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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.)
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.
Jeff Dooley (dooley) Tue 3 Aug 10 22:51
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.
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 screwedBeck 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.
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Wed 4 Aug 10 08:54
Thanks also for a great conversation. What's next up for you Eric?
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.
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.
Christian De Leon-Horton (echodog) Wed 4 Aug 10 11:47
I too am interested in what strategies can be applied next.
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.
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?
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Wed 4 Aug 10 14:29
Virtual Sea Monkey (karish) Wed 4 Aug 10 14:36
One would hope.
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.
Christian De Leon-Horton (echodog) Thu 5 Aug 10 10:55
Which it may, given some of the tipping points in play.
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.
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.
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.
David Gans (tnf) Wed 27 Apr 11 15:50
Eric just went to work at the Environmental Defense Fund!
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