Try 3 months for $3

I can easily make an argument for 2018 being the year the world seemed to finally awaken to the very real threat that climate change poses.

David Bange

Bange

Two important factors behind this awakening are our children (and grandchildren) and the weather.

Regarding the first factor, a fundamental part of human DNA is that we care about our children and grandchildren on a deeply emotional level. For the first time, I’ve had friends who are expressing concern about the world their offspring may be living in 30 or 40 years from now.

As for the weather factor, I’m well aware that whenever someone comments on a severe weather event— flooding, hurricane, drought — climate skeptics jump to point out that weather is always variable. We all experience local weather events. We don’t experience global climate firsthand. But the unusual, increasing severity, and sometimes plain weirdness, of local weather has been getting a lot of attention in recent years.

The increasing acceptance of human-caused climate change raised several alarming flags in 2018. Here are some of the most recent.

In October 2018, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report that stated almost no countries have been meeting their goals to limit their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2030. Most alarming, this report stated that the world has only 12 years to cut its CO2 emissions by half to avoid catastrophic consequences.

Last month, the independent research firm Rhodium Group reported that, after three years of declining CO2 emissions in the United States, in 2018, the emissions rose by 3.4 percent, based on preliminary estimates. This was surprising because it occurred even with a reduction in the burning of coal.

Also this January, an analysis in the journal Science found that the world’s oceans are heating up at a rate 40 percent faster than had been forecast only five years earlier. Because oceans absorb an estimated 93 percent of the excess heat produced by increasing greenhouse gases this provides additional evidence of global warming. Warmer ocean water is thought to be a major reason for the increase in massive, destructive hurricanes.

And, on the political front, the current administration in Washington is doing whatever it can to re-vitalize the coal industry and bring more fossil fuels to market rather than promote clean, renewable energy.

Nevertheless, reasons for hope can be found.

According to UN News, at least 57 countries have managed to bring their greenhouse gas emissions down to levels required to limit global warming. Further, recognizing the potential for fiscal initiatives to affect human behavior, 51 countries including Canada have either implemented or plan to implement carbon pricing policies, such as Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s carbon fee and dividend proposal.

Last December, diplomats from nearly 200 countries met in Katrice, Poland and agreed on a “rulebook” to start putting the 2015 Paris Agreement into practice. The new rules lay out how governments will measure, report on, and verify their emissions-cutting efforts. While the rulebook is far from ideal, it is considered a major step in ensuring that the Paris Agreement gets widespread implementation.

Research scientists are pursuing at least six strategies for carbon capture and removal from the atmosphere. Such research had been opposed by some environmentalists fearing that people would think that technology would eliminate the need to reduce production of CO2 emissions. But it is now well understood that, even if all future CO2 emissions were eliminated, the Earth will continue to warm for decades. So some carbon capture will be necessary to rein in climate change. Six strategies to remove atmospheric CO2, including reforestation and direct air capture and underground sequestration, are neatly summarized in the January issue of Scientific American, in an article titled “The Last Resort.” None of them are yet remotely close to becoming a climate change “silver bullet.”

At the end of the 2018 Congressional term, the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763) was introduced into the House and Senate. It would establish a progressive fee on carbon emissions. The money collected from the fee would be returned as a monthly dividend to Americans to use as they wish.

The bill has been reintroduced in the House this spring and it’s hoped it will be reintroduced in the Senate as well. If signed into law, it would reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent in the first 12 years. That’s what we need, and now. Call, write, or email your U.S. representative and senators and urge them to support or co-sponsor this bill.

Climate change should alarm us, but there are reasons for hope and ways we can be part of the solution.

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.
2
0
0
0
0

(14) comments

Redwall

"Most alarming, this report stated that the world has only 12 years to cut its CO2 emissions by half to avoid catastrophic consequences."

Followed by:

"But it is now well understood that, even if all future CO2 emissions were eliminated, the Earth will continue to warm for decades."

These Libs cant put two sentences together that are consistent and logical, yet they are expecting to turn society upside down, have us make social and economic sacrifices based on their analysis of what amounts to less than a split second in the history of the world. Any thinking person would be a sceptic.

Besides, AOC says the world is going to end in 12 years, so its too late anyhow.

oldhomey

Your amended inane statement simply underscores that you are indeed one of the silliest, inane posters on these boards, Red. Congratulations. This probably is one of the first times in your life that you have been singled out as being on the upper scale of anything.

Climatehoax

We have made huge strides in cleaning the air and water in our country, BUT all we hear is doom and gloom from the libs. Is it possible climate change is going to happen irregardless of what we do, or how much we punish people with taxes? IT APPEARS SO. Stop with your fear mongering.

oldhomey

At the risk of offending crank by expressing again something he deems to be a "tantrum", I think the answer I gave to Redwall is just as fitting here for Climate, too. So here it is:

Climate, this is one of the silliest comments you have managed to dream up. We are in for a rough ride with climate change, regardless, and our warming climate and extreme weather shifts and events underscore that already. It is going to be bad, but we can make it worse if we don't do anything. A carbon tax isn't going to be the silver bullet, but it will be the inducement many polluting industries need to change, and the tax revenue would undoubtedly be used to develop non-polluting energy sources. Has it been totally lost on you that polluters had been reined in increasingly with regulatory controls overseen by EPA and DNR, but now in the last couple of years with Tea Party governments in Washington and state legislatures that they have been throwing those regulations out the window and dismembering EPA and DNR? And who is doing it? Former employees of polluting industries who bankrolled the campaigns of Tea Party candidates who, when they won, appointed these same people to run (run down, actually) the EPA and DNR.

Redwall

"Most alarming, this report stated that the world has only 12 years to cut its CO2 emissions by half to avoid catastrophic consequences."

Followed by:

"But it is now well understood that, even if all future CO2 emissions were eliminated, the Earth will continue to warm for decades."

There is a certain amount of contradiction in these statements, past the point of absurdity.

Regardless, the carbon tax will save us. The liberals will tax the nasty businesses and re-distribute the largesse as they see fit (the details are never mentioned, probably guaranteed income for those unwilling to work).

And of course, it is totally lost on these Libs that there has been a tax levied on polluters for decades in the form of regulation and controls promulgated by the EPA and DNR and it apparently has resulted in nothing but industry relocating to less regulated states and countries. And so they will also avoid your naive "carbon tax."

oldhomey

Red, this is one of the silliest comments you have managed to dream up. We are in for a rough ride with climate change, regardless, and our warming climate and extreme weather shifts and events underscore that already. It is going to be bad, but we can make it worse if we don't do anything. A carbon tax isn't going to be the silver bullet, but it will be the inducement many polluting industries need to change, and the tax revenue would undoubtedly be used to develop non-polluting energy sources. Has it been totally lost on you that polluters had been reined in increasingly with regulatory controls overseen by EPA and DNR, but now in the last couple of years with Tea Party governments in Washington and state legislatures that they have been throwing those regulations out the window and dismembering EPA and DNR? And who is doing it? Former employees of polluting industries who bankrolled the campaigns of Tea Party candidates who, when they won, appointed these same people to run (run down, actually) the EPA and DNR.

crank

My, my oldhomey! You've been on a 'rage rampage' lately. You are trolling everyone in sight with your little tantrums. "We" are not in for a rough ride. You'll be dead soon at this rate...you'll have yourself a brain-bleed. It seems like you may have already had a few already the way you're lashing out at everyone with these irrational tirades? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5066431/ Calm yourself...breath the filthy air...
Now whatsa matta, oldhomey? The Mrs. not giving you enough attention? Are you dpressed? Is that why you need to come here and direct these little tantrums at all your 'enemies'...attention? (Yes, I was doing what you do here every day...#troll.)

oldhomey

Well, thank you for explaining to me that you are trolling me, crank. I hadn't been aware that I had been conducting tantrums. I hate tantrums, particularly the ones conducted by our president. On the other hand, you seem bothered that I would come on here and challenge the suppositions and misinformation posted on here by right-wingers such are yourself. I probably spend half an hour to 45 minutes a day doing it, and it makes me feel good, like I am sharpening my own wits and doing something useful. Sorry you feel victimized by it, but you could correct that by coming on here with good, well-reasoned, factual arguments for once. Try it. You will like it.

crank

Nah, you're no challenge. Your 'wit' remains as dull as the talking points you repeat here every day; brainwashed and don't even know it. When you encounter facts and reasoning, you respond with denials about sourced info (e.g. right-wing web sites) or petty personal insults.

You seem to have a desperate need to bicker about anything. You even replied to a single emoji I posted. Challenging suppositions and misinformation??? Nah, you're just trolling. Perhaps you should offer your own opinions, for once and leave the trolling out of it. Bet you can't!

oldhomey

Gosh, crank, I guess I feel like you just delivered a public spanking to me. How humiliating! On the other hand, you jumped into this string not with an opinion, other than to attack me for having "tantrums". My post that you responded to as far as I can tell is full of my opinions, based on evidence. Rather than responding to that, challenging me on the strength of the evidence I base my opinions on, you just tell me I am having a tantrum. Now here is your assignment if you want to be believed. Take my post apart and challenge the opinions I have expressed by knocking them down with actual, provable evidence. If you can do that, you might be a little more believable. But don't try to do that by sending me to some echo chamber website you have found, just state your evidence and facts straight up. Bet you can't!

crank

Do you classify the nih.gov or the Washington Post echo chamber web sites? Or is the echo chamber created by you ignoring those ‘legit’ sources, covering your ears and yelling “La la la la la” creating the echo when facts don’t line up with you opinions? You demanded I provide a link to the article/report by WAPO you claimed didn’t exist because you couldn’t find it. (Literally the first result returned by Google) the second was the SF chronicle... I think. Once I provided the link, you disappeared. The #echochamber seems to be the one you’ve created for yourself by ignoring, dismissing and denying facts which disprove your opinions. Or... you change the subject to spelling mistakes or outright personal insults. GOSH!

I’m not sure why you need to do this daily but clearly it makes you feel important. (...probably the same way your use of a thesaurus makes you feel super smart.)

oldhomey

Ahem. crank, unless you are talking apples and I am talking oranges, I don't see you disputing anything I said in my post that you termed a "tantrum". I certainly don't see anything linked to the National Institutes for Health or the Washington Post cited in your attempted put-down of me, though you did include some strange article from a journal on strokes entitled "Post-stroke Mood and Emotional Disturbances: Pharmacological Therapy Based on Mechanisms". If it was relevant to the discussion, perhaps you should explain that more clearly to me, though you may be too cranky at this point to want to respond any more.

crank

"But don't try to do that by sending me to some echo chamber website you have found, just state your evidence and facts straight up."

AHEM! (he says condescendingly)The most recent website links I've referred you to in any comment have been government info or the Washington Post. I stated my facts in a recent exchange but you simply denied the facts existed claiming you couldn't find them. These citations were provided in response to your demands to do so because you insisted my sources were right-wing echo chambers or simply didn't exist. Asked and answered! (again)

Though Step 1 for trolling trib-libs is to claim I get my info from FOX News, Limbaugh or at-right web sites, it isn't true. I don't have cable service which offers FOX news and I don't listen to Limbaugh. Even after providing direct links to my sources, you claim I pick them apart only using parts of them to support my point. I guess that might be true for any of us when citing something to support an argument. But if I provide direct links to the FULL articles on WSJ, NY Times, Washington Post, Rueters, CNN LA Times, Chicago Tribune, government web site or even WIKIpedia as well as those articles which may appear on Drudge, Breitbart, etc, doesn't that negate your claim?

After that, you resort to trivial comments about spelling or abandon the topic being discussed and go after the person directly.; e.g. our jobs, Gee, Ricky! AHEM, crank! "GOSH! I guess you have your but skrew everyone else.", "crank, I don't have access to dinner parties with doctors to do the original research as you do...", " Sorry you feel victimized by it, but you could correct that by coming on here with good, well-reasoned, factual arguments for once. "

You did this in our most recent exchange and now you're charging me again with referring you to 'echo chamber' web sites even though it wasn't true. Factual and well-reasoned comments are generally what I offer unless I'm treating you the same way you treat others, just to make a point. Your memory is failing, pompous one. (Or... you're straight-up lying.)


https://lacrossetribune.com/opinion/columnists/rich-lowry-kamala-harris-and-the-implausibility-of-medicare-for/article_97221a09-3f1f-5ccf-bc3c-f90b96b8d047.html?mode=comments

oldhomey

Am I being pompous, crank, or am I just cutting too close to the bone for your liking, pointing out when you are advancing faulty reasoning or unsupported arguments? I can certainly appreciate your anger and frustration when you are caught out like that. It happens to all of us on occasion, but sometimes more frequently with some with others, and with you it appears to be more frequently.

Now let's get down to absolute specifics here. You accuse me of "trolling" others on these boards, but it is you who jumped in on me when I challenged -- with facts -- what two right-wing posters said about this particular column by David Bange. You didn't comment about Bange's column, you didn't comment on the responses by the two right-wing posters, you just used the opportunity to accuse me of having a tantrum. So be it. But then you attack me for ignoring your well-sourced arguments, citing "But if I provide direct links to the FULL articles on WSJ, NY Times, Washington Post, Rueters, CNN LA Times, Chicago Tribune, government web site or even WIKIpedia as well as those articles which may appear on Drudge, Breitbart, etc, doesn't that negate your claim? "

Gee, crank, I looked over this string several times and did not detect you citing any of those sources at all. All I can figure out is that you are digging something out of past encounters with me and you feel hurt because I belittled your sourcing. But if that is the case, perhaps it would be decent of you, if you are trying to revive old battles, of at least directing me to them so I can see if I ignored your good sourcing or not. In short I have no idea what the devil you are talking about, and it is incumbent upon you to lay out your case. You certainly did not do that here. Are you feeling a little shy about the facts once again? It would appear so.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thanks for reading. Subscribe or log in to continue.