South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) continued his presidential campaign in Iowa with an outdoor town hall on the grounds of Roosevelt High School in Des Moines on Saturday night. After his opening remarks he addressed written questions from the audience which were randomly selected from a large glass jar.
A question and answer on climate change:
Question: First plan of attack for climate change.
Pete Buttigieg (D): Woo. Great question. I’m guessing that’s on the mind of a few people who are here. Look, we are coming up on the point of no return. Scientists tell us tell us we’ve got until 2030 before we hit the horizon of catastrophe. The real deadline isn’t 2030, it’s 2020, because if we don’t have the right kind of president now we’ll never be ready by 2030 to take those steps we’ve got to take.
So, there’s a whole bunch of things that we’ve got to do quick. We’ve got to quadruple Federal investment in renewable energy, energy storage, carbon storage. We’ve got to have a carbon price and dividend. Now, they way I would do it is, we assess a price on the cost of carbon, then we rebate it right back out to the American people with a progressive formula so most of us are more than made whole. ‘Cause it’s not about taking money out of the economy. It’s about making sure that the economy reflects the true cost of carbon. [voice: “Yeah!] Now, uh, big fan of carbon tax and dividend. I like that. [laughter] There we go.
But, look, I’m going to be honest with you, I think every one of us running for president ha a plan, as I do, to get our economy to be carbon neutral by 2050. We all do, and, of course, I think mine is the best one. But, [laughter] they all have the technical dimensions that are gonna be needed. The real question is, is any of it gonna get done. Otherwise all of our clever, elegant scientific proposals get multiplied by zero in terms of the impact they actually have. That’s one of the reasons it’s so important that we see to it that climate is a national project that everybody is part of the solution to.
That’s why we gotta tell people, some of whom have felt like they’re being clubbed over the head and told they’re the problem, and invite them to be the solution. For example, we cannot solve this problem without recruiting the energy, the support, and the creativity of America’s farmers. [….] We gotta send a message that we want climate solutions to come from America’s farm, farms in a way that we would be as proud of the quest for the carbon neutral farm as we are of solar panels and electric vehicles. And we can do it. But we’ve got to invest in it.
We can’t just tell farmers we want them to farm sustainably. If we want to unlock the potential of carbon capture in soil and covered crops and other things that we can do on America’s farms, we’ve got to invest in them. If we can find billions of dollars to pays farmers to not be able to sell their goods to China, you’re damn well sure we ought to be able to find billions of dollars in order to support farmers in leading the way to find a solution to the problem. [applause][cheers]
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) – Town Hall – Des Moines, Iowa – October 12, 2019 (October 13, 2017)
Today Donald Trump declared his intention to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. There are lots of pragmatic reasons that this is just dumb, no matter what you think about global warming:
- Under the terms of the agreement, participants can’t effectively withdraw until 2020 – and with luck Trumpy and his oil-love minions will be gone. Meanwhile, there’s no immediate big bang for the buck.
- If anyone really thinks the carbon reduction targets designated by the U.S. – historically one of the biggest contributors to the problem – are unfair, we don’t need to withdraw from the agreement to change them – or even just ignore them. They are voluntary. Of course, they’re also desirable, but that’s another story.
- The U.S. will sacrifice its leadership role in world climate policy by withdrawing from the main forum for world climate policy formation.
- Many businesses, even Exxon-Mobil, oppose the move for many of the foregoing reasons, as well as the fact that many realize that climate change isn’t going to be good for business in the long run. Others are indifferent.
Then there are, of course, the moral reasons. The world is at risk; the agreement represented a collective effort to meet the challenge. Without the U.S. the future of the agreement is unsure. Even if other participants persevere, the loss of cooperation from one of the biggest polluters will hurt. Do we even need to point out that we owe our children a future, one which will be either impossible, or brutish in the extreme, in a ruined earth?
But, still, as they say, elections have consequences, and if one of those consequences is going to be environmental doomsday along with corresponding economic chaos, so be it. I’m old, I won’t be around in twenty years, I have no children; it’ll only be a little skin off my nose – you know, higher risk due to extreme weather events, warmer winters, etc. I’ll probably be fine as will most of us older folks.
Although Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt qualifies as older, he does have children, some of whom have children of their own, but he evidently feels the same way I do, to hell with his progeny. Or else he thinks that they’ll be part of an elite insulated from the consequences. At any rate, though, he seems to think it’s no skin off his nose either. Which is probably why he was one of twenty-two Republican Senators who signed a letter to Trump, begging him to pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement. Also it may have made it easier for him to put his name to arguments advanced in that letter that are specious at best.
Blunt and his pals argue that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will insure that the U.S. retains a seat at the negotiating table when it comes to climate policy. We don’t need, they argue, to be part of the Paris agreement to have a seat at the table. This arguments ignores the fact that it is the Framework that has provided the basis for the Paris agreement, the participants of which will dominate climate policy in the future.
Of course, if you read the letter, you’ll notice that the real object of the Senators’ ire is the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plant regulations. The regulations do reflect the former administration’s effort to meet carbon reduction targets agreed to in the climate pact. However, contrary to the letter’s assertions, legal authorities deny that there is an actionable, legal linkage between administrative regulations enacted by the U.S. and the rather vague requirements of the Paris agreement. Guardian writer Dana Nuccitelli, quotes David Doniger, a Senior NRDC attorney, who stated unequivocally that:
They are making things up. EPA did not rely on Paris to justify the Clean Power Plan, and none of the parties defending the Plan has cited Paris as a legal basis. On Clean Air Act Section 115, no one I know has made, or even thought of, this argument.
What the letter doesn’t say, though, is probably more important than the strained arguments it does make. Another Guardian report notes that each of the signatories, including our own inestimable Senator Blunt, have received buckets of cash from the oil and gas industries who have urged the President to withdraw from the agreement:
Unmissable behind the elected Republicans stand other interests: the oil, gas and coal industries, which together are some of the most influential donors to Republican candidates.
The big-money supporters got a return on their investment last week, when 22 Republican senators whose campaigns have collected more than $10m in oil, gas and coal money since 2012 sent a letter to the president urging him to withdraw from the Paris deal.
Nor should we ignore the fact that the $10 million that these public servants have openly collected from the fossil fuels industries isn’t even the lion’s share of their haul. The Guardian report adds:
Visible donations to Republicans from those industries exceeded donations to Democrats in the 2016 election cycle by a ratio of 15-to-1, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And that does not include so-called dark money passed from oil interests such as Koch industries to general slush funds to re-elect Republicans such as the Senate leadership fund.
At least $90m in untraceable money has been funneled to Republican candidates from oil, gas and coal interests in the past three election cycles, according to Federal Election Commission disclosures analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics.
It’s truly inspiring to watch the intricate dance of political influence taking place in our new Trump world. Interesting also to note which of our politicians seem to be finally ready to really flourish, unchecked, in what seems to be their natural environment.
“…my three girls are like, Daddy, where are you going this morning, a climate march? We, we, march, uh, for fifteen and a union. I was like, no baby, we march for justice…”
On Saturday the Climate March for Kansas City took place on the Plaza with a march around the Plaza in the rain and a following rally at Unity Temple. Over a thousand people attended the rally.
Several speakers at the rally addressed climate change.
Terrence Wise’s remarks at the rally:
Terrence Wise: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. So I can tell you, uh, I won’t let the weather get me down. It’s easy to wake up and look out the window and see the rain and kind of be down. You know, feel that way. But today I was inspired when I woke up. [voice: “All right.”] I knew I had a, a march to come to, a climate rally is what they want to call it. But I knew I was coming to be a part of a movement. Not a moment, a movement, as this sign right here says. And then I walk in the room and I read the back of your shirt, Manny [Abarca] and I see signs like Our Labor, Our Planet I know I’m in the right place. [cheers, applause] [inaudible]
As Manny stated, my name is Terrence Wise and I’m a McDonald’s worker, a leader in the fight for fifteen. Four years ago I was working two full time jobs in fast food here in Kansas City while my fiancé worked a full time jobs as well as a home health aide. Our family, despite our three incomes, still lost our home here in Kansas City. We found ourselves living out of our purple Dodge minivan. Right out in front of my job, right here close to where we are today. This was the reality for my family. I felt depressed. I was angry. Listen to my three girls, one of whom has asthma, in the back seat of our minivan, sharing a blanket , that was our habitat for the night. No parent should have to go through this. None. To see our belongings piled high in the back of our minivan. Even though I work in the richest nation on Earth, the planet we live on right now, my family has continued to live in poverty. And not only my family, but many families here in Kansas City have endured these conditions.
I’ve worked in fast food for nearly twenty years. But I only make nine dollars an hour as Manny stated. I have no sick days, no vacation, no voice on the job whatsoever, and as a result of these conditions the lives, the conditions, the lives of my children, my fiancé have been on the decline over the years. Not just my family, but workers all across Kansas City have experienced homelessness and struggle to provide the basic necessities for our families. Each month we chose between paying the rent, keeping food on the table, or keeping utilities on. Those are decisions we’re faced to make every day.
I know fast food workers with go with this past winter without working heat, without running water. We work in a two hundred billion dollar industry where companies like McDonald’s make over five billion dollars a year in profits. [voice: “Unbelievable.”] Unbelievable is correct. For CEOs like Steve Easterbrook, the CEO of McDonald’s, is making fourteen million dollars a year, nine thousand dollars an hour, folks. We work hard every day making these companies filthy rich. But our children continue to live in poverty.
The fast food industry wants to perpetuate a myth that I am not a typical fast food worker. They would have the public believe that fast food workers are just teenagers looking for a little extra spending cash. Well, the Washington Post recently reported the average fast food worker is twenty-eight years old. Seventy percent are twenty years or older. And one third of fast food workers are over the age of forty years old. Two thirds of fast food workers are single working mothers. Why should people who work hard every day in the richest nation on Earth wake up and still live in poverty? [applause] Why?
I’ll tell you. Some people might say, and people do ask, they come up, they say, Terrence, why don’t you get a better job? You’ve got a good head on your shoulders, get a better job Terrence. Well, I’m gonna tell you there simply aren’t any other jobs. Low wage jobs like fast food and retail are the fastest growing in America’s economy today. There are sixty-four million Americans who make less than fifteen dollars an hour. It’s why fast food workers like me and my coworkers across Kansas City have been organizing to win a union, have been organizing to win fifteen dollars an hour. [voice: “Yes.”] [applause] That’s the only way to make those bad jobs good jobs. We’re working on it. [applause, cheers]
I just want to let the cat out of the bag. As organizing is a way to make our planet a better planet as well. [cheers, applause] Don’t forget that. Low wage workers in Kansas City and across the country have been organizing for four years now. We’ve gone on strike ten times. We’ve fasted in front of City Hall. We’ve marched and rallied and shared our stories. And spoke out about winning a living wage and a voice on the job. We’ve been in this fight and our allies have been right beside us the whole way. And the labor, faith, and civil rights communities have been on the strike lines with us. And the monsoons like you see today, they’ve been out there with us the hundred degree heat and sometimes in the snow, standing with us.
Our allies in environmental justice community have stood with us as well. The president of the Sierra Club, he stood with fast food workers when we first went on strike. Because he knows when we are united we have the strength to win justice for all. While workers like me live in poverty these billion dollar companies make record profit. But it’s not just the workers that are suffering under these corporate business models. Companies like McDonald’s and WalMart treat our environment no better than they treat their employees. [voice: “All right.”] [applause, cheers]
These same, these same corporations that are leading the global race to the bottom are also engaging in unsustainable practices that harm our planet and waste vital natural resources. McDonald’s, for instance, the second largest employer on the planet, they [inaudible] our environment by clear cutting the rain forest, they do this to keep up with their packaging needs and to grow the palm oil the use to make their famous McDonald’s French fries. They’re clear cutting our rain forests.
On one hand these companies that are fighting to, efforts to decrease [inaudible] and regulate the industry and on the other hand they’re attacking unions and workers across the country. [voice: “Boo.”] And, in a quest for profits above all else the workers and the environment loses. [voice: “That’s right.”] But it’s time we start winning y’all. [voice: “Yeah.”] [cheers, applause] We must unite and fight together as we are today. Because as Dr. King once said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. I don’t care [applause] if you’re talking about climate justice, economic justice, racial equality. A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. [applause]
And I can tell you [applause], I can tell you, that line stood out to me because my three girls are like, Daddy, where are you going this morning, a climate march? We, we, march, uh, for fifteen and a union. I was like, no baby, we march for justice. [cheers, applause] Whether it’s climate justice, whether it’s racial justice, whether it’s economic justice. And that’s why we march, baby. [applause, cheers] And that’s why daddy’s going.
‘Cause we must continue to fight together y’all. We must continue to march and rally together to insure that our planet and our community is working for everyone. [voice: “Yeah.”] For real. And we invite you all to come out with us. I can see the flyer in your hand, the yellow one you had, in there, it’s a useful tool. I invite you all to come out with us on Monday, May first for our May Day rally and march. It’ll be at five p.m. at Twelfth and Wyandotte. To fight for the economy that works for us all, ‘cause when we organize and build our strength in numbers y’all we have the power to win climate justice. We have the power to win racial and economic equality as well. But we have to build our strength in numbers. We really do. [applause]
We have a long fight ahead of us. I won’t sugarcoat it, it’s a long fight. We have a long fight ahead of us. I know it won’t be easy. Especially with this administration. For real. And its attacks on working people and science and climate justice, and attacks on Democratic ideals. It will be a long fight. But it’s a fight we need to win. It’s a fight for our future, our country, and our planet. We are stronger together, united we stand y’all.
Thank you for having me. Thank you. [applause, cheers]
A sign from the march and rally:
Climate March – Kansas City – April 29, 2017 (April 29, 2017)
Climate March – Kansas City – April 29, 2017 – Sergio Moreno (April 30, 2017)
“…You know, people of faith are often also people of prayer. I believe in prayer. I am a person of prayer. And I believe in prayer in a way I am sure you’re familiar with. I believe that we pray for the hungry and then we feed them. That’s how prayer works…”
On Saturday the Climate March for Kansas City took place on the Plaza with a march around the Plaza in the rain and a following rally at Unity Temple. Over a thousand people attended the rally.
Several speakers at the rally addressed climate change.
Sergio Moreno’s remarks at the rally at Unity Temple:
Sergio Moreno: When I heard earlier today about all of the things that have happened, some of the things, just a few of the things that have happened in the first one hundred days I was with you in that pain, that despair, and also that anger, that anxiety. It’s important to feel these feelings, to be angry, to be upset, and to stand up.
It’s also possible to be, to despair, to feel distress and perhaps even grow indifferent. And that’s when I’m reminded that I am surrounded by people like you. And I’m reminded of the power of music and song and the power of poetry and spoken word and dance [voice: “Yeah.”] and signs and art. Look at those beautiful banners. They’re not just beautiful, they’re powerful. I look at your signs. I want to see your signs again. Let’s see those signs. [applause, cheers]
This, this is the human spirit. And it is the human spirit that creates change for good. It’s the same spirit that creates change for bad. We are the ones who are responsible for the mess we’re in. And we are the ones that can get ourselves out of this mess. [cheers, applause] And this is the same spirit that has informed our faith, our spirituality, our communities for millennia.
From his holiness, Pope Francis, and his holiness, the Dalai Lama, spiritual and religious leaders, all around the world from every faith have raised their voices and have sounded the alarm for climate change. There is no time to waste. The time is now, the time is yesterday. Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, all manner of religious communities have urged their faithful to become involved, to become concerned, to become educated and to take their part in this environmental responsibility that belongs to all of us.
But that’s not enough. It’s a good start. It’s a great start, but it is not enough. It’s not enough until people like you and people like me start taking action. This planet as we’ve heard, as we know for the foreseeable future, is our only home. The earth is what we have in common. We share it. Whether you’re Christian, Sikh, Muslim, Buddhist, an Atheist, a Humanist, maybe a Pastafarian, it doesn’t matter [laughter], we don’t need to agree on a whole lot to see that we are interconnected. We’ve heard this theme over and over again. Why do we have people representing so many different areas of life? Because it’s all interconnected. We are related. I am because you are. Because what we do here [applause] has an effect on what happens there. We are interconnected.
It’s [unintelligible] to see. And here’s something we don’t hear about enough. We’ve heard about it today, but we don’t hear about it enough. And it should be a great concern to people of all faiths and no faith alike. And it is that the poor of the world are the first to feel the devastating effects of climate change. [voice: “Right.”] There’s no question about it. [applause] The more fortunate, the wealthy, the privileged, people like you and me, we can manage to live and we’ll be fighting. But it is those who are already more than oppressed, more than burdened, who are the first to suffer the consequences of our communal disregard for our environment.
Science has shown this, a very long time. Uh, this is a frightening reality, climate change. There’s no question about it. But what we should also realize is that climate change goes beyond the environment. Beyond clean water, beyond clean air, clean energy, sustainable practices. Climate change has a direct impact on our society. On people, on economic and social issues, on wealth disparity, health, peace, war. It is all interconnected.
Now, today all over our nation, perhaps all over the world, I am not sure, I know that there are thousands of people marching and gathering at rallies across the nation, coming together to make this urgent statement. This is wonderful. Very encouraging. I’m so encouraged. I’m filled with hope and joy to be a part of this movement.
But the real work begins tomorrow. The real work begins as we leave this place. When we go back to our homes, our schools, our work, our communities of faith, our neighborhoods. You know, people of faith are often also people of prayer. I believe in prayer. I am a person of prayer. And I believe in prayer in a way I am sure you’re familiar with. I believe that we pray for the hungry and then we feed them. That’s how prayer works. [applause, cheers] I believe that we pray for the environment and then we take action, we effect change. [cheers, applause] We pray for our government, we pray for our leaders and then we make our voices heard in the ballot box [cheers, applause] with our representatives. With our e-mails, and our phone calls, and our Tweets, and our hashtags. That’s how prayer works.
So, I want to thank you today for the work that you’re engaging in. Not just today, but in the days ahead and the years to come. And I thank you and I hope that you will feel encouraged as you look around and you see all of these people who may not have a whole lot in common with you, but are here for the same purpose. To take care of this place that we share, to take care, ultimately, of one another.
Thank you. [cheers, applause]
A sign from the march and rally:
Climate March – Kansas City – April 29, 2017 (April 29, 2017)
In case anyone has any doubts about the level of stupidity our newest batch of fearless GOP leaders will manifest over the next few years, they should be allayed by this tidbit from TPM:
A south California Republican who welcomes drastic climate change with open arms was on Tuesday elected to a seat on the Golden State’s Legislature.
“Most of the Muslim nations are in the hot areas of the world,” Randy Voepel, who will represent suburban San Diego, told the Los Angeles Times in an interview last week.
Almost a decade ago, he told an LA Times reporter that climate change was positive because “our enemies are on the equator” and would be most aversely affected.
I’m willing to bet this GOP bozo is also up in arms about admitting refugees from the Middle East. Well, guess what – as climate change intensifies, the number of those refugees will become overwhelming. Admitting them or not admitting them to the U.S. or Europe will do nothing to quell the inevitable conflicts that will destabilize less “equatorial” communities along with those hot, dry places Voepel evidently knows next to nothing about.
As a matter of fact, climate change may be at least in part responsible for the quagmire the U.S. is trying to negotiate right now relative to terrorism, ISIS, and the civil war in Syria – which has been experiencing an “historic” drought that climate scientists believe to have been exacerbated by, you guessed it, climate change:
Climate scientists have argued that global warming very likely exacerbated the historic drought, thanks to potentially permanent changes to wind and rainfall patterns. Thus, even if negotiators do reach a resolution, the underlying strains in the region may be here to stay. In fact, almost half of the countries most at risk of water shortages in the coming decades are in the Middle East or North Africa.
The sad reality is that supply disruptions are increasingly likely at the same time as the world is facing rising demand for water. The toxic combination of population increases and water-intensive lifestyles, driven by affluence, may lead to devastating price spikes. Expect water wars in the decades ahead.
But climate change will impact more than access to water. The Pentagon recognizes global warming as a significant strategic threat, saying that it could it could cause “instability in other countries by impairing access to food and water, damaging infrastructure, spreading disease, uprooting and displacing large numbers of people, compelling mass migration, interrupting commercial activity, or restricting electricity availability.” Further, the U.S. military fears such disruptions could “create an avenue for extremist ideologies and conditions that foster terrorism.
So the next time an ISIS operative, formal or internet-radicalized, U.S. bred or foreign, explodes a bomb in the U.S., think about the role climate change played in the resulting casualties. But don’t wait for Donald Trump and his potential National Security Advisor,
Dr. Strangelove’s General Buck Turgidson retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn, to factor these details into their response to international terrorism.
And remember, we’ve got our own borderline desert states and our own incipient water wars. And plenty of GOP-loving “entrepreneurs” ready to capitalize on scarcity. Given time, we’ll probably have our own internal refugees.
Voepel and his ilk, including, of course, Donald “Climate Change is a Chinese Plot” Trump, will learn the hard way that the chickens always come home to roost. Sad thing is, though, it’s the rest of us who’ll be wiping up their fecal droppings.
Members of the Senate have gone on record on the topic of whether or not climate change is occurring as the result of human activity. As Wired‘s Victoria Tang observed, “United States Senators stood up for what they believed in today – the results aren’t pretty.” What she meant was that of the folks to whom we have entrusted the leadership of what is arguably the most powerful nation in the world, almost fully half made it clear that, in Tang’s words, they “think climate change is some other species’ problem”:
The Senate, by a 50-49 vote with 60 required, rejected the amendment to a Republican bill approving TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline. Republicans control the Senate 54-46.
The amendment, offered by Senator Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat, would have deemed that “climate change is real” and that “human activity significantly contributes” to it.
It’s no big surprise, I’m sure, that Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt is on the list of those voting against the amendment that affirmed the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is man made. As long as the fossil fuel industry shows him an adequate amount of love, he will always love them right back. Besides, doesn’t he stand up with the GOPers who claim they can’t legitimately have such an opinion because they’re not scientists? And unlike our President who has made it clear that he understands what goes into creating a scientific consensus, he’s part of that group of policy makers who want us to think that their lack of credentials excuses them from listening to any inconvenient scientific facts. As David Shiffman argues in Slate:
When politicians say “I’m not a scientist,” it is an exasperating evasion. It’s a cowardly way to avoid answering basic and important policy questions. This response raises lots of other important questions about their decision-making processes. Do they have opinions on how to best maintain our nation’s highways, bridges, and tunnels-or do they not because they’re not civil engineers? Do they refuse to talk about agriculture policy on the grounds that they’re not farmers? How do they think we should be addressing the threat of ISIS? They wouldn’t know, of course; they’re not military generals.
I’d like to hear Roy Blunt answer those questions.
Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, on the other hand, voted with the “yeas.” She accepts the scientific verdict about anthropogenic climate change although, to judge by her past performance, she also thinks that it’s okay to ignore inconvenient facts. Or maybe, do you think, the fact that she went on the record this week might prompt more responsible action in the future? After all, McCaskill is one of those folks who goes on interminably about the rather iffy threat posed to our children by our federal debt. Maybe she’s finally getting equally worked up over the incontrovertible threat to their future well-being posed by climate change?
This is not to say that there’s not been progress on the topic. The Senators did vote 59-1 to affirm that climate change is not a hoax. We can take comfort from the fact that it’s now so obviously ridiculous to deny the fact of climate change that all but one of the Senate’s highly-motivated Republican fossil fuel champions would have been embarrassed to
affirm support that position in a public vote.
ADDENDUM: Digby explains why the vote to affirm the fact of a changing climate was a total joke. Hint: “The leaders of the free world are cretinous imbeciles.”
*1st sentence edited slightly for clarity.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): Sesame Street is too complicated (November 18, 2014)
Uh, there’s a difference between weather and climate. [….]
A lot of people noticed:
Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald
How does the obvious stupidity of this not embarrass people? RT @RepHartzler Global warming strikes America! Brrrr! 7:48 AM – 18 Nov 2014
And a sample of the comments in reply to Representative Hartzler (r):
.@RepHartzler <— Another elected official who doesn’t understand the difference between weather and climate.#science 7:22 AM – 18 Nov 2014
.@RepHartzler .@BuzzFeedAndrew you do realize that global warming is more than the temp in your corner of the US? Global temps keep rising 7:25 AM – 18 Nov 2014
@RepHartzler Your lack of knowledge is an embarrassment in an elected official. 7:27 AM – 18 Nov 2014
These morons are at it again. – RT @RepHartzler: Global warming strikes America! Brrrr! 7:27 AM – 18 Nov 2014
.@RepHartzler global warming isn’t real because it is cold where you are right now * sigh * @BuzzFeedAndrew 7:27 AM – 18 Nov 2014
Eve Zhurbinskiy @gillibranded
Funny how I’m in DC too but yet possess the knowledge that it’s cold in late fall RT “@RepHartzler: Global warming strikes America! Brrrr!” 7:27 AM – 18 Nov 2014
.@RepHartzler Aww, are you upset that Joni has stolen your crazy-thunder and are trying to one up her on the batshit scale? Keep trying. 7:27 AM – 18 Nov 2014
Weather Moose @WXMoose
@bart_smith @RepHartzler hey how about we stop using short-term, regional synoptic events for arguments for/against climate change 7:28 AM – 18 Nov 2014
Daniel Aubry @Aubs89
@RepHartzler pray for brains dear. 7:29 AM – 18 Nov 2014
Adam Brown @AdamTilted
Let me guess, you’re “not a scientist.” “@RepHartzler: Global warming strikes America! Brrrr!” 7:29 AM – 18 Nov 2014
Adam Weinstein @AdamWeinstein
You wouldn’t know “global” even if it threatened to get gay-married on your lawn RT @RepHartzler: Global warming strikes America! Brrrr! 7:30 AM – 18 Nov 2014
Turkey Slaying Curt @Curt_Ames
@RepHartzler @toxicpath In other news, the American educational system continues to produce vapid, smugly ignorant citizens. 7:39 AM – 18 Nov 2014
Financial Ownalyst @Cyrus_T_Virus
I am horrified by the notion that you make decisions that affect my well-being RT @RepHartzler: Global warming strikes America! Brrrr! 7:40 AM – 18 Nov 2014
Christy Kilgore @ckilgore
@RepHartzler You know science doesn’t work like that, right? 7:41 AM – 18 Nov 2014
michael hoffman @chelicerata
Like people complaining the Sun is gone at night. RT @RepHartzler: Global warming strikes America! Brrrr! 7:41 AM – 18 Nov 2014
And that’s some of the printable responses.
In the Washington Post:
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler wonders why it’s so cold if global warming exists. Here’s the answer.
By Philip Bump November 18 at 1:42 PM
It is that time of year when the weather gets cold – even unexpectedly cold – and online humorists and armchair scientists rise up as one to ask a question: “What happened to ‘global warming’???” It’s a good gag, see, because it’s cold and global warming implies that it will be warm. If you don’t get it, please e-mail me and I will explain further.
There are two options for what Hartzler, a Republican who represents Missouri’s 4th District, hopes to accomplish here. The first is that she’s making a joke about a serious environmental issue that has scientists around the world concerned about how mankind will fare under warmer conditions. We assume a member of Congress wouldn’t make such a joke.
But heat is just one effect, according to the climate report mentioned above.
Direct effects will include increased heat stress, flooding, drought, and late spring freezes. Climate change also alters pests and disease prevalence, competition from non-native or opportunistic native species, ecosystem disturbances, land-use change, landscape fragmentation, atmospheric and watershed pollutants, and economic shocks such as crop failures, reduced yields, or toxic blooms of algae due to extreme weather events.
That’s what the Midwest can expect.
The people in Missouri’s 4th Congressional District know what they can expect.
Uh, there’s a difference between weather and climate.
You know, the Sesame [Children’s Television] Workshop teaches critical thinking skills:
One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?
Today, via Twitter:
Rep. Vicky Hartzler @RepHartzler
Global warming strikes America! Brrrr! 6:44 AM – 18 Nov 2014
Ed Smith @esmith326
@RepHartzler I am not hungry, therefore, nobody on this planet is hungry. #samelogic… 7:11 AM – 18 Nov 2014
In the news:
Multiple datasets have confirmed it was the warmest October on record for the globe, keeping the planet on a course towards its toastiest year.
Last month, NOAA published a chart…indicating the global temperature for the remaining three months of the year need only average among the top 10 warmest for 2014 to be the warmest year on record. Considering the October results in so far, a record warm year almost seems inevitable unless temperatures radically tank in November and December.
That’s global temperatures, not just in rural Cass County, Missouri. There is a difference when it comes to assessing the facts and determining policy, don’t you think?
When I last looked, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill was still very carefully trying to say nothing at all about the EPA’s proposed new emission standards which are designed to reduce carbon emissions in the United States 30% by 2030. Which is actually pretty much in line with her past behavior; McCaskill has long been a disappointment to her constituents when it comes to showing leadership on the issue of climate change. She has been very careful to avoid even the appearance of pulling out the rug from under dirty coal, the producers and consumers of which are a powerful force in Missouri which currently gets 80% of its energy from fossil fuels.
McCaskill’s past arguments for rejecting stronger regulation of carbon emissions from coal-fired energy plants have revolved around: (1) the supposed potential for economic hardship for “Missouri’s families,” and, (2) the assertion that the costs would be born disproportionately by the U.S. She has noted that “it’s not going to do us any good to clean up our act as it relates to the atmosphere. It’s the same atmosphere that China shares and Japan shares and India shares. Some very big industrial countries.”
The first argument, which McCaskill shares with most Republican apologists for fossil fuels, should, by now, occasion the great hilarity that is due arguments that pit relatively minor, short-term concerns against long-term, global survival. After all, while it’s questionable that efforts to reduce carbon emissions will seriously harm those Missouri families she is so fond of citing, doing nothing about climate change is going to really hurt Missourians over the next thirty years, particularly those dependent on agriculture. A recent report stipulates that “higher temperatures will reduce Midwest crop yields by 19 percent by midcentury and by 63 percent by the year 2100.” McCaskill’s position also ignores the hidden costs of fossil fuel dependence, such as the personal and economic aspects of its effect on public health.
A new report, the 2014 Low Carbon Economy Index (LCEI), demonstrates the emptiness of McCaskill’s international rationale for delaying action on carbon emisions. According to the LCEI:
… . China could be viewed as the poster child for developing countries, with a 2013 national decarbonisation rate of 4%. China improved its energy intensity by 3% in 2013, the third highest amongst the G20, and has a flourishing renewable energy sector 2. China also launched seven regional emissions trading schemes over the last year, although these are unlikely to have a dramatic impact on emissions in the short term. …
While coal use in China rose by 3.7% in 2013, it is at a much slower rate than in previous years. China has made public efforts to curb coal use to manage its air pollution problems, for example a limit on coal use to 65% of its energy mix, and more recently a proposed ban on coal-fired power in Beijing by 2020. …
China lowered its carbon emissions by 3.5%, a full percentage point more than the US where:
A revival of coal […], driven by a combination of falling coal prices and rising gas prices, has also been a major factor in the low US position in the G20 decarbonisation league table. Coal in the US has regained some market share from natural gas in the generation mix ince its low in April 2012, causing an increase in emissions, and dispelling the myth that a shale gas revolution will necessarily result in emissions reductions. …
Don’t these numbers make it clear that we can no longer allow our politicans to point to the other guy in order to excuse inaction on carbon emissions? Certainly we should not allow Senator McCaskill to do so when the time comes when she will have to make her position on the new EPA regulations known. While the reduction in carbon emissions that these regulations would achieve is still not enough to stop potentially catastrophic global warming, they would still move us significantly forward in that direction:
If the rule goes forward as it is currently conceived, this proposal, combined with the reductions to date and those that will be driven by prior executive actions addressing the transportation sector, would, in approximate terms, put the US on a path to achieve Obama’s 17% by 2020 pledge. However, putting the proposed rule in context of the global de-carbonization challenge, it will achieve a small portion of the reductions required to stay within 2°C carbon budget. The EPA estimates it will result in reductions from the business as usual case of 545 MM tonnes of CO2 in 2030*. This plan would contribute a cumulative 5.9% reduction in US carbon intensity or an average annual additional intensity reduction of 0.39%
Isn’t it time for the US to start to play the leadership role when it comes to climate change that those advocates of “American exceptionalism” expect us to play when the question involves military action? Let’s ask Senator McCaskill why China should have to do all the heavy lifting – particularly since it’s clear that no nation can do it alone. And while we’re at it, let’s ask the Senator why she can’t manage to play more of a leadership role when it comes to helping our state make the transition from dirty energy sources – surely she can manage to stop concentrating on keeping her balance on the center line that runs down that rightward veering highway she’s been traveling in order to help determine the outcome of what will probably be the defining issue of our time.
I’ve just been reading two new reports on the economics of fighting climate change: a big study by a blue-ribbon international group, the New Climate Economy Project, and a working paper from the International Monetary Fund. Both claim that strong measures to limit carbon emissions would have hardly any negative effect on economic growth, and might actually lead to faster growth. This may sound too good to be true, but it isn’t. These are serious, careful analyses.
But you know that such assessments will be met with claims that it’s impossible to break the link between economic growth and ever-rising emissions of greenhouse gases, a position I think of as “climate despair.” The most dangerous proponents of climate despair are on the anti-environmentalist right. But they receive aid and comfort from other groups, including some on the left, who have their own reasons for getting it wrong.
Their own reasons …. hmmm. Locally, could that be Peabody Coal? Along with all the voting Missourians who get all their information from Fox News? How do you balance them beans against climate apocalypse?