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Twisties

Cap and Trade vs Other Mechanisms for Limiting Carbon Emission

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Twisties

Here in Oregon the proposal for a cap and trade program on carbon emissions is dead, following a GOP Senate walkout, their second this year,  that denied the majority Dems a quorum.  The Bill would have reduced Oregon's carbon emissions to 80% of 1990 levels [EDIT]  I think that's by 80% of 1990 levels, eg  to 20% of 1990 levels, sorry [\EDIT]  by 2050 by joining Oregon with CA, BC, Nova Scotia and Quebec in their carbon credits market. The GOP generally represent conservative/libertarian rural Oregon and they managed to raise to the countryside in the days before and during the walkout.  We had truckers convoying to the Capital in Salem, and logging companies were backing them.   The III%'ers mobilized to the Oregon-Idaho border to "protect" the GOP Senators who were rumored to be in Idaho, and as well shut down the government in Salem with threats of violence.  The GOP Senate Caucus Leader was quoted threatening to murder any Oregon State Police sent to round them up.  

 

The Bill had been years in the making and was supported by a number of industry and environmental groups, as well some segments of the logging industry, including the three largest private logging landowners in the State.  A State commissioned independent study of the proposal showed it resulting in net GDP growth, and found that mitigation for negatively affected sectors was carefully and judiciously applied.  There are no other studies or rigorous analyses that I am aware of.

 

However, the GOP raised the cry, joined by a few coastal and rural Dems, claiming that it would kill jobs and industry in rural Oregon, and it was seen as furthering the urban/rural divide.   As well, people were concerned about the price of fuel, electricity, and other goods going up, the potential for misuse of revenues (they were originally supposed to go to green infrastructure/energy with set asides for rural investment, but the final language allowed other uses and was said to be vague), leakage (when businesses leave to avoid the cost),  concerns that it would not actually reduce carbon,  and concerns that Oregon's carbon emissions are insignificant or very low already, concerns about the use of an "emergency" clause (in Oregon "emergency" legislation is not subject to voter referendum and all other legislation is, but we always have right of initiative which can accomplish the same things, a referendum would have delayed implementation of the bill for over a year and blown a bunch of the deadlines in it).   Of course the usual global warming denial and deflections regarding China and India were in fine fettle.  In the end, corporate supporters were fleeing amid calls for boycott's and other pressure tactics.  

 

What struck me towards the end of the debacle, as the GOP senators began trickling back into the Capital this morning, and a planned marathon session this weekend to complete the rest of the legislative agenda by our Sunday midnight deadline for the session, is the emerging call for a carbon tax as a better alternative than cap and trade.  It's too early to see if this proposal will gain much traction.  

 

I think the real reason the GOP opposed the cap and trade proposal was that it didn't boost the logging industry enough... they want to use lumber as an offset....  eg counting lumber as net carbon reduction and use that then to work for increased timber harvest, particularly on the much maligned Federal lands.  Of course, some just oppose any carbon reduction action as well, but for the GOP moderates, I think this is what was at the heart of it.  A similar bill failed in Washington, however, an Eastern and Mid-Atlantic group consisting of 9 states plus D.C. has committed to implement a cap and trade program in the near future.

 

With that background, my question is this:  If you are going to implement a carbon reduction program, how should it be done?  What are the pros and cons of the various approaches?

 

 

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Patallaire

There might be two issues that you may want to consider, the first is "Why is the government setting policy? " This is a global issue, not to be solved by the US alone.  While it appear that the deflection to China, India, Russia, Poland etc. lacks a fix in this country, the facts support that they pollute far more than we do. So, it is a big government vs small government issue, which do you prefer?

 

The second issue and this is painfully obvious, the issue has become and continues to be a political football, everyone is positioning the solutions along political alignment. There is always a profit motive, so the lobbyists are representing their constituents, the elected officials want to stay elected so they represent the popular feelings. 

 

Lumber plays a small roll in the overall CAP and Trade deal, its purpose is to try to find and implement the least expensive way to cut emissions. It is designed to spur growth through efficiency. Most of the  States who have ratified it are in the North East where the CO-2 emissions from  older inefficient power plants are regulated. California adopted it in 2013 and struggled with it, they appear to be brining into alignment with the costs required to implement it, it has taken better then 8 years and great expense {$626 Million} to achieve marginal results and recognize that it requires a ton more cash inflow to be a success. Allowances are the government way of increasing the revenue, by selling bypasses to the requirements. It is like letting a fox in the henhouse.   Meanwhile all are realizing that these power plants are not the only cause of the problem in the US or the World so the question still exists as to why the burden is ours.

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Rinkydink

My problem with all of this is first, we are constantly told in 30-40-50 years we are past the point of no return. Ok, providing that is true, and I am not totally convinced of that, as the date of doom is always set so far out in the future. We have heard that one many times before. In the 70s,  I believe it was Popular Science forecasting an ice age due to man’s transgressions, and then all of Al Gore’s failed predictions. All mostly horse hockey so far. With all this cap and trade, carbon tax etc being proposed is there any guarantee said tax will really fix the problem? Do we just blindly shell out money to the government abyss (again!) and watch the absurd waste (again!) take our hard earned dollars down the drain and just accept failure? 

 

Please don’t flame me for my hesitation as I absolutely want my kids kids to have a wonderful earth as much as you do. I am certainly no climate scientist and openly admit to my own stupidity on this subject, but I also need China and India etc. to participate equally in whatever the solution ends up being. 

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Patallaire

The United States has done more then any other country to clean up its act in regards to carbon emissions, contrary to the Liberal political talking points. So, to your point, unless the other countries fix their issues and we all march to the same drum, taxing us or implementing more regulation is like shooting an elephant with a 22. Painful, but useless. I don't think we are failing, I think the picture is being painted as the glass is half empty.

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Bill_Walker
On 7/2/2019 at 7:25 PM, Rinkydink said:

My problem with all of this

...is that you're believing the conservative media's twisted take on it, which was paid for by oil company money.  Most of what followed the quoted phrase above was not actually true.

Yes, in the 70s some scientists were predicting global cooling, and the media had a field day with it.  That prediction was based on particulate emissions in the atmosphere blocking sunlight.  And then what happened?  We enacted limits on particulate emissions, and kept the prediction from coming true.

 

All of Gore's failed predictions?  Which ones?  I've seen one where he said the Arctic "may be" free of ice by a certain year (I forget the year), which conservative media reported as "will be" and thus a failed prediction.

 

And yes, we ARE already past some points of no return.  We will never again see the climate our grandparents grew up in.  The climate system has momentum.  If we stopped all carbon emissions cold turkey today, the planet would continue warming for another 40 years.  So the sooner we stop, the less bad it will be.

 

Other nations, including China and India, are taking action to reduce emissions.  China is rapidly deploying renewable energy, and even just sent 60,000 soldiers to plant millions of trees to absorb CO2 (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/02/china-army-soldiers-plant-trees/).  Europe is far ahead of the US on this, and has always had far lower per capita CO2 emissions.  Why should we do it?  How about world leadership?  We have, until the current administration, been world leaders in many areas.

 

On 7/2/2019 at 7:25 PM, Rinkydink said:

I am certainly no climate scientist and openly admit to my own stupidity on this subject. 

If you want to learn, NASA has a pretty good high-level site on the subject at https://climate.nasa.gov .  Pay particular attention to the items under the "Facts" menu in the upper right.

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Bill_Walker
On 6/28/2019 at 12:39 PM, Twisties said:

If you are going to implement a carbon reduction program, how should it be done?  What are the pros and cons of the various approaches?

 

Well, first you have to convince the GOP, the world's only major political party that denies the reality of anthropogenic climate change, that it's worth doing.  Polls suggest that GOP constituents are slowly coming around due to the increasing frequency and severity of climate-related disasters, but the politicians and conservative media seem still to be beholden to fossil fuel interests.

 

Cap-and-trade and some form of carbon tax are, of course, the "market-based" approaches meant to attract support from free market conservatives.  But they don't, because nobody wants to pay more for gas, and a large part of the conservative constituency live in rural areas, where modern life without gas and diesel is essentially impossible.

 

Dr. Hansen warned Congress about global warming in 1988, and we should have started taking action then.  Policies like cap-and-trade or a carbon tax might have been sufficient.  What's needed now, having put off action for so long, is a global World War II level of mobilization to rapidly build and deploy renewable energy and storage, restructure our transportation systems, and revamp our buildings for efficiency (and maybe even tear down and redesign some of our transit-hostile suburban neighborhoods).  But things are going to have to get really bad before enough people recognize the necessity.  Humans aren't wired to respond dramatically to seemingly far-off consequences.  The problem, as mentioned in my other post above, is that the climate system has momentum.  If we stopped all CO2 emissions today, the planet would still continue getting hotter for another 40 years.  So, it's like trying to stop an Alpine avalanche.  In 1988, we probably could have caught the one snowball that was starting down the slope.  In 1998, we could have stopped most of it with some snow fencing.  Now, we'd better hope we can build some walls to direct it to the part of the village we've decided to sacrifice.

 

So, cons: both policies, along with simple regulation of carbon emissions, are probably too slow-acting.  Cap-and-trade needs careful design.  California's cap-and-trade system, IIRC, is finding that they've put too low a price on carbon to have the desired effect (recalling that we're dealing with the most profitable companies in the history of companies, which can easily absorb quite a bit of cost).  Carbon taxes would probably be more effective, but opponents will always denounce anything they can call a tax, even if the scheme includes a dividend or rebate to offset the cost for lower-income users.  And the problem with that rebate is that you have to wait for it, after having already paid extra at the pump, so it doesn't avoid the hit to monthly cash flow.  Also, I've just heard that a study showed that gasoline consumption was remarkably resilient in the face of price changes. People gotta go where they gotta go.

I think the key is that we have to give people attractive alternatives to burning fossil fuels.  That'll take more than just making fossil fuels less attractive by increasing their price.  If I can't afford an EV and there's no public transit where I live, what choice do I have for getting where I want to go?  If my home burns natural gas for heat, hot water and cooking, where will I get the money to switch it all over to electric?  So, we need to radically revamp our energy and transportation systems and even homes, all of which costs money.

 

There is, of course, a cost of doing nothing, and the investment folks are catching on:

"The consulting firm Moody’s Analytics says climate change could inflict $69 trillion in damage on the global economy by the year 2100, assuming that warming hits the two-degree Celsius threshold widely seen as the limit to stem its most dire effects.

 

Moody’s says in a new climate change report that warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, increasingly seen by scientists as a climate-stabilizing limit, would still cause $54 trillion in damages by the end of the century.

 

The firm warns that passing the two-degree threshold “could hit tipping points for even larger and irreversible warming feedback loops such as permanent summer ice melt in the Arctic Ocean.”

 

The new report predicts that rising temperatures will “universally hurt worker health and productivity” and that more frequent extreme weather events “will increasingly disrupt and damage critical infrastructure and property.”"

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/moodys-analytics-says-climate-change-could-cost-69-trillion-by-2100/2019/07/02/f9fb94ac-99cb-11e9-916d-9c61607d8190_story.html?utm_term=.a95dbfc5843f

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Patallaire

I am positive I would not be using the Washington Post, a bastion of liberal journalism, as a source after suggesting that this is a GOP problem and that the GOP is a bunch of deniers.  Just doesn't work!  Aside form that small political difference, the causes of Carbon emissions are many, they include Transportation, {13%} residential and commercial buildings, {8%} Agriculture,{13.5%} Forestry,{17.5%} Waste,{2.8%} and Industry,{19.4%}Energy Supply {25.9%}  they all contribute and the impact differs by country and sector.  Russia, and China and India lead the world in this regard, with Russia being ranked 3rd behind China and India.  The European region, encompassing 52 countries, bears a significant responsibility for its historical contributions to global warming pollution. This region is home to six of the top 20 annual global CO2 emitters.  Solutions do not need to be taxes, technology can improve the energy efficiency we utilize for our homes and for industry. The growth of Hybrid autos or electric vehicles is a step in the right direction as they come down in costs, and increase their range, some use of renewable energy can be implemented, reduce deforestation as trees help clean the air, and lastly Nuclear power. So very clearly the issue is not a GOP issue, it is a World wide issue. Taxing Americans is not the solution, just ask the Californians who now pay 80 cents per gallon in gas taxes, if that has stopped them from driving, or if tax payer dollars thrown at a rail system that never materialized was a good use of tax dollars.  Taxes increase government spending, the government is a wealth transfer agency.  The solutions will be implemented by private industry. All countries need to be on board or it will not work, America throwing a lot of money at this, when Europe, India and China are not committed or are giving lip service to the problem it is not feasible.  Why are we carrying the guilt inspired by liberal publications? The issue is not ours alone, we are doing our part and developing solutons.

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Rinkydink
On 7/4/2019 at 10:43 AM, Bill_Walker said:

...is that you're believing the conservative media's twisted take on it, which was paid for by oil company money.  Most of what followed the quoted phrase above was not actually true.
 

Not true. I don’t let any political party make my decisions for me. But since you brought up the GOP and Al Gore, this is from the Huffington Post, a left leaning source. 

 

https://m.huffingtonpost.ca/jasmin-guenette/al-gores-inconvenient-sequel_b_16669842.html

 

Moreover, for me, its not whether the earth is warming but is man causing it and is some new progressive tax really going to fix it. On the subject of AL Gore and oil money, you do remember he sold his failing tv channel (Current TV) to Qatar based Al Jazeera Media for a reported $500 million...read oil money. Old Al has sold out, but hey, evidently that’s ok. 

 

Again, I’m not sold on it being man-made. 

 

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Bill_Walker
3 hours ago, Rinkydink said:

Again, I’m not sold on it being man-made. 

So, I guess that means that either you DON'T want to learn, or you don't trust NASA.  If the latter, what possible reason could they have for lying about it?

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Rinkydink

Wrong again. I learn everyday. I just don’t necessarily trust studies that are dependent on government funding ($21 billion annually) to survive. Sorry, still not proving it’s man-made AND no one guarantees that when the good old gooberment pickpockets us that they will reverse it.

 

Let’s just agree to disagree. 

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Bill_Walker
3 hours ago, Rinkydink said:

I just don’t necessarily trust studies that are dependent on government funding ($21 billion annually) to survive.

Nobody else funds pure research that has no expectation of producing a profit, so if you don't trust government funded research, you don't trust research.  I'm far more skeptical of corporate-funded research, where the funders nearly always have a vested interest in a particular outcome.

 

Re Al Gore, you realize that your argument is "Politician Al Gore got a few things wrong in his movie and talks, so that means 150 years of climate research must be wrong."?

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Rougarou
5 hours ago, Bill_Walker said:

Nobody else funds pure research that has no expectation of producing a profit,

 

 

But government DOES fund research with an end outcome in mind,.....take it like you want.

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Patallaire

Did you really suggest that Al Gore got a few things wrong?  He started with a premise that was more false than true and then tried to support the hypothesis with more un-truths and exaggerations.  What part of "A few things wrong" does that represent?

 

Suggesting that the government does pure research is like suggesting that the earth is flat and lets prove it.  The premise is wrong from the get-go.  There is always an agenda, and please remember, the government produces nothing, it is a wealth transfer agency, so it is always funded by either business,  business lobbyist's or tax payers. There is very little pure about their research except the expense which is borne by all of us.   Their research is no more honest or dis-honest from anyone else's.  By definition, research is research.  Outcomes are motivated, or tilted by the desired perspective.  You have been around long enough, Bill, to not be buying into that B.S. about "Pure Research!"

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Bill_Walker
3 hours ago, Patallaire said:

He started with a premise that was more false than true and then tried to support the hypothesis with more un-truths and exaggerations.

 

That's a ridiculous statement.  What "more false than true" premise are you claiming he started with?  He was simply reporting what climate science had concluded.  He's guilty of occasionally choosing the worst-case projected outcomes to report, which is perfectly reasonable, since his intent was to sound an alarm.

 

But again, why the hell are we talking about Al Gore?  Climate science didn't start with him, he didn't invent it, he's not a climate scientist.  He made a freaking movie.

 

Exxon did their own climate research in the 1970s and 80s.  Here's an internal Exxon briefing from 1979, confirming the rise in CO2 due to fossil fuel consumption and accurately predicting today's atmospheric CO2 concentration, while warning about future climate change: http://insideclimatenews.org/sites/default/files/documents/CO2 and Fuel Use Projections.pdf. It does stress the uncertainties, which are considerably less today than they were then.

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Bill_Walker

Here's a timeline of global warming research from the American Institute of Physics.  Arrhenius posited warming from human emissions of CO2 in 1896, 110 years before Gore's movie.

 

https://history.aip.org/climate/timeline.htm

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Patallaire

Bill, a "Ridiculous statement" really.  Actually, in the face of such brilliance, as you possess,  I am feeling rather diminished by my lack of it!  I may admit that he didn't invent climate, he stated that he did invent the internet, so what am I to believe as your reference point? I believe he used alternate facts to promote an alarmist agenda, so much so that the British Courts banned his film and referenced it as Political propaganda. “Every night on the television news is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation and we’ve got to connect the dots between the cause and the effect,” Gore said. Seriously, we need to go back to donkey manure polluting. As a point of fact, the worst 2 hurricanes on record were,  1900-Galveston, and 1780-Barbados and Lesser Antilles. Do you believe, scientifically of course, that they were caused by man-made global warming, in 1780 and 1900?  When you look at the two Gore movies there was a very strong left leaning political agenda and he twisted half truths to fit his presentation.

That brings me back to the original discussion, whether you believe it is fact or fiction, why is it an American taxpayer problem?? We are doing our part, and doing it consistently.  The issue, is who is going to pay, how much and why is it our problem vs, all the other major polluters?  Who is going to monitor it, who is going to slap another country on the wrist for non-conformity?  How do you solve the growth issue in China, where more buildings, which utilize more climate emission devises, are erected monthly?  How do you solve and who pays for cleaning up India?  How do you bring Russia into the fold?  Where are the do-gooders in Russia? You see Bill, contrary to liberal thinking, this is an expensive issue requiring money, more money and lots of money as well as time and consensus to resolve. Explain where the money is coming from and perhaps we can all get aboard, except not on the failed train project in California, where the costs actually derailed the liberal agenda.  Private Industry  was not willing to pay, and thus it was doomed.  So who is going to pay for the climate issue?   I had offered solutions above, but recognize in this country it is a political issue.  I do hope that it wasn't a climate shift that caused the earthquakes in California.  That looked frightening.  Look to your own life, Bill, you have 2 motorcycles, no doubt a car or 2, air conditioning, heat, electric etc. You are a consumer and a polluter, what are you doing personally to make the world a better place??

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Bill_Walker
2 hours ago, Patallaire said:

British Courts banned his film and referenced it as Political propaganda

No, they didn't.  But the right-wing media claimed they did.

 

https://grist.org/article/erring-on-the-side-of-tabloidism/

 

And much of the rest of what you've said is just as wrong.  If the two worst hurricanes on record occurred in the past, that in no way changes the prediction that hurricanes will likely become more severe.  There is, and will continue to be, a very wide range of hurricane strength and frequency, but on average, they'll get more damaging, because there's more energy (heat in both the atmosphere and the ocean) and moisture available to build them.  Just as there will still be winter, and winter storms with snow, but on average, the global temperature will continue to increase.

 

It is a global problem, and leadership is needed.  We had a good start with that with the Paris Accord, which Obama managed to push through and Trump stupidly pulled us out of, abdicating America's position of world leadership.  The Paris Accord is inadequate, but it's a start, and it's the strongest agreement we've gotten.  But only Saudi Arabia and Australia have higher per capita fossil fuel consumption than the US.  We're not even close to doing our part, because we can't do our part within the systems that currently exist. We have inadequate public transit in most of the US, and vast areas that are designed to support only motor vehicle transportation.  We have huge suburban sprawls that lead to lengthy commutes.  We have an entrenched fossil fuel-based system for transporting everything.  We have entrenched fossil-fuel based power generation, although that's changing now that renewables are cheaper than fossil fuel in most places.  In the face of these systems, individual actions don't mean squat.  I've got solar panels on my roof and I drive a plug-in car, but there's not a lot more I can do.

 

And as I posted above, if you think taking action to mitigate climate change is too expensive, look at what it's going to cost if we don't.

P.S. I'm glad you dropped the italics.  It made your posts hard to read.

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Patallaire

Bill ~ I will concede that the film was not banned, however it was released with a caveat that it was more fiction then fact in England.  The only way it was allowed to be seen by children in schools was with that caveat. Predictions are just that, predictions, not facts. When I deal with Liberal arguments it forever amazes me that the person making the argument knows more then their President and that they have really, really short memories.  So lets see if we can correct some of that .  I have already recognized your brilliance, so that is now, when you look in a mirror, self evident, to you.  So moving past that, when you stated that "Obama managed to push through and Trump stupidly pulled us out of, abdicating America's position of world leadership."  Your implication was that Obama was right, as you are, and Trump is wrong.  Obama pushed through is a correct statement, by fiat, not with the approval of Congress or the Senate. This was a treaty, it was costly and ineffectual. it had no Congressional approval and by law must have the advise and consent of the Senate before the U.S can join them. Obama declared it not to be a Treaty and decided that he alone can declare which are treaties and which are agreements, to evade Constitution review and did a run-around on the Constitutional mandate of checks and balance. Thus making environmental policies unaccountable to the people who vote. Our fossil fuels are plentiful and yet, Bill the Paris accord was progressively restrictive under the NDC and would make our price advantage ineffective. Also and to the point it would not have achieved anything near the stated goal. The withdrawal was a humanitarian imperative. It produced no detectable climate benefits, it would have driven trillions from investments into political usage, it hurt energy poor countries by limiting their access to affordable energy from fossil fuels. Countries that signed it can make the promises but are not bound to keep them thus making the entire expensive proposition a straw horse.

Bill, a solution that if it is too expensive now, look what happen if we don't is really not a solution, it is a scare tactic fed by liberal points of view, I understand, and recognize the left source. {When I use italics, tilt your head!!}

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BrianM

Here is my take on the subject. I am a scientist (physicist). I have done research in the past (not sure I can discuss what I did).

 

Some background.

 

- Weather and climate are related but not the same thing.

 

- Weather and climate are chaotic systems. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory 

 

- About 0.1% of the atmosphere (trace gasses) contains all of the greenhouse gasses. 78% N, 21% O, 0.9% Ar

 

- current greenhouse gasses are responsible for about 60F of warming.

 

Simple explaination of why humans are responsible for current warming.

 

If 0.1% (maximum if all trace gasses are greenhouse gasses) accounts for 60F, really don't need much increase to gain 5F or more.

 

People argue it has been warmer, it has. That is not what is important. The rate of change is what is important. This where understanding of derivative calculus is important, it allows the understanding of the difference between values (x) and the rate of change of the values (dx/dt - this happens to be a time rate of change, hence the t in dt - simpliest terms it is the slope of x vs t). The point is not x but dx/dt.  Since climate is chaotic, its response to change can be very dramatic. Life cannot change (evolve) to keep up with rapid change (see past extinction events). Remember, variation in a population is purely chance. Pressure on a population does not create variation, it chooses the winning variation. If the winning variation is not in a population, the population dies. How long has agriculture existed? How much has climate changed during that time? Is monoculture a good idea (Monsanto wants you to believe it is a good idea)?

 

The temperature of Earth is rising (x is increasing), the rate of change is increasing (dx/dt is also increasing). There is no natural cause for the increase in the rate of change. The cause is the burning of fossil fuels. Fossil fuel burning changes the balance of the different types of co2 (based on c12, c13, c14). Natural sources have a different balance. If it is not humans, what is the natural sources of the additional greenhouse gasses? Why would the balance change if the sources are natural?

 

According to some research, if it were not for burning fossil fuels, Earth would be cooling. If so, humans are 100% responsible for the warming. We are in an interglacial period - at least based on the climate for the last 2 million years or so.

 

Mentioning events such as past hurricanes being the strongest is meaningless - weather is chaotic. Those hurricanes were within the range of possible events. The fact no hurricanes in the near past have not been stronger doesn't point to anything (once again chaos). What is important is the average strength and number of events. Are those changing? If so, why?

 

Personally, based upon what I have read (scientific publications) we are past the point of no return. The question is how long will we wait and how bad will it be.

 

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realshelby

I love the points about "chaos". I agree with that. What I also agree with is the rapid change in temperatures. Nature, on its own, wouldn't normally do that without some event ( asteroid hitting....). In this case, the event is human intervention. 

 

 

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Joe Frickin' Friday
On 7/7/2019 at 9:03 AM, Patallaire said:

Bill ~ I will concede that the film was not banned, however it was released with a caveat that it was more fiction then fact in England.

 

Actually, the judge in that case felt that it was more fact than fiction:

Quote

The judge concluded "I have no doubt that Dr Stott, the Defendant's expert, is right when he says that: 'Al Gore's presentation of the causes and likely effects of climate change in the film was broadly accurate.'" On the basis of testimony from Dr. Robert M. Carter and the arguments put forth by the claimant's lawyers, the judge also pointed to nine of the statements that Dimmock's counsel had described as "errors" as inaccuracies; i.e, that were not representative of the mainstream.

 

 

 

On 7/19/2019 at 2:02 AM, BrianM said:

People argue it has been warmer, it has. That is not what is important. The rate of change is what is important.

 

I think this XKCD cartoon nicely sums up your point.

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Paul De

Sadly, most Americans have no clue about derivative calculus or how to interpret that data.  I'm afraid we are the frog in the pot of slowly heated water.  What is frustrating is that the climate change denier side uses the language about rate of change and statistical significance against the human caused climate change side more effectively than the honest experts have been able to explain the issue in easy sound bite terms.

 

IMO the biggest roadblock to adressing the issue is that economic business models that drive our business decisions have always ignored the cost to society of the waste/ byproducts of that activity. I have yet to see any free market economic model that addresses quality of life issues adequately, let alone the sustainability of life as we know it.  Couple that with the need for public companies to have a favorable balance sheet every quarter and true long range planning becomes a joke. 

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Patallaire

Paul:

While I can understand your logic as to the veracity of the numerical empirical evidence or derivative calculus to resolve the climate change issue, the leap to the logic that it is an unresolved corporate responsibility that is a function of the profit/loss statements, is truly a giant leap and a conclusion looking for facts.  Had you suggested that it is a political football and an International political problem and that the issue is not America's alone to resolve, it would have made the derivative calculus argument and your innate ability to understand the complexity of that calculus and its interpretation more meaningful.  Not introducing the facts that there are major polluters around the world who are doing nothing and laying the negligence on the corporations ignores much of the convincing  data available. Your position suggests a blame outcome already established in the tenant of your interpretation.  Ergo, based on that you could draw no other interpretation or utilize any additional fact patterns.  By the way, it was the American Tax payer who was going to fund the bulk of Cap and Trade and there was no accountability by other countries to honor their commitments.  My position doesn't ignore the fact that there is a climate change, it suggests that the responsibility neither rests on the shoulders of the tax payers of the United States, nor does it rest on Corporations.  It rests on the human race to demand change from all parties concerned and be active participants in the solution, not in the blame game.

 

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Joe Frickin' Friday
On 7/1/2019 at 7:52 AM, Patallaire said:

While it appear that the deflection to China, India, Russia, Poland etc. lacks a fix in this country, the facts support that they pollute far more than we do.

 

Among the top 20 CO2-emitting countries, the US is the second highest.  China puts out about 80% more CO2, but in their defense, they have four times as many people.  India also has about four times as many people as the US, but they only put out about 40% as much CO2 on a national basis.  Russia?  less than a third of our output.  Poland is barely in the top 20, putting out less than 6% of what we put out.

 

Measured on a per-capita basis, the US is also among the worst for CO2 output;  China, India, Russia, Poland, and others are all considerably better.

 

How about CO2 per GDP?  Among developed countries, Switzerland appears to be getting the most productivity out of their carbon; the US is way down the list, at #80.  

 

What are the facts supporting your contention that those other countries pollute far more than we do?  

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RecentConvert

"nature" always finds a way to bring a population back into balance, or into extinction.  Be it rabbits, mice, etc or people.

 

"Personally, based upon what I have read (scientific publications) we are past the point of no return. The question is how long will we wait and how bad will it be."  At best we can slow the process and possibly limit effects.

 

It isn't about flooding of cities, that is a symptom.  It is about disruption of the food cycle, food chain.  The population will adjust and therefore the greenhouse gases will also.

 

I really hate being a realist and long term perspective.

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Bill_Walker
3 hours ago, RecentConvert said:

The population will adjust and therefore the greenhouse gases will also.

After hundreds to thousands of years.

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Patallaire

Actually you stated the facts for me, China puts out 80% more then we do, now percentages are percentages but CO2 emissions are CO2 emissions, not a percentage of GDP or any other metric other than pure output. Your approach, adjusts facts to support a conclusion.  The facts are that we have more industry then India and have a denser population then Russia.  So our CO2 emissions will be greater.  Granted that there are metrics that can be spun to support either side, the question might be, what is the solution and who pays for this global issue?

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Joe Frickin' Friday
4 hours ago, Patallaire said:

Actually you stated the facts for me, China puts out 80% more then we do, now percentages are percentages but CO2 emissions are CO2 emissions, not a percentage of GDP or any other metric other than pure output. 

 

By that logic, you could lump the entire rest of the world into one CO2-emitting entity, point the finger at them and say "they (the 96% of the world that is not the US) put out far more CO2 than we (the 4% of the world that is the US) do."    It's like one redneck coal-roller telling the rest of the town that they, together, pollute more than he does, and that they should clean up their act before they ask him to do the same.

 

4 hours ago, Patallaire said:

The facts are that we have more industry then India...

 

We certainly do have more industry than India.  But according to the EPA, you could take it all away, and our CO2 emissions would only drop by about 22%:

 

image.png.feea115150ea0254da1e881a6e13438b.png

 

 

Given India's poverty level, we probably shouldn't hold them up as a role model for low CO2 output.  But neither should anyone try to claim that India puts out more CO2 than the US.

 

4 hours ago, Patallaire said:

...and have a denser population then Russia. 

 

Shouldn't this reduce our CO2 output?  I mean if we're all crammed together like you say, then shouldn't we have short commutes, and more opportunities to use public transportation?

 

4 hours ago, Patallaire said:

So our CO2 emissions will be greater.  

 

OK, well at least we agree on this.   So for clarity's sake:

  • On a national basis, the US puts out more CO2 than any other country in the world except China.
  • On a per-capita basis, the US puts out more CO2 than most other countries.

 

4 hours ago, Patallaire said:

...the question might be, what is the solution and who pays for this global issue?

 

A fair question, and the answer will involve a lot of discussion and debate - and, like it or not, no small amount of publicly-funded research to develop technology and policies that help drive our carbon output downward without totally crushing our modern lifestyle. 

 

Whatever the answer may be, I don't think the US should abdicate a position of global leadership by simply saying "you go first"  to the rest of the world.

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John Ranalletta

Can't debate the stats, but wonder, "If we drastically reduce CO2 production, what do we have to stop doing; and, how does stopping those things without overwhelmingly negative impacting employment, the economy, etc.?"

 

Read recently that the production of cement contributes up to 7% of all CO2 production. Okay, let's stop making cement.  That shouldn't have much effect on things and we'll all need dual sports to get around town.  Won't need cars as super highways, overpasses and bridge structures will be too expensive to build w/o cement.

 

I'm guessing, Mitch, the lab where you work only exists because of internal combustion engines.  What other industries disappear and what subsequent economies drive trade, economic progress, produce jobs, etc.?

 

That's not saying I'm in favor of more pollution, but, IMO, it's a bit like the comedian in WWII who said the solution to the German U-boat problem was to raise the ocean to boiling point and they'd all bob to the top.  It's all in the details.

 

It's admirable to be the country that leads the charge, but how much economic advantage are we willing to cede?  IMO, the projected economic benefits are over estimated, that any one who wants one will have a job in the new paradigm.

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Patallaire

I'm good with the lumping  concept, it points clearly that it is a global problem, not a problem to be resolved by the US taxpayer. The redneck analogy is too narrow and a bad example.  It is not who goes first that matters, its that everyone moves in the same direction and throws the proportional amount of effort and dollars at the solution. You argue both sides of the issue, if we took away all of India's CO-2 emissions, and it was "only 22%" that is 22% less.  Don't you agree that even if you use Percentages, that is a substantial amount of solution to a problem.

Let me know how short commutes work in South Dakota, the point was that Russia has a lot of its land mass in forests, not people. The public transportation issue was tried in California and failed miserably and expensively because of politics.  They are trying it in Florida and Virgin Air is financing it with Government help.  It is publicly funded with profits going to private industry! So is Public transportation going to work?  Not unless the government with tax payers dollars fund the hell out of it and private industry takes the profits.

I don't believe our position is you go first, I think our position is "lets get the deal right, monetarily, accountability and fairly."  It is either a problem that effects us all or it is a problem that effects our future generations, either way, it has impact and wishing it is fixed is not the answer nor is American Tax payer dollars.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
58 minutes ago, Patallaire said:

You argue both sides of the issue, if we took away all of India's CO-2 emissions, and it was "only 22%" that is 22% less.

 

That's not what I was saying - although looking back, I see I didn't express myself clearly.  So lemme try again. 

 

You claimed that the reason the US has much higher CO2 output than India is because the US has more industry.  I pointed out that industry only accounts for 22% of US CO2 output.  If you eliminated all of the industry in the US, you would only reduce our CO2 output by 22%.   That would still have the US putting out nearly twice as much CO2 as India, despite having only 1/4 as many people. 

 

What do you think we should ask of India and China, in terms of reducing their CO2 output?

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Joe Frickin' Friday
8 hours ago, John Ranalletta said:

Can't debate the stats, but wonder, "If we drastically reduce CO2 production, what do we have to stop doing; and, how does stopping those things without overwhelmingly negative impacting employment, the economy, etc.?"

 

Instead of "what do we have to stop doing," maybe the question ought to be "what could we do differently/better?"

 

 

8 hours ago, John Ranalletta said:

Read recently that the production of cement contributes up to 7% of all CO2 production. Okay, let's stop making cement.  That shouldn't have much effect on things and we'll all need dual sports to get around town. 

 

The unwritten assumption there is that we will/should/could never do any R&D to come up with alternative construction materials that are less CO2-intensive.  I think that's a faulty assumption.

 

 

8 hours ago, John Ranalletta said:

I'm guessing, Mitch, the lab where you work only exists because of internal combustion engines.  What other industries disappear and what subsequent economies drive trade, economic progress, produce jobs, etc.?

 

Just so we're clear: anything I say here is my own personal opinion, and I am not speaking in my role as an EPA employee.

 

Anyway,  yep, that's pretty much our focus.  We do test EVs to verify range, but the vast majority of what we do is related to vehicles propelled by IC engines; we test cars, trucks, and engines, all the way from 600-horsepower diesels down to 1-horsepower string trimmers, and we also test fuels.  My work is on the testing side, but there's a whole bunch of people in another group that shepherd new regulations onto the books, and they don't work alone; they draw on expertise from all over the agency and even outside of it.  Right now I've got a front-row seat to watch the progress of the Cleaner Trucks Initiativeand I can tell you that there's an unbelievable amount of research that goes into the development of a new regulation.  The part that might interest you is the Regulatory Impact Analysis, which is a comprehensive review of the pros and cons for any proposed new rule.   If you're extremely bored, check out the RIA for non-road diesel engines from 2004.   It's 1500+ pages long, but if you browse just the table of contents for the chapter titles, you'll see that the impact on industry and the economy are considered; chapters 6-10 are relevant here, as they consider the effects on equipment costs and on the relevant industry sectors.  

 

 

As the rules tighten, what industries will disappear and what industries will spring up? 

 

Hard to say who's going to disappear.  The Ethyl Gasoline Corporation is still kicking around, in spite of the ban on tetraethyl lead.  Paint manufacturers have somehow figured out how to make paint, despite the ban on the use of lead.  Car manufacturers continue to find ways to meet tighter and tighter emissions rules, and they've also continued to improve fuel economy over the years instead of going out of business.  

 

What's going to pop up?  It's already happening.  Tesla.  ProTerra.  Zero Motorcycles.  These are companies that didn't exist 20 years ago.  There are companies who exist solely to produce exhaust aftertreatment components (cats, particulate traps, etc.); these are companies that didn't exist until the EPA started ratcheting the emissions rules downward.  A friend in the auto industry jokingly calls us the EPA the Employment Protection Agency.  

 

 

 

8 hours ago, John Ranalletta said:

...it's a bit like the comedian in WWII who said the solution to the German U-boat problem was to raise the ocean to boiling point and they'd all bob to the top.  It's all in the details.

 

Oh boy, have I got a book for you!   :D

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Patallaire

If I asked AOC what India should do, she would suggest killing the cows!  I have no idea what to ask them to do, I do know that the problem is not going to be resolved by our tax dollars.  China is building buildings without apparent regard for emissions, I suppose someone could ask them to use more environmentally friendly buildings, but I think that the horse has left the barn for them on that solution.  Keeping your thought on what we can do better is the right approach, money from tax payers isn't the solution.  The solution, in my opinion, is as much philosophical as scientific and technological .  Do we want a better environment for our children's children and if so, what technological innovations can we develop over the next decade or two to accomplish this objective?  It is not turning around any time soon, and certainly not in my lifetime or my children's, perhaps my grandkids, but that will be effort.

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John Ranalletta
16 hours ago, Joe Frickin' Friday said:

 

Instead of "what do we have to stop doing," maybe the question ought to be "what could we do differently/better?"

 

 

 

The unwritten assumption there is that we will/should/could never do any R&D to come up with alternative construction materials that are less CO2-intensive.  I think that's a faulty assumption.

 

 

 

Just so we're clear: anything I say here is my own personal opinion, and I am not speaking in my role as an EPA employee.

 

Anyway,  yep, that's pretty much our focus.  We do test EVs to verify range, but the vast majority of what we do is related to vehicles propelled by IC engines; we test cars, trucks, and engines, all the way from 600-horsepower diesels down to 1-horsepower string trimmers, and we also test fuels.  My work is on the testing side, but there's a whole bunch of people in another group that shepherd new regulations onto the books, and they don't work alone; they draw on expertise from all over the agency and even outside of it.  Right now I've got a front-row seat to watch the progress of the Cleaner Trucks Initiativeand I can tell you that there's an unbelievable amount of research that goes into the development of a new regulation.  The part that might interest you is the Regulatory Impact Analysis, which is a comprehensive review of the pros and cons for any proposed new rule.   If you're extremely bored, check out the RIA for non-road diesel engines from 2004.   It's 1500+ pages long, but if you browse just the table of contents for the chapter titles, you'll see that the impact on industry and the economy are considered; chapters 6-10 are relevant here, as they consider the effects on equipment costs and on the relevant industry sectors.  

 

 

As the rules tighten, what industries will disappear and what industries will spring up? 

 

Hard to say who's going to disappear.  The Ethyl Gasoline Corporation is still kicking around, in spite of the ban on tetraethyl lead.  Paint manufacturers have somehow figured out how to make paint, despite the ban on the use of lead.  Car manufacturers continue to find ways to meet tighter and tighter emissions rules, and they've also continued to improve fuel economy over the years instead of going out of business.  

 

What's going to pop up?  It's already happening.  Tesla.  ProTerra.  Zero Motorcycles.  These are companies that didn't exist 20 years ago.  There are companies who exist solely to produce exhaust aftertreatment components (cats, particulate traps, etc.); these are companies that didn't exist until the EPA started ratcheting the emissions rules downward.  A friend in the auto industry jokingly calls us the EPA the Employment Protection Agency.  

 

 

 

 

Oh boy, have I got a book for you!   :D

 

Let's assume worst-case scenario, i.e. "It's probably too late"; but decide to forge ahead.  It will take a "war effort".  What do we know about wars?  They lead to the 3 Ds=death, dislocation, deprivation.  In a war, the leader can usually gin up enough energy to muster an army of people who are willing to do without, die or be displaced; but the threat has be presented or be marketed to present an imminent danger  to the nation (Viet Nam, Grenada, Iraq, Afgan...).

 

Which leader will be capable of doing this when people, especially politically-connected people aren't feeling pain or imminent danger (or don't see the profit potential)?

 

Answer:  There isn't one on the horizon.  

 

BTW, Mitch, I'm sure your team does noble work and that wasn't a slam against that team or its purpose, but raises the question:  "Who's volunteering to take on one of the 3 Ds for the cause?"  Not many, IMO.   

 

Unemployed people don't live on hope.  The replacing technologies have to be in-place before, not after discontinuing reliance on fossil fuels.

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Bill_Walker

If you think mitigating the effects of climate change by reducing emissions is too expensive, wait until you see the cost of NOT reducing emissions.  If you think we have an immigration problem now, wait until you see the refugees from every place that's either underwater from sea level rise or is too hot for human life or where agriculture has failed.

 

Dealing with the consequences of doing nothing is going to cost a hell of lot more than doing something.  But hey, it might be your kids paying the cost, not you, so who cares, right?

Also, China is well on track to meet its Paris Agreement commitments, unlike the US.  https://www.popsci.com/china-us-climate-greenhouse-emissions/

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Bill_Walker
On 7/31/2019 at 5:08 AM, Patallaire said:

If I asked AOC what India should do, she would suggest killing the cows!

If you really believe this kind of bullshit, you're incredibly gullible.  Turn off Fox News now.  They're lying to you, over and over and over.

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Rougarou
7 hours ago, Bill_Walker said:

If you really believe this kind of bullshit, you're incredibly gullible.  Turn off Fox News now.  They're lying to you, over and over and over.

 

Uh, you might want to check CNBC and other non-fox news,....as they've reported the elimination of emissions from cows as well per the green new deal.  Maybe he exaggerated the "killing of cows" as a tongue in cheek thing, but the elimination or drastic reduction of cow emissions is the intent of the message.

 

But what do I know, so you change the culture of 'merica to your thoughts of an everlasting world (which it's not, the planet WILL die, 'cause the sun will expand and absorb albeit in a few billion years), how do you change the culture of EVERY country to coincide with this emission reduction, energy saving, human inhabitant extending, recycling, grow the glaciers back lifestyle,......simple answer is you don't.  We can't even get 1st world elected officials to agree to anything 100% and expecting that 'merica funds this cultural shift or leads the way, nah, I'd rather not.  You still have countries that do not believe in basic human rights, you still have countries that believe it's ok to stone someone to death for adultery, yet you want them to put up solar panels, modify their housing and shift from cow eaters/milk drinkers to plant based food.......pipe dream.

 

I've got solar, not to save the precious planet, but to save the precious penny, I upgraded my HVAC and added more insulation to my house, again, not for the environment but for my cash and the ROI it will give me.  My recycling is limited to what ends up in my septic system and when I do drive my truck to work, it's an '89 that gets about 8 mpg, 10 on a good day.

 

 

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Patallaire

Bill:

Are you suggesting your cynicism Trumps my gullibility?  Really!  The problem with the left is that they believe the right is not right! She said that cows are a major source of pollution among other brilliant idiotic statements.  You might want to try watching Fox for a more fair and balanced approach, and have AOC on your feeds so you actually see some of the lunacy she advocates. 

 

It is expensive, are we going to solve the problem alone?  Is money the solution for the American Tax payer?  Hardly.  In the idealism and Socialistic bend of the Left, everything can be resolved by taxing the rich more, from an economics perspective, that is not happening.   All for one and one for all on paychecks is a non-starter.  Keep taxing and you will find migration to States that don't tax, and you will dis-incentivize the entrepreneur. 

 

By not accepting this is a global problem, and trying to shift the responsibility to a US taxpayer problem, I fear, Bill, you are demonstrating a myopic perspective on the issue as well as a disdain for those of wealth who have made this Country great, again.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
20 hours ago, Patallaire said:

She said that cows are a major source of pollution among other brilliant idiotic statements.

 

Cows are a major source of pollution:

 

Quote

Livestock are responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.

 

Burning fuel to produce fertiliser to grow feed, to produce meat and to transport it - and clearing vegetation for grazing - produces 9 per cent of all emissions of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas. And their wind and manure emit more than one third of emissions of another, methane, which warms the world 20 times faster than carbon dioxide.

 

Livestock also produces more than 100 other polluting gases, including more than two-thirds of the world's emissions of ammonia, one of the main causes of acid rain.

 

Ranching, the report adds, is "the major driver of deforestation" worldwide, and overgrazing is turning a fifth of all pastures and ranges into desert.Cows also soak up vast amounts of water: it takes a staggering 990 litres of water to produce one litre of milk.

 

Wastes from feedlots and fertilisers used to grow their feed overnourish water, causing weeds to choke all other life. And the pesticides, antibiotics and hormones used to treat them get into drinking water and endanger human health.

The pollution washes down to the sea, killing coral reefs and creating "dead zones" devoid of life. One is up to 21,000sqkm, in the Gulf of Mexico, where much of the waste from US beef production is carried down the Mississippi.

 

 

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Patallaire

So should we kill all the cows?  When I stated what she said, she did the same thing you did, you stated the known facts without any solutions.  What is the solution, we know that the US is responsible for some CO2 gasses, we know cows fart, we know that they need water to sustain their lives, as we need currently, gasoline to ride our motorcycles and cars, we know that India is responsible for 22% of CO2 problems, we know that because we can all Google Stats.  What we don't know is the solution and we don't have any idea who or how much anyone should pay!  We haven't agreed that the government should tax the taxpayer for the solution, we haven't agreed that the government should be setting policy which impacts the consumer or the small business owner, we haven't agreed that he solution is global and everyone needs to be on the same page financially and proportionately for the solution to have impact.  We can grouse about it, wave our arms like AOC, raise our voices to argue our points, but until it is an international solution with everyone on the same page, not just the American Taxpayer, we are just jawboning!

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Bill_Walker

Cows can be made to fart less with changes in diet.  People can eat less beef.  Many things can be done.  Screaming "they want to kill all the cows" is hyperbolic in the extreme.  And 90% of the stuff I've seen from conservative media about AOC is wrong, either because it's an outright lie or it's a quote taken out of context.

 

There is an attempt at an international solution.  It's called the Paris Agreement.  174 countries and the EU agreed to it.  And the orange idiot pulled us out of it because money, or because it was something Obama did.

 

And here's the thing regarding the arguments of "why should we cut emissions if others aren't doing their part":  CO2 is global.  A cut in emissions ANYWHERE means less CO2 in the atmosphere and less warming.  And until the current administration, the US was the world leader in most things.  Leadership matters, and we are busily abdicating the position of leadership we've held since WWII, on this and most other issues.

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Bill_Walker

And one more thing: the US has among the lowest taxes in the developed world.  We could easily raise taxes far higher, especially on the wealthy, and it wouldn't hurt a damned thing.  As Warren Buffett said, "I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone - not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 - shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain."

 

The problem is that somewhere along the line the GOP abandoned the very concept of the public good.  

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John Ranalletta
8 hours ago, Bill_Walker said:

Cows can be made to fart less with changes in diet.  People can eat less beef.  Many things can be done.  Screaming "they want to kill all the cows" is hyperbolic in the extreme.  And 90% of the stuff I've seen from conservative media about AOC is wrong, either because it's an outright lie or it's a quote taken out of context.

 

There is an attempt at an international solution.  It's called the Paris Agreement.  174 countries and the EU agreed to it.  And the orange idiot pulled us out of it because money, or because it was something Obama did.

 

And here's the thing regarding the arguments of "why should we cut emissions if others aren't doing their part":  CO2 is global.  A cut in emissions ANYWHERE means less CO2 in the atmosphere and less warming.  And until the current administration, the US was the world leader in most things.  Leadership matters, and we are busily abdicating the position of leadership we've held since WWII, on this and most other issues.

 

Here's a good first step before dealing with human food supply: eliminate all pets except service dogs.

 

Bad news for environmentally conscious pet owners: cats’ and dogs’ eating habits are responsible for dumping as many as 64 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every year — roughly the equivalent of driving over 13 million cars. That’s due to all the meat our furry friends gobble down, according to new research.

There are more than 163 million dogs and cats in the US, and they just love to eat. In fact, cats and dogs in the US consume about 19 percent as many calories as people do in the US, or about as much as 62 million Americans, according to a new study published in Plos One. Because much of that food is meat, and meat production is known to heavily contribute to climate change, our pets leave a pretty stark carbon footprint on our environment.

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Rougarou
8 hours ago, Bill_Walker said:

 People can eat less beef. 

 

 

Uhhh, .......NO!!

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Patallaire

If you think the press is unfair to AOC, try watching her You-Tube video on a garbage disposal.  Classic.  The right wing doesn't have to point out her lunacy, she does a great job on her own.  The Paris agreement had no teeth, only costs to the tax payer.  You should know that, and if you were referring to the President of the United States, your President, when you referenced an "Orange Idiot," some might think that you were being terribly disrespectful and demonstrating once again that you are smarter then he.  No ego in that statement, Bill.

Taxes Bill, We do not actually have the lowest taxes, we have a distribution problem.  49% of the population pays no taxes, that would skew the stats.  As to the rest of us, especially those living in California and who pay taxes, Federal Income tax, State Income Tax, Real Estate tax, Sales Tax, Gasoline Taxes, Fees, etc.  that would easily be refuted.  I love the Liberal perspective you bring, "We could easily raise taxes on the Wealthy" Really Bill, how about having the 49% pay taxes, not just the wealthy, it is ok to raise taxes as long as it doesn't impact your standard of living, is that what you are advocating?  It appears, Bill, that the concept of re-distribution of wealth is ingrained in the socialist philosophy you espouse. Understandable, but not going to happen in our lifetime. 

As to Buffett's quote, he donates money for tax deducibility to lower his income taxes and thus offsets any or many gains he might have paid taxes on for the year.   The quote you referenced was on Capital Gains, not on Income taxes.  If you never sell, and he is a buy and hold strategist and pays no dividends, you have no Capital Gains, you then die and pass it on and the inheritor gets a date of death valuation, not your basis, thus, no capital gains!  That was a Democratic insertion into the tax code.

We agree it is an international problem, we disagree on who is the leader of the whole world, no one has ceded that position to your President, ergo, it is up to all countries to join the fray, pay up and be held accountable.

Once again, Bill, and I quote a guy not as brilliant as you, "Your implication was that Obama was right, as you are, and Trump is wrong.  Obama pushed through is a correct statement, by fiat, not with the approval of Congress or the Senate. This was a treaty, it was costly and ineffectual. it had no Congressional approval and by law must have the advise and consent of the Senate before the U.S can join them. Obama declared it not to be a Treaty and decided that he alone can declare which are treaties and which are agreements, to evade Constitution review and did a run-around on the Constitutional mandate of checks and balance. Thus making environmental policies unaccountable to the people who vote and will pay for this debacle.. Our fossil fuels are plentiful and yet, Bill, the Paris accord was progressively restrictive under the NDC and would make our price advantage ineffective. Also, and to the point, it would not have achieved anything near the stated goal. The withdrawal was a humanitarian imperative. It produced no detectable climate benefits, it would have driven trillions from investments into political usage, it hurt energy poor countries by limiting their access to affordable energy from fossil fuels. Countries that signed it can make the promises but are not bound to keep them thus making the entire expensive proposition a straw horse. "

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Rinkydink
10 hours ago, Bill_Walker said:

And one more thing: the US has among the lowest taxes in the developed world.  We could easily raise taxes far higher, especially on the wealthy, and it wouldn't hurt a damned thing.  

Bill, with all due respect sir, on April 15th what percent overpayment do you send in to the IRS just out of the goodness of your heart to help the cause? 

 

I don’t. I pay the least amount possible. I don’t need some government buffoon wasting my hard earned pay for me.(with no guaranteed positive outcome)  I do that job well enough already. 

 

We are over $22 Trillion in debt as it stands. We have a spending problem. 

 

 

With that said, I think all Americans should pay the same tax rate including corporations and churches. And with our congressmen (and women) becoming millionaires more and more do you really think they will pass laws that hurt them??

 

First, make all enacted laws affect them too including health insurance and retirement/SS. 

 

 

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John Ranalletta

I am puzzled why anyone would suggest legislators would be any more diligent in their spending of taxes raised to combat climate change than anything else.  See Ted Stevens' "Bridge to nowhere" and Gov Brown's "Bullet train to nowhere" as prime examples, not to mention billions in other pork barrel projects.

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Patallaire

Bill, John make a great point.  The government was dead center on that Train to Nowhere as they were with the bridge, it is astounding to most of us that someone with your intellect would advocate more tax dollars paid by Americans would solve any problem.  And since you are a fan of AOC's try looking at the costs estimated on her "Green New Deal.'  They exceed the national budget, and that was not just a GOP estimate.  Also look at the costs of Bernie and Warrens Medicare for all proposal, insane.  But money is no object when the socialist agenda speaks, the "rich" will pay.  Good luck with that concept.

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John Ranalletta

I think there's a way to use taxes, but as targeted penalties.  Take the packaging industry.  Levy a penalty for packaging based upon the ratio of packaging weight to content weight.  Examples: Ink catridges.  Some HP cartridges have less than a thimble of ink but the weight of the packaging is probably 50x the contents.  Those would be heavily taxed.  OTOH, a 2-pound Crescent wrench hanging on a plastic tab at Lowe's would not.   Another would be a tax on all non-medical plastics.  

 

I"d prefer a tax that prevents a behavior rather than the collecting taxes and then deciding how the $ would be spent.  Ideally, the levy would decrease over time as the tax took effect.

 

Note: I have packaging clients who will probably fire me when they read this.

 

tic tac terrible plastic packaging

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