10 Updates

Obama's New Carbon Gospel Blames Higher Living Standards For Destroying The World

May 6 2014, 2:08pm CDT | by

The Obama administration released an impressive report this morning. The U.S. National Climate Assessment, titled “Climate Change Impacts in the United States ” is an 829-page jeremiad. Its heft and...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

11 weeks ago

Obama's New Carbon Gospel Blames Higher Living Standards For Destroying The World

May 6 2014, 2:08pm CDT | by

The Obama administration released an impressive report this morning. The U.S. National Climate Assessment, titled “Climate Change Impacts in the United States ” is an 829-page jeremiad. Its heft and depth demand that it be taken seriously. Its authorship by 300 respected gurus insists that its findings not be questioned. This is their holy book — the word of the climate gods communicated to President Obama and passed down to the people via word-searchable PDF file.

Herein, the climate change gospel:

Laments the destructive impact that man has wrought on our fragile climate.

“It is unequivocal that the planet is warming.”

Prophesizes certain doom if we do not change our ways.

Sea level is expected to rise an additional 1 to 4 feet in this century.”

Blames fossil fuels for the devastation.

“Oil used for transportation and coal used for electricity generation are the largest contributors to the rise in carbon dioxide that is the primary driver of the observed changes in climate over recent decades.”

“The burning of coal, oil, and gas, and clearing of forests have increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by more than 40% since the Industrial Revolution, and it has been known for almost two centuries that this carbon dioxide traps heat.”

Castigates skeptics for their doubt:

“Data show that natural factors like the sun and volcanoes cannot have caused the warming observed over the past 50 years.”

And orders that penance be paid:

“Studies of price-based policies, such as a cap and trade system, indicate that a 50% reduction in emissions by 2050 could be achieved at a cost of a year or two of projected growth in gross domestic product over the period.”

The 300 climate gurus who wrote the report are advanced in their practice of modern-day augury. Instead of peering at the patterns of goat entrails, these sages instead squint at the secretions of complex computer models. With these models they have peered 100 years into the future, and with greater confidence than TV weathermen forecasting a chance of rain later in the week, they prophesy two possible outcomes for our future.

First, is the dreaded “A2″ scenario, where global carbon emissions continue to increase, thus summoning a dark age of raging seas, violent storms, submerged islands, melting permafrost, drought, acidified oceans, and a greater incidence of asthma.

Then there is “B1,” wherein global emissions are reduced significantly over the next 100 years, thus mitigating the worst of the Climate God’s wrath, but still punishing us with a slightly hotter world (temperatures up 2.5 degrees by 2090 under B1, versus up 4.7 degrees under A2).

The message: The change is upon us no matter what we do. You don’t want to live in an A2 world. B1 represents the least we should do if we care about the children. And the children’s children.

So how, oh blessed Oracle of the 300, can we strive towards B1?

Sack cloth and ashes, sort of. You know those underpinnings of the past 200 years of economic growth and human advancement — ever cheaper energy and ever expanding infrastructure? We’ve got to stop all that.

“Annual global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industrial sources like cement manufacture need to peak by 2035 to 2040 at around 44 billion tons of CO2, and decline thereafter. The scale of the task can be seen in the fact that these global emissions were already at 34 billion tons of CO2 in 2011″ — and rising at a rate of .92 billion tons per year.

And here are some powerful verses about how to do it:

Achieving the B1 emissions path would require substantial de-carbonization of the global economy by the end of this century, implying a fundamental transformation of the global energy system. Details of the energy mix along the way differ among analyses, but the implied involvement by the U.S. can be seen in studies carried out under the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Energy Modeling Forum. In these studies, direct burning of coal without carbon capture is essentially excluded from the power system, and the same holds for natural gas toward the end of the century – to be replaced by some combination of coal or gas with carbon capture and storage, nuclear generation, and renewables. Biofuels and electricity are projected to substitute for oil in the transport sector. A substantial component of the task is accomplished with demand reduction, through efficiency improvement, conservation, and shifting to an economy less dependent on energy services.

I know it sounds like a lot, dear reader, but don’t freak out yet. We all just have to give a little. Remember, “a 50% reduction in emissions by 2050 could be achieved at a cost of a year or two of projected growth in gross domestic product over the period.”

Got that? All we have to do to achieve the great de-carbonization is to accept slower economic growth than what we’re enjoying now. After all, that model is already proven — during the anemic economic years since 2007 the United States has already cut its carbon emissions by 10%. A Great Depression redux could really give us a push in the right direction.

On page 652 of the report there’s a graph depicting the forces that have driven carbon dioxide emissions since 1963. Helping to reduce emissions have been increases in energy efficiency and decreases in the carbon intensity of industrial processes. The structural change in the U.S. economy away from manufacturing has also helped. But there’s two factors that add to emissions: First, the increasing population, up 50% in those years. Second, and the the most significant driver — the rise in per capita income.

That’s right. The better off we are, the more carbon we emit, the more we destroy the world. So it follows directly that if we’re going to get on the B1 path, we will all have to live a little less high on the hog. Think of it as a tithe that we must willingly pay to the Carbon God.

The report suggests that the United States pursue some of the following mitigation measures: higher automobile mileage standards, limits on power plant emissions, emissions permits for industrial facilities, subsidies for weatherization, efficient appliances, biofuels, electric vehicles; loan guarantees for advanced energy technologies; executive orders requiring federal buildings to reduce energy use and buy alternative fuel vehicles. And carbon cap-and-trade programs.

And yet my favorite parts of this report are where the 300 admit a little bit of uncertainty, or talk about the unintended consequences of quashing fossil fuel emissions. Like this bit:/>/>

“Natural variations in climate include the effects of  cycles such as El Nino, La Nina and other ocean cycles; the 11-year sunspot cycle and other changes in energy from the sun, and the effects of volcanic eruptions. Globally, natural variations can be as large as human-induced climate change over timescales of up to a few decades.”

And then there’s the matter of the historical record:

“Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are currently higher than any times in at least the last 800,000 years. Paleoclimate studies indicate that temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have been higher in the distant past, millions of years ago, when the world was very different than it is today.”

And there’s even some minor drawbacks to cutting coal emissions:

“The cooling in mid-century that was especially prevalent over the eastern half of the U.S. may have stemmed partly from such natural variations and partly from human influences, in particular the cooling effects of sulfate particles from coal-burning power plants, before these sulfur emissions were regulated to address health and acid rain concerns.”

When and if you read the report for yourself, keep in mind that the most recent data is from 2012 and much of it is even older. So when they state that hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin has gotten stronger, they are not factoring in the abnormally low activity of the past two years. When they state that winter comes later and leaves earlier and that ice cover on the Great Lakes is down 63% since the 1970s, they are not considering the effect of last winter’s unrelenting Polar Vortex. When they state that corn ethanol can help reduce carbon emissions associated with automotive transportation, they are a couple years behind the research.

Whether or not you are a true believer of the Carbon Gospel or a cynic, there’s no arguing that this National Climate Assessment represents the received Carbon Gospel consensus as revealed by the Oracle of the 300 (and we all know that the consensus is never wrong).

This is the science that will inform the debate and will serve as cover for President Obama and his agencies to assert control. First the control will be over the big emitters of carbon. Then the smaller emitters. And eventually it will get down to individuals. Remember page 652: the prime driver of increased carbon emissions in the United States is the rise in per capita income. With a correlation that direct, how long before “the rich” are assessed a personal carbon tax to offset the damage they do to the world?

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewa ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into by robbe ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the D ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern states last ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 mill ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar Sc ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Skyw ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Bangladeshi plane catches fire at Nepal airport, passengers safe
Kathmandu, July 28 (IANS) A Bangladeshi aircraft caught fire while landing at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Monday afternoon, officials said.
 
 
Shift work can worsen asthma, pneumonia
London, July 28 (IANS) A research has found that drugs widely used to treat lung diseases like asthma or pneumonia work better with the body clock.
 
 
Decoded: What triggers sexual arousal in you
New York, July 28 (IANS) Know why just looking at an attractive face stimulates sexual arousal? Well, it takes two to tango!
 
 
Turn your selfie into emoji with this app
New York, July 28 (IANS) Tired of seeing the same yellow-faced smileys? In an age of selfies, how can emojis be far behind?
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Kutcher-Kunis to wed in July next year?
Los Angeles, July 29 (IANS) Actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, who are getting ready to welcome their daughter, have begun to plan for their wedding. "The wedding will be next July. They want to focus on their...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Lady Gaga portraits auctioned
New York, July 29 (IANS) Pop star Lady Gaga's "video portraits" raised over $1 million at an auction at Watermill Center here. Director Robert Wilson put on display "23 Video Portraits of Lady Gaga" series at his...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kim Kardashian followed by 'crazy driver'
Kim Kardashian claims a ''crazy driver'' followed her around Los Angeles today (07.28.14). The 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' star hit back at rumors she was pulled over by police officers in Calabasas, California,...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Elizabeth Banks is 'very genetically blessed'
Elizabeth Banks says she is ''very genetically blessed.'' The 'Hunger Games' actress, who has sons Felix, three, and Magnus, 20 months, with husband Max Handleman, insists she only recently realized she is attractive,...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Courteney Cox receives engagement gifts
Johnny McDaid and Courteney Cox received several engagement presents in his native Northern Ireland. The newly-engaged couple were given complimentary souvenirs by excited fans in the city of Derry while exploring the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis to wed next July
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are planning to get married next July. The couple, who got engaged earlier this year and are expecting their first child, have reportedly set a date for their wedding next summer, as they...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
India at the 2014 Commonwealth Games Tuesday
Glasgow, July 29 (IANS) The following is the list of Indians who will be seen in action in the 2014 Commonwealth Games Tuesday. Schedule Badminton (Emirates Arena) Men's singles (Round of 64): R.M.V.Gurusaidutt vs...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Indian medal winners at 2014 Commonwealth Games
Glasgow, July 29 (IANS) The following is the list of Indian medal winners at the 20th Commonwealth Games: Gold Sanjita Khumukchan: women's 48 kg weightlifting Sukhen Dey: men's 56 kg weightlifting Abhinav Bindra: men'...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Hi-tech machine spews beer for fans mimicking Scot talk (CWG Diary)
Glasgow, July 29 (IANS) Fancy a free beer? Get talking in Scottish! A hi-tech water cooler that talks to visitors and dispenses beer is doing the rounds of the city assessing one's accent and rewarding the best with a...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Ed Sheeran can't keep a secret
Los Angeles, July 29 (IANS) Singer Ed Sheeran is not good at keeping secrets and this habit of his annoys his celebrity friends. The 23-year-old is incredibly open about his life, and though he hasn't shared anything...
Read more on Celebrity Balla