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On Werbach: Brown's Election Means Time for a Climate Agenda Plan B

Even worse than the loss of the Massachusetts Senate race was the Superem Court decision announced the next day. Now big coal and big oil can spend all the money they want to convince the gullible climate change isn't happening.
January 22, 2010    View Comment    

On Post game

Copenhagen was a failure because dilemmas by their very nature are impossible to solve. We live in an energy intensive global civilization. Carbon producing fossil fuels are the only real source for the energy we need, at least at present. So cutting carbon emissions quickly means real negative lifestyle change for most people living in the developed world. We just can't make this popular. So short of Copenhagen establishing a worldwide ruthless dictatorship there never was any hope for success at Copenhagen. Which is why people who claim global warming isn't happening claim the idea of global warming is being used to justify a worldwide ruthless dictatorship.

 And to those who don't like this conclusion I will point out the theory of human created global warming is a complex abstraction. The vast majority of people simply can't understand it. Unfortunately a negative change in lifestyle caused by a lack of energy is something they can understand. If you really want to understand why Copenhagen failed the answer is right there.

December 19, 2009    View Comment    

On "Carbon Debt"

Dear Alex

You can make all the rational arguments you want concerning the justice of "carbon debt." Unfortunately you will simply be feeding more Rush Limbaugh rants. And after Rush gets through with his rants actually doing anything about climate change will be dead. The worst thing we can do as far as doing anything about climate change is concerned is make it look like climate change is simply a front for extreme left wing politics. And any discussion concerning the forced exchange of wealth from rich developed nations to poor less developed ones will be attacked as extreme left wing political action.


November 5, 2009    View Comment    

On "Carbon Debt"

Today the climate bill was reported from its Senate committee without a single Republican vote. The Republicans were not even present. A United Nations decision that developed countries owe under developed countries for their use of the atmosphere to dump CO2 will put an end to what little bi-partisan effort there is on doing anything about climate change. An agreement based on an obviously political agenda is the same as doing nothing about climate change. Such an agreement faces the same fate as Kyoto.
November 5, 2009    View Comment    

On Nuclear power: An inconvenient solution?

I like nuclear power. But I am surprised to find renewables objected to on aesthetic grounds. I think the real problem with renewables is their unreliability. Lack of energy  storage so we can have energy when the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't blowing is a greater problem at least at present.
October 7, 2009    View Comment    

On Setting Ethanol Free

Well said. Of course corn ethanol has every corn state Senator on its side. So getting rid of this subsidy won't be easy.
October 7, 2009    View Comment    

On No Good Choices

It's not so strange when you think about the biases of the people involved. The people interested in doing something about climate change come from the environmental movement. This movement has been against nuclear power from the beginning. They are biased in favor of renewables. The environmental movement is also biased against large energy corporations. Since even Mr. Barton's small nuclear reactors will probably be purchased by reasonably large and well establish energy firms this is another reason for envirnmentalists to oppose nuclear power. Finally some people become green because they are opposed to industrial civilization. 21st century Luddites really want the social changes that would result from decreasing energy use by 95%. Why should they support an energy source that would allow industrial civilization to continue?
October 4, 2009    View Comment    

On No Good Choices

I agree with Mr. Barton. Our political system as it presently exists just isn't capable of doing anything about greenhouse gasses. You simply aren't allowed to see any interest above your own. Those who do look out for the interest of all will find themselves losers in the competitive struggle with those looking out for their own interest. A system of government that really believes giving special interests what they want is the way to solve problems just isn't going to do anything about climate change. And that is the system of government we now have. Unfortunately changing the dysunctional system of government we now have will take more time than we have to deal with the climate change problem. Replacing coal fired power plants with nuclear power plants is quicker and just as effective.
October 4, 2009    View Comment    

On Reality intrudes on California’s energy dreams

We are supposed to live using 95% less energy. People who think this way are a part of the problem not a part of the solution.
September 24, 2009    View Comment    

On Why enviros can’t sleep at night

I am glad to learn progress is being made on the cost and time line of nuclear power plants. Nuclear power is one of the real answers to AGW.  People just are not going to support expensive power. They just aren't going to support changing lifestyle. That is that.

There is no "smoking gun." Evidence for AGW being caused by green house gases is statistical in nature. The statistical evidence and evidence from modeling is very good. It isn't all that understandable to the non-scientist. Since it leads to the conclusion we need expensive energy and lifestyle change it isn't very popular

Furthermore the opposition party has a difficult time with factual reality. A significant portion of its membership still believes President Obama was not born in the United States. Convincing people who can not deal with plain and easily proven fact of the truth of complex scientific theories is impossible. This is why there will be no climate change treaty ratified by this Senate. We will be lucky to pass a very watered down climate change bill. 

September 21, 2009    View Comment    

On Why enviros can’t sleep at night

Social engineering as the primary solution to energy problems is a primary reason there is opposition to doing anything about AGW. Social engineering is simply far more difficult than other forms of engineering. The material has a nasty habit of fighting back against its manipulation. I realize Mr. Barton has solutions to the primary difficulties of  nuclear power, expense and long time lines until the new energy source comes online. But all the new nuclear plants being proposed at present are expensive light water reactors that are years away from actually producing power.
September 19, 2009    View Comment    

On Why enviros can’t sleep at night

67 votes dooms any climate treaty. There just aren't enough Republicans willing to go against the base. The climate science debate is closed. You either believe the evidence or you do not. Unfortunately the Republican base does not believe the evidence. So Republicans don't believe it either. That as they say is that. I really hate to be so gloomy. But political  reality is what it is. Alas
September 18, 2009    View Comment