Reader comments

On Opinion: Obama wasting time on climate issues


George Lippencott 1 year, 2 months ago

DOUG County: No I did not mean to put you down and complimented you on your scientific skills. I hope you agree with me that your skills in the other disciplines that make up tax policy decisions are no better than mine.

Well, there is an aspect where we are far apart. I do not wish to establish an entirely new stream of revenue dedicated to the environment. I want the environment to compete for resources with all other initiatives of the various governments (Note governments). Once we establish a specific tax dedicated to the environment we open the door for judicial participation as legal action is filed claiming underfunding. I am not willing to relinquish any tax decisions to unelected for life employees. I like the way our founders set up the tax process – it protects both the target of the tax and the beneficiary of the tax.

The second aspect of the carbon tax that we do not agree upon is that IMHO a market based process does not set priorities. It sort of abdicates what gets done to 300 million doers. That IMHO is not conducive to wise use of resources. Having a quasi-governmental group set priorities allows us to focus what will almost always be a shortage. By the by, I do not limit the use of the funds to quasi-governmental entities like utilities. If investment in energy efficiency has sufficient priority (priority determined by carbon generation) then we make low cost loans or even grants to address it. And so on for whatever needs to be done.

I realize that it will be difficult to sell any additional funding of any sort at this time. Frankly I am perplexed because I cannot really define how a carbon tax will be viewed by the body politic as anything other than a tax and at that a tax that redistributes resources in a manner that IMHO will require a great deal of management to avoid the potential for horrendously skewed implied incentives.


Nubrick 1 year, 2 months ago

Is this the report Obama used?

An animated analysis of the IPCC AR5 graph shows ‘IPCC analysis methodology and computer models are seriously flawed’

A preliminary draft of a report by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was leaked to the public this month, and climate skeptics say it contains fresh evidence of 20 years of overstated global warming.


pigballin 1 year, 2 months ago

Stupid a$4..there is no climate issues. he is a whore for the companies wanting legislation to get rich and suck the life out of your paycheck. Anyone falling for this is pure ignorant to history. A shame,,by a shame writer.


jay_cheese 1 year, 2 months ago

Oh poor George Will....losing more and more fans each day and therefore getting more extreme to keep the ones he has. It's a real losing battle and people are taking notice, but I bet no one has been polled that question for fear of the actual results. Speaking of, it's laughable to me when he is still buying those other "polls" I see. How did those that work out for you in the election? Well it says right here we got a winner, wait a minute....

This nation is changing its stripes....protecting the environment is just one facet. Energy independence is anothe but we can't possibly all agree on the same issue... Anyone recall when not trashing this place was a conservative principle? Too bad $$$ gets in the way but that's capatilism and greed. Both are also "good" reasons to also not hire added employees but never miss a chance to throw Obamacare meat to your hungry wolves.

Can't speak for others but please maybe it is time for those of that generation "to go silently into thy good night.....". Reality is tiring of these this progressive generations anti-progressiveness mentality. We get it, constantly changing the rules to your our self benefit is nothing new (or surprising) but that welcome mat is getting worn down.


George Lippencott 1 year, 2 months ago


Yes I propose a tax that will be used to redistribute resources for the purpose of remediation of the larger carbon generators – the utilities. Yes I propose the same tax be used to create a robust electrical grid so we can make better use of our “green” initiatives that are not compatible with every location in the country. Yes I propose government identification of our worst carbon sources (collaboratively) so as to focus resources. Yes, there will be government employees but in my initiative they are already mostly there).

Yes that tax will not be as big as the proposed tax you want but it will directly address public infrastructure to actually do something about carbon generation. My tax will not redistribute money from the middle to the poor. (any more than our current system does). It will not raise the price of everything. It will not drive business off shore. It will not cause massive reallocation of human resources from old industries to new industries.

Of course it will not address climate change as fast as the true believers want. I don’t know how to do that! I do know that the proposed carbon tax/fee will not do any better than my proposal (if as good) because it will inherently be limited by the cost to the economy it will cause – costs that will lead to government manipulation creating all sorts of winners and losers as has happened with almost every government program we have invented.

Let’s compromise and call my tax a carbon tax/fee and get on with actually reducing carbon generation.


George Lippencott 1 year, 2 months ago

Doug County: First of all I made no personal attacks. I have suggested that the references you provided are not convincing – that is not a personal attack. (see below) I have suggested that your motives may not be sincere – mot meant s an attack but an opinion. You on the other hand have questioned my reasoning ability in both not accepting your arguments and in my counter arguments.

I have come to respect your arguments as to the science but I am increasingly concerned that your arguments about a carbon tax/fee are politically motivated. You certainly have no special expertise in economics, politics or human psychology – elements heavily enmeshed in a carbon tax/fee.

I renew the charge that the motive here is to establish a new revenue stream that can be manipulated outside the normal competition for resources that is sold as revenue neutral but in fact transfers income from “the rich” and middle class to the poor. It is fascinating that the whole notion does nothing to remediate carbon generation except raise the costs of everything in the misguided hope that in time the market will solve the problem. Of course anybody that has lived in this country for more than a generation knows that the funding stream will be redirected to all sorts of ambitious government undertakings while the cost of living escalates at a breakneck pace.

The problem with this topic is that it is as slippery as buttered corn. What your references address is not consistent with what Bozo’s reference addresses. They and others all suggest variants on a theme – variants that cannot possibly exist in the same space. The tax/fee cannot simultaneously:

Be returned so that there are no winners and losers Be returned so that the poor are protected at the expense of the rest Be used to fund carbon mediation Be invested in new “green” technologies.

And of course somebody will have to administer it and depending on the complexity (regional redistribution, etc.) that somebody will be a lot of somebodies on the government dime.


rockchalk1977 1 year, 2 months ago

"Office Working to Close Guantánamo Is Shuttered."

Yet another example of Obama wasting 4 years of taxpayer's time.


thuja 1 year, 2 months ago

We're doomed. Stupid humans. Never learn.


Mike Ford 1 year, 2 months ago

In kansas it seems that burying heads in sand and attacking science works well for the koch brothers and their string puppets. I hope the brothers pay as much for the aftermath as they do sponsoring the denial.


In_God_we_trust 1 year, 2 months ago

The "carbon tax" idea is an old one and comes right out of the UN. There is absolutely no need for another tax.


In_God_we_trust 1 year, 2 months ago

Weatherization flights that leave white long "con" trails across the sky are a big reason for global warming. It locks heat in the atmosphere and directs the jet stream as the white trail spreads out into a thin layer of white cloud, altering weather patterns. I think Kansas gov. gets payments from the Feds for allowing these jet flights over Kansas.


Hooligan_016 1 year, 2 months ago

Damn, thought this was going to be Krauthammer before I clicked. Nope, just George Will. Non-story, move along.


bobberboy 1 year, 2 months ago

NOPE. Republicans are wasting the Presidents time !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


MrRighty 1 year, 2 months ago

No one worth the air they breathe denies that the climate changes...and that, currently, its getting warmer. Many, however, (and the number grows daily...even within the scientific community) doubt that humans have much to do with it or that there is much we can we do to stop it. When climate change science becomes more science and less politics, then I'll start believing. When the data most climate scientists around the world have used for their models is renewed and not provided to them by cheats and liars (Mann, East Anglia, et al), then I'll start believing. When temperature here in the States starts being measured by NOAA correctly (only 7.9% of surface air temp measurement stations report within the acceptable 1 degree C error, 21.5% between 1- 2 degrees (fair), 64.4% between 2-5 degrees (poor), and 6.5% report with a greater than 5 degree error (ridiculous!) then I'll start believing. Where is Al Gore now? Where is this growing upswell of outrage by the scientific community? Gathering dust is where they are. Gore is a joke. EPA is a joke. The only thing about climate change the President cares about how good it can make his speeches sound. I'm sure its easy and convenient to believe that the reason next to nothing, policy-wise, has been effected is because those evil Koch brother and fossil fuel lobbies purchase adminstrative and legislative action; it makes you sleep better doesn't it? The truth is they're just NOT DOING ANYTHING on their own! Chairman Maobama certainly makes a stirring speech and talks like he swings a big stick but in over 4 years, nothing real has been accomplished....nor will it because the serious people know the truth.


KiferGhost 1 year, 2 months ago

So he will be reduced to administrative gestures costly to job growth, and government spending — often crony capitalism — for green energy incommensurate with his rhetoric.

It is funny that selling millions of new cars every year is good for the economy even though the need to buy new cars to the extend we do is really a joke, the reason billions are spent on marketing and this has been true clear back to 1920's but building alternatives are job killers. Our way of measuring the economy is really the problem. The same gdp that measures goods sold also measures all the things we do to fix the bad things like repairing wrecked cars, fixing injured people, fixing people made ill from our industrial society. Until we change the way we measure economic success we will continue on the same lame brained George Will nonsense that growth (no matter what is being measured in that calculation) is good.


rockchalk1977 1 year, 2 months ago

The only issue Obama is NOT wasting time on is our national debt.

Get to work "taxpayers" because your share is $146K/ea.


Ken Lassman 1 year, 2 months ago

Mod, I really am sorry you don't retain the information that I feel like I've spoon fed you in the past, so I am not sure that it will be worth anyone's time to try to drag you through the fallacies of your concerns yet again.

Suffice it to say to anyone else: if any of the issues that Mod brings up is of concern to you, please find good answers to those concerns in either of these sites, namely: where you will find information on how the carbon tax will act as a clear economic signal that will trigger growth in energy efficiency and low carbon technologies without some kind of massively orchestrated federal top-down program that Mod is suggesting we do instead.

and: in which any concerns about regional disparities in the impact of a nationwide carbon tax are alleviated.

George, your old school approach is no longer politically feasible if it ever was, and your "elites" vs "innocents" framing is completely off base. Expecting the fossil fuel industries to allow the government to raise funds to develop and implement a program to wean the country away from the fossil fuel industries is truly laughable.


George Lippencott 1 year, 2 months ago

Beware of scientist (and Presidents) with calls to action. Climate change is real. How to address it requires more thought then so far expended by our elites.

A carbon tax as argued would be the most unjust initiative since we interned the Japanese at the beginning of WWII.

Our Westar (or KCP&L) would incur a big tax because they generate a lot of carbon. That tax would be passed on to us as the first big increase in our utility rates. None of the money raised would be used to actually address carbon generation. It might come back to some of us (heavily depleted) or it might go in part to research. It would certainly go to pay for the bureaucracy needed to administer the tax.

To actually address the carbon we are being penalized for generating we would have to have Westar transition to some other “green” form of power generation or get used to not having air conditioners. That would of course cause a second major rate increase (and many more) at a pace set by the elites using the carbon tax rate. .
Now if we lived in Medford, OR, we would use hydroelectric power so our utility would not see a big carbon tax. We would not have to raise our rates to eliminate the carbon we are not generating. We might actually get back some of the tax levied on those dumb Kansans. Let’s throw a party!

Now exactly what did you do to deserve this punishment. The choice of coal to generate our power was made decades ago by those long dead. Demanding that we bear the full cost to meet a new unevenly applied federal mandate is just despicable.

Our carbon problem should be addressed as we addressed our transportation problem, - with a nationally funded trust fund. We would then share the costs of addressing this policy initiative (maybe 80/20) with all of our citizens (including those in Medford) contributing. Funds would be focused on the worst carbon generation entities. Such a process would be fair, measured and evenly applied.

The carbon tax as proposed is just another form of “triangulation” where a few people get punished and a lot get to feel good without contributing very much at all (if anything) toward the common goal. Great political theater for those unable to actually sell climate change to all of us!

Just like the proposal for control of gun violence. The elites feel good and little is accomplished while many innocents are punished. Do we see a pattern here?


Trumbull 1 year, 2 months ago

" Is today’s drought worse than, say, that of the Dust Bowl, and was it caused by 1930s global warming?"

I'm glad George brought up the Dust Bowl. The drought was one thing, the actual dust storms were largely the result of farming activity, removing deep rooted grasses, and poor soil conservation. Deniers would be best served to leave this one out of their playbook.

The thing too learn from the dust bowl to me is this. Human activity helped create the problem and humans did much to correct the problem thru better practices. This should give us hope that we can do something about global warming.

I usually don't think one day is enough to conclude from ..... but 55 degrees on January 26th is strange. It feels like March outside.


Chris Golledge 1 year, 2 months ago

And once again, the local paper editor regurgitates the tripe George is spewing.

You can choose to believe that George knows more about the physics of the earth climate system than every scientific body of significance on the planet, and more about economics than bodies like The World Bank, and The World Economic Forum, or you can choose to believe, as per the title of this article, that he is just another guy with an opinion.


Armstrong 1 year, 2 months ago

Mr. Will, the next 4 years are going to be a waste and will not be limited to climate change


thuja 1 year, 2 months ago

I see no reason for this writer to be published in our paper.

LJW, do you read this stuff first, or just print it?


jhawkinsf 1 year, 2 months ago

I recall in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, there was much discussion about how we could allow that to happen. I'm not talking about the response, but actually having levees that were long known to be susceptible to failure should that type of storm hit. We knew for a long time, but the costs were too high, or so we thought, to make necessary changes. So we paid when Katrina hit. That's not the only example. Outside Sacramento, Ca., is a levee system that will fail. We've known that for decades. California is broke now, so they can't/won't make the necessary changes. When it fails, we'll look to whomever is in office at that time and scream, "How could you let this happen". It will happen. We will pay, just as we're now paying for Sandy. The only choice we have is will we pay now, or will we wait until after the disaster hits, until after there is death and destruction, until after lives have been ruined. But we will pay.


Ken Lassman 1 year, 2 months ago

I'd have to agree, Boze. And George Will has a history of climate denialism longer and stronger than most, so it's no big surprise that he comes out with his pseudo-scientific cherry picking of numbers that make it appear that he knows what he's talking about. Hmm...should I believe that there's some merit to his point over, say the unequivocal statement of the American Meteorological Society that came out last year:

Or, alternatively, what do the ongoing statistical trends say about the climate? Let's look at 26 indicators that show that human-induced climate change is real after all:

And as far as changing extremes, the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (gee, should I believe George or them??) has an excellent description of the shifting norms that are occurring, with increasing frequencies of both ends of the spectrum (droughts, catastrophic flooding):

Thanks, George, for the opportunity to present the real situation to folks. Ground hog day isn't until Feb. 2, tho, so you can go back into your little hole in the ground.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 2 months ago

Thankfully, there are folks out there who don't have their heads buried in the sand like Will does. And many of them live right here.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 2 months ago

Obama gets lambasted by conservatives for his lack of leadership, but here's Will bashing him for attempting to assert just a little bit of leadership in tackling what is by far the biggest single issue of our time. Instead, George focuses on the abstraction of debt, rather than the real disasters that climate change will bring. No level of austerity (for the working and middle class, anyway) is too great when it comes to addressing the deficit, but any suggestion that we may need to adjust our lifestyles to reduce global warming can be considered.


Commenting has been disabled for this item.