PRIORITIES: White House: No choice but to act now on climate change

The Obama administration released a comprehensive new report Tuesday in an attempt to justify its controversial actions on climate change, and also will roll out new executive moves to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

The study shows the potential damages to the planet by delaying steps — such as harsh new limits on carbon emissions from power plants — to tackle global warming.

“First of all, we know way more than enough to justify acting today. Second, delaying action will increase the costs,” said Jason Furman, chairman of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, which produced the report. “And third … the large-scale risks associated with climate change are an argument for acting more today as a form of insurance against the worst consequences in the future.”

The report comes just as the Environmental Protection Agency holds meetings in cities across the country to hear feedback on its highly controversial proposal to limit carbon emissions from power plants.

The power plant rules are the single largest steps the administration has taken in its climate change fight. It also has taken action to increase auto fuel efficiency, among other things.

23 Comments - what are your thoughts?

  • Concerned says:

    President Obama always has a lot of choices, but invariably he makes the wrong one. Our solar scientists are telling us that for the last 8 years the sun has been in its lowest activity state for more than 120 years. If this continues, we could see an extended (30 to 50 year cold period) since the Solar Polar Field Strength (at an all-time low) has a direct correlation to future low global temperatures. Many scientists in fact are predicting this.

    1. I Seigel says:

      Why is it that you feel free to pick and choose your scientific data to fit your ideology? And then you interpret it to fit your views! Incredible!! The Solar Polar Field Strength fluctuates with sunspot cycles, and it measures ONLY magnetic field strengths at the northern and southern poles. It has NOTHING to do with temperatures.

      What? Do you think we’re ALL idiots and incapable of doing a quick Google search!?! Stop with your faux science BS.

      1. Concerned says:

        Since you are using Google, proceed to do a little more research before you respond as you did above. No I don’t think that you are an idiot, but we should not be reactionary to the point where politicians are leading us by the nose into economic and social disasters. Nobody knows why the Geomagnetic Fields of the sun (directly correlated to the Solar Polar Field Strength) are so low. Reports indicate that it is now the lowest in recorded history (1975 to today).
        Neither you nor our solar scientists know the relationship between these magnetic fields and earth’s Global temperatures. However, they know enough to know that your “NOTHING” statement above is incorrect. The point of my above comments are that it is important to do enough research to know that our society is spending the money on the right things.

        The scientists do know that CO2 contributes very little to GW, the best correlation to global temperatures is a combination of solar activity (sunspots), PDO, and AMO (all controlled by the sun) and all of which contribute to El Nino and La Nina.

        1. I Seigel says:

          Thank you for a reasonable response to my comments. And thanks for the links to the 2 NASA articles above.

          I’ve read both, and they both back your statement relating to magnetic field strengths and how they’re affected by the sun, and how they’re at a long-time low. They also back your statement that no one knows why they’re so low, but there IS research that suggests the low is related to a low in the sunspot activity cycle. No one understands what causes those cycles, but they are a recognized, observable phenomenon.

          Nevertheless, please tell me what correlation NASA makes between magnetic field strength and climate change or global warming? NASA says that the weakened solar activity which is causing a “low” in the field strength measurements is allowing more high-energy cosmic rays into the solar system, altho they say our atmosphere is protecting us from the worst effects of the increased radiation. But there is no mention of any aspects of warming, CO2, ocean acidification, sea levels, etc, in either of the 2 NASA stories.

          Because of this lack of information, I don’t know why my earlier statement isn’t valid – that the Solar Polar Field Strength measurements have nothing to do with climate change. If NASA doesn’t make the correlation, why can’t I?

          And I also agree with you that it’s important for research to be done before adopting expensive policies. But much research has already been done (see the links to articles I included in another post) and a very large number (I won’t go so far as to say “the majority”) of climate scientists, oceanographers, glaciologists, meteorologists and people who make their living off the sea or on the sea have stated that change IS happening, and MANY (again, I’m not claiming “the majority of”) scientists claim that human activity is the chief cause of the speed and magnitude of the changes as compared to other climate changes of the past.

          1. Concerned says:

            Thanks for your response also. It is good to see the different perspectives from all sides. As an engineer, I prefer to see facts rather than opinions. Also I understand that many times neither side of arguments have all of the facts; therefore, we need more research. Since I have been tracking both sides of the argument for 10 years, I do have a lot of reference documents. I am not a solar expert and likewise I am not a climatologist, but I do understand that people with knowledge in only one or two disciplines are not qualified to be experts on climate change. Climate is changing all of the time; but the key questions are do we know why, is there anything that we can do about it, do we want to do anything since we do not know the consequences of our actions. That is why I favor research and not “political” reactions they are generally wrong. I have many articles, but will start with the following referenced paper of interest:
            Remember the sun has 11-year, 22-year, 40-year, 100-year, 40,000 year, etc. cycles. Therefore, people who rely on data that is any less than several hundred years of predictability are in essence stating opinions with some supportive data. I will provide other references next time.

          2. I Seigel says:

            Hello. The paper that you link to only concerns itself with sun cycles and how they might relate to climate cycles. But the researchers don’t appear to consider other natural factors in their equations. One important factor is the influence of large volcanic eruptions, and how the spread of huge amounts of volcanic ash around the globe could cause a “mini ice age”. The measurable wobble of the earth as it revolves around the sun is also postulated to affect climate.

            These are, obviously, natural phenomena that influence climate,, and their influences happen over thousands of years, except in the case of a catastrophic volcanic eruption.

            But what climate scientists and glaciologists have observed is a much faster change to conditions in the past century. Faster melting glaciers, for example, or the breaking up of the huge Greenland ice sheet or that of Antarctica. These are the events that scientist have concluded are attributable to human activity.

          3. Concerned says:

            Thanks for your feedback. However, I think you mis-understood some of the prior article:
            “solar geomagnetic field intensity approximately 3 times higher than during the ice age ~180,000 years ago.” Meaning that the ice ages had significantly lower solar geomagnetic fields as we discussed earlier. This is not just the “sun cycle”. It includes multiple different sun cycles. The Solar scientists are still learning and studying the relationship of these affects, which are just coming to light. Evidently the solar UV light shows much more variation (10X) than the visible light, which relates to the sun’s heating of the earth.

            Yes, you are correct that the focus on the previous article does not address other factors, but it addresses your original question and the dominant affects of the sun.

            Yes there are additional peer reviewed papers that do address the shorter term, which is dominated by the 40-year solar cycles that I can send later. This is why at least 200 years must be analyzed in order to understand what we are seeing in the shorter 10 to 20-year time-frames. None of the above is included in the current global warming models as well as the affect of clouds or the amount of moisture in the atmosphere!! We need better understanding.

            Unfortunately our politicians and main-stream-media continue to feed us information that contains some truths that make it difficult for us common citizens to filter the fact from fiction:
            Greenland is not breaking up and Antarctica is not breaking up. In fact Antarctica has been growing for the last 50 years and has been getting cooler over this same time-frame:

            Recently the IPCC has admitted that they have provided incorrect “alarmist” information about faster melting glaciers. The truth is that some are growing and some are shrinking and for the shrinking glaciers they are finding dead trees under the glaciers meaning that these same glaciers have been much smaller at earlier dates such as the MWP.
            Similarly, they conceal the fact that the temperature changes between 1980 and 2000 nearly track the same “rate of warming” that occurred in the 1920 to 1940 time frame. Therefore, it has not been faster.
            Similarly, large volcanic eruptions are short-term and do cause global cooling, but these are for fairly short periods of time (maybe 2 to 10 years) and yes, several times they have caused a “year without a summer” due to volcanic ash. However, these do not constitute mini-ice-ages. The mini-ice-age occurred between approximately 1350 and 1850 (500 years) with a few ups and downs (Maunder minimum) during this 500-year period. Washington at Valley Forge and Washington crossing the Delaware was a very cold period (but not the coldest) of the mini-ice-age.

          4. I Seigel says:

            Regarding Antarctica, you did hear about the huge fissure that’s appeared in a peninsula, which will eventually lead to a splitting up of that peninsula? And the glaciers in Chile and, I believe Switzerland, that have almost disappeared?

          5. Concerned says:

            Yes, I believe that I have heard and read about all of these, but I believe the article on Antarctica does not refer to the peninsula, but instead refers to the West Antarctic ice field stability that has since been attributed to melting due to underground volcanic activity. Are you referring to the following related articles:

            The following article relates to Switzerland over the last 17,000 years, which says today is similar to or perhaps slightly cooler than some prior periods:

            Another tie to the sun is addressed in this article tied to NASA data:

            You might find the attached article reference of interest, since it is the best equation “fit” that matches to the actual temperatures covering a 400 year time period.
            Virtually none of the existing 79 IPCC related GW models show as good a fit over the last 30 years. Also, I have not yet seen any articles that refute this assertion:
            Again, as the research proceeds, we are learning a lot of information, but there are pro’s and con’s on both sides with enough questions that we should stay with research an not allow the EPA to make unreasonable drastic moves that will probably be wrong.

          6. I Seigel says:

            Thanks for the link to the Breitbart article. From it, I went directly to the actual source of the information – the Institute for Geophysics at UT-Austin. There are several very interesting articles that they’ve published relating to rising sea levels, climate, CO2, etc.
            But the Institute DOES say that they’ve found geothermal causes for the accelerated breakup of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is what I had been referring to. You’re correct.

          7. Concerned says:

            You also might find the following reference of interest that should be considered before people accept Mr. Podesta’s or Dr. Holdren’s claims about the linkage of forest fires and Global Warming. These are very powerful people who can easily influence millions of people, but they conveniently avoid telling you that the number of acres burned in the 1920’s through the 1940’s “averaged” in the 30,000,000 acres per year and that people are responsible for over 90% of these fires!!

            The final clincher is the fact that our government has reduced the U.S. Forest Service harvesting of trees (forest management) from nearly 13 Billion board feet to the current 2.5 Billion board feet of lumber (a 5X reduction). The balance is left to fall, decay, and become additional “fuel loading” available for forest fires. In the plots you can see a direct correlation between the cut off in the 1990 to 1995 time-frame and the increase in millions of acres of forest fires became evident in the late 1990’s! This forest management was initiated in the mid 1940’s and maintained to the mid 1990’s resulting in significantly reduced acres of Wildfires in the USA between 1950 and 1995 (45 years).

          8. I Seigel says:

            Excellent information on the Forest Service issue. Yes, wildfires have gotten MUCH more common and intense, and I could agree with you that the main culprit isn’t anything to do with climate but rather a major change in policy.

            The Forest Service is one of those government agencies that get no respect. Constant budget cuts going back many years. Is this problem one that should be the purview of government? Do you support bigger budgets for the Forest Service (and the Interior Dept)? The strains of fighting all these fires is being borne, right now, by the states to a large degree, and they’re asking the Feds for reimbursements. Will Congress give it to them? Should they? Or is this issue one that’s better handled by private, for profit, enterprise?

          9. Concerned says:

            Per the constitution, the States should have all the power that is not given to the Fed in the constitution so the state can do what is best for their state and that power should not reside with the Fed. However, catastrophes need to quickly marshal national resources. We already have an organization (FEMA) to do this.
   Federal Emergency Management Agency

            FEMA already contracts with private companies to help in cases of emergencies.
            The state can decide how many people are maintained permanently by the state’s forest service and the state can work with other states to “borrow” resources. However, in extreme cases the state can declare an emergency and request Fed resources. The Fed should fund national parks.
            Each state Forest Service must be given the authority to “harvest wood” and manage the “fuel load” that contributes to the higher acres burned.

  • Concerned says:

    This is not only cutting America down, it is the plan for population control and keep the poor nations in poverty. If we don’t have enough energy, they simply say that some people must sacrifice and maybe perhaps die! Once the smart grid is in place, the government at all levels, city, county, state, and Fed will have control of your thermostat and monitor your electrical use “real-time”, which allows “the powers that be” to control the amount of electricity you can use in your home as well as the temperature in your home.
    What will these folks tell us if in reality we are going into an extended global cooling? “Too bad, we have spent all of our money on global warming.”

  • ijohnc1 says:

    Cut the funding of both the EPA, and any other agency connected with the farce of global warming.
    Grow a set congress or get your ass thrown out this November, the boat is sinking, time to quit bailing and plug the damn hole.

    1. I Seigel says:

      Go ask St Sarah about this “farce”. The seafood industry in Alaska is already being harmed by the acidification of the waters off Alaska. Some very thorough studies show lots of damage to marine life off the Washington coast and in Puget Sound due to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide and warming of the water. These are observable scientific facts. Just because you ignore them doesn’t make them any less true.

      1. ijohnc1 says:

        Der Seigel see gene1357,pretty must says it all.

        1. I Seigel says:

          I guess “statist” is the new buzzword of the day! It’s used several times here, and it has absolutely no relevance to the topic. But it sounds great!!

          The quote that I think gene1357 refers to is Reagan’s, but unfortunately he was already being affected by Alzheimer’s at that point. You can base your ideology on that, which would be pretty silly.

          But back to the topic of climate change: reports today indicate that many evangelical Christian groups support a strong policy dealing with the problem. Even the Christian Coalition lobbied hard with the Bush
          administration for an activist policy, but failed in the end.

          Facts are facts folks. You’re on the wrong side of history.

      2. Papa_r0n says:

        You say a lot and say nothing. No posted facts,
        No references just verbal vomit. If you’re going to post your so called facts, do so referencing the source and studies to back up your statement !!!

        1. I Seigel says:

          All of these news stories are within the last 2-3 months (the last link is to a story a few days ago)
          I’ll look forward to reading your impressions of this “vomit”. But if you’re going to say it’s just BS, then please provide sources and studies to back up your statements. And they need to be in a published news or science publication, not some right-wing online blogger.

  • gene1357 says:

    It all happened in just this way, in Statist take-overs across the globe in the middle of the previous century. Their plan is unchanged: turn out the lights, and destroy the means of production.
    Obama is, in this respect the chosen one; chosen to cut America down.

    1. Jerome Liner says:

      And what a good job he has been doing, with applause coming from the media.

      1. gene1357 says:

        As Ronald Reagan said, ‘It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.’
        Case in point: Obama

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