Archive for Sunday, August 21, 2016

Letter to the editor: Confronting change

August 21, 2016


To the editor:

A 16-year old at our Citizen’s Climate Lobby National Conference in June displayed remarkable insight when she said: “These are little tiny solutions we are offering to gigantic problems.”

Clergy suggest we approach climate change as intergenerational justice. Some in my generation resist change and think if we even talk about carbon emissions it will create socialism. They are mistakenly identifying environmentalism with intent to harm the American economy? Is it our failure to recognize new profit centers and therefore a slowness to embrace new energy technologies and efficiencies? Or is it the desire to not even think about it?

Citizen’s Climate Lobby suggests we approach climate change from the economic standpoint? Clean energy has all the characteristics for a prosperous way forward. More jobs, better GDP, opportunities for innovation, reduction in health related expenses and international cooperation. If you think about it, action on the climate sounds pretty smart. When you hear sentiments suggesting that changing weather might just be a natural cycle in the history of the earth, it is someone succumbing to seeds of doubt sown by the old energy guard.

According to leading climate scientist, Dr. Michael Mann, “those views are completely not credible”. The National Academy of Science, founded by Abraham Lincoln, reports with 97 percent accuracy that an overheated planet is a man-made phenomenon, nearing a cascading point. If you are passionate about something, you make time to do something about it. Confronting climate change is a way forward, toward building a better world.


Louis Kannen 1 year, 6 months ago

One planet, no known viable alternatives. Foresight, we all win. Hindsight, not so much...

Bob Summers 1 year, 6 months ago

What are the fear-mongers going to do about the expanding sun?

Is there some kind of expanding-sun tax the UN can level on every human on planet Earth that would help?

Deagel has a plan.

Bob Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

Giving half a billion dollars to Solyndra didn't do anything to save the planet. How much more money should we whizz away to appease the global warming gods?

Barb Gordon 1 year, 6 months ago

There are worse things to throw money at. Solyndra didn't spring a leak and spew oil all over the environment or cause any earthquake clusters. I'm also pretty sure the Solyndra didn't kill fish in lakes or cause any black lung.

David Reynolds 1 year, 6 months ago

This LTE was doing great until Mr. Michael Mann reared was mentioned. Then the letter lost credibility.

Ken Lassman 1 year, 6 months ago

Oh; that's why his scientific peers inducted him in 2012 as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union. In 2013 he was elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and awarded the status of distinguished professor. Such a slacker.

David Reynolds 1 year, 6 months ago

Ken quit making stuff up...I did not say that Michael Mann was a slacker.

What I was alluding to is his scandal ridden past regarding Climategate & his famous hockey stick graph.

By the way given what we know about Michael, what does that say about the credibility of all of those organizations awarding him?


Ken Lassman 1 year, 6 months ago

If what you said is true, then why did he receive all of these awards AFTER he was accused of all of the so-called wrong doings? Could it be that he has a vice grip-like control over these national and international organizations, each with tens of thousands of members, or could it be that they recognize one of their valued peers being unfairly persecuted by the denialist industry that is funded by fossil fuel interests, and want to show their clear support of Mann against the trumped up charges? You should read his book about that experience called "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars," which I recommend to anyone who is having trouble sorting truth from distortion in the climate debate.

And if you are questioning the credibility of the American Geophysical Union, the European Geosciences Union and the American Meterological Society in regards to their objectivity when it comes to science, well, thanks for clarifying where YOU are coming from.

Chris Golledge 1 year, 5 months ago

What scandal was that? Dr. Mann produced a graph and explained exactly how he had produced it in the text of the article. The only people mislead would be those that don't know how to read, and that is generally not the target audience of scientific journals.

David Reynolds 1 year, 6 months ago

Ken you missed my entire point...I even gave it to's called politics!

I congratulate you on your commitment to this whole climate issue. But I am afraid you have lost your objectivity. You totally discount any view or changes in the debate that are contrary to your beliefs, and that is fine. But in doing so you have missed the major shift that occurred years ago. That shift occurred when the proponents of climate issues saw they were losing their cause. At that point the discussion entered the world of politics.

Proponents then tried new tactics. They changed the name of the cause from "Global Warming" to "Climate Change" because they couldn't get any traction with the original name. Then came the politics, where in data was distorted in some cases, and it continues thru today, then there was alarmism, then there is "fake consensus", then there is the blame game where each side is blaming the other about some issue, now there is just people talking past each other.

As a result everything you see today regarding climate is all about politics. It is also about the economies of the various countries. That's why this issue isn't going anywhere soon. Until the climate folks admit these realities no progress will be made.

Ken Lassman 1 year, 6 months ago

I didn't miss the point at all, David. In case you didn't notice, you impugned not only Mr. Mann's reputation but the credibility of 3 well respected professional scientific societies, and I called you on it. If you choose to make a stand that far out on a limb, you are certainly entitled to do so, but to call it anything other than your own personal opinion is unjustifiable. I, however, prefer to stand with the considered conclusions of the AGU, EGU, the AMS, the many journals who have peer reviewed and published Mr. Mann's many works, and the institution of higher learning which has chosen to make Mr. Mann a distinguished professor. This is mainstream science.

Fortunately, the business world, most countries and the scientific community have indeed moved ahead, and policies have almost entirely shifted ahead from whether climate change is real and whether humans are causing it to the more pressing issues of how to mitigate further insults to the climate and adapting to the changes occurring that cannot be avoided. Hope you'll wake up to the same realization, David, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

David Reynolds 1 year, 6 months ago

Ken whether you accept it or not, promoting the climate issue is a political & economic football. All behavior & results stem from those issues. You see Impugning & I see politics.

This moving ahead you mention is all based on a huge transfer of wealth from more developed countries to other countries, including China. I believe the current agreement is $1.1 billion dollars per year with the USA paying the lion’s share. Any country will be happy to work on this as long as you are paying me.

If you believe there has been a turn around among countries and that there is a real commitment to reducing GHG emissions world wide, then you are really going to be disappointed. Please see the following article written this past week:

I partially quote: For anyone convinced that humans must urgently and substantially reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions if they are to avoid potential catastrophe, the failure of the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen in 2009 was a serious setback. However the UN summit in Paris last year was a disaster.

Copenhagen was only a setback because, although it failed to produce the universal agreement to reduce GHGs that many had expected, it left the door open to further negotiation. That was confirmed at the UN climate summit in Durban in 2011 (COP-17) where it was agreed to work towards a new legally-binding agreement in Paris in 2015 (COP-21) – an agreement the West intended should include GHG reduction commitments from all countries.

But that didn’t happen: the terms agreed in Paris exempted so called “developing” countries from any obligation, moral or legal, to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – terms exceptionally unlikely to be renegotiated.

The UN Framework Convention's, on Climate Change, distinction between “developed” and “developing” countries – a distinction unchanged since 1992. Developing countries comprised the vast bulk of countries represented in Paris, representing about 82% of humanity including essentially all the world’s poorest people, most of whom have either no or inadequate access to the power sources taken for granted in the West. But they also included major economies such as China, India, South Korea, Brazil, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Iran, all of which (except arguably the latter two) are far more powerful than they were when the Convention was enacted. End quote.

Ken its politics that got this agreement favoring some countries over others & that is more restrictive on some vs others. It is also politics that got us the Paris agreement that will accomplish little if anything.

Continued below.

David Reynolds 1 year, 6 months ago

Continued from above. Everything is politics Ken. The politicians love you and I. They want us being faithful & discussing the glories the politicians are selling.

There is a current insurance commercial where the spokes person is talking about only getting paid for 3/4 of your car. She mentions how you loved your car and you even named the car Brad...then you wrecked Brad! Well the politicians just wrecked Brad, the climate issue.

Wishing you all the best Ken.

Ken Lassman 1 year, 6 months ago

I really see nothing to respond to here, David, except to say that I never disagreed that politics is at play, as well as deception. And as far as the scientific community is concerned, the political manipulation is mostly coming from the fossil fuel funded denialist industry, denying the scientifically sound data that verifies the reality of human-induced climate change. You are the one playing into this script by blindly impugning the veracity of a well respected scientist and three very professional institutions with no apparent basis for doing so EXCEPT for political reasons.

Regarding the Paris Accords, yes the goals were set well below what is needed, and I think every country knows that and the need for re-convening down the road to tighten up the goals at the next go-around. The more people do in terms of energy efficiency and renewables infrastructure development, the easier it is to expand on it, so the expectation is that setting goals that currently seem insurmountable/unrealistic now will be much more likely down the road once the industrial infrastructure, economies of scale and culture of expectations develops as the technologies are adopted.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

Koch Outspends Exxon-Mobil on Climate Denial

The Wonk Room has long detailed the role of the billionaire brothers of Koch Industries, Charles and David Koch.

Their pollution-based fortunes have fueled a network of right-wing ideologues.

In public, the Kochs like to burnish their reputations by buying museum and opera halls. In private, however, they’ve outspent Exxon Mobil to fund organizations of the climate denial machine.

Although Koch people intentionally stay out of the public eye, it is now playing a quiet but dominant role in a high-profile national policy debate on global warming.

Koch Industries has become a financial kingpin of climate science denial and clean energy opposition.

This private, out-of-sight corporation is now a partner to Exxon Mobil, the American Petroleum Institute and other donors that support organizations and front-groups opposing progressive clean energy and climate policy.

In fact, Koch has out-spent Exxon Mobil in funding these groups in recent years. From 2005 to 2008, Exxon Mobil spent $8.9 million while the Koch Industries-controlled foundations contributed $24.9 million in funding to organizations of the climate denial machine.

This report, “Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine” documents roughly 40 climate denial and opposition organizations receiving Koch foundation grants in recent years, including:

Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

Perhaps it might be time to engage in lifestyle choices that are far less polluting for the next 100 years just in case there is a reason to do so. Until we humans do such how will we ever know?

Human made pollution brings on global warming which brings on Climate Change. Makes sense and lots of it…. I'd say.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

While global warming has been a concern for many many many many many many many decades some things seem to be certain.

  1. Never before has there been billions upon billions upon billions of humans polluting planet earth.

  2. Never before has there been billions upon billions of gasoline burning vehicles spewing pollution into the atmosphere.

  3. Never before has there been billions of homes demanding energy from polluting sources.

  4. Never before has there been billions of buildings demanding energy from polluting sources.

  5. Never before has there been millions of polluting energy generating sources.

  6. Never before has there been billions upon billions upon billions upon billions upon billions of humans supporting the clearing of the rainforest for food products not knowing the long term impact of removing massive numbers of trees and medicinal plants.

  7. Never before has planet earth been expected to absorb tons and tons and tons and tons of pollution with human beings having no idea what the impact might be.

  8. Never before has there been billions upon billions upon billions upon billions upon billions upon billions upon billions of human beings believing THEIR pollution is having zero impact ....... can we say ignorance is bliss.

  9. Never before has there been billions upon billions upon billions upon billions upon billions of humans applying millions of gallons and or pounds of toxic chemicals to the landscapes.

  10. Air and water pollution are man made driven by ignorance that nature is invincible. All of us have been ignorant of this until some decided to learn that there may be a connection to human lifestyles.

Pete Kennamore 1 year, 5 months ago

Good points Rich. While I am somewhat skeptical that recent observations of climate change have anthropomorphic causes (I mean really, taking data over a 100 year period and projecting to geologic time scales?), how can it be a bad idea to limit mankind's pollution to the planet? It's kind of like Pascal's wager.

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