The Long, Hot Summer

Regardless of the claims made by Neocon Luddites, global climate change is a very real thing. The good news is there are specific measures that can be taken to reduce the rate of climate disruption, if not reverse, the current and future damage from decades of barely-regulated fossil fuel consumption, among other toxins. But the requirements for reduction, and the sacrifices required, will probably fall into the “unpleasant” category for most American consumers who are slaves to a disposable lifestyle. A group of energy experts has presented a report to the United Nations detailing the steps the 15 top global economies could take to advance economically while still “protecting” the environment.

The implementation of their plan is likely an academic point. Remember the Kyoto protocols? Didn’t think so. Too many science deniers in positions of power. And too many others who know the disaster is coming, but will do nothing for fear of losing their corporate support. So what happens when nothing happens? What happens when 2050 rolls around and our children and grandchildren are left with an unspeakable disaster?
The New York Times has more:

Here’s what your future will look like if we are to have a shot at preventing devastating climate change.

Within about 15 years every new car sold in the United States will be electric. In fact, by midcentury more than half of the American economy will run on electricity. Up to 60 percent of power might come from nuclear sources. And coal’s footprint will shrink drastically, perhaps even disappear from the power supply.

This course, created by a team of energy experts, was unveiled on Tuesday in a report for the United Nations that explores the technological paths available for the world’s 15 main economies to both maintain reasonable rates of growth and cut their carbon emissions enough by 2050 to prevent climatic havoc.It offers a sobering conclusion. We might be able to pull it off. But it will take an overhaul of the way we use energy, and a huge investment in the development and deployment of new energy technologies. Significantly, it calls for an entirely different approach to international diplomacy on the issue of how to combat climate change.

The teams, one in each of the 15 countries, looked at what would be necessary to keep the atmosphere from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius, 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above the preindustrial average of the late 19th century, a target that most of the world committed to at the climate summit meeting in Copenhagen five years ago. To do so, CO2 emissions from industry and energy use would have to fall to at most 1.6 tons a year for every person on the planet by midcentury.

That is less than a tenth of annual American emissions per person today and less than a third of the world average.

It certainly seems a reasonable plan, but it would require not only mutual agreement among the global (capitalist) power brokers, but also a complete change in US policy toward Big Oil. Hard to imagine a scenario where our utterly incompetent and criminal legislators turned their backs on the petrol lobby and focused on clean energy instead. If you think it’s possible, watch (or re-watch) the film “Who Killed the Electric Car.”

And, sadly, if you think we’ll see meaningful change in the climate disruption policies in place in this corporate-owned country, I have some beautiful soon-to-be-sunken Gulf front property for ‘ya . . . .

– KBM

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This article has 17 comments

  1. Dot in Seattle

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/10/ronald-lee-haskell_n_5573858.html “Ronald Lee Haskell’s second amendment rights are more important that his family’s right to live!” Wayne LaPierre. Ronnie will make plenty of friends in prison when they find out that he murdered 4 little kids. The other prisoners will be more than happy to show him how much they hate child killers. The Aryan Brotherhood isn’t going to protect him either. They might kill him before anybody else gets the chance.

  2. kath

    Wow, I had an advanced math class in high school w/Brad Snell (Who Killed the Electric Car). I was wildly jealous as he had total recall (not, which I’ve learned, an entirely a good thing — who wants to remember the bad stuff, eh?)

    But it just goes to show, our inner self, our youngSTAR knowledge is NOT to be discarded carelessly.

    Peeps, try something small — a few seeds or one tomato plant. When the bad times arrive, you’ll have a head start. And SAVE ALL YOUR SEEDS!

  3. Greg East of Toledo

    In Kathy’s blog above, the New York Times says: ” . . . by midcentury 60% of our electrical power will come from nuclear sources.” This to me is an arrogant & most dangerous prospect. They are in denial about what has already transpired at sights connected to nuclear power plants around the world. And they still don’t know what to do with the radioactive waste. Here in Ohio, I am sandwiched between to nuke plants.

    It suggests to me that the NY Times is just a gatekeeper for the status quo. Anyone who even implies that these things are safe has got to have a hidden agenda.

  4. Denny NNWofLA

    Imagine, if you can, the vast amount of American emissions
    that would be cut if the right wingers and religious crazies
    would just ‘Shut the Fuck Up’, even for a day.

    Dot, respectfully, while I never have given a thought as to
    what you eat, I must admit to picturing the scene that would
    follow should you ever get clocked by an airborne fish flying
    through the air at Pikes Fish Market. I can see you hitting
    the floor yelling, “FISH! FISH! MOTHERFUCKING FISH!!!!

  5. Dot in Seattle

    Denny, You’re right. I would yell “MOTHERFUCKING FISH!” then I would get off of the floor and scream “WHO THE FUCK HIT ME WITH THAT GODDAMN FISH?!” When I do go to Pike Place Market, I avoid the Pike Place Fish Market. There’s always a shitload of tourists hanging around watching fish being thrown all over the goddamn place. I know that if I did get smacked by a fish, somebody’s ass would get kicked across the parking lot. I do love the market though. Lots of goodies and cool stuff to buy. You could spend the whole day taste testing the different yummies that are available. :D Good way to spend the day. :D

  6. Person

    We are QUICKLY running out of time, and water!

    From an article by James Nash:

    Lake Mead, the man-made reservoir that supplies 90 percent of the water for 2 million people in the Las Vegas area, has been reduced by drought to the lowest level since it was filled in 1937, according to the federal government.

    The lake, now at 39 percent of capacity, has been dropping since 2012, according to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation data, as much of the western U.S. has suffered the most serious drought in decades. The shortfall is endangering water supplies to the residents and 43 million annual visitors to the driest metropolitan area in the country.

  7. Person

    More drought news:

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Regulators in drought-stricken California are proposing stringent new conservation measures to limit outdoor water use, including fines of up to $500 a day for using a hose without a shut-off nozzle.

    The most populous U.S. state is suffering its third year of drought and in January Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency, allowing the state to request federal aid.

  8. Person

    Being from Los Angeles, I have now decided to cut back 75 percent on my lawn watering, and I am looking in to probably getting my lawns (what is remaining of them) with a combination of gravel-scape and synthetic lawns. That way I will not use ANY water for my lawns, as well as cut down my maintenance of the yards to almost zero.

    I’m telling you all, this drought situation is getting ultimately serious out here in the West!

    Take notes, everybody….this is about adapting…in order just to survive!

  9. radiolistener

    Catching up on last night’s podcast with my morning coffee. Just chiming in to say I completely agree about the democratic party, which sold out its liberal base long ago.

    And I have no illusions about Hillary. She is a neocon and a corporatist (strong ties to Monsanto, just for starters). Unfortunately she has also been “anointed” for 2016. I’ve seen some of her supporters get very defensive out on the Internets and claim that people hold her to a higher standard because she’s a woman. While that may be true for some, and while I’m quite sure we’re going to be forced to endure the most hateful sexist rhetoric from the right wing during the elections, I don’t hold Hillary to a higher standard because of her gender. I hold her to a higher standard because she puts a “D” after her name.

    Anyway it doesn’t matter because the national elections are a beauty pageant these days, offering Americans nothing but the illusion of choice.

    I sincerely agree with Mike about focusing on local elections. The system is rotting from the top, but maybe there’s still hope for local governance. It’s not much, but it seems to be all we have at the moment.

  10. radiolistener

    Also, dovetailing off last night’s discussion about the de-funding of public schools… charter schools are a total scam — a grift — funneling public funds into private coffers. The money is not used for the benefit of the kids or the local community, it gets vacuumed upward to administrators, who answer to no one, because charters are mostly unregulated (which illustrates the problem with all privatization).

    And very often, these administrators have criminal backgrounds (a feature, not a bug).

    The following article in the Hartford Courant illustrates the rampant corruption in the charter system:

    Hustlers Cash in on Charter School Craze

    http://touch.courant.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-80715880/

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