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What will the new president do about Climate Change?

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, November 7th, 2012 - 107 comments
Categories: climate change, us politics - Tags:

Voting starts. What will the new president do about Climate Change?

For good or ill, America has a tradition of global leadership. When it comes to climate change America needs to lead more actively in the world – not from behind, but from the front.

It’s all about leadership,

Ultimately, at some time, whoever becomes US president he or she will have to take on the historic task to build the necessary public support for the fight to save our world. As the commander in chief of the most developed and richest and powerful nation on earth, the President of the United States has a historical obligation to lead public opinion against Climate Change– and that starts with explaining to the American people that the US and the world needs to take drastic action to avert further catastrophe, and that America needs to be in the lead in taking that action.

Will Obama be that president?

Will Romney?

Or will we have to wait another four more terrible years of rudderless inaction and silence from the President of the United States in the face of this impending global holocaust?

– Jenny

107 comments on “What will the new president do about Climate Change? ”

  1. Steve Wrathall 1

    What will the next prez do? Doesn’t need to do anything? Obama’s solved the problem. He promised on inauguration to slow the rise of the oceans-and that’s what they’ve done. Impressive work Barack!!

    • Richard Christie 1.1

      Christ you are a moron.

      Mocking Sea level rise;

      • Steve Wrathall 1.1.1

        So the US just had a storm, therefore it must have been caused by AGHG. So whose SUV emissions caused the 1900 Galviston storm which killed 12,000?

        With evidence that consists entirely of weather porn, is it any wonder that belief in the global warming religion has collapsed?

        • mike e 1.1.1.1

          In the 1900 hundreds they didn’t have radios Weather satellites or levies Silly Wanker let alone SUV’s to get out of town on modern motorways Where as horse and dray would have been stuck like wise boats of the 1900’s didn’t have short wave radio’s and powerful motors to take them out of harms way. The ones that died in hurricane Katrina were from mainly poor areas that did not have access to transport or funds to be able to leave. If they went back to 1900’s technology no doubt with the vast population increasable the death toll would have been much higher just keep your head in the sand you’ll find little titbits of info that might allow your pathetic propaganda some light!
          Until then 99.6 % of all climate scientist don’t have any truck with your BS!
          When I say climate scientists that’s what I mean Not some Christian Fundamentalist astro physicist
          or self taught Australian star gazer
          That Latent Smith the small man syndrome bigot believes.

        • johnm 1.1.1.2

          Hi Steve CO2 levels in 1900 were at 290 parts per million refer: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v247/n5439/abs/247273a0.html. CO2 levels are now at 391 parts per million refer:
          http://co2now.org/. Science has established a clear irrefutable link to a heating atmosphere in relation to CO2 levels from ice core records in particular. Galveston may have been a one in 500 year event now we are having 50% Galveston’s once every say 10 years meaning the continental US is getting hit with far greater hurricane activity now than in 1900. 🙂

    • mike e 1.2

      The drought and the washing away of the high priced sea side properties will change Americans view on climate change if Romney wants a second term he will have to change weather he likes it or not because his rural heartland vote will disappear in clouds of dust!
      Thats if he gets elected.
      Obama will not be able to do much because the republicans have gerrymandered the electoral boundaries to keep power in the house of representatives (congress).
      So it will be deadlock unless the North American drought continues and unusual storms keep damaging huge areas of the US as they have done in the last 15 years!

    • Drakula 1.3

      I don’t think King Canute achieved that!

  2. Bill 2

    Ultimately, at some time, whoever becomes US president he or she will have to take on the historic task to build the necessary public support for the fight to save our world.

    No. No they won’t. What they will do is continue to favour corporate and business imperitives and hold to the view that wonderfully objective market forces will come to the rescue. Of course, don’t expect any altruistic sacrifice to stem from any market forces. The market saves itself first. And everything else has to stand or fall in relation to that principle objective.

    If people are going to take climate collapse seriously, then people are going to have to get serious about the inbuilt systemic deficits of having presidents, prime ministers and vehicles of representative democracy wholly embedded within and beholden to the market.

    Any ‘saving of the world’ will only be possible in spite of politicians and industrialists, not because of them suddenly ‘waking up’ and ‘leading the way’.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      +1

    • Colonial Viper 2.3

      +3

      at the moment, US “democratic” (lol) elections seem to be nothing more than choosing who helms the Titanic system of orthodox political-economics that they promulgate. A giant charade.

      Having said that in NZ we must push hard for that 4% threshold to be legislated; any increase in proportionality helps create true democracy and must be supported.

      • Macro 2.3.1

        +4 well said.
        Currently our Politicians are far too wedded to the market economy. It was the market economy that got us into the situation we now find ourselves in. Doing more of the same will never get us out.

  3. Well Obama will do something but possibly precious little.  Romney will do absolutely nothing because in that weird insular science hating mob that is the Republican Party there is no problem.

    And we have our own CCD in Parliament, Shane Ardern

    I don’t know why those who refuse to understand the science think that their ill informed view is at all valid.

    • tinfoilhat 3.1

      And our dairy industry keeps polluting the atmosphere with no consequence unlike the dairy industries overseas…… scum all of them.

      • Drakula 3.1.1

        Well said in Darfield Canterbury they have just built a milk powder factory that uses coal and of course the water in Darfield has just been infected with e-coli.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          Pah, what’s an increasing number of cases of gastroenteritis (personal distress and subsequent demands on the health system) when there is MONEY to be made!!!

  4. Johnm 4

    If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders.

  5. insider 5

    Nothing. Same as the others.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Johnm 4 and insider 5 both make fine points.

    • insider 6.1

      I was being a bit glib, but American politics is so byzantine that getting anything effective on the table let alone into legislation is almost impossible. Even if they did, there would be heaps of loopholes based on past performance. Plus it;s a recession so there is no incentive to do anything that might cost jobs.

      • klem 6.1.1

        Oh but remember the green economy will create thousands and thousands of jobs. Like California’s Solyndra for example, it was supposed to employ 1000 people so it received $500 million subsidy. In reality it employed only 140 workers and within a year it went bankrupt, taking the 140 workers and the entire subsidy with it.

        The green economy, it creates jobs. That’s right.

  7. muzza 7

    The next POTUS, will do EXACTLY as he is told!

  8. Ted 8

    Climate change is a crock. The earth heats up a little and cools down a little over hundreds of years. Don’t believe the hype.

    • One Tāne Huna 8.1

      🙄

      Citation needed.

        • Te Reo Putake 8.1.1.1

          Citation still needed. Can’t you find something from Lord Monckton? He’s really, really convincing.

        • Bill 8.1.1.2

          You have to fcking shittin’ son!

          First article subheaded “100 reasons why…” by a political analyst Jim McConalogue – kind of on a par with “101 things you too could do with a sheet of A4 paper if only it was more pliable than paper” by A.. Stoner

          Second article. “What REALLY happened”. On a par with something like ‘Revealed! How Martians Built the Pyramids’ or that dumb arse video that was floating around a few years back ‘The Secret’

          And just wondering – is the smiley on your comment due to you sticking hard copies of said articles up your arse and finding the sensation somewhat pleasing? Becasue I’m at a complete loss otherwise to understand why you’d insert a smiley on the end of such a zero substance comment.

          • Te Reo Putake 8.1.1.2.1

            Almost right. Climate change denial is a money making hoax. Did I mention Monckton yet?

            • Bill 8.1.1.2.1.1

              The guy who wrote the ’100 reasons’ is a baby faced Tory wanker belonging to a right wing ‘thunk dunk’ (European Foundation) that has Thatcher as a patron. Nuff said? 😉

            • mike e 8.1.1.2.1.2

              Trp mocking monckton

            • klem 8.1.1.2.1.3

              Dear Te Reo Putake

              Um, Monckton isn’t a denier, and as far as I can tell he makes alot of money. Not the seven figure salary of NASA climate alarmist James Hansen of course, but Monckton still makes good money.

              • One Tāne Huna

                Yawn.

                The politics of envy is it now?

                NASA, you mean those guys who just sent a robot to Mars using a Skycrane?

              • Colonial Viper

                If income is a measure of distrust when it comes to climate change analysis, then the fucking heads of the fossil fuel industry and the cadre of corporate billonaires should be at the top of the list.

                • muzza

                  Kind of, but thats too simplistic1

                • Bill

                  Saw a nice suggestion somewhere the other day that hurricanes should be named after oil companies instead of being assigned peoples’ names. Don’t know if there’s an A-Z of petro-chemical companies/corporations though.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    (This is a reply to Bill asking if there’s an A-Z of oil companies. The system wouldnt let me reply to him for some reason…)

                    Yes, there will be industry directories and similar out there. The corporate world is very good at organising and networking – the Left much less so – and those guys have the big money to do it right.

                • klem

                  By that logic if a person is homeless and has zero income, then they are the most trustworthy when it comes to climate change analysis. Sounds about right.

            • muzza 8.1.1.2.1.4

              Almost right. Climate change denial is a money making hoax.

              Almost right – ETS’s and future global taxes, are a money making hoax!

              FIFY

              • KJT

                True, ETS is a money making hoax.

                AGW is, however, a fact we are going to have to confront, one way or another.

                • klem

                  Dear KJT

                  Let me get this straight, you believe AGW is a fact but at the same time you believe ETS is a money making hoax?

                  But the ETS was designed to be a financial penalty, a penalty to relieve the guilt of our sinful western carbon emitting lifestyle. When people pay the penalty, they are now free to indulge themselves in western consumerism and gluttony because the planet has already been saved with this payment.

                  As a member of the AGW alarmist faithful, you should support the new tax with all your heart. If you don’t support it, you are beginning to slide down the slippery slope to climate skepticism.

                  Hello friend, and welcome to the light.

                  [Obviously the reality of AGW and ETS schemes are two different things. There is no contradiction whatsoever in accepting one while rejecting the other.

                  Last and only warning. Any attempt to post more delusional crap like this will be met with a permanent ban. ..RL]

                  • klem

                    No worries RL. I’ve seen this ban threat before from alarmist sites.

                    Just make an attempt to apply this rule equally to the alarmist delusional crap as well.

                    [lprent: Around here banning is not a threat, it is a description of what happens. I’ve been around the net and it’s precursors since the late 70’s. And I’m a c++ programmer who spends a lot of time in the IP stack.

                    If you wish to test it, then you can ask and I’ll provide a permanent demonstration. But it would pay you to do some basic research first about this site. Yeah I know this is probably against your religion with the proscriptions against actually understanding and checking – but try it – it won’t hurt you.

                    If I care to, I can simply block out your wee northern island (this is a site dedicated to some southern islands), or I can simply start sending everything you write to the anti-spam engines and let it learn to take appropiate action whenever it sees you or words in your style.

                    Or you can simply don’t try that type of argument again. Argue your case rather than acting like a dickhead from Alba Nuadh. ]

      • klem 8.1.2

        Citation needed? Did you actually write that, really? Lol!!

        Go find the citation yourself.

        • One Tāne Huna 8.1.2.1

          Piss off Noddy. Ted made the claim – it’s up to Ted to substantiate it. Just as it is up to you to provide citations that debunk Hansen and Sato’s work, the work they’ve done while working at NASA, y’know, the Skycrane people.

          What would they know about Earth’s atmosphere?

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      The earth heats up a little and cools down a little over hundreds of years.

      No, the earth heats up a little and cools down a little, over 24 hours.

  9. OneTrack 9

    Looks like another four years of the same ol’.

  10. karol 10

    Now Obama mentions climate change – just briefly, mind you.  Dropped “A warming planet” into his victory speech.

    • Anne 10.1

      Noted that Karol. A message to the informed that now the election is over, Global Warming is very much on the US agenda? I think so. Thanks Sandy.

    • klem 10.2

      Yes he did mention that in his acceptance speech. So yes global warming is back on the table. And I can guarantee he just pissed off a lot of Republicans in Congress for doing that, so much for ‘reaching out across the aisle’. Republicans are going to dig in their heels and give Obama nothing.

      Nice work Obamarama! lol!

  11. TEA 11

    Drill baby drill, melt tar sands and frac oil wells !!

    AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE !

    WE ARE DOOMED

  12. Drakula 12

    What about the melting of the polar ice shelves, the rising oceans in the pacific like Kiribas and Caroline Islands, the dying reefs off the Queensland coast (also caused by Crown of Thorns) and these horrific mega storms like Sandy.

    A wee bit more than natural wouldn’t you say? Greenpeace and Green sites have truckloads of information.

    • mike e 12.1

      Dracula The ‘Sun’ bleaching the coral as well slightly better odd’s now the ‘vampire’ capitalist has been smacked down!

    • klem 12.2

      A wee bit more than natural?

      Um, so if Sandy had simply drifted harmlessly out to sea, would it still qualify as a wee bit more than natural?

      • One Tāne Huna 12.2.1

        Drifted harmlessly out to sea? Is that before or after devastating Jamaica?

        • crashcart 12.2.1.1

          You forget Jamaca isn’t really poitically or economically important so people like Klem don’t even care it was hit first. AMERICA FUCK YEA!!!!!

      • Colonial Viper 12.2.2

        klem you playing scenario god with the weather now?

        • klem 12.2.2.1

          I live on the east coast, we get storms like this every year. Almost all of them drift right past us causing no damage, we are so used to them now, big storms are nothing. Its life on the east coast.

          Sandy veered west instead of east, that’s all that was unusual about Sandy. A storm that moves west instead of east is evidence of basically nothing, yet the greenies suggest that it indicates the end of the world. Wow, talk about grasping at straws. Lol!

  13. MrSmith 13

    Michael Moore sums up the problem in these letters

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1211/S00020/letter-to-a-non-voterfrom-michael-moore.htm
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1211/S00037/tomorrow-a-letter-from-michael-moore.htm

    Is the human race worth saving Jenny, as we seem to be preparing to commit suicide at the moment.

  14. xtasy 14

    Obama will do NADA!

    He got heavy donations from all the lobbies having interests to keep things as they are, so he will be reminded: Do NOT bite the hand that got you there, Mr President.

    It was already becoming clear before. So NADA will be done.

    And Romney would have been much, much worse, so we again have: Choice and selection of a LESSER EVIL – NADA else.

    Sorry, reality is checking in on my day daily now, since I am trying a more purist lifestyle.

  15. Jenny 15

    Title: Climate Change Deniers

    Definition: The CCDs argue that climate change is not real and is not happening. CCDS explain the controversy is a result of global conspiracy deliberately concocted by scientists politicians and media, unfortunately they have not been able to give any rational explanation of the reasons for this global conspiracy.

    Current Status: The CCDs are Pretty much at the fringes of the current debate on climate change

    Title: Climate Change Apologists

    Definition: CCAs admit that climate change is happening, but say that jobs, profits, the economy and growth, and a myriad other issues are far more important than taking steps to address climate change. The apologists are also adept at blaming or scapegoating others, usually groups that they have already taken a dislike to anyway. This group are quite comfortable with the idea of millions if not billions of human deaths, as well as the destruction of entire eco systems and the resulting mass animal and plant extinctions. Their previously listed preoccupations are considered far more important.

    Current status: The most sinister, pernicious, cynical and dangerous of the different Climate Change factions. Currently the CCAs are the main spear carriers for opposing action on climate change.

    And now a third category has arisen:

    Title: Climate Change Ignorers

    Definition: Political leaders and parties who refuse to even mention Climate Change, if they can avoid it. Usually for sectarian political advantage, ie, not scare the horses, not look too radical in the eyes of the voters, not offend vested interest etc etc.
    Rather than alert the electorate and the wider population to the danger, the CCIs put getting bums on seats for their particular sectarian grouping more important than even alerting their political rivals who could steal a policy march on them.
    The whole topic of Climate Change is a ‘no go area’ for these politicians. They will rarely if ever mention the subject of Climate Change unless it is pushed right up under their noses, and often not even then. If forced to mention Climate Change CCIs say that one day when they are in complete control of the presidency and the congress, or have the most seats in the house of parliament, then (and only then), they will call for action on Climate Change. CCIs neither deny, or apologise for climate change, they just simply ignore it.

    Current Status: The most ridiculous and laughable faction of all, I don’t expect it to last long.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Energy is the driving force in politics, not climate.

    • klem 15.2

      Dear Jenny

      Don’t’ forget the CCC’s or the Climate Change Conflators.

      Those are people like yourself who conflate normal climate change with anthropogenic climate change by using the terms interchangeably. The UN IPCC are masters of this strategy. Climate change skeptics (and even deniers) admit that the earth’s climate changes over time whether humans are here or not. The CCC’s believe that the climate is completely stable and never changes over time, that is the only explanation for why they continually conflate the terms. They often are pessimists, often suffer from chronic depression, are self loathers, believe that any change in climate is caused by themselves, and suffer tremendous guilt because they believe that millions of people will die because of their gluttonous lifestyle. They often vote for leaders who can most effectively pray upon this guilt and self loathing.

      Just helping you out.

      cheers

      • Colonial Viper 15.2.1

        Hey klem, are you for or against reducing the use of fossil fuels in the global economy?

        • klem 15.2.1.1

          Against it, but I will be for it once a better source of fuel emerges. And eventually a better source will emerge someday.

      • One Tāne Huna 15.2.2

        Hey Klem, you don’t actually know any Climatology, do you?

      • Doug 15.2.3

        Klem you are talking out of your arse.

        Show us where the IPCC state that the climate is naturally stable? You can’t because they don’t.

        Climate changes due to natural climate forcings, which are known and measurable (Sun, Earth’s orbit, volcanos). Natural climate change happens at a relatively slow rate. Yes a comet strike will cause rapid climate change and is natural, but lets not focus on that one at the moment.

        The current interglacial period has been one of relative climate stability. During this period agriculture was invented and now forms the basis of a food production system that feeds 7 billion plus people. A stable climate allows for reasonably predicable weather, a necessary condition for successful agriculture. Hungry people get angry and desperate. That is the future unless we do something.

        • klem 15.2.3.1

          Doug, I would never use the IPCC as a reference for anything, other than supporting some aspect of the climate alarmist religion. That’s about all it was good for really.

          “… That is the future unless we do something.” That is the future no doubt about it, it is our present and it was our past as well. But doing ‘something’ is no more useful than doing nothing, and surely you don’t believe that humanity can influence the worlds climate by erecting a few wind turbines and enacting a tax on citizens to reduce our insignificant C02 emissions. Keeping in mind that “mother nature puts 24,000 times that amount of our main greenhouse gas—water vapor—into the atmosphere every day…”.

          Humans just aren’t evil, get over it folks.

      • crashcart 15.2.4

        Klem, lets say your right. Climate Change is natural and it willl all come back in time with no major effects. Lets say in this world governments did something. What is the worst that happened. A few big companies and rich people didn’t make as much money as they felt they should and a whole new branch of environmentally friendly tech is created.

        Now lets say your wrong. Climate change is influence by man directly. In this world we do what you want and carry on status quo. Millions of people die, entire species go extinct. The world economy is destroyed and money means nothing any more.

        Even without all the science to back the fact climate change is directly influenced by the activities of man I would probably err on the side of caution myself. How about you?

        • One Tāne Huna 15.2.4.1

          Poor Klem’s arguments aren’t right or wrong: they’re so bad they’re not even wrong. 🙂

          • crashcart 15.2.4.1.1

            I’m trying to appeal to the basic risk versus reward thought process we all have. Yes some people are willinng to take more risk for the chance of reward but I would think in this case no one could justify the risk for any sort of monetary reward.

            I have no doubt someone will prove me wrong but hey I’m always happy to stand up and admit when I am wrong.

            • One Tāne Huna 15.2.4.1.1.1

              Good luck with that. I think the mistake you are making is that you are expecting Klem to argue with good faith and reason, rather than clinging desperately to his delusions like he would a security blankie.

        • klem 15.2.4.2

          Ok so let’s say I’m right, climate change is natural. Millions of people will die, entire species will still go extinct. The world economy will eventually be destroyed and money will mean nothing anymore. That’s just from natural climate change.

          Now lets say I’m wrong. Millions of people will still die, entire species will still go extinct. The world economy will eventually be destroyed and money will still mean nothing. That’s anthropogenic climate change.

          See much difference, see any difference at all? I don’t see any difference.

          So what side of caution should I err on again?

        • Bob 15.2.4.3

          “What is the worst that happened. A few big companies and rich people didn’t make as much money” Wrong, if you think that corporations would allow a new tax to effect their bottom line you have another thing coming. They would simply increase prices (it would happen across the board in each affected industry so no loss of price competition), and who would be the ones most effected by it? The lowest income earners who now have higher costs, but the same income (the companies would simply say the can’t afford to increase wages due to the new taxes and turn the employees on the government of the time).

          So the worst that would happen is a government sanctioned increase in poverty.

          • klem 15.2.4.3.1

            You speak the truth Bob, too bad you’re telling it to people who don’t understand basic economics.

      • Jenny 15.2.5

        Thank you Klem for the public service announcement. Especially the few kind personal thoughts, near the end especially reserved for me. I will treasure them always.

        Love Jenny

  16. Fortran 16

    What will Obama do – nothing,but ask Republican Congress to help, and blame them for not helping.
    He cannot enact anything, even if he wanted to, because it would be seriously considered as Non-American to industrial America, and of course the loss of much needed jobs.

    • klem 16.1

      Trouble is, Americans do not respect Obama enough. This makes it difficult for him to enact anything at all. The rest of the world views him as a lightweight a well. Gad, another four years of this torture.

  17. KJT 17

    Firstly. It is not climate change. That makes it sound rather innocuous.

    It is human caused, anthropogenic global warming, AGW.

    Klem. It is a fact.

    In your kitchen when you increase the heat in the pot it boils more violently. When you raise the heat in the freezer, ice melts.

    In the real world. Ice is melting, (Shipping companies are building ships to use the NE and NW passages as the ice disappears) weather is getting more and more unsettled, temperatures are rising and the range of animal and plant species is spreading further towards the poles. What more evidence do people want. Or are they going to put their heads in the sand until the water is lapping at their doorstep.

    And despite the millions on offer from denialist fruitcakes, no-one has managed to show any other credible explanation, other than the increase in greenhouse gases from human activity.

    • klem 17.1

      “In the real world. Ice is melting, (Shipping companies are building ships to use the NE and NW passages as the ice disappears) weather is getting more and more unsettled, temperatures are rising and the range of animal and plant species is spreading further towards the poles. What more evidence do people want.”

      All of the things you have listed above are evidence of climate change only, none of them are evidence that CO2 or human activity is the cause. Melting ice, unsettled weather, species migration are all evidence of a changing climate, all of these things have happened before and continue to happen. today. You have merely described normal climate change, not anthropogenic climate change. You don’t seem to understand that there is a difference. You fall into the Climate Change Conflator category, see my definition above.

      “…despite the millions on offer from denialist fruitcakes, no-one has managed to show any other credible explanation, other than the increase in greenhouse gases from human activity.”

      And despite the millions on offer from alarmist fruitcakes, no-one has managed to rule out natural causes for changes in climate either.

      • RedLogix 17.1.1

        Melting ice, unsettled weather, species migration are all evidence of a changing climate, all of these things have happened before and continue to happen. today.

        If we accept your description then the implication is that climate that is naturally unstable rather than stable. You are clearly accepting that changes are occurring, yet you completely fail to suggest what natural drivers could be causing these changes.

        If the climate is so sensitive to some mysterious ‘natural’ cause that’s so very hard to discern that can you neither name, describe nor measure it… then logically you have to accept that that CO2 with it’s well known infra-red absorption spectra must also be a powerful driver of climate change.

        no-one has managed to rule out natural causes for changes in climate either.

        Actually for all practical purposes they have.

      • One Tāne Huna 17.1.2

        Evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas – Svante Arrhenius 1896, Guy Callendar 1938.
        Evidence that the CO2 content of the atmosphere is increasing – observations at Manua Loa.
        Evidence that the extra CO2 is anthropogenic: changing atmospheric carbon isotope ratio.

        QED.

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