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Let me just start by saying that I strongly believe that human-caused climate change is the single most important challenge facing the world today. The greenhouse gases we have been releasing into the atmosphere since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution have created a blanket that lets the sun’s energy in, but allows less and less of it to escape. Earth is rapidly heating up.

America and the rest of the world are trying to deal with many problems — wars, poverty, inequities, extreme weather events, disease — just to name a few. But the effects that climate change is having on our planet will exacerbate all of these problems, and more. Throw in rising sea levels from the melting ice sheets at both poles, the acidification of the oceans as they absorb the excess carbon dioxide, an increasing number of animal extinctions, and things can look pretty bleak.

I have read a great deal about global warming and climate change. Create a Google Alert with the phrase “climate change” and you’ll begin to get links to dozens of articles in your email inbox each day. One such article that I recently came across was written by Bill McKibben. I met Bill several years ago at a conference in Madison, saw him present again in the Twin Cities, and have exchanged emails with him several times. Bill is the co-founder of 350.org, an organization that addresses climate change. He’s a very talented journalist, passionate climate change activist, and an all-around nice guy.

So when I find an article he has written, I sit up and take notice. His recent New Republic essay is titled “A World at War: We’re under attack from climate change — and our only hope is to mobilize like we did in World War II.” If you are at all close to the issue of climate change/global warming, it’s hard to see how this runaway climate freight train can be slowed, much less stopped. So I was eager to read what Bill had to say.

He starts by saying the world is under attack. Not by inhabitants of our own planet or aliens, but by the mounting effects of greenhouse gases continually generated by burning fossil fuels. Just this summer vast areas of Arctic ice have melted, extensive areas of coral in the Great Barrier Reef have died, turning bleached white, and unprecedented forest fires and floods have wreaked havoc around the globe. It’s time to start treating this like World War III and respond as Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation” did during WWII.

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“The question is not, are we in a world war?” McKibben writes. “The question is, will we fight back? And if we do, can we actually defeat an enemy as powerful and inexorable as the laws of physics?”

The essay examines how our country responded during WWII. “For four years, the United States was focused on a single, all-consuming goal, to the exclusion of any other concern: defeating the global threat posed by Germany, Italy and Japan.” England blundered at the start of the war when it conceded too much to Hitler who quickly conquered most of Europe. We cannot make the same mistake with climate change by believing that recent climate agreements in Paris will save us. McKibben states, “Even if every nation in the world complies with the Paris Agreement, the world will heat up by as much as 3.5 degrees Celsius by 2100 — not the 1.5 to 2 degrees promised in the pact’s preamble.”

While politicians have done little to address climate change, scientists have been concentrating on what it would take to turn things around using existing technologies. Their recommendations are available for all 50 states and for 139 nations around the globe. For Americans, the calculations show we would need to produce 6,448 gigawatts of clean energy in the next 35 years to completely replace fossil fuels. To do this, we would need hundreds of very large factories producing solar panels and wind turbines spread around the country. The technology is available today, but we need the determination, resolve and conviction to start now.

This election year we hear a lot about needing good, well-paying jobs for Americans. Hundreds of clean energy factories will create thousands and thousands of new jobs. Coal miners can become solar panel installers. Petroleum workers can erect and service wind turbines.

McKibben’s article covers much more than I can here, so I urge you to find it on the web. When I finished reading it, I felt more optimistic that we can turn things around. It’s our World War III to win or lose. And we can’t afford to lose.

Larry Sleznikow is a co-leader for the La Crosse chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

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(52) comments

Hey19

Hey planet fever believers?
What did you do today to stop wrecking Mother Earth?

Hey19

To all you believers in planet fever, I issue this challenge:
To do your small part in combating global warming, turn off your computer and monitor for 24 hours, to lessen your individual carbon footprint...
(Over the next 24 hours, I'll be monitoring several discussions here at the Trib to see who posts comments on this website, thereby weeding out the hypocrites...)

Drivers, start your engines!
Er, I mean ladies and gentlemen, STOP your computers!...

Sanders/Gore 2020

oldhomey

Gosh, the jig is up, I guess. Hey19 and dopey have us pegged as hypocrites. It's back to the hunter/gatherer life for us if we want to live in self-respect. We'll just have to trust in them to do what is right for the rest of us.

Hey19

Whew, oldhomey, you just got your post in, with 33 minutes to spare. I knew you could do it...

I see you and Cassandra, who also spent time posting all day yesterday, really do take the threat of global warming seriously...

Until you planet fever believers put up or shut up through your behaviors - such as leaving a carbon footprint by using your computer to spew a bunch of hot air about global warming - spare me the lectures, eh dude?

I find it funny that you're trusting me to do something that is right for the rest of us, when you can't even do it yourself... Kind of takes you off the hook, though, since I guess perhaps you don't believe in individual accountability or individual responsibility...

Hey, fever believers: Step up and be a man, via actions, not words. Put your money where your mouth is.... You can't do something as simple as going 24 hours without using a computer? You can't even take that one small step for mankind???

oldhomey

Sorry, Hey19, I spent all day chasing down squirrels and rabbits with my slingshot and bolo, trying to get enough pelts for a decent loin cloth. I don't have that much to cover up, I admit, but, gosh it's hard to run enough of those suckers down. Do you have any tips on tanning hide? How about removing the fur? I don't like the tickly feeling of bunny fur. Hunting and gathering is a tough life, but I realized from you and dopey what a hypocrite I have been all of my life. Thanks.

Climatehoax

If you're not willing to sacrifice, how are you going to stop man made climate change? You kool-aid drinkers talktalktalktalktalk, but do nothing, if you think going back to the cave man days is what it'll take, then DO it, or quite harping about how man is damaging the earth.

dopey

Hard to take anyone serious who has a sanders/gore2020 signature. In order to protest climate change, bernie bought a 3rd house.

oldhomey

Oh! This is terrible! Two deniers at each other's political throats! Is ther e NO unity left in this world?

Hey19

oldhomey - we are not at each other's throats; Apparently dopey, like me, doesn't understand sarcasm, as my Sanders/Gore 2020 slogan represents...
But then you knew that, and are just messing with me, by posting something sarcastic, which I don't understand... Again, you leave me soooo confused; my head is lost in the clouds and surrounding hot air...

oldhomey

Thank you for clarifying that for me, Hey19. Of course dopey doesn't understand what sarcasm is. And your admission of your head being where it is may be our salvation. Perhaps it is your enlarged and hardened noggin that is trapping reflected heat in our atmosphere, not CO2 gases. Would you please move along and give us and a suffering planet a break?

Hey19

Hey oldhomey: Way to dodge the question, but thanks for admitting that you are a hypocrite, grasshoppper.
Again, I ask: What did you, and the liberal fever believers, do yesterday (and I'll add today) to save the planet from global warming???
It's hilarious - you guys pontificate and moan and groan and lecture, but when you are posed a question and asked what you are doing about the problem your are whining about, you have no answers... Too silly... Way to take the lead on this issue! Your non-actions are speaking louder than your words...
Mock all you want about being a caveman, but until you actually put up, why don't you stifle it? And please move along, thereby saving the rest of the earth from your planet fever believer bloviating of hot air...


668 The Neighbor of the Beast

IPCC Official: “Climate Policy Is Redistributing The World’s Wealth”

Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated. – United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer

"One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole," said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. So what is the goal of environmental policy?

"We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy," said Edenhofer.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, made a similar statement.

"This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution," she said in anticipation of last year's Paris climate summit.

"This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history."

Naomi Klein summed up best what the warming the fuss is all about in her book "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate." "What if global warming isn’t only a crisis?" In her mind, the world has to "change, or be changed" because an "economic system" -- meaning free-market capitalism -- has caused environmental "wreckage."

This is how the global warming alarmist community thinks. It wants to frighten, intimidate and then assume command. It needs a "crisis" to take advantage of, a hobgoblin to menace the people, so that they will beg for protection from the imaginary threat. The alarmists' "better world" is one in which they rule a global welfare state. They've admitted this themselves.

dopey

Yep

dopey

Obama is now claiming the midnight bundle of 400 million in foreign paper currency was not ransom, it was to fight climate change. We need to quit asking questions.

Redwall

It would be interesting to know what foreign currencies were involved and who they are paying off or buying illicitly from with their Obama Cash.

dopey

"Swiss francs and other foreign currencies". Given modern banking surveillance, i am sure its a little harder for Iran to fund european bound terrorists by wiring them cash. How convenient that Obama supplied them with impossible to track paper currency. Why else would the payment be in cash?

Cassandra

How the US sent $12bn in cash to Iraq. And watched it vanish

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/feb/08/usa.iraq1

dopey

That money was not to a terrorist regime and not from the us treasury. If you read the article, it was funds distrubuted by a coalition of countries and the funds came from the UN. Shocking

Cassandra

Oh, dopey, Then where did the cash go?

dopey

Crazy...like all UN cash distributions, it went to the bureaucrats affiliated with the UN.

Redwall

No, you are confused. Iran was number 76 on the alphabetical list of countries Obama paid to sign the United Nations Framework in Climate Change (Paris Accord) earlier this year. This was a different $400 million.

tower

Which part NBR?

Machiavelli

[whistling][whistling][whistling]It's game over on climate change... reductions on fossil-fuel use: ain't gonna happen; fusion power, solar energy, wind power: ain't gonna happen...

Worse, genetic engineering has now given terrorists the means to alter the environment by tweaking biological systems in ways not dreamt of before. it's game over, folks, whether you know it or not. Here's a hint about how such attacks could be carried out by even a modest terror lab:

A CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive system targeting female reproduction in the malaria mosquito vector Anopheles gambiae

http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v34/n1/full/nbt.3439.html

Gene drive systems that enable super-Mendelian inheritance of a transgene have the potential to modify insect populations over a timeframe of a few years. We describe CRISPR-Cas9 endonuclease constructs that function as gene drive systems in Anopheles gambiae, the main vector for malaria. We identified three genes (AGAP005958, AGAP011377 and AGAP007280) that confer a recessive female-sterility phenotype upon disruption, and inserted into each locus CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive constructs designed to target and edit each gene. For each targeted locus we observed a strong gene drive at the molecular level, with transmission rates to progeny of 91.4 to 99.6%. Population modeling and cage experiments indicate that a CRISPR-Cas9 construct targeting one of these loci, AGAP007280, meets the minimum requirement for a gene drive targeting female reproduction in an insect population. These findings could expedite the development of gene drives to suppress mosquito populations to levels that do not support malaria transmission.

dopey

Leonardo and Algore stop flying private jets yet? Wake me when they do.

I wonder what % of grants are given to scientists that are skeptical of man's ability to influence the climate?

Cassandra

Thanks, Mr. Sleznikow. The world, with the exception of a few very loud cranks, knows that this is an issue. The time for action is quickly slipping past.

Buggs Raplin

#liar

oldhomey

I don't think Cassandra lied, Buggs, though there are more than a few cranks on this subject, and you stand out as one of the loudest, tossing around your usual, long discredited information. I guess we could include "#liar" here as an example of it.

Buggs Raplin

#liar

Cassandra

#townjoke

oldhomey

In response to Buggs' 5:50pm post: Gosh, Buggs, you have shamed me. By the way, since you found it useful to reach out to me with this post, could you please respond to my post about your great Nobel Prize-winning physicist who debunks global warming? It is down lower in this string. It seems that there are some serious questions about this man's competency to speak about global warming, and the doubts come from his own mouth. You're welcome to peruse them below.

Climatehoax

If there are just a few non believers, why aren't the believers solving the problem? What have YOU done today to save the earth? You've done nothing, you cause the problem but do nothing to help it. Maybe you don't really believe, nothing worse than a believer doing nothing, just another hypocrite, like all the others.

dopey

Good point. If all the believers quit flying private jets, driving suv's and limited themselves to one modest house without air conditioning, problem would be solved.

Just think of the massive carbon footprint the universities make. There are plenty wasteful courses that could be eliminated in the name of climate change.

oldhomey

All right, all right. I give up, dopey! I put my private jet and my three Hummers up for sale on Ebay tonight. I WON'T sell my 12 bedroom Victorian, but I closed off all but two bedrooms, and I will limit myself to one large floor fan. Now you do the same, or I will really, really feel cheated!

Redwall

Already too late.

dopey

How many squares are you using?

Redwall

Actually, the planet is under attack. Unchecked global population growth is causing much of the pollution problem. The exhaust emitted by cows is not.

DavidAustin

Excellent article. The McKibben article using the world war analogy is also outstanding. Here is a link to it: https://newrepublic.com/article/135684/declare-war-climate-change-mobilize-wwiihttps://newrepublic.com/article/135684/declare-war-climate-change-mobilize-wwii.

Buggs Raplin

Another day, another guest column promoting the hoax. Don't ya just love this media crusade. It's a coordinated thing between the local media and the national media. What's great is the total ineffectiveness of the crusade on the average American. We just don't buy it. We're not as dumb as they think we are. The earth has undergone dramatic climate changes: the 5 ice ages, the medieval warm period, the mini-ice age that followed, and this was all before heavy industry, the demonization of carbon dioxide and the Koch brothers. Folks, the ice caps are doing fine, the polar bears are thriving, we've had no serious hurricanes in a long time, and the local climate for most of the US has been magnificent. Here in God's country, I've barely used my air conditioner the last two summers. Larry, and his two buddies, Malzer and Hatt have founded a new religion-the Church of Human-Caused Global Warming. The fact the earth has been cooling the past 17 years means nothing to them. See Forbes magazine article for confirmation of the cooling. Trying to convince Larry, Vince, and Ron that they're promoting a fallacy is akin to tells an evangelical Christian that Jesus did not rise from the dead. You run up against a brick wall. Ah, such is the nature of all religious beliefs, including human-caused global warming

DavidAustin

Larry did not "create this religion". It is a scientific conclusion, reached by virtually all climate scientists, the national science academies of most developed countries, and even the US military. There is nothing inconsistent about religious beliefs and belief in climate change. We are called to be stewards of the earth.

A good source for the science of climate change is the short report "What We Know" by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, at http://whatweknow.aaas.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/whatweknow_website.pdf.

Buggs Raplin

No, it's a religion because you have no evidence that humans have the ability to change the climate. None. All you have is "faith" in the opinions of some scientists. Some of whom, like Nobel Prize winner I. Giaever originally supported the fallacy, but now realize it's a hoax. Some of your top scientists have been caught fudging or omitting data when it didn't support their theory.

Cassandra

Are you still making buggy whips, Buggs?

oldhomey

Well buggs, I have had to wheel this quote out every time you cite your “Nobel Prize scientist debunks global warming claim”. It is, indeed, I. Giaever, a Nobelist, whom you cite. The problem is, Giaever won a Nobel in research in physics on super conduction, a subject with absolutely no connection with climate or climate change. And he tried out his debunking at age 83 at a 2012 meeting of past Nobelists, more or less appeared before them wearing no clothes, metaphorically speaking, when he prefaced his remarks with this astonishing admission:

“"I am not really terribly interested in global warming. Like most physicists I don't think much about it. But in 2008 I was in a panel here about global warming and I had to learn something about it. And I spent a day or so - half a day maybe on Google, and I was horrified by what I learned.”

Giaever, who is 87 years old and may no longer be mentally stable, immediately was lionized by the fossil fuel industry and quoted widely in its propaganda. He warmed up to the newly found fame and has since spoken our more, displaying a real talent for being addlepated:

“ . . . should I really worry about a little bit of warming?" asked at one forum. "I am unfortunately becoming an old man. We have heard many similar warnings about the acid rain 30 years ago and the ozone hole 10 years ago or deforestation but the humanity is still around.”

Giaever apparently is unaware that two researchers won the Nobel Prize for discovery of the ozone hole and pin-pointed its cause as the wide-spread use of chemicals in spray cans. On the strength of that scientific finding, those spray can chemicals were outlawed and the ozone hole has shrunk dramatically. Likewise, once scientists figured out the major causes of acid rain, the spewing of untreated gases from coal-burning plants, the government instituted regulations that sharply curtailed those emissions, and acid rain has been significantly reduced. Two cause and effect cases aided by science, and the august Nobelist telling us to ignore global warming science completely misreads or ignores them, going on to say:

"Global warming has become a new religion [so this apparently is where Buggs picked up this mantra]. We frequently hear about the number of scientists who support it. But the number is not important: only whether they are correct is important. We don't really know what the actual effect on the global temperature is. There are better ways to spend the money."

Right, Professor Giaever, we’ll follow you lockstep into the jaws of death. How inspiring of him and Buggs.

Cassandra

"...Folks, the ice caps are doing fine, the polar bears are thriving..."

There you go, denying the facts again! What color is the sky in your fantasy world?

Buggs Raplin

#liar

Cassandra

#townjoke

Climatehoax

http://climatechangedispatch.com/plentiful-arctic-spring-ice-helping-polar-bears-thrive-despite-misleading-news/

You are wrong, plain and simple

Cassandra

You are wrong, plain and simple.
"As of August 14, Arctic sea ice extent is tracking third lowest in the satellite record. "
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

Cassandra

Maybe if you looked at objective data instead of websites with an anti-science agenda, you'd see the facts instead of the propaganda.

Cassandra

"Since the late 1970s, the ice has retreated by 12 percent per decade, and the decline has worsened since 2007, according to NASA."

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/11/141119-polar-bears-arctic-warming-animals-science-alaska/

Cassandra

"Arctic sea ice loss has thus far progressed faster than most climate models have predicted (Stroeve et al. 2007) with September sea extent declining at a linear rate of 14% per decade from 1979 through 2011 (Stroeve et al. 2012, Stroeve et al. 2014). Because changes in sea-ice are known to alter Polar Bear abundance, productivity, body condition, and distribution (Stirling et al. 1999, Fischbach et al. 2007, Schleibe et al. 2008, Durner et al. 2009, Regehr et al. 2010, Rode et al. 2010a, 2012, 2014b, Bromaghin et al. 2015), continued climate warming will increase future uncertainty and pose severe risks to the welfare of Polar Bear subpopulations (Stirling and Derocher 2012, Derocher et al. 2013)."

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22823/0

random annoying bozo

again I wil ask, what are the 'facts'? you always bring it up, but never have I ever seen a 'fact' offered up.

but i'l offer up a few facts.

the polar bear population has been increasing over the last decade or so.
the polar ice caps are still in tact.
computer models ignore all solar activity data into their equations.
there are huge problems and inconsistencies in the united states with citing and compliance of the surface stations used to collect temperature data to be input into the computer models.
outside of computer modeling, there are no 'facts' that support 'man-made global warming', but on the other hand,' climate change' has been happening since earth developed an atmosphere, and that was way way way before mankind was even a distant possibility.

Cassandra

See the studies referenced above, Bozo. You are wrong on the facts, wrong on the science and your opinion is worthless.

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