[Discussion] Climate Change

This thread is just to post interesting news, thoughts, opinions about climate change.

I do have to say, the idea that corporations should be brought to the table without regulations, but China and other countries should be forced to it by sanctions (especially since they actually are taking action) is a bit contradictory. In any case, regulations are part of any complex economy, along with incentives, and should never be taken off the table.

Anecdotally, over the last 30 years or so, I've seen my father go from believer in climate change as a serious problem that needs to be addressed, to believing it's exaggerated if not wholly manufactured by liberal politicians and the government in general to exert further control on society like a light version of something out of Orwell. He thinks that individual climate scientists are either willing participants in the scam or just severely unconsciously biased because their financial livelihood depends on it. He is unwilling or unable to critically examine his own biases and consider how they may have ultimately been shaped by corporations that exert outsized influence because their profits rely on maintenance of the status quo.

I would not consider him an extreme idealogue. He has simply been shaped by current Republican orthodoxy which stems from both the party's political leaders and its media influencers/supporters. From everything I've seen, I'm sure he represents the vast majority of Republican voters in this regard. The exceptions seem few to me; the Republican Party is pretty monolithic from the top down.

I mean, it says it all when a party chooses to put Jim Inhofe in charge of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

DSGamer
"Why are you so concerned about parties actually signing the laws? Most of the laws you've cited are from almost half a century ago and when they were signed by Republican presidents it was after significant input and often origination in the progressive Democratic caucus. So what?"

And in page 31 of the thread we hit the core of my retort and point. Quit pointing to either side (including me) and focus on the points and data and science of it all. Just try to get thru the first few pages of the thread and you will see the point. Not all of any President or leader's initiatives or of any party are all bad - because we have career folks massaging the corridors keeping things on the tracks...for better and sometimes worse. What does it matter...it doesn't...nor does it matter in this day and age...nor should it...

Thank you Robear...appreciate the sentiment and trying to do my bit. Saving wetlands a few hundred acres at a time! Cheers

Gewy...I'll look, but an interesting article I read, peer reviewed, from about 2005 on perceptions by scientists and folks on how scientists should present data. At that time, the overwhelming gist was scientists should present the data and science...explain the basics...and yeah...that was it. They felt strongly against getting into policy advocacy and public policy to 'sell' ideas.

They were wise, as the result you see is not only the media (again, both sides...I've seen the GOP go to deny climate change and Dem leaders say we have 10 years...which has been being said since the gas crisis of 1974...and has no basis in fact or science - and its now dogma...) but the scientist now losing their objective anti-bias focus. And they damned well know it when you put then on CNN or Fox...

This occurs because the scientists, once they take a position, allow bias to set in. Fauci is brilliant, but to think he hasn't let politics sway him is silly. The scientist you don't hear of, for instance...'Kessie' is her nickname i'm told that created the Moderna vaccine...just does the damned science... We have become a society that lets media on both sides who are liberal arts majors explain part of science with scientists who now have a bias introduced because they are 'selling' their wares...and it all stinks. (Think of it...you come up with Science A that gets air time...you believe in your hypothesis as shown...but now you are selling it...how does bias not enter.)

I ask again...in terms of the climate...what percent is caused by mankind, and what can we actually do about that to start making change?

But let me see if I can find that article...i have it filed...but not sure which library...but fascinating...

Robear...final point and off to practice. I never meant to infer an environment without regulatory constraint. I am for baseline regulatory methods with significant penalties. CAA, CWA, etc are all on the books and are NOT changing or coming off. They are the baseline of our livelihoods. To me...that is simply common sense baseline in the US today.

My point being when you see the regulations, and I know you have, that say do A, not B and then the state says do B but only when A isn't implied or t he sun isn't shining...it becomes insane for businesses. I have seen industry simply comply with the minimum regulatory when the permitter made it difficult to show that process A was not only better, but cheaper... We sh*t on innovation when that is our greatest strength.

Focus on Life / Health / Safety as core regulations, not how to ensure Tom ties his tie in a square knot properly at the Permit Conference (yes, thats silly analogy, but so are many of the regs taken off the books the last 5 years.)

Pigpen wrote:

I ask again...in terms of the climate...what percent is caused by mankind, and what can we actually do about that to start making change?

Probably most of it? Starting with the invention of the combustion engine we started a terraforming experiment where humans take millions of years of acculated biomass and burn it to produce energy. Are you going to tell me that the rapid rates of temperature increase, cap melting, etc. has nothing to do with the blip in history that is the Industrial Age?

There's little point to the argument about whether humans are responsible (other than understanding the mechanisms). It is happening and will impact human life, and we can do something about it. That's the part that should be getting debated.

Pigpen wrote:

Stengah - again, it pulls from the point of discussing climate change.

But how so. Throughout these pages, Republicans are portrayed to hate the environment...something that is a given and always has been. How is that simple stereotype right and mentioning the contribution of stalwart republicans such as Bush I and Reagan to environmental causes 'wrong'? You are correct in that history becomes a never ending loop...but at least my party has validation in being the signator all all environmental protections we enjoy today...

You aren't discussing climate change though, you're trying to finger wag at us for not giving credit to the current Republican Party for the actions of Republicans from 40-80 years ago. Those Republicans get credit for what they did, but the current crop has spent the last 30 years undermining and undoing their efforts. Address that before you try to claim that your party is one of environmental responsibility.

polypusher wrote:

There's little point to the argument about whether humans are responsible (other than understanding the mechanisms). It is happening and will impact human life, and we can do something about it. That's the part that should be getting debated.

Feels an awful lot like we're in the control room at 1:48am Moscow time on 4/26/86 arguing over whether an RBMK reactor can explode or not.

Pigpen wrote:

I ask again...in terms of the climate...what percent is caused by mankind, and what can we actually do about that to start making change?

Well, I can tell you what the first step to addressing a problem is- you have to acknowledge the problem exists. Requiring an exact percentage before even considering steps to mitigate things just seems like a delaying tactic or a rhetorical trap from most Republicans I’ve seen.

The whole thing feels very similar to how denialism of the harmful effects of tobacco played out decades ago. Corporations, fearing loss of profits, intentionally and successfully trotted out a tiny subset of biased “experts” to sow doubt and mistrust in the scientific process in general. Politicians played along for their own self interest. That was the problem, not conscientious scientists and doctors advocating for further regulations and funding to address the issue.

Pigpen, the problem is that Republicans have *already* repealed portions of the CWA, on the functional side, by changing definitions in the implementation. They made similar changes to the Clean Air Act and also made it harder for Biden to put back elements of the old rules. They even took away California's EPA waiver which allowed them to set their own fuel economy standards.

That is, those "baselines" are actually things that current Republicans have *already* tried to destroy... Democrats do not have a similar attack on the environment. The two parties are fundamentally different, even if they used to be two sides of the same coin. That truism is no longer true.

Stengah wrote:
Pigpen wrote:

Stengah - again, it pulls from the point of discussing climate change.

But how so. Throughout these pages, Republicans are portrayed to hate the environment...something that is a given and always has been. How is that simple stereotype right and mentioning the contribution of stalwart republicans such as Bush I and Reagan to environmental causes 'wrong'? You are correct in that history becomes a never ending loop...but at least my party has validation in being the signator all all environmental protections we enjoy today...

You aren't discussing climate change though, you're trying to finger wag at us for not giving credit to the current Republican Party for the actions of Republicans from 40-80 years ago. Those Republicans get credit for what they did, but the current crop has spent the last 30 years undermining and undoing their efforts. Address that before you try to claim that your party is one of environmental responsibility.

Exactly.

Pigpen wrote:

Just dropping a comment here - but as I perused the largely anecdotal comments of the first 10 or so pages of this thread, looking at the numerous anti-GOP comments - I thought it would be worthwhile to remind many of you that seem to forget - almost all major environmental milestones in the US were led by Republicans.

Father of Modern Conservations and Parks - Teddy Roosevelt (Wilson did do the Park Act)
Air Pollution Control Act - 1955 - Eisenhower
Clean Air Act - 1970 - Nixon
Clean Air Act Amendments - 1990 - Bush
Creation of the EPA - 1970 - Nixon
Clean Water Act - 1972 - Nixon
Safe Drinking - 1986 - Reagan
Superfund - 1986 - Reagan
Montreal Protocol (ozone) - 1987 - Reagan
Kyoto (not a fan of Kyoto and less so the 2005 version but was solid landmark) - 1997 - Clinton

Having a Republican president sign a piece of legislation doesn't mean the GOP "led" on the issue.

Teddy Roosevelt was an old school conservationist as in he wanted to conserve natural resources to make sure they were there for future exploitation. Or he wanted them to be a pretty environment that he and his buddies could hunt and fish in.

Wilson's Organic Act did the actual heavy lifting of creating a new government organization dedicated to promoting, regulating, and protecting the National Parks and made sure it was staffed and funded.

Either way comparing Roosevelt's environmental views or actions to the modern GOP is like claiming the GOP can't be racist because Lincoln freed the slaves.

The Air Pollution Control Act of 1955 (which merely authorized the use of federal dollars to study the issue of air pollution and did absolutely nothing to "control" or regulate it) would have never happened if President Truman hadn't organized the First U.S. Technical Conference on Air Pollution in May 1950, which first broached the issue of air pollution as a national issue that needed national resources rather than just a local one. (An article from the day featured comments from a Dixiecrat (aka, a modern Republican) who bitched about the conference's resolution that an advisory panel of experts and federal, state, and local officials be put together to study the issue as being "more socialism," that doing so would be a "wedge" that would allow "more bureaucrats" into his business, which was already suffering because of Congress' heavy taxes. Fun to see how much Republican beliefs have evolved in 60 years...)

That conference would have never happened if there hadn't been numerous news reports of the dangers of air pollution throughout the 40s, such Los Angeles' infamous smog which was first reported as Japanese chemical weapons attack or the 1948 incident in Donora, PA where 20 people were killed by smog from the town's numerous steel mills (another 50 died within a month from respiratory ailments) and half the 14,000 residents got sick.

And the only reason why the act was signed by Eisenhower and not Truman was because previous legislation to do the same thing died in Congress. An attempt in 1950 died in a House committee. In 1952 another attempt passed the House, but died in the Senate because a conservative Senator objected to it and the Senate rules stated that only legislation that had unanimous consent could be passed. There weren't any air pollution bills proposed in 1953, the year Eisenhower took office.

It's also a bit telling that you jumped from 1955 to 1970 because that period was actually when the foundations of US environmental law were laid, the vast majority of which were driven by Democratic members of Congress and signed into law by Democratic presidents.

The biggest glaring omission from your list is the backbone of environmental law--the Clean Air Act of 1963. It's odd that you would omit this law, but seek credit for Republican presidents who just later signed amendments to it. Perhaps it could be that could be because 92 of the 102 Representatives that voted against it were Republicans).

Whereas the Air Pollution Control Act of 1955 just allocated funds to study air pollution, the Clean Air Act of 1963 laid down the legislative foundation for actually regulating and minimizing air pollution at the local, state, and federal level from within the U.S. Public Health Service (which was then part of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare). The CCA also provided states with tens of millions of dollars of grants-in-aid that paid for two-thirds of the cost of any pollution control program. The result was significant. In 1963 only 11 states had any air pollution legislation on their books. By 1969 all 50 did.

The CCA was amended in 1965 with the Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act (aka the National Emissions Standards Act) which established the first federal vehicle emissions standards starting with the 1968 models.

The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1966 extended the life of the CAA and had the Public Health Service establish the National Center for Air Pollution Control (which replaced its Division of Air Pollution) which would be part of the a new Bureau of Disease Prevention and Environmental Control. The Act also provided additional funding to state and local pollution control programs.

The Air Quality Act of 1967 further amended the CAA, adding more grants-in-aid for the newly created state and local air pollution control agencies, funding additional vehicle pollution research, establishing interstate air pollution control commissions and agencies, letting California establish its own automotive emissions standards, and setting the table for establishing federal emission standards for stationary pollution sources.

In 1968 the Public Health Service was completely reorganized. It was split into two new agencies: the Health Services and Mental Health Administration and the Consumer Protection and Environmental Health Service (CPEHS). CPEHS consisted of the Environmental Control Administration, the National Air Pollution Control Administration, and the Food and Drug Administration.

So Nixon's creation of the EPA in 1970 wasn't exactly environmental leadership on his part, but rather a bureaucratic restructuring that was necessary because the federal government had massively expanded its efforts--and funding--to regulate pollution in throughout the 60s.

Hell, the only reason why things were run through the Public Health Service was because way back in 1954 the Senators behind the Air Pollution Control Act of 1955 realized the only way they could get their legislation through Congress was to ask Eisenhower to form an ad-hoc Interdepartmental Committee on Community Air Pollution chaired by the Surgeon General. Since literally no other federal agency or department was even thinking about air pollution everything just stayed in the Public Health Service.

What became the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1970, which lead to enforceable national emissions standards, were driven by Dr. John T. Middleton, the Chief of the Public Health Services' air pollution activities and the Democratic leads of the House and Senate.

Dr. Middleton was pioneer in the study of the effect of air pollution on plants, studying the issue extensively throughout the 40s, 50s, and early 60s. Dr. Middleton realized more needed to be done to combat pollution so he pretty much single-handedly created the Statewide Air Pollution Research Center to coordinate all pollution research throughout the University of California system and served as its first director. He was also appointed director of the California Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board, which later became the Air Resources Board and was a member of the executive committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences.

I mention Dr. Middleton's environmental bona fides mostly to contrast them with Nixon's, which didn't exist. Nixon didn't mention or campaign on the environment, but he certainly knew when an issue was popular. The first Earth Day was in 1970 and opinion surveys of the time showed that 70% of Americans thought air and water pollution were serious concerns.

It's odd that you mention the Clean Water Act of 1972 as a Republican accomplishment because Nixon actually vetoed that law--claiming it was too expensive--and had to be overridden by Congress. Nixon responded by ordering the EPA to spend half of the $18 billion Congress had authorized to clean up America's waterways and even went as far as impounding billions of dollars of federal funding. Nothing says "I Heart the Environment" more than preventing states from getting money they need to build sewage treatment plants.

The 1986 Amendments to the Clean Water Act could be considered a bipartisan effort, being co-sponsored by members of both parties and clearing Congress with an overwhelming majority of votes (328-21 in the House and 94-0 in the Senate).

As for the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (aka Superfund) it was introduced by Rep. Florio, James J. [D-NJ-1] (no Republican co-sponsors) and signed into law by Jimmy Carter on December 11th, 1980.

Actually, to give Reagan credit for anything environmental is a joke. Reagan was the first modern president to not appoint people to the head of federal agencies that had both federal experience and who were at least sympathetic to the purpose and mission of said agency.

In the case of the EPA Reagan decided the best person to run it was Anne Gorsuch, a corporate lawyer who opposed the Clean Air Act, water quality rules, and hazardous waste protections. Within two years of taking over the agency Gorsuch had fired nearly a quarter of the EPA's staff. She also completely disbanded the EPA's Office of Enforcement which, unsurprisingly, led to enforcement cases dropping by 75%.

Reagan and Gorsuch worked together to slash the EPA's operations budget by 27% and gutted its science budget by 58%. The latter allowed Reagan to ignore scientific findings and led to the EPA not classifying formaldehyde as a human carcinogen (impacting anyone who made or used plywood or particle board) and preventing any scientific consensus on acid rain.

Reagan also signed an Executive Order that required any new proposed government regulation to go through a cost-benefit analysis that would automatically reject any regulation that cost businesses too much as well as established a presidential task force that made it easier for businesses to complain about and challenge EPA regulations (he attempted to phase out the EPA's restriction on leaded gasoline because oil producers balked at the $15 million cost, but reneged due to public outcry).

Back to the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986. That law didn't happen because Reagan was a champion of the environment. That law happened because members of Congress were getting leaked documents from career EPA workers that showed Gorsuch was purposefully slow-rolling enforcement of the law to keep the expenditures low and not require a Democratic Congress to authorize additional funding. Other reports emerged that funds were being spent to aid Republican candidates and withheld to harm Democratic candidates, the most prominent being delaying a $6.1 million grant to clean up the Stringfellow Acid Pits in California to avoid helping then-Governor Jerry Brown's Senate campaign.

Congress subpoenaed records and documents from Gorsuch who refused. She then became the first agency director to be cited for contempt of Congress. A few months later a Reagan administration official confirmed that they overheard Gorsuch say she withheld funds to hurt Brown's campaign at a luncheon which led to the White House withdrawing its legal challenge to Congress' subpoena and, after that, Gorsuch's resignation.

So Reagan signed the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 not because he was super green. He signed because his handpicked agency lead had been caught with her hand in the cookie jar f*cking with the original law (as well as intentionally subverting, if not outright destroying, the agency) and he had no political juice left on the issue to not sign it.

As far as the Montreal Protocol was involved Reagan's eventual support is very likely due to the fact he got a skin cancer removed from his nose about that time that was caused by him being out in the sun so much. So, again, rather than being Mr. Environment, Reagan was a classic Republican who only reacted to an issue when it personally affected them. Heck, earlier that year his Secretary of the Interior was saying no treaty was needed and Americans could get by with a hat and some sunscreen.

Beyond that Reagan could have signed any treaty he wanted. They don't take effect until they're ratified by the Senate, which it was 83-0.

Republicans played a far, far smaller role in protecting the environment than you allege. That you just plum ignored everything that happened in the 60s is especially telling as is you purposefully leaving out Nixon turning his back on the EPA and Reagan (and Bush) doing everything in their power to drown the agency in the baby's bathwater.

Nixon was opportunistic in his environmental support and he abandoned it when he thought he didn't need it any more.

Reagan--and every Republican since--are ideologically opposed to the EPA and its mission. Any regulation is bad and goes against the near-religious belief that the market will fix any issue. I mean the reason Congress had to create Superfund sites was because the market was externalizing the costs of pollution and not doing a damn thing curtail or eliminate pollution.

And Republican ideological opposition has only gotten more intense over the years. Though now it's largely become completely detached from reality. The current GOP doesn't reject environmental regulations because they think they're too costly or a market-based solution will produce a better result. They reject those regulations because Democrats support them. Being against what Democrats want is enough for Republican politicians and voters today.

This speaks to the depth of the historical revisionism going on in the Republican world, really. Modern Republicanism has much in common with Stalinism, not least in how it rewrites and twists history.

Side note, but when I googled "Anne Gorsuch" I hit Google and learned something new today. Thanks for the lesson, OG.

Pigpen wrote:

California sets the golden standard for standards...followed by the golden standard for not realizing consequences, such as timber management and fires to name just one.

You understand that the vast, vast majority of forestland in California *isn't* owned by the state, right?

The federal government owns about 57% of forestland in California, followed by 25% that's owned privately but not used industrially, followed by 14% that's privately owned and used industrially. The state itself owns 2% of forestlands and local governments own 1%.

California can't do a damn thing about its federal forests. They're managed by the Forest Service, which until recently was run by a jackass (R) who thought you could control fires by raking under trees. That same jackass spent the last four years proposing budgets that significantly *cut* Forest Service funding requiring Congress to step in. Since the White House wasn't championing additional funds to do the required forest management the Forest Service has basically had to raid every other department or initiatives to make sure it had enough money to fight wildfires. So it's in a Catch 22 where it can't decrease the severity of future fires because all its funding is going to fight current fires.

And of course the severity of the wildfires has been exacerbated by warm weather, severe drought, and insect infestations--all of which are results of climate change.

So you're basically saying California's a dumb state for not being able to control what happens on lands it doesn't actually control or single-handedly overcoming the effects of global warming.

Forest management at the national level is fascinating. The Big Burn details the creation of the forest service and national parks by TR and the 1910 fire that led to the policy of trying to put out all forest fires rather than letting them burn.

Young Men and Fire by Norman MacLean tells of the Mann Gulch fire in 49 that killed 12 Hotshot firefighters and was the deadliest forest fire to the fighters until recent years.

In recent years, the forest fires have been much worse. Books and articles I have read on more recent fires (Yarnell Hills etc) all are in agreement that the burn prohibition of the last 100 years, although well intentioned from a conservation standpoint, has been bad for the forests. They need the regular burn offs from lightning strikes to be healthy. Some tree seeds only sprout after they have been through a fire.

We also are encroaching too much on wild areas with our suburb growth, making it much more difficult to have the controlled burns that are needed. You also can get into the sociological issues of using prisoners as firefighters on some of the uncontrolled fires....they aren’t getting paid for putting their lives at risk.

So climate change definitely is a part of the forest fires getting worse, but it’s also inadvertent mismanagement of the forests.

(Incidentally, Under A Flaming Sky by Daniel Brown about the 1894 Hinkley Firestorm is one of my favorite books on fires.)

DSGamer - you wrote "probably most of it" - NO climate scientist or even new age hippie would agree with that. I've seen peer articles putting 5-10% often, as low as a percent to up to maybe 30% but never 'most of it'. There is no scientific proof to support that...none.

This is before we even launch into the argument that their data set comprises 100 years of data against the Earth data set of billions of years. Whole articles debate the bias of what data set a scientist chooses to compare the warming of the earth.

SO AGAIN...and want to repeat myself - there is not any shred of proof in real science that most of climate change is due to mankind. The statement is mankind is affecting the earth and causing warming (they are, that cannot be denied), and that we can do something about it (but the question then arises - what and what is the impact?)

SallyNasty

In response to "You aren't discussing climate change though, you're trying to finger wag at us for not giving credit to the current Republican Party for the actions of Republicans from 40-80 years ago. Those Republicans get credit for what they did, but the current crop has spent the last 30 years undermining and undoing their efforts. Address that before you try to claim that your party is one of environmental responsibility." - I addressed that that throwing the turd on the fire wasn't the best way to start off...and in that vein, i have asked questions that have not had a single realistic science based answer...

- How much of climate change is caused by mankind (correct answer btw is it cannot be determined empirically, but it is occuring)
- What can we do about it? - This is where I try to show the hypocrisy...God forbid I mention the GOP and their past...as somehow, the Dems with a record of pretty much naught own this issue. Science owns the issue...not the parties. One article recently read on it showed some of the complexity of the systems we deal with. Cutting GHG is just part of the process, and as a real study of green process shows, cutting in one place often leads to unexpected issues in others. We have to get together, and I don't see it with science shoving their fist down throats saying we know what is right ... Heres a point...science continues to evolve...we learn and to say science is proven and finite is to ignore scientific progress and reality.

But let me ask again...what can we specifically do to make changes...

So here's another one - this is authored by me...not wiki or such. You all shout from the rooftops lets rejoin the Paris Accord or such silliness. As an example, and I already highlighted the failure that is Paris...and the embarassment rejoining it is...but lets go to its predecessor - the failure of Copenhagen and try to get on point to the complexity of the issue of Climate Change that this austere body continues to ignore...What should be done... (PS - to show my moderation to the reality of the science, I even applaud Obama admin for its efforts at Copenhagen, even though it failed - it was not for not trying...)

"• Part 1:
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has set the foundation for climate conferences since 1992 (Summary, 2009). The 2009 United Nations Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen included 115 world leaders and was set up to provide a groundbreaking path forward as the next step past the Kyoto Protocol agreement. The focus of the effort was to keep global temperatures from rising no more than 2C by key emissions reductions.
The key coalitions that formed included The US (which initially offered a 25B commitment that was pulled back when other nations did not reciprocate), China (focused on coming out party as a climate player and economic powerhouse), UK, Japan, Brazil, India and other nations desirous of commitments to climate change…on the surface, and members of the G77 Group (130 or so developing countries) – of these, a small cadre of states continued to veto proposals for undemocratic leaning issues.
The final deal was put together in a last-ditch effort to have ‘something’ to show, and was pieced together by the US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa on the final night (Vidal, 2009). As any individual involved in negotiations will tell you; any brokered agreement in the last day or night generally fails at most key points. However, in context, remember that for t he first time, many of the world’s leaders gathered to discuss the serious matter of climate change (Summary, 2009).
• Part 2:
Why did the convention end in discord? There are multiple reasons. There was concern over the language of developing and developed nations that continues to envelope these types of meetings. Many developing nations feel they should be duly compensated for efforts to address climate change and to hold the wealthier nations accountable. Part of the failure was that the final effort had no obligations stated on those developing countries to make cuts.
(Editor’s note – the blame game will always lead to failure. Identify ‘why’ on an issue, and fix it. The sole ‘why’ cannot be someone’s success should be a cause of disdain.)
The real effort lies in the economic concerns of key nations; the US, China, India and Russia are vast nations who have no interest in putting aside economic ‘chips’ that would deflate their economic leverage on the world scale. Anyone who knows me knows I am not a fan of President Obama’s foreign policy efforts – that said, I felt there was a strong and genuine effort on his part to bring the diplomatic leverage of his administration, in good faith, to support this effort. In his responses at the time, there was a strong hint that he felt China’s efforts were the key roadblock in a substantive deal (Vidal, 2009). Obama directly felt that the focus of some nations on past agreements was used as a reason to block any truly new and necessary agreement.
While the efforts may be real and viable, we see the manipulation of markets by China as a key example of their efforts to dominate economically, with this meeting set as their effort to become a key player in global politics (Bernstein, 2010). The failure of these efforts, and this is entirely one man’s opinion, rests with the understanding that key world powers refuse to put aside their economic advantage focus for the sake of climate issues, among other issues.
I feel strongly on this issue, and for those that would clump the US in there, I can point out a dozen efforts from the Berlin Airlift to the rebuilding of Japan, Germany and Iraq as points where the US has put the world’s needs as a priority at expense in manpower and funding to the United States.
When the final document of such a massive effort is a three-page document that affirms a goal to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius, with non-binding internal set goals, you realize the effort was largely a failure.
• Part 3
John Sauven, the executive director of Greenpeace UK stated the following: "The city of Copenhagen is a crime scene tonight… It is now evident that beating global warming will require a radically different model of politics than the one on display here in Copenhagen" (Vidal, 2009).
How do we get away from the politics to saving the earth – or are we even there yet (ie, not close enough to the precipice for nations to truly see the light.)
The UN has largely lost is moral compass and imperative due to its perceived bias on committees such as the Human Rights council, mismanagement of funds and clear anti-US bias. As such, it is not the right vehicle to lead this type of effort sadly. The UN Framework provides vital foundation for this type of effort. Until it can put a more ‘good-faith’ effort such as done with UNICEF, it becomes a support player.
From a personal perspective, many of the global agreements from the UN and many of these parties in the environmental movement are often poorly dressed and miscast wealth distribution models more than legitimate efforts to deal with climate change. We find ourselves understanding part of the sustainable effort is to deal with global economic issues, but often find the vulnerable and developing nations looking to the industrialized nations to provide the money and boots on the ground effort. I have never felt this would get the world where it needs to go. While much of the world looks at the wealth of the US, it should be noted, the US is one of the younger nations at the table. I have always taken a hard look at other nations who must look internally to understand why their economy does not have the strength that you see in the US, Japan or Germany for instance.
First – Skin in the game – ALL nations must commit hard line efforts to decrease Nations such as the US should not take the steps while other nations do not and thus gain a competitive advantage in the global economy. Developing countries need to commit some of their hard-earned efforts and resources to the effort. This is not a ‘give me’ game, but instead, a fight for our survival.

Second – Hard economic measures and goals. This is the key failure of most of these efforts (Kyoto, Paris, Copenhagen).
Third – The Council of Fifteen – 15 nations (similar to a security council effort) should sit at a table and negotiate in hard efforts and good faith on behalf of the world. That would include:
US, Russia, Great Britain, China, Germany, Japan, India, South Africa, Netherlands, South Korea and 5 at-large nations chosen from the developing world. Five scientists would be appointed as advisors and there would be two facilitators to drive the discussion and agreement. These nations would hash out an agreement that would outline key details for emissions decreases and leave the efforts up to the nations for final execution. All nations would be required to donate a static portion of their GNP to a fund that would be used to support developing nations in their efforts. Any nation not signing onto the agreement would face significant economic penalties as a pariah in the world’s economy.
Finally – the motto – Think Globally, Conserve Locally
Well – you asked my thoughts!

References:
Bernstein, S., Betsill, M., Hoffman, M., & Paterson, M. (2010). A tale of two Copenhagen’s: Carbon markets and climate governance. Millennium, 39(1), 161-173. Retrieved from: https://journals-sagepub-com.proxy.c....
Dimitrov, R. S. (2010). Inside Copenhagen: the state of climate governance. Global environmental politics, 10(2), 18-24. doi: 10.1162/glep.2010.10.2.18
Kilian, B., & Elgström, O. (2010). Still a green leader? The European Union’s role in international climate negotiations. Cooperation and Conflict, 45(3), 255–273. doi: 10.1177/0010836710377392
Summary of The Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, (2009), Earth Negotiations Bulletin Volume 12 Number 459. Retrieved from: https://enb.iisd.org/vol12/enb12459e...
United Nations Climate Change, 2019, Retrieved from: https://unfccc.int/
Vidal, J., Goldenberg, S., & Stratton, A. (2009, December 19). Low targets, goals dropped: Copenhagen ends in failure. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environm....

Pigpen wrote:

Remember the demographic map...the democratic blue zones ARE URBAN...come on man. You telling me all those folks in a city can tell me how to regrow a wetland or revitalize an ecosystem like the Alaska's and Montana's. AOC represents NYC...so that would assume she is not the expert in rural America (edited).

This is an illogical mess. No expert politician would be an expert on these things, and that doesn't prevent them from listening to experts. Also, pretending ecologists are only rural people is strange in the least. The earth needs a combination of big political clout, educated experts, and local involvement. Have a problem with a policy or method? Great. Bring it. Have a problem with where somebody is from? Why would I listen to that?

Robear

"Pigpen, the problem is that Republicans have *already* repealed portions of the CWA, on the functional side, by changing definitions in the implementation. They made similar changes to the Clean Air Act and also made it harder for Biden to put back elements of the old rules. They even took away California's EPA waiver which allowed them to set their own fuel economy standards."

No sir - I read this article last year for a course. What is showed was bias to the WOTUS over-reach and equates the Rule with the CWA where the former is a not approved amendment to the approved CWA.

Now...Earthjustice, like the host of other environmental orgs like Sierra Club files suits under every admin...continuously...and its what us as concerned citizens want them do. I want them to fight the government and EPA on weakening of rules...but that is my citizen perspective and why I contribute to them. But if you look for pure bias in an article...read these (as I do often). There are always good info and nuggets, but no sir, pulling California waivers and changing the non codified Rule are not destroying the environment...they are doing what every admin does for better or worse and is fully within their authority in setting their own policy and changing not federally published and set rules...change them. I need to state again...the Wotus rule was vast overreach and had NO chance in the courts with its overreach into our yards...

BTW...I did not like the crappy loophole they mention that the Trump admin did, nor did I like Trump cutting federal wetland designation out as a wetland protector. Again...not a fan of Trump's environmental moves...he wasn't good...but not horrid... (Note...Obama was about the same if you look empirically at his rules and what I view as massive overreach...either way can be bad...too much or too little...)

This is taken from the US 4th National Climate Assessment (CSSR 2017 Full Report), Chapter 3 "Detection and Attribution of Climate Change", page 126. The preceding chapter pages provide point by point support for the attribution claims below. My bold.

Key Finding 1
The likely range of the human contribution to the global mean temperature increase over the period 1951–2010 is 1.1° to 1.4°F (0.6° to 0.8°C), and the central estimate of the observed warming of 1.2°F (0.65°C) lies within this range (high confidence). This translates to a likely human contribution of 93%–123% of the observed 1951-2010 change. It is extremely likely that more than half of the global mean temperature increase since 1951 was caused by human influence on climate (high confidence). The likely contributions of natural forcing and internal variability to global temperature change over that period are minor (high confidence).

Clearly, the science has progressed, but I recall attributions of around 50% several *decades* ago. And attribution studies have become more reliable since then. The last IPCC estimated that humans have caused 110% of the observed warming of the last 50 years (ie, we'd be in a slight cooling phase if we were not putting the GHGs in the atmosphere). And needless to say, that is a consensus document, complete with the participation of several well-known contrarian climate scientists and a bias towards conservative estimates based on peer-reviewed studies.

Robear...it is a solid report and no issue with it. The time period is the question that we discussed. How does that hold up over 50, 100, 200, 1000 years...and when science gets into that, you start to normalize to much lower percentages. MUCH lower. I think gewy hit the nail on the head...whether its 1% or 30% is moot-we know humans cause impact...so what can we do?

The percentage does affect how you toss out the doomsday provocation of we have 10 years silliness...but I still can't get over that hurdle of how to come up with real global solutions...

How do we get Russia and China and India to join us and the EU...when from an economic perspective, and make no mistake, that is at least Russia and China's main focus...they have no interest in giving up a competitive advantage of not paying for high cost environmental controls... How?

Pigpen wrote:

DSGamer - you wrote "probably most of it" - NO climate scientist or even new age hippie would agree with that. I've seen peer articles putting 5-10% often, as low as a percent to up to maybe 30% but never 'most of it'. There is no scientific proof to support that...none.

This is before we even launch into the argument that their data set comprises 100 years of data against the Earth data set of billions of years. Whole articles debate the bias of what data set a scientist chooses to compare the warming of the earth.

SO AGAIN...and want to repeat myself - there is not any shred of proof in real science that most of climate change is due to mankind. The statement is mankind is affecting the earth and causing warming (they are, that cannot be denied), and that we can do something about it (but the question then arises - what and what is the impact?)

The IPCC consensus is that human GHG emissions have been responsible for at least half the global increase in temperature since 1950. So DS Gamer is correct according to climate scientists.

The IPCC's Sixth Assessment starts coming out this year. There's always the chance that they're going to say "Ooops! We got all the science wrong for the past couple of decades and humans *aren't* the primary cause of climate change," but each of their previous assessments have pretty much said "Ooops! We got it wrong. sh*t is *far* worse than we previously thought."

IPCC Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers wrote:

Causes of Climate Change

Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have increased since the pre-industrial era, driven largely by economic and population growth, and are now higher than ever. This has led to atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide that are unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. Their effects, together with those of other anthropogenic drivers, have been detected throughout the climate system and are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. {1.2, 1.3.1}

Anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since the pre-industrial era have driven large increases in the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) (Figure SPM.1c). Between 1750 and 2011, cumulative anthropogenic CO2 emissions to the atmosphere were 2040 ± 310 GtCO2. About 40% of these emissions have remained in the atmosphere (880 ± 35 GtCO2); the rest was removed from the atmosphere and stored on land (in plants and soils) and in the ocean. The ocean has absorbed about 30% of the emitted anthropogenic CO2, causing ocean acidification. About half of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions between 1750 and 2011 have occurred in the last 40 years (high confidence) (Figure SPM.1d). {1.2.1, 1.2.2}

Total anthropogenic GHG emissions have continued to increase over 1970 to 2010 with larger absolute increases between 2000 and 2010, despite a growing number of climate change mitigation policies. Anthropogenic GHG emissions in 2010 have reached 49 ± 4.5 GtCO2-eq/yr. Emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes contributed about 78% of the total GHG emissions increase from 1970 to 2010, with a similar percentage contribution for the increase during the period 2000 to 2010 (high confidence) (Figure SPM.2). Globally, economic and population growth continued to be the most important drivers of increases in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. The contribution of population growth between 2000 and 2010 remained roughly identical to the previous three decades, while the contribution of economic growth has risen sharply. Increased use of coal has reversed the long-standing trend of gradual decarbonization (i.e., reducing the carbon intensity of energy) of the world’s energy supply (high confidence). {1.2.2}

The evidence for human influence on the climate system has grown since the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in GHG concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period (Figure SPM.3). Anthropogenic forcings have likely made a substantial contribution to surface temperature increases since the mid-20th century over every continental region except Antarctica. Anthropogenic influences have likely affected the global water cycle since 1960 and contributed to the retreat of glaciers since the 1960s and to the increased surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet since 1993. Anthropogenic influences have very likely contributed to Arctic sea-ice loss since 1979 and have very likely made a substantial contribution to increases in global upper ocean heat content (0–700 m) and to global mean sea level rise observed since the 1970s. {1.3, Figure 1.10}

No OG... He is not. Taking a 50 year study in earth history or even modern history shows that humans have impacted (I never disagreed with that premise...) But nowhere does that rise to a majority of impact when you consider selection of that small time period...

I mentioned above the professional concern when you select specific dates period to strengthen your data conclusions. in the scholar practitioner field if you do that it generally invalidate your entire results...

Look. I’m not a scientist. I only know what I read and almost every reputable report I’ve read recently says we’re causing most of the climate change, and we’ve created a feedback look where we would actually need to engage in significant changes including carbon capture and other extreme techniques to even keep within the narrow band where the Earth will be habitable by humans.

Meanwhile professional gish gallopers are sowing doubt about the human contribution and whether we can even solve climate change, almost ensuring that we won’t solve it.

Beyond the science it seems like common sense to me that the planet would not be resilient to the massive terraforming experiment we’ve been conducting for the past 100 years.

Pigpen wrote:

No OG... He is not. Taking a 50 year study in earth history or even modern history shows that humans have impacted (I never disagreed with that premise...) But nowhere does that rise to a majority of impact when you consider selection of that small time period...

Who should I trust, Pigpen?

Thousands of climate scientists from all around the world using data and models that have been repeatedly vetted and continually improved or someone who just claimed without a hint of irony that "almost all major environmental milestones in the US were led by Republicans" including one that Nixon vetoed and one that happened on Carter's watch, not Reagan's?

On a much more basic gut check level should I believe that's it just coincidence that humanity dumping thousands of gigatons of GHGs into the air happened right as the planet was naturally and rapidly warming (something that no historical data--even from ice cores--show happened as much as or as quickly) or should I believe we're f*cking ourselves because we're selfish and short-sighted species who'd rather have a dollar in our pockets now than a livable planet a few decades from now?

Even if humans aren't having an impact on global temperature increases (which, again, *isn't* remotely true) all the models show that global temperatures are going to increase to the point that there'll be massive impacts on human society and which'll be horrendously costly in terms of money and human life to overcome or adapt to. That alone should be enough for people to say "oh, sh*t, we gotta deal with this."

The science of climate change is settled. It's happening and it's going to be not good. Whatever portion humanity caused or didn't cause is a moot question.

Now we have to deal with the political problem of developing economies not wanting to stall or degrade their citizens' rising standard of living because developed economies f*cked them by burning so much fossil fuel.

The solution will be that developed economies will have to pay to encourage developing economies to not follow the same path they took. That could be straight up cash payments or it could be new technologies or some combination of the two. This will mean higher taxes and likely slightly slower future economic growth. Developed economies will also have change themselves, adopting stricter governmental regulations and more government oversight over industry and consumption when it comes to GHG emissions.

And that's where political conservatives will doom us all because while they might intellectually accept that climate change is real they are incapable of accepting that the solution to it are things that are anathema to their political ideology of small government, low or no regulations, and low or non-existent taxes. They will f*ck all of us rather than admit their political ideology was incompatible with reality.

OG - two things...first, the article you post and me saying you are wrong are not mutually exclusive. The article states a period of study of 50 years and I don't dispute that nor the impact of human influence in those 50 years, and as pointed out, since the industrial revolution. (point 1). Point 2 is that the period of data consideration is too short, and many scientists and data nerds understand and accept this. How long has the earth existed, and even if you talk modern history, are we talking 2000 years...or what? Thus, when you consider an actual ecological time frame reference...which is NOT 50 years...the data changes significantly and swiftly because of the fluctuations of the normal earth cycle...and well, we don't have that data from 2000 years ago in full (geology provides some).

Then someone finally gets to my point - What can we do...

[i]"The solution will be that developed economies will have to pay to encourage developing economies to not follow the same path they took. That could be straight up cash payments or it could be new technologies or some combination of the two. This will mean higher taxes and likely slightly slower future economic growth. Developed economies will also have change themselves, adopting stricter governmental regulations and more government oversight over industry and consumption when it comes to GHG emissions."

Valid considerations, but how do you provide the incentive system and monitor it to underdeveloped nations who frequently then squander those resources on 'not green' incentives, graft and corruption. I reference my time in Afghanistan for that...they have to want to be helped...some do...some do not.

And on that front...how do you plan to account for Russia and China. As Paris lists...China is a devoloping nation...so we and the EU should pay the behemoth economy of China who already uses government subsidies to undercut our markets and price points...so lets give them more economic advantage (if that is your answer...make sure you buy stock in programs to teach Chinese...you'll need that...)

"And that's where political conservatives will doom us all because while they might intellectually accept that climate change is real they are incapable of accepting that the solution to it are things that are anathema to their political ideology of small government, low or no regulations, and low or non-existent taxes. They will f*ck all of us rather than admit their political ideology was incompatible with reality."

And there we have it...right back to your ideological BS...no facts...pure opinion...and the fact i'm on here discussing options actually immediately disproves your stereotyping 'conservatives' as not willing to discuss and accept the solutions. Sad but common... But again, lets posit your comment is anything other than blathering...what proof do you have that the 'liberal' solutions work better to reduce GHG and provide sustainable alternatives? For instance, is Musk a liberal in his effort to make a better battery to support green energy and electric vehicles... (I don't know, but I sure know he thinks Cali is bat-sh*t crazy...). You did state that conservatives will doom us.

Where is your proof that those work? You now get into micro-solutions, and those are focused on small businesses and pushing small bite sized solutions out to nations in need...looks for buy in while providing funding. BTW...there is already a host of funding support provided to nations to encourage Green activities...so show me how that is conservative vs liberal argument (btw...its not...its folks that want to grow their business in an environment that demands green focus...so...that by definition are largely capitalists that you decry...)

Hey...feel free to answer all of these...but don't forget...how do you get Russia, China and India to go along...because whether you believe it or not...giving a massive economic advantage to them to push for environmental causes simply means we lose the economic war...and since they still may not give a rats arse there is no guarantee they don't push on after the US collapses and take us down the environmental doom road. So...please answer this...

(BTW...Editors note - while I rip China on Paris and other...I will note that some of their research in wetlands and research methods are phenomenal and they are common source of peer articles for me...some here in the US, but some studies there in China...)

Pigpen wrote:

SallyNasty

In response to "You aren't discussing climate change though, you're trying to finger wag at us for not giving credit to the current Republican Party for the actions of Republicans from 40-80 years ago. Those Republicans get credit for what they did, but the current crop has spent the last 30 years undermining and undoing their efforts. Address that before you try to claim that your party is one of environmental responsibility." - I addressed that that throwing the turd on the fire wasn't the best way to start off...and in that vein, i have asked questions that have not had a single realistic science based answer...

- How much of climate change is caused by mankind (correct answer btw is it cannot be determined empirically, but it is occuring)
- What can we do about it? - This is where I try to show the hypocrisy...God forbid I mention the GOP and their past...as somehow, the Dems with a record of pretty much naught own this issue. Science owns the issue...not the parties. One article recently read on it showed some of the complexity of the systems we deal with. Cutting GHG is just part of the process, and as a real study of green process shows, cutting in one place often leads to unexpected issues in others. We have to get together, and I don't see it with science shoving their fist down throats saying we know what is right ... Heres a point...science continues to evolve...we learn and to say science is proven and finite is to ignore scientific progress and reality.

But let me ask again...what can we specifically do to make changes...

That was me, SallyNasty just quoted it.
As for the rest, you're moving goalposts so often I don't even know what you really want (besides an argument). Other responses have shown you how wrong you are about mankind's impact on climate change and how wrong you are on Republican's being the party most concerned about the environment. I suppose the next step is to take any actual suggestion of what to do and dismiss them out of hand as prohibitively expensive or politically unfeasible (ignoring that it'd only be unfeasible because your Champions of Environmentalism Party would fight it every step of the way).