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Giant batteries and cheap solar power are shoving fossil fuels off the grid

By Robert F. ServiceJul. 11, 2019 , 1:40 PM

This month, officials in Los Angeles, California, are expected to approve a deal that would make solar power cheaper than ever while also addressing its chief flaw: It works only when the sun shines. The deal calls for a huge solar farm backed up by one of the world's largest batteries. It would provide 7% of the city's electricity beginning in 2023 at a cost of 1.997 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the solar power and 1.3 cents per kWh for the battery. That's cheaper than any power generated with fossil fuel.

"Goodnight #naturalgas, goodnight #coal, goodnight #nuclear," Mark Jacobson, an atmospheric scientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, tweeted after news of the deal surfaced late last month. "Because of growing economies of scale, prices for renewables and batteries keep coming down," adds Jacobson, who has advised countries around the world on how to shift to 100% renewable electricity. As if on cue, last week a major U.S. coal company—West Virginia–based Revelation Energy LLC—filed for bankruptcy, the second in as many weeks.

The new solar plus storage effort will be built in Kern County in California by 8minute Solar Energy. The project is expected to create a 400-megawatt solar array, generating roughly 876,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity annually, enough to power more than 65,000 homes during daylight hours. Its 800-MWh battery will store electricity for after the sun sets, reducing the need for natural gas–fired generators.

Precipitous price declines have already driven a shift toward renewables backed by battery storage. In March, an analysis of more than 7000 global storage projects by Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that the cost of utility-scale lithium-ion batteries had fallen by 76% since 2012, and by 35% in just the past 18 months, to $187 per MWh. Another market watch firm, Navigant, predicts a further halving by 2030, to a price well below what 8minute has committed to.

Large-scale battery storage generally relies on lithium-ion batteries—scaled-up versions of the devices that power laptops and most electric vehicles. But Jane Long, an engineer and energy policy expert who recently retired from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, says batteries are only part of the energy storage answer, because they typically provide power for only a few hours. "You also need to manage for long periods of cloudy weather, or winter conditions," she says.

Local commitments to switch to 100% renewables are also propelling the rush toward grid-scale batteries. By Jacobson's count, 54 countries and eight U.S. states have required a transition to 100% renewable electricity. In 2010, California passed a mandate that the state's utilities install electricity storage equivalent to 2% of their peak electricity demand by 2024.

Although the Los Angeles project may seem cheap, the costs of a fully renewable–powered grid would add up. Last month, the energy research firm Wood Mackenzie estimated the cost to decarbonize the U.S. grid alone would be $4.5 trillion, about half of which would go to installing 900 billion watts, or 900 gigawatts (GW), of batteries and other energy storage technologies. (Today, the world's battery storage capacity is just 5.5 GW.) But as other cities follow the example of Los Angeles, that figure is sure to fall.

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If You Want ‘Renewable Energy,’ Get Ready to Dig

Building one wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of plastic.

Mark P. Mills
Aug. 5, 2019 6:48 pm ET

Democrats dream of powering society entirely with wind and solar farms combined with massive batteries. Realizing this dream would require the biggest expansion in mining the world has seen and would produce huge quantities of waste. 

“Renewable energy” is a misnomer. Wind and solar machines and batteries are built from nonrenewable materials. And they wear out. Old equipment must be decommissioned, generating millions of tons of waste. The International Renewable Energy Agency calculates that solar goals for 2050 consistent with the Paris Accords will result in old-panel disposal constituting more than double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste. Consider some other sobering numbers: 

A single electric-car battery weighs about 1,000 pounds. Fabricating one requires digging up, moving and processing more than 500,000 pounds of raw materials somewhere on the planet. The alternative? Use gasoline and extract one-tenth as much total tonnage to deliver the same number of vehicle-miles over the battery’s seven-year life.

When electricity comes from wind or solar machines, every unit of energy produced, or mile traveled, requires far more materials and land than fossil fuels. That physical reality is literally visible: A wind or solar farm stretching to the horizon can be replaced by a handful of gas-fired turbines, each no bigger than a tractor-trailer.

Building one wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of nonrecyclable plastic. Solar power requires even more cement, steel and glass—not to mention other metals. Global silver and indium mining will jump 250% and 1,200% respectively over the next couple of decades to provide the materials necessary to build the number of solar panels, the International Energy Agency forecasts. World demand for rare-earth elements—which aren’t rare but are rarely mined in America—will rise 300% to 1,000% by 2050 to meet the Paris green goals. If electric vehicles replace conventional cars, demand for cobalt and lithium, will rise more than 20-fold. That doesn’t count batteries to back up wind and solar grids.


Last year a Dutch government-sponsored study concluded that the Netherlands’ green ambitions alone would consume a major share of global minerals. “Exponential growth in [global] renewable energy production capacity is not possible with present-day technologies and annual metal production,” it concluded.

The demand for minerals likely won’t be met by mines in Europe or the U.S. Instead, much of the mining will take place in nations with oppressive labor practices. The Democratic Republic of the Congo produces 70% of the world’s raw cobalt, and China controls 90% of cobalt refining. The Sydney-based Institute for a Sustainable Future cautions that a global “gold” rush for minerals could take miners into “some remote wilderness areas [that] have maintained high biodiversity because they haven’t yet been disturbed.”

What’s more, mining and fabrication require the consumption of hydrocarbons. Building enough wind turbines to supply half the world’s electricity would require nearly two billion tons of coal to produce the concrete and steel, along with two billion barrels of oil to make the composite blades. More than 90% of the world’s solar panels are built in Asia on coal-heavy electric grids.

Engineers joke about discovering “unobtanium,” a magical energy-producing element that appears out of nowhere, requires no land, weighs nothing, and emits nothing. Absent the realization of that impossible dream, hydrocarbons remain a far better alternative than today’s green dreams.

Mr. Mills is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a partner in Cottonwood Venture Partners, an energy-tech venture fund, and author of the recent report, “The ‘New Energy Economy’: An Exercise in Magical Thinking.”


Copyright ©2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the August 6, 2019, print edition.

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The real life consequences of Liberal stupidity!


13 industries may experience ‘carbon leakage’ due to Canada’s federal carbon tax 

CALGARYCanada’s federal carbon tax will increase production costs in certain key sectors and could trigger a phenomenon known as “carbon leakage”—where firms relocate industrial activity to countries with less-stringent climate policies, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“The federal carbon tax will likely push investment, economic activity and jobs out of Canada and into other countries, thus increasing emissions abroad,” said Ross McKitrick, senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and co-author of The Impact of the Federal Carbon Tax on the Competitiveness of Canadian Industries.

According to the study, the federal carbon tax, which is set to reach $50 per tonne in 2022, will increase the cost of energy and make some Canadian businesses less competitive compared to firms in other countries including the United States.

The study identifies 13 industries most vulnerable to waning competitiveness and carbon leakage including the petroleum and coal-product manufacturing sector (which will see costs increase 24.8 per cent due to the federal carbon tax), agriculture chemical manufacturing (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.), basic chemical manufacturing, cement and concrete product manufacturing, and primary metal manufacturing.

In response to these concerns, the federal government has designed a plan, which includes tax rebates, to help limit the harm to affected sectors. But because the plan is not tied to the incremental cost of reducing emissions, some firms will end up worse off—even under the federal plan.

“It’s time policymakers acknowledge that a $50 per tonne carbon tax comes with serious competitiveness risks for many Canadian industries,” said Elmira Aliakbari, study co-author and associate director of Natural Resource Studies at the Fraser Institute.

“Under a worst-case scenario, we’ll lose businesses and jobs without having any real impact on global greenhouse gas emissions,” McKitrick said.

Again, you can click here to view a short video based on this study.

Sectors affected by federal carbon tax


Edited by Jaydee

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Fires are raging at a record rate in Brazil's Amazon rainforest, and scientists warn that it could strike a devastating blow to the fight against climate change.

The fires are burning at the highest rate since the country's space research center, the National Institute for Space Research (known by the abbreviation INPE), began tracking them in 2013, the center said Tuesday. 
There have been 72,843 fires in Brazil this year, with more than half in the Amazon region, INPE said. That's more than an 80% increase compared with the same period last year.
The Amazon is often referred to as the planet's lungs, producing 20% of the oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere.


Where is Climate Barbie???  Instead of a useless carbon tax that will do nothing to reduce emissions on a global scale, where is trudeau and McKenna making Canada’s voice heard?? Oh that’s right.....he can’t tax Brazil and pump up govt revenues.

Canada is back?? Only on UN sanctioned feel good excercises like women’s rights and population migration......🤨

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We are told that climate change will cause extreme weather and climate chaos that will literally put human survival at risk. But this view is not only unfounded; it also contradicts the findings of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

For example, hurricanes are constantly linked to climate change. But only three major hurricanes (that is, Category 3 or greater) have hit the continental United States in the past 13 years – the lowest number since at least 1900. In its most recent assessment, the IPCC – using the term “cyclone” for hurricane – said that there have been “no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century.”

Scientists think that climate change will in time mean that hurricanes become less frequent but stronger. At the same time, prosperity is likely to increase dramatically over the coming decades, making us more resilient to such events. Once that is taken into account, the overall impact of hurricanes by 2100 will actually be lower than it is today.

More reality for the MPs that claim Canada has climate emergency.....



August 23 at 4:00 PM ET

Bjorn Lomborg, a visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School, is director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center


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Lots of talk about getting rid of Plastic bags (which can be recycled)  but hidden in the forest is what could be a even greater problem and that is "Cling Wrap"


Unfortunately, cling wrap can't be recycled along with other plastic films such as plastic bags, either; the chemicals and resins added to make the cling wrap “clingy” and stretchable cannot be removed, making it too complex a plastic to recycle.

So that should be the next target in favour of reusable glass and yes plastic containers.  And of course there is always a fall back to good old wax paper or perhaps not:


Can wax paper be recycled?

The short answer: No. Recycling plants can’t recycle waxy or waxed cardboard the way that they can recycle unwaxed cardboard or paper. The wax cannot be removed during the process of recycling. Therefore, when the plant creates the new paper from the recycled cardboard, the raw material contains both wax and paper, not just the paper.

But evidently the wax paper , unlike the cling wrap, does decompose. 

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Obama's just bought a $15M waterfront home in Martha's Vineyard, so I guess they are not too worried about sea level rising making the property worthless.

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Don’t bother waiting for conservatives to come around on climate change

A new report examines the climate right. It doesn’t find much.

US conservatives, to put it mildly, are not much help on climate policy. For decades, they’ve denied the validity of climate change science and waged a well-funded campaign to sow doubt and fear about the facts and about the people and organizations who emerged as climate advocates.

Though old-fashioned denial of climate change remains popular among the hardcore base (and President Trump), party elites are now beginning to squirm a bit and admit that “the climate is changing.”

But with a few exceptions — a bipartisan state bill here, a few tax credits there — Republicans have opposed all substantial climate and clean energy policy for decades. There was a period in the late 2000s when John McCain garnered press for backing a cap-and-trade bill, but it never had many votes in his caucus and never came within a mile of getting a vote on the floor. Then Barack Obama was elected, the right went into full backlash mode, and it’s been an unbroken wall of opposition since.

Is there any hope of that changing? Is there any hope that a movement toward real climate policy could take root in the Republican Party? That they could come up with something more serious than the farcical recent Green Real Deal?

That is a subject of intense interest at the moment, not least among the lonely souls within the Republican Party attempting to build such a movement.

President Donald Trump Joins Senate Republicans For Their Weekly Policy Luncheon Not obviously fertile territory for climate policy. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Happily, this week brought us a study of those very questions, from the New Models of Policy Change program (at the think tank New America) and Invest America, a cross-partisan political consultancy. It is a close examination of the state of conservative environmentalism in the US: its groups, initiatives, funders, and prospects. It was authored by New America’s Heather Hurlburt and Elena Souris and Invest America’s Kahlil Byrd, a conservative policy entrepreneur who has access to key players.


It is written for, and about, conservative environmentalists, so it strives to keep a positive tone and offer constructive suggestions on how to engage on climate policy. But it doesn’t take much reading between the lines to find a grim tale. The state of the climate right is ... not good.

I am on record as a pessimist about constructive conservative engagement on climate change. In fact, I’m cited in the paper as a pessimist! And readers, I’ll be honest: Nothing I read in the report makes me any more optimistic. In fact, reading it enforced my sense that there will be no serious help coming from the right anytime soon.

In this post, I will lay out my reasons for thinking so, in a veritable buffet of pessimism: short-term, midterm, and long-term.

It’s a pretty heavy post, its implications are not pleasant, and I hope I am wrong. I’m not completely gloomy — I think I could be proven wrong, if the left takes a more proactive approach in coming years — but it is always best to be clear-eyed about the political landscape, and right now, the landscape is not friendly. So let’s sail these choppy waters together.

Short term: the climate right is fragmented and underfunded

The organizations on the right attempting to advance climate solutions (there’s an exhaustive list in the report) do not add up to much. They are facing a range of enormous challenges, first among them an intensely partisan environment. There’s not much coordination among them and no central clearinghouse of information or planning. No one is doing what ALEC (the group pushing conservative policy at the state level) is doing for anti-climate forces, i.e., writing sample legislation and running campaigns.

And the funding situation is dismal:

There are only two significant Republican funders in the sector: Jay Faison and Trammell Crow. This community is not growing, which has led to a significant and steady deficit in funding. Given this macro-funding environment, there is little hope that there will be a change in the funder community.

At this point, investing in climate-focused conservative groups is a huge risk for funders, with not much promise of payoff. Consequently, “many of these organizations are small and relatively weak,” says the report. “They struggle to rise in a sector with little bipartisan spirit and a lack of steady financing.”

jay faison Jay Faison. YouTube

Following Faison, the report roughly divides the groups into three approaches:

  • The “associations approach” attempts to identify existing conservative identities, subgroups like veterans or Catholics, that might be persuadable on climate. None of these efforts have succeeded on any appreciable scale.
  • The “libertarian approach” pitches climate solutions amenable to fiscal conservatives, like carbon “tax and dividend” systems that don’t grow the size of government. Despite the boundless faith many have invested in this approach, it hasn’t yielded much either.
  • The “innovation” approach seeks to narrow in on climate policies that overlap with existing conservative interests, which amount, as I wrote in this post, to subsidies for fossil fuel companies, for their research on how we can keep burning fossil fuels. Oh, and nuclear.

The backers of this third approach, like Faison’s ClearPath, have had some limited success. At least those Republicans who feel pressured to say something constructive now seem to be adopting their rhetoric. This is probably the path mainstream Republican policy will take as it backs away from denial. Such as it is.

And there have been scattered victories for climate conservatives at the state level. But they have been idiosyncratic and highly dependent on circumstances, and have yielded little in the way of long-term trust- or institution-building.

All in all, the report concludes bluntly, “we find that the current actors in the conservative environmental movement are not strong enough to make serious inroads at a national level.”

So that’s the short term.

Midterm: the right has a partisan message discipline machine the left lacks

Perhaps because it is written for conservatives, the report is oddly coy about the overall partisan landscape of climate change. But partisan status is, in fact, an almost infallible guide to where climate progress is possible. To wit, it is possible where Democrats take power. That’s what happened in California, Washington, New York, Hawaii, New Mexico — Democrats took power and made progress.

Where bipartisan progress is possible is just where Democrats have almost all the power but need a few Republican votes.

It’s Democrats who are taking action and Democratic voters who are showing the biggest spikes of concern over climate change. It is Democrats who almost unanimously support renewable energy, Democrats who support carbon taxes and clean energy standards and Green New Deals and just about anything else that deals with climate change.

Renewables poll From a recent poll. Javier Zarracina/Change Research

While climate change itself is entirely polarized, the report cites research showing that there are a few phrases or approaches that still don’t draw mass conservative opposition. “Innovation” still tickles their fancy, and they still largely like clean energy, both renewables and nuclear.

The report also divides conservatives into subcategories and suggests that some of them, like the “New Era Enterprisers” or the “Market Skeptic Republicans,” might be especially amenable to targeted climate messages. As long as advocates avoid “belief-based messages” — i.e., whether climate change is happening — and focus on “solutions-based messages,” some of these subgroups could, maybe, perhaps, someday, be brought along.


But here we glimpse, between the lines, an enormous asymmetry between left and right in American politics.

The left has an army of people in universities, think tanks, and consultancies, examining public opinion using all the latest tools, producing the most sophisticated reports. The basic model of savvy “realism” on the center left is to study the shape of public opinion, with all its subcategories, and react to it.

Meanwhile, the right has an army of people on cable news, the radio, and Facebook dedicated to shaping public opinion, stoking it, dragging it rightward. Not investigating it, not charting it, not reacting to it — creating it.

The left’s technocrats are targeting values-based messages at New Era Enterprisers while the right is out building full-fledged identities, letting conservatives know what they’re supposed to think.

Imagine, if you will, that “innovation” really started taking off and becoming the basis for bipartisan climate policy. Or imagine that New Era Enterprisers really started coalescing around climate action. Imagine that earnest conservative advocacy groups succeeded in generating some small movement, among some part of the GOP, toward some kind of climate action.

If Fox didn’t like it — and Fox wouldn’t, because Fox is still funded by the big-money conservatives whose interests are bound up with fossil fuels — Fox would kill it. Immediately. End of story. Sad trumpet.

And it wouldn’t be hard. All they would have to do is make up some scary story about how it, whatever “it” is, is socialism, or some variety of Other, and then repeat that story, over and over, for a week or two. Voila: conservatives would turn against ... whatever it is. The green shoots would be crushed.

No climate group(s), on the left or right, can do the same. It’s not that they lack clever messages, carefully tested by the best social scientists. They don’t lack information or ideas or facility with language. They lack power. Power is what it takes to shape public opinion — the power and money to maintain multiple direct channels to voters, blasting a unified message at all times.

I wrote a post the other day on how Fox (or rather, right-wing media generally) has blitzed the Green New Deal, uniting the right against it even as the left remains divided and diffident.

Along the same lines, take a look at this study from Navigator Research. It found that 34 percent of Americans watch Fox News at least a few times a month. Those who do operate with a very different set of facts than those who don’t.

On climate change, “non-Fox News watching Republicans are twice as likely as other Republicans to believe in human-caused climate change.”

fox news poll Navigator Research

It’s the same on virtually every issue: Fox News viewers are 10 to 20 points to the right of their non-Fox-watching counterparts, in both parties. Conservative media is a tool built to drag opinion, among conservatives and the polity generally, to the right.

It ensures that no matter the current political battle, whether it’s NFL players kneeling, Brett Kavanaugh getting on the bench, or cap and trade, the right-wing base is unified and furious. The left has no such machine (and even if it did, it is too demographically and economically heterogeneous to maintain a simple common narrative). No matter how broadly supported the left’s tax, health, or climate policies, it can rarely match the right’s depth of intensity. And in politics, intensity wins.

My point in all of this is simply that, no matter what small gaps may be visible in the wall of Republican opposition on climate policy now, it’s easy enough for the right to shore them up. Fox has the trust of, and direct access to, the right base in a way that no institution on the left can match. All the values-based messages in the world won’t matter if Fox can drown them out.

So that’s the midterm.

Long term: climate change is intrinsically insulting to conservative values

Most people assume that Republicans will eventually have to come around on climate change, if only for electoral reasons. Young people are turning against them: A recent national poll of 18- to 29-year-olds found that “45 percent of young Americans — including 50 percent of those likely to vote — agreed climate change is ‘a crisis and demands urgent action’.”

And I suppose that on some time horizon, that is true. Climate change certainly isn’t going away and it’s a much higher-stakes issue for young people.

But I would add a note of caution to this kind of triumphalism.

A great deal of research has gone into examining the deeper differences between liberals and conservatives, the differences that stretch beyond ideology into temperament, psychology, and neurology. One reason those differences are salient at the moment is that Americans have been sorting not only by race, income, and ideology, but even by personality.

The US polity has divided into geographic camps, people who live around and associate with people like themselves, so distanced from the other camps that dialogue becomes difficult. (Fascinatingly, as Will Wilkinson at the Niskanen Center has written, the core dividing line seems to be population density. As you move out from center cities and population grows more sparse, at a certain level of density, an area flips from blue to red. This holds true across regions of the country. Wild.)

One difference that comes up again and again, which social scientists have come to see as the core distinction between liberal and conservative temperaments, has to do with what psychologists call “openness to experience” (one of the “big five” personality traits). To the extent someone scores highly on this trait, they are more likely to be liberal.

This can be simplified even further, since that trait is highly correlated with sensitivity to fear. The more sensitive someone is to negative or threatening stimuli — even, experiments have found, negative stimuli flashed by too fast for the conscious mind to register — the more likely that person is to prize order, tidiness, predictability, and routine. In other words, the more sensitive someone is to fear, the less open they are to new experiences, the more they dislike change, and the more likely they are to be a conservative. (Ezra Klein rounds up some of the growing evidence for this thesis in this post.)

There’s a reason Obama won on hope and change while Trump won on going back. There’s a reason America’s rapid demographic changes are celebrated on the left and viewed with horror on the right.

The New America report takes note of this research and these differences in moral values, citing moral foundations theory, made famous by psychologist Jonathan Haidt. It cites a study out of Cornell that concludes that while liberal climate hawks are animated by compassion and fairness, “the moral foundation of purity (sanctity/degradation) [is] a potentially useful frame for conservatives.”

It also cites a study out of the University of Cologne that found that “conservatives are more responsive to climate messages rooted in the past, while liberals were more responsive to forward-looking climate change messages.”

This is more or less what you’d expect: Those who fear change, prize order, and pine for an imagined past without all the troubling present-day changes — i.e., conservatives — will be more open to messages emphasizing the maintenance of purity and glories of the past.

The New America researchers conclude, as many climate advocates have over the years: Well, okay, climate hawks need to craft climate messages that appeal to those values.

But hold on. Maybe the facts of climate change can’t be squeezed into just any values frame we like. Maybe global warming is not indefinitely malleable. Maybe it has a certain intrinsic character.

The tragic but inescapable fact at the core of climate change is that we are in an era of loss. The stable weather patterns, fertile soil, and biodiversity enjoyed by our ancestors — the biophysical status quo — is going away, whether we like it or not. It’s too late to save it.

The period ahead for our species is one of rapid change. There will be rapid changes in weather, agriculture, settlement patterns, migration, and conflict due to global warming. There will also, one hopes, be rapid changes in the way humans structure and power their civilizations, shifting to a model that does not produce greenhouse gases. If those latter changes don’t take place, the former changes will be even more rapid, terrible, and endless.

That pure, mythic past conservatives prize? It is gone, receding ever further in the rearview mirror. We already made that decision with our inaction.

There are two ways to communicate about this to conservatives.

You can be honest, which is to say, you can tell them that everything they know is going to change in coming years and the best we can do is try to stick together and minimize the damage. You can tell them to embrace change, to work with other countries to try to preserve what is best even as much else falls away. But that is exactly, precisely what they do not want to hear.

Alternatively, you can lie to them. You can tell them the changes are temporary and reversible. If they can just beat the nefarious liberals, immigrants can be sent home, coal jobs will come back, the oil and gas spigot can stay open, hamburgers will be served for every meal, store clerks will say “Merry Christmas,” and we can keep ourselves safe by building walls. That is very much what they want to hear.

What you can’t do is promise them that aggressive climate policy will preserve a pure environment or restore a simpler past. It just won’t. It’s a lie, and not a very convincing one, certainly not one that will hold up against a Fox onslaught. Climate change means change. No amount of framing or messaging can get around that.

The Green New Deal is an attempt to grapple with the issue honestly. It says, “We’re going to go through a huge, disruptive transition, but we’re going to make sure you have a job and health care through it.” One of the reasons the right and center left have recoiled from the GND is precisely that: It takes the scale of change seriously. The powers that be don’t want to hear that.

That resistance to change, that status quo bias? It’s one of the strongest forces in human nature, it’s concentrated on the right, and it’s not going anywhere.

So that’s the long term.

The populace needs to be made less conservative

This post has been a whole lot of pessimism, so let me end by at least gesturing in a hopeful direction.

The tendency of liberal technocrats and Democrats generally is to “play it as it lays” — to study the temperament and opinions of the public and react to them, accommodate them, appeal to them. As I said earlier, the instinct on the right is to claim them and shape them.

Climate hawks, and the left generally, need to get a little more of that latter spirit.

We know that personality traits can be pretty deeply embedded by early childhood, but we also know that which traits and dispositions are brought to the fore, individually and collectively, depends on circumstances. Crudely speaking, when people feel safe and cared for, they will be more open to extending the circle of care (that is, more liberal). When they feel anxious or threatened, they will be more inclined to draw the circle of care inward, i.e., to become more conservative.

Right-wing media is a machine for scaring older white people — i.e., for making them more conservative. A whole generation of young people has lost parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles to the Fox machine. It has dragged the political center to the right and slowed progressive reforms (like universal health care) that have been in place in other developed democracies for years. It will fight climate progress to its last breath.

If climate hawks want the American people to take a more open, proactive, positive-sum attitude toward the inevitable changes that lie ahead, they need to think not just about how to appeal to public sentiment as it exists, but how to change it — how to make people more open to change; how to make them more liberal.

It won’t be done through messaging, no matter how clever. It can only be done through power — the power to create institutions, ideologies, narratives, and norms that make people feel safe and cared for. When people feel safe, they will feel more ready to launch into a national transformation. And they don’t feel safe in the precarious conditions that American capitalism imposes on them, when they are one lost job or health problem away from disaster.

Climate hawks will never find adequate solutions if they simply take the grim status quo as a given. They must change America’s temperament; they must make it more liberal.

Even if it eventually finds some assistance from within the GOP, the drive to address climate change is ultimately a liberal project: It’s about drawing together in cosmopolitan global unity as a species, thinking in long-term, non-zero-sum terms, sacrificing for and helping one another, and having the confidence and curiosity to embrace change, to experiment and learn and adapt on the fly.

Those are all features of the climate project that draw on liberal personality traits. If climate hawks ever want to change the maddening, gridlocked political status quo in the US, they need to start thinking about how to bring those traits to the surface.

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You appear to be fixated on what US Trump  says vs what you believe.  Similarity you are more concerned with Ontario than the rest of Canada.  You seem to show  but show little  concern with what is happening in Canada.  Why not look at Canada as a whole (nationally not provincially) and then perhaps you can exert influence that will benefit Canada as a whole .Once you have achieved that, then you can concentrate on trying to influence what we in Canada can do on a world wide basis. Starting with You would IMO have much more of a impact along with possibility changing how the next Canadian Election will pay out if your do.Too harsh.....  ???? 

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Maybe because Canada isn't in as bad shape?

The publics thinking and direction is being affected by external influences, and the big money south of the border is swaying public opinion here too.

As for being fixated on Ontario, it's where I live, so it is of primary focus.  Maybe the rest of Canada should look to their own back yards and fix the problems there instead of worrying what Ontario and Quebec are doing?  

Some western provinces have already started to diversify their economies, some haven't.  Change is inevitable and if you put your efforts into trying to live in the past, you'll only be disappointed.


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Will definitely be interesting to see if the narrative in the U.S. changes now that one of the Koch brothers has passed away.

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Global Warming Update:

The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway.

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.


I apologize, I neglected to mention that this report was from November 2, 1922. As reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post — 88 years ago!

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As interesting as this nearly century-old article might be from a modern perspective, however, it isn’t substantive evidence either for or against the concept of anthropogenic global warming. As documented elsewhere, the warming phenomena observed in 1922 proved to be indicative only of a local event in Spitzbergen, not a trend applicable to the Arctic as a whole.



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Some one should dump barrels of human waste at one of his campaign rallies


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