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The Climate Change Mess

Over lunch with The Post editorial board Wednesday, Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt said that, when it comes to climate change, "we can't complain about the ambition of this administration," but that secretary of state Hillary Clinton has been "fairly candid with us about what's happening in the Senate."

That is, not much.

Bildt is among the diplomats hoping that the U.S. Congress will get something passed before December, when the Copenhagen climate-change conference convenes, so that U.S. negotiators can sign onto an agreement on emission-reduction targets. But the working draft unveiled Wednesday by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and John Kerry (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, didn't suggest that a near-term breakthrough is likely.

One problem, as a Post editorial points out: The draft leaves some of the most critical, pressure-group-attracting details to the Finance Committee -- which is tied up right now with a little bill about health care. Sensing difficulties, the sponsors are eschewing the term "cap-and-trade," attempting to rebrand the effort in all sorts of vaguely misleading ways. "This is a security bill," Kerry insisted Wednesday. "This is not a cap-and-trade bill, it's a pollution reduction bill," Kerry said last week.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has publicly discussed the possibility that the climate change bill could be pushed off until next year. A floor battle and what could be a bloody conference with the House to reconcile differing versions still loom. And the politics of climate change are fraught in a body that overrepresents areas of the country that have resisted climate-change legislation, and are likely to make it as mediocre as the House-passed version, or worse.

Meanwhile, and despite George Will's liberal use of scare quotes, the greenhouse gases keep on pumping. And the high associated risks -- not the asserted certainties of disaster against which Will, in search of straw men, argues, but still scary -- are all the more worrisome.

By Stephen Stromberg  | October 1, 2009; 11:03 AM ET
Categories:  Stromberg  | Tags:  Stephen Stromberg  
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It is nice that the Senate Cap & Trade bill (in its current form, I can’t keep up with the added pages) is on-line.

However, that gave me the opportunity to note a very distressing fact: Section 744. INTERNATIONAL OFFSET CREDITS, will provide the global redistribution of wealth that is so desired by the leftists. This is our future being given away to foreign countries where corruption is rampant (well, it's also rampant in Washington DC, but that is another problem).

Often, the SO2 (acid rain) cap & trade program of 1992 is held up as an example of sucess, and yes it has worked. However, that plan was debated on the floor of congress for 6-weeks. It did not permit international offsets.
This international plan for GHGs will be rife with corruption.
Also, like the House version, will 300 pages be added to the bill at 2am on the day that it is voted on and passed by the Senate?
Get a grip folks, we are being had.

Posted by: NucEngineer | October 1, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I provided a link in my previous post to the senate cap & tax bill that is 801 pages long, dated 8/21/09.
The new version at the website in Mr. Strombergs article has 821 pages and is dated 8/30/09.

I can't keep up. Will your senator read it? Will you have a chance to read it? Will our supposed watchdogs in the Press have a chance to read it?

Posted by: NucEngineer | October 1, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Sir: You need to read Will's column again. He doesn't use "scare quotes" -- more like realistic statements of fact that, apparently, don't fit you pre-ordained expectations of events. Get real! Question your mentors! Save this country and our economy -- we are already supporting the rest of the world!

Posted by: baltic | October 1, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Treaties must target atmospheric CO2 levels of 350 ppm. Physics and Chemistry do not negotiate.

Posted by: thebobbob | October 1, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Bravo for calling out the dishonest George Will.

Posted by: JenDray | October 1, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The Sad Truth.
Neither Will nor millions of others recognize that the earth is finite and cannot support the ever-expanding human population.
As Stephen Gould once remarked, "Oh sure, the earth will survive . . .” but Civilization?
For Pete's sake, even George Will should recognize that deforestation, air pollution, inadequate water for drinking and agriculture, Polar Ice Caps and Glacier, melts, immigration problems in Europe, the USA and Israel (elimination of Palestinian communities), the drastic death rate of Coral Reefs, vast dead spots on formerly fertile sea beds, loss of blue crab industry in Chesapeake Bay - on and on and on!
Is ALREADY having a destructive effect on Civilization.
There is absolutely no way that even the CURRENT World Population can share OUR LIFESTYLE, let alone the mega millions being born each day. There are simply not enough resources.


Posted by: lufrank1 | October 1, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The sort of draconian measures coming at us compliments of the "chicken little" party are the kind that can only be enforced by a dictatorship.

When the socialist party tries to force these tax and tax programs down our collective throats, it will be quickly booted out of authority.

Democrat rule will be short and ugly. Republicans should be thrilled that their #1 opponents want America to reduce itself to third world status so that foreign countries will like us better.

Posted by: battleground51 | October 1, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Alar, now and forever.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | October 1, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

"Meanwhile... the greenhouse gases keep on pumping. And the high associated risks... are [scary] and all the more worrisome."

Basically, you're proving Will's point... that those who want to control our lives with this climate change bill despite the spotty evidence (our current 10 year cooling period for one) are using scare tactics to do so. Cap and trade is a power grab of industry by politicians that is likely to do little to curb greenhouse gases.

Posted by: GodFamilyNation | October 1, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

There has been atmospheric cooling the last 8 years, and no new high global annual temperatures in the last 11 years.

You may find it interesting what the head of the IPCC said more than 1-1/2 years ago concerning the lack of new annual high global temperatures:

Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the U.N. Panel that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, said (more than 1-1/2 years ago) that he would look into the apparent temperature plateau so far this century.
"One would really have to see on the basis of some analysis what this really represents," he told Reuters, adding "are there natural factors compensating?" for increases in greenhouse gases from human activities.

Also in this article from more than 1-1/2 years ago, Amir Delju, senior scientific coordinator of the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) climate program, said temperatures would have to be flat for several more years before a lack of new record years became significant.

We are now more than three quarters of the way to having significant doubts about the GCMs, according to Amir Delju's own criterion. Which hypotheses in the models need adjustment? Which hypotheses need to be rejected? What new hypotheses (like Svensmark's solar-GCR-cloud hypothesis shown here: need to be embraced and incorporated into the models?

Posted by: NucEngineer | October 1, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"we are already supporting the rest of the world!"

In what way exactly is the USA supporting the world? Through starting unprovoked wars for oil, destroying the world economy with faudulent financial schemes, providing the lowest precent of GDP aid to poor countries in the developed world...

I fail to see exactly how the largest polluter in the world can be excused from reinging in it's rampant excess....

Posted by: blackrain123 | October 1, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Pray tell me, why is it "misleading" for Kerry to call this bill a security bill? The Pentagon itself is calling climate change a security issue. Are you saying the Pentagon doesn't know what is a security issue? Could you give us a more respected authority on that question please? Thank you.

Posted by: B2O2 | October 1, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

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