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The Standard

Obama acts – at last

Written By: - Date published: 7:24 am, June 27th, 2013 - 96 comments
Categories: climate change, global warming, us politics - Tags: , , ,

What a wasted opportunity the Obama presidency has been. He was elected with a mandate for change. At his first inaugural speech he spoke strongly about the risks of climate change and the need for urgent action. His first term slipped away with nothing done. It has taken until now for Obama to finally act:

Barack Obama pledges to bypass Congress to tackle climate change

US president says country is already paying price of inaction and backs nuclear energy and fracking in comprehensive strategy

Barack Obama has taken an historic step forward in confronting climate change, asserting his power as US president to cut carbon pollution and protect future generations from catastrophic global warming.

In a speech on Tuesday at Georgetown University, delivered outdoors on a sweltering hot day, Obama went further than any previous US president in outlining a comprehensive strategy for dealing with climate change. He also said he would continue to press the issue as a priority of his second term even in the face of implacable opposition from Republicans in Congress.

“I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing,” Obama said to a gathering of students.

It may already be too late.  But trying to take action is still the only sane option.

Obama outlined a broad range of measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions and promote the development of renewable energy, protect coastlines and cities from flooding and sea-level rise, and encourage efforts to reach a global climate deal.

The over-arching goal was to put the US on track to meet its commitment to cut carbon emissions 17% from 2005 levels by the end of the decade.

Here’s the massive game-changer in political terms:

But Obama’s boldest move by far was the decision to bypass a deadlocked Congress and issue an executive memo to the Environmental Protection Agency, calling for new rules curbing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

The Tea Party / Republican Party in Congress are a bunch of anti-science crazies who will never agree to any action to tackle climate change.  But Obama doesn’t need them.  Thanks to a ruling in 2009 (that I wrote about here) – Obama can instruct the EPA to act under already existing legislation.  He doesn’t need the approval of Congress / Senate.  It has taken him a long, long 4 years to use that power, but use it he finally has.

Such measures were long overdue, Obama said. “Power plants can still dump limitless carbon pollution into the air for free,” he said. “That’s not right, that’s not safe and it needs to stop.”

Curbing emissions from power plants would be the single-most significant action against climate change in Obama’s power. Power plants are responsible for a third of America’s greenhouse gas emissions.

… As anticipated, however, the measure ran into fierce opposition from Republicans and industry, even before Obama had delivered his speech. But the president pushed back on the idea that he was overstepping by ordering the EPA to act. “The idea of setting higher pollution standards for our power plants is not new.  It’s just time for Washington to catch up with the rest of the country,” he said.

Obama also said he was willing to work across the political divide but would not tolerate attempts to cast doubt on the science underlying climate change. “We don’t have time for a meeting of the flat earth society,” Obama said to applause.

An apt comparison.  At this point climate change denial is the modern day equivalent of flat-earthism (without the redeeming feature of quaint eccentricity).

With Tuesday’s speech, however, Obama appears to have firmly adopted climate action as his own brand.

Administration officials briefing reporters on the climate plan said the White House hoped to propose the rules for existing power plants by June 2014, finalising the rules one year later. They said proposed rules for new plants could be forthcoming as early as September. That timetable could set in place mechanisms to deliver meaningful cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by the time Obama leaves office.

Sounds good but:

But there are bound to be legal and political challenges, and it was not immediately clear how stringent the new power plant rules would be. It was also unclear how the actions promised by Obama would play out in the long term.

Come on Obama.  Last chance.  Make it count.  Please.

96 comments on “Obama acts – at last”

  1. muzza 1

    r0b, are you saying that Obama bypassing congress, yet again (war – kinetic interventions), is something that you support?

    You’re aware of the following, right?

    1: Obama, first POTUS to chair the UNSC
    2: Obama, owned/controlled by the lobbyists who fund him
    3: Obama, reading (from the prompter), what is put in front of him
    4: Obama, doing what his funders have instructed him to do

    What I find the height of hypocrisy, r0b, is that people are so certain in what they have been sold, so certain that the *science*, they believe in, is the *righteous science*, so certain that they *know enough*, that their position is correct, so eager to have the world *turn* in the positive direction, they will see democracy bypassed, what’s left of the US Constitution, kicked in, even further, and cheer on a war criminal, in doing so!

    People need to be cautious in what they *wish for*, because you do know, there are power games, far beyond the imagination of people here, myself included, that are directing what happens to this planet, it people, and habitats.

    Do you have confidence in *those people*, r0b, despite their track record of wars, pollution, death etc?

    Myself, I have no confidence in the outcome, whatever the sale pitch, but I accept that the outcomes have already been decided, and exist, even before we know what they are!

    Better cross your fingers!

    • r0b 1.1

      r0b, are you saying that Obama bypassing congress, yet again (war – kinetic interventions), is something that you support?

      Yes. He’s operating completely within the context of perfectly sensible law, and he’s addressing a problem that desperately needs addressing on a global scale. How could I not support him?

      What I find the height of hypocrisy, r0b, is that people are so certain in what they have been sold, so certain that the *science*, they believe in

      Yeah, I believe in science. Do you?

      they will see democracy bypassed

      This is not bypassing democracy, Obama is acting completely within the law.

      You hate the guy? Fine. I’m not a fan either. But when he takes the right action, I will support him.

      • muzza 1.1.1

        Yeah, I believe in science. Do you?

        Not to the point where it removes caution, and not to the extent that I believe, *science*, has not become at least, as controlled industry, as any other, if not more so, for obvious reasons.
        It goes back to what I have said many times, that the *science types* here, attach their own ego to the industry, believing it to be altruistic, believing it will *save the world*, when the reality is, that *science*, has got us in many of the problems we now face!
        Like any other industry, the R&D, and outputs are strictly controlled, corrupted in many cases, and no doubt, hidden from its optimal uses!

        This is not bypassing democracy, Obama is acting completely within the law.

        *The Law* – Which is exactly what, I really need to know! The Law, written/owned by those who do not give a rats, about the rest of us. Quoting *The Law*, r0B, is weak, and I would have given you more credit than such a lame statement!

        You hate the guy? Fine. I’m not a fan either. But when he takes the right action, I
        will support him.

        I don’t use the *H* word, nor do I associate with it in any emotive way.

        As for taking the *right actions* – You need to have a look into who the beneficiaries of the *Obamas right actions*, are going to be, once you have spent some time understanding what the *future* looks like, as directed by General Electric et al, do another post, let’s see how it looks then!

        • r0b 1.1.1.1

          Not to the point where it removes caution, and not to the extent that I believe, *science*, has not become at least, as controlled industry

          Then let me ask more specifically if you believe the science of anthropogenic climate change?

          Quoting *The Law*, r0B, is weak,

          While I appreciate the many problems with the way the law is formulated and applied, I have to ask you what your alternative is? Anarchy?

          You need to have a look into who the beneficiaries of the *Obamas right actions*, are going to be

          In this case, the planet.

          • travellerev 1.1.1.1.1

            Then let me ask more specifically if you believe the science of anthropogenic climate change?

            What if my answer was: “yes, I do but while discussing anthropogenic climatic changes I would like to include man made weather modification science in those discussions and how much that is modifying our weather patterns globally”.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Then you’ll need to come with something other than vague assertions and nudges and winks, like say, oh, I don’t know, some credible evidence of widespread long-term use of such technology for example.

              • Let’s start with a simple Wiki page here

                and start adding little things like this one here

                And this one here

                Or this one from china here

                It all adds up doesn’t it.

                I dare say that if you believe that factories can change the weather, hundreds of weather modification companies can do it too.

                Even a knucklehead, anonymous or otherwise can see that

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Right, so all you have to do now is propose a mechanism whereby this affects climate and see if your notions match observations, eh.

                • weka

                  Now how about some credible evidence that those weather manipulation technologies are being used in ways that are contributing to climate change (I assume that’s what you mean by “modifying our weather patterns globally”).

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.1.2

          “…as directed by General Electric et al…”

          What, you mean electricity generators are going to rule the world? What will the HAARP group and Buzz Aldrin cabal have to say about that?

  2. karol 2

    I was puzzled b y this bit, which is included as part of the (allegedly) great approach to climate change:

    backs nuclear energy and fracking in comprehensive strategy

    And wondered if I’d understood it right. This does not seem like part of laudable climate strategy.

    But, I see from comments on open mike today, that it is indeed what Obama is proposing.

    • r0b 2.1

      Yes. Fracking is madness in this context (I’m awaiting clarification), and I’m no fan of nuclear. Two steps forward, one step back?

      • Enough is Enough 2.1.1

        I would say nunclear is three steps back

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          Yep, nuclear power won’t help at all. People want it because they think that they’ll still have the energy budget that they have now if they have it.

        • jaymam 2.1.1.2

          Many years ago, I assumed that the nuclear power industry was funding the propaganda war against coal and oil, and that the bankers and speculators were the main people pushing for carbon emissions trading. I fear I am right. Remember when the government gleefully said thet NZ would collect a $500 million credit from the rest of the world for carbon trading? How did that go?

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2.1

            Remember when the government gleefully said thet NZ would collect a $500 million credit from the rest of the world for carbon trading?

            Nope, can’t say I do although there was the reason why NZ pushed for forests to be counted in the Kyoto Protocol. Something about how our forestry would save us.

            How did that go?

            Our forestry is in decline.

            • jaymam 2.1.1.2.1.1

              This is the big problem – people forget important history.

              Google links to Hansard with the $500 million claim but the page is missing.

              http://tvnz.co.nz/content/592536/425823.xhtml
              June 17, 2005

              “Business New Zealand chief executive Phil O’Reilly says last year the then Energy Minister, Hodgson, predicted a surplus of carbon tax credits worth $500 million, and made much of this supposed advantage of New Zealand being an early signatory to the Kyoto Protocol.

              But the latest forecasts show New Zealand will miss its emissions target and will instead need to buy around $500 million worth of credits to cover the shortfall, O’Reilly says.”

      • andyS 2.1.2

        Given that wind and solar cannot supply the world’s energy needs, and you are presumably anti-coal as well as anti-natural gas and anti-nuclear, how do you suggest we power the world?

        • r0b 2.1.2.1

          Wind, solar, tide and geothermal can do heaps, especially with more efficient solar conversion (it’s improving).

          Other promising sources might include thorium reactors:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium-based_nuclear_power

          and fusion:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_power
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER

          • infused 2.1.2.1.1

            Give us a real alternative rob.
            Wind/Solar/Tide don’t cut it.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Define “don’t cut it”. They are definitely part of the solution. In the real world that is, not your tiny echo chamber.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1.1.2

              Nothing is going to cut it after fossil fuels deplete. Get used to it*.

              *The exception is if there is a massive breakthrough in nuclear fusion power generation in the next 30 years. But that breakthrough has always been 30 years away…

            • r0b 2.1.2.1.1.3

              Infused – suggest you actually read my comment and follow the links.

              CV – the ITER project looks hopeful (my last link above).

              • Colonial Viper

                Thanks r0b.

                I reckon a good acid test for new power technology is when the first 10 MWe to 50 MWe facility gets added to a grid somewhere in the world. When that happens I reckon that widespread adoption could occur within 10-20 years.

                Until then however, chances are that commercialisation and adoption is *much* further away than that.

          • andyS 2.1.2.1.2

            Ok, sorry I got the wrong end of the stick. I am pretty interested in the prospect of Thorium and LFTR technology, and have been advocating it for sometime now

        • weka 2.1.2.2

          “Given that wind and solar cannot supply the world’s energy needs, and you are presumably anti-coal as well as anti-natural gas and anti-nuclear, how do you suggest we power the world?”

          How about we use less power?

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.3

          Actually, renewable energy could provide the world with enough electricity to run it. The question is more if we’d bother with the real uneconomic things like cars.

          What it can’t do is provide and exponentially increasing amount of power.

          • weka 2.1.2.3.1

            Solar powered bras for charging cell phones? Really? (and let’s remember that the bras and solar panels were all made with fossil fuel energy). I think you will have to do better than that Draco. That article is lightweight and promotional, and doesn’t even answer its own questions.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.3.1.1

              This technology is based on a very old fashioned thermal characteristic between different metals.

              http://sectionhiker.com/biolite-campstove-the-substance-beyond-the-hype/

              • weka

                To add to the reviewers content, another good thing about it is that it could be used as a sold example of badly designed consumerist greenwashed crap that serves to demonstrate we are at the end of the world.

                😉

                Didn’t see the thermal explanation, but why not include rocket stove tech at least to improve the efficiency of the fire?

                • Colonial Viper

                  I think the device has a fan at the bottom of the burner unit which increases burning efficiency a lot.

                  • weka

                    But according to the reviewer, the fan runs on the power being generated, and the power being generated is prioritised to the fan rather than the device charger. Pretty daft when they could have used passive tech instead.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.3.1.2

              (and let’s remember that the bras and solar panels were all made with fossil fuel energy).

              Yep, true but once the renewables take over the generation of power they won’t be.

              http://www.amiiko.com/world/energy/solar_energy_striking_earth

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.2

      There is a current debate going on, starting with Howarth et al 2010 – Methane Emissions in Natural Gas Systems, Cathles et al’s response, etc.

      Until Howarth et al’s challenge, methane was being more-or-less universally heralded as a “bridge fuel” – which probably explains Obama’s support for fracking.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Indeed, nuclear is a huge generator of GHGs in terms of plant construction, fuel preparation, and eventual decommissioning – a process which often takes a decade or more while the plant is shut down and producing no energy.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      I should add, Obama is very likely to still approve the Keystone XL pipeline project to bring Canadian tar sands heavy oil to US refineries. Mind you, the large quantities of GHGs produced during tar sands extraction get counted in Canada’s total, not the US, so he can do that.

    • weka 3.2

      “I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing,” Obama said to a gathering of students.

      “But I will leave you with a big pile of nuclear waste that you can hopefully still find somewhere to dump, and that you hopefully still have the technological resources to look after safely once the cheap oil runs out. Good luck with that.”

      There’s also the the issue of using the last of the cheap oil to create more polluting energy sources, instead of using it to transition to lower polluting ‘renewables’.

      Nevertheless, I agree r0b, we can but hope he continues to do something.

    • andyS 3.3

      Wind farms use 5 times as much concrete and steel per mW generated compared to nuclear

      • Rosetinted 3.3.1

        andyS
        How safe is the waste from wind farms, and what is it?
        What sort of poisonous half-life has it, and how long before it reaches that level, and how long before it is completely neutral?
        These are important points so don’t throw in clever sharp remarks about an important actually vital matter or you might cut yourself. So sad.

        • andyS 3.3.1.1

          One of the products used in wind energy is neodymium, which is only mined in China at great environmental cost.

          Ironically, neodymium is one of the by-products (“waste”, if you like), of the Thorium fuel cycle

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.3.1.1.1

            Really? It’s so great to have an unbiased expert like Andy [r0b: no speculation on real names please] who’s so well informed. Is there no alternative? Is there no research into alternatives? Do all windmills use rare earth minerals? How does it affect the environmental impact compared to say, hydro? Or coal?

            Or do the answers to those questions undermine the story you’re trying to concoct?

            • andyS 3.3.1.1.1.1

              Unlike you “one anonymous knucklehead”, I don’t feel the need to post your full name to this blog without your permission

              However, if you wish to make veiled threats against me for providing the best factual information I have, then be my guest.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Oh, sorry Andy: you were quite open about it last time. I think it’s important that people realise that your name is associated with transparent dishonesty on this subject, so that your reputation totally undermines your credibility wherever you go.

                Cheers.

                • andyS

                  I don’t know who you are “One Anonymous KnuckleHead”, but my concern for my reputation on this blog is non-existent.

                  The facts about neodymium and the Thorium cycle can be found here,

                  for example.

                  By the way, when you say “Oh, sorry Andy: you were quite open about it last time. I think it’s important that people realise that your name is associated with transparent dishonesty on this subject”, I am most interested in you filling us in with the details

                  Feel free to make stuff up

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                    I play a little game. I see One Anonymous Knucklehead’s name in the comments sidebar and bet the nearest person to me that, when we click on the comment, it will be bitter and snide.

                    I have won $23.50 so far.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    The facts are not in dispute. It’s just that we don’t have time for a meeting of the flat earth society, mendacity boy.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    Andy, let’s just say I think you’re “an illiterate tr*ll who is incapable of rational thought”, shall we. or do we need to dredge up further context?

              • Draco T Bastard

                providing the best factual information I have

                You haven’t made any factual information available – only lies and distortions.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.1.2

            One of the products used in wind energy is neodymium, which is only mined in China at great environmental cost.

            More bollocks from an ignoramus.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neodymium#Occurrence_and_production

            The main mining areas are in China, the United States, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, and Australia.

            I especially liked this bit:

            Although it belongs to the rare earth metals, neodymium is not rare at all. Its abundance in the Earth crust is about 38 mg/kg, which is the second highest among rare-earth elements, following cerium.

            And then there’s this.

            There is no recorded New Zealand production of REE minerals for sale. Large ilmenite beach sand deposits near Westport, and at Barrytown north of Greymouth,
            contain minor amounts of monazite which could be recovered as a by-product of proposed ilmenite and gold production.

            The similarities of the detachment-related mineralisationin the northern Paparoa Range to REE-bearing Olympic Dam style mineral deposits invites further investigation, as do the elevated Ce, La, Y-contents of the Mandamus Complex.

            So it’s possible that we have credible resources of it here in NZ.

            Then there’s the simple fact that we don’t actually have to use permanent magnets with neodymium in them. Sure, they wouldn’t be quite as good but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

            Ironically, neodymium is one of the by-products (“waste”, if you like), of the Thorium fuel cycle

            Nope, REE just happen to accumulate in deposits with lots of thorium in them. That PDF I linked to has this in it:

            Although no production figures are known, Nicholson (1955) estimated that during gold dredging operations, 0.1 ton of uranothorite was being recovered per week. Based on this estimate and assay figures of Hutton (1950), Caffyn (1971) estimated that 147 pounds of thorium oxide must have been produced each week.

            So, thorium in NZ was a by-product of digging for gold.

            • andyS 3.3.1.1.2.1

              Actually what I meant was that it is only “processed” in China at great environmental cost, not “mined”.

              Slip of the keyboard, sorry

              However, this article in The Independent covers what I was trying to say anyway

              http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/concern-as-china-clamps-down-on-rare-earth-exports-1855387.html

              “Neodymium is one of 17 metals crucial to green technology. There’s only one snag – China produces 97% of the world’s supply. And they’re not selling”

              There’s that 97% figure again.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                There’s that Scrase mendacity again.

                Rare-earth prices are set to extend their decline from records this year as buyers including Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and General Electric Co. (GE) scale back using the materials in their cars and windmills.

                My bold.

              • Draco T Bastard

                And before it was China that produced 97% of the worlds supply of REE it was the US that did it. Here’s the bit you don’t understand – the US could do it again. We could also produce some locally and other countries could do it as well.

                It really doesn’t matter if China stops selling its resources as we have our own – until the stupid politicians sell it all off of course.

                BTW, IIRC, China mines the REE and they’re processed in the EU. I read an article about it the manufacture of hybrids a few years ago and it traced the convoluted production of the materials used from mining to sales floor.

          • Murray Olsen 3.3.1.1.3

            Why is neodymium necessary?

            • andyS 3.3.1.1.3.1

              Neodymium is used in the magnets

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                You forgot to apologise for your lies: the ones exposed by Draco’s comment. I expect you’ll try some feeble attempt to justify yourself instead.

                • andyS

                  “I forgot to apologise for my lies”

                  Which lies?

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    The ones exposed by Draco’s comment.

                    For example, Andy Scrase, you wrote “One of the products used in wind energy is neodymium, which is only mined in China…”

                    Which is a lie.

                    Anyone who wants more evidence of your dishonesty only need do an “@author:” search.

                    • andyS

                      One Anonymous Knucklehead, I will, unlike you, respect the moderators suggestions not to insinuate real names.

                      I did clarify my statement in another comment that 97% of the world’s neodymium is produced in China

                      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/concern-as-china-clamps-down-on-rare-earth-exports-1855387.html

                      I admit that 97% and 100% are not the same. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it is a lie However if the suggestion that “all” of the world’s neodymium and 97% of the world’s neodymium is a “lie” and has offended you, then please accept my profoundest apologies.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Andy, you admitted your real name in the link I provided. If you are uncomfortable with me associating your family name with your persistent deceits I suggest you stop lying, because that’s the only thing that’s going to stop me :)

              • Murray Olsen

                There are other metals that can be used to make permanent magnets, although neodymium has advantages in terms of magnetic field strength. There are also electric generators for wind turbines that don’t use permanent magnets at all.

                Do you actually know much about this topic, or are you just a propagandist for thorium reactors? What excites you about them?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.3.2

        [citation needed]

        Also, is that measured in net generation or gross?

        • andyS 3.3.2.1

          The number came from “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout”

          Actually, I think that number is optimistic given the huge number of turbines required (not to mention roads, pylons, and backup generation) that could be done by a single conventional power plant (i.e coal, gas, nuclear or hydro)

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.3.2.1.1

            Are your sources always so twisted by transparent bias?

            To put Andy [r0b: no speculation on real names please] tiresome fantasies in context, wind generation has a slightly higher environmental cost that hydro. It is proven to lead to carbon emissions reduction.

            How are those government contracts coming, Rand-boy? Still sucking on that ol’ taxpayer teat?

            • andyS 3.3.2.1.1.1

              Oh this is [r0b: no speculation on real names please]?

              Ha so funny Rob,

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Evidently you don’t have to be [r0b: no speculation on real names please] to know all you need to know about Andy [r0b: no speculation on real names please] character.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  R0b: can we get some clarity on this: does the rule apply even when someone has revealed their own identity in the past?

                  • lprent

                    No. But you have to link to it at least once so the moderators know it. And it has to be them deliberately outing themselves rather than an inference by others.

                    With the number of attempts that have been done infer the real life identities of people around here (where we know the actual identity) the success rate is less than 10%. And the “discussions” invariably drag on in a boring an unproductive manner.

                    Since most of the time the only way to be sure is for the moss to get involved and we are limited by the privacy policy, we squelch all discussion without evidence of people outing themselves.

                    There is one exception. If people claim to be someone real or someone else’s handle and it seems unlikely, then we check and will announce our opinion on their veracity and if they are allowed to use the handle. That is identity hijacking…

                  • andyS

                    Actually, I didn’t “reveal” my own identity, someone else did. But who cares? I have nothing to hide. If you wish to keep posting my name in the vain hope that this will intimidate me, then you are mistaken.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      It isn’t intended to intimidate you, Andy. It’s intended to establish your reputation as someone who persistently and apparently deliberately misrepresents issues around the Greenhouse Effect. Unethical and dishonest.

                    • andyS

                      It’s intended to establish your reputation as someone who persistently and apparently deliberately misrepresents issues around the Greenhouse Effect.

                      Sounds like intimidation to me, since you repeatedly use my full name and refer to my family.

                      So which issues around “the Greenhouse effect” do I misrepresent?

                      Do tell the assembled mob before I am lynched. I am sure they are dying to know

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      If you are concerned for your family name why are you dragging it through the gutter?

                      I don’t need to single out individual examples: as I have already stated, your low character can easily be established by a simple @author: search. Or even a Google search: Richard Christie is quite open in his contempt for your behaviour, for example.

                    • andyS

                      “Richard Christie is quite open in his contempt…”

                      I can assure you that the feeling is entirely mutual, as I have stated on several occasions. This of course extends to you, Mr/Mrs/Ms Anonymous

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      That’s to be expected. No-one likes being exposed as a habitual liar, but the remedy is in your own hands.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.3.2.1.2

            The number came from “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout”

            So, nothing credible then? Gotcha.

  4. johnm 4

    As AFewKnowtheTruth said the time to act was 30 years ago, it’s all too late now and Obama is just talking hopium. :-(

    • weka 4.1

      AFKTW is not God (all knowing), nor are they able to see the future. None of us know how this is going to play out, so doing what we can makes sense. It’s not that hard to make the case for hopium – humans will manage collapse stress better if their brains and bodies are able to sustain some level of endorphins. It’s also relatively easy to argue why the “we’re all going to die and it’s too late to do anything” approach fails as a strategy at any level other than the personal gratification of the person saying it.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Yes, but I feel that the most reliable way to keep people going in the future is to set realistic expectations right now. And that means no hopium, it actually means going cold turkey on the hopium. Note, this does not mean doing things like closing thermal power stations down and sidelining personal motor vehicles.

        It does mean “don’t expect any of these measures to be enough to deliver you the future lifestyle and comfort that you thought you were promised”.

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          Quite, but it’s a long way from there to “we are all fucked and nothing can be done”.

          The value of hopium is that most humans are simply not capable of going from BAU to facing the reality of the world quickly. You need to take them in steps. If you go bald facts straight out, they switch off (a survival mechanism). It’s like asking someone to undergo radical surgery – opiates are needed.

          If you tell people who are capable of change that we are doomed and nothing can be done, they think they may as well party while the ship goes down. AFKTT doesn’t know what is going to happen, and their actions contribute to the problem, by shutting off the last few avenues for change that we have.

  5. Rosetinted 5

    “The Tea Party / Republican Party in Congress are a bunch of anti-science crazies ”
    I think they are anti knowledge. They have got a closed incurious barrier mentality to knowledge similar to the situation in NZ about mid last century when anyone from a university offering a judgment on their specialty was labelled, negatively, as being ‘an ivory-tower academic’ ie someone to be disbelieved, scorned and ignored.

    The strength of the hostility to learning in the USA shows up in the desire to teach creationism. I have seen it here from either United States imports or those accepting th fundamentalist doctrines in NZ. I picked up a second-hand condensed book of knowledge on the earth recently. At the back was a chart listing all the differing ages of earth’s development, from earliest times millions of years ago, down. Someone had written a cautionary note ‘ to look on the internet for the facts on this.’ And some other derogatory remarks about science or lies – can’t remember exactly. Also have seen prosperity church literature where learning about the bible is mingled with how to manage your finances. Today’s Sunday School WTF.

    The desire to spread the mythical story of our distant past, mixed with some bits of facts which may or may not be provable or verifiable, becomes stronger the more adherents it gains, and I am concerned that it may be exponentially, and a divisive attitude to everything has arisen.

    Democracies are hard to run when nothing can be discussed reasonably. How to approach such people requires changed thinking – these are people who are separating themselves from what I still regard as ‘our’ culture. How do workers in foreign countries relate to others in an alien culture? And what happens when they form a large percentage of one’s own population as they gain adherents? Then they may gain malicious assistance from politicians like the NACTs who see some advantage in introducing things like charter schools and getting right wing, authoritarian-based entities on side along with their obedient and dominated members. Think of the intransigency and rigidity and ultimately violence, of the Taliban.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      How to approach such people requires changed thinking – these are people who are separating themselves from what I still regard as ‘our’ culture.

      More importantly, they’re separating themselves from reality.

  6. johnm 6

    “At Last” is not good enough and 100% total Obama BS.

  7. Jenny 7

    [r0b: Sorry Jenny you picked up a week ban from lprent – see open mike]

  8. johnm 8

    I find it bizarre that one of the most alive and passionate commentators on this blog Jenny can be banned for a technical infringement, this speaks of the procrustian cutting down to size nature of New Zealand political discourse, let’s all bury ourselves in a little crypt of conformity. This is part of the process that allows the neoliberal scum to go miles.

    [lprent: almost all bans are based on “technical infringements” of the policy. Just as all convictions in courts are “technical infringements” of the law (think of murder, manslaughter, and actions as a soldier). It is a silly argument.

    But she has been warned before for the same infringement. Clearly that didn’t work. So she got a more pointed warning – a ban. We often find this induces what is technically known as a shift in behavior. Hopefully it will in this case, as like you, I personally (when not moderating) like reading Jenny. ]

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      She deserved it and I’m glad to see her gone for a week. Best not tell the authors what they should be writing with their own time eh.

    • QoT 8.2

      By “alive and passionate” you mean “spammy and paranoid”, right?

  9. xtasy 9

    Honestly I have no more faith in Obama, as he is just too much talk. He is indeed in the palm of lobbies, and he has proved this. We are still waiting for him to clos e Guantanamo camp, and to do many other things. He back tracked on environmental issues, and more, but today he apparently tweeted in favour of a supreme court decision to grant rights to gays to have equal rights.

    Well, good for that and them, but it does not deliver on so much else.

    We get it, the right run the media there, they have the largerst lobbies on their side, and the average Joe and Jane Average are just useful idiots to cast votes when asked for.

    Fuck that kind of “democracy”, not worth taking seriously, and then add this shit with spy controls, all over the globe. What I just read on Spiegel Online last night horrified me, but does anybody care? You are screened and tracked while you read this by the way. I saw a young teen specimen on the bus today, heavily into Fakebook and on and off loading photos and other shit. Do they even know what goes on? NO, we live in an idiot world now, conveniently brainwashed to accomodate the status quo. RIP

  10. Sable 10

    Obama is America’s Roger Douglas, a conservative in left wing clothing. It will be a cold day in corporate hell before that little shit does anything meaningful regarding climate change.

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