Reader comments

On Letter: Energy issues


Leslie Swearingen 5 months, 3 weeks ago

My thing is that it seems impossible to me that billions of people , though their life styles, are not going to alter the climate in some significant way. Larger and larger cities with taller and taller buildings change wind flow and create micro climates. Wind is like water and it too flows over, around , up and under where ever it can find a path. All of these buildings, and housing, requires heating and cooling which is then vented to the outside.

The real lesson of Soylent Green was not that it was people, it was what had happened to bring civilization to that point. When Sol is dying his friend played by Charlton Heston looks at the scenes on the wall of the earth when there was such a diversity of animal and plant life and he says, "How, could I have know?"


George Lippencott 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes it would. I do not view this problem locally. I view it as a national policy that addresses a national problem. Oregon should pay to reduce carbon just as we should. The temporary condition where they may pay more for power will rapidly be reversed as we pay additional sums to fix our carbon world and then pay for the more expensive world the follows. Are you suggesting that th carbon tax is to equalize the cost of energy wherever it may be found? I though it was to encourage investment in changes. My process pays for those changes.


George Lippencott 5 months, 4 weeks ago

The old use the ma,market ploy. The problem is that we in Kansas have a much bigger problem than most of the rest of the country. The carbon tax would hit us hard.

Now if you believe these people that our government (they woulod have to levy the tax and set up the process for dividend payments) would not rip off the revenue for the "poor", investments in technology, to balance the budget or some othyere "game" they always come up with then go with the carbon tax and enjoy the rape and pillage. It will never turn out revenue neutral where the middle class in Kansas is concerned.

This is simply a ploy to avoid having to levy a tax on all of us because it only really a tax on those who have a high carbon footprint. People in Medford OR will likely not be hit much even with the redistribution because they use hydro-power - something we lack.. Why should we be punished for decisions made 100 years ago (to use coal) when that was a totally legal and appropriate decision

Remember the carbon tax does nothing to actually address carbon generation. It just makes it more expensive. We would then have to spend a lot of our resources to address our coal utilities. Why should we bear that burden alone. A national program takes money from everyone (including us) and uses it to address the worst carbon generators. That is only appropriate given that reducing carbon generation is national policy.

Don't fall for the siren song of a carbon tax. It comes from the very people that can not balance our budgets and who spend money like "drunken" sailors (no offense to sailors). They love the concept of punishing those they feel have transgressed (as they believe we have for using coal).

This senseless pursuit of a punishing solution to a major problem is delaying coming to grips with that problem. Create a program akin to the Interstate Highway System. All we need is real leadership to get that done. Can the Democratic Party rise above their left wing and show true governance by getting us all involved.


Les Blevins 5 months, 4 weeks ago

The sceptics keep pointing out that, since greenhouse gas emissions are a global problem, if all the major countries can't agree on action it's pointless for any individual country to bother doing anything. That's true even for the United States or China, let alone a small country like Australia, which is responsible for just 1.2 per cent of the world's emissions.

China and India pledged to reduce their ''emissions intensity'' by a certain percentage - that is, the amount of emissions per dollar of their gross domestic product. The other developing countries pledged to reduce their emissions by a certain percentage below what they would otherwise have been in 2020.

When compared on the basis of emissions intensity, however, remarkable similar percentage reductions were pledged, with the developing countries targeting bigger reductions than the rich countries. China, for instance, is targeting a reduction of 40 to 45 per cent over 15 years. And when compared on the basis of reductions from what emissions would otherwise have been, the targets reveal a similar degree of effort.

Because we haven't done much - and because Obama's promise to continue working to achieve emissions reductions by other means received little attention - we happily assume other countries haven't done much.

Not true - especially not for China. It is actively pursuing the target it reported to Copenhagen. It has ordered the shutdown of inefficient and high-emitting coal-fired power stations and their replacement with high-efficiency coal-fired generators. It has imposed energy performance standards for emissions-intensive industries and vehicle emission standards, is offering various incentives for clean energy and is spending bucketloads on developing renewable energy.

You can use trading schemes or a carbon tax to impose an explicit price on emissions of carbon dioxide. That's the best way to do it. But government subsidies and other measures can do the same thing indirectly.

A study sponsored by Australia's Climate Institute has sought to measure the implicit carbon price in various countries. It's $29 a tonne in Britain because its participation in the European trading scheme is backed up by various domestic measures.

It's $14 a tonne in China thanks to the measures I've mentioned and it's even $5 a tonne in the US because of federal subsidies to clean energy sources and state renewable energy targets.

And what do our bits and pieces add up to? A princely $1.70 a tonne. Two conclusions. All the key countries - even the US - have pledged their willingness to take significant action and some, including the biggest single emitter, China, are getting on with it. As other countries see this, they'll become more active themselves.

Far from being the country that's leading the way and making sacrifices while others hang back and marvel at our naivety, Australia and the United States are the ones dragging their feet.


George Lippencott 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Revenue neutral carbon tax??? That means that the middle class in Kansas takes a quadruple hit. They pay the tax through their carbon heavy utilities. They get back a smaller portion of the "dividend" because they are too wealthy. Their "dividend" is further reduced by the costs of administering the tax. They also have to pay to replace the carbon heavy utilities at a pace that will place a heavy drain on their resources.

The answer is a prioritized national program committing resources to the areas of the country generating the highest concentration of carbon. Nobody is evil in generating our carbon heavy economy. If it is public policy to reduce carbon emissions than it should be paid by a public tax. A carbon tax is a hidden tax because it bypasses the democratic process and appears indirectly in the utility bills - but it still reduces personal resources - disproportionally. If we want to do this we should do it together.

Now if things go as in the past I will be attacked and educated (unneeded) on the emissions problem. We are not talking emissions but tax policy. What we have here are young people who do not pay taxes or pay utilities lemming like following an effort by the Democrats to avoid the objections of those of us they want to stick with the bill. This is just another major income redistribution program disguised as an environmental savior. If we want to do it - it should be done by all in a prioritized way without penalty to any segment of the country.


Scott Burkhart 6 months ago

I am all for exploring, discovering, and producing renewable energy sources. I think it is an eco friendly way to live. I remember the years of polluted rivers, streams, and lakes. I remember when Lake Erie and the Monongahela River caught fire. We have taken great strides to reverse this trend to polluting the planet and living in our own waste. These measures should continue because we are the stewards of our planet for future generations to come.

I do not accept the notion of man made climate change. I will accept that the climate has changed, is changing and will continue to change. That does not mean that humans are the catalyst for this change. There are too many knowledgeable people who refute this notion. There have been too many discoveries of phony data or omitted findings that nullify whatever "scientific" results that they claim to validate.

There has been a leveling off of the the surface temperature for the last 15 years. The polar ice cap over Antarctica has increased over 1 million square miles in the last two years. A scientist in a recent National Geographic article convolutedly asserted that the ice cap is increasing because the Earth's surface temperature is warming. Really?

The evidence coming forth, with laser like accuracy (to quote a favorite politician), shows that solar activity and deep ocean currents determine the weather and temperature variations for our planet. The truth is that it is about money. If man made global warming turns out to be the hoax that I and others believe it to be, a lot of people will lose their reputations as scientists and the money that they bilk from the public coffers to perpetuate these myths will cease to exist.


Les Blevins 6 months ago

We are currently being asked to choose between economic development and environmental stewardship. But this is a false choice. We can have both. We need to stimulate our economy so that we are expanding opportunity while also protecting the environment. At the same time, we owe ourselves and future generations wisdom in how we promote growth. With increases in energy cost and limits on supply, the time is right to pass a carbon tax law and show how we can balance growth with care for the environment.


Les Blevins 6 months ago

Higher temperatures, more intense storms and increased drought will plague Kansas this century because of rising carbon dioxide emissions, according to a study by Kansas University scientists. The study details numerous dangers posed by climate change and should serve as a warning and prompt new policies that reduce CO2 emissions, the scientists said.


Les Blevins 6 months ago

I agree with Mr. Nimz, as Americans, we should build a more resilient infrastructure that can protect our homes and businesses as we experience more powerful storms, not to mention to address the growing threat of cyber attacks and increasing utility costs for upgrading outdated power generation and transmission systems and to address the added costs for health issues and environmental degradation their emissions cause.


Richard Heckler 6 months ago

Another victim of climate change.

How is Climate Change Jeopardizing the Sounds of Nature? By Kristen Rodman

October 19, 2013; 7:13 AM

Climate change has brought once lively and loud habitats to utter silence as their inhabitants of birds, frogs and insects have either vanished or drastically changed their migration patterns, according to researchers.

A relatively new study known as biophony, or the signature of collective sounds that occur in any given habitat at any given time, has provided scientific evidence to show that the sounds of nature have been altered by both global warming and human endeavors.

"Biophony is changing," bioacoustician and founding father of the research, Bernie Krause, said. "What was present 20 years ago or so has changed so radically that you wouldn't recognize the habitat from its voice of 20 years ago." @Bentler tweeted: "Accuweather: Climate change has brought once lively and loud habitats to utter silence. #climate #wildlife #silence"



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