Voicing Reason on the Lieberman-Warner CISA

The battlelines are being drawn when it comes to what makes sensible legislation to respond to Global Warming.  Sadly, the lines are being drawn among the environmental community, with Global Warming Deniers, Skeptics, and Delayers watching the developing battle with amusement.

In December, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) committee passed out for full Senate consideration the Lieberman-Warner Climate (in)Security Act (CISA).  As discussed elsewhere, the CISA is fundamentally flawed.   Among its problems:

  • Giveaway of $500+ billion in pollution permits, raising the cost and lowering the efficiency of the US economy’s finding a path toward a climate friendly society; and
  • Inadequate targets for reducing CO2 to lower the risk of catastrophic climate change …

These are just a taste of the CISA problems.  Even with these known, serious, high-risk problems, too many people have found their way to praise LW, seemingly desperate to be able to claim victory on the Climate Change legislative front, even if this seeming battlefield victory could doom us to defeat in the war on Global Warming.

The CISA’s risks and inadequacies need daylight shown on them to either ensure fixing its faults or keeping it from going to George W Bush’s desk for signature. 

Earlier today, Friends of the Earth began a campaign to shine this light.

Fix or Ditch the Lieberman-Warner Global Warming Bill

After years of ignoring global warming, the U.S. Senate is finally considering legislation to cap greenhouse gas pollution. Unfortunately, the Lieberman-Warner bill being advanced by Senate Democrats lavishes up to $1 trillion on industries responsible for global warming, and in return asks for reduction targets well below what scientists say are necessary. If this is the best Senate Democrats can do, the world is in trouble.

FOE is running advertisements (print, web) to highlight the (VERY) serious disparities between Lieberman-Warner and the sensible energy and Global Warming policies of the three Democratic Presidential candidates. 

  • Carbon Reduction Targets: 
    • Clinton, Edwards, Obama: 80% reduction of carbon emissions by 2050.
    • Lieberman-Warner: about 60%.
  • Pollution Permit Revenue:
    • Clinton, Edwards, Obama:  100% auction
    • Lieberman-Warner: 40% given away to serial polluters (>$500 billion over 20 years)

 And so on …

“Do Democratic senators really want to undermine their own presidential candidates on global warming?” asked Friends of the Earth Action President Brent Blackwelder. “The top Democratic candidates have all called for global warming pollution to be reduced 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050; they also want to make all polluters pay through a 100 percent pollution permit auction.  The Lieberman-Warner bill falls far short of these goals.”

Who has Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA) endorsed in the Presidential election? John McCain.

Who co-sponsored an earlier version of this bill with Joe Lieberman? John McCain.

“This is a potential political debacle for Democrats, but that’s not why we’re concerned,” Blackwelder said, highlighting what he said are the bill’s two most critical substantive problems. “First, it includes massive giveaways to corporate special interests. Handing polluters a trillion dollars is not the way to solve global warming. Second, it fails to reduce global warming pollution at the rate scientists have said is necessary. Eighty by 2050 from 1990 levels is a bare minimum, giving us only a 50 percent chance of avoiding the worst effects of global warming. This is the biggest threat facing our nation. If this Congress and this president can’t get the job done, the next ones absolutely must.”

Yes, it sounds so arcane, so without meaning, but 80 by 2050 is an absolute minimum to have any serious chance of avoiding truly catastrophic climate change.  Lieberman-Warner falls short.

Now, some will argue that we “can’t wait” and the Climate (in)Security Act (CISA) is the best that can happen with George W. Bush in the Oval Office.  “We can’t wait!” That is an important, powerful call. But, the CISA wouldn’t go into effect prior to 2012. Is that a “wait”? 

Now, some will argue that the CISA is simply a start, that we will be able to improve it over time. “We can improve it later as we see success.” That, again, is a compelling and seemingly logical argument. After CISA has given away $500+ billion to serial polluters in permits to pollute the air we breathe for free, does anyone believe that these serial polluters will quietly give up these valuable permits without a massive fight?  Improve it later? How?

Global Warming legislation will be the most far-reaching actions by Congress, perhaps ever. It will have huge fiscal implications. It will touch all of US across our lives. It will set our future path toward prosperity or devastation.  Its importance is hard to overstate. Should such important legislation be developed behind closed doors by the staff of Senators not in the majority party?  Should it go forward without extensive discussions throughout the Congress and across American society? 

It is time for voices to speak up, to call on your Senators to ensure that Lieberman-Warner follows the basic Global Warming platforms of the Democratic Presidential candidates (80% by 2050; 100% auction) or it does not leave the Senate.

NOTE: For more information, see Fix or Ditch Lieberman-Warner.

11 responses to “Voicing Reason on the Lieberman-Warner CISA

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  3. Thanks AS!

  4. Fix, or ditch, Lieberman-Warner.

  5. Pingback: The WAWG Blog � Blog Archive » Bad Deeds for 2-06-2008

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  8. GLOBAL WARMING or GLOBAL COOLING?

    By: Angelos Backus

    Only a moron would have an answer!

    Most likely it is the same moron that will make the claim that they know which came first: the Chicken or the Egg? all without asking about the role of the rooster!

    INTRODUCTION

    It is embarrassing to constantly read about or hear educated politicians, news reporters, news commentators, quack scientists, and even a past Vice President of the United States making claims that the planet Earth is undergoing a period of global warming or global cooling. It is especially disturbing when these claims are made without first offering any logical scientific or mathematical evidence. Listening to some of these unsubstantiated statements, I can’t help myself from wondering what century we live in. Is it during the life of Aesop, where we were governing our thoughts by Aesop’s fable The Wind and the Sun or maybe during the eighteenth century and The Caloric Theory?

    If this is indeed the twenty-first century, then we must be aware of the historic Brownian Movement and the advancement of Dalton’s molecular and atomic theory, which led to the conciliation that all matter is composed of molecules.

    THE PROBLEM

    There is one overriding problem now surrounding the global warming/global cooling debate. It is this problem that is arguably causing much of the overwhelming confusion among the public. Simply stated, the central problem is that both the interested and disinterested parties to the debate have no solid or tangible scientific and mathematical understanding of what temperature and heat actually are.

    Obviously, most anyone can provide a definition of the words temperature and heat. A normal person would define the word heat as how hot something is or feels. That same person would likely define temperature in mostly the identical way. While those definitions sound logical and correct, they are in fact complete misrepresentations of what temperature and heat are in a scientific and mathematical sense.

    Unfortunately, in our society, the social and educational systems do not work to provide their students with the correct understanding of how the living world truly operates. Our societal and educational systems would rather have students memorize a basic and uninvolved definition, and then force this definition to be regurgitated, all for the quest to earn a phony grade. Thus, students are not inspired to actually think what the meanings are behind the words like temperature and heat. Instead, because the teachers, school faculty, and politicians are more concerned with making money, they push students through school as quickly and as easily as possible.

    The result stemming from having our educational and societal systems push students through school, is that students do not gain a true understanding of what the school subject matter actually is. More importantly, these corrupted systems fail to allow students to understand the true meanings and workings of the world in which they live. As already stated, the system would rather have students memorize a definition rather than allowing the students to discover and understand what the defined word actually is and what the defined word actually does. In plain terms, it is like putting the cart before the horse.

    This lack of actual knowledge is a perpetuating problem and one that has contributed immensely to the many prevalent misconceptions surrounding the global warming/global cooling debate. Most of the scientists, politicians, professors, and reporters discussing this environmental debate are victims of our societal shortcomings. These experts are causing undue panic and confusion all over the world and are doing so in a reckless manner. These parties need to seek clarification on the subjects they are speaking of because MOST OF THEM HAVE NO TRUE UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT!

    WHAT HEAT AND TEMPERATURE REALLY MEAN

    Temperature is the word that describes the method by which we can measure the height of a form of energy, but not the amount of that energy. The interesting fact about heat is that it is never fixed in any one particular form. Additionally, heat is always in a constant state of motion as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere from the Sun, as it leaves the Earth on its way to outer space, and as it changes the state of existing matter on Earth. Heat also is constantly moving when it is being converted to another form of energy, such as water vapor or plant and animal cell material.

    Heat in transit is known as sensible heat and is heat that can be detected by the temperature method of thermometer measurement. However, because the Earth is round and rotates on its axis at an incredible speed, there is a constant potential difference of temperature level at all times. Therefore, heat is directed in every possible direction in an attempt for it to reach one constant level. This characteristic of heat is what contributes to the formation of rain, snow, or hail (sublimation) due to the voids of equal heat levels existing throughout the atmosphere. Like the changing levels of ocean tides and waves, the heat levels are constantly changing.

    In addition, how in the name of science can anyone make a determination whether the Earth is gaining heat or losing heat by the use of a thermometer (temperature scale) reading? How is it possible to obtain the Earth’s heat content by measuring the height of sensible (unused) heat, where the Earth’s heat content is converted into latent heat and cannot be read by a temperature (thermometer) scale!

    The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth was 136 degrees Fahrenheit in Al Aziziyah, Libya on September 13, 1922. The second-highest temperature ever recorded on Earth was 134 degrees Fahrenheit in Death Valley, California in 1913. Does that mean that the Moon is hotter than the Earth? Certainly not, for the Moon ranges from daytime highs of about 265 degrees Fahrenheit to nighttime lows of about -170 degrees Fahrenheit.

    UNPROVEN THEORIES

    Many unproven theories surround this debate. One such unproven theory involves the existence of man-made gases in the Earth’s atmosphere (vapor state). It is forgotten that gases are unstable vapors and the slightest change of the latent heat will cause a change in state. In turn, this change will cause the gases to return to liquid form. Moreover, our modern society is causing heat transmission from the Sun to be slowed down or reflected back to space. The overall result stemming from the potential difference of heat between the Sun and the Earth is that engineered gases will slow down the movement of heat in our atmosphere. Therefore, with the movement of heat being restricted, the existence of a long-term global cooling theory can be supported as existing in our atmosphere.

    This theory of global cooling becomes clearly probable when analyzing the physical actions using a simple visual demonstration. Imagine a bucket that is placed under a flow of running water. Now imagine that a water-deflector is placed in between the water source and the bucket. Do we know what the ratio of gains and losses will be as a result of potential difference of intensity between Object One and Object Two (i.e., Sun to Earth)?

    And as in another example, the Ocean’s level in relation to the polar ice caps. If we use a glass pitcher with water and on the outside of the pitcher mark the water level with a marker, then place an uncracked raw egg in that water. We will quickly see that the water level has risen! The egg will be 90% immersed in the water, only about 10% of the egg will be above the water level, similar to that if a piece of ice was put in water. After the water level in the pitcher with the egg has equalized, we will now put a mark at that level. If we break the egg and drop the total substance of the egg in the pitcher, what will the water level be now?

    CONCLUSION

    To those who advocate the theories of either global warming or global cooling, on what did they base their conclusions and viewpoints? What evidence have they found after thoroughly investigating the critical subjects and concepts I have outlined below?

    It must be understood that no substantive conclusions surrounding this debate can be reached without first determining the answers to the following questions:

    What exactly is matter?

    What is energy?

    What is the basic energy on Earth?

    What is the name of the Earth’s basic energy?

    What are the sources of basic energy?

    Why are all other forms of energy derived from the basic energy?

    What effect does basic energy have on matter?

    What is sensible heat?

    What is latent heat?

    What is specific heat?

    What is super heat?

    What is subcooling?

    What is saturation?

    What is the first conservation law of thermodynamics?

    What is the second conservation law of thermodynamics?

    What are the effects of potential difference?

    What are the three methods of heat movement?

    What are the three states of matter?

    What influences the three states of matter?

    What is Absolute Zero?

    What effect does the level Absolute Zero have on matter?

    How do we measure the quantity of heat energy?

    How do we measure the level (intensity) of heat?

    Which form of energy do we use as a standard to measure the specific heat of all forms of energy?

    What is Temperature, and what does it represent?

    What are the differences between the concepts of heat and temperature?

    What is diffusion?

    What percentage of the Earth’s waters make up the polar ice caps?

    What effect does the weight of the polar ice caps have on the level of the Earth’s oceans?

    What percentage of the polar ice caps is part of the ocean levels?

    What happens to the ocean levels when the polar ice caps melt, and their weight decreases?

    What percentage of land erosion is deposited in the oceans daily?

    What effect does the daily land erosion of the Earth have on the oceans’ level?

    What percentage of the total Earth contents as in solid, liquid, and vapor states 50 years ago?

    What changes have occurred in the Earth’s states 50 years later?

    What was the Earth’s vapor state diameter 50 years ago? What is it 50 years later?

    What was the atmospheric pressure at ground level 50 years ago? What is it 50 years later?

    How many total units of heat energy are required to be converted into latent heat from the creation of one cubic foot of rain, and how many for the creation of a cubic foot of snow?

    How many tons of latent heat did the planet Earth contain 50 years ago? How many 50 years later?

    How much of the Earth’s totals latent heat was distributed among the solid, liquid, and vapor states of the Earth 50 years ago? How does this vary 50 years later?

    These are only a few of the subjects and concepts that need to be thoroughly investigated. These alone cannot determine the loss or gain of heat content on Earth. Many other questions also need to be investigated before a conclusion can be drawn. That is the reason to keep politics and ignorance out of the debate, so the scientific body can do its work without any undue pressure.

  9. Angelos … Thank you for this drivel.

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