Archive for Saturday, October 20, 2012

Letter: Climate concern

October 20, 2012


To the editor:

The weather is a favorite topic for small talk among Kansans, yet when it comes to talking about the larger, long-term implications of the weather — that is, climate change — many of our leaders and elected officials are silent. In fact, the topic has been off the radar during the presidential debates so far, despite its critical importance to everything from the economy to health to national security.

Politicians may shy away from talking about climate, but as people of faith, we cannot be silent on this important moral issue. The economy is the top issue on many Americans’ minds this fall, and rightly so. But Kansans understand that when 103 out of 105 counties in Kansas are declared disaster areas and farmers lose crops due to widespread drought, there’s a direct tie between disruptive weather, jobs and even our food supply.

The member congregations of Kansas Interfaith Power & Light recognize that collectively we are called to be good stewards of Earth and to care for our neighbors both locally and globally. We can’t ignore the growing reality of climate disruption, and we owe it to our children and grandchildren to act now for their future.

Rather than arguing false choices between good jobs and cleaner energy, we should celebrate that Americans have the ingenuity to successfully address the challenges of our changing climate. We invite all of Kansas’ faith communities to join us in this vital work.


atiopatioo 5 years ago

If the climate Inamoratas, despondent in their Kafkaesque milieu, truly loved mother earth, they would cease reproducing planet destroying humans.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years ago

Funny you should mention Franz, your candidate reminds me of a Koch Roach, he even scuttles when he walks. Creepy.

KSWingman 5 years ago

Dragons breathe fire, and their fiery breath contains 99.47% CO2- the bad kind, not the good kind that is in the breath of babies and kittens. It's settled science!

Dragons cause climate change. Ban dragons!

repaste 5 years ago

Ignorance of Man might be the danger. "junk DNA" "flat earth" "unsinkable" "won't fly". I have not spent 10 min researching Climate change, some people have spent decades. Slim chance my house will burn down but I bought fire insurance, it seemed the conservative thing to do.

KSWingman 5 years ago

Have you given ten minutes thought to the civil liberties, freedoms, and lifestyle you are willing to sacrifice in the name of climate change?

I have, and it is summed up in one word.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

Ah, the smell of celebrants of willful ignorance in the morning... stinks just like it does at any other time of the day.

KSWingman 5 years ago

Tell us more about the totalitarian utopia you envision to reverse "climate change". But before you do, tell us how to reverse "climate change"? What is the successful endpoint?

How will the energy rationing work? What will be the penalty for exceeding the ration? How many deaths per winter from hypothermia will be acceptable?

What is the maximum number of children allowed per couple? How will you enforce it, mandatory abortion or mandatory sterilization?

How many and what types of businesses must close? How many unemployed Americans is acceptable as a result of your policy? How many starving children?

What civil liberties must be eliminated? Freedom to travel? Freedom to have children? Freedom to enter into private contracts? Freedom of speech?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Chris Golledge 5 years ago

Who said anything about utopia? We are in for some pain. How much pain depends on the course of action we take.

The only people saying really bad things will happen if we switch to renewables instead of fossil fuels are the people selling fossil fuels, and the ones they have scared into believing them.

Try to understand, continuing the course of action we are currently on will result in a climate that can not support the current level of food production. What do you think will happen when 20%, 30%... of the land surface suffers the same kind of heat wave that the midwest suffered the last two years?

KSWingman 5 years ago

"We are in for some pain".

You ain't kidding. "Totalitarian utopia" was facetious.

Describe the mechanism by which your mythical "we" will switch the United States to renewable energy sources. Specifically, describe the mechanism by which every gas, diesel, natural gas, propane, coal, and wood combustion system will be replaced; who will pay for it; what legal process will mandate it; what part of the US Constitution you must eliminate to make it happen (and the way you'll accomplish this); and the number of casualties you find acceptable upon implementation of your scheme.

Ken Lassman 5 years ago

There's no reason the current fossil fuels regime can't be replaced over time the same way the horse and buggy was replaced with the automobile, the rotary phone was replaced with the cell phone, and the cigarette with a healthier lifestyle without a cigarette.

Your gloomy declarations of a totalitarian future is more like whining about changing the status quo.

KSWingman 5 years ago

You have the floor.

What is your plan? Be specific.

KSWingman 5 years ago

Lets look at your examples:

  1. The horse and buggy were replaced by the automobile. Free market forces. Gasoline and Diesel powered cars and trucks were more efficient and economical than horses and horse-drawn vehicles. Coal powered trains could carry great amounts of cargo across the country, as opposed to wagon trains. However, horses and buggies are still available for sale in the US, and are in use for work and pleasure. I'm looking out the window at a horse right now.
  2. Rotary phones were replaced by cell phones. Free market forces. Technological advances and the use of plastics (derived from crude oil) contributed. Rotary phones are still available for sale in the US and are in use. I just found rotary phones for sale on
  3. Cigarettes replaced by a healthier lifestyle without cigarettes. Ever since the first Indian rolled and lit a leaf, some people have smoked and some haven't. That hasn't changed; according to the CDC, Americans bought 303 billion cigarettes in 2010. The increases in cigarette cost are the result of increased taxes; minorities and the poor have been hardest hit by the government.

So, using two of your three examples, what is your free market solution to replace gasoline, Diesel, heating oil, coal, natural gas, and propane? Using the negative example of your third, what solution do you have that will not disproportionately harm minorities and the poor?

Ken Lassman 5 years ago

  1. Horse drawn vehicles were not replaced by automobiles without many heavy subsidies to develop the infrastructures that the automobile necessitated, not the least of which is our network of paved roads, highways and interstate. Do you think that horses need interstate highways? Furthermore, many intracity mass transit systems were scrapped after being bought out by the auto companies, forcing folks to switch from trollies and subways to automobiles in urban areas. This doesn't even get into the history of subsidies required by the oil companies.
  2. Rotary phones were consciously phased out, initially switching from hard wired to modular wiring and digital number pads, then to wireless home phones, then to cellular phones, and while I'm not as familiar with the details of these transitions, you can bet that a huge amount of subsidies, preferential treatment and "choosing winners" was involved. One of the ways the transition was bankrolled was the shift in the amount charged for long distance, which used to be much higher than it is today. Once again, public subsidies have played a very big part in developing and constructing the infrastructure. Let's start with selling bandwidth, which is owned by the public. How do you think that the modern business model works, anyway?
  3. So do I hear you complaining about how taxing tobacco is a bad idea? Why is it that it's OK for tobacco companies to prey on the poor and not be taxed by that habit? And are you aware that they are also exporting their greed to other countries so make up for the reduced consumption here in the US? Do you think that's also good capitalism?

You haven't made a very strong case at all, I'm afraid, that transitioning our energy production to renewables is going to be any worse than what we've already experienced with many other industries.

KSWingman 5 years ago

And yet, horses and buggies have not been eliminated- I can saddle up and ride to town anytime I choose. Rotary phones have not been eliminated- I can pick up a rotary phone and call anyone I want.

By definition, "replacing" A with B requires the elimination of A. Your first two examples failed because A was supplemented by B, not eliminated.

Your third example failed because it is factually untrue. The nonsmoking lifestyle always existed, and the smoking lifestyle has existed ever since the first Indian rolled and lit a leaf. Higher taxes have not eliminated cigarettes (see "303 BILLION cigarettes sold in 2010). The actual result of higher cigarette taxes has been an overall reduction of the health and nutrition of poor children- poor smokers purchase $0.44 boxes of mac 'n cheese to feed their children as they continue to buy smokes. Your social engineering taxation philosophy owns that.

Ken Lassman 5 years ago

This is a test: the JW website has dropped my reply to you twice, and if this gets posted, please note that I will reply to you at the bottom of the comments instead of risking having my response trashed by their system yet again.

KSWingman 5 years ago

I had the same problem. I'll watch for your reply.

Chris Golledge 5 years ago

A gradually phased in carbon tax would allow for the transition away from fossil fuels. Energy will be more expensive, at least for a time. This will result in about a 3% reduction in GDP.

Last year I bought a new TV for 3% of my salary; no one would die if I did not have that TV.

Chris Golledge 5 years ago

Revenue neutral, tax and dividend, that is. The proceeds from the tax can be returned to the populace as tax rebates or whatever. Those using a higher percentage of FF energy pay a higher portion of the tax.

You are showing signs of having bought the line that says bad things will happen if you quit buying fossil fuels, brought to you by the coal and oil industry.

KSWingman 5 years ago

Your idea is to prohibitively tax poor people for the purchase of fuel for their homes and cars all year long, then give it back at tax time. Right? Which means there would be no net loss to the poor taxpayer each year, but the government would expend time and manpower collecting and returning the same dollar.

Great plan. You should run for office with that plan! Oh, wait a minute. Who would vote for a plan like that? Hmmm.... I know- the answer is "nobody". I suspect you'll have a hard time convincing the majority of Congress or the majority of voters that your plan is good for America.

So, why not let poor people keep their money in their pockets instead of filtering it through the government?

KSWingman 5 years ago

"Gradually phased in carbon tax". What, exactly, will you tax; how much, and over what period of time? What of those who can't pay the increase in fuel costs? You sentence them to hunger and cold.

"transition away from fossil fuels". From which fuels, specifically, and to which fuels? How will consumers pay for the new automobiles, furnaces, and power generation equipment, or pay to convert their existing engines and furnaces? What of those people who can't afford a new car or new furnace?

"Energy will be more expensive". Oh, yes it will. By necessity, the increased cost of a particular form of energy must be so great that it prohibits people from using it, for your plan to work. In fact, the price must become so great that ALL consumers are prohibited from using that particular energy source, in favor of your alternative. At the same time, the government can only affect the retail cost of a commodity by price fixing or taxation. Prohibitive costs will disproportionately harm old people, minorities, and poor, people. How many deaths are an acceptable number to you?

"3% reduction in GDP". Made up number.

***A free market solution, in which a new source of fuel, compatible with current internal combustion engines and furnaces, at comparable or lower cost, would be necessary for your scheme. What is this new fuel that will replace gasoline, Diesel, jet fuel, coal, heating oil, natural gas, and propane... at a reasonable cost per BTU?

I'm glad you have a nice TV. The value of a new TV could mean the difference between life and death for a poor person. In fact, you could have given that 3% of your salary to a starving poor person, and saved a life. Why do you want everyone to pay more for energy, creating a crisis for the poor, yet you did not help the poor when you had the opportunity?

Chris Golledge 5 years ago

Review examined results from bottom-up & top-down studies: concluded that world could stabilise below 550ppm CO2e for around 1% of global GDP

I think that is a little optimistic, and I've seen higher figures; so, I said 3%, but that is not a "Made up number".

Details on carbon tax here:

You are irrationally saying that I've said things I haven't, and you haven't a clue what you are talking about other than change scares you.

KSWingman 5 years ago

I am taking your vision, and applying it to the real world; a world in which the working poor already struggle to make ends meet, and are not financially equipped to pay vastly more out of their pockets to survive, in service to your Utopian view. Meanwhile, you brag about your new TV.

So how are we, the working poor, supposed to pay for your Dream?

Chris Golledge 5 years ago

Well, for one thing, you will be paying less for alternative energy than you would be paying for food under a BAU plan.

KSWingman 5 years ago

What "alternative energy"? What is this magical fuel source that will replace gas, oil, coal, propane, and wood, AND cost less?

Current gasoline price in the Lawrence/Topeka area is around $3.65 a gallon. What alternative exists to gasoline that is less expensive than that?

Propane costs around $2.60 per gallon. Average residential use at my place is 500 gallons for 6 months. I also burn wood in the house and shop. What is your alternative?

Electric cost from Westar for my house and barn run about $200 per month. What is the cheaper alternative?

Ken Lassman 5 years ago

OK, if we take British Columbia, which has a carbon tax as an example, they have a fee of 4.67 cents/litre on propane. If I did my calculations right, then your 500 gal. of propane would have around $89 of carbon fee added to what it currently costs. Now you will get much if not more than all of that back in the carbon dividend, and you then have a choice: I can use that $88 to pay for the propane carbon fee, I can use that to insulate my house and reduce the amount of propane I use, or I could buy more gas to cut more wood. No mystery here. In the long haul, as the fee increases predictably over time, chances are you're going to cut back on propane, insulate and weatherize more, maybe adding a lean-to greenhouse on the south side of your house, and maybe add a pellet stove. But it's your choice. If you want to continue to burn propane, just keep using all of your dividend to do just that.

Push the pencil on geothermal to cut the electrical bills and maybe you'll find some incentives to help make the transition there, too. Many other states are much further down this road than Kansas--I think the American Council on Energy Efficiency ranked us as 45th out of 50. State utilities with better incentives for their residential and business consumers have made great leaps in making their electrical consumption go much further.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

No, I fell for the analyses of large streams of data by thousands of highly qualified climate scientists, not the kneejerk paranoia that Exxon/Koch Bros, et al, have paid $million to inculcate in gullible and ideologically predisposed automatons.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

"If so, why, as this letter writer suggests, is this not being debated by Romney and Obama?"

Because our political system is extremely corrupt.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

1) There are two things that came to my mind when I read this letter. One is based upon this statement:

"But Kansans understand that when 103 out of 105 counties in Kansas are declared disaster areas and farmers lose crops due to widespread drought, there’s a direct tie between disruptive weather, jobs and even our food supply."

Do a comparison with the weather patterns that occurred here in Kansas during the Dust Bowl years in the 1930s, and that argument loses some of its merit.

The other problem is much more profound. What we do here in Kansas won't make that much difference, because Kansans are such a small percentage of the population of the planet. The population of Kansas is 2,871,238, and the population of China alone is 1,344,130,000. That is, the population of Kansas is 0.2136% of the population of China, hardly a blip on the radar screen.

The population of the whole United States is 311,591,917, which is 23.282% of the population of China. That's still rather small.

And, China is firing up and putting online one new coal fired power plant every week, and here in Kansas, the debate about only one in the southwest part of the state has gone on for years, due to environmental concerns.

We're all on the same planet! So, what the letter writer is talking about is not a Kansas problem at all, it's a worldwide problem. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to effectively do anything about it, because apparently there is no world wide body that can do anything at all.

The United Nations might come to mind, but it's often derisively called the Useless Nations because it can't seem to get anything done except appease the dictators of the oil rich nations, totally ignore serious problems, and complain loudly about the smallest things without paying any attention to the facts. I think the most ridiculous thing the UN does is send in peacekeepers when there is no peace to keep, and then the peacekeepers are withdrawn if any serious fighting starts. Very few UN peacekeepers get killed in action, due to their heroic running away when gunfire erupts.

Back to reality, the only thing that can be done is to develop new and cleaner technologies to harness existing energy resources. The first resource that can make a real difference is natural gas. We already have the technology for that, what we don't have is the infrastructure. There's a really fine car on the market now, the Honda Civic NG, but there are very few natural gas filling stations where a driver can fill up the tank. A drive from one coast of the USA to the other would be quite a challenge in a Honda Civic NG.

Chris Golledge 5 years ago

Natural gas might buy us some time, but it still leads down the same road.

Globally, the planet is much warmer now than it was in the 1930s, and the frequency and area of the types of heat (and to some extent drought) that hit the U.S. then is more than 10 times what it was on a global average.

Chris Golledge 5 years ago

China is also progressing with renewable energy faster than the U.S. is.

Trumbull 5 years ago

Ron, good points. However, the US can get started on the path to renewables. China and others will follow. The US has been the leader in new tech for a long time. And to the others. We don't have to do this overnight. Phase it in.

Trumbull 5 years ago

The dust bowl only proves that man can cause damage to our ecosystem. Soil erosion and dust storms were largely the result of poor farming practices. It also proves man is smart enough to take corrective was done thru better practices. Desertification can be caused by poor farming practices.

Liberty275 5 years ago

This is the order our main fuel supplies will follow.

1: Fossil fuels.

The other stuff is just pork and corruption, but it appeases the left and makes the landowners and corporations some money back from the government. The left wins, the right wins and America loses.

2: Hydrogen.

Water 5 years ago

Right said Ron! I would like to copy and paste this under my heading.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

2) The other resource that needs attention is coal. Over and over some people repeat a claim they heard once, it goes like this: "There is no such thing as clean coal."

I think that statement is only true in the present, it is hardly a statement that will always be true. It would be very helpful if the federal government would subsidize some research into ways to turn coal into a cleaner fuel. I cannot believe that is not possible.

We can orbit the earth, we can send a man to the moon and back, we can split the atom, we can travel faster than the speed of sound, and we can't burn coal without toxic fumes?

I don't believe it.

Ken Lassman 5 years ago

It's my understanding that iIt takes about a third again as much energy to capture the carbon, so the economics of pulling it out are just not going to be there. Then there's the issue of what to do with it once you have captured it.

Trumbull 5 years ago

There is also the problem of extracting coal before it is burned. Especially if it is strip mined. You ruin the landscape and also release toxins and heavy metals into the water supply. Mining it the traditional way is very dangerous work.

BTW, the solar plant in the mojave desert is using 1980's technology, and it produces approximately the same amount of MW as a mid-sized coal plant.

Liberty275 5 years ago

On a recent trip from the Carolina's, I had a chance to see the right half of America from the air. I saw more disruption by farms in the Midwest than mines back east. As for runoff, I'd be a lot more concerned about fertilizer than heavy metals unless you can point out high concentrations and then I can remind you to stay away from there. You would probably be trespassing anyway.

But, I'm trying to be a little green (and stop sending money to westar). So while changing a light the other day, I dropped a CFL. Tell me about the 5 ml of mercury I just turned loose in my house. Then tell me about the heavy metals one more time. See which one I find more alarming.

See why I find the green movement alarming? It is all hypocritical.

" the solar plant in the mojave desert"

The Mojave Desert gets 5 inches of rain per year. Kansas gets 28. The rain comes form big gray things in the sky. Do the math.

In kansas, such solar plant would be about 10% of one in such desert conditions. It's cloudy here for weeks at a time.. Solar is no good here. Even wind beats you.

Trumbull 5 years ago

Zinc mining in southern Kansas and NE Oklahoma has left several towns un-livable. Coal mining (strip mining especially) produces the same set of risks.

Where did you get the 10% figure in your post above (regarding the effectiveness of a solar plant)? Any-ways, assuming this is true, I like renewables for both environmental and economic reasons. Our economy is far too dependent on the price of oil. For this reason, I believe in all of the above energy sources (with the exception of coal). A good and reasonable goal would be to slowly, but continually increase our use and technology of renewables.

Ken Lassman 5 years ago

Liberty, 10% of the solar in the SW? Try 50% in eastern Kansas and 75% in western Kansas. That's concentrating solar; photovoltaics is even better:

I think it's great you saw the Mojave first hand; next time do your homework on Kansas.

And removing mountaintops in the Appalachians is a heck of a lot more destructive than planting wheat and corn in the midwest. If you don't understand that, then you really need to go back to school.

jafs 5 years ago

Modern agricultural practices are pretty destructive, as well.

jafs 5 years ago

Don't drop and break the bulbs.

We've been using CFL's for quite some time, and I haven't broken one yet.

They use about 1/4 the electricity of incandescent bulbs, and last a lot longer as well.

According to what I've read, the amounts of mercury in the bulbs are negligibly small compared to the amounts of mercury and other heavy metals involved with coal production of electricity.

notaubermime 5 years ago

Five mL of mercury?! No, wrong unit of measurement: a CFL has somewhere around 4 or 5 milligrams. On the other hand, US coal plants release an estimated 50 tons of mercury into the air each year. It is not hypocritical for environmentalists to want to use a small amount of mercury in CFLs to reduce the large amount produced by burning coal.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

You're the one that needs to read up. There's no eschatology in the Torah.

verity 5 years ago


Judaism has some very interesting concepts that, unfortunately, did not survive into Christianity---or in this case, concepts were added.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

"The Torah aka first 5 books of the Bible has plenty to say about who created the earth, who controls all creatures on the earth and who ultimately decides what happens to the earth and its inhabitants."

That's true, but it has no eschatology in the sense of the final days, which was the point of your comment. The Torah ends with the entry of the Hebrews into the Promised Land.

Definition of eschatology: The part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind.

Mention of the final days is not in the Torah, I believe it is barely mentioned in the Ketuvim, but it certainly is in the Nevi'im.

"You are mistaken as usual"

I believe that if I was usually wrong, you would be one of many to have noticed. But that's not the case at all. I was mistaken some time ago in that I believed what my landlord had told me about what was required for eviction. I was quickly corrected by numerous posters. Other than that, the only things I have had differences with other posters on were matters of opinion. Or in some cases, I had differences with people who had not been reading news sources from outside the United States.

"and blinded by bigotry."

I took a look at your comment history. You need to go take a look in a mirror. And it's obvious that you put very little thought into your comments here. But, being anonymous, you really don't need to do that, I suppose.

paulveer 5 years ago

Ron, thank you. You made some excellent points here, probably the best on the board. You also spoke with clarity, understanding, integrity and believability. This naturally made you a target of the hater-troll, who (as you pointed out) consistently displays here his lack of any of those attributes.

Liberty275 5 years ago

"Mention of the final days is not in the Torah, I believe it is barely mentioned in the Ketuvim, but it certainly is in the Nevi'im."

Briefly, how are they mentioned there? Is it used in a way that supports or confounds your argument?

Chris Golledge 5 years ago

I would ask the page at what point in time God has prevented mass starvation and death. It has happened before, it's wishful thinking it can't happen again.

tbaker 5 years ago

Lets assume the kind Rabbi is correct and the climate is changing.

The problem of course is assuming human activity is some how responsible for it.

From the British Met Office:

The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week.

The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.

This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.

What we can accurately forecast are scores of angry warmers replying to this post, all questioning the voracity of the findings of this report. The fact this is going to happen and groups of intolerant people motivated solely by ideology (not science) are going to pounce on anything that doesn’t fit their world view is clear evidence the entire subject is a long way from “settled science” as many like to label it. Perhaps this explains the numerous examples of climate data being manipulated.

The whole discussion quickly devolves into “my scientific data is better than your scientific data” and it becomes impossible to reach any scientifically valid conclusions.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

The article you link to, and the supposed report, are frauds-- but you'll believe anything as long as it confirms your ideological biases.

"If you were engaging in social media this past weekend, you might have found an October 13, 2012 article suggesting that global warming stopped 16 years ago. The article is here. David Rose of the Daily Mail wrote it. The article says the UK Met Office sent out a news release release saying its data showed that global warming has stopped and that there is no “discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.” It now comes to light that this information is not true. The UK Met Office did not release a statement suggesting that “global warming stopped 16 years ago.” The UK Met Office, in fact, disavows any association with Mr. Rose and his article and says it was never asked any questions regarding the actual science of climate change and global warming by Mr. Rose. On October 14, 2012 – one day after Mr. Rose’s article appeared in the Daily Mail – the UK Met Office released its own blog post discussing the issues with the Daily Mail article. It’s very interesting reading."

To read the Met Offices blog on this matter-

tbaker 5 years ago

Right on time. What did I tell ya?

Chris Golledge 5 years ago

Let's assume that gravity exists...

The fact that you choose not to believe the evidence that tells you what you don't want to hear does not mean that the made-up stuff that tells you what you want is true.

verity 5 years ago

I find the argument that the problem is too big for us to do anything about because we can only affect such a small part of it to be unpersuasive. Most things start small and grow. It's amazing what can happen from a small start.

If the United States of America, still arguably the most powerful and richest country in the world, doesn't do something, why should anybody else?

KSWingman 5 years ago

"If the United States of America...doesn't do something, why should anybody else?"

The only way for "the United States of America" to do anything is by Federal laws and regulations. How much power do you want to give the government? The power to remove every wood-burning stove and fireplace in the country, at the point of a gun? The power to enforce a one child limit per couple? The power to confiscate every internal combustion engine? The power to ration the sale of fossil fuels? The power to limit the population of the US to a specific number, by any means necessary?

Which of your rights and freedoms are you willing to surrender to stop climate change? 4th Amendment? 1st Amendment? The freedom to own property or purchase consumer goods? The freedom to decide how many children you choose to have? The right to life itself?

Who will enforce these laws? How many millions of Federal agents are you willing to pay for to search every house, apartment, and business in America and remove all of those eeeevil polluting furnaces and heaters? How many dead citizens and Federal enforcers is an acceptable number to "reverse climate change"? After all, nothing is more important than saving the Earth, right?

How will you know when it's "enough"? What is the benchmark of success in reversing climate change? If the rest of the world is not under the control of the same totalitarian regime, how will the complete elimination of rights and civil liberties in the US reverse global climate change? Are you willing to go to war with China and India to force them to participate in your scheme?

The most important question: Do you really want to live in the totalitarian utopia you are dreaming of?

KSWingman 5 years ago

Follow up question for you, verity:

What will you do with all of the bodies? Millions and millions of bodies of the Americans who would die in the implementation of your totalitarian utopia, and millions more who would die of starvation, disease, and exposure to heat and cold every year.

You can't burn them, it would pollute the atmosphere. Soylent Green, perhaps?

verity 5 years ago

You really read a whole lot into what I said.

KSWingman 5 years ago

Did I? I think I read exactly what you meant to say. You want the Federal government to force all Americans to surrender our most basic freedom, the freedom to choose, to achieve an undefinable and unquantifiable goal.

Do you have answers for any of my questions?

verity 5 years ago

You are making a lot of assumptions without support for them, both about what cleaning up our environment would take and about what I meant by what I said. You are setting up false choices---it is not an either/or situation as you are trying to make it and you don't get to say what I meant. When you can prove the assumptions behind your questions then you can demand answers to them.

KSWingman 5 years ago

Then by all means, dear verity, do tell: What, exactly, are you talking about?

Chris Golledge 5 years ago

What is needed is an international agreement similar to the Montreal Protocol restricting the use of CFCs. It does not appear that the Montreal Protocol has created the totalitarian state you are afraid of.

KSWingman 5 years ago

Take that train of thought a step further. What chemical would your proposed agreement restrict, and how would such a limit be implemented in the United States?

Liberty275 5 years ago

Have you looked into the nature of the next generation refrigerants? Some are flammable. Somebody here that knows about cars can tell us if such refrigerants can escape into the passenger compartment where your kid sits. Other refrigerants are $100 a pound. There is no energy/karma nirvana when it comes to making air (and beer) get colder. It takes nasty chemicals pumped by lots of energy.

Hot? We can do that with black paint and a summer day.

It seems to me like we always find out about chemicals just when the patent runs out.

In the end, I'm with you. Point out a good compound that will chill the air and that isn't somewhat dangerous (If R12 gas went into your carb the exhaust out of the tailpipe could kill you) and doesn't consume a large amount of energy to pump. Get a patent and sell some. You can be green and get to meet al gore or you can wait for Montreal applaud whatever it does.

Chris Golledge 5 years ago

So, where is this totalitarian world government you are afraid of?

Trumbull 5 years ago

Exactly. The United States has led in innovative technology. Other countries China will hopefully.

Liberty275 5 years ago

" It's amazing what can happen from a small start."

Usually a quick finish.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

Looks like constitutional malfeasance has left the blog.

jhawkinsf 5 years ago

Bing. "Noah. How long can you tread water".

Liberty275 5 years ago

If I were god and there was some sort of inordinate climate change, I'd wave my wand and make it go away. Luckily there is no inordinate climate change, nor any god.

Ken Lassman 5 years ago

The Earth will do fine, thank you. The planet has jettisoned many, many species who have not proven to be able to live within the parameters of the ecosystems it reproduces within, and humans, as much as we'd like to think otherwise, operate under the same rules.

notaubermime 5 years ago

Wasn't the whole point of the Ark that God wasn't destroying all living things? Just everything not on the Ark?

I mean, that seems like a pretty big logic flaw before one even gets into the fact that the biblical flood never happened

Water 5 years ago

I see two camps. The ants, and the grasshoppers. I hope we have we have enough ants making the big decisions. And thank you Rabbi for drawing attention to THE issue of the day.

KSWingman 5 years ago

The ants: Workers and producers who value what they earn, save up to survive the winter, and have no use for the moocher grasshoppers. Ants know that winter will come, and it will be cold, because that is how the earth is- and ants don't waste time trying to change it. Ants adapt.

The grasshoppers: Party and play, tell each other that they are the smartest insects of all, expect the ants to support them, cry when the inevitable winter snows arrive.

Yeah, I see what you mean.

jafs 5 years ago

Even if God didn't let us destroy "all living things", we could still destroy most of them, including us.

That sort of blithe reliance on God to prevent destruction seems rather dangerous to me - it means we can do whatever we want without worrying about the consequences.

I suppose it's not a surprise that folks that believe like that often want to go to war, and aren't that afraid of nuclear weapons.

Trumbull 5 years ago

"Desertification dates back to the beginning of agriculture 7000 years ago and was noted during the collapse of Mesopotamia and the Roman Empire. In the region of the 'hundred dead cities' near Aleppo, Syria, 3-6 feet of soil was washed away in the first century following the invasion of armies and disuse of conservation structures. More recent manifestations include the dust bowls of the American mid-west in the 1930s, the shrinking of the Aral Sea from the 1960s onwards, and debilitating dust storms in China in the 1990s that continue today (costing the country US$ 2-3 billion every year). All these occurred during attempts to increase agricultural productivity! "

From this link:

Chris Golledge 5 years ago

nvd, I followed your comments above and see your train of thought.

Chris Golledge 5 years ago

Workings of a revenue neutral carbon tax. The main effect is that it would shift the external costs of fossil fuels back to the fossil fuel producers.

Climate change is already costing us:

Mitigating climate change will cost less than not mitigating.

"Review examined results from bottom-up & top-down studies: concluded that world could stabilise below 550ppm CO2e for around 1% of global GDP"

"... the Review estimates that the dangers could be equivalent to 20% of GDP or more. In contrast, the costs of action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change can be limited to around 1% of global GDP each year. People would pay a little more for carbon-intensive goods, but our economies could continue to grow strongly."

550 ppm is probably too high. We are at just under 400 ppm now, and the increase in heat waves is already having some disastrous effects.

KSWingman 5 years ago

"Shift the external costs of fossil fuels back to the fossil fuel producers"... who pass on the increased costs to consumers. Manufacturing, transportation, and distribution costs go up.

Net result- minorities and the poor suffer, old people die, and the prices of everything from Cheetos to condoms go up. Lefties experience devastating cases of the munchies and STD rates increase.

Great plan.

I am detecting a pattern. I recommend you Google "unintended consequences".

Ken Lassman 5 years ago

OK, then, what about the unintended consequences of NOT shifting the external costs? It's called climate change, right?

KSWingman 5 years ago

Climate will change anyway. Lawrence has, at various times, been under a mile of ocean and a mile of ice. In the 1930s, giant dust storms blotted out the Kansas sky.


Ken Lassman 5 years ago

Why not adapt to incorporating externalized costs into the price of fuels we pay, when than can greatly reduce the impacts of climate change? In the long run, why is it better to shift cities away from rising sea levels, moving agricultural regions hundreds of miles north, dealing with increased intensity, areal coverage and frequency of extreme weather events? I think it is the fossil fuel industry that has to adapt, instead of forcing climate change onto the planet so they can continue to rake in their profits.

Trumbull 5 years ago

To someone who is living in a famine, my advice..."Adapt".

Chris Golledge 5 years ago

What part of "It will cost us less to mitigate than to adapt." do you not understand?

Granted there will have to be a bit of both at this point. That, and the suffering has already started.

Ken Lassman 5 years ago

wingman wrote above: "And yet, horses and buggies have not been eliminated- I can saddle up and ride to town anytime I choose. Rotary phones have not been eliminated- I can pick up a rotary phone and call anyone I want.

"By definition, "replacing" A with B requires the elimination of A. Your first two examples failed because A was supplemented by B, not eliminated.

"Your third example failed because it is factually untrue. The nonsmoking lifestyle always existed, and the smoking lifestyle has existed ever since the first Indian rolled and lit a leaf. Higher taxes have not eliminated cigarettes (see "303 BILLION cigarettes sold in 2010). The actual result of higher cigarette taxes has been an overall reduction of the health and nutrition of poor children- poor smokers purchase $0.44 boxes of mac 'n cheese to feed their children as they continue to buy smokes. Your social engineering taxation philosophy owns that."

My reply (for the third time, more or less, as I'm getting tired of rewriting!) Wingman, who ever said that fossil fuels will be anything but supplanted, not replaced, in exactly the same manner that horses, rotary phones and to a lesser extent cigarettes have been supplanted? I know of nobody who has drawn up anything else other than a transition, say to 50% renewables by 2050, and 80% in an additional decade or two. You are the one creating a straw dog, not me.

And as for cigarettes, you once again need to do your homework. From the CDC I offer the following graph: OK: the JW website can't seem to handle posting this graph, which can be found here:

Not only has cigarette consumption dropped due partly because of lawsuits and taxation, but the consumption habits for low income and youth have proven to be more "sensitive" to increased prices caused by taxes, i.e. use drops off more quickly for those populations. Check out the research if you don't believe me. Furthermore, the higher the taxes, the less regressive is the tax, since consumption rates drop more quickly for the poor. I suppose you think tho that it's OK for the tobacco companies to target the poor and young as they historically have done to get them addicted early and long?

KSWingman 5 years ago

"who ever said that fossil fuels will be anything but supplanted, not replaced"?

Ummmm... you did.

In your own words, up this page a bit: "There's no reason the current fossil fuels regime can't be replaced over time the same way the horse and buggy was replaced with the automobile, the rotary phone was replaced with the cell phone, and the cigarette with a healthier lifestyle without a cigarette."

Read that sentence again. You used the word "replaced" three times, and a fourth can be inferred in the final ten words.

Ken Lassman 5 years ago

You make my point, KS: just as horse and buggies can still be found (in your own words), so will fossil fuels. I am using the term "replace" in exactly the same way with horses and rotary phones as I am with fossil fuels. We just won't depend on them as our primary sources any more than we depend on horses as our primary transportation means.

You are the one who is being so rigid about the meaning of the word "replace," insisting that it means that it's all or nothing. No transition in energy or technology has ever worked way, and I see nobody saying that now--except apparently you.

KSWingman 5 years ago

So, when you said "replace" repeatedly, you didn't mean it as English-speakers mean it (to substitute, esp. by replacement), you meant it as DougCounty means it (to supplement without eliminating).

You may also want to look up "supplant" and confirm that you intended to use the word as it is defined.

Ken Lassman 5 years ago

I mean it EXACTLY as English speakers mean it. Virtually all English speakers understand that when I say that horses have been REPLACED by the the automobile, that they also understand that there are technically speaking millions of horses still around--they are just not used as a PRIMARY means of transportation for humans. In EXACTLY the same way, when I say that fossil fuels need to be replace by renewables, folks should understand that there will be 1) a transition phase-in, and 2) there will still be fossil fuels around, just not used as our PRIMARY source for energy.

Ken Lassman 5 years ago

Good. So the point really is that instead of some weird totalitarian dystopian nightmare that you seem to think that we have to go through, we can use the same incentives, the same disincentives, the same market forces, the same kind of public and private mix of resources for making the transition from a fossil fuel dominated economic sphere to one where we can stabilize the climate changes that have already started, perhaps even avoiding the more catastrophic extremes that will likely greet us if we continue to stick our heads in the sand and just suck harder and longer at the same carbon-heavy sources that we've relied on up until now. It doesn't mean that it'll be foolproof, or bump-free, but it is comparatively advantageous to continuing down the same path, and the longer we wait, the more expensive and less effective it will be.

budwhysir 4 years, 12 months ago

wow, not sure how I made it here to post on this subject, so, Im not sure what I say will be accepted or draw any response from anyone but I have to say that I agree to disagree with those that do not agree to disagree with what is said. I mean come on folks, if we look at true hard facts, I mean true hard clear, uncluttered facts, couldnt we all agree that the points made are in fact pointed out in a way that can be agreed or disagreed with? Afterall that is the point of the article, to draw out a conversation on correct or incorrectness

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