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Thread: Climate Change

  1. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by TLOZ Link5
    ... the vast majority of Americans, on both sides of the aisle, are in favor of supporting Kyoto.
    That's the same people that preferer SUVs to economy cars and want their gasoline to be cheap.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward
    That's the same people that preferer SUVs to economy cars and want their gasoline to be cheap.
    Who support Kyoto?

  3. #93

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    December 4, 2005

    On Climate Change, a Change of Thinking


    By ANDREW C. REVKIN

    IN December 1997, representatives of most of the world's nations met in Kyoto, Japan, to negotiate a binding agreement to cut emissions of "greenhouse" gases.

    They succeeded. The Kyoto Protocol was ultimately ratified by 156 countries. It was the first agreement of its kind. But it may also prove to be the last.

    Today, in the middle of new global warming talks in Montreal, there is a sense that the whole idea of global agreements to cut greenhouse gases won't work.

    A major reason the optimism over Kyoto has eroded so rapidly is that its major requirement - that 38 participating industrialized countries cut their greenhouse emissions below 1990 levels by the year 2012 - was seen as just a first step toward increasingly aggressive cuts.

    But in the years after the protocol was announced, developing countries, including the fast-growing giants China and India, have held firm on their insistence that they would accept no emissions cuts, even though they are likely to be the world's dominant source of greenhouse gases in coming years.

    Their refusal helped fuel strong opposition to the treaty in the United States Senate and its eventual rejection by President Bush.

    But the current stalemate is not just because of the inadequacies of the protocol. It is also a response to the world's ballooning energy appetite, which, largely because of economic growth in China, has exceeded almost everyone's expectations. And there are still no viable alternatives to fossil fuels, the main source of greenhouse gases.

    Then, too, there is a growing recognition of the economic costs incurred by signing on to the Kyoto Protocol.

    As Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain, a proponent of emissions targets, said in a statement on Nov. 1: "The blunt truth about the politics of climate change is that no country will want to sacrifice its economy in order to meet this challenge."

    This is as true, in different ways, in developed nations with high unemployment, like Germany and France, as it is in Russia, which said last week that it may have spot energy shortages this winter.

    Some veterans of climate diplomacy and science now say that perhaps the entire architecture of the climate treaty process might be flawed.

    The basic template came out of the first international pact intended to protect the atmosphere, the 1987 Montreal Protocol for eliminating chemicals that harmed the ozone layer, said Richard A. Benedick, the Reagan administration's chief representative in the talks leading to that agreement.

    That agreement was a success, but a misleading one in the context of climate. It led, Mr. Benedick now says, to "years wasted in these annual shindigs designed to generate sound bites instead of sober contemplation of difficult issues."

    While it was relatively easy to phase out ozone-harming chemicals, called chlorofluorocarbons, which were made by a handful of companies in a few countries, taking on carbon dioxide, the main climate threat, was a completely different matter, he said.

    Carbon dioxide is generated by activities as varied as surfing the Web, driving a car, burning wood or flying to Montreal. Its production is woven into the fabric of an industrial society, and, for now, economic growth is inconceivable without it.

    Developing countries - China and India being only the most dramatic examples - want to burn whatever energy they need, in whatever form available, to grow their economies and raise the living standard of their people.

    And the United States - by far the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases - continues to say that emissions targets or requirements would stunt economic growth in both rich and poor nations. All this has turned the Montreal meeting, many participants have conceded, into, at best, a preliminary meeting on how to start over in addressing the threat of global warming.

    Indeed, from here on, progress on climate is less likely to come from megaconferences like the one in Montreal and more likely from focused initiatives by clusters of countries with common interests, said Mr. Benedick, who is now a consultant and president of the National Council on Science and the Environment, a private group promoting science-based environmental policies.

    The only real answer at the moment is still far out on the horizon: nonpolluting energy sources. But the amount of money being devoted to research and develop such technologies, much less install them, is nowhere near the scale of the problem, many experts on energy technology said.

    Enormous investments in basic research have to be made promptly, even with the knowledge that most of the research is likely to fail, if there is to be any chance of creating options for the world's vastly increased energy thirst in a few decades, said Richard G. Richels, an economist at the Electric Power Research Institute, a nonprofit center for energy and environment research.

    "The train is not leaving the station, and it needs to leave the station," Mr. Richels said. "If we don't have the technologies available at that time, it's going to be a mess."


  4. #94

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    This article is such a bunch of nonsense. The writer pretends that nuclear power does not exist. Not one word in the whole article.

    Research is needed to find a viable power source not producing carbon dioxide? Here is a research tip for the New York Times correspondent - ask French where they get most of their energy - all without producing carbon dioxide.

    So what's Revkin's answer? "focused initiatives" - hey, those always work well, whatever they are, and stop surfing the web for god's sake, you are killing the earth. Applause.

  5. #95
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    I had to roll my eyes at the sattement that Surfing the Web produces CO2....


    Hmmm, what about those hundred or so people that actually have their own solar or wind powered station?

    There are even some in some areas that use Geo-thermal!

    The main prblem is that the US and China are at odds with each other about development. China is plowing through seeing success in its futuure, even at the loss of others, and the US does not want to be toppled as #1.

    Then you get places like England and Australia just shrugging and going on about their daily buisness.

    So whatever.

    Also, him stating that reductions now would not help us, he seemed to have left out a crucial qualifier to that statement, that it would not help us now.

    If it means that it will take 20-100 years to return to normal, that is better than having the oceans rise 10 feet in my lifetime just so we can have the Lincoln Dominator with Hi-Def plasma in the back seat so the kids can play on their XBox 9000.

  6. #96
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Climate Expert Says NASA Tried to Silence Him


    Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
    James E. Hansen, top NASA climate scientist, on Friday at the Goddard Institute

    By ANDREW C. REVKIN
    New York Times
    January 29, 2006

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/29/sc...rtner=homepage

    The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

    The scientist, James E. Hansen, longtime director of the agency's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in an interview that officials at NASA headquarters had ordered the public affairs staff to review his coming lectures, papers, postings on the Goddard Web site and requests for interviews from journalists.

    Dr. Hansen said he would ignore the restrictions. "They feel their job is to be this censor of information going out to the public," he said.

    Dean Acosta, deputy assistant administrator for public affairs at the space agency, said there was no effort to silence Dr. Hansen. "That's not the way we operate here at NASA," Mr. Acosta said. "We promote openness and we speak with the facts."

    He said the restrictions on Dr. Hansen applied to all National Aeronautics and Space Administration personnel. He added that government scientists were free to discuss scientific findings, but that policy statements should be left to policy makers and appointed spokesmen.

    Mr. Acosta said other reasons for requiring press officers to review interview requests were to have an orderly flow of information out of a sprawling agency and to avoid surprises. "This is not about any individual or any issue like global warming," he said. "It's about coordination."

    Dr. Hansen strongly disagreed with this characterization, saying such procedures had already prevented the public from fully grasping recent findings about climate change that point to risks ahead.

    "Communicating with the public seems to be essential," he said, "because public concern is probably the only thing capable of overcoming the special interests that have obfuscated the topic."

    Dr. Hansen, 63, a physicist who joined the space agency in 1967, directs efforts to simulate the global climate on computers at the Goddard Institute in Morningside Heights in Manhattan.

    Since 1988, he has been issuing public warnings about the long-term threat from heat-trapping emissions, dominated by carbon dioxide, that are an unavoidable byproduct of burning coal, oil and other fossil fuels. He has had run-ins with politicians or their appointees in various administrations, including budget watchers in the first Bush administration and Vice President Al Gore.

    In 2001, Dr. Hansen was invited twice to brief Vice President Dick Cheney and other cabinet members on climate change. White House officials were interested in his findings showing that cleaning up soot, which also warms the atmosphere, was an effective and far easier first step than curbing carbon dioxide.

    He fell out of favor with the White House in 2004 after giving a speech at the University of Iowa before the presidential election, in which he complained that government climate scientists were being muzzled and said he planned to vote for Senator John Kerry.

    But Dr. Hansen said that nothing in 30 years equaled the push made since early December to keep him from publicly discussing what he says are clear-cut dangers from further delay in curbing carbon dioxide.

    In several interviews with The New York Times in recent days, Dr. Hansen said it would be irresponsible not to speak out, particularly because NASA's mission statement includes the phrase "to understand and protect our home planet."

    He said he was particularly incensed that the directives had come through telephone conversations and not through formal channels, leaving no significant trails of documents.

    Dr. Hansen's supervisor, Franco Einaudi, said there had been no official "order or pressure to say shut Jim up." But Dr. Einaudi added, "That doesn't mean I like this kind of pressure being applied."

    The fresh efforts to quiet him, Dr. Hansen said, began in a series of calls after a lecture he gave on Dec. 6 at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. In the talk, he said that significant emission cuts could be achieved with existing technologies, particularly in the case of motor vehicles, and that without leadership by the United States, climate change would eventually leave the earth "a different planet."

    The administration's policy is to use voluntary measures to slow, but not reverse, the growth of emissions.

    After that speech and the release of data by Dr. Hansen on Dec. 15 showing that 2005 was probably the warmest year in at least a century, officials at the headquarters of the space agency repeatedly phoned public affairs officers, who relayed the warning to Dr. Hansen that there would be "dire consequences" if such statements continued, those officers and Dr. Hansen said in interviews.

    Among the restrictions, according to Dr. Hansen and an internal draft memorandum he provided to The Times, was that his supervisors could stand in for him in any news media interviews.

    Mr. Acosta said the calls and meetings with Goddard press officers were not to introduce restrictions, but to review existing rules. He said Dr. Hansen had continued to speak frequently with the news media.

    But Dr. Hansen and some of his colleagues said interviews were canceled as a result.

    In one call, George Deutsch, a recently appointed public affairs officer at NASA headquarters, rejected a request from a producer at National Public Radio to interview Dr. Hansen, said Leslie McCarthy, a public affairs officer responsible for the Goddard Institute.

    Citing handwritten notes taken during the conversation, Ms. McCarthy said Mr. Deutsch called N.P.R. "the most liberal" media outlet in the country. She said that in that call and others, Mr. Deutsch said his job was "to make the president look good" and that as a White House appointee that might be Mr. Deutsch's priority.

    But she added: "I'm a career civil servant and Jim Hansen is a scientist. That's not our job. That's not our mission. The inference was that Hansen was disloyal."

    Normally, Ms. McCarthy would not be free to describe such conversations to the news media, but she agreed to an interview after Mr. Acosta, at NASA headquarters, told The Times that she would not face any retribution for doing so.

    Mr. Acosta, Mr. Deutsch's supervisor, said that when Mr. Deutsch was asked about the conversations, he flatly denied saying anything of the sort. Mr. Deutsch referred all interview requests to Mr. Acosta.

    Ms. McCarthy, when told of the response, said: "Why am I going to go out of my way to make this up and back up Jim Hansen? I don't have a dog in this race. And what does Hansen have to gain?"

    Mr. Acosta said that for the moment he had no way of judging who was telling the truth. Several colleagues of both Ms. McCarthy and Dr. Hansen said Ms. McCarthy's statements were consistent with what she told them when the conversations occurred.

    "He's not trying to create a war over this," said Larry D. Travis, an astronomer who is Dr. Hansen's deputy at Goddard, "but really feels very strongly that this is an obligation we have as federal scientists, to inform the public."

    Dr. Travis said he walked into Ms. McCarthy's office in mid-December at the end of one of the calls from Mr. Deutsch demanding that Dr. Hansen be better controlled.

    In an interview on Friday, Ralph J. Cicerone, an atmospheric chemist and the president of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation's leading independent scientific body, praised Dr. Hansen's scientific contributions and said he had always seemed to describe his public statements clearly as his personal views.

    "He really is one of the most productive and creative scientists in the world," Dr. Cicerone said. "I've heard Hansen speak many times and I've read many of his papers, starting in the late 70's. Every single time, in writing or when I've heard him speak, he's always clear that he's speaking for himself, not for NASA or the administration, whichever administration it's been."

    The fight between Dr. Hansen and administration officials echoes other recent disputes. At climate laboratories of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for example, many scientists who routinely took calls from reporters five years ago can now do so only if the interview is approved by administration officials in Washington, and then only if a public affairs officer is present or on the phone.

    Where scientists' points of view on climate policy align with those of the administration, however, there are few signs of restrictions on extracurricular lectures or writing.

    One example is Indur M. Goklany, assistant director of science and technology policy in the policy office of the Interior Department. For years, Dr. Goklany, an electrical engineer by training, has written in papers and books that it may be better not to force cuts in greenhouse gases because the added prosperity from unfettered economic activity would allow countries to exploit benefits of warming and adapt to problems
    .
    In an e-mail exchange on Friday, Dr. Goklany said that in the Clinton administration he was shifted to nonclimate-related work, but added that he had never had to stop his outside writing, as long as he identified the views as his own.

    "One reason why I still continue to do the extracurricular stuff," he wrote, "is because one doesn't have to get clearance for what I plan on saying or writing."



  7. #97
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Warm day today.

    The trees are starting to Bud....

  8. #98
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    Maybe people will start moving to New York for the weather. An unexpected benefit of global warming.

  9. #99
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    ^ Does that mean we'll get those same type folks who have moved to Florida (seemingly for the weather) and made that state such a workable / livable place to be?

    Yikes!!

    Bring on the snow .................

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    ^ Does that mean we'll get those same type folks who have moved to Florida (seemingly for the weather) and made that state such a workable / livable place to be?

    Yikes!!

    Bring on the snow .................

    You don't want golf carts on Park Avenue?

  11. #101
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    I hope it's going to get warm enough in New York in the next 20-30 years so I won't have to retire in Floriada... Palm trees would look great on Park Ave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    ^ Does that mean we'll get those same type folks who have moved to Florida (seemingly for the weather) and made that state such a workable / livable place to be?
    You mean New Yorkers? After all, Miami is practically the Sixth Borough

  13. #103
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Yeah -- NYers that couldn't hack it here anymore.

    One thing that makes NY great is that it is a HARD place to succeed / live / interact. Think about it -- 300+ years ago these people sail across the Atlantic and up the Hudson and set camp. Winter comes and it is COLD. And Snowy. And miserable? Do these people leave? NO they stay. They become the first NYers. And they put up with year after year of 4-5 months of nasty frigid damp bone-chilling feet-freezing cold.

    Me? After one winter without heat & insulated boots I probably would have said "Outta Here!" ...

  14. #104
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NY Times
    Climate Expert Says NASA Tried to Silence Him

    New York Times
    January 29, 2006

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/29/sc...rtner=homepage

    The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

    The scientist, James E. Hansen, longtime director of the agency's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in an interview that officials at NASA headquarters had ordered the public affairs staff to review his coming lectures, papers, postings on the Goddard Web site and requests for interviews from journalists.
    A Young Bush Appointee Resigns His Post at NASA

    By ANDREW C. REVKIN
    NY Times
    February 8, 2006

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/08/po...=1&oref=slogin

    George C. Deutsch, the young presidential appointee at NASA who told public affairs workers to limit reporters' access to a top climate scientist and told a Web designer to add the word "theory" at every mention of the Big Bang, resigned yesterday, agency officials said.

    Mr. Deutsch's resignation came on the same day that officials at Texas A&M University confirmed that he did not graduate from there, as his résumé on file at the agency asserted.

    Officials at NASA headquarters declined to discuss the reason for the resignation.

    "Under NASA policy, it is inappropriate to discuss personnel matters," said Dean Acosta, the deputy assistant administrator for public affairs and Mr. Deutsch's boss.

    The resignation came as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was preparing to review its policies for communicating science to the public.

    The review was ordered Friday by Michael D. Griffin, the NASA administrator, after a week in which many agency scientists and midlevel public affairs officials described to The New York Times instances in which they said political pressure was applied to limit or flavor discussions of topics uncomfortable to the Bush administration, particularly global warming.

    "As we have stated in the past, NASA is in the process of revising our public affairs policies across the agency to ensure our commitment to open and full communications," the statement from Mr. Acosta said.

    The statement said the resignation of Mr. Deutsch was "a separate matter."

    Mr. Deutsch, 24, was offered a job as a writer and editor in NASA's public affairs office in Washington last year after working on President Bush's re-election campaign and inaugural committee, according to his résumé. No one has disputed those parts of the document.

    According to his résumé, Mr. Deutsch received a "Bachelor of Arts in journalism, Class of 2003."

    Yesterday, officials at Texas A&M said that was not the case.

    "George Carlton Deutsch III did attend Texas A&M University but has not completed the requirements for a degree," said an e-mail message from Rita Presley, assistant to the registrar at the university, responding to a query from The Times.

    Repeated calls and e-mail messages to Mr. Deutsch on Tuesday were not answered.

    Mr. Deutsch's educational record was first challenged on Monday by Nick Anthis, who graduated from Texas A&M last year with a biochemistry degree and has been writing a Web log on science policy, scientificactivist.blogspot.com.

    After Mr. Anthis read about the problems at NASA, he said in an interview: "It seemed like political figures had really overstepped the line. I was just going to write some commentary on this when somebody tipped me off that George Deutsch might not have graduated."

    He posted a blog entry asserting this after he checked with the university's association of former students. He reported that the association said Mr. Deutsch received no degree.

    A copy of Mr. Deutsch's résumé was provided to The Times by someone working in NASA headquarters who, along with many other NASA employees, said Mr. Deutsch played a small but significant role in an intensifying effort at the agency to exert political control over the flow of information to the public.

    Such complaints came to the fore starting in late January, when James E. Hansen, the climate scientist, and several midlevel public affairs officers told The Times that political appointees, including Mr. Deutsch, were pressing to limit Dr. Hansen's speaking and interviews on the threats posed by global warming.

    Yesterday, Dr. Hansen said that the questions about Mr. Deutsch's credentials were important, but were a distraction from the broader issue of political control of scientific information.

    "He's only a bit player," Dr. Hansen said of Mr. Deutsch. " The problem is much broader and much deeper and it goes across agencies. That's what I'm really concerned about."

    "On climate, the public has been misinformed and not informed," he said. "The foundation of a democracy is an informed public, which obviously means an honestly informed public. That's the big issue here."




  15. #105
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    We've seen over and over that the administration has no problem filling posts with unqualified crony frauds who march in lock step with the extreme right wing agenda.

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