There are powerful and ridiculous issues that dominate our news week to week. For example, in the past few weeks:

  • The announcement last week by Pres. Obama that Osama Bin Laden had been caught and killed.
  • The Royal wedding
  • Donald Trump’s rise as a potential GOP candidate due to his questioning of Obama’s citizenship as an American.
  • Pres. Obama’s release of his birth certificate
  • American Idol eliminations
  • NBA Playoffs
  • GOP plans to destroy Medicare
  • Pres. Obama’s plan for reducing the deficit
  • The Arab Revolutions

This is not intended to diminish the importance of any of the meaningful issues above but what do any of the above matter in the long run if the Earth becomes a dangerous and inhospitable place to live?

No tree-hugger chest pounding here, just a practical consideration that if we can’t prioritize Climate Change, that is, the future survival of our race and society on this planet, all other issues that are important today could pale in the future compared to Climate Change.

Tonight, the overflowing Mississippi River is anticipated to crest, plunging many more homes and communities underwater, inflicting suffering and possibly death to our fellow citizens in several states and adding huge amounts of debt for the communities, states and this nation which will need to repair the damage.

We’ve seen one of our major cities destroyed in the aftermath of an enormous hurricane.

Each winter seems to break records for cold, or snowfall and each Summer seems to break records for heat and heat-related deaths.

Droughts have become more widespread globally, the lack of potable water is growing and the resulting problems with smaller nations growing sufficient food for their populations are increasing.

The rainforest continues to be swiftly slashed and the southern and northern ice caps are melting at faster-than-predicted rates.

Yet, while the seas rise in coastal areas around the world and weather related disasters multiply in their frequency and lethal force, we as a society have moved on from the days of “An Inconvenient Truth” and addressing climate change as a priority.

The landscape of the American psyche is not unfamiliar. The public responds to that which is most provocative and evocative in the short term over that which is a long term issue needing to be solved.

For a while there, a few years back, the public was gripped by the threat of global warming and the urgency to reverse it before it’s too late. With oil industry execs in the White House at the time, that momentum was successfully ignored and the public moved on to other issues.

In fact, according to a CBS News/New York Times Poll from April 15-20, climate change isn’t even on the list of issues that matter to Americans:

“What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?” Open-ended

Economy/Jobs – 39%
Budget deficit/National debt – 15%
Health care – 6%
Fuel costs – 5%
War/Iraq/Afghanistan – 4%
Partisan politics – 3%
Moral values/Family values – 3%
Other – 20%
Unsure – 5%

I’d suggest that today more Americans would actually support greater pollution if it would reduce gas prices in the short term by 20-40 cents.

Climate Change isn’t as “sexy” right now as it was and to a national audience out there that has been conditioned by tv and society over their lifetime to have full permission to gratify themselves above all else, this is not surprising.

Politics and the news have been transformed into highly polished circus sideshows, meant to get the rubes in the tent and spending their money. That’s not to say that there aren’t quality politicians and news out there, just that what works best in both fields has little to do with substance and doing what’s best for the public.

The world of politics is important, it genuinely impacts us and deserves our participation and attention. There are many other issues that are critical too. The thrust here is to say that we as a society need to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, even when that gum has lost a lot of its exciting flavor.

There is an inordinate amount of focus on the short term and short term problems and so little focus on the long term.

Climate change is one of those long term issues where there is no quick finish line and the benefits will nebulous because there’s no way to quantify things that don’t happen.

Imagine though if America and the world had begun to tackle Climate Change decades ago and Katrina never happened, many incidents of torrential rains and flooding, droughts and other weather related destruction just didn’t occur. The benefits to our nation and the world, over decades and centuries would be incalculable.

Yet, like most of the long term issues we face as a nation, making long term commitments is very difficult for America mainly because of politics. For example, if the GOP ran in 2012 on “Drill, baby, drill!” and “We’ll lower gas prices!”, the Dems would have a losing hand by running on “Shared sacrifice on reducing carbon emissions can help us prevent ongoing destruction to our country and planet from Climate Change”.

Promoting what’s best for our nation in the long run over what would gratify Americans most in the short term would simply be bad politics in today’s US.

So, here we are, in conflicts over birth certificates and how much credit Bush should be given for Bin Laden’s killing…fiddling while Home burns.

From the LA Times:

The greatest increase in surface air temperature has happened in autumn, in regions where sea ice has disappeared by the end of summer. This suggests that the sea is absorbing more of the sun’s energy during the summer because of the loss of ice cover. The extra energy is being released as heat in autumn, further warming the Arctic lower atmosphere. Over land, the number of days with snow cover has changed mostly in spring. Early snow melt is accelerated by earlier and stronger warming of land surfaces that are no longer snow-covered.

These processes are termed “feedbacks.” Snow feedbacks are well known. The sea-ice feedback has been anticipated by climate scientists, but clear evidence for it has only been observed in the Arctic in the past five years.

Sea levels are expected to rise by 35 to 63 inches by 2100, far more than the 2007 projection of 7 to 23 inches made by the IPCC, the report says. Temperatures from 2005 through 2010 have been the highest since records began in 1880, the study shows.

The melting will not only affect sea levels; it has the potential to alter sea currents that regulate climate, the report warns:

All the main sources of freshwater entering the Arctic Ocean are increasing — river discharge, rain/snow, and melting glaciers, ice caps, and the Greenland Ice Sheet. Recent calculations estimate that an extra 7700 km3 of freshwater -– equivalent to one meter of water over the entire land surface of Australia -– has been added to the Arctic Ocean in recent years. There is a risk that this could alter large-scale ocean currents that affect climate on a continental scale.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/05/climate-change-arctic-ice-melting-faster-sea-level-to-rise-more-report-says.html

Just because the MSM has decided an issue isn’t important enough to talk about anymore, that doesn’t mean it’s true nor that we should allow them to influence us on caring about it. All of the problems we face now would become hugely inflamed by the growth of Climate Change. The deficit, jobs, gas prices, food prices, the price of water becoming an issue, etc.

It will be a huge task to push Climate Change back up the ladder as an important concern to Americans. If we can’t, it will be an unavoidable concern down the line which will affect everyone but one which no amount of effort will be able to reverse.

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bito
Member

This is what a Government can do-part two (see below)
Create Demand

Obama orders shift to alternate fuel vehicles in federal fleet

President Obama Tuesday gave agencies their marching orders on revamping agency motor vehicle fleets to save energy and curb pollution.

In a presidential memorandum following up on Executive Order 13514 of Oct. 5, 2009, Obama informed agencies that by Dec. 31, 2015, “all new light-duty vehicles leased or purchased by agencies must be alternative fueled vehicles, such as hybrid or electric, compressed natural gas, or biofuel.”[…]

Effective within 180 days of today’s memorandum, the president said, any executive fleet vehicles that are larger than a midsize sedan or do not comply with alternative fueled vehicle requirements must be disclosed on agency websites.

http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0511/052411federal-fleet.htm?rss=getoday&oref=rss

The US government has the worlds largest vehicle fleet in the world and as in the example below, it will create demand for the R&D of fuel efficient/cleaner vehicles, fueling stations, and production of them.

There is a process that Congress can take to fight an EO, and while it is rarely used, this Congress will probably do it protecting “Big Oil’s interests.
What will be their argument(s)? Big Government intrusion, costs (when it will save money), kowtowing to the Union auto workers…..?

Presidential Memorandum–Federal Fleet Performance

The Federal Government operates the largest fleet of light duty vehicles in America. We owe a responsibility to American citizens to lead by example and contribute to meeting our national goals of reducing oil imports by one-third by 2025 and putting one million advanced vehicles on the road by 2015.

Living up to that responsibility means the Federal fleet should operate only as many vehicles as needed to work efficiently, leveraging Federal purchasing dollars to build manufacturing capacity for more alternative fueled vehicles, and reducing petroleum consumption through efficiency and alternative fuels.

bito
Member

This will never work! It’s too bloody smart, too simple!

Japan eyeing plan for solar panels on all new buildings
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/22/japan-solar-idUSL3E7GM00M20110522

There was a move afoot in Tucson, AZ to do this,but it was defeated by the political powerful (R) Building Association, too costly, meanwhile peoples utility bills go up, new power plants, transmission stations and power lines are built. Of course, Tucson has 9-10 cloudy days a year, so it wouldn’t here, right?

OK, you business brains: What happens when a demand is created? More innovation, more efficient products, lower manufacturing costs, more jobs…..?

I read an article a while back (did I post it?) that if you take the costs of building additional power plants, transmission line and their upkeep, solar power is on near par cost-wise. Oh, and a bit less climate changing pollutants.

Too smart, too simple, won’t work!

(sorry Kalima if you already posted this article, I missed it)

jbruce38
Member
jbruce38
PatsyT
Member

That is awesome jbruce38 … Love it!
Do you have more?

Try this..
after the “http” insert a “v”
so it looks like this “https://”
and it will magically appear!

You should hook up with Roy Zimmerman he does an online artist cafe
httpsh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIwiPsgRrOs

jbruce38
Member
jbruce38

Thank you for the script tip. and the video. that was clever.

Here’s another one at jbruce38.com.


Buddy McCue
Member

If I may?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RyXWpIbBy4

The only reason it didn’t work for you is that you needed a “www.” before the “youtube,” and that you have a “.” in between the “u” and the “b.”

Great folk song, by the way.

PatsyT
Member

Holy Smoke Stacks Batman!
They went right over my head!

Buddy McCue
Member

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWeTB4AqP-U

Another great song. I’m a subscriber now!

jbruce38
Member
jbruce38

Thanks Buddy McCue!

PatsyT
Member

I LOVE ~Explain It, Please~ jbruce!
Very, Very Cool!
I checked out your site and am going to go listen to more….

One of our better tech wizards will be better able to help with the embed thing…

jbruce38
Member
jbruce38

but no magic. but I did send a couple of videos links to Roy Z, thanks.

PatsyT
Member

Hmmm jbruce… 🙁 Sorry about that
It looks like this is a job for
The magic imbed fairy or batman,
who ever shows up first.

PatsyT
Member

Careful – Spicy language alert – !!!! Very funny!
httpsh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiYZxOlCN10

PatsyT
Member

Has anyone run across this ….
httpsh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKUPUznJZoE&feature=relmfu

bito
Member

Patsy, that was good. I’d rather believe in astrology and not climate change…
He has a bunch of videos here:

http://www.channelflip.com/david-mitchells-soapbox—series-2/#in-summary

Khirad
Member

A little taste of more problems to come, and how it’s not all unrelated.

http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2010/12/14/what-if-yemen-is-first-country-to-run-out-of-water/

This could have incredibly destabilizing effects in numerous countries, particularly the Arab World.

bito
Member

Water table falling 6.6 feet a year and the population growing at a 7% rate doesn’t bode well at all, does it?

Khirad
Member

Especially for the capital.

http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportID=88522

The Maghreb will also face serious problems in around the same time. Mauritania likely to be first, if I recall.

PatsyT
Member
bito
Member

Patsy, uh about the holes in my roof….. 🙂

PatsyT
Member

We better call in a carpenter.

bito
Member
PatsyT
Member

Ha that is all over facebook now…. opps did I do that?
Rachael Maddow has it on her wall,
someone got to her before me, Hmmmph!

funksands
Member

EAT KANGAROOS!! Ozone-depleting methane could be significantly cut if we simply stop eating cows and start eating kangaroos.

The don’t emit methane!!

Not only that, they don’t tear up the environment like other stock animals do, due primarily to their large, soft feet.

They also don’t eat plants down to the stub like cows and sheep do, and require less water to survive, making them ideal candidates for farming.

The fencing think is a bit of a challenge though.

I’ve had kangaroo before and it is DEEEEELicious! I wonder if we could get Americans to start eating Mr. Hippity-Hop?

funksands
Member

I think the City of Berkley has found THE best way to get every homeowner involved in renewable, efficient energy.

“Berkeley FIRST

Berkeley FIRST (Financing Initiative for Energy Efficiency Renewable and Solar Technology) allows property owners to install solar systems and make energy efficiency upgrades with no upfront cost.

Berkeley pays the upfront costs through the issuance of a new kind of municipal bond. The bonds are repaid from a new line item on participating property owners’ property tax bills over 20 years. Participating property owners pay for only the costs of their energy project.

The program is 100% “opt-in” and property tax expenses remain unchanged for those who choose not to participate.

The result: solar and energy efficiency projects are paid for over a long period of time, in bi-annual installments. The interest rate is fixed. Property owners do not need to access their own capital or credit. And if the owner sells the property, the repayment obligation transfers along with the property itself.”

Genius. This could be done in every city in the nation. Your solar panel costs are simply bundled into the cost of operations for the city, bank, manufacturer and homeowner.

http://www.grist.org/article/berkeley-rules

bito
Member

funk, this sounds great from what you posted! Now off to read the article and PPOV will tweet it!
http://votesolar.org/

(btw, yes ‘roo is quite tasty as is ostrich.)

funksands
Member

Bito, this is probably better and more current. I liked the first article because it compiled everything in one spot.

http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=26580

bito
Member

funk, thanks, that’s the thing, there are many solutions to the energy questions staring at us that don’t take the new ‘sliced bread/iWhatits’, by increasing the demand for solar will reduce the price and further development to cheaper and better PV cells and storage. I cannot tell you how many times I have mentioned solar hot water heaters here and elsewhere and they are cheap and easy. This plan reduces the upfront costs for the average homeowner, which is most often the blocking point.
We often refuse to see the obvious while looking for easy or better. What, as old as Sherlock Holmes, hen all the leads are gone only the obvious remains.

ADONAI
Member

The comments section for this post is a great read. So many good, even great, ideas for dealing with climate change.

Just a shame it is already far, far too late.

2garden
Member
2garden

All the illusions make me wonder what type of nasty thing is being played out against the population while they are being distracted.
We still aren’t going after the criminals that brought this economy to it’s knees.

PatsyT
Member

They call this E Cat!! Planet friends – What do you think of this?
Please put on your tech/science hat.
Is this like the Bloom Box?
Is this for real?

The first two videos are dramatic –
httpsh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nURJGTEyNAg&feature=player_embedded
httpsh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxejzUCeSYo&NR=1
httpsh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVEBCN6D13w&feature=related

Cold Fusion Device E-Catalyzer Granted Italian Patent
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011
Andrea Rossi’s revolutionary new cold fusion technology, the “Energy Catalyzer” which is in full production at this moment, has been granted an Italian patent.

The Italian Patent Office granted a patent for Rossi’s energy catalyzer on 6th April. The patent runs out on April 9th 2028. The granting of the patent is yet another significant step in the acceptance of this legitimate technology on it’s path to worldwide acceptance.

Rossi’s energy catalyzer or “e-cat” as it is also known, has a power density to cost ratio which beats all fossil fuel sources hands down, is completely safe and has the added benefit of being scaleable from 2.5Kw to Multi Megawatt facilities. If you couple that with the fact that it’s fuel supply (powdered nickel) is so cheap and abundant you can quite clearly see that the energy catalyzer has the ability to revolutionize the world.

There is no longer any reason to burn oil, coal or gas, except for the fact these fuel sources are already heavily integrated into our existing infrastructure. The biggest problem for the e-cat at the moment is that most people have not came to terms with the fact that it is a real technology and is not a hoax. This only goes to prove that as a species we are so highly conditioned to reject anything that goes contrary to accepted physics and beliefs. Those people who still remain sceptical of the validity of the energy catalyzer should re-examine the validations that have occurred to date.

http://freeenergytruth.blogspot.com/2011/05/cold-fusion-device-e-catalyzer-granted.html

bito
Member

Wow, Patsy, I remember reading a little bit about this awhile ago when it was still under development. Thanks for this update. Quite a breakthrough.

Meanwhile, the coverage from mainstream media has been zero (especially strange when you think of recent events in Fukoshima, Japan). To date only a handful of blogs and sites including this one are regularly reporting the news of these world-changing events and recently I asked Rossi if he had any interview requests from major media to which he answered an emphatic “No”.

PatsyT
Member

Bito,
Is this for real?
On one of the blogs it said that this guy better watch it and get a body guard.
Lots of talk about this on facebook!

bito
Member

Patsy, I don’t know, like I said I read a little about it sometime ago but not much since. Hey, if the Swedes say it works, that’s good enough for me. 😉 I need to do a search on it and see what other news on is. If it’s true it is a huge breakthrough.

http://pesn.com/2011/05/02/9501822_NyTeknik_Validates_Rossis_Energy_Catalyzer/

http://peswiki.com/index.php/News:Rossi_Cold_Fusion

http://coldfusionnow.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/cold-fusion-economy-supported-by-greek-government/

PatsyT
Member

Bito, I would trust the Swedes too. 🙂
I did kinda of crack up at some of the photos,
they kinda looked like someone was
defrosting a rack of lamb roast.
To be continued…..

kesmarn
Admin

I might hafta run out and buy stock in aluminum foil and volt-ohm meters!

Haruko Haruhara
Member

In the Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park, they have a fascinating exhibit along this long hallway showing how the glaciers in the park looked in 1910, and how they looked in 2010. It was startling!

I honestly don’t know how any right-winger could look at this photo exhibit and say with a straight face that global warming isn’t for real.

PatsyT
Member

When I heard about the Army Corp of Engineers blasting the levees,
common sense was telling me that the trouble was just flowing downstream.
Are there levees to blast everywhere along the river? No.

Of course, what the corps is really fighting is a river swelled not just by the power of nature but by the power of man. As climatologists have warned for years, warmer air holds more water vapor than cold. That means record snowfalls like the ones we saw this winter across the upper Midwest, and record rainfalls like the ones that have washed across much of the region this spring. And it also means more evaporation — and record drought — in places like parched Texas.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-0508-mckibben-levee-20110510,0,4588539.story