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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-10-09 03:42 PM
Original message
Kerry, Graham and Lieberman just gave a press conference on climate change "framework"
Edited on Thu Dec-10-09 04:19 PM by beachmom
You can read a Live Twitter feed of the press conference here:

Here is audio for the conference:

And here is a good summary in the TWI:

Tripartisan Climate Bill Begins to Take Form

By Aaron Wiener 12/10/09 3:27 PM

Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) just held a press conference to outline the broad strokes of the climate bill they will soon introduce. Details were scarce, but the renewed statement of commitment by the three senators represents serious progress over the partisan gridlock that has held up health reform and threatened to derail climate legislation.

Kerry cited the Environmental Protection Agencys endangerment finding, issued Monday, as an impetus to spur Congress to action on climate change. This week, in the EPAs endangerment finding, the Obama administration sent a clear message about the serious threat climate change poses to public health, he said. They also sent a crystal-clear message to Congress: Get moving.

I believe our collaboration has presented the best opportunity for our nation to become energy independent since Ive been in Congress, added Graham, who has taken heat from conservatives for his cooperation with Democrats on the climate issue. I believe the green economy is coming. Its not a question of if its going to happen; its when its going to happen.

More at that link.

Here is the Framework:

Framework for Climate Action and Energy Independence in the U.S. Senate

Carbon pollution is altering the earths climate. The impacts have already been seen and felt throughout our country and around the world. Mondays endangerment finding by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) underscores the importance of Congressional action to address greenhouse gas emissions before the EPA moves unilaterally.

This document outlines the principles and guidelines that will shape our ongoing efforts to develop comprehensive climate change and energy independence legislation. It is a starting point, inviting our colleagues constructive input.

Our efforts seek to build upon the significant work already completed in Congress. Earlier this year, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed bipartisan legislation that will instruct our efforts to promote and achieve energy security. Important work to reduce carbon emissions has taken place in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which additionally informs us. We also anticipate consideration of issues related to climate change by the Senate Finance, Commerce, and Agriculture Committees.

It is critical to emphasize that this framework is a work in progress. We will continue to engage with our constituents, colleagues in the Senate, and stakeholders outside Washington in our effort to build a consensus that will lead to the passage of comprehensive climate and energy legislation. The only way to succeed is through ongoing engagement and an honest effort to put all ideas on the table.

Better jobs, cleaner air. Our legislation will contain comprehensive pollution reduction targets that are both environmentally significant and achievable. It is our belief that a market-based system, rather than a labyrinth of command-and-control regulations, will allow us to reduce pollution economically and avoid the worst impacts of global climate change. It will also provide significant transition assistance to companies and consumers without using taxpayer dollars or driving up the national debt. We believe a near term pollution reduction target in the range of 17 percent below 2005 emissions levels is achievable and reasonable, as is a long term target of approximately 80 percent below 2005 levels. Finally, we believe a robust investment in the development and deployment of clean energy technologies will ensure that as pollution reduction targets become more rigorous, companies will be better equipped to meet their obligations in a cost effective manner.

Many business leaders have endorsed this approach. Just last week, David Cote, the CEO of Honeywell, as well as other business leaders, persuasively argued that setting a price on carbon would create demand for clean energy technologies and provide a tremendous opportunity for economic growth and job creation in America. He said: There will be no jobs created without demand. This legislation would stimulate the demand for energy efficiency products and services and low carbon sources of energy. China and India are stimulating their domestic demand for these products and technologies much more aggressively than we are and will take the global competitiveness lead unless we act. Cap and trade enables businesses to use the market to most effectively and efficiently develop that 21st century global competitiveness. Mr. Cotes words have been echoed by other American business leaders including Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy, who has said, the sooner we pass climate change legislationthe better off our economy, and the worlds environmentwill be. If we go about it the right way, we can not only avoid unnecessary economic harm and dislocation, but we can also ignite a lower carbon, green revolution and more rapidly put this recession in our rear view mirror.

Securing energy independence. We find ourselves more dependent on foreign oil today than any other time in our nations history, and that is unacceptable. Every day, we spend nearly $1 billion to sustain our addiction to foreign energy sourcesand we ship Americans hard earned dollars overseas, some of which finds its way to extremist or terrorist organizations. Presidents and politicians have bemoaned this fact for decades; and now is the moment when we canand mustbreak that habit. By spurring the development and deployment of new clean energy technologies and increasing our supply of domestically produced oil and natural gas on land and offshore, our legislation will ensure Americas energy security. We will do so in a way that sends money back to the states that opt to drill and also provides new federal government revenues to advance climate mitigation goals. We will also encourage investments in energy efficiency because we believe that consuming less power will help keep energy bills down and simultaneously extend the life of our domestic energy resources. Finally, maintaining the ability to refine petroleum products in the United States is a national security priority. It is our belief that we can preserve our refining capacity without sacrificing our environmental goals. If energy independence is to be a priority, we must keep the entire energy cycle right here at home.

Creating regulatory predictability. By failing to legislate, Congress is ceding the policy reins to the EPA and ignoring our responsibility to our constituents. We are working with our colleagues, the Administration and outside stakeholders to strike a sensible balance and determine the appropriate way to provide regulatory predictability. We agree that providing the business community as much certainty as possible is essential to attract investment, create jobs and generate the confidence necessary to reach our goals. The absence of national greenhouse gas emissions standards has invited a patchwork of inconsistent state and regional regulations. Since it is not reasonable to expect businesses to comply with fifty different standards, it is imperative that a federal pollution control system be meaningful and be set by federally elected officials.

Protecting consumers. It is critical to provide transitional assistance to households and businesses to ease the shift to a low-carbon economy. We will provide support to help companies meet their compliance obligations and avoid driving up prices for energy consumers. We will include special protections for low- and middle-income Americans, who spend a disproportionately large amount of their income on energy. We are considering a number of mechanisms, including a price collar and strategic reserve, to moderate the price of carbon and prevent extreme market volatility while maintaining the environmental integrity of the pollution reduction program. Additionally, we support energy efficiency programs to help reduce energy bills long into the future.

Encouraging nuclear power. Additional nuclear power is an essential component of our strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We strongly support incentives for renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, but successful legislation must also recognize the important role for clean nuclear power in our low-emissions future. America has lost its nuclear technology manufacturing base, and we must rebuild it in order to compete in the global marketplace. Our legislation will encourage the construction of new nuclear power plants and provide funding to train the next generation of nuclear workers. We will make it easier to finance the construction of new nuclear power plants and improve the efficiency of the licensing process for traditional as well as small modular reactors, while fully respecting safety and environmental concerns. In addition, we support the research and development of new, safe ways to minimize nuclear waste. We are working with our colleagues to create incentives for low-carbon power sources, including nuclear, that will complement the Energy and Natural Resource Committees work to incentivize renewable electricity.

Ensuring a future for coal. Our country has plentiful, accessible coal resources and infrastructure. It is a key component of our current fuel mix. As Senator Byrd pointed out in a recent op-ed, No deliberate effort to do away with the coal industry could ever succeed in Washington because there is no available alternative energy supply that could immediately supplant the use of coal for base load power generation in America. He also acknowledged that, to deny the mounting science of climate change is to stick our heads in the sand and say deal me out The truth is that some form of climate legislation will likely become public policy because most American voters want a healthier environment. We agree with both statements. However, due to current regulatory uncertainty, it is increasingly challenging to site new coal facilities, and utilities are switching to other fuel sources. Earlier this month, an electric utility in North Carolina announced its plans to take 11 existing coal facilities out of operation. Coals future as part of the energy mix is inseparable from the passage of comprehensive climate change and energy legislation. We will commit significant resources to the rapid development and deployment of clean coal technology, and dedicated support for early deployment of carbon capture and sequestration.

Reviving American manufacturing by creating jobs. Manufacturing is the backbone of our nations economy, and we refuse to believe that the days of American leadership are behind us. Despite some initial success stories, such as North Dakotas 30 percent growth in clean energy jobs in the last decade, the United States is falling behind. Successful climate legislation will not send existing jobs overseas. Rather, pricing carbon will drive innovationcreating new opportunities for those who develop clean energy technologies, as well as those who build, install, and maintain them. We plan to provide significant assistance to manufacturers to avoid carbon leakage and ensure the continued competitiveness of American-made goods. Our legislation will also provide financial incentives to both large and small manufacturers to improve the efficiency of their processes, which will mean even more new jobs. In addition to employing thousands in the building trades, our envisioned development of nuclear and wind power will also mean jobs and growth for our steel industry. It is time to regain our leadership and create the jobs of the future here in America.

Creating wealth for domestic agriculture and forestry. While emissions from agriculture will not be regulated, climate legislation will provide farmers with new opportunities to benefit from reducing their carbon emissions. Offset projects and other incentives will enable farmers to develop new income streams, as environmentally-friendly farming practices dramatically increase in value once a price is placed on carbon. According to USDA Secretary Vilsack, the economic opportunities for farmers and ranchers can potentially outpace, perhaps significantly, the costs from climate legislation. In addition, a new USDA study released last week shows that this can be accomplished without an appreciable rise in food prices. While we are still discussing the details of the offset program with our colleagues, we have reached agreement that we will include significant amounts of real, monitored and verified domestic and international offsets and other incentives in our system in order to contain costs and create opportunities for farmers, ranchers and forest owners to benefit from climate change legislation.

Regulating the carbon market. We will support vigilant carbon market oversight, real-time transparency, adequate settlement requirements to control risk in the market and strong quality controls to ensure maximum effectiveness and clarity. We will not stand for market abuse or manipulation, and we believe it is essential that any comprehensive emissions reduction strategy include provisions to ensure openness and accountability within the carbon market.

Climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution. Ultimately, climate change must be addressed through a strong international agreement that includes real, measurable, reportable, verifiable and enforceable actions by all nations. American leadership is essential, but action by the developing world is necessary to maximize the benefits of our effort. To this end, we acknowledge the role the United States can play to help provide long-term financing to assist developing countries adapt to climate change, generate energy cleanly and reduce emissions from deforestation. Additional private climate finance provided through international offsets has the added benefit of reducing costs for American consumers. As we work collectively with other countries to reduce global emissions, we agree with nine of our colleagues who wrote earlier this month: enhanced technology cooperation will benefit the United States but must be coupled with strong protections for intellectual property rights. Finally, we will include strong measures that are compatible with our obligations under the World Trade Organization to prevent our economic competitors from exploiting the American market if they shirk their responsibility to minimize carbon pollution.

Building consensus. We intend to continue to engage our Senate colleagues in the weeks ahead to develop sensible, effective climate change legislation that will create jobs, ensure our energy independence, restore America to a position of leadership in the clean energy economy and reduce pollution. We are inspired by the years of work that have already been done and we hope both to build on those efforts and to devise new, innovative ideas for resolving some of the issues that have long blocked the passage of a climate change bill in the Senate. Every perspective is valuable and we invite all of our colleagues, stakeholders and constituents to join us in this effort to find consensus. Together, we can and will pass climate change and energy independence legislation this Congress.

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Luftmensch067 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 01:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. Awesome!
Great to have all those different resources (esp. audio!) -- thanks for posting!
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
2. Excellent post - there is a very slim one in the E/E forum

It could use some love and (hint :) ) added material!

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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
3. Expect those who care about the issue to be mad and they will be justified.
Edited on Fri Dec-11-09 02:03 PM by Mass
They will probably aim their anger to the wrong people, but this is worth being mad. I understand that we could have a better bill if the Democrats from the coal states were on board, rather than against these efforts, but this is too important an issue for a bill that seems more industry subsidies than anything else, including subsidies to energies that are not carbon neutral.

This bill is the perfect example of what is wrong: creating a solution that ignores the problem. Because solving climate change is an issue that polls poorly in the US Senate, the bill has become a bill about energy security and jobs. Now, once again, energy security for a country is not the same issue as climate change. They may be tangential, but coal and oil are NOT solutions to the climate change issue though they can be solutions to the energy security problem, if the country has resources that could be exploited.

Now, it is a big issue for me, and it is clear that what is offered here is not only insufficient. It goes in the wrong direction, and this in order to satisfy senators (democratic and republican) from states that produces coal, or that has offshore oil. I could have seen temporary subsidies to help these industries and states transition smoothly to something cleaner, but this is not what is presented here.

I have to say it is extremely not disappointing, but troubling. And even more because it follows a pattern of how the US Senate operates. Not looking the problem in the eyes, but trying to find workaround in order to pass a bill whose usefulness is limited.

I find also interesting that, just as with the health bill, the activism community is divided in two groups: those who want a bill that is helpful, and those who want a bill (whatever bill - I have suggested in the past to some people on GDP to pass the Cantor version of the health bill. It should pass without problem and that would solve the issue. A bill would be voted. Of course, I was saying that tongue in cheeck, but I think it summarize the problem).

I know many will disagree here (and I was not aiming at them talking about passing a bill at all costs), but this is very disappointing. I have long considered that working with Graham and Lieberman was an issue. I understand the need of consensus, but the consensus need to feel a goal, without giving too much to the other side.

I think this is what drives me nut more than anything else. Contrarily to many environmentalists, I am not reflexively opposed to nuclear energy. This said, I also do not believe that nuclear energy can be safe without severe control mechanism. I am reading this except and, as far as I can see, there is no mechanisms to control this, just what seems to be subsidies and easier permit mechanisms (I do not oppose easy authorization mechanisms in wind farms to support it in nuclear.

Encouraging nuclear power. Additional nuclear power is an essential component of our strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We strongly support incentives for renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, but successful legislation must also recognize the important role for clean nuclear power in our low-emissions future. America has lost its nuclear technology manufacturing base, and we must rebuild it in order to compete in the global marketplace. Our legislation will encourage the construction of new nuclear power plants and provide funding to train the next generation of nuclear workers. We will make it easier to finance the construction of new nuclear power plants and improve the efficiency of the licensing process for traditional as well as small modular reactors, while fully respecting safety and environmental concerns. In addition, we support the research and development of new, safe ways to minimize nuclear waste. We are working with our colleagues to create incentives for low-carbon power sources, including nuclear, that will complement the Energy and Natural Resource Committees work to incentivize renewable electricity

More analysis here

The senators also outlined a number of other priorities for their legislation, including:

* Support for companies to help them meet their compliance obligations while containing consumers' energy prices. They said they are considering a number of mechanisms, including a price collar and strategic reserve to moderate carbon prices and prevent extreme market volatility.

* Assistance to manufacturers to avoid "carbon leakage," the fear that if the United States takes action on climate change, the jobs and emissions will merely be transferred to other countries with less stringent regulations.

* Incentives for farmers to reduce their carbon emissions, including "significant amounts of real, monitored and verified domestic and international offsets." Emissions from agriculture will not be regulated.

* Stringent carbon market oversight with real-time transparency and strong risk controls and quality controls.

* Trade measures compatible with U.S. obligations under the World Trade Organization to protect so-called energy intensive trade exposed industries from imports from other countries that do not adhere to emissions-cutting measures.

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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Well, Mass, I actually think in this case that the problem is less about
the Senate and more with the American people. Global climate change simply is not a priority for a lot of Americans, even liberals. For example, I have joined a couple of e-mail lists where people can e-mail a DailyKos diary they have written about the environment. Why are lists so important? Because global climate change and the environment has a lot of trouble making the rec list as other issues are deemed "sexier" like health care, torture, civil liberties, anti-GOP diaries, positive Obama diaries, bitching about Obama diaries, etc. If a liberal hub like DailyKos can't get itself to focus on climate change, then that is a microcosm of what is wrong in this country with respect to the environment. The problem is for most folks (except Alaskans), they can't see, feel, touch, or smell this problem. Instead, they have to rely on scientists who are experts in this field. And with all the right wing propaganda in knocking down the science plus Americans not having great science education, only 50% of the American people even agree that the theory of global climate change is true.

In the meantime, we have a horrible economy where people are losing their jobs and can't find new ones. And now they are hearing that there is a bill that combats something they can't see is going to RAISE their energy bills? In my state of Georgia, your average person doesn't care about this issue, except that they don't want their bills to go higher. Now there is a lot of spin back and forth going on; what I do know is that my German relatives' energy bills did go up in part due to cap and trade. So then one has to craft a bill that will take some of that pain away, but it will be difficult to explain to constituents. Cantwell & Snowe have introduced a bill that will help consumers; I hope their ideas are listened to as well.

I think there is a debate going on amongst liberals: liberal purists vs. liberal pragmatists. I am in the latter group. So I guess I am probably part of the group that you are not happy with. But living in a red state and living amongst almost exclusively Republicans gives me a different perspective. Thing is, as much as you dislike the framework bill Kerry crafted with Lieberman & Graham, we could also end up with only a Webb bill, which completely blows off cap & trade altogether in favor of giveaways to various industries. I think you need the carrot AND the stick, and at least in the K/L/G bill, the stick, although weakened, is still there. And I do think it being sold as an energy independence/jobs bill IS a winning frame for the bill. Here is my illustration from my state:

Jobless claims high and state fund nearly dry

Nearly as many Georgians filed new jobless claims last month as in November a year ago a grim sign that the job market continues to deteriorate badly.

Nearly 73,000 laid-off workers placed initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits, the state Labor Department reported Thursday. That is a decrease of just 2.9 percent from the same month last year in the aftermath of the financial meltdown that sent the economy diving.

More than 1 million people more than 20 percent of the states work force -- have filed for jobless benefits since recession started in late 2007, said state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond.

It is astounding, he said. That is why I think the crisis is worse even than it first appears.

The recent filings not only signal a miserable job market, but they also force the states benefits system close to the edge.

In two years, the state has paid roughly $2.6 billion to laid-off Georgians. That flood of checks has left the states trust fund nearly dry. In the next week, Thurmond will likely ask the federal government for a loan so the state can keep paying its share of the benefits.

Now on the same day of this horrible news, there is this article:

For Norcross-based company, solar energy production is hot

Solar-cell maker Suniva recently finished the first stage of a possible half-billion dollar deal with an Indian energy company.

The Norcross-based company is helping a North Carolina firm build a solar farm outside Asheville. It also plans to construct a $250 million manufacturing plant in Michigan.

But the real payoff for the still young, high-tech start-up may come from Washington.

President Obama promises $150 billion in alternative-energy spending money for solar, wind, ethanol and other renewable energies -- over the next decade.

Weve seen a good deal of progress in the last 11 months or so, but more can be done, Bryan Ashley, chief marketing officer for Suniva, said Thursday. Still, things are heating up quite a bit.

Obama travels to Copenhagen next week for the United Nations climate change summit where calls to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, automobiles and other sources could lead to a greater emphasis on renewable energy and profits for Suniva.

The solar power industry notched 16 percent growth last year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a Washington-based nonprofit. Jobs created by photovoltaic solar cell manufacturers, like Suniva, jumped 81 percent from the previous year.

Ashley said Suniva will increase its Georgia workforce next year by 50 percent. Today it employs 130 people at its clean, un-factory-like factory in Norcross.

Connecting the climate change bill to creating jobs is the best way to get it passed. And it is possible that if the system is put into place, the rush to alternative energy (and away from carbon producing fuels) will go faster than expected. I am less worried about the offshore drilling provisions because I think in reality they will go nowhere. They tend to turn into local issues, and get slowed down if not stopped.

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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Great reply
There was some good news -

An Ipsos Public Affairs survey finds that 52% of respondents support a cap and trade plan, similar to that working through Congress, with 41% opposing the measure.

The poll also finds that messaging is make or break for the initiative: Support drops to 43%, with 55% opposed, when cap and trade raises monthly electrical bills by $25, but support jumps to 60%, with 36% opposed, when that same spike in prices accompanies the creation of "a significant number of 'green' jobs."

This is incredibly good given the incessant flack the RW has thrown at it. As a side note, it does show how on target Kerry's larger vision on this was - too bad it was mostly seen just on CSPAN - as much for making this case as for Kerry.

I saw two articles on the Cantwell bill and like you see some good points in it. I liked the idea of limiting the purchase of credits just to the companies that use them as it is a great way to avoid speculation on them. I also liked the clean cut distribution of the gains to people affected - it is not their fault their power source is coal. (I think there was already some of that in Kerry/Boxer.) In addition, they explicitly continually force the level down each year in the future. K/B has to do this do to make the goal it has, yet there is less said on that.

What I didn't like was that some people equated it with the entire bill - either K/B or the bill that will come from the framework. It is actually just a replacement for the cap and trade piece. (So, yeah, it has less pages.)

There is also one thing that I think may be counterproductive in it. It taxes the people who sell the fuel based on the carbon, rather than charging the top companies that emit it. I have no expertise in this, but that would charge the most efficient, least polluting coal plant the same amount as the worst plant. So, while long term, this variation on a carbon tax will make wind, solar, hydroelectric etc cheaper, in the short term, it does little to push any improved plant technology.

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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I am aware that the framework is currently the best thing we have.
This said, I am starting to get wary about people saying that because it is the best thing, people should stop advocating to make it better. The latest discovery in the Senate bill (annual caps on benefits) was pretty bad and it is good that people did not say: let's forget it. We need a bill. The point is that, as much as I am a pragmatic, there is a point where a bill is useless, and I recognize it is a very difficult thing for a congressman or senator to fins where this threshold is.

As for the Cantwell bill, I understand why it may be seducing, but I was not really convinced it was good (giving money back to people is an idea that seems always good first, but does not really do a lot for reducing global warming. You still get the same amount whether your footprint is big or not, and this money could probably be better used helping clean companies start and helping people converting to clean energy. I would have to read the details to know what it is really.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-14-09 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
7. As I suspected, the American people are no longer focused on global climate change:

Poll: Just 37% Call Global Warming High Priority

With world leaders debating how to address climate change in Copenhagen and the U.S. Senate poised to take up a climate bill in the coming months, a new CBS News/New York Times poll finds that just 37 percent of Americans believe the issue should be a priority for government leaders.

That's a significant drop from April of 2007, when 52 percent of those surveyed said the issue should be a high priority.

This statistic is incredible:

Democrats are more likely than Republicans to view global warming as an urgent problem. Fifty-two percent say it should be a high priority, compared with 22 percent of Republicans. Nearly 40 percent of Republicans say global warming is not a serious issue.

Let's forget about Republicans. Only 52% of Democrats think it is a high priority?

Sell the bill as a jobs bill, or it's dead. Meanwhile, I just read Copenhagen is in "chaos". And Kerry won't be able to get there, or not for long. A lot of dispiriting news.
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Luftmensch067 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-14-09 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I heard that this weekend
Only at that point they were saying 50% for the US and 41% for Great Britain! That last figure shocked me even more! Very worrying about Copenhagen. For my semi-hopeful comment, see the Copenhagen thread, but I know it's a long shot... Still, I wouldn't be here if I didn't feel that JK can make a difference, at the conference or after it.

I wish more people could hear the way he talks about what could happen. I think he's as effective as Gore's movie in painting the picture of how climate change may affect ordinary lives. I also heard something on NPR this weekend about how hard it is to make that connection between this issue and the kinds of personal stories people really relate to, and I think JK is one of the few who can bring that idea home.
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Blaukraut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-14-09 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Americans have the attention span of gnats
Blame the media for not giving the perils of climate change honest coverage, instead of allowing a platform for the loudmouthed deniers like Inhofe, etc.
Regardless of where the blame lies, unless we rid ourselves of our 'me first' attitude, or unless gas prices hit european levels, nothing will change.
As long as we view wind farms as eye sores, or economic, fuel efficient, small cars as 'not manly enough', nothing will change.
As long as we consider it our inalienable right to throw all trash into one barrel and not be made to recycle, nothing will change.
As long as we feel we cannot be comfortable unless our indoor temperature is a cool 68 in summer and a toasty 75 in winter, nothing will change.
I could list many more examples, but we all get the idea.

Too many Americans are less than willing to make necessary sacrifices to combat climate change (yes, it has to start with us), and they are enabled by those in power, in whose interest it lies to maintain the status quo. I'm so sick of it, it's not funny.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-14-09 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. If someone has lost their job, maybe their home, and doesn't
know how they are going to get by in the next year, I don't think they are actually being me oriented to say that jobs and other issues are a higher priority than global climate change.

But ... if you present a bill where new industries are going to sprout up with good paying jobs, that may interest that person.

I actually think people SHOULD vote their interests. The problem is that the religious right put things all out of whack. A lot of lower class people who would be helped by liberal policies don't vote their economic interests, while wealthier folks in, say, the northeast end up also voting against their economic interests, they are so turned off by the religious right in the GOP.

Right now, I don't see a coalition to make global climate change pass. Who benefits from doing something about a problem nobody can see? So, therefore, I think doing an energy independence/jobs oriented bill is the only thing people can understand.

I wish there was a way to lower carbon usage without people feeling like they are going to get hit. I think a new idea needs to come forward than cap & trade. The Webb bill would be ineffective (all carrot, no stick). How do you encourage alternative energy & energy efficiency while not hurting people in terms of their energy bills? I don't know .... but I am telling you, guys, that the situation looks grim.

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Blaukraut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-14-09 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. That's the problem
Of course being concerned about jobs and the economy doesn't make a person me-oriented. The problem is that environmental awareness is still such a new concept here in the US that it hasn't become ingrained in people's everyday lives as it has in Europe, therefore it will take a backseat to more pressing problems in their eyes. The fact that combating global climate change and job creation can, and do, go hand in hand is not being made clear enough, as you stated.

As to hurting people in terms of their energy bills by encouraging alternative energy and energy efficiency - I can only speak from personal experience. Simple actions, such as lowering your driving speed, turning down the thermostat, shutting off electronic appliances and turning off lights, lowering the temperature on your water heater, switching to energy efficient light bulbs, etc etc...actually help your energy bills. This is what I mean by simple concepts that ought to already be ingrained in people's consciousness and everyday lives, but aren't yet.

But I agree with you about the bill. It's going to fail if it isn't presented in a different light.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-14-09 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. The other thing is (which I loathe to bring up), I think the bill is doomed
for a weird reason: Lieberman's name on it. What Joe Lieberman has just done to hcr . . . I had always assumed that he would balk but would in the end vote for health care reform. Now that he may have just killed it -- can you believe that this may actually not pass???!!!??? Well, I don't see liberals backing the K/G/L bill now.

An all out shelling war has reached epic levels between liberals and Lieberman. In fact, Steven Benen now muses that liberals should have said they were against the Medicare for 55 and older idea just so that Joe would have backed it.

Given this, as a liberal, I oppose the K/G/L global climate change bill.
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