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2012 SkS Bi-Weekly News Roundup #2

Posted on 18 November 2012 by John Hartz

This is the second edition of a biweekly roundup of selected news articles and blog posts about climate change and its impacts. This new series replaces the weekly roundup.

Cap-and-Trade Auction: California

California environmental officials moved ahead with a first-ever auction of greenhouse gas pollution credits despite a last-minute lawsuit filed by the state Chamber of Commerce to invalidate the sale.

California holds cap-and-trade auction of greenhouse gas credits Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times, Nov 15, 2012

Global Perspective Needed

In traditional foreign policy, countries focus primarily on their own national interests. In many respects, global climate change negotiations have followed that trend. ("Why should the United States agree to emissions cuts if China does not?" "Will we get more from the bargain than we give?") The real lesson of Sandy and Nilam is that we're all in this together as a global community. When weather catastrophes are linked to changes in the global climate, and strike opposite sides of the world with such fury in two successive weeks, we can no longer afford to think solely in terms of national interests.

U.S. Climate Disaster in Global Perspective by Robert Adler, The Huffington Post, Nov 16, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: What next?

"Here we have a crisis that was supposed to be a wake up call about climate change. And it was, for a little while,” she (Naomi Klein) explains. “Yet when we think about reconstruction, we are talking about how to hold back the next storm, not how to prevent the storms from continuing to escalate."

Naomi Klein Discusses Climate Change Challenges After Hurricane Sandy (VIDEO) by Jessica Leader, The Huffington Post, Nov 16, 2012

Keystone Pipeline: North America 

“It appears major environmental organizations and strong environmental supporters of the president are suggesting this is a litmus test for whether the second Obama administration is with them or against them,” said Ebinger, who’s a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution research center in Washington.

With election over, will Obama OK Keystone pipeline? by Sean Cockerham, McClatchy Newspapers, Nov 16, 2012

Public Opinion: California

California voters strongly support the state's ambitious program to limit emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that cause global warming, according to a new post-election poll.

State voters support cap and trade by  Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times, Nov 16, 2012

Public Policy: US

The entire House GOP leadership team has registered its opposition to climate legislation that raises revenue, underscoring the long odds that taxing carbon emissions has in negotiations on the fiscal cliff.

House GOP leaders pledge to oppose climate change ‘tax’, by Ben Geman,E2 Wire/The Hill, Nov 15, 2012

Environmental advocates have expressed frustration with the lack of discussion of climate change in the presidential race this year, a reticence that persisted even after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. On Wednesday, in his first post-election news conference, President Obama offered his most extensive remarks on climate change in months. They did not particularly thrill environmentalists.

Obama on Climate Policy: Not Just Now, Thanks by John Broder, Green Blog, New York Times, Nov 16, 2012

I am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human behavior and carbon emissions. And, as a consequence, I think we’ve got an obligation to future generations to do something about it.” So spoke newly re-elected President Barack Obama at a press conference on November 14 when questioned by a reporter.

All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy Trumps Climate Action by David Biello, Scientific American, Nov 16, 2012

Scientific Consensus

Scientists do not disagree about human-caused global warming. It is the ruling paradigm of climate science, in the same way that plate tectonics is the ruling paradigm of geology. We know that continents move. We know that the earth is warming and that human emissions of greenhouse gases are the primary cause. These are known facts about which virtually all publishing scientists agree.

Why Climate Deniers Have No Scientific Credibility - In One Pie Chart by James Powell, DeSmog Blog, Nov 15, 2012 

Summer Climate Change

Analysis of 90 years of observational data has revealed that summer climates in regions across the globe are changing -- mostly, but not always, warming --according to a new study led by a scientist from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences headquartered at the University of Colorado Boulder.

CIRES study shows summer climate change, mostly warming, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), Nov 13, 2012 


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Comments 1 to 3:

  1. I see no hope that cap-and-trade is going to solve anything. It haven't produced any results for 15 years but ending up as a speculation object. We have found a way to base our market economy on stealing from the future. Until the market reflects the true cost (including that to future generations) the market will only work against a solution, not towards it ... until it's too late. The only viable solution is (as James Hansen suggests) a 100% revenue neutral carbon tax with public dividend. Preferably the tax should be imposed on the source of fossil fuels: Where it's pulled from the ground. That should be easier to administer and the effect will ripple through the marked. ALSO: As opposed to cap-and-trade this can be put into place without initially global agreement. Simply impose penalty taxes on goods from countries without such a system. Of course it would be most effective if the US and the EU did this together, but we won't need China and India to do the same thing. It should pay of for them to do it simply to (re)gain access to our markets. It's important that this tax is revenue neutral. If it doesn't go 100% back to the public any part of it can only be spent to make it obsolete - like investing in carbon-free infrastructure.
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  2. "We have found a way to base our market economy on stealing from the future." Ironically, that's the core of any process leading to market crashes. The stock market is full of semi-parasitic actors who are always looking for ways to create money out of thin air and change some of it into cold hard cash that they can pocket now. That's what happened in 1929 and in 2008 as well. Their schemes are always based on the future value of some item of exchange and assume that value to continue increasing a certain way. They promote gambling on these future values and cash in on the gambling activity. Some will try to say this is oversimplified but, in fact, that is exactly what happened, and it is best described as "stealing from the future." It has the very perverse effect of making the entire world play with and even spend money that does not yet exist and may or may not come into existence.
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  3. I've been a regular visitor to this site for about six months, and feel that it represents generally a well considered, objective point of view, but it (the site itself and the community surrounding it), seems to me to fail (along with the so-called anti AGCW people, or deniers, or whatever their rank is) to admit to itself (themselves?, theirselves?) both the root and the nature of the problem. Of course, everbody knows (al la Joe Dirt) that the root of the problem is population. Likewise, the cause is the law?, propensity?, generally observed phenomena?, that life wants to perpetuate itself, and the best way to do that appears to be, to life in general, by the most efficient way possible. And therein lies the rub. Efficient for me (I live in deep southeastern Louisiana) is about $600-1000 a month. For most of my friends, as much as they can make, regardless of any convictions or scruples, moral or ethical. For the banana spiders that used to spin webs by the thousands (literally) across the road leading to my house, the rarely reached protection afforded by the galvanized roof over my workshed from the nightly! passes of airplanes spraying insecticide for fear of swine flu mosguitos. (Last years death toll in La., maybe 10: from whatever, pick one, cars, cars and cell phones, sugar, ad nauseum.}
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