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President Obama: Stop waffling and act on climate …

February 16th, 2013 · 5 Comments

Last Tuesday evening, President Obama warned Congress that he would use executive authority to act on climate change is Congress continues to prove itself unwilling and unable to take action.

for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. … I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change… But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will.

There are things that are Executive Branch decisions, arenas where the President can act without asking “Mother, May I” of Representative John Boehner and that too large a cohort of anti-science syndrome sufferers in charge of the U.S. House of Representatives.

One arena: determining whether industrial projects that cross international borders are in the national interest. Top of the political agenda right now: Keystone XL pipeline.

The decision should be simple as the Keystone XL pipeline is not in the U.S. national interest for a range of economic and environmental reasons. Sadly, the reality of Keystone XL has been masked by $10s of millions (if not $100s of millions) of propaganda distorting its economic implications and downplaying its climate change impacts (in the shadow of $billions spent to undermine understanding of and action on climate change). And, sadly, the State Department process has had serious flaws (ethical, technical, analytical) that have surfaced and suggesting that the clarity of how Keystone XL is not in U.S. national interest has been clouded in the Department’s review. Those propaganda efforts and inadequacies in review process don’t change reality. Fundamentally, Keystone XL will undermine U.S. economic performance while fostering ever mounting climate change pollution.

While Keystone XL, in and of itself, will not guarantee that we have crossed the Rubicon to unstoppable catastrophic climate chaos, the reality is dire and, well, rather terrifying. We now face a simple reality,

Specifically and categorically, we must cease making large, long-term capital investments in new fossil fuel infrastructure that “locks in” dangerous emission levels for many decades. Keystone is a both a conspicuous example of that kind of investment and a powerful symbol for the whole damned category.

The afternoon of 17 February 2013, Americans in their thousands, in their 10s of thousands will be#ForwardOnClimate in front of the White House calling on the President to take action in line with his State of the Union declaration that “we must do more to combat climate change.”

Mr. President, it is time to stop waffling and draw the line in the sand against fossil foolishness and “cease making large, long-term capital investments in new fossil fuel infrastructure that “locks in” dangerous emission levels for many decades.”

Please take the moments to watch the video from last week’s civil disobedience action in front of the White House.

And, call on the White House to move #ForwardOnClimate

Tags: Energy

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 John Egan // Feb 19, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Nothing like a few ad hominems to rev up your introduction, eh?

    Presented are not ad hominems but backed up material.

    Are you thus supportive Republican climate science denial?

    As I have stated previously, which you have clearly missed to the point of absurdity, the math problems are, for the most part, on your side.

    That’s why I have become so disenchanted with the Green movement.

    Pachauri’s Himalaya data was not only concocted, but he also lambasted the Indian scientists who challenged him. RLMiller a few years back screamed that the Arctic was 10 degrees warmer then average - when that only applied to the White Sea - and she refused to retract.

    So — RLMiller made an error and retracted it. And, well, she is a scientist at what institution?

    Pachauri is one individual — on scientist.

    And …

    You’re complaining about errors which, in one of your two examples the person (blogger) involved admitted error without any great recriminations, happen and get corrected yet don’t seem to have problems with deliberate deceit from anti-science world.

    Like the person chronically in debt, you overestimate the income and underestimate costs - with regularity.

    You are choosing, explicitly, to ignore huge amounts of value streams, to discount (massively) externality costs, and not look at cost structures honestly.

    Whether you like it or not, there’s a shitload of money to be made in Canadian oil and natural gas throughout North America.

    Ever say that there isn’t huge amounts of money involved with this?

    On the corporate level, with wages, with lowered costs in energy. And the vast majority of Americans are pretty comfortable with those tomatoes. Numerous polls - not just Cato - indicate that the position you advocate is seriously in the minority.

    Which “position”?

    And, fine, after $100s of millions of lies about Keystone XL, that the truth about it is poorly understood and thus polling is not (yet) with those laying out the cogent arguments why Keystone XL is not in the U.S. national interest is not surprising.

    Now there’s nothing wrong with advocating an unpopular view, but you start off with an uphill battle. Although it would be nice to have more localized wind and solar - small-scale, thank you

    Actually, “localized wind” can be a serious problem because wind works (a) where the wind is strong (such as your area of the country, (b) is much more cost effective the larger a tower gets (unless/until new technology comes about), and (c) works more cost effectively where there are multiple towers going up ‘together’.

    - the current realities are that they are significantly more expensive - either increasing user costs or requiring massive subsidies.

    Do you care, in any way shape of form, about the massive subsidies for fossil fuel usage due to externalities not within the contracted prices?

    Those externalities are far high cost than you “significantly more expensive” claims.

    Compare new wind, for example, with new coal — even without pricing externalities. Which is “more expensive”?

    The most expensive electircity in the EU is in Denmark - with its high % of wind power. Spain’s solar program is dead in the water with the near-bankruptcy of the government.

    So, perhaps a mirror would make a nice gift.

  • 2 John Egan // Feb 20, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Hey, at least address the electric rates in Denmark.

    Perhaps want to look at what is going on in totality:

    the highest proportion of taxes in the final price of electricity for consumers was recorded in Denmark, where more than half (55.8 %) of the final price was made up of VAT, taxes and levies

    Without these, the Danish rates would be below the EU average.

    And, as well, perhaps worth considering externalities — Danes are driving down the external costs (health and otherwise) from their own energy production systems.

    PS - Should have been with the Nocera post.

  • 3 John Egan // Feb 21, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    The reason energy taxes are so high in Denmark is to underwrite the cost of wind - - ja?

  • 4 John Egan // Feb 21, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Speaking of Denmark, my views are similar to those of Bjorn Lomborg whom I have read. I have never been someone to deny the existence of global warming; however, I maintain that the scientific community cannot to any significant degree determine what portion of global warming is carbon-related and what is background variability in the Holocene. Not to mention that population is a far more serious environmental issue - short-term and long-term.

    The lock-step language of the warmists - that no further discussion can be tolerated is straight out of the Lysenko school. Further, the political naivete of warmists does real harm to the broader progressive agenda. It is what drove me away three or four years ago. I have no love for the Kochs or WUWT, but I will always step away from those who deny intellectual freedom.

    I do recall your mocking reference to the UMW a few years back. I remain a strong union supporter and a supporter of a society in which all persons have access to a real, living income. I contend that, rhetoric notwithstanding, warmists positions do have serious negative impacts on those least able to pay the costs. Thus, it is no accident that green Dems have lost former Democratic bastions.

    I compare the current vector of environmentalism to the fury over transubstantiation during the Reformation - and the lasting impacts, as well.
    (Well, with the exception of Tom Lehrer)

  • 5 Obama’s Climate Legacy | Sense & Sustainability // Jan 24, 2014 at 10:07 am

    [...] focuses on the growth of fossil fuel production in America under Obama and the President’s waffling on the Keystone XL pipeline as his biggest climate failures.  Other environmentalists have also jumped on board to criticize [...]

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