The News is In … It isn’t good … and it isn’t getting reported … and WH talking points

Well, it is getting reported, but seemingly not in the United States …

According to The Independent, the International Panel on Climate Change‘s latest study lets us know, it is now too late.

A rise of two degrees centigrade [3.6 degrees fahrenheit] in global temperatures – the point considered to be the threshold for catastrophic climate change which will expose millions to drought, hunger and flooding – is now “very unlikely” to be avoided …

To put it simply, this is not good news … not at all.

But, it is also news that should impassion us to do our part, to fight to Energize America and our own lives, to turn the “very unlikely” into reality.  

And, well, it is news the White House doesn’t want you to hear or pay attention to. They have Don’t Worry, Be Happy talking points to salve our concerns about Global Warming.

The IPCC study report paints a scary picture, highlighting that there will be impacts around the globe that will occur.

inevitability of drastic global warming in the starkest terms yet,  the focus must be on adapting life to survive the most devastating changes.

Why care about two degrees? This has been the threshhold level set as ‘we better not surpass this or else the consequences will truly be dire’ … consequences from sea rise, to agricultural disruption,

Now, we have already had a temperature rise of about .9 degrees centigrade, the question has been (and, well, we can hope, remains) whether we (the globe, humanity) can take action in a timely enough manner to avoid that additional 1.1 degree temperature rise (roughly 1.8 degrees F).  Remember, there is a time lag impact from Green-House Gas (GHG) emissions.  Making humanity’s footprint Climate Friendly (carbon neutral) with a snap of a finger would not stop global warming in coming years, what it would do is limit the extent of damage in the coming decades/centuries/millenia.  Every day, we delay in turning the tide on GHG emissions locks in even greater temperature increases in the coming years and sets us even more firmly on a Business as Usual (BAU) path toward utter disaster.

The problems, to remember, are not centuries in the future, the globe (we) are already being affected. Changing emissions patterns will have impact immediately even while protecting the future.  

Now, the IPCC statement is that the impacts of Global War

are being felt sooner than anticipated with the poorest countries and the poorest people set to suffer the worst of shifts in rainfall patterns, temperature rises and the viability of agriculture across much of the developing world.

Damage is already occurring … and, well, since it is the poorest and least powerful suffering the consequences, it seems less likely that this will motivate serious action in face of the latest missing white girl in Aruba.

In its latest assessment of the progress of climate change, the body said: “If warming is not kept below two degrees centigrade, which will require the strongest mitigation efforts, and currently looks very unlikely to be achieved, the substantial global impacts will occur, such as species extinctions, and millions of people at risk from drought, hunger, flooding.”

Under the scale of risk used by IPCC, the words “very unlikely” mean there is just a one to 10 per cent chance of limiting the global temperature rise to two degrees centigrade or less.

Less than 10 percent chance of preventing that rise?

Well, time to radically change America’s energy and global warming approaches. To seize a positive leadership role and put the Globe onto a different path.

Professor Martin Parry … co-chairman of the IPCC committee … believed it would now be “very difficult” to achieve the target and that governments need to combine efforts to “mitigate” climate change by reducing CO2 emissions with “adaptation” to tackle active consequences such as crop failure and flooding.

….  “Ten years ago we were talking about these impacts affecting our children and our grandchildren. Now it is happening to us.”

“Even if we achieve a cap at two degrees, there is a stock of major impacts out there already and that means adaptation. You cannot mitigate your way out of this problem… The choice is between a damaged world or a future with a severely damaged world.”

Choice between damaged and severely damaged? This is not the world that any parent wants to hand their children … but this is not about our children (well, it is) but about us (and, well, even US).

The impacts will be severe … and global … and, well, affect us (US) all.

In the face of this, the White House is passing around its talking points re Global Warming.  

Sent out Wednesday, 19 Sept, to Bush Administration officials from the Executive Office of the President by Martin E. McGuinness, Special Assistant to the President for Legislative (see p 887)

You may recall that in May the President announced a major international  initiative on energy security and climate change, and this approach was largely endorsed by the G-8 leaders in June.  The President made good on this initiative by inviting world leaders to send their representatives to a meeting of major economies that will take place next week, on September 27-28.

Ah, there is a meeting this coming week … “climate change” and “energy security” …

17 major economies plus the UN are expected to participate in these meetings next week, including major emerging markets like China and India.

This meeting matters, as Bush will push these countries to endorse more fossil fuel burning, to ignore the reality standing us all in the face about the pace, path, and implications of Global Warming.

The meeting kicks off a process to develop a new post-2012 energy security and climate change framework by the end of 2008.  

This is a two-part objective, in my opinion.

  1.  Kick the can down the pike on US action another year, through this Administration.
  1.  Negotiate something internationally that will, VP Cheney (R-Exxon) hopes, hog-tie the next Administration from being appropriately pro-active in confronting Global Warming in the international community.

The memo continues its description of the event:

Leaders will:

  • Launch a process for identifying a long-term global goal to reduce greenhouse gases
  • Discuss technology pathways and near-term national strategies to promote energy security and reduce greenhouse gases
  • Construct work programs for key sectors, such as advanced coal and transportation, and
  • Agree that we should strengthen emissions reporting and harmonize how we measure our reductions

Wow, doesn’t it sound good … it all sounds so positive … finding cooperative paths for reducing GHG, setting objectives, finding measurement tools for tracking progress.  For some reason, however, it is hard to take this at face value, isn’t it?

The various agencies involved have the lead in rolling out information related to this meeting to the Hill, but I wanted to personally touch base with you as well.  CEQ, State, DoE, USDA, EPA and DoC officials will be available this Friday, September 21 from 9:00 – 10:00 am in 2200 RHOB to provide an overview of the meeting and answer questions.

The Rayburn House Office Building?  Think Nancy Pelosi is invited? How about Ed Markay? The Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee staff. (By the way, check out their great new website. There are some problems with it, but lets count those as starting off hiccups, it looks great.)

The President will be addressing those gathered for these meetings and I will share those remarks with you as soon as I am able to do so.  If you or others you know wish to attend the speech, likely to be Friday morning at the State Department, just let me know.

Hope this helps, happy to answer any questions you may have.  

Think he’s ready to answer my questions?

Yours?

The Don’t Worry, Be Happy approach to Global Warming

Now, for the talking points … Please sing “Don’t worry, Be Happy” to yourself while reading this. Among other things, it is the appropriate intellectual level for being able to take this material seriously.

While I have you, here are some of our TPs on the subject:
Be prepared to see the points that you will be reading in the traditional media next week.

  • This Administration has done more for the environment and addressing energy security and climate change than any other in history.

What?  Huh?  Black is White. Night is Day. 2007 is 1984 and we live in a Brave New World.

  • The President has devoted $37 billion to climate change since 2001 and has requested $7.4 billion more in 2008 for dozens of voluntary, incentive-based, and mandatory programs.
  • Since 2001 President Bush has consistently acknowledged that climate change is occurring and humans are a contributing factor.

Huh …
Wow, how can anyone say things like this with a straight face. For example, in
June 2006, George W. Bush said “I have said consistently that global warming something is a serious problem. There is a debate over whether it’s manmade or naturally caused.”  Well, the first sentence is clearly not true and, well, the second does seem to contradict this talking point, doesn’t it?

  • The President treats climate change seriously and is taking aggressive, yet responsible action to reduce our greenhouse gases based on the best available science.

Don’t you love codewords?  “Best availabe science …” This from the people who question evolution?  “Sound Science” is that science which fits the political agenda of the Republican Party.  
What a caveated statement that leaves it with little meaning.

  • The President is committed to a portfolio of actions that fosters economic growth, achieves emissions reductions through technology investments, and includes developed and developing economies.

Huh?  Committed?  With how many $10s of billions?  

  • The President is working actively on programs in the U.S. and with international partners to first slow, then stop, then ultimately reverse the growth of greenhouse gas emissions.

Actively?  Sort of like how he acts with the “Democrat Party” in Congress to seek bipartisan solutions to key national challenges?

  • The President’s policies are working – the U.S. is seeing the same rate of progress in slowing the growth of greenhouse gases, if not better, than European counterparts while experiencing robust economic growth.

Sadly, this is up before I’ve had the time to fact check the material.  I would not be surprised to see that, somehow, this is true, but it is certainly not truthful and is, basically, truthiness.

  • In 2006, it is estimated U.S. absolute CO2 emissions declined 1.3% while the economy grew 3.3%.

Wow, the economy grew 3.3%?  I assume that includes inflation.  And, how many more industrial jobs were exported overseas, reducing that sectors pollution. And, well, 2006 was an extremely hot year. Did that perhaps contribute to reduced heating pollution? And, remember the shock of over $3 gasoline in 2006 and (some) reduced driving?  But, again, have not “fact-checked” all of this … needing to leave something for the comments.

But, above are the talking points.  

Use the comments to fact check, reflect on them.

Develop the counter-points to these Truthiness points …

Prime the machine with answers. …

In any event …

Don’t Worry, Be Happy … whatever it is will soon pass …

Whistling our way to a hotter planet …

Ask yourself:  Are you doing
your part to

ENERGIZE AMERICA?

Are you ready
  to do your part?

Your voice can
… and will make a difference.

So … SPEAK UP … NOW!!!

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