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Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:00 PM

Obama’s green team: He really meant it

Source: The Hill

Obama’s green team: He really meant it
By Ben Geman - 01/22/13 12:08 AM ET

.....................

President Obama’s green energy team all said, in essence, that Obama really, really meant it when he vowed to make climate a major focus in Monday’s inaugural speech.

“We need to make sure that we tackle climate change in these next four years and this president is going to do it,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, wearing his traditional ten-gallon hat and bolo tie, told the crowd Monday night.

“We are going to lift our game in the interlocking challenges of climate change and energy,” said John Holdren, who is Obama’s top science adviser.

“Energy and climate policy are going to be a top priority,” added Heather Zichal, the top White House energy and climate aide.




Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/278429-obamas-green-team-he-really-meant-it

45 replies, 3395 views

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Arrow 45 replies Author Time Post
Reply Obama’s green team: He really meant it (Original post)
kpete Jan 2013 OP
SemperEadem Jan 2013 #1
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #2
NickB79 Jan 2013 #4
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #6
NickB79 Jan 2013 #9
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #10
CreekDog Jan 2013 #16
NickB79 Jan 2013 #21
BadgerKid Jan 2013 #11
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #14
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #3
AverageJoe90 Jan 2013 #31
sheshe2 Jan 2013 #5
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #13
UnrepentantLiberal Jan 2013 #25
zipplewrath Jan 2013 #38
rosesaylavee Jan 2013 #17
AverageJoe90 Jan 2013 #28
valerief Jan 2013 #7
randome Jan 2013 #8
Kolesar Jan 2013 #15
Blanks Jan 2013 #12
tama Jan 2013 #27
AverageJoe90 Jan 2013 #30
Blanks Jan 2013 #33
tama Jan 2013 #35
Blanks Jan 2013 #40
tama Jan 2013 #41
Blanks Jan 2013 #42
tama Jan 2013 #43
Blanks Jan 2013 #44
tama Jan 2013 #45
Cha Jan 2013 #18
Richard D Jan 2013 #19
AverageJoe90 Jan 2013 #29
Katorama Jan 2013 #20
csziggy Jan 2013 #22
lunatica Jan 2013 #23
AverageJoe90 Jan 2013 #32
Mojorabbit Jan 2013 #24
Socal31 Jan 2013 #26
Blanks Jan 2013 #34
Liberal_Stalwart71 Jan 2013 #36
intheflow Jan 2013 #37
Liberal_Stalwart71 Jan 2013 #39

Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:05 PM

1. we have to do this

this country cannot afford superstorm destruction on the scale of Sandy on a regular basis. If Sandy is what we have to look forward to from now on--both during hurricane season and in freak storms that form well after hurricane season is over--then we need to have been rethinking our policy a long, long time ago.

If being energy dependency is not curbed and alternative sources not implemented soon, then we will have to get used to being torn apart by an angry earth on the regular.

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Response to SemperEadem (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:13 PM

2. Sandy is mild compared to our future

 

We won't see shock and awe. We will see the following, for decades, until the will to live is sapped from our dry, famine starved bones:



We have 100 years of that in the pipe with climate change on top. Our crops will die within decades as the soil turns to dust.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:17 PM

4. I'm so happy to live in the green area right now

Yeah, -50F windchills suck during cold snaps like this one, but at least we still have some moisture during the growing season. As I recall, my state (Minnesota) had the best crops of the season last year. I'm interested to see how the exodus from the Great Plains plays out over the next few years; Minnesota could see major population growth as climate refugees stream into the Upper Midwest.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:21 PM

6. The boon may be temporary

 

Northward migration will eventually be halted by a lazer-armed double wall, patrolled by drones (for everyone except those with Koch and Bush for last names):

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:43 PM

9. Sadly, the region they call "viable for wheat"

Is not viable, unless we genetically engineer wheat capable of growing in granite outcroppings, which about half the blue-shaded section is.

Besides, I'm planning on being part of the new wave of Minnesota banana farmers by then

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:47 PM

10. Its not all granite

 

There are plenty of forests we also need to clear out (releasing more carbon) for farming or bitumen refinement.

People who think we can just easily adapt to this are living in a fantasy world.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:11 PM

16. that's a bad business move and here's why

climate change isn't waking up one day and growing one thing for ever and ever.

it's that you can't count on growing the cold weather crops the land used to support

but the climate change is not uniform, so you can't count on growing new crops.

it's a disaster and far from being cheerful about it, you should realize that it places millions, many, many millions, already on the brink of starvation, into famine. and if it happens in enough places, your food supply is in jeopardy too.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 05:24 PM

21. That was my attempt at graveyard humor

Don't worry about me; I'm all too familiar with what sorts of catastrophies my 2-yr old daughter will get to see as she grows up

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:54 PM

11. Time to deliver democracy to Canada.


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Response to BadgerKid (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:01 PM

14. Im not sure they want any

 

They are too busy enjoying their tar-sand funded social programs that address their economic plight caused by outrageous personal consumption and debt.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:13 PM

3. And the gop's response ...

"We shouldn't do anything because the rest of the world isn't doing anything."

Well ... So much for American Exceptionalism and being that Beacon in the Night.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 07:07 AM

31. How ironic, indeed!

This is one case where a little exceptionalism might indeed come very much in handy.....but, of course, the GOP is against such, since they feel it hurts their bottom lines; hence, it's also why many deniers claim that initiatives to bring around green jobs and greener energy will inevitably kill the economy and even probably collapse civilization as we know it.....because they are squarely in Big (Fossil) Energy's pockets, too.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:21 PM

5. I can not wait to hear details at the SOTU!

I am so Happy, that Our President, is addressing this issue. It will be good to give something back, to our Mother Earth, instead of sucking it dry!

Thank You, Mr President!

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:57 PM

13. Don't hold your breath

 

We need drastic global action immediately that may be very well incompatible economic growth. If the health reform is any indication of how "extreme" we can be on this matter, we like will not put a dent in this issue. The most we can hope for is that governments work to help less of us die.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:53 AM

25. ^^^This^^^

 

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:00 PM

38. He has no idea

I applaud his interest, and his efforts to date. But this president has used the expression "clean coal" which is a joke. The magnitude of change required to accomplish ANYTHING but merely slowing the rate of the problem is well beyond anything his ready, able, or willing to do. The best hope is that he delivers on the idea of making clean energy techologies be something developed and sold from here, instead of India.

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:12 PM

17. +1000

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 06:59 AM

28. I, too, would like to thank the President.....

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:26 PM

7. Won't oil and gas lose their power with this? Or will the problem be tackled so that oil and gas

gain power?

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:33 PM

8. They HAVE to have done security assessments of this threat to the government.

And other than secluding top officials in a secret bunker (which would weaken our military might), those higher up in the chain of command KNOW something needs to be done.

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Response to randome (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:10 PM

15. People will flee flooded countries like Bangladesh and destabilize* neighboring countries

I have read that on CIA and Pentagon assessment articles.

*understated

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:55 PM

12. It isn't going to happen overnight.

If we can get things trending in the right direction; that will be good.

We need to increase the food produced in urban areas. Particularly abandoned urban areas. Reduce transportation miles on food etc. Create more agriculture related jobs in the cities.

It should be kind of an exciting time. If it gets started off correctly.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:36 AM

27. Have you been watching

 

what is happening in rust belt cities like Detroit? Natural wonders, community gardens, popping up everywhere!

And it happens naturally people powered, as we are by nature gardening species, without top-down orders from government.

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Response to tama (Reply #27)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 07:03 AM

30. And this is likely only the beginning, too.

Watch for tower gardens in our future.....there's been a lot of discussion about that in recent years, and might be a hell of a boon for urban residents, particularly if worst-case Plains drought scenarios come close to playing out as some fear they could.

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Response to tama (Reply #27)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:44 AM

33. I have.

My wife and I went to Detroit for vacation in 2009 (who vacations in Detroit). There were only a few community gardens that we saw at that time, but I believe it only takes a few before people get the 'bug'.

Cleveland (actually Cuyahoga county) extension has some videos on YouTube, and there is a group that took over a school in Kansas City.

It's busting out all over. Once things get going in the right direction, with enough people involved; it will be unstoppable.

This is America's next moon landing. We just have to reduce the influence of the big petrochemical and financial industries and it will happen on its own.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #33)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:03 AM

35. I've studied gardening and permaculture

 

and one of my pet issues is terra preta/biochar:

1. improves soil fertility
2. carbon sink

And what's most amazing, at least in Amazon once initiated, terra preta formation has become "automatic" natural process that does not need human involvement. The science of terra preta is not fully understood, but there is no reason to assume it could not become automatic process also elsewhere.

Terra preta soil improvment can be done both on home scale and on industrial scale. We would be very wise to, IMHO.

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Response to tama (Reply #35)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:02 PM

40. An industry that I would like to see develop...

Is organic mowing. Using animals (particularly horses) to eat the grass instead of non-renewable fuels.

I haven't mowed my lawn for years (3 acres). I have an electric fence that I can move around to put the horses in areas where I want the grass cut.

Imagine how much we could extend what oil we have in the world if we started encouraging the use of this method instead of mowers. It wouldn't work everywhere, but in addition to the fuel savings; they produce a good quality fertilizer. My chickens typically scratch the manure for bugs and prevent the piles of manure from choking out grass. My lawn looks better each year, and requires much less effort than mowing.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #40)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:15 PM

41. There is some

 

Cows, sheep, goats and horses you can ask for meal and to keep your lawn short.

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Response to tama (Reply #41)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:39 PM

42. I haven't seen anything like that; do you have a link? eom

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Response to Blanks (Reply #42)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:52 PM

43. I live in Finland

 

so I won't bother up digging local links. Much of it is of course mouth to mouth rural cooperation, but there are e.g. sheep associations from where you can rent sheep for summer, etc.

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Response to tama (Reply #43)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 06:15 PM

44. That's interesting. How widespread is it? eom

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Response to Blanks (Reply #44)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 07:07 PM

45. I don't know eom

 

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 03:52 PM

18. Of course he

does. He gets reports.. he knows it has to be.

Thanks kpete

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 03:57 PM

19. Reduce Greenhouse gases by 17% by 2020

Is that anywhere near enough? Granted, it's better than no reduction or going in the other way, but it still seems insufficient.

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Response to Richard D (Reply #19)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 07:02 AM

29. Certainly not likely if we want a relatively quick(1-2 century) return to Pre-Industrial climate....

But, TBH, 17% isn't all that bad(though I think we can also do much better).....I'll take it.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 03:59 PM

20. I'd like to see what they do, not what they say.

 

So far, all they have done is ask me for more money.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 05:42 PM

22. Scientists know what can happen

And it scares them when they compare what is happening now to what has happened in the past.

Hothouse Earth
by Robert Kunzig
Photograph by Ira Block

Earth has been through this before.

Not the same planetary fever exactly; it was a different world the last time, around 56 million years ago. The Atlantic Ocean had not fully opened, and animals, including perhaps our primate ancestors, could walk from Asia through Europe and across Greenland to North America. They wouldn't have encountered a speck of ice; even before the events we're talking about, Earth was already much warmer than it is today. But as the Paleocene epoch gave way to the Eocene, it was about to get much warmer still—rapidly, radically warmer.

The cause was a massive and geologically sudden release of carbon. Just how much carbon was injected into the atmosphere during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM, as scientists now call the fever period, is uncertain. But they estimate it was roughly the amount that would be injected today if human beings burned through all the Earth's reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas. The PETM lasted more than 150,000 years, until the excess carbon was reabsorbed. It brought on drought, floods, insect plagues, and a few extinctions. Life on Earth survived—indeed, it prospered—but it was drastically different. Today the evolutionary consequences of that distant carbon spike are all around us; in fact they include us. Now we ourselves are repeating the experiment.


Photograph by Jason Hawkes
The source of the carbon surge 56 million years ago is uncertain, but it was natural. Today’s surge, which may prove much faster, is human made. Oceans and forests absorb atmospheric CO2 but can’t keep up with emissions from stacks like this one (at center) at a coal-fired power plant in England—the country where the industrial revolution began.


The PETM "is a model for what we're staring at—a model for what we're doing by playing with the atmosphere," says Philip Gingerich, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Michigan. "It's the idea of triggering something that runs away from you and takes a hundred thousand years to reequilibrate."

More: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/10/hothouse-earth/kunzig-text


Very good article about the PETM and how it could be a forecast of what the world faces in the next few hundreds or thousands of years.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 05:59 PM

23. I could just weep in gratitude!

I thought it was never going to happen!

I'm very glad and relieved!

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Response to lunatica (Reply #23)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 07:08 AM

32. I think it's great news, too.

Now, hopefully, we can start making real major progress again, like in the '90s.....

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:02 AM

24. I hope this is true! nt

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:56 AM

26. I applaud the idea.

But with new technology such as fracking allowing the US to become the top FF producer in the next 5 years, I don't see a "carbon slowdown" any time soon.

That isn't to say that we shouldn't be trying. Maybe redirect a large portion of the DoD budget towards renewable energy? Just a thought.

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Response to Socal31 (Reply #26)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:49 AM

34. Just a little. Half or so. eom

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:54 AM

36. Obama *had* a "green team" during his first four years. It was the called the

Council on Environmental Quality. Who led the CEQ? Van Jones. Remember what happened to Van Jones?

The point is that I believe the president has always been sincere about addressing climate change. He couldn't get anything through Congress, so he established the CEQ where he directed his federal agencies to address energy-related issues and green policies. I know this because my boss (at HUD) participated in the CEQ.

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #36)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:22 AM

37. And I'm always suspicious of any green team that includes Salazar.

He's from oil and gas country, and strives to keep them happy.

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Response to intheflow (Reply #37)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 01:05 PM

39. That's a good point. They ran Van Jones out of the White House, and he was the most thoughtful

and honest on this issue. Salazar can't be trusted.

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