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Why it's urgent we act now on climate change

What the science says...

Select a level... Basic Intermediate Advanced

A large amount of warming is delayed, and if we don’t act now we could pass tipping points.

Climate Myth...

It's not urgent

"There are many urgent priorities that need the attention of Congress, and it is not for me as an invited guest in your country to say what they are. Yet I can say this much: on any view, “global warming” is not one of them." (Christopher Monckton in testimony to the US Congress)

Global warming is an increasingly urgent problem. The urgency isn’t obvious because a large amount of warming is being delayed. But some of the latest research says if we want to keep the Earth’s climate within the range humans have experienced, we must leave nearly all the remaining fossil fuels in the ground. If we do not act now we could push the climate beyond tipping points, where the situation spirals out of our control. How do we know this? And what should we do about it? Read on.

James Hansen, NASA’s top climatologist and one of the first to warn greenhouse warming had been detected, set out to define dangerous human interference with climate. In 2008, his team came to the startling conclusion that the current level of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is already in the danger zone.

Since the Industrial Revolution, atmospheric CO2 has increased from 280 to 390 parts per million (ppm). Don’t be fooled by the small number – 390 ppm is higher than CO2 has been in millions of years. CO2 is rising by 2 ppm per year as we continue to burn fossil fuels. To stabilise the Earth’s climate, we must reduce CO2 to the relatively safe level of 350 ppm. And we must hurry, because the task will soon be an impossible one.

The 350 target is based not on climate modeling, but on past climate change (“paleoclimate”). Hansen looked at the highly accurate ice core record of the last few hundred thousand years, sediment core data going back 65 million years, and the changes currently unfolding. He discovered that, in the long term, climate is twice as sensitive in the real world as it is in the models used by the IPCC.

The key question in climate modeling is how much global warming you get from doubling CO2, once all climate feedbacks are taken into account. A feedback is something that amplifies or cancels out the initial effect (eg. interest is a feedback on a loan). The models include “fast feedbacks” like water vapor, clouds, and sea ice, but exclude longer-term “slow feedbacks” like melting ice sheets (an icy surface reflects more heat than a dark surface).

Both models and paleoclimate studies agree the warming after fast feedbacks is around 3°C per doubling of CO2. Slow feedbacks have received far less attention. Paleoclimate is the only available tool to estimate them. To cut a long story short, Hansen found the slow ice sheet feedback doubles the warming predicted by climate models (ie. 6°C per CO2 doubling).

Long-Term Climate Sensitivity

The global climate has warmed only 0.7°C, but has not yet fully responded to our past emissions. We know this because the Earth is still gaining more heat than it is losing. There is further warming in the pipeline, and Hansen’s results imply there’s a lot more than in the models. If CO2 remains at 390 ppm long enough for the ice sheet feedback to kick in, the delayed warming would eventually reach 2°C. That would result in an Earth unlike the one on which humans evolved and a sea level rise of not one metre, not two metres, but 25 metres. Imagine waves crashing over an eight-storey building.

It’s hard to dispute this would be “dangerous” climate change. But how quickly could it happen? In the past, ice sheets took millennia to respond, though once they got moving sea level rose several metres per century. But maybe ice sheets can melt faster if CO2 rises faster, as it is now doing. The IPCC predicted they would grow by 2100, but instead they are starting to shrink “100 years ahead of schedule”. Once an ice sheet begins to collapse there is no way to stop it sliding into the ocean. We would suffer centuries of encroaching shorelines. The climate change we started would proceed out of our control.

If ice sheets can melt significantly this century, then Hansen’s long-term warming has near-term policy implications. The tragedy we have set in motion can still be prevented, if we get the Earth to stop accumulating heat before slow feedbacks can kick in. To do so we must target the greatest, fastest-growing, and longest-lived climate driver: CO2.

Under business as usual, we are heading for up to 1,000 ppm by 2100, or nearly two doublings (and that’s not including possible carbon feedbacks). This would surely be an unimaginable catastrophe on any timescale. Even the mitigation scenarios governments are quarreling over are based on IPCC assessments now several years out of date. The lowest CO2 target being considered is 450 ppm, which Hansen concluded would eventually melt all ice on the planet, raising sea level by 75 metres. The Earth has not been ice-free since around the time our distant ancestors split off from monkeys.

Instead of stepping on or easing off the accelerator, we need to be slamming on the brakes. We must not only slow the rise of CO2 in the atmosphere, but reverse it. We must reduce CO2 from 390 to 350 ppm as soon as possible. That should stop the planet’s accumulation of heat. Stabilizing the CO2 level will require rapidly reducing CO2 emissions until nature can absorb carbon faster than we emit it – in practical terms, cutting emissions to near zero.

The only realistic way of getting back to 350 ppm is leaving most of the remaining fossil fuels in the ground. We must:

1) phase out coal by 2030. It is not enough to slow down coal-burning by converting it to liquid fuels, because CO2 stays in the atmosphere for a very long time. The fundamental problem is with the coal being burned at all.

2) not burn tar sands or oil shale. Their reserves are virtually untapped but thought to contain even more carbon than coal. Canada cannot keep burning them.

3) not burn the last drops of oil and gas if their reserves are on the high side. If it turns out we have already used about half, then we can safely burn the rest.

4) turn deforestation into reforestation. We’d still be left with the gargantuan task of removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Nature can absorb some carbon, but it has limits.

CO2 Emissions and Atmospheric Concentration with Coal Phaseout by 2030

It won’t be easy, but with these actions CO2 could peak around 400 ppm as early as 2025 and return to 350 ppm by century’s end. I believe we can achieve this; it’s primarily a question of political will. But our window of opportunity is rapidly slamming shut. Even one more decade of business as usual, and CO2 can be expected to remain in the danger zone for a very long time.

I should point out estimating a CO2 target from paleoclimate is fraught with uncertainties. I’ve had to simplify for this short article. I explain in more detail on Skeptical Science, or you can read Hansen’s paper free here. If there is one lesson recent climate research should teach us, it is that it’s a mistake to call uncertainty our friend. Arguably the most important aspect Hansen ignores, carbon feedbacks, is likely to make things even worse. There is more than enough reason to heed Hansen’s warning.

Right now we stand at an intersection. What we do in this decade is crucial. If we choose one path, by the end of the decade the world could be well on its way to phasing out coal. If we choose the other, we face an uncertain future in which the only certainty is a continually shifting climate. I’ll leave the final word to Hansen et al, whose concluding statements were pretty strongly worded coming from a dense, technical, peer-reviewed paper:

Present policies, with continued construction of coal-fired power plants without CO2 capture, suggest that decision-makers do not appreciate the gravity of the situation. We must begin to move now toward the era beyond fossil fuels. […] The most difficult task, phase-out over the next 20-25 years of coal use that does not capture CO2, is Herculean, yet feasible when compared with the efforts that went into World War II. The stakes, for all life on the planet, surpass those of any previous crisis. The greatest danger is continued ignorance and denial, which could make tragic consequences unavoidable.

Basic rebuttal written by James Wight

Update August 2015:

Here is a related lecture-video from Denial101x - Making Sense of Climate Science Denial


Last updated on 5 August 2015 by MichaelK. View Archives

Printable Version  |  Offline PDF Version  |  Link to this page

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Comments 26 to 48 out of 48:

  1. I am still not really sure how urgent global warming is. I read this article

    "Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director emeritus of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, told reporters that the cascading effects could lead to a world capable of supporting just one billion human beings, down from 7.5 billion today." Scientific America

    World capable of supporting one billion

    The reason I ask is there is a lot of causes out there as well as my own personal problems. I am trying basically triage. When I get time I try to feed several causes as well as meet my own needs.

    Other noteworthy causes, pro-vaccination, anti-racism, let alone charities like the ASPCA. I haven't even managed to donate blood, I get a physical reaction sometimes. Often authors will make the case that their cause is the most urgent and dire.

    Is climate change so dire that we should drop everything else? I mean on some level maybe I should just search for a better paying job and buy an electric car to replace my gasoline car. As opposed to arguing with deniers. Thank you in advance.

  2. PollutionMonster @26,

    The quoting of Schellnhuber in that Scientific American article is a bit of an add-on and somewhat out of context. The article is based on analysis dating back to 2018 here & here (so a little dated now) and is really concerned with the net negative emissions required after we reach the net zero emissions. These net negatives are not much discussed in the political arena, as though we can ignore them. The same is true of the "carbon budget" also addressed by the article. But the 'budget' and the 'negatives' are significant in tackling AGW. The climate scanario SSP1-1.9 (which prevents AGW exceeding  +1.5ºC warming, roughly) requires we halve our emissions by 2030 (and indeed to have made serious progress toward that halving by now) as part of keeping-to the 'budget', and following that for all our emissions post-2007 to be removed by the 'negative' policy post net-zero. So keeping to SSP1-1.9 would mean the 'negative' totals something like 1,000 billion t(CO2) [so over 20 years-worth of today's emissions] although the majority of that (perhaps two-thirds) would be post-2100.

    The Schellnhuber quote is lacking a bit of context but is presumably predicated on the view that we could lose control of AGW and kick off some extreme tipping points: Schellnhuber has co-authored work on such outcomes. Myself, I would be worried by allowing AGW to get significantly beyond +1.5ºC warming as the effect could easily destroy the world political order and bring about that sub-billion human world population through conflict.

    Humanity does need to rough out a workable global plan (or set of plans) for keeping AGW to sensible levels, the first step in identifying how bad the situation actually is. Without such planning, your attempted triage is not going to work.

    So what would a plan look like? The world is going to be short of energy sources in years to come as renewables will be required to power the economy as well as those 'negatives' which will be potentially bigger than SSP1-1.9 because we are not cutting our emissions and running out of 'budget'. We need to quickly replace FF with renewables, so build a few tens-of-thousand sq mile of sunny places with solar, connect it to the developed world's power grid as well as using it for hydrogen/ammonia production. And get ready to start sucking those 'negatives' out the atmosphere and pumping them into saline aquifers which have the capacity to take ample amounts of CO2. So a plan would rough out what all that would look like in terms of costs and resources.

    Arguing with deniers is required to demonstrate they are the lunatic denialists. They do still have enough influence to slow and even stop mitigation measures. In UK they are now doing just that.

  3. Thank you for the detailed response. I'm still reading all the links. I finished the guardian link.

    I didn't know that carbon capture was considered green-washing. I started arguing with climate change deniers in 2016 and I was a pro-science libertarian, sort of like Michael Shermer. I got caught up in the new atheist movement as I saw it a pro-science movement. A call to arms to defend science.

    The tribalism of the pro-science tribe versus the deniers. I guess what I am saying is my stance is more of "I must protect science" as opposed to I must save the environment.

    I've been focusing on fossil fuel subsidies and taxing carbon.

    "Globally, fossil fuel subsidies are were $5.9 trillion or 6.8 percent of GDP in 2020 and are expected to increase to 7.4 percent of GDP in 2025" imf

    International monetary fund 5.9 trillion fossil fuel subsidies

    The fact that we still have fossil fuel subsidies is abhorrent to my libertarian perspective. Also, carbon is a pollutant, without taxing carbon this is economic rent. Individual profits and socialized costs which breaks capitalism.

    I didn't know that the deniers still had such political influence. There are a few hardcore deniers out there but I can usually win the audience, and the onlookers see the denier as a lunatic as you have said.

  4. PolutionMonster @28,

    The "green wash" aspect to CCS comes from the oil industry seeing the injection of CO2 down oil wells as a useful 'voidage replacement' method for extracting more oil while the storage of CO2 keeps some of the criticism of fossil fuel extraction at arm's length. I'm not sure of the capacity in old FF wells. The carbon density of a well full of CO2 is going to be far far lower than one full of oil. Strangely, pumping CO2 down gas wells (where prsumably carbon-density for CO2 would be on a par with CH4) is mostly discussed in terms of preventing atmospheric CO2 release during gas extraction (which can contain a lot of CO2).
    Yet CCS does obviously run beyond the "green wash" when the storage isn't an aging oil well and/or is used to draw down atmospheric CO2 rather than to stop CO2 emissions. Thus Bioenergy CCS or Direct Air CCS.

    And denialism in politics -  the right-wing of UK politics has become far more mainstream due to Brexit. And I have found those who campaign for Brexit were almost to a man also strong climate change deniers. This was very noticable here abouts as we had a big battle over an off-shore wind farm opposed by the denialists and eventually stopped by the Tory government newly free of coalition partners. This was followed closely by the Brexit referendum and us 'remainers' were locally facing exactly the same opposition line-up as with the wind farm.

  5. PollutionMonster,

    In addition to what MA Rogers has mentioned, it is important to clarify the following:

    Storage of Carbon Captured from the emissions of burned fossil fuels may help reduce the rate of harm done. But it is not the same as Storage of CO2 Captured from the atmosphere.

    The now almost certain to be needed is:

    Ending the human activities that result in increased CO2 in the atmosphere (has always needed to be done as rapidly as possible).


    Removing excess CO2 to bring global warming impact back below 1.5 C (almost certain to be needed because of the lack of responsible leadership actions to govern/limit how much harm was done).

    The capture and storage of CO2 from fossil fuel burning is not really a solution for the following reasons (and maybe more reasons):

    • Not all of the emissions will be captured. That will require more CO2 removal from the atmosphere.
    • Not all of the captured emissions will be effectively stored. That will require more CO2 removal from the atmosphere.
    • There will be other ghg emissions from the extraction, processing, transport (even leaks of methane before it is burned). That will require more CO2 removal from the atmosphere.

    Attempts to frame CCS related to fossil fuels, or other uses for ancient buried hydrocarbons like Blue Hydrogen production, as 'solutions to the problem of increased atmospheric CO2 levels beyond 1.5 C impact' are 'Green Washing'.

    As a resident of Alberta I am very familiar with the Government (Alberta's and Canada's) Green Washing in their pursuit of popular support for maximum revenue by maximizing the benefits obtained from harmful uses of 'ancient hydrocarbons buried in Canada'.

  6. An important follow-up to my comment @30,

    'Ethically', the current generation should build more than enough atmospheric carbon removal and storage systems to rapidly draw down the 'excess CO2 above 1.5 C impact' that will be the result of the lack of 'harm reduction' leadership in the current generation.

    Any attempt to promote the belief that future generations will be able to afford the CO2 removal is 'worse than Green Washing'. It is like saying it is OK to benefit from harming other people because:

    • They can afford to be harmed
    • or They deserve to be harmed
    • or, most likely, They can do very little in retaliation to the harm done to them. Future generations can do very little to past generations. About all they can do is correct any incorrect perceptions of Greatness.

    Ending harm done is always urgently and ethically required, no matter what claims are made up regarding how deserving the beneficiaries are of the benefits they get from being harmful.

  7. I used the tactic of asking for a source rather then trying to debate an incoherent argument.

     Denier link heritage

     This seems very similar to the other arguments they make usually focusing on how expensive and infeasible renewable energy is. Certainly more subtle than other deniers who deny the 97% scientific consensus.



  8. With the last post, I was asking for help debunking what I am pretty sure is a denier's argument and link. I could have made that more clear this heat wave is affecting my cognitive ability.

    For example, the link quotes very specific numbers, are they correct and a red herring or just plain incorrect? This is the best place to come if I get stuck and it takes too long to debunk a climate change myth or is there another place?

  9. PollutionMonster @32 & @33 :

    It is not very clear what points you wish to discuss re your link to the February 2019 article by a Mr Nicolas Loris.  His article seems little more than a half-baked gentle rant (and is published by the Heritage Foundation . . . which is simply a propaganda organization).

    Loris's article is rather dated, being from 4.5 years ago, and talks against a (leftist politician's) supposed "Green New Deal"  which planned major changes over 10 years.   And basically, this "Deal" is non-existent ~ just vaporware on the political stage, with about zero chance of being implemented in the USA.

    Loris uses very vague wording about "industrialized" countries reducing CO2 emissions to zero yet having negligible effect on global temperature by 2100.   But he simply does not analyse the situation with any care or logic.   [By quoting temperature rises to 3 decimal points, he hopes to give the impression of scientific ultra-precision & credibility.]

    In short, Loris is wasting the reader's time ~ IMO he aims to produce an impression that our current situation is hopeless and that we all might as well close our eyes to problems . . . and go back to sleep & take no climate action.   Pure propaganda ~ not subtle but merely vague.

  10. @34 Electric

    Thank you. I am currently arguing with three deniers and got quite overwhelmed. I didn't want to dismiss a legitmate concern and lose crediblity with the interlocutors.

    I sometimes go on tilt and cannot process the paragraphs when I am presented with a vague argument. A confusing denier statement can be the most difficult of all.

    Loris' part about three decimal points sounded legimate, thank you for debunking this myth.

  11. PollutionMonster ~ you being able to argue with 3 Denialists, sounds like it could be fun entertainment for you (provided they come up with halfway-decent points for consideration).

    But all too often, the Denialists are like Anti-vaxxers.  When you show evidence of enormous benefit of vaccines (and the rareness of adverse effects) . . . then the Anti-vaxxers simply launch into a perpetual cycle of: Fatal side-effects > Mercury poisoning > Autism > Individual freedom > Conspiracy theories > Financial corruption > and back to vaccines causing millions of deaths / millions of cases of gross & permanent sabotage of the human immune system, and so on.

    PollutionMonster  ~ in over 10 years of searching, I have never come across a valid argument that shows the basic mainstream climate to be wrong.  If you yourself encounter a valid scientific argument that shows "it's not urgent we act now on climate change" . . . then this thread here might be a good place to publicize it.  (Sadly, all I come across is the vague & half-truthful rhetoric of the occasional person like Dr Judith Curry . . . or the even vaguer & only-slightly-truthful Mr Nicolas Loris of your example above.)

  12. I agree that it can be fun entertainment for awhile. Yet, after awhile it just becomes exhausting trying to keep up with a denier constantly changing topics only to repeat as in your example with the anti-vaxx.

    MA Rodger said in #27 that it was still nesscary to argue with deniers, do you agree? Or am I wasting my time arguing online?

    What about William Nordhaus? Deniers like to reference him. Saying that we should aim for 3.5C change and that 1.5-2C is infeasible if not impossible by 2100. Thank you in advance.

  13. PollutionMonster @37 , yes the economist William Nordhaus is an interesting case.

    Climate science deniers love him since he seems unconcerned about a 3 or 4 degree rise in global temperature . . . because, in his estimation, the vastly higher temperature will have no adverse effect on "output" (aka Gross Domestic Product ~ GDP being the heart & soul of economists' thinking).   And undoubtably Nordhaus is correct in his projections, for we all know that the "dismal science" of economics has an impeccable track record of long-term accuracy . . . and it is also the Be-all & End-all of measurement of human happiness (and of all other aspects of the natural world).

    But putting that minor point aside, the Denialists are slightly less happy that Nordhaus has suggested a $100-per-ton tax on carbon emissions ( I am unsure, but presume he means tax on tonnage of CO2 rather than tonnage of elemental carbon emitted ).

    As per usual, Denialists feel entitled to cherry-pick from the sayings of any prominent scientist or public figure, in order to support themselves.

    For arguing online ~ no, it is not a waste of your time, since your comments will be seen by "undecided" fence-sitters.  No, your arguments won't & can't change the minds of the hard-core intransigent Denialists (who are usually political extremists that are basically uninterested in the actual science or the actual happiness of other people).   But your activity will encourage decent sensible people.

    Only keep arguing so long as you find it fun/entertaining.  Refresh yourself with lots of walking & greenery & open skies . . . plus good company and other interests in life.  But I am sure you already know that is how Life should be lived.

  14. Eclectic @38

    You've made some interesting points. One week I really dug in and was arguing for 8 hours + a day with deniers, did not make me happy. Do you have a source for the $100 per ton tax on carbon emissions from Nordhaus? I've searched and searched but could not find. Thank you.

  15. PM @39 ,

    Nordhaus's comments are found in the online Washington Post, in an interview with Steven Mufson on 14th June 2021.

    About halfway down the rather short interview.   To me, Nordhaus seems very reasonable ~ apart from his obliviousness to the vast misery consequent on a 3 or 4 degree warmer world.   He also opines that "Carbon Price" would sound much better than "Carbon Tax" . . . so yes, I think he is very aware of the delicate sensibilities  of many of his American audience!

  16. Eclectic@40

    Thank you I found the quote, would have taken me a very long time to find on my own. I could only find a much lower number before. Going to argue with some deniers now. :)

  17. Now the denier is linking to the infamous John Strossel and Dr Judith Curry. I am attempting to show the errors of their source, but having trouble.

  18. PM @42 , please report on anything genuinely valid  which these deniers can produce from Mr Stossel or Dr Curry.  I'm betting that's Zilch.

    You won't change the deniers, but you may influence "onlookers'.   Myself in this situation, I'd figure it is reasonably justified to "poison the well".   Point out that Stossel once, years ago, was a reputable journalist . . . but now he's an angry propagandist and has received money from the billionaire Charles Koch, whose propaganda "institutes" encourage propaganda half-truths & cherry-picking slanted information.

    I would probably also go ad hom  [ ad fem ? ] on Curry ~ whose arguments are vague & tenuous & rhetorical . . . and are therefore difficult to get to grips with.   Point out that the real climate scientists find her a joke, and laugh at her and her vague position.

    Challenge the deniers to come up with anything definite  from these two anti-science propagandists.

  19. PollutionMonster:

    As Eclectic points out, Judith Curry's shtick is basically a "sow doubt" approach with a lot of maybes and ifs and other qualifiers. If you ignore the maybes and ifs,  her statements act as dog whistles to the contrarians. The approach allows her to walk back with an "I never said that" response when her "interesting" or "curious" pronouncements about highly speculative (or sometimes clearly wrong to begin with) ideas are shown to be incorrect.

    She presents herself as being open to new ideas (although they are usually the same-old, same-old debunked talking points), while feeding red meat to those that think the mainstream climate science community is close-minded. This approach works well to those who, as the saying goes, are so open-minded that their brains have fallen out.

    Curry's favourite method is to beat the Uncertainty drum and call up the Uncertainty Monster at her earliest convenience. Although the following cartoon was prepared for the recent post on Pat Frank's horrible paper on measurement uncertainty, Judith Curry was not far out of sight when the idea for the cartoon (and preamble to the Pat Frank post) was being prepared.

    The attack of the Uncertainty Monster


    SkS has a page on Judith Curry, as does DesmogBlog. The DesmogBlog text includes the sentence

    Climate scientists have also criticized Curry’s “uncertainty-focused spiel,” as Sourchwatch [sic] has put it, “for containing elementary mistakes and inflammatory assertions unsupported by evidence.

    Desmog links to this SourceWatch page.

    If I wanted to stoop to Curry's tactics, I probably should litter this comment with multitudinous use of qualifiers such as "it appears as if", "my initial impression is", "people have said", "if this is the case", "it would certainly be interesting if", "there is a chance that", "maybe we should consider the possibility that", etc. You get the idea.

  20. Thank you, I've read the responses and have used them to debunk the deniers claims. Yet, like a bad game of whack a mole more keep coming.

    Seems anti-green budget house government

    I don't know how good a source this is the Heritage foundation which we debunked earlier is quoted a lot. Aren't government websites supposed to be least bias? I am confused. Thank you in advance. :)

  21. PollutionMonster @45 :  you have linked to something titled:  "Fact Check: Setting the record straight on Bidenomics".

    Sadly , this is not an official government publication issued by (non-partisan) public servants who have carefully analysed the situation.   Instead, it is a heavily-slanted piece of propaganda, issued by a partisan House Committee for political purposes . . . apparently with some editorial assistance from Mr G. Santos  [readers in subsequent years may wish to google the Santos scandal ].

    It needs a Fact Check itself !

    PollutionMonster, if you look more closely at the Report, you will see not only cherrypicking  ~ but a complete absence of mention of the Budget Deficit sabotage caused by the Trumpian years.  Sabotage & societal harm caused also (by both major political parties) in following the reaganomics Trickle-Down fiasco.

    PollutionMonster, tell your antagonists to find some reputable info.

  22. Eclectic@45

    Hmmm, I don't follow everything you have said. I am not sure where Mr G. Santos enters the picture, I didn't see any mention on the page I linked to. I never heard of this budget deficit sabotage. I've been arguing with a lot of anti-vaxxers and working lots of hours so I've fell behind on some subjects.

  23. PollutionMonster @47 :

    Sorry if I have wasted some of your time.   My reference to Mr G. Santos was intended as a humorous flourish, for the amusement of readers who follow U.S. politics.   (Santos is a current federal House Representative, from New York, and is of the same political party as the 45th President.)    Hard as it may be to believe, but Santos achieves a mendacity that exceeds that of No. 45  . . . and helps demonstrate the extremes to which we have come*** .    And AFAIK, Mr Santos was not involved (directly) with the Budget Committee Report you linked to.

    The Budget Committee Report you mentioned is largely pure partisan propaganda ~ and with it, I think your opponents are trying to trick you, by using omissions & cherrypicking of history and data.   Please regard that Report with your highest level of skepticism, for it cannot be taken as a useful & valid source of information.

    My phrase "budget deficit sabotage" was a shorthand to refer to how the "right-wing" party claims to be the party of responsible conservative fiscal management  ~  and yet (under No. 45 ) blew an even yuger [huger] hole in the federal budget, by making large tax cuts for the very wealthy and for the big corporations.   Leaving even less money for tackling climate issues.

    But enough of this rather offtopic partisan politics  ~ discussions in SkS  threads are intended to be limited to politics in a general sense (not partisan) . . . and limited specifically to how humans' "general politics"  is helping or hindering progress towards a healthy Nett Zero Carbon economy.


    *** When you have some spare time, look up Cicero's

             "O tempora O mores"

    . . . which applies to anti-vaxxers, as well !

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