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It should be blindingly obvious by now that no country is going to sacrifice anything meaningful, and especially economic growth, to reduce emissions enough to dent the impact of climate change. Not saying that such sacrifices would be easy or trivial. But the cost of not making those sacrifices is enormous, as the people of the Philippines can attest.

Then again, even talking about climate change can get you in trouble if you are in the Obama Administration. So maybe I shouldn’t single out Japan.

…..I’m sure some would be happy that domestic production of American oil has surpassed imports for the first time in 18 years. But given that this has nothing to do with a broader drop in oil use or restrictions on imports in order to fight climate change, we can pretty safely assume that this is yet another bad sign from a nation where working on climate change is not only not a top priority, it’s not a secondary or tertiary priority either.

But hey, gas prices are going down, so that’s cool. Time to trade in for that SUV.

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  • Barry Freed

    I didn’t think I could hate Rahm Emmanuel any more. That asshole’s not fit to lick Steven Chu’s boots.

    • Kurzleg

      No kidding. If the guy has any good points, I’m not aware of them. I guess you might want a vicious egomaniacal prick like that in the role of Chief of Staff, but maybe not so much as an elected official.

    • JKTHs

      Rahm’s a real treasure ain’t he?

      • Helmut Monotreme

        Are you suggesting that he would traditionally be sunken or buried?

    • Some of us were very well aware of what an asshat Rahmbo was back in ’06, if not before. If any Democrat hires him in the future for anything besides dog-catcher, that should be a giant red flag.

  • Manta

    The EU *did* take measure to tackle climate change.

    • Not anything close to meaningful enough to make a significant difference, even if the other nations did the same.

      • Manta

        I am sure you are more informed than me on this topic, so I would like if you expanded a bit.

        From the EC website (not exactly a neutral party):
        “EU-15 over-achieves first Kyoto target”
        http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/g-gas/

        • rvman

          My understanding is that stabilization with a roughly 2 degree Celsius warming would require an approximately 80% cut in emissions by developed countries by 2050, and 60% worldwide. The targets that Europe hit amount to about a 0.6% decrease per year for 20 years. They would need to triple that rate, and maintain it for about 40 more years, to hit 80% reduction. Europe is ahead of everyone else in meeting this, but are still far behind.

  • Lee Rudolph

    I have become convinced that (1) nothing serious will be done to ameliorate the climate-change disaster short of world-wide (or near world-wide) benevolent authoritarian regimes / dictatorships arising from climate change, but (2) any (further) authoritatian regimes / dictatorships that arise from climate change will be malevolent in all ways—among which, they will only act to make climate change worse.

    In short, I give up. I really give up.

    • I’m an optimist. I believe that, after we have a heat wave and drought summer where 50,000 people die, the feds will take real action.

      • Baby Needs-A-Nym

        Climate Scientist “Buck” Turgidson: Now, truth is not always a pleasant thing. But it is necessary now to make a choice, to choose between two admittedly regrettable, but nevertheless *distinguishable*, postwarming environments: one where you got twenty million people killed, and the other where you got a hundred and fifty million people killed.

        President Merkin Muffley: You’re talking about mass murder, General, not warming!

        Climate Scientist “Buck” Turgidson: Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.

        • dn

          +1

    • Anonymous

      we can fight a war over emissions, or we can fight a war over antarctica.

      • Dave

        The real men will be going for the war under Antarctica…

        • Anonymous

          what i mean is antarctica without ice will be worth too much for existing treaties to maintain normal order.

          perhaps you’re making a joke and i don’t get it.

        • Origami Isopod

          You know WHO ELSE was waging war under Antarctica?!

          • wjts

            The shoggoths?

        • sparks

          Why, the mineral wealth of Antarctica has hardly been scratched.

  • Sockie the Sock Puppet

    I follow this stuff fairly closely, and I’m convinced that if we actually avert the worst case scenarios — merely awful is already baked in — it will be through sheer accident. Someone will invent a much cheaper and easier-to-install photovoltaic cell, or if some group gets around to building a molten salt reactor, it winds up being an order of magnitude less expensive than light-water reactors. Or there’s a pandemic/famine/blight, which in its own right constitutes another (though different) worst case scenario.

    And while the younger generation may not be as big a collection of assholes as my Generation X, by the time my kids (age 12 and 5) take over, I’m fairly certain things will be in freefall.

    The real tell will be what happens when the shale oil/gas boom starts to plateau out at the end of the decade. There are some easy carbon emissions cuts that can be made from switching to gas from coal, but once gas supplies start to get tight, I expect the decision makers to just say fuck it and fire up all those coal plants again. You know, jobs jobs jobs.

  • jackrabbitslim

    My dad’s a lawyer and his firm does a ton of work for Sunflower Electric in western KS (“clean” coal, hooray). I was raised in one of the only liberal households in my hometown but when my dad started bitching about Henry Waxman and the EPA a couple of years ago it really shook me. I keep trying with him though.

    • agorabum

      It is difficult for a man to understand something, when his salary depends on not understanding it…
      Hopefully this one dark spot is not infecting the rest of his values.

  • Maynard James Keenan

    Learn to swim.

    • Leo

      See you down in Arizona Bay

      • The prophet Nostradumbass

        What a couple of tools you two are.

  • The Pale Scot

    I really have come to the conclusion that the world would have been better off if the Ruskies and the US had launched on each other in the 60’s. Knew we were doomed in 1980. The Repubs has a choice between a worldly, pragmatic if empathy challenged diplomat and a former actor who even then was confusing reality with his movie roles and was expounding “Voodoo Economics”. They choose the actor.

    Then the USA had to make the choice between the actor and a rational naval nuclear engineer and Sunday school teacher, and they opted for the crazy. The acceptance of Voodoo Economics, which is still the dominant doctrine, sealed our fate.

    • I was in high school in 1980 and I remember people my age saying how RR reminded them of their grandfathers. I found that I could escape those conversations by saying “Really? My grandfathers weren’t lying moronic bigots.”

      • There you go again.

        • Barry Freed

          +!

  • Crunchy Frog

    Isn’t it about time for someone to show up and post that Obama has in fact been great on climate change?

    • Sockie the Sock Puppet

      Some steps the administration has taken have been positive, and given the state of the economy and, importantly, the absense of large-scale and impossible-to-ignore mobilization on the issue it might be hard to expect any more from him. But whatever he’s done, it ain’t enough. Not nearly.

      What’s more depressing to me is that I pretty much expect that we’ll look back on Obama as better on climate than any president in the first quarter of the 21st Century. Hillary Clinton doesn’t seem to care that much about the issue, and her Republican rivals seem like they’d delight in making it worse. The American political system isn’t set up to take on a crisis of this sort, and absent some black swan event, I don’t think it will.

      • Hogan

        If only climate change were something we could bomb . . .

        • Can’t you just shoot it with your legally concealed handgun?

        • Njorl

          We have the nuclear arsenal to destroy the industrial capacity of the rest of the world. We could solve global warming in 45 minutes. I don’t recommend it.

  • shah8

    I don’t think it’s that hopeless. Just looking at the crazies that came out of the woodwork trying to convince everyone that Haiyan was a category four storm, instead of being one of the strongest storms in recent history (certainly the strongest storm in terms of joules as represented by sat shots used for Dvorak technique, within the last three decades), shows some recognition that their ideological situation is desperate.

    Moreover, I suspect that a bit of more expansive thinking provides some assurance that *something* will be done, even if it’s not enough. For example, while China isn’t committed to lowering greenhouse gas emissions, it is, in effect, increasingly involuntarily committed to lowering particulate emissions, due to obvious health effects on its citizenry. Water, sooner or later, will become more highly priced and reserved for household needs–thus mitigating the malevolent effect of high subsidies for inefficient industry and agriculture.

    Not that we aren’t already doomed, of course. Mother Nature, however, probably will take seconds after Big Daddy World Wide Deflation takes the first bites out of human civilization.

    • The Pale Scot

      Corporate control of the government, especially by the fossil fuel and finance industries will prevent the kind of action required to avoid a massive die-off of the biosphere. The short-term necessity is to not exploit and burn the remaining estimated 8 gigatons of carbon still in the ground. Those gigtons are Exxon’s future product. The only way to to do that currently is undertaking millions of small solar and efficiency projects whose funding of is the antithesis of the financial industry’s big projects=big money system. Wall Street is set up to fund power plants, not crews installing rooftop panels. Smart Grids reduce power requirements. There isn’t the potential for “sitting on the beach, earning 20%). The idea of utilities being safe long term investments is kaput. Morgan Stanley can show you how to sell all of your power plants and transmission lines and lease them back for a commission of only 300 million!

      Under the current system the only possible salvation is a functioning fusion reactor that even then would have to be competitive with fossil fuels. When priced on the free market (no subsidized insurance for example) fission isn’t close. And at the end of the day there isn’t enough uranium. The Thorium reactors all produce Plutonium. Having 1000’s of Pu producers would guarantee some of it getting in the hands psychopaths. And Pu is an incredibly toxic heavy metal, it doesn’t need to go critical to be a WMD.

  • Captain Bringdown

    … I suspect that a bit of more expansive thinking provides some assurance that *something* will be done, even if it’s not enough.

    That is pretty reassuring, thanks!

    • Helmut Monotreme

      My prediction is that greenhouse gas emissions will be self limiting. But they will be self limiting in a way that will be mighty unpleasant. Once climate change is advanced enough, plague and famine (or war) will tear through the the hundreds of millions (or billions) of displaced climate change refugees. Which will give the wretched survivors another hundred or so years of oil based economy in a increasingly crowded hot and disease ridden world.

      • N__B

        Fess up. Your day job is writing vacation brochures, right?

        • Lee Rudolph

          Hallmark cards.

        • Helmut Monotreme

          Come enjoy the best that the Florida has to offer! Enjoy the tarpon fishing over where the everglades used to be!* Float serenely through the remains of Miami! Gaze in wonder at the sunken Orange bowl where millions of fan in SCUBA gear still watch football every Saturday in season! Buy traditional artisinal meth from actual Florida boat people, the gulf may have swallowed their retirement homes, but their can-do spirit is unsinkable!

          *Federal guidelines state that Florida tarpon exceed the LD50 of more than 15 different toxins. Pregnant women or those that may become pregnant are advised not to touch tarpon. PPE must be worn to pose with tarpon for vacation pictures. Returning contaminated fish to Florida waterways is a federal offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment $100,000 fine or both

          • This would be perfect, but like most fish, tarpon will probably be extinct since climate change is transforming the Ph balance of the ocean so quickly. So you’ll have to change to posing with delicious, delicious jellyfish.

            • There is an opportunity here for an energetic and flexible biotech company to produce peanut-butter fishes.

  • rea

    Human beings have never been good at long-range planning (in the long run, all the planners are dead) and have been mucking up the environment on a global scale since before the invention of history. Some kind of half-assed soft landing was always the most we could hope for.

  • LeeEsq

    IMO, I’m largely in the faction that thinks any sort of large scale action on climate change is nearly impossible in any democratic system let alone a system like America’s with its veto points and vested interests.

    The problem is two-fold. One is that very few politicians, especially those that need to run in elections, want to say to their people that you need to accept a lower-standard of living in order to save future generations. The only politicians that well say this are from parties that have no chance of every wielding power. Even without the problems of vested corporate interests, the electorate is not going to accept what they see as a lower standard of living. There simply is not going to be a poltiical will to do anything meaning on climate change.

    The other issue is that even if the political will existed, the amount of police power necessary to enforce it would be staggering and would lead towards dictatorship quickly.

    • tbunny

      You’d think that, but then one major party has a platform of lowering the standard of living for the 99%.

      I’m not convinced substantial change couldn’t happen by taxing the shit out of the plutocrats and investing in sustainable energy, all while maintaining or even improving the standard of living for the 99%.

      • LeeEsq

        IMO, it depends on what you mean by standard of living. In America, a lot of people like their cars and large single-family homes with yards in the suburbs. There is a growing new taste for urban, car-free living but suburban living is still very popular and might see another spurt of popularity when Millenials start having kids. You have similar issues in Australia and Canada, where car-dependent suburbia is also popular.

        Hell, Australia seems to have worse sprawl problems than America and Canada because every Australian city is a collection of car-dependnent suburbs.

        We know that dense, urban living and the use of transit is better for the environment and climate change than car-dependent suburbia. A lot of people, we are talking tens or hundreds of millions, are going to view any more towards this as a lowered standard of living. They want relatively large housing and yards that suburbia offers.

    • Anonymous

      The other issue is that even if the political will existed, the amount of police power necessary to enforce it would be staggering and would lead towards dictatorship quickly.

      But this is a feature, not a bug, for the Warmists. Behind Warmism is a totalitarian desire to force the masses to live a certain lifestyle dictated by government elites under a centrally planned, command economy. Remind you of anything?

      Warmists are, in the end, like watermelons-Green out the outside, but very, very Red on the inside.

      Warmism is about control and power, not the environment.

      .

      • Warmists are, in the end, like watermelons-Green out the outside, but very, very Red on the inside.

        This is what it looks like when Jennfier tries to be clever. Everyone gape in horror at this sad spectacle and thank whatever deity or lack thereof that animates your personal universe that you were not born this terminally lame.

        • rea

          Reminds me of the guy over at Volokh, who thought it was an unaccceptable violation of liberty to tax people to fund a progam to deal with an asteroid on a collision course with earth.

        • Lee Rudolph

          Just for the dubious fun of it, I remind you that the later Gore Vidal (e.g., in a Nation article titled erm-erm-The-Green-God-erm) said pretty much the same as this Anonymous.

          But elegantly.

          And I’m not sure how badly his brain was impaired by that time.

      • sibusisodan

        Behind Warmism is a totalitarian desire to force the masses to live a certain lifestyle dictated by government elites under a centrally planned, command economy. Remind you of anything?

        Actually, this is almost true.

        I do want my behind to live a certain lifestyle, and warmism for my masses is very important to me.

        Not sure how the govt elites fit in with this, though.

      • ChrisTS

        I’m not a Warmist. I’m an Anti-Diasterist.

    • Njorl

      Our democracy is a minor factor. International agreement is the sticking point. The developing and undeveloped countries will not agree to any situation where they can not generate cheap energy like the developed world has. If we can’t find a source of cheap energy for the rest of the world, sacrifice on our part is nearly pointless.

      Convincing voters to make meaningful sacrifices to significantly curtail the effects of global warming would be difficult. Convincing them to make meaningful sacrifices which will have negligible effects on global warming is not going to happen. If you can’t tell Americans what is going to replace coal in China, you can’t convince them to change their ways.

    • Sockie the Sock Puppet

      The other issue is that even if the political will existed, the amount of police power necessary to enforce it would be staggering and would lead towards dictatorship quickly.

      This isn’t actually true. Most greenhouse gases emitted come from sectors — transportation and electrical generation — that have strong regulations for other emissions. It didn’t require staggering levels of police power to cut smog emissions from cars, nor to limit sulfur emissions from power plants. We have the regulatory tools to reduce carbon emissions fairly dramatically, and to do so without “forcing people to huddle in the dark,” as some would have it.

      What we don’t have is a way to do that that ensures that every rich and powerful person today becomes richer and more powerful tomorrow. Some rich and powerful people — especially those who own coal power plants or produce inefficient vehicles — would necessarily lose out. And to keep them from losing out, we’ve condemned future generations to staggering losses.

      • LeeEsq

        What we might need to do, and its distasteful but potentially necessary, is to bribe the rich that would loose out from meaningful action on climate change. Basically pay them not to oppose it and pay the workers that are going to loose their jobs when the coal power plants and inefficient vehicle factories die.

        Getting rid of suburban sprawl would also help immensely but thats going to be a potentially harder fight.

  • Anonymous

    I take some of that watermelon analogy back-at least the old school Soviet Marxists believed in industrialization, technology, and human innovation. The neo-Marxist Warmists actively hate humanity (they are quite literally misanthropes) and if they don’t want us all to die off to appease the Earth Goddess, they at least want us to undergo a massive die-off followed by a return to pre-industrial living standards.

    • Sockie the Sock Puppet

      You shouldn’t extrapolate how your acquaintances feel about you to how large groups of people feel about other large groups of people.

      • ChrisTS

        +1

    • ChrisTS

      No, Pancake Puss, no one worried about global climate change wants people to die off. If we did want that, we would welcome such climate change with open arms.

      • Anonymous

        Secretly, you really do. You hope industrialization brings mass catastrophe to punish our “sins” against Mother Earth.

        Modern evnironmentalism is nothing but misanthropic masochism.

      • Anonymous

        I mean just look at the stuff Loomis rights. You can practically hear the *FAP FAP FAP FAP* every time he writes about his latest chicken little environmental catastrophe.

      • Anonymous

        *writes

  • Anonymous
    • sibusisodan

      Oh, the Daily Mail? Why didn’t you say so?

      I won’t believe it until they publish a piece on why the Artice ice cap HATES Britain.

      • N__B

        The Terror and the Erebus, that’s why.

        • Malaclypse

          Nonsense. It is the lack of Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash. This should be obvious to all.

          • Is that “lack of rum,” sodomy” and “the lash” or “lack of” “rum, sodomy, and the lash.” I find it unobvious.

    • Linnaeus

      Global cooling? Not really.

      More detail on why the 2013 “recovery” really wasn’t one here.

    • JMP

      Sorry, but no matter how loudly you yell that the Earth is flat, that doesn’t make it so, and just proves to the rest of the world that you are a complete moron.

      • Anonymous

        Shun the UNBELIEVER! SHUUNNNNN! SHUUUUUUUN!

        • JMP

          It’s not “unbeliever” when you’re refusing to except proven scientific fact. The world is still round, moron.

    • ChrisTS

      Short term, long term, local, global. Damned climate; how does it work?

  • Leeds man

    An annual carbon-intensive gathering of useless frequent flyers.

    Something might get done (far, far too late of course) when the person giving this speech has an American accent.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t the Warmists constantly tell us “weather isn’t climate” every time there’s a blizzard?

      Warmists declaring all unfortunate weather events to Warming remind me of ancient Greeks babbling about how lightning coming from the sky means Zeus is mad at us.

      • Leeds man

        I have no idea what the voices in your head say to you, sunshine.

  • Matt

    The one upside of climate change: even if the GOP achieves its fascist-theocratic wet dream throughout the US, the goddamn SUN will kill them all.

    Realistically, we’re not going to see any US action on it until after the next redistricting; and by then, there’s a good chance that “extinction event” will have already been baked in. I only hope that we also achieve life extension soon so that the Inhofes of the world can watch their grandchildren die.

  • Origami Isopod

    Have a couple of links:

    Maps of what the world’s coastlines would look like if all the ice melted.

    The Philippines’ climate change commissioner has broken down at a UN conference, making an emotional plea for climate action after Typhoon Haiyan devastated his home town.”

    • Anonymous

      Gee, whatever happened to “weather isn’t climate”?

  • Anonymous

    And the talk about fasting to repent for Cliamte Change proves yet again that Warmism is nothing but a substitute kind of fundamentalist Christianity for the Leftist set.

    • Matt T. in New Orleans

      Man, that’s a bunch of silly gibberish. Just dopey nonsense. “Warmism”. Who talks like that?

      Pancake fans, that’s who.

      • Anonymous

        If you really believe in Warmism (AGW), why the fuck are you living below sea level next to a big-ass lake? Shouldn’t you get to higher ground before all the ice melts?

        Do you own any property there by chance? A 30-year mortgage? If it’s going to be underwater in a few decades, why?

        • Matt T. in New Orleans

          First, I live in New Orleans because it’s a groovy little town, period.i don’t expect you to understand living one’s life in such a way that one enjoys, you being a wingnut and all c Secondly, one does not “believe” in established science like climate change. Belief, generally, is when there is a lack of evidence to sustain a thought or idea, much like, say, belief in astrology or libertarianism. With well-established science like AGW, one merely has to understand and accept. I know it might seem like a tough row to hoe, but it’s really quite easy once you let go of all your dogma and prejudices. That’s the thought part.

  • Anonymous

    I say that the death and destruction in Asia are symptoms of the wrath of the Chinese wind god, Fei Lian, the winged dragon with the head of a sparrow, the horns of a bull, body and legs of a stag and the tail of a snake, and that we can expect worse to come-unless we conduct the proper Taoist rites to appease the Celestial Archer, Houyi, the eternal foe of Fei Lian.

    My theory has as much evidence and even more historical precedence than AGW theory.

    • Matt T. in New Orleans

      You have no idea what “theory” actually means, do you?

      • anthrofred

        Or evidence. But pancakes? Oh, Jennie knows pancakes.

  • Anonymous

    In fact if you really believe in AGW, isn’t the solution to rip off a few dozen nuclear bombs to artificially cool the atmosphere?

  • Anonymous

    In fact why does Loomis give a shit about labor unions or “the 1%? We’ll all be dead or in a state of constant warfare from Climate Change in a few decades anyway! DOOOM! DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

    • Malaclypse

      May I suggest the calming effects of some smoothing maple syrup?

      • Jennfier’s Friday afternoon hissy fit is the only thing he has to live for.

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