009

Kate has an *interesting* post on global warming. Some highlights and my thoughts:

Kate says: Environmentalists hope dire predictions and a healthy dose of drama spur corrective action. Maybe more people will reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Let’s see. Scare the shit out of voters and they will agree with you. For the past eight years, all I have heard is GWB was using terrorism as a scare tactic. Now scare tactics are okay.

Kate says:
I don’t give a shit if you believe in global warming or not. The bottom line is this – didn’t you learn as a kid to clean up after yourself? Well, human beings have a miserable track record cleaning up after themselves. Whether such messiness leads to our destruction remains a point of contention and debate, but the facts are clear: corporations and people should do more to clean up the planet.

I would qualify that. Poor human beings have a miserable track record on the environment. As countries become richer, they pollute less. Rich people demand (and will pay for) a cleaner environment.

The current solution to climate change offered by the government is “cap and trade”.

Some neocons like Ralph Nader don’t like it:

Cap-and-traders assume, without much justification, that one country can put a price on carbon emissions while another doesn’t without affecting trade or investment decisions.

Good intentions to limit big polluters in some countries but not others will turn any meaningful cap into Swiss cheese. It can be avoided by relocating existing and new production of various kinds of CO2-emitting industries to jurisdictions with no or virtually no limits. This is known as carbon leakage, and it leads to trade anarchy.

and Gore’s scientist/global warming poster boy, James Hansen is not a fan:

Hansen lambasts the current international approach of setting targets to be met through “cap and trade” schemes as not up to the task. “This approach is ineffectual and not commensurate with the climate threat. It could waste another decade, locking in disastrous consequences for our planet and humanity

but yet Kate says:
We *know* we’re in trouble. And we also know how to fix it. Let’s not argue over the methods that people use to get our fellow citizens off their asses and working toward a solution. Because the solution will benefit all of us.

I disagree that “we know how to fix it”. Kate, tell me your solution.