Thursday, April 30, 2015

An Old Catastrophe: Climate Policy - 3

Nature healing itself? ... Or Not?
In A Methanol Economy Way Out of Here - 6 I pointed out how the oil barons thwarted a California plan to stop using fossil fuels in state vehicles.

The plan had been going well until Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, shut down California's efforts (ibid).

Now, deep into its worst drought, the current governor, Gov. Jerry Brown, has issued a couple of executive orders in what appears to be futile reactionary efforts:
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an executive order to establish a California greenhouse gas reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 - the most aggressive benchmark enacted by any government in North America to reduce dangerous carbon emissions over the next decade and a half.

"With this order, California sets a very high bar for itself and other states and nations, but it's one that must be reached - for this generation and generations to come," said Governor Brown.

This executive action sets the stage for the important work being done on climate change by the Legislature.
(Office of Governor). This is on the heels of a previous executive order that had to do with conserving water:
Following the lowest snowpack ever recorded and with no end to the drought in sight, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced actions that will save water, increase enforcement to prevent wasteful water use, streamline the state's drought response and invest in new technologies that will make California more drought resilient.

"Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action," said Governor Brown. "Therefore, I'm issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible."

High resolution photos of previous snow surveys are available here.

For more than two years, the state's experts have been managing water resources to ensure that the state survives this drought and is better prepared for the next one. Last year, the Governor proclaimed a drought state of emergency. The state has taken steps to make sure that water is available for human health and safety, growing food, fighting fires and protecting fish and wildlife. Millions have been spent helping thousands of California families most impacted by the drought pay their bills, put food on their tables and have water to drink.
(Office of Governor; Executive Order, PDF). One governor stops efforts to get off the fossil fuel addiction bandwagon, then another governor thwarts it at the behest of Oil-Qaeda.

Sounds like the legislature needs to pass some statutes that will withstand the back and forth.

However, if the California legislature is like the federal congress, that would be a non-starter.

And that hypothetical effort would follow an effort begun in 1990 that was working, but was stopped by influential oil company actions 20 years later.

Somehow, this sounds a lot like deathbed repentance or major surgery in the last week of an individual's life:
"Surgery is surprisingly common in older people during the last year, month and even week of life, researchers reported Wednesday, a finding that is likely to stoke, but not resolve, the debate over whether medical care is overused and needlessly driving up medical costs.

The most comprehensive examination of operations performed on Medicare recipients in the final year of life found that nationally in 2008, nearly one recipient in three had surgery in the last year of life. Nearly one in five had surgery in the last month of life. Nearly one in 10 had surgery in the last week of life
(Surgery Rate Late in Life Surprises Researchers, emphasis added). Consistency is sometimes not what it is cracked up to be.

The previous post in this series is here.

Leave it in the ground ...


  1. According to an expert, the poison salesmen are experiencing a new "normal" (link).

  2. Can't come soon enough:

    Fracking Wells Could Pollute The Air Hundreds Of Miles Away