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inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #101 of 124: Gary Greenberg (gberg) Tue 3 Aug 10 15:12
    
It seems remarkable to me (although I don't know why at this point)
that the people who live in the Gulf region would still be opposed to
ratcheting back on the offshore drilling. What more proof do you need
that drill baby drill is not such a good idea?
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #102 of 124: Gail Williams (gail) Tue 3 Aug 10 16:33
    
We need a real plan with a sure-thing spelled out for next month's
paycheck for the current oil workers if we want people to drop one of
the most lucrative careers in the region. Oil men buy a lot of those
world-class meals at the fine restaurants, go to the various clubs, buy
the nice homes and cars.  People in the region who fish and cook and
perform and sell homes and cars also know what rides on those oil
wages.  

Even heartbreak about the beaches may not cancel the fear of not
having a paycheck.  We have to summon the will as a nation to make it
possible for the people of the gulf to not have to adjust to the
horrors of living in a war-on-nature zone.  Otherwise, people will do
what they must to adjust, and to go on in a familiar place with what
they can salvage of their local lives and culture.  That's what people
do, when they must.   
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #103 of 124: Eric Pooley (ericpooley) Tue 3 Aug 10 18:19
    
Gail, well said. And I think it's worth remembering that no one is
talking about making the oil jobs go away in a our the No. 1 energy
producing state, Texas, now produces more than 10 GW of wind power --
which has created something like 10,000 jobs in the state. As we ramp
up wind farms and concentrated solar facilities and EV factories, we
can ramp down oil jobs over time, and avoid the sort of painful
dislocations that a permanent ban on offshore drilling would bring. 
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #104 of 124: Eric Pooley (ericpooley) Tue 3 Aug 10 18:20
    
Sorry, a few words dropped out of that post. I'll try again.

Gail, well said. And I think it's worth remembering that no one is
talking about making the oil jobs go away in a stroke. It's going to
have to be a gradual transition. It's worth remembering that our the
No. 1 energy producing state, Texas, alrteady produces more than 10 GW
of wind power -- which has created something like 10,000 jobs in the
state. As we ramp up wind farms and concentrated solar facilities and
EV factories, we can ramp down oil jobs over time, and avoid the sort
of painful dislocations that a permanent ban on offshore drilling would
bring. 
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #105 of 124: Christian De Leon-Horton (echodog) Tue 3 Aug 10 22:33
    
I notice that one of the first things the Republican noise machine did
to the Obama administration was attack the very man named as the
"green jobs czar"--and the administration cut him loose. It seems to me
that the climate denier faction is determined to strip away any notion
that a n economy without oil could actually be profitable. 
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #106 of 124: (fom) Tue 3 Aug 10 22:43
    
(I don't think they had much choice but to accept Jones's resignation, so 
to speak -- he was on record as calling himself a communist some years 
ago. Of course that shouldn't matter, but it does.)
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #107 of 124: Jeff Dooley (dooley) Tue 3 Aug 10 22:51
    

The Glen Beck hatchet job on Van Jones is described in the book on pages
411-413.
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #108 of 124: Jeff Dooley (dooley) Tue 3 Aug 10 22:51
    

slip
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #109 of 124: Julie Sherman (julieswn) Wed 4 Aug 10 05:54
    
I would like to thank Eric for a wonderful discussion about this very
important topic. Today Inkwell moves on to a new discussion, though of
course this topic will stay up indefinitely for the discussion to
continue. Thank you everyone who contributed.
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #110 of 124: Eric Pooley (ericpooley) Wed 4 Aug 10 08:12
    
Thanks Julie. I've enjoyed it.

I'm happy to keep chatting if people are so inclined. 

Van Jones did get screwed—Beck claimed he was a "self-described"
communist NOW, not for fifteen minutes in the past. But as I describe
in the book, Jones was a little surprised to have cleared the White
House vetting process in the first place. 
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #111 of 124: Rip Van Winkle (keta) Wed 4 Aug 10 08:54
    
Thanks also for a great conversation.  What's next up for you Eric?  
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #112 of 124: Jeff Dooley (dooley) Wed 4 Aug 10 09:43
    

Thanks Eric. So now that the Senate has punted climate into next year what
strategies are emerging along the various fronts to try to get a bill
through, even if the dems lose seats in both houses?  I really just wish
your book came with an RSS feed button, so I could get up in the morning and
have a couple of new chapters of this story to read.
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #113 of 124: Gail Williams (gail) Wed 4 Aug 10 10:40
    
Now that's a nice review!

This has been fascinating. I hope a lot of people pick up this book
because of the conversation here.  
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #114 of 124: Christian De Leon-Horton (echodog) Wed 4 Aug 10 11:47
    
I too am interested in what strategies can be applied next. 
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #115 of 124: Virtual Sea Monkey (karish) Wed 4 Aug 10 13:39
    
Tipping points:  We're already seeing several in action and we've seen
a hint that another one could swing fairly soon.

- Record low amounts of Arctic sea ice.  Open ocean absorbs 20 times as
much heat from sunlight as sea ice does.  The loss of thick multi-year
ice means that the exposure of more open sea will persist from year to
year.

- Methane release from melting tundra.  0.74 degrees may not seem like
much, but there's always a margin at which a small temperature change
causes an irreversible change in the environment.  This one includes a
featback mechanism, releasing a moderately persistent greenhouse gas.

Coming up:

- Loss of ice from Greenland's glaciers and ice shelves.  The flood of
fresh water into the Denmark Strait threatens to block the downwelling
that drives the return flow for the Gulf Stream.  If the Gulf Stream
stalls life will become more rigorous in big land areas alongside the
North Atlantic.
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #116 of 124: Virtual Sea Monkey (karish) Wed 4 Aug 10 14:15
    
There are a bunch of structural issues in our economic system and in
our political system that work against the kinds of change we'll have
to make to reverse the slide toward a warmer climate.  Before we get to
those there's the problem that we're still in denial territory:  people
who could see the effects of acid rain and who could see the
decade-by-decade improvements when controls were put into place are
still not sure they can see a temperature problem or that they'd be
able to perceive benefits from an amelioration effort.

Structural problems:

- There's a huge amount of capital sunk into a development pattern that
depends on fossil fuel and on cheap enery in general.  Most of the
population of the US lives in places that would be much less hospitable
if they didn't have cars.

- There are neither a good precedent nor the political will to change
the economic basis of energy use by pulling externalities into the
cost basis.  Sulfur reduction didn't hit this head on because it didn't
cost enough to require re-thinking our whole economy.

- Political control of the economy is very unpopular.  No matter how
many examples we bring up of ways that the economy relies on the
government, people will oppose what they see as political interference
in the economy.


We'll have to overcome all these problems.  Is there a plausible
strategy to counter any of them?
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #117 of 124: Rip Van Winkle (keta) Wed 4 Aug 10 14:29
    
In time.
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #118 of 124: Virtual Sea Monkey (karish) Wed 4 Aug 10 14:36
    
One would hope.
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #119 of 124: Mark McDonough (mcdee) Thu 5 Aug 10 05:02
    
My feeling is that global warming will happen, and it will be an
interesting learning experience for humans - or not.  

I think it's unrealistic to expect humans to fundamentally rearrange
their societies in response to a slow-moving, hypothetical peril, even
if the odds of it being an actual peril are fairly high.  Minor things
like eliminating CFCs are a lot easier (although even there, the record
has been less than perfect).  Completely changing how we use energy? 
Not going to happen until Central Park is under 10 feet of water.

While there will certainly be many effects on the non-human world, for
once humans will be causing a problem primarily for themselves.  I
just drove across the Delmarva Peninsula to a beach vacation -- all
corn and soybeans now, all ocean bottom in the geologically fairly
recent past.  The Earth will keep right on turning.

To me, the interesting question is what, if anything, humans will
learn from the likely disaster.  Unfortunately, I won't be around to
find out, unless global warming happens very fast indeed.
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #120 of 124: Christian De Leon-Horton (echodog) Thu 5 Aug 10 10:55
    
Which it may, given some of the tipping points in play. 
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #121 of 124: Jeff Dooley (dooley) Thu 5 Aug 10 11:03
    

Your second ppg pretty clearly describes the inability humans seem to have
to connect and assess consequences that are the delayed result of patterns
of action.  Max Bazerman calls this discounting the future in the article
Eric cited above.  To make clear the connection between actions now and
consequences later would require that people understand how their individual
actions to benefit themselves in the short run will combine with the same
actions of others to create a systemic effect that will manifest later in a
way that is very bad for them.  A typical example of this individual-action-
to-systemic-result pattern is the collapse of marine ecologies due to
chronic overfishing.

Even if most humans don't develop the ability to assess delayed systemic
consequences in  a way that prompts them to make short-run sacrifices, at
least some humans can and are making this connection now.

For me the point of moving as quickly as possible toward global reduction of
carbon emissions, (along with other measures), is that whatever disasters
may be brewing due to what's in the pipe right now will most likely result
in greater suffering the longer we wait to begin effective action.  It
is always about what can we do now with what we have to work with to keep
the upheavals and suffering from being any worse than they already will have
to be.
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #122 of 124: Jeff Dooley (dooley) Thu 5 Aug 10 11:13
    

slip, was responding to <mcdee>, but am now reminded of William Calvin's
suggestion that cessation of the north atlantic downwelling due to an
infusion of fresh water from arctic ice melt could lead to a very rapid
global climate change.  Someone has already mentioned this, but what is
interesting about Calvin's hypothesis is the astonishingly short period of
time he says the change could take.  Granted, this would all be whatever
happens beyond the tipping point, which events are very hard to predict due
the the complexity of the system in oscillation, but still chilling to
consider.
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #123 of 124: Rip Van Winkle (keta) Thu 5 Aug 10 11:22
    
slip - responding to 121 

Right.  I'm of the same mind.  Too late to prevent huge changes, but
what we really have some small control over is the health and resources
(political, economic, social) available as we go through the events. 
Do we want to arrive at any given point in the future as confused
exhausted junkies out on the street without a dime or a clue.  Or...

Whatever we put together for that "Or..." is crucial.
  
inkwell.vue.388 : Eric Pooley, "The Climate War"
permalink #124 of 124: David Gans (tnf) Wed 27 Apr 11 15:50
    

Eric just went to work at the Environmental Defense Fund!
  



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