Friday, March 1, 2013

An Old Catastrophe: Climate Policy

Greenland's Ice Volume
Is this the age of "Brownie you're doin' a heckupva job" or what?

Obama's new climate change adviser, Heather Zichal, made Joe Biden look like a piker when it comes to statements that start the presses rolling.

She will be quoted below, but first let's set the stage for her quote.

Look at the graphs in this post today, remembering that ice volume is not ice extent, that ice volume is given in cubic miles while ice extent is given in square miles (as was pointed out in How Fifth Graders Calculate Ice Volume), and all at once the direction we are all going becomes quite clear.

It is down hill.

The new Cryo-2 satellite, which has recently completed its first examination of ice volume, pointed out that the Arctic ice volume is one fifth (20%) of what it was in 1980 (Arctic Death Spiral Bombshell: CryoSat-2 Confirms Sea Ice Volume Has Collapsed).

The ice volume of Antarctica is also decreasing at an accelerated rate.

All this was happening during the recent presidential election cycle where climate change was not even mentioned in the debates for the first time since 1988.

However, in the inaugural speech, and in his State of the Union speech, President Obama did say that if congress did not do something about it, he would do all he could using Presidential Orders.

His climate change advisor casts doubt on that, not because I am accusing Obama of being insincere, but because with advisors like her making inane statements, doubt is cast on the notion that they know what the reality is:
Environmental groups have been urging Obama to draft new rules limiting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Electric power plants produce about 40% of America's carbon dioxide emissions; they are the leading driver of climate change in the country.

Antarctic Ice Volume
Campaigners say Obama could cut those power plant emissions by 25% by the end of the decade without big price spikes for consumers, by directing the Environmental Protection Agency to limit those emissions under the provisions of the Clean Air Act. That would go a long way to fulfilling Obama's first term promise to cut emissions 17% from 2005 levels by the end of the decade.

The environmental groups point out Obama also has a legal obligation to act. The supreme court ruled six years ago that the Environmental Protection Agency had a duty to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act. The EPA proposed new rules last year for new power plants.

But Zichal in her talk to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, damped down anticipation the EPA would move on existing coal-fired power plants any time soon. "We can't put the cart before the horse," she said.
(Guardian, emphasis added). The environment is the horse, Oil-Qaeda is the cart, and the cart has always been wrongfully placed before the horse:
See that 5 degrees Celsius we're projected to hit by 2050? That's 9 degrees Fahrenheit. That means the end of human civilization, and possibly of the human race itself. Within our lifetimes. [~37 yrs.]
(Digby's Hullabaloo, emphasis added). Thus, since we have had the cart before the horse for so long, we now have this problem of survival itself -- the survival of civilization -- and maybe even the human species itself (see also Endgame and 2 Degrees of Warming a Recipe for Disaster, NASA Scientist Says).

So, Zichal, in the speech where she made her statement "We can't put the cart before the horse", becomes utterly inane at best, insane at worst (A History of Oil Addiction - 4).

Government policy that amounts to picking up the pieces and burying the bodies over and over again is nothing short of senseless Triage.

Any rational civilization would go after Oil-Qaeda like gang-busters so as to treat the cause of the problem, thereby getting busy about ridding all of us of the catastrophe problem.

The next post in this series is here.


  1. Humanity has known from ancient times that cities do not have to be damaging to the environment: Link

  2. Climate Change Denial funded by Exxon, Koch, and Donors Trust: Link

    1. That link disappeared because Oil-Qaeda funds cover ups too.

      Here is the Wayback Machine Version (Who Funds the Climate Denial Industry?).

  3. Here is a Guardian piece that fingers fraudulent practices of Oil-Qaeda (Secret funding helped build vast network of climate denial thinktanks).