Reaction to President Obama’s Speech: A U.S. Climate Action Plan?

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 9:38 PM GMT on June 25, 2013

Reaction to President Obama’s Speech: A U.S. Climate Action Plan?

Here are my reaction and initial analysis of President Obama’s Speech on Climate Change (June 25, 2013). Also below are the post I made before the speech and a previous 2012 blog on Obama’s policy actions on climate change. (Just for comparison 2009 Obama Speech on Climate Change)

The president pulled together many of the challenges of climate change into the most unified position statement on climate change I have seen on the national level. He invoked the Clean Air Act and its bipartisan history as well as relying on statements about the legacy that one generation leaves for the next. He pointed out environmental actions by Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush and John McCain. He even took climate change back to the Founding Fathers with a call for acting as caretakers of the future. (It’s like he has been sitting in on my class. Perhaps, he’s one of the people leaving comments on the blog? Come forth!)

A thread throughout the speech was carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Carbon dioxide was legally affirmed as a pollutant by the April 2, 2007, decision by the Supreme Court (at This ruling provided a path to start dealing with climate change through regulatory means. Since the 2007 ruling, efforts to have the Environmental Protection Agency regulate carbon dioxide have waxed and waned. There have been pushes at times, always stymied by bipartisan concerns about damaging the recovering economy.

Obama made the point that the tension between the economy and the environment in general is not always a matter where it comes at the detriment of the economy. Again, he made numerous references to past policy and regulation decisions, for example, on acid rain, and pointed out that they did not lead to the demise of industry, commerce and the economy. Obama advocated the ability of American business to innovate and expose opportunity. Going further, he noted that a number of major businesses have declared climate change one of America’s greatest economic opportunities. This line of argument reveals the normally exploited environment-economy tradeoff as too simplistic, if not fundamentally spurious. Obama injected the welfare of our children into the environment-economic tradeoff.

With regard to concrete action, the most direct target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions was power plants. Power plants, notably coal-fired power plants, are the source of about 40 percent of current U.S. emissions. Many other power-plant pollutants are regulated, for example, mercury and sulfur. Power plants are relatively easy to target because they don’t move around like cars and trucks. Regulation of power plants is already occurring in some states and regions, and Obama framed this point as the federal government catching up.

Our move to natural gas was counted as a success and posed as a bridge between today’s coal and oil and future carbon-free energy sources. The need for an integrated energy policy was implied, with Obama noting that energy policy was greater than drilling for oil and and a single pipeline crossing the U.S. from Canada. Queuing up the Keystone Pipeline decision, Obama stated that the pipeline had to be in our national interest and cannot significantly enhance carbon pollution.

With regard to renewable energy, Obama emphasized wind energy. Wind energy is taking root in both politically liberal and conservative parts of the U.S. and through its local economic presence, gaining bipartisan support. He also emphasized the need to become players with Germany and China, both of which are investing heavily in renewables. This German and Chinese investment is my reason for speculating that if we don’t play in this field we will be left at economic and policy disadvantage by 2020. The president committed the government to having 20 percent of its energy from renewables. He pointed out the aggressive efforts of the Department of Defense to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to climate change.

With regard to what is happening now, Obama talked about how states are already responding to climate-related challenges and, therefore, are building responses to climate change. There is climate change that we cannot avoid, and globally, our emissions are on an upward trajectory. He specifically noted that Miami is trying to mitigate salt-water intrusion and that the Texas Water Development Board is developing strategies for dealing with extended and extreme drought. Obama also talked about rebuilding of the New York City coastline with smarter, more resilient infrastructure.

As the final leg in the proposed action plan, Obama committed to increasing the nation’s presence in international efforts to address climate change. He lauded the climate benefits of U.S.-China agreement to reduce hydrochlorofluorocarbons, alarmingly powerful greenhouse gases. He challenged the old argument that less developed countries would for some reason have to evolve through the same phases of energy use and pollution as the developed countries, calling for free trade in environmental technologies to leap past that historical polluting phase of development. He called for ambitious, inclusive and flexible approaches to addressing greenhouse gas emissions.

What was missing from the speech? We have to get a handle on agriculture and its role in climate change. It’s even more complex than greenhouse gas emissions – land-use, livestock, deforestation and emissions. And a more subtle issue, which will be relevant to Keystone Pipeline decision. If we sell our coal and facilitate the use of tar sands, are we exporting emissions? How will this national jobs issue play with the The President’s Climate Action Plan?

I expect that many will label the speech as too pragmatic, without the dramatic flare than the global warming might warrant. During the speech, one of my former students wrote me that it was amazing to hear a U.S. president talking about climate adaptation. In my earlier blog today, I wrote about language. My student’s amazement reflects the power of language. In 2007 adaptation was essentially a forbidden word in government circles; it had been for many years. I do not want to diminish or exaggerate the potential of this speech to bring climate change back into the political quagmire. The speech pulls together the climate change problem better than it has ever been pulled together at the national level, and these words of climate change, global warming, adaptation, mitigation, resilience, etc. have to be in our vocabulary if we are to take a responsible position on a sustainable future. What matters after a speech like this is follow up – the hard management that leads to real action and the initiation of policies and programs to make our response to climate change as unified as the problem is stated in Obama’s speech.

Published earlier on June 25, 2013:

Anticipating President Obama Speech: A U.S. Climate Action Plan?

Today President Obama is planning a major speech that will reintroduce climate change as a spoken-of issue into U.S. politics. There has been a lot of pre-speech publicity, for example Youtube and the speech will be broadcast live, currently scheduled at 1:55 PM Eastern. There has already been some information released including The President’s Climate Action Plan and a shorter Fact Sheet.

I will take The President’s Climate Action Plan as a logical outline for the speech. There are three major bullets in the outline:

Cut Carbon Pollution in America

Prepare the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change

Lead International Efforts to Combat Global Climate Change and Prepare for its Impacts

The outline covers mitigation, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation, anticipating and responding to the impacts of climate change. Looking more deeply into the plan, Obama is resetting some of the political battles that have proved and will be most contentious, for example, reduction of subsidies for fossil fuels (conservative support), and public sector financing of clean energy. This will queue up the issues of the Keystone Pipeline, which will remain a complex and difficult decision for the near future. The Keystone Pipeline will be viewed as a measure of the seriousness of administration’s commitment.

Before the speech, I expect its most important aspect will be reintroducing the language of climate change into the political process ( earlier blog on language barriers). To continue to avoid the words climate, climate change and adaptation is damaging to our country’s credibility, economic well-being, technological development, our environment and our future. If we do not take a leadership position, I suspect that by 2020 we will be put into a distinct policy disadvantage as emerging use of renewables in other large economies becomes both economical and influential in the development of trade policy. We are living in a world where the words climate and climate change are scrubbed from documents and they are the legislative targets in the disruptive and destructive ongoing political tribalism. Though a single speech will not end this tribalism, it will start to break down the language barriers, especially as the impacts of weather, climate, climate variability and climate change become more apparent to more and more people.

The last long piece I wrote on policy was just prior to the 2012 election. I reproduce some of this below in anticipation of examining the speech after it is delivered.

Excerpts from Election eve: Climate Science and the 2012 Election – Redux (2)

Originally posted November 4, 2012

Climate change was thrown prominently into the headlines, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City endorsed President Obama, citing at the top of the list Hurricane Sandy and the need to address climate change. Though to my knowledge New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has not made any recent statements about climate change, his tour of the hurricane damage with President Obama has ignited a number of anti-climate change pieces and suggestions that the governor has strayed from the conservative mantra. Hurricane Sandy has put climate change into the headlines, and perhaps made it a small issue for the election, but it is not back as a substantive political issue.

If we look back over the past 4 years, then there are a couple of moments when climate change did appear overtly on the political agenda. Most prominently was in 2009 when the House or Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey, American Clean Energy and Security Act. (my blog at the time) The bill did not go very far in the political process. It was part of the run up to the 2009 United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP15) in Copenhagen. The other significant policy posturing prior to COP15 was U.S. EPA’s decision to regulate carbon dioxide. The threat of regulation is often a policy motivator in the U.S. Ultimately; however, any EPA action was burdened by strong bipartisan opposition to any action that would imperil the role of fossil fuels in the economic recovery.

After COP15 I felt that the U.S. had lost any leadership potential that it might have had on the global stage of climate policy. I also felt that we were squandering technological and economic advantage. I made a prediction prior to COP15: “I imagine that the machinations of legislation and lobbying will push climate change legislation close enough to the mid-term election that it will languish next to health care and Afghanistan and the economy. I think that there will be climate legislation, but I bet that it will be early in year 4 of the Obama administration, with its passage dependent on what Obama’s re-election looks like.”

So that prediction was wrong. What I did not anticipate was the sweeping change in the mid-term election that amplified the political attack on climate change, as well as an attack in general on the use of scientific information in policy and regulation. This attack on the use of knowledge in policy, which is complemented by assaults on very small parts of the U.S. federal budget in the name of budget cutting, only amplifies my concern that the U.S. is placing itself at technological, economic, and, now, research disadvantage. I would insert into the argument about, for instance, the bankruptcy of Solyndra, that our unstable policy on technological investment delayed U.S. development while foreign competitors built effective and market-friendly alternatives. We simply came to the game too late. The fragmented up-and-down nature of both energy and climate policy hurts us every day. For example, we are currently enamored of cheap natural gas and its potential to revitalize industry. This is a great local and short-term benefit. As far as climate policy, it does not serve as convincing reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, there are other environmental challenges with the acquisition of natural gas that will emerge rapidly in the next few years. Therefore, as far as energy policy, it is only short-term opportunism.

Despite the flurry of chatter of climate change as an issue that has followed Superstorm (nee Hurricane) Sandy, it is difficult to look across such a close election and see climate change emerging as a substantive issue on a national scale. To make progress on this issue requires support in the legislative branch. I expect that tribal partisanship will continue, and I hope that we spend our first quota of bipartisan behavior on stabilizing the federal budget, dealing with political-economic sequestration, and reconciling continuing resolutions. Thinking about voting, more than climate change in particular, the continued assault on science and the use of science-derived knowledge is, fundamentally, part of the threat to our thriving. This notion of American exceptionalism takes on the hollow boosterism of Dust Bowl towns, which looked knowledge in the eyes and denied its existence. The world is changing in ways that we do not control, and it will not be good if we are the ones reliant on burning stuff for our way of life.


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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1034. zampaz
4:38 AM GMT on July 12, 2013
Quoting 1028. cyclonebuster:

Also is it possible to have a tornado that is tilted vertically up into the atmosphere towards space??

That is a question better left to someone more familiar with weather than I am...
I really encourage you to get help from the responsible agency on this...that thing could be a particle inside the camera body for all I know...if it's GOES13 we know she's been having issues.
Please report your findings cyclonebuster.
We've only got one spare GOES left on standby...with the next replacement launch delayed again until 2016 due to budget cuts.
If I was the project manager, I would want to know about anything anomalous(unexpected).
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1033. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
4:33 AM GMT on July 12, 2013
RickyRood has created a new entry.
1031. zampaz
4:15 AM GMT on July 12, 2013
Quoting 1016. RevElvis:
An Impertinent Question - Robert Reich

Suppose a small group of extremely wealthy people sought to systematically destroy the U.S. government by:

(4) running a vast PR campaign designed to convince the American public of certain big lies, such as climate change isn't occurring and

(5) buying up the media so the public cannot know the truth.

Would you call this treason?

If not, what would you call it?

And what would you do about it?

Questions 1 thru 3 weren't directly related to Climate Change - more at

"Would you call this treason?"
Ethically or legally?

"If not, what would you call it?"
I would call it: laissez-faire:: a doctrine opposing governmental interference in economic affairs beyond the minimum necessary for the maintenance of peace and property rights. -faire
Now money and political power are interesting topics.
Money doesn't exist in nature yet the majority of mankind, by mutual agreement, depend on money for survival. Without money and war I can't imagine how our societies would evolve to where we are. But I still don't understand the necessity for either, nor do I have an alternative. I don't understand people.
That's why I pursued the logic of science.

What would I do about it?

I would support work stoppages due to the "Green Flu" in protest of climate change...I don't condone violence.
I haven't watched the videos on the link you've provided.
I believe the challenge we face can only be addressed if we work together as a species and re-order our priorities...evolve to sustainable posture or perish in our own waste.

"Wealth and Power" resides in the hands of immortal soulless Corporate entities that are legally entitled to the rights of a human being but are immune to punishment because they cannot "suffer" consequences of illegal or immoral actions.
There is a legal "corporate veil" that protects humans involved with corporations from personal liability for actions of a corporation.
I have no opinion with regard to a "higher power" because that is supernatural.
But I do believe there are demons.
There are entities that do evil that do not exist in nature. Strange's easy to see the demons and these non-existent things do real harm...but there is nothing I can identify that acts as an anti-demon force, particle or wave except an ethical consideration of the right and responsibility of humans to sustain life on our planet.

Read this in the context of sustainability...

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription tion_transcript.html

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1029. RevElvis
3:46 AM GMT on July 12, 2013
Fracking linked to earthquakes, study finds

Large earthquakes around the world have been found to trigger tremors at US sites where wastewater from gas drilling operations is injected into the ground, a US study said Thursday.

For instance, the massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan in 2011 set off a swarm of earthquakes in the western Texas town of Snyder near the Cogdell oil field, culminating in a 4.5 magnitude quake there about six months later, said the research in the journal Science.

Similarly, small to mid-sized quakes were observed near active injection wells in Prague, Oklahoma following an 8.8 magnitude quake in Chile in 2010.

Uncommon seismic activity stirred that region 16 hours after the Chile quake with a 4.1 magnitude tremor, and it continued until a 5.7 magnitude quake in November 2011, said researchers at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

The 2010 Chile quake also led to heightened seismic activity in Trinidad, Colorado, including a 5.3 magnitude quake in August 2011, in an area where methane is extracted from the coal bed and wastewater is reinjected into the Earth.

“We weren’t really confident until we found the same pattern of little bursts of seismicity following the passage of seismic waves from several of these big earthquakes,” lead author Nicholas van der Elst of Columbia University told AFP.

“Any individual case could be a coincidence but once you start observing it systematically, then you can have more confidence that you are really looking at a physical relationship.”

The study helps explain a surge in earthquakes in the central United States, which in recent years has seen a more than six-fold increase in earthquakes over 20th century levels. (AFP)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1026. zampaz
3:27 AM GMT on July 12, 2013
Quoting 997. cyclonebuster:

Could be but wouldn't that sequence be to slow? I think every half hour a new image is taken so it should have been long gone...

All depends on relative velocities assuming it's not an image artifact. Save the frames, check the UTC time against debris and satellite orbits...orbital data is available from NASA in google Earth 3D and there's a Java app....
NASA's Eyes on the Earth is a full-screen, real-time visualization of NASA Earth science satellites and climate datasets.
NASA's Eyes on the Earth

Orbital Debris Engineering Models .html

But the simplest course would be to ask the responsible agency to help you identify cause...and
I recall Patrap mentioned he had a contact associated with satellites.
If I was really curious, and if the "find" were mine I wouldn't hesitate to ask someone because everyone loves explaining the probable cause of this sort of thing.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1025. no1der
2:18 AM GMT on July 12, 2013
Apocalypse4Real, a longtime contributor to Neven's and other blogs, has launched an alpha version of a Google Earth-based tool for tracking atmospheric methane:

Programmed by Omar Cabrera, the site provides visualization of methane data from the IASI instrument on board the European EUMETSAT Metop satellite.
Global data are available from Jan 1, 2013 to present, for all detected methane concentrations above 1950ppb. For the near future at least, this cutoff value is suitable for identifying localized methane sources well above background.
Two instructional YouTube videos have been provided:


These videos use as worked examples some remarkable methane anomalies seen this year, including:
- Mar-Apr methane releases across a huge area of the Greenland and Barents Seas (described also at thane-in-arctic-early-march-2013.html)
- major releases from the high elevations of East Antarctica 
- unexpected releases from desert regions worldwide, perhaps following rainfall events
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1023. SteveDa1
1:44 AM GMT on July 12, 2013
Quoting 1021. RevElvis:

And, according to the study, we have to wait until about 2050 before demand starts being lower than today. Here's when optimism takes a whole new meaning...

Quoting 1022. cyclonebuster:
If this happened all at once would it cause a tsunami also? 3.3 meters means Miami, Key West, and New York would be under water...

It's not possible for it to happen all at once due to the ice's friction with the land. It is frightening to think that one day we might be looking at an ice sheet that's flowing faster and faster each year into the ocean. An ice sheet that's capable of inundating many of the world's cities...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1021. RevElvis
12:34 AM GMT on July 12, 2013
1012 - (not trying to argue with Yale, but,...)

I've read two op-eds recently (posted here somewhere) - the fear that the fossil fuel companies are going to keep coming up with new technologies to extract crappier crude supplies & they could un-sequester a lot more carbon before their profit margins dry up.

The *EROEI for Spindletop crude back in the 1930's was 1:100 (one barrel of crude energy was required to produce 100 barrels.

The *EROEI for tar sand is 1:3 & for shale oil 1:5

The graph looks like peak oil around 2037? - that's another 24 years of pulling the dirtiest, pollutingest products out of the ground - I guess I'll try to be optimistic!

* EROEI (Wikipedia)

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1020. JohnLonergan
12:33 AM GMT on July 12, 2013
Quoting 1000. Birthmark:

Cryosphere Today Sea Ice Area down 1,363,576 km^2 in the last 11 days, average 123,961 km^2/day
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1019. RevElvis
12:09 AM GMT on July 12, 2013
1018 +1
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1018. Some1Has2BtheRookie
12:07 AM GMT on July 12, 2013
Quoting 1016. RevElvis:
An Impertinent Question - Robert Reich

Suppose a small group of extremely wealthy people sought to systematically destroy the U.S. government by:

(4) running a vast PR campaign designed to convince the American public of certain big lies, such as climate change isn't occurring and

(5) buying up the media so the public cannot know the truth.

Would you call this treason?

If not, what would you call it?

And what would you do about it?

Questions 1 thru 3 weren't directly related to Climate Change - more at

I would call it crimes against humanity.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1017. RevElvis
11:59 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
China Seen Widening Car-Purchase Limits to Fight Pollution

China, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, plans to widen the number of cities curbing auto purchases to fight pollution and congestion, threatening vehicle sales, the government-backed car association said.

Eight cities -- will probably introduce measures limiting auto purchases, Shi Jianhua, deputy secretary general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said in a briefing in Beijing today, without being more specific about the timing.

Such limitations could cut vehicle deliveries by 400,000 units, or 2 percent of nationwide sales, and undermine economic growth, Shi said. If introduced, the measures may triple the number of Chinese cities -- Beijing and Shanghai have vehicle quotas -- imposing curbs on automobiles as public anger grows over worsening congestion and air pollution.

“In the short term, the market will just jump in those cities,” said Yale Zhang, managing director of Autoforesight Shanghai Co. “Consumers will panic and will start to buy whatever they can before the measures.”

Local brands would suffer the most as restrictions would make car ownership more inconvenient and undermine the appeal of cheaper vehicles, he said.
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1016. RevElvis
11:49 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
An Impertinent Question - Robert Reich

Suppose a small group of extremely wealthy people sought to systematically destroy the U.S. government by:

(4) running a vast PR campaign designed to convince the American public of certain big lies, such as climate change isn't occurring and

(5) buying up the media so the public cannot know the truth.

Would you call this treason?

If not, what would you call it?

And what would you do about it?

Questions 1 thru 3 weren't directly related to Climate Change - more at
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1015. RevElvis
11:37 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
Jordan to start pumping from 300,000-year-old aquifer

Jordan, one of the world’s 10 driest countries, said it will start pumping water from a 300,000-year-old southern aquifer on Thursday to the capital and other cities to help them meet high demand.

“An experimental pumping of water from the wells of the Disi aquifer will start at midnight (2100 GMT) Wednesday,” Water Minister Hazem Nasser told the state-run Petra news agency.

The much-awaited $990 million project seeks to extract 100 million cubic metres (3.5 billion cubic feet) of water a year from the Disi aquifer, 325 kilometres (200 miles) south of Amman.

The water ministry says Jordan, where 92 percent of the land is desert, will need 1.6 billion cubic metres of water a year to meet its requirements by 2015, while the population of 6.8 million is growing by almost 3.5 percent a year.

Officials say the project has required 250,000 tonnes of steel and the digging of 55 wells to pump water from Disi to Amman, where the per capita daily consumption of its 2.2 million population is 160 litres (42 gallons).

A 2008 study by Duke University, in the United States, shows that Disi’s water has 20 times more radiation than is considered safe, with radium content that could trigger cancers.

But the government has brushed aside those concerns. (AFP)
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1013. SteveDa1
11:32 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
Quoting 1009. bappit:

Haven't you heard? Money is the most important necessity in life. Nothing else matters if you've got this archaic, useless, extrinsic object.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1012. SteveDa1
11:26 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
Quoting 989. RevElvis:
World energy agency expects record oil demand next year



Read more at Yale Environment 360

Researchers say concerns that humanity will inevitably reach a moment of 'peak oil', which would be followed by a crippling decline in supplies, are unwarranted because global demand for oil is approaching its own peak. Writing in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, researchers from Stanford University and the University of California-Santa Cruz (UCSC) say that dire projections of peak oil mistakenly assume that an increasingly wealthy planet will continue to rely heavily on oil. On the contrary, they say, the link between economic growth and oil is breaking down as a result of increased energy efficiency, lower prices for alternative fuel sources, urbanization, and limits on consumption by the wealthy.

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1011. SteveDa1
11:19 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
Quebec's Lac-Mégantic oil train disaster not just tragedy, but corporate crime


Five days after a train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, the rural town resembles a scene of desolation. Its downtown is a charred sacrifice zone. 50 people are likely dead, making the train's toll one of the worst disasters in recent Canadian history.

In the explosion's aftermath, politicians and media pundits have wagged their finger about the indecency of "politicising" the event, of grappling with deeper explanations. We can mourn, but not scrutinise. In April, prime minister Stephen Harper even coined an awkward expression – "committing sociology" – to deride the search for root causes about horrifying events, in the wake of an unrelated, alleged bombing attempt.

But to simply call the Lac-Mégantic explosion a "tragedy" and to stop there, is to make it seem like an accident that occurred solely because of human error or technical oversight. It risks missing how we might assign broader culpability. And we owe it to the people who died to understand the reasons why such a disaster occurred, and how it might be prevented in the future.
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1010. SteveDa1
11:17 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
Quoting 1008. bappit:
If a lie is repeated often enough, RELINQUISHED DRONES start to accept it as the truth.

"Winston tastes good like a cigarette should."

Fixed that for ya.

(By that I mean people who do not think for themselves and let others do it for them.)
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1009. bappit
10:41 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
More news on the fun and games.

Got Science? Pushing Back Against Corporate 'Counterfeit Science'

"Planted scientific articles. Attacks on individual scientists. Recent revelations in two separate court cases spotlight an often hidden form of fraud: corporations deliberately trying to manipulate scientific findings about the safety of their products. People involved in the cases allege that some corporations have been pulling off dirty tricks that are beneath contempt ― a kind of "counterfeit science" that not only undermines the credibility of the entire scientific enterprise, but can pose a serious threat to people's health.

"For an egregious example, look no further than the recently revealed scheme of Georgia-Pacific, a subsidiary of Koch Industries. This June, a New York Appeals Court ruled unanimously that Georgia Pacific must hand over all internal documents pertaining to its alleged efforts to tamper with the scientific understanding about the health effects of asbestos.

"Here's what the case has revealed so far: The company allegedly had a hand in "ghostwriting" some 11 articles published in reputable scientific journals such as Inhalation Toxicology, The Journal of Occupational & Environmental Hygiene, Annals of Occupational Hygiene and Risk Analysis.

"Why get worked up about a bunch of technical articles in arcane science journals? Because, as the court noted, there's every indication that those studies were misinformation deliberately planted to cast doubt on the carcinogenic nature of chrysotile asbestos, a component in Georgia Pacific's widely used joint compound for construction projects."
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1008. bappit
10:26 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
If a lie is repeated often enough, people start to accept it as the truth.

"Winston tastes good like a cigarette should."
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1007. Xandra
9:19 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
Quoting 982. Doxienan:


you can watch the 6 brave young women from Greenpeace climb the Shell 'Shard'tower in London to protest drilling in the Arctic. Kind of scary if you're not a fan of heights. They are going to hang a banner at the top. a href="Link " target="_blank">Link

Greenpeace protesters reach summit of The Shard in London

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1004. Some1Has2BtheRookie
9:00 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
Quoting 1001. cyclonebuster:

Water Vapor too all at the same time approx.?

img src="">


I gave you my best guess. I have other guesses, but they are not as good as my best guess. :)
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1003. RevElvis
8:32 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
991 - I think some of those ponds are actually "moulins" -

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999. JohnLonergan
7:51 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
Here's an oldie but goodie from Paul Krugman:

Swift Boating the Planet By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: May 29, 2006

A brief segment in "An Inconvenient Truth" shows Senator Al Gore questioning James Hansen, a climatologist at NASA, during a 1989 hearing. But the movie doesn't give you much context, or tell you what happened to Dr. Hansen later.

And that's a story worth telling, for two reasons. It's a good illustration of the way interest groups can create the appearance of doubt even when the facts are clear and cloud the reputations of people who should be regarded as heroes. And it's a warning for Mr. Gore and others who hope to turn global warming into a real political issue: you're going to have to get tougher, because the other side doesn't play by any known rules. ...
...Even now, Dr. Hansen seems reluctant to say the obvious. "Is this treading close to scientific fraud?" he recently asked about Dr. Michaels's smear. The answer is no: it isn't "treading close," it's fraud pure and simple.

Now, Dr. Hansen isn't running for office. But Mr. Gore might be, and even if he isn't, he hopes to promote global warming as a political issue. And if he wants to do that, he and those on his side will have to learn to call liars what they are.

Emphasis added.

Krugman points out clearly why the deniers and misinformers must be countered wherever they show up.
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998. Some1Has2BtheRookie
7:47 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
Quoting 994. cyclonebuster:

I may do that if it is unidentified.. It is from NOAA Satellite imagery..

I also captured it on the visible and water vapor loop....
Here is the visible loop from the Global Hydrology Center Huntsville..... Sun glint would go the other way and if you look close you can see a shadow below it..


My best guess? Light reflections back to the camera.
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996. RevElvis
7:45 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
Will electric cars ever become mainstream?

synopsis - a corporate energy shill negatively speculating on whether them "new fangled electric horseless carriages" will ever catch on.

meanwhile a number of states are trying to block Tesla motors from selling electric vehicles - should otherwise be known as the "car dealership / big oil company protectionism" laws. If electric cars aren't going to "catch on" - what are they worried about.
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993. Xandra
7:23 PM GMT on July 11, 2013

Jet Stream Brings Two Very Different Junes to the Western & Eastern U.S.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

They say the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and that was certainly true in June. Throughout the month, two very different stories played out in the contiguous United States. While the drought-stricken West fell into the grips of an intense heat wave, East Coasters were bombarded by summer thunderstorms. In this scenario, a well-known river of moisture in the upper atmosphere—the jet stream—served as the imaginary fence between the East’s lush landscapes and the West’s parched fields.

The map to the right shows the percent of normal precipitation for the month of June 2013. Areas with less-than-normal precipitation are shades of orange and brown, areas with near-normal rainfall are white, and areas where precipitation was greater than normal are green. The color scale stops at 300 percent of normal, but some parts of the mid-Atlantic region—including Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and North Carolina—saw more than 400 percent of normal precipitation.

Meanwhile, the majority of Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah received less than 10 percent of normal rainfall—in some places, far less—throughout the month. An extreme heat wave worsened drought conditions in the Southwest, even in desert areas that do not normally receive much precipitation at this time of year.

As drought intensified and temperatures skyrocketed in the region, intense wildfires began to spark including Colorado’s most destructive fire in state history and the Yarnell Fire in Arizona that killed 19 firefighters. On the heels of a dry and volatile June, the National Interagency Fire Center reported 22 total active fires as of July 9.

During June, the jet stream developed kinks in its air current that served to shuttle moisture-packed frontal systems and their associated thunderstorms toward the East Coast while leaving the West high and dry. These kinks are called troughs and ridges. A ridge is a large area of above normal atmospheric pressure that pushes the jet stream northward of its usual position. A trough is a low-pressure area that allows the jet stream to dip southward. Since early June, the eastern half of the U.S. has been sandwiched between two ridges: one over the West and the other over the western Atlantic, creating a trough in between. (See a map of the upper level circulation here.)

“The western U.S. was under an upper level ridge during a good part of June,” explains David Unger, a meteorologist from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center. “This focused the jet stream over the northern Rocky Mountains where it brought unusually wet conditions to Montana and southern Alberta, and caused severe flooding in the city of Calgary. Beneath this ridge, the Southwest was left unusually hot and dry.”

“Meanwhile, a persistent upper level trough pulled the jet stream south of its normal position over the East. In early June, we saw the jet stream steer Tropical Storm Andrea northward, drenching the eastern seaboard. The upper level trough then persisted through much of the month, bringing wet conditions for most areas east of the Mississippi River.”
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992. zampaz
7:19 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
Quoting 990. cyclonebuster:
OK I got to ask what is this?


Very cool!
Do you know which "loop" it was on?

If you tag it as UFO you'll get a gazillion hits on youtube. You can quote a reliable source from the wunderground as saying; "I really can't say what it is.
Just can't tell you."
You can also say that "science minded community puzzled-refuses to speculate."
However we can probably get a good idea from the originals of the loop.
If we know exact time we can determine if it's ISS, satellite or space debris using NASA tools.
Otherwise...aircraft- but no idea of image scale...
I'll help you figure out what it's not...which is always helpful for a UFO story :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
989. RevElvis
5:28 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
World energy agency expects record oil demand next year

Emerging economies will be the main force in the global oil market next year, driving demand to a record high level, International Energy Agency (IEA) data showed on Thursday.

Raising its demand forecast this year because of unseasonally cold weather, the IEA also signalled that in 2014 emerging economies will drive demand to a record 92.0 million barrels per day.

The agency said improving prospects for global economic growth would pull demand, despite increasing efficiency in energy use in advanced countries.

But the overall tone of the IEA monthly report suggested that the oil market is heading into a sea of uncertainty, partly because oil production in the United States is “set to grow strongly”.

Supply from other countries outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), notably Brazil, Kazakhstan and South Sudan, would also rise, the agency forecast.

“Emerging markets and developing economies are forecast to lead demand growth in 2014,” the IEA said.

This would more than offset continued shrinkage of demand in the 34 countries in the OECD area, with China forecast to remain “the main engine of demand growth in 2014.”

This took the overall estimated annual growth to 930,000 bd, and total consumption to 90.8 million barrels per day (mbd).

Data show that this figure is a record and the IEA estimates show demand rising by a further 1.2 mbd next year. (AFP)
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987. bappit
5:09 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
Quoting 973. RevElvis:
Three GOP Governors Call On Obama To End Sequestration Furloughs

WASHINGTON -- Three southern Republican governors called on President Barack Obama Monday to end National Guard furloughs resulting from sequestration cuts. [...]

One of those ironic moments.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
986. bappit
5:08 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
CO2 concentrations are zooming up. No relief in sight.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
985. JohnLonergan
4:26 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
Climate Change Will Cause More Energy Breakdowns, U.S. Warns

WASHINGTON — The nation’s entire energy system is vulnerable to increasingly severe and costly weather events driven by climate change, according to a report from the Department of Energy to be published on Thursday.

The blackouts and other energy disruptions of Hurricane Sandy were just a foretaste, the report says. Every corner of the country’s energy infrastructure — oil wells, hydroelectric dams, nuclear power plants — will be stressed in coming years by more intense storms, rising seas, higher temperatures and more frequent droughts.

The effects are already being felt, the report says. Power plants are shutting down or reducing output because of a shortage of cooling water. Barges carrying coal and oil are being delayed by low water levels in major waterways. Floods and storm surges are inundating ports, refineries, pipelines and rail yards. Powerful windstorms and raging wildfires are felling transformers and transmission lines.

“We don’t have a robust energy system, and the costs are significant,” said Jonathan Pershing, the deputy assistant secretary of energy for climate change policy and technology, who oversaw production of the report. “The cost today is measured in the billions. Over the coming decades, it will be in the trillions. You can’t just put your head in the sand anymore.”

The study notes that 2012 was the hottest year on record in the contiguous United States, and last July was the hottest month in the United States since record keeping began in 1895.

The high temperatures were accompanied by record-setting drought, which parched much of the Southwest and greatly reduced water available for cooling fossil fuel plants and producing hydroelectric power. A study found that roughly 60 percent of operating coal plants are in areas with potential water shortages driven by climate change.

Rising heat in the West will drive a steep increase in demand for air conditioning, which has already forced blackouts and brownouts in some places. The Energy Department’s Argonne National Laboratory found that air conditioning demand in the West will require 34 gigawatts of new electricity generating capacity by 2050, equivalent to the construction of 100 power plants. The cost to consumers will exceed $40 billion, the lab said.

Mr. Pershing, who joined the Department of Energy this year after serving for several years as the State Department’s deputy special envoy for climate change, said much of the climate disruption was already baked into the system from 150 years of rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. He said that the nation must continue efforts to reduce climate-altering emissions, but that the impact of those efforts would not be felt for years. In the meantime, Mr. Pershing said, cities, states and the federal government must take steps to adapt and improve their resiliency in the face of more wicked weather.

President Obama referred to these vulnerabilities in his speech on climate change at Georgetown University on June 25. He said Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the Northeast in October, had provided a wake-up call, if one was needed after the run of climate-related disasters in recent years.

“New York City is fortifying its 520 miles of coastline as an insurance policy against more frequent and costly storms,” Mr. Obama said. “And what we’ve learned from Hurricane Sandy and other disasters is that we’ve got to build smarter, more resilient infrastructure that can protect our homes and businesses, and withstand more powerful storms. That means stronger sea walls, natural barriers, hardened power grids, hardened water systems, hardened fuel supplies.”

After Sandy, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York commissioned a study of how to protect the city against storms. The report called for nearly $20 billion in investments to enhance resilience, roughly equivalent to the costs of responding to the hurricane. The study said that unless the city took precautions, the next storm of similar magnitude could cost the city $90 billion.

The new Department of Energy report does not provide any firm estimates of expected costs and provides no specific recommendations for immediate action, much of which would be the responsibility of the companies that produce and transport all forms of energy.

But the authors do suggest a series of steps to reduce vulnerability. Power plants and oil drillers should use less water and recycle what they use. Electricity providers should harden their transmission grids and build emergency backup systems. Operators of hydroelectric dams should improve turbine efficiency. And residential and commercial energy users should find ways to reduce demand.
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Dr. Ricky Rood's Climate Change Blog

About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.