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McKibben writes: "Maybe that obscene slick of ocean spreading unnaturally into the tubes and tunnels of the greatest city on earth will shock enough people to change the debate."

A dead deer lies among driftwood and debris left by a combination of storm surge from Hurricane Sandy and high tide in Southampton, New York, on October 30, 2012. (photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
A dead deer lies among driftwood and debris left by a combination of storm surge from Hurricane Sandy and high tide in Southampton, New York, on October 30, 2012. (photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters)


Sandy Forces Climate Change on US Election

By Bill McKibben, Guardian UK

01 Novermber 12

 

Such is Big Energy's hold on DC, neither Obama nor Romney talk about climate change. But Americans are joining the dots

ere's a sentence I wish I hadn't written - it rolled out of my Macbook in May, part of an article for Rolling Stone that quickly went viral:

"Say something so big finally happens (a giant hurricane swamps Manhattan, a megadrought wipes out Midwest agriculture) that even the political power of the industry is inadequate to restrain legislators, who manage to regulate carbon."

I wish I hadn't written it because the first half gives me entirely undeserved credit for prescience: I had no idea both would, in fact, happen in the next six months. And I wish I hadn't written it because now that my bluff's been called, I'm doubting that even Sandy, the largest storm ever, will be enough to make our political class serious about climate change.

Maybe I'm wrong, though. Maybe - just maybe - the arrival of a giant wall of water in the exact middle of the financial and media capital of our home planet will be enough to get this conversation unstuck. Maybe that obscene slick of ocean spreading unnaturally into the tubes and tunnels of the greatest city on earth will shock enough people to change the debate. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, at a press conference Tuesday afternoon, allowed as how:

"There has been a series of extreme weather incidents. That is not a political statement, that is a factual statement ... Anyone who says there's not a dramatic change in weather patterns, I think, is denying reality."

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg added:

"What is clear is that the storms we've experienced in the last year or so around this country and around the world are much more severe than before."

Truthfully, I think I'd just as soon see statements like that as carefully thought-out endorsements of climate science. It's experience that changes people: the summer's drought left more than half of American counties as federal disaster areas, and meteorologist Jeff Masters estimates Sandy hit 100 million Americans with "extreme weather". Add in the largest forest fires in Colorado and New Mexico, the hottest month in US history, and the completely absurd summer-in-March heatwave that kicked off our year of living sweatily, and you can begin to understand why the percentage of Americans worrying about global warming has spiked sharply this year. Spiked high enough that even a few politicians are willing to speak out.

Not many. The presidential candidates avoided the topic at all their big public forums - except for Romney's Republican national convention joke about how silly it was to try and slow the rise of the oceans (which probably didn't win him many votes on the Jersey Shore this week). Obama did talk climate with MTV last week, but that venue almost defines the issue's fringe status; his other real discussion of it was with Rolling Stone - global warming is, apparently, only for people with earbuds.

They barnstormed through the hottest summer on record, and they didn't seem to notice. One appreciates cool in a president, but there's a limit.

If Sandy, however, begins to give a little opening for discussion, we're unfortunately at the point where we have to force the discussion. After 20 years of inaction, we're so far behind the curve that we've got to raise the bar higher than mere acknowledgement that we've got a problem. We've got to get some action from these guys.

And that, I think, requires a truly crucial set of changes. We need to neutralize the force that's kept them quiet. It's not that our politicians didn't know about climate change: I've watched, for two decades, as the world's best scientists make the annual trek to Capitol Hill to lay out the latest data. It's that, as scary as those charts and graphs were, the fossil fuel industry was scarier still.

As the richest industry on earth, and the biggest political player, the boys from coal and oil and gas have bought one party and terrified the other. Last week - in the very final days of the US election - Chevron smacked down the single largest corporate donation in the Citizens United era, $2.5m to a GOP Super Pac. There's not a congressman who didn't notice, and who didn't think: what if they came after me with ten days to go?

If we're going to change the political equation, we're going to do it by going after the fossil fuel industry. They deserve it. As that Rolling Stone article of mine laid out, they're planning to burn literally five times more carbon than the most conservative government on earth thinks is safe. They've turned into a rogue force.

Which is why 350.org sent out an email blast today, raising money for the Red Cross and raising signatures for a petition to oil execs asking that they stop their campaign donations and spend the money repairing New York instead. And it's why we launch a road show next week. We'll go to 20 cities in 20 nights, trying to spark a movement for divestment from fossil fuel stocks, and a new willingness to stand up to the industry. It starts next Wednesday in Seattle, and we'll do it no matter who wins the White House next Tuesday night.

Because as important as elections are, they're not the biggest battle.


 

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+69 # mdhome 2012-11-01 12:43
Just how bad does it have to get before they wake up and do something about climate change?
 
 
0 # tahoevalleylines 2012-11-01 18:35
Biggest frustration with Mckibben, Heinberg, Lundberg et al is absolute ignorance of enhanced Pax/Cargo generic railway component in Peak Oil/Climate solution set.

US transport methodology circa 1950 was energy efficient with road developed, retaining local rail links and distribution elements.

Back to you Mr. Bill...
 
 
+10 # portiz 2012-11-01 23:20
Here's how Romney answered the most recent question about climate change:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=43lcd11QUqo

If that's not pathetic, I don't know what is. Let's show the GOP that chanting "USA" isn't how one shows their love for America.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE get out the vote on Tuesday. Let's wipe that fake smug smile off his face once and for all.
 
 
+7 # Rita Walpole Ague 2012-11-02 08:14
So right, mdhome. Reality (i.e. climate change, constant warmode for $$$ into pockets of the power and greed addicted villainaire rulers) is hard to face, but wake up we must, and say no and get active plus. Ain't easy to get active in this POLICE STATE AIN'T GREAT of ours - get ready for tear gassing, battering, arrest, et. al. for speaking up and out against the Bushwhackers and Kochsuckers. But, for the sake of all our kids and generations to come on this so hurting globe of ours, waking up and speak up and out is absoluting vital.
 
 
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 21:19
I think it is time for World Council give us what we dole out...boycott our oil,coal, and goods until we get behind the Clean Air Act before Bushie.
It is time we are fined as well as Canada for this Tar Sands.
China is on that board saying how they are environmental.. .seems this Council is also not asking who is doing the refining with chemicals of this tar oil than China....China has lost lots of points since W's visit to promote more oil usage.
We got the Laws in...where has everyone been?
 
 
+66 # fredboy 2012-11-01 13:34
My Repug neighbors say neither Sandy nor the drought ever happened, that it's all media hysteria. They also deny the existence of sunlight and the moon. But they believe in the Mitten.
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 21:20
Perhaps give them a Ticket to AC
 
 
-115 # Dumbledorf 2012-11-01 13:58
Remembering the famous word of that great Marxist and former chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel, "NEVER LET A GOOD CRISIS GO TO WASTE." Don't worry over the poor and hurting people in New York and elsewhere, suffering with no electric or food....let's blame it all on "global warming" and forget all about them. After all, didn't we bring this all on ourselves?
 
 
+20 # BobboMax 2012-11-01 14:27
Hunh?
 
 
+28 # AndreM5 2012-11-01 14:55
You made my point for me. Thanks.

I was going say the "serious" talk about climate change will last about three news cycles because, hey, there's the Kardashians to check on.

So what they heck are you taling about? Being a grown up about climate change means we bury our heads in the sand over its effects? What?

Repub Upside Down Fantasy World strikes again.

Thanks again for proving my point.
 
 
+28 # AMLLLLL 2012-11-01 15:08
Romney must be taking lessons from Rahm, pretending to suspend his campaign with a fake disaster relief promotion/photo op. A quiet check for a cool $million would have been the adult thing to do.

And anyone who was listening to Jeb and co. slamming the President would not judge it to be a suspension of campaign mode.

These are the most mean-spirited people I've ever seen.
 
 
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 21:23
Where is the Christianity he is supposedly representing with Ryan? Why arent they there helping. Where are those phony Utah Mormons?
 
 
+14 # erogers 2012-11-01 15:47
I am right with other readers of your comment, Dumbledorf. We have no damned idea what you are trying to say. Care to clarify.
If you are denying climate change and global warming at this late date then don't bother trying to explain yourself. You are indeed hopelessly blind.
 
 
-2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 21:28
I understand the quote. I understand that we can blame Global Warming though I do not know if Hurricanes are all global warming prtoblem than Mother Nature. I do believe weather conditions are changing, in fact I see them in rain fall alone in NE.
I do understand the lament to get off blame right now and understand that we should be putting the blame game into help game.
Blaming is not going to rebuild, hand out food and needs.

Do you know that most of us have been bitching about Climate and Weather Change for over twenty five years, now Yuppies want to rant about it...where were you while we had petitions? Have you ever worked on these issues? Why now is it more important than people who are living in the aftermath?
 
 
+12 # carpepax 2012-11-01 15:54
WTF? More evidence that, for some on the other side, black is white, up is down, greed is good, etc...

Now, Dumb, go kick dirt in the back yard while the adults talk.
 
 
+12 # WolfTotem 2012-11-01 17:15
Most curious thing of all - how the Repubs have changed the land of CAN DO into the last refuge of CAN'T DO!!! WON'T DO!!!

Won't someone come and change our diapers?
 
 
-3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 21:21
I cannot thumb you on this one...we did bring this on ourselves and will go back to the same routine after election.
 
 
+11 # rsstein 2012-11-01 14:12
Bill - You said it right and we all must support your tremensous efforts. I'm sending a copy of your message to about 80 of my acquatances and urging them to act.

Dick Stein
 
 
-62 # JTHinSD 2012-11-01 14:16
"Largest storm ever"? Really? In what terms? Size? Wind speed? Storm surge? Damage in dollars? Enlighten me, Bill.

As I recall, Sandy was a Cat-1 hurricane, quickly downgraded to Tropical Storm, then, the Post Tropical Depression Formerly Known as Sandy. Isabel, in 2011, was also a Cat-1, quickly downgraded to blah, blah, blah.

Since the 17th Century, some 80+ hurricanes have made landfall or had some effect on NY/NJ, so, this isn't an unheard of occurrence.

In fact, ..."between 1278 and 1438 — A major hurricane struck the modern-day New York/New Jersey area, probably the strongest in recent millennium." Oh, and October is the 3rd most frequent month for hurricanes in NY/NJ.

Linking Sandy to climate change (real or imagined) is scientifically challenged, intellectually dishonest and just plain hyperbole.


Do some research, willya Billy? The RSN crowd needs the education, apparently, as much as you do.
 
 
+14 # WolfTotem 2012-11-01 15:47
Quoting JTHinSD:
Linking Sandy to climate change (real or imagined) is scientifically challenged, intellectually dishonest and just plain hyperbole.
...The RSN crowd needs the education, apparently, as much as you do.


Go educate Mayor Bloomberg - seems he's in need of your precious wisdom.

But I guess you're too late, for he's already endorsed the President, as the best candidate to tackle global climate change...
 
 
-3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 21:38
I believe if anyone needs an education...Gov Christie. He allowed everyone to wait til it hit...money, money, votes, votes.

Hey anyone preparing for Wednesdays storm?
 
 
+12 # erogers 2012-11-01 15:49
Blah, blah, blah JTHinSD; you have no idea what is happening so please spare us your ignorance and go back to whatever comic book has occupied you for the last 25 years.
 
 
+30 # Davethinks 2012-11-01 15:57
JTHinSD,
You probably should not advise someone else to do research when you do not know what you are talking about. The sheer size of Sandy exceeds the size of any other storm hitting the Atlantic coast in historical times. Yes it had a certain strength and that downgraded, but wind speed and size are not all of the story and the larger picture requires looking at the cold front coming down from Canada (maybe from South Dakota as well). The quantity of water pushed on land deserves being spoken of in superlatives and the actual damage by winds as well. Regardless of these measurable facts there are also other measurable facts such as the temperature of the North Atlantic. Denying scientific evidence does not make things go away and does not change results. This piece is neither scientifically challenged nor intellectually dishonest and your little snit is certainly hyperbole.
 
 
-3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 21:47
Are you sure? Did you get the information from the Early Times news of America before Digital thermometers?

I have been to sites along the Delaware, Susquehanna and other places including where I live and have seen what water damage from aftermath of storms are...and we are still not up to some of the quotas.

I am sorry but there was not always Scientific Data...this Planet has been around longer than us. But I do know that since the 1950 when East Coast was hit hard...the environmentalis ts, scientists, oceanographers have been warning of what constant Disasters will do to the shore lines. No Digi Data...common sense.

I do not know if it meets the wp of the 50's Where I live now...I have had 65 mph winds in spring. So this one was 70 mph....

Old Growth trees uprooted due to rains, and winds...been happening alot. Most people are too busy buying pools than having their trees trimmed. Could have stopped a lot of the damage, even deaths.
I live in forest, not so economical to trim a mountain....but as a homeowner, we do trim, or cut down. I plant new ones that are earth and grow at a better rate in ratio to tallness.

Damage...there are more people, more buildings, more companies and businesses...so there will be larger estimates.

I work with facts, I am an environmentalis t...but I also see things from reality...we do not know everything. I am sure another storm will be the storm of the century.
 
 
+19 # AndreM5 2012-11-01 16:25
1000 miles long, 900 miles wide, directly affecting 1 in every 5 families (not just PERSONS) in the USofA. Hyperbole is one thing, but HUGE is still HUGE.

Wait until you see the one next month.
 
 
+7 # indian weaver 2012-11-02 06:57
and in fact, another very large similar storm is predicted in about a week, already developing, swinging in across the nation from the west this time, looping south across the gulf of mexico and then north up the east coast. maybe a few other mayors and governors will raise the climate warming problem when their cities and coastlines are wiped out this time? and romney can criticize obama again for sending in the government "storm troopers", the real actual life saving FEMA storm troopers. romney can probably stage yet another fake photo op, with ryan. unfortunately record breaking tragedy is necessary to wake up america, and it's not "Good Morning America" this time.
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 21:48
How about the Nor'easter next week.
 
 
+7 # gzuckier 2012-11-01 19:49
and furthermore, you can't prove cigarettes cause cancer, either. nyah nyah nyah.
 
 
-3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 21:50
I think we can, sugar does too.

I do not blame the tobacco plant but the additives, the glues, filters... I know two people never smoked died of lung cancer. Bars, I know of couple of dogs..one owner used to blow smoke into nose from pipe. Other not good enough ventilation. No one smokes in my home, I used to smoke...I do not want the smell...I do not want my animals to get sick.
 
 
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 21:37
I cannot say this is the largest storm but the Yuppies have to coin the Headlines.
There was not the equipment we have now to measure these Natural Occurences.

However, morons having to continue to build on mountains known for fires and rockslides/aval anches, or along rivers that are in flood plains, or on stilts on beaches to prove they have money...are welfare of a different class. They leach off us taxpayers because they are going to rebuild in the same area...

I believe that Weather, Meteorologists do not know what to expect. But we were warned for a week before this storm happened so I think that NY NJ and others should have set up for it, been prepared for it. Ct is the only State that started preparing five days before...NY three and NJ waited til it hit.

I think we should send donations, pray for all and table the Global Warming..after all no one was with us twenty five years ago when we were warning everyone. Waiting a week is not going to change what is happening...Ame rica didn't listen to anyone because we are Know it Alls
 
 
+18 # boadacia 2012-11-01 14:37
It's too late to stop global warming, but a little foresight will go a long way as the world deals with ever more serious problems. Important to remember too that this is part of the sixth extinction due to over population of one species--the human one. It's the combination of the huge numbers of humans and all the toxins of modern life that are the problem. We have to plan ahead and find ways to live differently in the coming decades. I believe it is doable. It is beginning to happen in small groups. Will it bring enough people together in time is the question. I hate to think of the unnecessary chaos that will ensue if humans don't deal with this in time. As the old timers used to say: "If you don't listen, you are gonna have to pay."
 
 
+20 # Lowflyin Lolana 2012-11-01 16:28
No one wants to hear about the "toxins of modern life" because the "economy" "depends" on them.

Of course it is doable.

Could you imagine how many people an initiative to restore the forests would employ? Or an initiative to study and gain wisdom from indigenous cultures----who have the answers for what to do if there is no electricity?

The problem is that people seriously, honestly believe, have been trained to believe, that technology is the answer: and they define technology, not as what works, or what leads to greater health and life and is WORTH the tradeoffs. They define it as machines that make things "convenient."

The fact that all this "convenience" is a fallacy is beyond the ken of most. Do human beings REALLY need to be hopping the globe in airliners, for example, spewing petrol and chemicals into the (limited, finite) atmosphere---an d taking people far away from their own communities and connections to the land?

There are very basic questions that people will not even entertain because our culture worships machines. And I define worship as what you say and do, and believe. And the predominant belief of our culture is that it takes machines to live. It has gone so far that machines are built/invented to solve the problems other machines have created.

The hall of mirrors has no end in sight.
 
 
+9 # gzuckier 2012-11-01 19:53
"It's the combination of the huge numbers of humans and all the toxins of modern life that are the problem"

But the huge numbers of humans don't have access to all the toxins of modern life, and the number of humans who have access to all the toxins of modern life is not huge. If the entire third world were to vanish, the impact on global warming would be essentially nil. Just the first world industrial economy alone is what is pushing the concept of complex human civilization to the brink; even without the Chinese getting on to the bandwagon.
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 21:53
We could as Americans stop buying chemicals to do gardening, cleaning...ther e are alternatives and safe for animals, kids. Wow what a concept
They have been around for centuries...wow ..
 
 
+7 # indian weaver 2012-11-02 07:02
Imagine a NYC mess across our nation and planet, no power / water / electricity / gas / food / shelter / wind cold rain snow on top of all. Maybe another world class storm next week? And after that, and after that ... Without making immediate changes in our behavior at all levels, one by one, killer gigantic storms and mass tragedy comes as the latest incarnation of the Grim Reaper, colleague and creation of the energy industry.
 
 
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 21:54
We could have all of the above...not need gas perhaps or any oil crap.
But Americans are lazy and spoiled. I live simply and better for it.
 
 
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 21:51
Now you want a false hood...Too late to stop global warming...Defea tist
 
 
-15 # handmjones 2012-11-01 14:45
Firstly, the industry is not planning to burn 5 times more carbon. They are preparing for us.
I agree we will go off carbon but show me a plan.
Firstly, we would need to enact and enforce a Worldwide law about how much carbon is permissable per person in say 5 years. It's the only fair way but it will be a tremendous cut for us. The Chinese won't give up their new energy infrastructure without a fight so the UN will need to invade. If we don't invade, they will go on buying and the Saudis will go on selling.
Secondly we must not let expanding population eliminate any progress, so we need to establish the one-child law Worldwide. Take $1000 from each of the World's richest 20% and educate and supply the bottom 20% but we would still need to invade Africa and give the men the snip. (A recent survey across the Sahel suggested the women thought 6 was an ideal number of children but the men thought 9).
Thirdly, Tax the top 20% of the World $10,000/person/ year for 5 years to provide the replacement to our present energy infrastructure.
If we do any one piece, on our own, we deprive ourselves to no avail. Like, we'll delay the year 2100 ocean rise by a year or a month or maybe just a day.
Keep in mind that half of our anthropogenic carbon emissions are from feeding ourselves and presumably we intend to continue feeding ourselves.
 
 
+17 # Lowflyin Lolana 2012-11-01 16:31
Obviously you didn't read McKibbon's piece in Rolling Stone (one of the few places you get real journalism these days).

"The Industry is not planning to burn 5 times more carbon." ---Yes, they are. Take a look at the amount of money spent on oil exploration, as McKibbon does in his RS article. Are you contesting that? Because if you are, then you'd be better served to show us some proof. Everything you say after that is speculation and blather.

Follow the money for Pete's sake and don't tell me the way to the truth of what's happening can be found any other way, because it can't.
 
 
+1 # handmjones 2012-11-02 10:15
Poor wording on my part. The point is the industry is not going to burn the carbon - they are merely supplying our demand.
 
 
-3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 22:05
That is over everyone's head. That is why they get away with it...we need our stuff. We drive, we burn, we waste fuel...we do not see the forest for the trees too busy shopping
 
 
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 22:04
Rolling Stone, Mother Earth,Mother Jones, Nation and more have been good journalists for decades...
Unless you have no intention of using a car, truck...not using any source of heat or electric except Alternatives... than you and millions of Americans are just as much the problem. I remember Californias smog and NY...Cars, Trucks...
I am an environmentalis t and I appreciate everyone now in fashion and wanting to jump on the band wagon...but how much carbon emissions do you cause...how about those lawn mowers, leaf blowers are worst, fireplace, barbq grill, cigarettes, Propane tanks, oil burners, coal burners...yep. How about your clothes, shoes, food how much carbon emmission was made to make that stuff for you?
See we are as much to blame, that is why the companies laugh.
Where were you all when ReaGun and the Bush's sold us out, W started the Clean Air and Water Acts to fade. I worked to get them in, stronger...wher e were any of you?
 
 
+3 # MylesJ 2012-11-01 17:01
Do some math. On a worldwide basis how many 3.5 person families even gross $35,000 a year? If every family in the US, Europe and Australia had to pay $35,000 after tax dollars what would that do to the chance of success?
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 21:58
I have geothermal, I use sun will be doing solar. I weatherize, I protected myself and chickens against storm. I use the vehicle rarely and have no MTA I am rural just do what I must in one or two days...sometime s I do not use a vehicle for a week.
I use approx a hundred a month on electric in winter that includes heat. Summer half.
Americans and others are sleazy, spoiled...We are the Problem as much as any industry
 
 
+13 # HowardMH 2012-11-01 14:53
You think maybe, just maybe the stupid politicians will finally recognize global warming and start to actually do something about it instead of listening to Big Oil? Nah will not happen
As one Idiot Senator said how can there be global warming when we can build a snow man and igloo on the mall in Wash DC, which his kids actually did a couple years ago. However, the real problem is the millions of idiots that voted for these morons. Until food prices doubles or triples these stupid people will not get it – and by then it just might be too late to stop global warming.
As long as the oil and coal companies continue to own the politicians, nothing is going to change on Capital Hill. Until there are two hundred thousand really, really pissed off people on Capital Hill (all at the same time – with base ball bats and 2 x 4s) raising some serious hell absolutely nothing is ever, ever going to happen to these totally bought and paid for by the richest 50 people in the world that are becoming more and more powerful with each passing rigged election thanks to the stupid people.
 
 
+13 # Lowflyin Lolana 2012-11-01 16:33
A huge protest will just be an excuse to declare martial law.

Until you "put your bodies on the gears" in your OWN life, in your own town, in your own job and in your own physically-defi ned community of human beings, nothing will happen.

The people in the Occupy movement last year demonstrated admirably for us what we face, with the help of militarized police departments across this great land.
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 22:05
Boycott...
 
 
+8 # X Dane 2012-11-02 00:08
HowardMH

I bet "the IDIOT SENATOR" you referred to is Sen Ihofe of Oklahoma, and you are right. He is on ENORMOUS IDIOT. He totally denies Climate Change AND Evolution. HE has certainly NOT evolved at all.

The nightmare situation is that the senate will be taken by the republicans. If that happens, Sen. Boxer, doing a great job on the environmental committee, dealing with EPA, climate change and other important issues, will be replaced by......I N H O F E.

Heaven help us if that happens, for he will sure get rid of the environmental agency. He wrote a book saying that climate change is the biggest hoax ever.....So we know what to expect from him....I hope and pray the senate will remain democratic and the White House too.
 
 
+1 # NOMINAE 2012-11-03 05:13
@ X Dane -

The problem is not Inhofe's relative "evolution". The problem is that Inhofe
is *PROUD* to be in the pockets of, and a direct mouthpiece for, the Oil Industry.

So, perhaps greed factors in here every bit as much as Inhofe's relative IQ.

Inhofe denies Climate Change because Inhofe and his ilk are handsomely *paid* to deny Climate Change.

Calling people "stupid", even if totally accurate, may be viscerally gratifying but it simply offers us absolutely *nothing* by way of adult problem solving.

We are already fully aware that you can't fix stupid.

This problem is much deeper than any one person's relative intellectual acumen. And it is the deeper problem that cries out to be addressed.
 
 
+17 # robniel 2012-11-01 15:04
To the knuckle-dragger s facts don't matter. Of all climate scientists worldwide 97% support the global-warming hypothesis. FOX hires the other 3% and seeks to privatize climate change.
 
 
-52 # dawnie41 2012-11-01 15:04
Climate change yes! In case nobody's noticed, it has been going on for billions of years. Man made climate change . . . I doubt it! God's in charge . . . like it or not.
 
 
+13 # erogers 2012-11-01 15:51
Leave your silly god out of the debate. Billions of years? Go back to your little black science fiction novel.
 
 
+13 # AndreM5 2012-11-01 16:27
Ah yes, so man has no free will after all. 9/11 was god's hand at work, rapists are doing god's work, Hitler was one of god's most amazing designs, etc., etc., etc.

I use the lower case 'g' to represent your "god" out of respect for andy and all real ones.
 
 
+9 # Lowflyin Lolana 2012-11-01 16:56
Is God in charge of HAARP?

Or, do you figure that blasting a billion watts of energy at the ionosphere wouldn't have an effect on weather systems?
 
 
0 # X Dane 2012-11-02 00:13
Lowflying Lolana

What the heck is HAARP?
 
 
+2 # indian weaver 2012-11-02 07:08
stop using obscure acronyms everyone. something like 100 of them must be floating around these days. I know maybe 10 of them, otherwise I skip comments including those unknown to me.
 
 
0 # NOMINAE 2012-11-03 05:30
Quoting indian weaver:
stop using obscure acronyms everyone. something like 100 of them must be floating around these days. I know maybe 10 of them, otherwise I skip comments including those unknown to me.


Since everyone on this stream obviously has a computer, search engines can be of great service. Very easy to use as well.

Much easier than reforming every human being using acronyms that you don't know.

It is every person's responsibility to educate him / herself. No one is obligated to provide an education to another.

As far as your "skipping" comments by writers of acronyms that you don't know -
can you see that such authors are *already* writing for people who DO know what such acronyms mean ?

So, it's really not much of a threat to said authors. They won't miss you.

Can't recommend the search engines highly enough.
 
 
0 # NOMINAE 2012-11-03 05:20
Quoting Lowflyin Lolana:
Is God in charge of HAARP?

Or, do you figure that blasting a billion watts of energy at the ionosphere wouldn't have an effect on weather systems?


Yeah, and science shows us that the Earth's magnetic shield is weakening dramatically, for no known *scientific* reason. And, science also acknowledges the fact that Solar Wind (radiation) is fully as deadly as it ever was, and it is the Earth's magnetic field that saves everything on the planet from being "nuked" by Solar Wind. Yup, yup ....

But gawd and angels playing harps ? They have a lot to do with one another in the book of Jewish fairy tales called the old testament. ;>




d"llniht'we
 
 
0 # Patch 2012-11-02 23:42
Aren't you contradicting yourself? Don't you creationists believe the world is only 8,000 years old? As for GOD? Who?
 
 
-48 # phantomww 2012-11-01 15:23
I see that people need gasoline in NJ and NY. Why do those good libs need gas? Are they not driving their volt and prius? Why would they be polluting their air? Who cares if the electricity is out because good libs should all have windmills and solar panels? something just doesn't seem right about this reporting. Also, didn't Obama just state that he has ordered the federal govt to cut threw the red tape and get things done? Doesn't that mean that govt normally is the cause of things not getting done and is in fact wasteful? Why would we need to have a disaster to "get things done"?
 
 
+16 # AndreM5 2012-11-01 16:28
Wow. Just move along, folks. Nothing to see here. I just spared you the effort to read the above post.
 
 
+1 # NOMINAE 2012-11-03 05:36
Quoting AndreM5:
Wow. Just move along, folks. Nothing to see here. I just spared you the effort to read the above post.


Thanks, AndreM5

It would seem that phantomww, along with all of us contributors, might benefit from a famous Lincoln quote during this sesquicentennia l of the Civil War.

Lincoln observed that: "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."

Wise man, that Abe
 
 
+5 # Independentgal 2012-11-01 16:28
And where do you live? And why so mean?
 
 
+5 # gzuckier 2012-11-01 19:56
because if you're mean, you're a righwinger. that's just the way of the world. once a party starts to believe its own lies, it just spirals off into insanity, like that.
 
 
-1 # Lowflyin Lolana 2012-11-01 16:57
nobody likes your comment, but I think you make some pretty good points.
 
 
+5 # X Dane 2012-11-02 00:37
phantom
Stupid people are the reason important things do not get done. And greedy people like the oil, coal and gas industries. They do not want ANY competition from renewable energy, and they have millions to persuade people to act against their own best interest. It obviously worked on YOU.
By the way you "cut through" something, not threw.

And too many people do not wake up to danger, till it bites them in the butt....then they might want to do the right thing....maybe.
 
 
-5 # phantomww 2012-11-02 11:41
Thanks for the correction. I knew it wasn't right when I typed it but just didn't go back and change it. Obviously we are not "throwing" something.

Back to my points: why are both Obama and Christie "getting govt out of the way" IF govt is the answer to our problems? Why do they need to "cut through the red tape"? Why is the "red tape" there? Did you know that Janet Napy has waived the Jones act to allow non union tankers to deliver fuel to NY/NJ? So unions/govt are preventing fuel from getting to the people who need and until the govt ignores the law that hurts the people. Why not get rid of the JOnes act altogether? Can't do thatcuz unions support Dems. Bloomberg has been mayor for how long (11 yrs?) and believes in AGW but what has he done to protect NYC from rising seas? Did not Obama state in Denver when he got the 2008 dem nomination that "today is the day that the seas stop rising and the earth starts to heal"? So was that the waters lowering that flooded the east coast? Sorry, not buying what libs are selling.

Support nat gas and you will see an economic boom here. Renewable energy will not cause that to happen.
 
 
+3 # AndreM5 2012-11-02 12:08
What are you talking about? No one said they are getting GOVT out of the way, they said they are getting OBSTRUCTIONIST PARTISANSHIP out of the way.

They are getting GOVT in gear, doing what O'B and FEMA designed it to do.

Of course we are already AWASH in too much NG, selling it abroad. Your point? In short order we will be trying to convert NG to clean water because all other sources will be too polluted.
 
 
0 # phantomww 2012-11-03 09:31
Andre,

What are you talking about? Did the EPA not just waive the regulation that requires winter gas for NY/NJ in order to get ANY gas to the area? Answer is yes. Did Napy just not waive the Jones Act law? Answer is yes. Did Obama not say for the govt to cut throught the red tape? answer is yes? So all of these actions are getting RID of (temp) govt regulations in order to help with the recovery. These regs are not OBSTRUCTIONIST PARTISANSHIP as you claim because NONE of these actions require any action on the part of Congress thus no partisanship. These actions deal with govt doing its job more efficient. Thus Obama is going around the normal bureauracracy to "get it done". Why is that not the norm? Getting govt out of the way so things are done better, faster and for less cost?
 
 
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 22:14
Some of the greedy people are on our level too.

And they are cutting thru the normal processing that FEMA did in Katrina...they are set up everywhere they can be. That alone is great.
Now the NYC is going to put the Marathon Equipment, tents etc to better use. I believe except for the snivelers who stayed behind, took no steps ahead of time to prevent some damage...ex some NJ people park under their homes...guess what they left their cars and motorcycles and trucks in their garages...they lived near rivers and beaches. One woman today was worried about her pool and having to clean it up, another wanted to know how her home floated away... I cannot believe that there are that many idiots, however we all are at one point or another in our life.

I guess everyone thought the new homes were going to be delivered today. I hope Nit is going to do this.
 
 
+10 # chrisconnolly 2012-11-01 15:28
How long did it take the majority to believe that the world was indeed round? How many flatearthers are left? Too many it seems to allow us to act with a collective intelligence.
 
 
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 22:15
Somewhere in the birthers are those genes
 
 
-10 # charlemaign 2012-11-01 15:32
And still for someone with a real solution to the problem but broke off his butt has no place to go to get public comment by qualified people because i do not have even $1500 for a peer review. Even those that have gone over it state that it's not in there area of specialization and truth is nobody is specialized in it because if there was we'd have a solution. Looking for some organization to take it over if not help because i'm so far incapable of doing it. Just disgusted.
Involves generating/capt uring/controlli ng/dissapating hurricanes by controlling the lower part of the eye wall with a $5 billion 20 mile diameter structure. This will generate clouds to reflect the suns ray's back into space and provide water for agriculture and drinking. Much more to it but there is no peer review for this and no organization set up to assist me.
My project, plankton blooming, seaweed plantations and flood control done my way need to be implemented immediately, errr, 10 years ago.
http://projectcharles.org/
 
 
+8 # Underledge 2012-11-01 15:39
It's nice to talk about doing something about climate change but how much are Americans willing to do? Should we limit each family to only one car and that car must get at least 50 miles per gallon, with any private vehicle getting under that amount illegal to be driven. Fracking for natural gas will no longer occur thus limiting available supply. Eliminating the "throw away" economy will certainly help greatly. Do we really need 30 or 40 different brands of something? Growing all food locally would benefit everyone, thus ending the 2 or 3 thousand mile trip from source to table. What family needs to heat a 3 thousand plus square foot home? Exactly what luxuries are we willing to give up?
 
 
+1 # handmjones 2012-11-01 16:26
Would Americans give up anything without a Chinese commitment to reduce their huge carbon footprint?..... and will the Chinese give up any of their newly won lifestyle gains when their footprint is still just a fraction of ours?
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 22:19
Chian criticizing...o nce they were good environmentalis ts...now they want more cars.
They have refineries for tar sand oil

I think World Council must put boycott on us and others. Fines daily until we get it together
 
 
+5 # LizR 2012-11-01 16:50
Quoting Underledge:
It's nice to talk about doing something about climate change but how much are Americans willing to do? Should we limit each family to only one car and that car must get at least 50 miles per gallon, with any private vehicle getting under that amount illegal to be driven. Fracking for natural gas will no longer occur thus limiting available supply. Eliminating the "throw away" economy will certainly help greatly. Do we really need 30 or 40 different brands of something? Growing all food locally would benefit everyone, thus ending the 2 or 3 thousand mile trip from source to table. What family needs to heat a 3 thousand plus square foot home? Exactly what luxuries are we willing to give up?

Thing is, if we don't get our fingers out and curb our excesses, our grandchildren will either hate us or be dead. I'm not keen on either alternative.
 
 
+12 # Lowflyin Lolana 2012-11-01 17:05
People need to stop believing the solution is somewhere else and someone else's responsibility.

Live and grow locally. Put the phones down. Give up technologies that fill the air with radio-frequency radiation and magnetic fields. Stop the circle jerk over space technology and come to Earth and the present.
Look at JPL all excited about Mars and right in their backyard is the Hahamongna Preserve, rare riparian habitat that will soon be destroyed so Pasadena Soccer Moms can have more soccer fields for the rugrats to play on.

None of this is ever going to happen. We wiped the Indians off their own land, and we believe in the notion that land can be owned. Unless people are willing to radically re-think their relationship to the planet that sustains us, we are screwed, and even leaving comments like this is pointless.
Go ahead and thumb me down, I'm not leaving comments hoping for thumbs up here.
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 22:21
Excellent...mos t people are fadists, spoiled and as clueless as the sheeple that follow GOP
Sad because living simply does work I downsized, looking for better ways to improve. I will back Geothermal as one way to cut carbon emmissions. Solar is my next.
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 22:17
Thanks I know Rodale has been trying to help people since the fities
Tooooo much effort, I got excuses.

People are as guilty as Industry
 
 
0 # dlet60 2012-11-01 15:40
McKibben conveniently fails to mention chemtrails, HAARP &/or Fukushima. What do these mad scientists, politicians, banksters know and what are they doing to the rest of us?
 
 
0 # Lowflyin Lolana 2012-11-01 17:05
Themselves as well. No bunker will save anyone in a disaster. In fact if they go in the bunker I will fart in their air hole.
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 22:22
Why thumb down????
 
 
+1 # happycamper690 2012-11-01 16:36
Bigger (and more powerful) than the oil industry is the financial industry which through its holdings in insurance will suffer intolerable losses as climate change brings its wrath ever more upon us. Someday I predict the villans of Wall Street will save the day to save their own hides.
 
 
+10 # LizR 2012-11-01 16:49
Nice to see some Americans can spot an elephant in the room.

Time for the spirit that put men on the Moon to do something more useful than declaring war on drugs and terror, or Iraq and Afghanistan.

Come on, Obama! By the end of the decade, I pledge that we will reduce the carbon in the Earth's atmosphere to pre-industrial levels...

Not quite as big a spectacular as putting a man on the Moon and "winning" a non-existence space race, but a damn sight more useful.
 
 
+3 # handmjones 2012-11-01 20:30
Pre-industrial levels??? Are you kidding? We have reached a temperature where the permafrost is melting back and methane is rising from the tundra all around the north - say 10 million or so sq. km. still to melt. Also the northern sea floor is covered with methyl clathrate which is giving off more methane also all our rice farming, fish farming and animal husbandry and waste disposal give off methane. Simaltaneously the solubility of CO2 in the oceans is decreasing with rising temperature. It's totally impossible for us to give up fossil fuel in the near tern and even if we could warming is past the tipping point.
 
 
+2 # hoodwinkednomore 2012-11-01 16:57
Wow. A bunch of playground bantering, bullying and name-calling. I'm with you, Dick Stein (from a friend in Amherst.) Bill McKibben has devoted a huge amount of his life to researching, studying, and deciphering the science for us so that we can understand what has been happening. Mother Earth speaks a different language...it is entirely up to us who we'll listen to but the point is that we ought to start listening!
 
 
+4 # Kathymoi 2012-11-01 17:03
Yes! Yes! abd Yes. Go after the big fossil fuels corporations to pay the expenses of clean up and compensation for all the losses caused by Hurricane Sandy, in the US and elsewhere. And then continue. Let the corporations pay the costs of their business instead of shifting the costs over to the public--the nice people who donate to the red cross, and the people who just loose and never get any compensation for their loss. They pay with their life, their home, their health. Let the corporations who are emitting carbon at an obscene rate into the environment pay the costs of global warming. Costs to the environment SHOULD be paid by corporations upfront. If they paid what they owe the environment, the fossil fuel corporations would not be able to claim that fossil fuels are less expensive than renewable clean energy sources.
 
 
+2 # kalpal 2012-11-01 17:03
I feel certain that the GOP will not back down from its position that this weather is nothing new. Big oil will easily find a "scientist" who will explain that such events are as common as can be and that no one need panic till at least Florida is entirely under 6 feet of water or Manhattan is just another Venice with 5th avenue being just a nice canal.
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 22:24
Sheeple will accept it.
 
 
0 # spercepolnes 2012-11-01 18:00
Just wait - the "elite" are probably figuring a way they can turn things for a profit. When they've done that - you won't be able to shut them up about climate change! In fact, it will probably be enforced in their way, regardless!
Cynical?
Moi?
 
 
+7 # omacindy 2012-11-01 18:02
Bill speaks my sentiments exactly, but I would add a couple of points: 1. Going after the fossil fuel industry through consumer power is also critical: reduce, re-use, recycle everything we can to diminish the amount of new production, especially from global trade, which uses immense amounts of fuel for transport;
2. Count and then take the money we saved and use it to invest in alternative energy, infrastructure employment that will mitigate global warming, and human community to keep us happy without excessive consumption of un-needed goods.
 
 
+5 # giraffee2012 2012-11-01 18:42
Alternative energy would cost the OIL companies money, so that is out.

Use of plastic for everything from A to Z would cost the OIL companies $, so that's out.

Not spraying toxins on or in our food would cost the CHEMICAL companies $, so that's out.

Public transportation everywhere would require "government" to borrow $ (no revenue for that), so that's out.

Clean air would require EPA to enforce companies in USA to not spew their waste (whatever) into air, waters, etc., and that's probably full of the 1% people owning these companies, so that's out.

China might not want to clean their air since we DO send much of our stuff to be recycled there (and to India) which is income for villages, so that's out.

I think I rambled too much although there are more items we COULD do --

BOTTOM line, it's better to deny global anything (warming or more cold, wind, whatever) than to make the polluters stop polluting because they could lose revenue.

Maybe when the oceans rise enough to ruin their summer beach homes - nah - that won't convince FAUX viewers that anything is wrong with our dear earth and the top 1% can buy property wherever Newt said he'd build a city (MARS?)

VOTE OBAMA - and as M. Moore wrote - take at least 1 person who is too lazy to vote with you to vote- 2012 is a very very important elections. (I thought I had a case of vertigo but it was just Mitts flopping around that makes me dizzy)
 
 
+3 # Corvette-Bob 2012-11-01 18:45
Americans will never deal with this issue. All they care about is the price of gas at the pump. Their solution is "dill baby, drill" Man will keep consuming things and poluting the planet until life cannot be sustained here. The planet may take 100s of thousands of years to cure itself after man has destroyed themselves and the animals and vegetation that ha come to live here.
 
 
-11 # MidwestTom 2012-11-01 20:41
Record Ice growth in Antarctic this year, even though ice is shrinking in the Arctic. Ten last week comes a study showing from data, not projections, that the world stopped warming 16 years ago.
 
 
+3 # handmjones 2012-11-02 06:57
Sounds important. Reference please.
 
 
0 # panhead49 2012-11-02 09:28
Quoting MidwestTom:
Record Ice growth in Antarctic this year, even though ice is shrinking in the Arctic. Ten last week comes a study showing from data, not projections, that the world stopped warming 16 years ago.


Looked up why the Antartic ice shelf is growing and the Artic is shrinking. Little place called NASA is quite informational. Antartic is 'growing' because there are stronger circumpolar winds that blow the ice outward increasing extent. Check out NSIDC also.
 
 
0 # suziemama 2012-11-01 21:14
So how bad does it have to get before people will vote the candidate who will actually address climate change - Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party Candidate for President?
 
 
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 22:27
Greens I remember them starting...they have done nothing in twenty five years but talk.
Many are as snobs and elite as the TP
 
 
+5 # Milarepa 2012-11-02 01:26
Because as important as elections are, they're not the biggest battle.

An understatement. If someone is caught in a tunnel as the water surges in and you have a chance to save that person you don't ask Are you Republican or Democrat. Politics are quickly becoming irrelevant. Mother Nature has started playing hardball. Now it's a matter of how to survive. Anything less than that on an election platform is counterproducti ve. And insulting!
 
 
+6 # seeuingoa 2012-11-02 04:19
The Americans are very slow to react
unless there is a catastrophe right
in front of them.

Religious stupidity (God is in charge!)

Low attention span (forgetting about
previous military interventions.)

Now you got your reminder about the climate, so please wake up and start
the peaceful change of a system that
needs a serious make over.

HURRY UP!
 
 
+1 # Smokey 2012-11-02 07:50
This is a very odd conversation about climate change and how to respond. I've commented on this topic before but, once again, I'll raise some big points.

1) In 2007, the climate change issue was "big news." When the 2008 economic crisis started to develop, the public began to lose interest and - very quickly - the politicians followed.

What happened? Why did the public's interest in climate change DECREASE?
We can't blame the big corporations for the whole problem. We need to accept some responsibility for the problem.
(The "we" refers to environmentalis ts who are concerned about human rights.)

2) Many of the "solutions" proposed for the climate change problem are "trickle down " solutions, at best.... The plan goes as follows: Stop using fossil fuels and, maybe, in a few decades, the planet will heal itself and everything will be fine in Ecoptia.

Well, that's nice. However, while we're waiting for Congress to develop a new energy program, millions of people are facing problems caused by unemployment, loss of housing, rising costs for education and health care, etc. The elderly population is growing and Grandma knows that she's not going to get a job installing solar panels.

What should progressives be doing in this situation? First suggestion: Try something new. Something that begins with real concern for human experience and economic justice. "If you want peace, start working for justice."
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 22:29
People started losing interest with ReaGun..Bush's no better....
When it was fadist and cutesy people were all for it, then they went back to buying stuff.
 
 
+1 # mainescorpio 2012-11-02 11:54
An irrefutable force (man induced climate change)has met a insurmountable object (economic man). Economic man holds the power, authority, money and Ego and will continue to try to be an insurmountable force over nature. It's in their genes. Social man represents the only obstacle but he is to weak to effect needed change. Good Bye to a habitable world.
 
 
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-02 22:31
Maine I know the State and the beauty of New England I cannot imagine the destruction of America we have allowed.

We can change but will we.
 

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