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Monday, June 2, 2014

IS THIS FINALLY A NEW BEGINNING FOR GLOBAL WARMING CONTROL?

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol was the first comprehensive effort to control global warming.  The USA signed (this was when Bill Clinton, a Democrat, was President), but did not ratify (George Bush the younger was a Republican in the White House for eight years, and Barack Obama had other problems to solve...until now), and China and India essentially argued that they haven't had a chance yet to sufficiently muck up the atmosphere, for their economies just recently began to develop, and they need more time to catch up before being saddled with onerous carbon restrictions.  However, 191 countries and the European Union (EU) did reach agreement, representing 62% of the 1990 carbon pollution.  But let's face it, without the U.S., China and India, representing three of the four worst countries (the EU is #3), the Kyoto Protocol failed.

Note that I have equated global warming control to politics.  Six years ago, one of my Huffington Post article was entitled:


Here I repeat the beginning of what I said:

Well, a lot more oil/coal money is given to Republican candidates, who therefore display their loyalty when elected by voting for this greenhouse gas energy source and against the environment. While that might be too simplistic an explanation, a good example of such action is Republican Congressman and Whip Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), who, on June 5, 2008, displayed on his web page the following:
ANWR Exploration; REPUBLICANS: 91% supported; DEMOCRATS 86% opposed
Coal to liquid; REPUBLICANS: 97% supported; DEMOCRATS: 78% opposed
Oil shale exploration; REPUBLICANS: 90% supported; DEMOCRATS: 86% opposed
Offshore exploration; REPUBLICANS: 81% supported; DEMOCRATS: 83% opposed
He was merely pointing out that Republicans have been trying to develop homegrown energy reserves while Democrats were the ones responsible for our current energy predicament. Of course, it is no surprise that the League of Conservation Voters, a nonpartisan environmental group, gave him the lowest possible score, zero, seven of the past eight congressional sessions.


So, then, is Obama's reasonably audacious move to bypass a hopeless Congress and get Gina McCarthy, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, today to announce that powerplants would need to reduce carbon emissions by 30% (based on 2005 levels) by the year 2030, be that new beginning?  For those indomitable few, read this edict here.  To answer that question, yes, but.

First, this was just a proposal.  The ruling itself will "take effect" in a year. Second, states will take an active role in the program, opening up a myriad of lawsuits, and some states will not come to agreement, meaning the Supreme Court will get involved, and the current membership has Republican sympathies.   Here are the coal states:

In the meantime:
  • You can expect a broad range bombardment from Republicans, as for example, here from #2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas:  Nothing more than an energy tax that will raise the cost of electricity for Texans, while destroying jobs and driving up costs for the public just as Obamacare has done.
  • The coal industry has powerful lobbyists, and they will respond. Their livelihood is being threatened.  What would you do under these circumstances?
  • The Tea Party has already said:  EPA regs will devastate the economy.
On the support front, though, ABC today reported that 70% of Americans see global warming as a serious problem facing the country.  Almost two-thirds are in favor of a regulatory effort even if energy expenses are increased by $20 per month.  The latest info has 90% of Democrats seeing climate change as important, with only 37% of Republicans agreeing.  However, Democrats in coal states will have a huge problem, for they want to get re-elected.

Well, the bottom line is that at least President Obama has finally made the challenge.  It would have been disappointing if he left office doing nothing.  His legacy will be Obamacare and planting the seed for Global Warming Control.  The impact of this action won't be obvious for some years to come.

Oh, I might add that Barack sent me an e-mail, triggering the above:

Patrick --

I just proposed a plan that cuts carbon pollution from existing power plants 30 percent by 2030.

That's a responsible, common-sense step to address climate change.

But we're already getting intense opposition from polluters and special interests who like things the way they are.

OFA is fighting back to show there's broad support for these new EPA standards. If you want action to combat climate change, you can add your name today.

Climate change is happening, and it's happening now. As a president and as a father, I feel a moral responsibility to do something about it. The world our children grow up in depends on what we do today.

Carbon pollution is threatening our health right now. Over half of all Americans already live in areas where air pollution too often makes it unhealthy to breathe -- it's time to cut carbon pollution the same way we already regulate toxic chemicals in our air. 

Modernizing our power plants so they pollute less will also spark homegrown clean energy innovation, creating jobs and growing our economy.

I'm not going to wait to take action on this.

Right now, big polluters are going to do everything they can to derail this momentum. They've been fighting these EPA standards since before they were even announced.

Your voice on this issue is the most powerful thing you've got in this fight. I need you to use it.

OFA is stepping up and gathering names in support of these EPA standards -- you can add your name:

http://my.barackobama.com/Support-Carbon-Pollution-Standards

Thanks,

Barack Obama


Of course, he no doubt sent this same 
message to a billion on his mailing list, but I did my part in helping our President, Nation, Humanity and Planet Earth.

(I might add that Paul Krugman on 5 June 2014 presented an excellent New York Times piece entitled "The Climate Domino."  I urge you to click on it and read.)
Well, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit another all-time high today, up 46 to 16,744.  Why?  Apparently, manufacturing numbers were better than expected.  I'm still waiting for a 5,000 point slide so that I can get back into the market.  However, I first still need to sell my apartment, which is now just about all re-painted, re-floored and re-done.  Perhaps next month if you are interested in that perfect penthouse featuring rainbows and sunsets.

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