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11:00 PM on 07/20/2010
Take note. The 'poomplet' posts below--while probably not written from the right--represent a new talking point theme from the right, now that they're running out of talking points related to denying the physical science foundation of anthropogenic warming.

This collective endeavor is a monumentally important test balloon for humanity.
little old lady
United citizens vs Citizens United
10:59 PM on 07/20/2010
Thanks, Bill. I respect your work and appreciate it.
The most alarming thing I find resurfacing this week are the reports on the methane leaks from the East Siberian Ice Shelf--I find that evidence we are getting closer to the tipping point is quite terrifying.

"Methane Seeps, Tipping Points Feared as Congress Sleepwalks
Dangerous Methane Seeping from Siberian Seabeds
by Gary Houser

"Methane is leaking from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf into the
atmosphere at an alarming rate... Release of even a fraction of the
methane stored in the shelf could trigger abrupt climate warming."
- National Science Foundation press release (March 4, 2010) ..."
09:34 PM on 07/20/2010
Man . . . I don't see the reason why biomass should be taken off the table. Yeah, it may take awhile to get back the carbon offset, but it also takes a lot of carbon to extrude aluminum to build transmission lines from wind power resources to power hungry portions of the country that have biomass and coal plants that can be converted to biomass readily available nearby.

Biomass is also a good replacement for heating oil systems. And you're going to be hard-pressed to find many individuals in cold climates that are willing to give up the added warmth and comfort of forced air combustion heating systems for all electric systems.
08:50 PM on 07/20/2010
As a race, we have always teetered along the edge with death on one side and plenty of the other. I am able to fear the consequences of our foolishness, but reject that it is inevitable.

We are now forced to eschew our reliance on fossil fuels worldwide. Alternative energy sources have been tested and will provide sufficient energy. More fuel efficient cars and heating systems are already produced and more will become available as the law compels their use.

California has already shown us the second quickest way to reduce our debt - legalize marijuana and then tax it. This is also the best way to cool the drug wars along our border with Mexico.

My greatest hope is based on my knowledge of history - that when they are needed, they will step up and help save the day. Heros lie Salk, Fleming, Einstein, Morse, Lincoln, and FDR are shaped by the very forces which got us in such trouble.

The Age of Information is here, and we are rapidly entering our greatest Age of Exploration which will result in colonies on the moon and Mars - probably within the next century.

I wish that I could be here to see it.
Libera Nos a Malo
08:45 PM on 07/20/2010
Finally! someone says it the way it is.
I would just like to remind everyone:

America the Beautiful
Words by Katharine Lee Bates,
Melody by Samuel Ward

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
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i love to tumble , ask me why .
09:11 AM on 07/21/2010
what is the point of replying to you if the comment is not displayed, you don't answer and i can'yt even find the comment after in my list because it's not displayed i presume.
what is this not displayed nonsense anyway?
Our government is a wartocracy.
07:16 PM on 07/20/2010
Well said Bill. Something to compare the one horrible leak to ... 5,000 of them all still going strong, and any one of them could become the straw that breaks the camel's back.
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06:35 PM on 07/20/2010
Don't worry! Mother Nature will quickly respond to the Free Market of Carbon Derivatives and stop her deadly heating! She takes cash and PayPal, now, too, so when Big Solar permanently destroys tens of thousands of highly-effective carbon-sequestering desert ecosystem, developers just CUT A CHECK and go ahead and slaughter all the tortoises. We can buy new ones!

If BP Wind and Chevron Solar are the "solutions," we will have A MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM THAN WE HAVE ALREADY. Do this right, people. Point of use solutions WITHIN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT are the ONLY sustainable options for power productions. Killing deserts and grasslands is just burning the furniture for heat - DON'T DO IT.

ps, I believe the more common spelling is "stanching..." Thanks for keeping our feet to the fire, please can you help us make sure we don't just jump out of that fire back into the Frying Pan by creating another hellish Big Energy wilderness-slaughter for huge amounts of money? HOW we do this is JUST as critical as IF we do it...
06:09 PM on 07/20/2010


This notion that we can move with deliberation and in increments, as we did with the Clean Air Act, and as we are doing with health care and financial reform is the most dangerous idea out there. The Earth cares not a whit for political realities, or the time frames it requires. With this issue at this time, those tired old political bromides -- don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good; and politics is the art of the possible -- will lead us to perdition.

Because of delay and weak responses, we now need the pretty near perfect, and good is not good enough. The Earth is immune to our political realities and impervious to our political arts. She will obey only the remorseless laws of physics, and right now, they are fast eliminating any palatable responses open to us.

09:11 PM on 07/20/2010
"Perfect" WHAT, exactly?

Please, enlighten us as to the agreed upon metrics and methodologies needed to achieve to halt & reverse warming.

20% emission reduction in 5 years? 40% in 10 years? At what PPM level are we safe? HOW DO WE GET THERE?

Sorry, but when you're talking about fundamentally changing the global infrastructure & allocating $TRILLIONS$..."let's do our best & hope it works" ain't even CLOSE to good enough.
11:30 AM on 07/21/2010
Let's take your last issue first: It will cost us far more to ignore global waring than it will to deal with it, so we can discard the "costly" canard right away. (See the Sterns Report or any of several hundred others that come to the same conclusion).

As for perfect what -- 350 ppm (were at 390, so that implies a lot of sequestration).

We get there through 1) efficiency -- Secretary of Energy Steven Chu ( a Nobel prize winning scientist) says we can cut our energy use through efficiency by 50% without sacrificing our quality of life and without any cost (using less energy costs less, so efficiency upgrades pay for themselves over the long term) and 2) once we've cut our energy intensity we can get what we need from renewables, especially base load CSP, wind, and distributed gen from on-site renewables.

Sorry but when the cost of ignoring global warming is tens of trillions of $$$$, asking useless rhetorical questions designed to delay action isn't good enough.
05:50 PM on 07/20/2010
Why Bother? to ethical consumption, carbon offsetting, recycling and so on - all of which are premised on the calculation that individual lifestyle adjustments can still save the planet. This is, Lovelock says, a deluded fantasy. Most of the things we have been told to do might make us feel better, but they won't make any difference. Global warming has passed the tipping point, and catastrophe is unstoppable.

"It's just too late for it," he says. "Perhaps if we'd gone along routes like that in 1967, it might have helped. But we don't have time. All these standard green things, like sustainable development, I think these are just words that mean nothing. I get an awful lot of people coming to me saying you can't say that, because it gives us nothing to do. I say on the contrary, it gives us an immense amount to do. Just not the kinds of things you want to do."

He dismisses eco ideas briskly, one by one. "Carbon offsetting? I wouldn't dream of it. It's just a joke. To pay money to plant trees, to think you're offsetting the carbon? You're making matters worse. You're better off giving to the charity Cool Earth, which gives the money to the native peoples to not take down their forests.

He saves his thunder for what he considers the emptiest false promise of all - renewable energy.
05:59 PM on 07/20/2010
He saves his thunder for what he considers the emptiest false promise of all - renewable energy.

"You're never going to get enough energy from wind to run a society such as ours," he says. "Windmills! Oh no. No way of doing it. You can cover the whole country with the blasted things, millions of them. Waste of time."

This is all delivered with an air of benign wonder at the intractable stupidity of people. "I see it with everybody. People just want to go on doing what they're doing. They want business as usual. They say, 'Oh yes, there's going to be a problem up ahead,' but they don't want to change anything.

So, OK...we're contributing to warming. But why won't anyone admit that they really don't have a clue if anything can be done to stop/repair it, or if that can be done at all?

If one of the true 'Monsters of Ecology' is laughing at windmills & all the feeble ideas being bandied about, how can you expect anyone to agree on any strategy? It sounds like spending $tens-of-Trillions$ on adaptation & relocation makes a LOT more sense than spending, well...ANYTHING...on all the other stuff.
07:52 PM on 07/20/2010
Why would this be considered proof? James Lovelock was 89 years old when he did that interview, and has been a controversial "bomb thrower" for many years. To term him an archetypal "Monster of Ecology" is incorrect.

A better person to consult might be Amory Lovins. If we wish to quickly and economically convert to a low carbon economy, he is much better person to turn to than James Lovelock, with concrete, practical ideas rather than Lovelock's sarcasm.
12:33 AM on 07/21/2010
I tend to agree with James Lovelock. That's why I've spent the last twenty-seven years learning how to do practical things like raising, gathering and hunting my own food while passing this knowledge on to the younger folk in my circle of family and friends.
See bio on the Aesop Institute website
05:36 PM on 07/20/2010
Thank you for an important post!

The life threatening contribution of the Gulf disaster will prove to be a greater problem than so far realized!

See today's edit of What to Do! at The subtitle is: A 5 Step Program to Increase the Odds We Will Survive the Oil Disaster!

400 parts per million of carbon has recently been found to be the Arctic Tipping Point, which could conceivably endanger all of humanity. We are presently approaching 390 ppm. The safe limit is 350 ppm.

A very thin oil film on the surface of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans threatens to raise temperatures toward the catastrophic Tipping Point.

If these facts are accurate, far more effective, emergency, energy legislation is now urgent.

Little known and hard to fathom breakthroughs involving radically new energy technologies can help to supersede oil much more rapidly than might be readily understood or believed.

See Moving Beyond Oil on the same Aesop Institute website.

All renewable energy work should rapidly proceed on a 24/7 basis. Congress needs to provide whatever incentives are necessary to make that possible without delay.

We need robust steps to effectively attack the problems in the Gulf and prevent as much oil as possible from reaching the Atlantic ocean.

If correct, the Gulf oil has triggered a threat to survival!

Meeting the challenge effectively requires your wake up call that so far is hardly heard. It needs to be amplified without delay - and trigger effective actions.
05:46 PM on 07/20/2010
yawn. If you are correct about the catastrophic tipping point...and we're at 390...then it really doesn't is 100%, incomprehensibly absolute that we will exceed 400.

Go ahead....shout to the rooftops that James Lovelock is a clueless hack. You know, the guy who Al Gore based so much of IncTruth upon?
05:51 PM on 07/20/2010
See link & excerpt from a 2008 Lovelock interview above