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Global Warming Catches On

In expectation of the first Democratic presidential debate Thursday in Orangeburg, South Carolina, the League of Conservation Voters is launching an ad campaign on global warming.

The ad, which began airing in the Columbia, Charleston, and Washington, D.C. markets last night, features longtime environmental activist Robert Redford.

"In every generation there are a few defining moments when we have a chance to chart a new course that will leave our children a better world," says Redford. "Our moment is now, and our challenge is to solve global warming."

A series of news clips is then shown: "Evidence of global warming is unequivocal," says one, while another calls it a "looming climate catastrophe." Then back to Redford: "We need to challenge all of the presidential candidates to make solving global warming a top priority," he says.

The commercial is the most public effort of LCV's "The Heat is On" campaign, aimed at making global warming a central issue in the 2008 campaign. The LCV Education Fund, which is financing the ad, is partnering with local affiliates in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina to push the issue in the four early primary and caucus states.

If the early attention global warming has received in the campaign, LCV is tilling fertile soil.

Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) laid out his plan to cut the amount of carbon contained in gasoline -- and therefore limit the damage done to the environment by carbon dioxide emissions -- during a visit to New Hampshire on Friday.

On the same day, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) pledged to run a "carbon neutral" campaign, following the lead of former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is expected to get in on the action today with a speech in Washington in which he refers to global warming as "a serious and urgent economic, environmental and national security challenge," according to excerpts obtained by the Associated Press' Liz Sidoti.

The Fix was remiss (and repeatedly reminded of that fact) not to mention Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) in our rundown of 2008 politicians bringing global warming to the fore. Dodd has proposed perhaps the most radical plan of all his Democratic rivals, a so-called "corporate carbon tax" whose goal is to not only force big companies to reduce their carbon dioxide output but also generate revenue for studies on clean energy technology if they won't. The corporate carbon tax is the main element in a detailed energy plan pushed by Dodd.

Polling suggests that the American public is far more aware of global warming than they were even last year. In a recent Washington Post poll one in three voters said global warming was the single biggest environmental threat facing the world -- double the number who said that in a similar survey in March 2006.

The issue has also become something of a cause celebre thanks to the success of once (and future?) presidential candidate Al Gore (D) and his stunningly successful documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." Witness Google's decision to honor Earth Day on Sunday by turning their trademark letters into a melting glacier.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 23, 2007; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Posted by: 485itduxur | April 30, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

It's critical that all the Presidential candidates address the issue of global warming with serious, well thought out plans AND that they engage young people on this issue.

This past weekend, the Student PIRGs launched the "What's Your Plan? campaign this weekend in four states, with young people going directly to the Presidential candidates and asking them one simple question: What's Your Plan? to stop global warming. They're also asking about other key issues such as college affordability, financial security, and health care.

We were able to speak directly to several candidates, including Rudy Giuliani, John Edwards, Mitt Romney, Sam Brownback, Chris Dodd, Mike Huckabee, John Cox, and Joe Biden. You can see pictures at:www.newvotersproject.org/whatsyourplan/photo-gallery

We're partnering with groups like the Student Convservation Voters, Campus Progress, CCAN, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Clean Air-Cool Planet.

The goal of the What's Your Plan? campaign is to convince the Presidential candidates to target young people in the general election and around some of our top issues - like global warming. We want all of the Presidential campaigns to engage with young people all the way through the general elections in November of 2008. We're organizing students in ten key primary states to birddog the presidential candidates and generate complementary media coverage. More information: www.whats-your-plan.org

Posted by: ebannon | April 24, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that again Edwards leads on a carbon neutral campaign, and Hillary swiftly follows suit. He's certainly calling the shots, although under the radar of the Obama Vs Hillary MSM battle.

I agree with an early comment, Richardson can distinguish himself by actually doing something in NM, rather than just talkign like all the Senators...

Posted by: JayPe | April 23, 2007 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Razorback, I burn for you every night. Have you not also looked on my long, slim form and gotten... ideas... Oh, why must we fight?

||||,

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Posted by: | | April 23, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: ||||||| | April 23, 2007 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Razorhback:

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Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Global warming is a most definately a fact. You will be hard pressed to find anyone who believes otherwise. The debate, however, is this: Is global warming caused by a natural cycle as many scientists have believed for most of life's existence or is global warming caused by human activity?

I believe global warming is part of a natural cycle as nature has always presented it. Many scientific facts present this case. I realize that other scientific evidence presents the case that GW is caused by human activity. But that's a debate, and for Al Gore or anyone else to say that if you don't believe GW is caused by human activity then your out of touch with reason is just untrue. Al Gore isn't a scientist, he's just some guy receiving publicity and alot of money for every trade of carbon monoxide use corporations make in Europe. Gore won't run for President b/c he can make money exploiting the public rather than fighting for something people perceive him to believe in.

Futhurmore, the book of Genesis says that the world will never again be destroyed via flood. So you liberals may believe the lies that we all are causing global warming, but I do not. I believe it's a pattern guided by God almighty. You people can worry about it, but I'm not. Because, like it or not, God is in control of the universe and man cannot control nature.

Posted by: reason | April 23, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"|" says:

"Because we libs don't care how much things cost. We don't have to, rich guys pay for everything for us. and we don't care about the outcomes, only about saying enough dumb things to get re-elected."

What you do not realize is the long liberal tradition of community activism on utility rates. Just google "ACORN" and "utility rates". Look up the record of your favorite liberal attorny general, and see what they say about utility rates.

Edwards and Gore are the ones that don't have to worry about utility rates. Find ANY liberal community activist group you want, and see what they say about utility rates.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Mark:

Although I agree with you about opposing oil subsidies, a few points need to be made.

First the reason we have oil subsidies is because of the old oil company canard "energy independence" that both Bush and Hillary use.

Second the inference that Bush=oil, purpose of bush it to make oil men rich, etc., is no more scientific that Rush Libaugh pointing out global warming rallies that got snowed out.

Although not the same as "science" there is an academic discipline called "accounting", and if you drilled into accounting as deeply as you have drilled into the science of global warming, you would discover that much of which is described as a subsidy isn't really a subsidy, and the dollar amount reported in the mainstream press is very misleading because no time frames are given.

Also, there is an academic discipline called "economics", which if you drilled down into as deeply as you have on the global warming issue, would cause you to see that every day before the FERC, FTC, SEC and other regulatory agencies, these kinds of questions are debated at the center of that debate are the questions that economist types on this blog raise.

The expertise and academic rigor of the people that deal with the questions is every bit the equal of climate scientists.

Your viewpoint that emphasizes technical expertise among climatologist should be deferred to is correct, but that also applies to other types of expertise.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Because we libs don't care how much things cost. We don't have to, rich guys pay for everything for us. and we don't care about the outcomes, only about saying enough dumb things to get re-elected. That is why we haven't done anything since winning the election...and we're not going to.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

The question is, not what it will cost us to do something, but what it will cost us to not.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Mark of Austin - I suspect few people are seriously confusing us. Your posts are the height of succinctness and mine go on forever. I do need to work on the brevity thing. :)

JD - I don't consider Dems to be an automatic solution on this thing. After all, even though their knowledge and hearts were in a better place on this than the Reps a decade ago, they lacked the spine to press the country forward on it. But I do hope, at least, that as news consumers and voters we will make a concerted effort to see who is bankrolling our future leaders into office before we vote for them. Anyone who thinks the current WH is going to be anything but a dragging-heels part of the solution needs a quick visit to opensecrets.org and a bucket of cold water.

In the meantime, there are plenty of things people with a conscience can do on a personal level to start to turn things around. What are you driving? Do you watch the tire inflation? Have you replaced the appropriate light bulbs in your dwelling with CF's? Have you done an energy audit of your house? There're 100's of gigabytes of information on the web to help with these things. We don't have to wait for our "leaders" to figure it out.

Posted by: Mark | April 23, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Razorback -

Sorry, you had posted several things since I had been here, and I felt I had to type fast to catch up. Apparently it was JD who had cited the Lindzen article.

And not to miss that you are trying to focus on solutions, but I do believe that our willingness to adopt solutions is affected greatly by our understanding of our role in the problem. And (though you may feel it is picking nits perhaps), I wanted to clarify that, according to the mainline climatology community, we are not only responsible for SOME of this effect, but MOST of it. If we go on with this wishy-washy, "we may in some respects, have something to do with some of this" tack on it - which is not supported by the current scientific take on it - people will feel less moral responsibility to make concerete changes in their lives. And I have seen enough of that over the last decade, thank you.

And those changes in our lifestyles - getting to what you say is your main question - are central to the solutions. Because we need to make changes on individual levels, but laws are often the (or a) main impetus toward those changes.

And I don't get it when you or others say we "fruit loops" people - who were just fruity enough to be telling you about this 10 years ago, to deaf ears - are not talking about solutions. Okay, maybe not in the last 5 minutes or on this page. But we've been talking about solutions for years.

Without getting into dotting i's and crossing t's, the solutions are many-facetted. We should have increased CAFE standards years ago - the Clinton adm. in fact was complicit in not expending more of its political capital (albeit that was purposely diminished by the right by all the Monica nonsense) to lead on this.

But we should also scrap Bush's "Leave No Fossil Fuel Lobbyist Behind" bill and adopt something at least remotely responsible and reality-acknowledging. We are still pumping billions in subsidies into a (more than century old) mature oil industry, and giving relatively paltry amounts to research into alternatives. It's a cliche by now, and you guys are tired of hearing about it, but what industry do most of the figures in this administration come from? Where did they get a huge fraction of their campaign donations from? Who, are they obviously working for? There is this humungous elephant in our living room, and nobody wants to talk about it. I don't think it takes impeachment to get their influence out of office, but it's clearly an impediment to our country's road forward. They will make the changes, but only in the face of overwhelming public clarity and pressure. That's just the opposite of leadership. It's the old bumper sticker, "if the people will lead, eventually the leaders will follow" thing. I find that incredibly sad in this supposed information age.

And it's not just the administration, there is only now emerging a will to shed the control of the oil industry in congress.

But getting back to your post, another thing that just irritates me no end is this false canard that "it's either the economy or the environment - pick one". That's BS. Maybe Kyoto wasn't perfect - I have no problem countenanceing the possibility that China and India were being given too much of a free ride - esp. considering the booming of China in recent years. But because something wasn't perfect, we dropped it and stuck our heads in the sand. Jeezus, people. In any case, the either/or framing is not appropriate. There are burgeoning new green industries that would provide jobs and new value to the economy if the country were not being run by people from a certain industry which has a MULTIBILLION dollar incentive to maintain the damaging status quo. The little green industries have very little voice right now (still) or you would not be constantly hearing this false either/or cost equation.

But we do need national goals, and international agreements. Maybe carbon credits are a worthy part of the solution, and sequestration credits should be I think - give incentive to remediation efforts for sure. After all, even cutting off CO2 entirely at this point will not stave off much of the future damage because of the residence time in the atmosphere. We are cooked, relatively speaking, in the short term but we can deal with the long term damage and we might be able to make a dent in the short-term damages as well.

Posted by: Mark | April 23, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Nice, attack the messenger because he smokes. Obama's the next target I guess.

How about attacking the argument? And more to the point, and I think Razor also asks, what's your solution, specifically?

If you go back the first post on this blog, mine, you'll see that the real issue is, when will a politician propose specific measures to address GW, assuming they believe we can actually effect it.

I predict this crop of Dems wont. Neither will the GOP, but at least the GOP haven't made environmentalism/GW a religion, so at least they're not hypocrites.

Posted by: JD | April 23, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to everyone who stayed more-or-less on point.

There is an appropriate time frame for measuring geophysical events - I cited a 150,000 year study to Razorback which concluded there was long term global warming predating human intervention, but probably exacerbated in this trivial time frame of centuries, by humans. Razorback asked me to explain the Little Ice Age. To that I say "sun spots". To Galveston Bay freezing over in 1797 and to the worldwide year without summer in the mid 6th Century, I say "Krakatoa." But...so what?

Lylepink, I respectfully suggest that recorded weather for two centuries provides no evidence. Reading Greenland and Antarctic ice cores for tens of thousands of years provides some evidence. When Yellowstone erupts [it is overdue] we may all be wiped out in a global winter climate catastrophe. Of course, that is no reason to ignore climate change, and there remain every reason to attempt to reduce the pollution of the atmosphere and the water supply, regardless of the climate.

To JD and Razorback, I completely agree with the notion that China and India have the capacity to thwart any attempt by the rest of us to lower total greenhouse gas emissions.

I do not take Razorback to be "driven" by the cost analysis - I take him to be calling for an honest assessment of cost-benefit rather than glib political assurances. I may or may not disagree with Razorback's choice of policies, but I do not reject his call for "full disclosure".

Blarg, I share your belief that there are dollar cost effective measures available to us to reduce fuel consumption, even now, if we choose them.

Rob Millette, thanks for that encouraging report on wind generators.

JD, thanks for the amusing Cheryl Crow reference. We agree that liberation from Middle Eastern and Venezuelan petroleum would be refreshing. I have seen Richardson talk this talk, but only in sound bytes. And I am not the other "Mark".

Posted by: Mark in Austin | April 23, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

This is a little off topic, but I cannot resist. John Edwards of the 29,000 square foot house/$400 haircut variety worked for a hedge fund that does Cayman Island tax dodges. What A HYPOCRITE.

"A midsize but growing player in the hedge fund industry with more than $30 billion in assets, Fortress was the first hedge fund manager to go public, thereby subjecting itself to far more scrutiny. But it was an unusual choice of employment for Edwards, who for years has decried offshore tax shelters as part of his broader campaign to reduce inequality. While Fortress was incorporated in Delaware, its hedge funds were incorporated in the Cayman Islands, enabling its partners and foreign investors to defer or avoid paying U.S. taxes.

Fortress announced Edwards's hiring as an adviser in a brief statement in October 2005. Neither Edwards -- who ended his consulting deal when he launched his presidential campaign in December -- nor the firm will say how much he earned or what he did."

Source: Today's Washington Post

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Razorback - If we followed much of your logic, we never would have had the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act or mileage standards.

They were things that the opposition said that the consumer would never pay for.

Are you a champion of America as a CAN DO society or a CAN'T DO society?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Here's pretty much all you need to know about Professor Lindzen. From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Lindzen):

"In 2001, [22], Newsweek journalist Fred Guterl reported, after an interview with Lindzen 'He'll even expound on how weakly lung cancer is linked to cigarette smoking. He speaks in full, impeccably logical paragraphs, and he punctuates his measured cadences with thoughtful drags on a cigarette.' "

And JD originally cited the article.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | April 23, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Mark:

I have absolutely no idea what Newsweek article you are referencing. The positions that you try to rebut ARE NOT MINE. I have never suggested that humankind isn't partially responsible for recent increases in tempurature. I agree. I stated that in my VERY FIRST POST. The horse is DEAD. It never has been my horse, but its STILL DEAD.

What is your SOLUTION, MARK? There is NO scientific consensus on the SOLUTION.

In the absence of such consensus, do you really think we should INCREASE gasoline prices? Electric bills? Do you think we should wreck our economy with a Kyoto treaty that CANNOT help with GLOBAL warming, because China and India are exempt?

What is YOUR proposal, and has a single member of Congress or a single presidential candidate in either party proposed anything remotely like what you think should be done?

The problem with the global warming debate is the global warming advocates go completely fruit loop screaming nuts there is a problem, and don't even comprehend that the debate needs to be about a solution.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Razorback - Say after me: This is an Apple. This is an Orange. They are not the same thing.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

And as far as your Newsweek article Razorback, I don't know anything about the author, who he is on retainer for or what his particular political agenda is, but the essay is really a nonsensical jumble of red herrings and straw men. It's clearly meant for the consumption who cannot read these things critically, but I'll try to address some of his tangential or even incorrect statements.

"What most commentators--and many scientists--seem to miss is that the only thing we can say with certainly about climate is that it changes."

Oh my. Where has this guy been? I don't know where to start on this one.

"Looking back on the earth's climate history, it's apparent that there's no such thing as an optimal temperature--a climate at which everything is just right."

We don't care (nor should we) what the "normal" temperature for the earth over its history is/was. Indeed there was a time when this rock we are on was molten boiling liquid. Clearly we couldn't have survived here then, which is why we didn't evolved till later. But the earth at some point then did adjust into a LONG TERM regime in which it was conducive for life to evolve. THAT millions-of-years time period is the relevant one, and one that we can and should try to keep things in, and certainly NOT bump the system out of by our own actions.

"The earth is always warming or cooling by as much as a few tenths of a degree a year; periods of constant average temperatures are rare. "

Uh, yes... as with any scientific parameter being measured in the real world, there are natural fluctuations both in and on the signal (variability, plus noise). This is a basic part of the process of characterizing a signal. Climatologists are right on top of that one. Um, have been since the start. No one looks a single hot summer and infers something long-term from it. (Can we say "duh" please?)

"but also that our warming forecasts for the year 2040 are somehow more reliable than the weatherman's forecast for next week."

OMG. This particular red herring (which is part of the regular rotation of the denial crowd) isn't even worthy of an eighth grade science student. There is a difference between *weather* and climate professor (you know that, but because of an agenda you are conflating the two). We are talking about climate. YOU are talking about weather and no wonder why: you play on people's well known humor about how wrong the weatherman can be about the short term, noisy concept of weather. I get so tired of this one. Folks, tell me whether the temperature's going to be hotter on June 22 or August 8 and I'll tell you you are full of it. Tell me though whether June or August will be hotter, and I'll shrug because it's a no brainer. Get the difference? I sure hope so, or this country is in worse shape than I thought. Please don't fall for this one again, and if you are using it, shame on you.

"A warmer climate could prove to be more beneficial than the one we have now."

Well, sure. Who knows? It might actually be a good thing for a meteor to hit the earth. Probability theory holds that it just might knock things into a better place. After all, one killed the dinosaurs and allowed us to eventually fluorish in their place. Only took 64 million years. It's remote that climate change might be a good thing, but it might be true. Let's go with the more likely scenario though - that mucking with a delicate system will cause huge and largely unpredictable changes, and those changes will be at the very least extremely expensive and somewhat painful to adjust to.

"meteorological theory holds that, outside the tropics, weather in a warming world should be less variable, which might be a good thing."

Well, while he is blithely brushing aside the chaotic and damaging effects in the tropics, he might note that even if things may be less variable at higher lattitudes, the mean around which that variance exists is one which is melting the polar ice at rapidly accelerating rates. Not only is the polar bear dying (you righties don't care about other species, I know), but permafrost loss is caving in roads and towns in northern Canada (the frozen season has shrunk by 2/3 in 30 years), and mosquito-borne illnesses are now seen in Alaska. Less variance around boiling is NOT preferable to a nice healthy swing around room temperature (note: exaggerating only to illustrate point) - even assuming his "lower variance at high lattitudes" assertion is true.

Oh god, he goes back to the weatherman thing again. I guess he knows his audience. I'm sorry, this would take me all day to comment on. This guy is a sociopath. I've heard of Lindzen now that I think back. He's definitely not representative of mainstream climatology. Newsweek needed to expand its sales to the rightwingers, and you bought.

Posted by: Mark | April 23, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Rob Millette:

You hear the argument that alternative fuels help the economy as a whole, because it creates jobs for, as you say, "someone has to develop, build, and maintain these turbines after all."

If the government directed that everyone in america must wear a rainbow colored headband, it would create jobs and there would be a rush to see who could make the best rainbow colored headband. Where would the money to fund the development come from? Consumers, who would be forced to pay more.

Consumers are the missing element in MEDIA part of this debate. In the Public Utilities Commission all over America, the real tradeoffs at stake are being discussed, and its not GREEN v. INDUSTRY, its GREEN v. CONSUMER.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Rob Millette:

When comparing costs of difference sources of energy, you have to include ALL of the costs to make a valid comparison.

The power MAY be cheaper because the CITY bought the turbines, and is only charging maintenance, transmission and distribution to you, the ratepayer. Although not included in your electric bill, the city's expense is charged to you in the form of taxes. When measuring costs in the big picture at the society level, you have to include all the costs, which means you have to exclude all of the subsidies.

Wind turbines, because of the subsidies and zero fuel costs, are being used to satisfy renewable energy mandates imposed on utilities. This is only used to satisfy a very small portion of total demand.

If you tried to use turbines plus subsidies to offset a large carbon fuel fired plant, the turbines would be everywhere and there would be a huge hole to fill in government budgets because of the revenue drain.

The problem with wind power is SCALE. The deal that your city has might be good, but if every city did the same thing, there would be a huge hole in government budget.

Google "wind turbines" and "economically viable" and regulators. Then you will see that the questions I raise, although dismissed by some on this blog, are the exact type of questions that utility price regulators ask in every state in this nation.


Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I was away from here for a couple hours. Renting "An Inconvenient Truth" for my partner who will be showing it to her science class tomorrow. If anyone's not seen this yet, they should. While Gore is a non-scientist, he presents a pretty faithful representation of the current climate science. He's also a little less painful (actually, a lot!) to listen to than he used to be. ;)

So where were we. Oh yes, a diversion onto national health care and pharmaceutical companies by Razorback, and JD stating that my "90-99% human-caused" comment to be "far from a slam-dunk". Well. While I would hardly want to strive for the veracity level of *that* particular phrase, as used by the Bush Administration when they were bamboozling the public into a WMD argument that they knew to be highly flawed, my statement is actually backed up well.

The International Panel on Climate Change is the most highly esteemed, diverse and widely accepted consortium of scientists on this issue. It sounds like you missed their report earlier this year presenting their summary of findings to date. Here's the Post's coverage of an updated report by the IPCC:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040402815.html

"That document -- which follows an IPCC study in February that concluded with at least 90 percent certainty that humans are responsible for Earth's recent warming -- provides a more detailed look at how emissions from automobiles, industry and other sources are affecting life around the world."

[My comments now...] A minor note to add. As with much mainstream media reporting on scientific issues, the translation to lay language often misses some nuance. Very few parameters studied in nature are discretely and cleanly "caused" by one thing or another with no other inputs. So it is with climate change. There are actually, as the skeptics like to point out as a means to divert people from the main point, many natural factors going into *long-term* climate change. Many cyclical phenomenon for example, that are for the most part well-understood and modelled into even the most basic research. These natural factors though are driving LONG, SLOW changes. What "all the fuss" is about now is the short term changes we have seen which are now known to be directly attributable to human activity.

So, I think what the IPCC is really saying is not that we are 90% sure that we are 100% causing this, but something more like "our best estimate from meta-analysis of all studies to date, is that the proportion of the variance seen that is attributable to us, is about 90%". Statistical interplay between significance/reliability and "effects size" are probably at the root of the confusion in that statement. Anyway, if you take their statement at face value of if you take my interpretation (reading between the lines based on what I know of meta-analysis techniques), either way, the 90% figure is the currently accepted one.

Posted by: Mark (not from Austin btw) | April 23, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Razorback,


I'm coming into this convo a little late here. I would like to say that you claim that global warming alarmists are creating higher gas and electircity prices. The town I livein recently built 2 wind turbines. I pay almost half of what neighboring towns pay for electricity. The town plans to build 4 more turbines off the coastline. Those 4 will allow my town to seel much cheaper electricity to the market. Building these turbines is one very simple and easy way to reduce emissions. Not only that, but the turbines help save the towns they are build in tens of thousands of dollars and help save the people using the electricity hundreads if not thousands of dollars a year.

Look at that, not only can we help prevent global warming and reduce emissions by doing this, we can help save a ton of money too. It will boost the economy too, someone has to develop, build, and maintain these turbines after all.

Posted by: Rob Millette | April 23, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

'A single day does not a trend make!'

I'm speaking from NY, btw. It's not a single day. For the past few years, temperature records have been smashed by huge margins. Of course there are always changes, but it is only in recent years that it is has been by 10 or 15 degrees, instead of the usual 2 or 3.

You can imagine what 10 and 15 degree leaps [up or down] like this do to crops, for instance. We have already suffered more damage this year to the agricultural sector than several previous years put together.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Just because a person doesn't agree 100% with Al Gore, does not make them a "flat-earther" or a "denier". There is a reasonable, thoughtful middle ground that many area taking.

Take, for example Steve Hayward and his movie "An Inconvenient Truth or Convenient Fiction,"
To see Hayward's 50-minute film, your best bet is to go to the website, aconvenientfiction.com.

It is well worth watching, maybe more than once.

Unlike Gore, he is calm and reasonable, avoids hyperbole, and sticks to the facts, some of which are confusing or contradictory.

The result is that he is closer to what he calls "the general consensus" among scientists about global warming than Gore is.

It's important to note than Hayward, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is not a global warming denier.

"Much of what Vice President Gore says about climate change is correct," Hayward says in the film. "The planet is warming. Human beings are playing a substantial role in that warming." Beyond that, however, he disagrees sharply with Gore.

"The problem with Vice President Gore and other global warming extremists is that they distort the science, grossly exaggerate the risks, argue that anyone who disagrees with them is corrupt, and suggest that solutions are easy and cheap," Hayward says. "And that's an all too convenient fiction."

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/013/531zkcss.asp

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 23, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

A single day does not a trend make!

Well it's 85 degrees here in the Northeast -- 35 degrees above the average maximum and 15 degrees above the previous record. But just put your head in the sand -- it's much cooler down there anyway.

Posted by: | April 23, 2007 03:09 PM

Posted by: bdstauffer | April 23, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Nappy Headed Nor:

Just pick a sentence then, any sentence.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

every species has a choice when confronted by changes in their environment -- adapt to changes -- or don't survive.

since the human species is refusing to adapt, it will not survive. end of story.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Nor-easter -- once again you'll note that razor posts every couple of minutes. He can'tj possibly do anything else -- no job [unless this is it] no familyl, no friends, no life.

notice how many republican men are total losers, and this is all they've got?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Well it's 85 degrees here in the Northeast -- 35 degrees above the average maximum and 15 degrees above the previous record. But just put your head in the sand -- it's much cooler down there anyway.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Razorback: The problem is that I left my shovel at your, and your b _ _ _ _ _ _ t was just getting too deep to handle any other way.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | April 23, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Razorback: I was enlightened about an idea that BMW is implementing called valvetronic engines. They eliminate the throttle, and instead use microprocessor controlled intake valves. The lack of a butterfly valve in the intake stream and some other things, according to BMW's claims, increases fuel efficiency 8-10%. I'm not for any of the crack pot ideas, but this looks like a solid piece of engineering.

Posted by: bdstauffer | April 23, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"Today it is forecast to be 86 degrees in the Northeast. The normal maximum temperature is 52. The record is 71."


Assuming that Portland is Northeast enough for you; the following is from the WeatherChannel: Portland, ME 63 degrees at 3:00 p.m. - Avg. High for 04/23 is 55 degrees - Record High was 77 degrees in 1973.

Looks as if Anonymous misread the forecast High for today.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | April 23, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Nor'Easter:

That is good advice for all liberals, Nappy Headed Nor. Just bury your head in the sand and do not read what you disagree with, cannot understand or cannot refute.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I didn't think that any poster could make me long for Che.

Razorback's managed to do that.

It only took four days for me to find myself scrolling past anything that remotely looks like a Razorback post.

At least with Che you can do it immediately with his trademark announcement at the beginning.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | April 23, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Mark:

You went on some rant about how I do not like science/scientists. I AGREE that humans are causing some increas in tempurature. There is no scientific consensus about what to DO about the problem.

I always laugh when I see liberals lecture about science. When some idiot proposes to fund universal health care by permitting providing the most basic of services, thereby gutting the incentive of science to cure diseases, where was MARK?

For profit pharmaceutical companies have made great strides in cancer treatment. Mark, is it ok to bash those scientists?

In fact, the left is so goofy that they want to subsidize privately owned for profit "bio-tech" companies even while the bash for profit pharmaceutical companies, when the main difference between a pharmaceutical company and a "bio-tech" company is the "bio-tech" company has yet to turn an annual profit.

And Mark, what about all of the economists who have declared that free markets work better at allocating resources than does government bureacracies? Although not a science, they use scientific method in an academic search for the truth. Are you a free market capitalist Mark? Or do you just lecture about science and scientific method when it suits your idealocigal bias?

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Mark:

The polar ice cap has been retreated ever since it made it to Northern California and created Yosemite National Park.

While I agree that humans are contributing to a recent warming trend, there are obviously other forces at work as well.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Politicians and political appointees (politicians) set the rates in a regulated world. That IS the way rates are set in the regulated world. In the regulated world, cost mandates on the utilities MUST be passed on to comsumers under the 5th amendment. And when their is a capacity shortfall, rates go up in either a regulated or non-regulated world.

However politicians cannot repeal the laws of supply and demand. Yes Judge, capacity had been added before, in the late 70s early 80s. It was very expensive and very unpleasant, and that is what the blue state deregulation advocates were seeking to avoid.

Price manipulation only occurs when there is a capacity shortfall or collusion. Part of the capacity shortfall was caused environmental regulations that made trasmission and generation difficult to build, with a long lead time required.

There is no price manipulation in hamburgers because there is lots of capacity to produce hamburgers. Wendy's cannot withhold its production from the market to raise prices, and then resume selling at the higher prices, because McDs and Burger King would step in.

The problem with California (and most deregulation of utilties) is not the market, its the transition to the market.

The monopoly has a huge advantage when the market is deregulated, and it takes a while before others can enter the market to take advantage of those high prices, creating competition which lowers prices. This is why I OPPOSE retail electric deregulation. Wholesale competition, in which companies compete to supply wholesale power to the monopoly distribution company is a better way to achieve market saving for consumers.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"The politicians had 2 choices: They could either RAISE rates with the regulated system to pay for the new capacity, or they could deregulate and let private investors fund the new capacity."

The politicians own the utilities? That isn't the way rates are set. And deregulation from state to state varies considerably. Those nasty 'liberals' in Vermont keep closer tabs on the industry than their equivalents in Alabama.

And no new capacity was EVER added during periods of regulation? Not true. Compare the relative rates of capacity increase versus regulation and deregulation.

The California electricity crisis was precipitated by price manipulations by companies after energy industry deregulation in 1996. Other forms of deregulation have been more widely successful, including the deregulation of transport, telecommunications, and the gas markets. Other forms have been much worse (see the deregulation of the savings and loan sector) and at least one other disaster is just emerging (the subprime mortgage industry).

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | April 23, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"The left and the right argue because they hate each other. The moderates look at the weather, pictures of massively shrinking glaciers, and ever-stronger hurricanes and storms and are beggining to think that "hey, something's going on here."

Sigh. Actually Hacksaw, moderates are now *finally* looking at the glaciers and exacerbated storms and global climate change data that the left (and the scientific community) has been begging them to turn off American Idol to look at for about five to ten years now. I think you know that though.

In any case, the important thing is that people are finally listening.

Posted by: Mark | April 23, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Boooo Global Warming Alarmists.

Hooray Beer!

Posted by: Jamaican | April 23, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I think global warming is about the only issue where most all of the candidates are near the same page. Well, except for Romney; but he's just looking for far-right votes.
http://political-buzz.com/

Posted by: mp | April 23, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Hello Mark, not knowing if you're also mark from austin.

When you say that the only debate is whether human activity is 90% or 99% responsible. You say that only Exxon-funded studies deny this. I'm not sure that's correct. You tell me to "Turn off Rush Limbaugh or whomever you get your anti-science brainwashing from"...um, ok. This guy's article in Newsweek is interesting, and this guy is a professor of meteorology at MIT:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17997788/site/newsweek/


I'm not saying we shouldn't do what we can to conserve energy, not the least which is it will help our economy to move us away from Mid-east oil dependence. However, your argument, that humans are 90-99% responsible and a calamity is at hand, is far from a slam dunk.

Posted by: JD | April 23, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Razorback, your admonishment to the person citing a single day's weather and connecting it to global warming is appropriate - though where you go with that subsequently is entirely fallacious.

There IS a vast difference between "weather" and "climate". People who cite a single day as either proof of global warming (which is not needed at this point, hasn't been for a decade actually) or to "debunk" it, are both wasting space on a forum. Although statistically, we will see more records broken (and both more highs AND lows) with global warming, there is too much noise in any system to pick out a single data point as definitively connected.

Unfortunately you then go off onto this entirely ignorant tangent about our temperature record. We've only got *direct* thermometer measurements from about the last century and a half, but that's a tiny part of the database. Scientists have all kinds of other sources, and they corroborate (confirm) each other to an extraordinarily precise extent.

Over the relatively short time span of human history, we have these methods:

- Temperature changes are inferred from the length of growing seasons as measured by tree ring widths.

- There is written historical record on when certain crops or flowers first emerge in the spring. Smoothed over time (you wouldn't want to just grab one year, since there can be noise), this gives rough measures of climate changes through human history.

- There are many other more subtle ways of backing out this information based on ratios of types of bacteria, etc. found inside archeological sites.

Over the longer time span of earth history, we have:

- CO2 concentrations found in ice core data

- isotope ratios measured in various kinds of sedimentary deposits

- other fairly sophisticated techniques which would take too long to explain here (and I wouldn't be able to do justice to in any case)

A side question: why does the rightwing Idiot-American community always assume that scientists are lying through their teeth with every report they put out? These are the same people who have already saved your butts numerous times from threats of medical and environment natures. Why do you insist on casting them into some nefarious, dishonest realm wherein they are constantly trying to put one over on you? Are you perhaps projecting your own dishonesty onto them? Think about this one. These people, by and large, are your saviors, if you could only educate yourselves a modicum enough to understand what they are telling you. Turn off Rush and visit your public library once in awhile. Not for my sake but for yours. And your kids (God help them).

Posted by: Mark | April 23, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Mark, go back and look at JimD in FL wrote at 10:22 am.

He AGREES with you, and I agree with alot of what he said.

You are assuming we disagree on somethings that we agree on.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Judge C. Crater, why is it that Vermont, Massachusetts, and almost every other "blue state" STILL has retail electric deregulation, while Alabama and many of the "red states" do not?

The reason liberals in those states supported and still support deregulation is that there was a capacity shortage, and electric power plants are very expensive.

The politicians had 2 choices: They could either RAISE rates with the regulated system to pay for the new capacity, or they could deregulate and let private investors fund the new capacity. Either way, rates always go UP when there is a capacity shortage. Its called supply and demand.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Judge C. Crater: JOB CREATION of the econonmies, not currency valuations.

Europe as a whole is doing well because formerly Eastern Bloc countries are embracing capitalism similar to what India and China are doing.

American liberals want to copy the ideas of places without job growth (Germany, Sweden, France), not the places with job growth.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"Politicians are pandering to all of those who only know half of the story, but when electric bills go up, the whole issue will change."

And this reminds me of what a complete and total disaster deregulation has been in terms of delivering on the promise of reduced/stable/sane electric bills. Now there's a little pushback on the issue now but I don't see a tsunami of reregulation developing, do you?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | April 23, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Mark says:

"In fact, the earth's climate system is complex enough that MANY curious and potentially damaging things that we can't even forsee right now could happen."

The earth's climate system also might be too complex for the computer models what you rely on to forecast 50 or 100 years from now, which have yet to accurately forecast El Nino/La Nina and other weather effects.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Mark, all I did was quote AL GORE and the cite which is trying to sell the movie he promoted:

"With the endorsement of eco-friendly Al Gore, The Day After Tomorrow blows into theaters this Memorial Day weekend, a spectacularly-staged cautionary tale about the dire effects of global warming."

http://www.hollywoodvideo.com/movies/movie.aspx?MID=138715

Don't blame me for how Al Gore and his hollywood promoters describe the problem.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

"just SOME CONSENSUS that humans are a part of the cause of some global warming"

Yes, that "some consensus" only involves the entire climatology community. Significantly, some oil company lobbyists and rightwing mouthpieces who are too ashamed to admit what sociopathic crusades they have spearheaded for over a decade, still are "skeptical". What a shocker.

And "a part of some of the warming"? Well, if "over 90% of the cause" qualifies as "some", then, um, I guess your statement is accurate. That's the consensus that the latest meeting of the leading international body of scientists (the IPCC) has come to. We're responsible for at least 90% of the short term warming that has been seen. Yeah, there's a huge debate there.

Posted by: Mark | April 23, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Razorback:
"The reason all candidates are embracing it is because the COSTS are being delayed until LATER."

Are we talking about global warming or the Iraq War?

"The US economy over the last 25 years has completely blown away Europe."

Not any more. See http://www.x-rates.com/d/USD/GBP/hist2006.html or http://www.x-rates.com/d/USD/EUR/hist2006.html and http://www.x-rates.com/d/USD/EUR/hist2007.html if you want to stick with just the Euro. I'm sure you'll agree that "blown away" does not reconcile with our cheapening currency. That's why most of my stock portfolio is internationally-based and has been doing very well.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | April 23, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Cleaning up after another rightwing talk radio victim now...

"Others suggest that the destruction of the ozone layer will bring on a new ice age, as in the movie "Day After Tomorrow"."

Razorback... where to start... first of all, the destruction of the ozone layer and global climate change are two entirely different environmental issues - both important but almost totally disconnected.

Depletion of the ozone layer (most significantly, a hole in it in the southern hemisphere), is a danger because it threatens our protection from certain harmful solar radiation. Scientists discovered this in the early 90's, and - thanks to pressures from both the scientific community and the environmental groups who are helping ensure your livable future on this planet - we implemented legislative changes (chiefly the phasing out of CFCs) that have measurably stopped the problem in its tracks, and the latest estimate is that by 2050 the hole in the southern hemisphere will be closed. A victory for sanity (hurray). But the ozone problem did/does not really affect climate (temperature) change (it's also a weak GH gas but the effect is miniscule).

Unfortunately, scientists and environmentalists did not win the day in getting their voices heard during the 90s. Instead, bolstered by a sorry red-state population who trust rightwing talk radio way more than science (who after all, brought us Evil-ution and all its scary adult responsibilities), our government followed the lead of prevaricating oil industry lobbyists and their dupes among the electorate. And selected an industry cartel masquerading as a presidential administration. So we did nothing there, pretending that there was still a debate.

Your confusion about catastrophic warming vs cooling is partially understandable. It is clear that there is human-caused warming (for the planet as a whole) occurring, and much more of it on the way. As a general thing to keep in mind - and a reason that the most articulate and helpful of public voices are talking about global climate *change* rather than just *warming* - the warming of the planet (which is and will keep occurring) injects an enormous amount of new energy into a system that reached (relative) equlibrium before we started walking this earth without that energy being present and involved.

When you inject a big bolus of new energy in a system, it causes changes that are sometimes not linear (think "smooth, even, and/or predictable"). The major effect of this is that overall warming of the earth will cause more "weather" essentially. Greater high and low swings for one thing, and more severe storms that are driven by the big new temperature gradients (although an interesting recent finding - which only highlights the complicated results of mucking with nature - suggests that new wind shears may just luckily cancel out the increased hurricane strengths due to the warmer oceans).

All of that's just preface. Getting to your "confusion" (and I don't know if it's sincere or just political rhetoric, and frankly don't care), there is another possible complication of the higher global temperature. If we melt the artic ice (which we are doing, now) enough, the freed fresh water will flow into the northern seas. This will change the salinity of the northern oceans, causing new density gradients that will disrupt flow patterns in the North Atlantic which are part of something called the "global conveyor belt". This conveyor belt normally helps to bring warm water from the equator up north and keeps Europe (which otherwise would be too far north to be temperate) to be warmer than it would be. The effect of disrupting this flow is that it could bring a relative "ice age", but - NOTE WELL, OBFUSCATION ARTISTS - only in Europe, locally. The rest of the planet would actually keep heating up as it was. In short, a mixed soup called chaos. Conservatives aren't supposed to like chaos - I don't know why you all seem to crave this one.

The "Day After Tomorrow" does contain Hollywood exaggerations that could never happen. Nothing like that is going to happen literally *overnight* so that you have to physically run from it. It would have been a duller movie if it depicted the this happening over a period of a few months or years (which I think is the time scale that it would happen over). Also - as I understand it - the likelihood of the conveyor belt shutting down and causing cooling to quite the degree in the movie is on the low side of likely. But it can happen, and plenty of other environmental chaos of that type - if not to the degree of Paris turning into a large chunk of ice maybe - could occur as well.

In fact, the earth's climate system is complex enough that MANY curious and potentially damaging things that we can't even forsee right now could happen. People should familiarize themselves with the concept of mathematical chaos theory (the book "The Tipping Point" is an accessible example of this) to get a flavor for this. The bottom line is that the last thing you want to do to a delicately balanced system (nature), in which we have evolved within a narrow regime of, is to throw a huge new perturbation into it, just because you don't want to take responsibility for your lifestyle.

Posted by: Mark | April 23, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"Wow, we can make gasoline with less carbon in it?"

Not really. Emission of CO2 into the atmosphere from burning ethanol as a fuel is balanced by capture of that CO2 through photosynthesis by the next annual corn crop. Emissions from ethanol combustion are treated as having zero net effect. If all bioethanol-production energy came from non-fossil sources the use of bioethanol as a fuel would add no greenhouse gas.

The comment is based on an effective view of biofuels in their totality.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | April 23, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Facts.... Philip Cooney, a former American Petroleum Inst. lobbyist who became the chief of staff for Bush's White House Council on Environmental Quality, testified to Congress earlier this year that he changed three government reports to eliminate or downplay the connection between greenhouse gases and global warming.

In 2005, Cooney left to take a job with Exxon Mobil Corporation.

Sue Ellen Wooldridge, Gonzales' top presecutor in the environmental division until January, bought a nearly million dollar house in SC with ConocoPhillips lobbyist Donald Duncan and oil and gas lobbyist Steven Griles (convicted in the Abramoff influence-peddling scandal).

Soon after acquiring the house, Wooldridge signed an agreement giving CP more time to clean up air pollution at its refineries.

The Bushies can't see the dying forests for the $$$....

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | April 23, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Razorback - there is no such thing as a real liberal economist so don't worry

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 23, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I see that ignorant coward is still here spouting his nonsense and wasted words. too bad.

dude get a life.

Razorback, thanks for taking up the cause but don't waste your breath on noname coward. He is an imbecile and only lives to annoy, not debate policy. He can post an inane comment at the rate of 30 per hour and not make sense in any of them. that is a true Carteresque accomplishment.

and BTW coward, not everyone who disagrees with your ultra-liberal and moronic thoughts is zouk. In fact most thinking, intelligent citizens disagree with you. Of course the thinking and intelligent aspect lets out Democrats for consideration. Maybe that's why you squat here all day rambling on about nothing. Feels just like home where all dumb thoughts are valued.

consider how idiotic it is to conduct science by faith, polls and mis-information. If that doesn't work, try to stifle the debate with other means. Pitiful Libs just don't get science, math, econ, war and morality. now porn on the other hand, on that they are experts - and victimization.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 23, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

MikeB, like most liberals, proposes to emulate Europe.

The reason we don't emulate Europe is because it doesn't work. Germany has had 10% unemployment for years now. The US economy over the last 25 years has completely blown away Europe.

Countries with no population growth do not need job growth, this is why the more regulated Swedish model works for them. They do not need a dynamic growing economy, because they have no population growth. (They do have a looming entitlement crisis much worse than ours, but that is a different story.)

When American liberals start saying that we do not need job growth in America, then all of their psuedo-socialist ideas they want to borrow from Europe will actually be consistent with their rhetoric.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Judge C. Crater:

The reason all candidates are embracing it is because the COSTS are being delayed until LATER. Its a political freebie when you give someone 10 or 15 years to reach a certain carbon standard.

Just look at all the time the "corporate polluters" are being given in all the proposals. That is because the PR flacks focus on the "corporate poluters" to sell the idea, but the real policy people have to be concerned about consumer prices.

Politicians are pandering to all of those who only know half of the story, but when electric bills go up, the whole issue will change.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

One step at a time BLARG, you are going to make it yet.

BLARG says: So now Razorback admits that businesses will rip off the consumer whenever they're given an excuse. Somehow that doesn't apply to the perfectly legitimate increase in auto prices, but only to the price increases in the evil insurance industry.

BLARG, business will rip off the consumer whenever THE MARKET PERMITS THEM to do so. Wendy's cannot raise the price of its hamburgers too much, or it will lose market share to McD's.

Profit is not maximized by maximizing the price, IF the price increase causes a company to lose much market share.

So, if Wendy's charges $10 for a hamburger, then McD's will charge $9.99, and back and forth UNTIL the price of a hamburger reaches the "marginal cost" of production of the hamburger.

Government standards which cost money are included in the cost of each car, which increase the price of the car. No company will produce cars below the marginal cost.

Its all about competition. That is what protects the consumer from "unfair" pricing. This is why I support vigorous but rational enforsement of anti-trust and anti-price collusion regulation.

I use term "marginal cost" so I don't get corrected by a real economist. "Marginal costs" refers to the cost to produce ONE more unit, in this case, a hamburger. Marginal costs for the most part include only variable costs, and not fixed costs. This is critical in pricing decisions.

For example, think of an airplane ready to take off with only one vacant seat.

Selling that seat costs the airline almost nothing, because most of the costs it will incur will be incurred whether that seat is occupied or not. Yet, if it sold all the seats for nothing, it would go broke. The pricing or airline tickets, which appears completely irrational to a non-economist, really is rational because of the difference between total costs and marginal costs.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Assailants abducted and beheaded an Afghan intelligence service employee and struck one of the agency's vehicles with a remote-controlled bomb in a separate attack, killing six employees and wounding three, officials said Monday.

Another roadside bomb attack in the south killed two policemen, while a large car bomb was found and defused in the capital, Kabul. On Monday, in Laghman province's Alingar district, an intelligence service vehicle driving from neighboring Nuristan province was hit by a remote-controlled bomb, said provincial police chief Abdul Karim.

He said six of the agency's workers were killed, while three others were wounded. An intelligence service vehicle was also bombed in the same province on Sunday, in an attack that killed two intelligence service officers, a soldier and a driver in the provincial capital Mehtar Lam.

In southern Zabul province, a roadside bomb hit police Monday as they were patrolling in Shamulzayi district, killing two policemen and wounding five others, said district chief Wazir Mohammad Khan.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

What about Biden, who sponsored the only climate change bill to pass committee in 2007? (S. Res. 30). He's been on this for over 20 years.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

It's about time the candidates, most of them at least, recognize human caused global climate changes, so-called "global warming". We ought to emulate Europe in this. They have a tax on all passenger vehicles (and that includes pickup and SUV's) that is proportional to the MPG. SUV's are rare simply because they tax them to the sky. They also tax gasoline and desiel. The high cost, instead of going into corporate pockets, funds efficient mass transit systems. When we lived in Sweden, we took buses and trams to the most remote places in the country to go fishing and hunting. Private cars were reserved for afternoon drives on the weekend, fun in and of themselves. People took buses and trams to work. There were no traffic jams. The "Gote Elv", the main river flowing through Gothenberg, was so clean we had major runs of 8 and 10 pound searun Brown Trout, resident trout to 5 pounds, and Atlantic Salmon. Imagine, fly fishing for (and catching!) a 30 pound Atlantic Salmon in a park, right smack dab in the middle of Sweden's second largest city. We could do this here if we imposed sensible environmental regulations and cut back on our use of petrochemicals.

Posted by: MikeB | April 23, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"Global Warming Catches On"

One thing that definitely is warming: the cockles of my heart in seeing all the major candidates embrace this issue. The Calcified Ones cannot/will not ever admit this no matter how much time we waste arguing with them. Nice to see them completely sidelined in the upcoming election unless a third party (suggested name: "Head in the Sand") comes along to attempt to deny reality for another four years.

If the crackpots are denied someone to vote for can they sue reality for violating their constitutional rights?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | April 23, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"Putting aside the questionable science that makes up the Global Warming debate..."

JD, there's no debate anymore about human-driven climate change. Not among the scientists - there hasn't been for years. Actually, there is, but it's on the question "are we 90% of the cause... or 99%?". Turn off Rush Limbaugh or whomever you get your anti-science brainwashing from, go to your local university library, and read ACTUAL CLIMATOLOGY-RELATED JOURNALS. You're in for quite a stunning awakening, my friend. The news outlets and websites you have been relying on to bolster your denial (funded by Exxon to the tune of $8 million between 200-2003) alone) have poisoned your mind horribly. Time to flush the garbage out, and tune into reality again.

Posted by: Mark | April 23, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

'The global insurance industry has been hit hard by a record number of storms of record proportions'

Posted by: should have read | April 23, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

JEP says that automakers sometimes increase their prices to rip off consumers. Razorback disagrees:
"Liberals seek to impose costs on industry, then when prices go UP, they blame the industry. It is basic economics that a business passes on its costs to its customers."

Okay, so that means that businesses charge consumers fair prices, and only increase their prices when required to. That's why capitalism works. Free market! But, hold on! Someone anonymously says that the global insurance agency recognizes global warming, and Razorback replies:
"The reason the global insurance industry does this is to jack up a public relations campaign to try to sell another RATE INCREASE."

So now Razorback admits that businesses will rip off the consumer whenever they're given an excuse. Somehow that doesn't apply to the perfectly legitimate increase in auto prices, but only to the price increases in the evil insurance industry. (Coincidentally, the insurance industry recognizes the threat of global warming, while the auto industry denies it.) It all makes sense, if you don't think about it.

Posted by: Blarg | April 23, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

'You gave the standard corporate line on why global insurance companies are raising their premiums: Global warming made me do it.'

The global insurance industry has been hit hard by a record numbers. That was my point.

So of course they will raise their premmiums, as they do at every opportunity. That's the miracle of the marketplace you love so dearly.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I am a naturalized citizen of the USA. There was a popular proverb or a quote from something whole, which was much less known than this quote from its text, in the country, where I am from. This thing in English translation sounds something like, "USA became so great because of its engineers than even all efforts of its lawyers can't erase this greatness." I have been in the country for almost seventeen years, and I am ready to vote for this statement with all pointing parts of my body. Unfortunately, as a female, I have one pointing part less. Global Warming problems, as many others before it, would be resolved in the USA by efforts of this country's great engineer, or, maybe, engineers.

Posted by: aepelbaum | April 23, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"|" says:

"Every day, there is at least one individual on there who spouts corporate talking points like someone armed with a pile of press releases... the very same talking points that their predecessors used."

Today, that person is YOU. You gave the standard corporate line on why global insurance companies are raising their premiums: Global warming made me do it.

Are you a shill for the global insurance industry?

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

There are two ways to describe the confrontation between Congress and the Bush administration over funding for the Iraq surge. You can pretend that it's a normal political dispute. Or you can see it for what it really is: a hostage situation, in which a beleaguered President Bush, barricaded in the White House, is threatening dire consequences for innocent bystanders -- the troops -- if his demands aren't met.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

'BOEHNER: I think it will be rather clear in the next 60 to 90 days as to whether this plan is going to work. And, again, that's why we need to have close oversight, so that we just don't look up 60 or 90 days from now and realize that -- that this plan is not working. We need to know, as we -- as we're -- we move through these benchmarks, that the Iraqis are doing what they have to do.'

Since the, about 250 US troops have been killed. The rhetoric about Iraqis "standing up" and talk of training has ended. And life goes on.

BAGHDAD - Three suicide bombers launched attacks in different parts of Iraq on Monday, killing at least 27 people and wounding nearly 60 on Monday, police and politicians said.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

LYLEPINK gets one pretty close to RIGHT.

I think my policy of aggressively disciplining moronic statements, while irritating to some, is finally starting to pay off.

LYLEPINK says:

"A good way to have a meaningful approach to this topic would be to get the average temp for the 20th century and look at the first 50 years and compare them with the last 50."

Of course, many global warming activists use charts that start 1970, because it marked the end of a cooler cycle, so it shows a chart going straight up, but when you go back to 1940, the chart goes down until 1970, and then up.

That being said, I still agree with Jim in FL's statement that despite cycles, there is evidence of human activity making things warmer, see previous posts for detail.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Every day, there is at least one individual on there who spouts corporate talking points like someone armed with a pile of press releases... the very same talking points that their predecessors used.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

'Razorback: Why don't you see if the WaPo will give you your own blog so your feverish ramblings can be easier to ignore?

Posted by: Loudoun Voter'

This is his job, Loudon. He is on here 12 hours a day, every 3-4 minutes. Funny, just like zouk.. and he came on the day zouk left.

Funny, huh?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.

"|" gets one right. Celebrity comments on political issues from both sides are mostly idiotic.

Of course, then "|" had to get another one wrong.

"|" says: "The global insurance industry leads the corporate world in acknowledging the reality of climate change."

The reason the global insurance industry does this is to jack up a public relations campaign to try to sell another RATE INCREASE. Just like General Electric's CEO calling for a carbon tax is just so he can sell more nuclear plants.

I cannot believe that I have to explain to liberals that CORPORATIONS are motivated only by MAKING MONEY for their shareholders.

"|", I know you are keeping a list of who you think I might be a "shill" for. Please strike General Electric and global insurance companies from your list.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

A good way to have a meaningful approach to this topic would be to get the average temp for the 20th century and look at the first 50 years and compare them with the last 50. Simple.

Posted by: lylepink | April 23, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

JEP represents the current IDIOCY of liberal thought when he says:

"The only reason the cost goes up is to stick it to the public, not out of necessity."

Liberals seek to impose costs on industry, then when prices go UP, they blame the industry. It is basic economics that a business passes on its costs to its customers.

Honest liberals, like Jim in FL, know this. So do most liberal politicians. In POLICY discussions, where the rules are actually made, even Hillary and Obama understand these tradeoffs.

What is irritating is that when Hillary and Obama demagogue the issues and pretend these tradeoffs do not exist. The reason for this is because they know that among the voters that they are trying to appeal to, there are alot more idiots like JEP than there are people who know what is really going on, like Jim in FL.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I suggest you stop focusing on what some silly entertainer says [no matter which side of the debate they're on--get over your fixation with celebs.

The point is not how much will it cost us to do something, but how much it cost NOT to do something.

The global insurance industry leads the corporate world in acknowledging the reality of climate change. The insurance industry (and the re-insurance companies, who insure the insurers against catastrophic claims, in particular) are already feeling the pain, as records losses due to increased storm damage have hit them hard.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

BLARG asks:

"Why do you assume that fuel-efficient cars cost more? Some of the cheapest cars on the market are the most fuel-efficient, because they're small and light. And the most expensive cars tend to have terrible fuel efficiency, because they're giant SUVs, or sports cars designed for speed."

I do not assume that fuel efficient cars cost more. If you take a single car model, and attempt to improve THAT MODEL so that the same model gets better mileage, then the costs of the improvements exceeds the fuel savings.

The changes I refer to are those changes other than simply reducing the size/weight of the vehicle, such as a more efficient engine, ect. Of course, if you reduce the size/weight too much, you being to run into problems with government safey standards.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Razorback: Why don't you see if the WaPo will give you your own blog so your feverish ramblings can be easier to ignore?

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | April 23, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) laid out his plan to cut the amount of carbon contained in gasoline"

Wow, we can make gasoline with less carbon in it? Who knew? Even better, how about CO2 with less carbon in it?

Posted by: webg | April 23, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"Should we increase the cost of a car by $1,500 to achieve $750 in fuel savings during the life of the car?
This is what federal mileage standards do."

...ludicrous assumptions here.

The only reason the cost goes up is to stick it to the public, not out of necessity.

This is standard auto-industry framing, just more talking points for the lemmingly inclined to disseminate like a bad manure spreader...

Don't believe everything you're told.

Get a spine, seek the truth, and above all, THINK FOR YOURSELF!

Posted by: JEP | April 23, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

JD, perhaps Cheryl will discover what other cultures have know for a long time: The best way to wipe your arse is with the left had. Just one more example of the looney left's adaptations of the coarsest elements of jihadist culture.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

The Kyoto Treaty, because it exempts India and China, actually INCREASES POLLUTION.

The Kyoto Treaty will shift production from factories with higher levels of environmental regulation to those in India and China, which have lower levels of environmental regulation because of the cost advantage and the fact that consumers want the best value for their money.

If you produce the same amout of widgets at a factory that produces more pollution per widget, you INCREASE pollution.

Save the planet, STOP the Kyoto Treaty.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

from Salon.com today, a story about South Carolina sleazy Republican politics, (who could ever make these names up!!!)

When it was revealewd that Romney's people might have paid the entry fee for operatives to join a straw poll, "Chris Slick, who is Romney's grass-roots field coordinator, was emphatically denying it,"

"Chris Slick?" Surely even The Bard is chuckling in his tomb, even Shakespeare would be hard pressed to fit a name better to a character.

Transpose it to "Slick Chris" and it covers a lot more ground, from MSNBC to The WaPo...

Posted by: JEP | April 23, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Oh...my...God...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/21/AR2007042101385_pf.html

Sheryl Crow said: "Crow (4/19, Springfield, Tenn.): I have spent the better part of this tour trying to come up with easy ways for us all to become a part of the solution to global warming. Although my ideas are in the earliest stages of development, they are, in my mind, worth investigating. One of my favorites is in the area of forest conservation which we heavily rely on for oxygen. I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don't want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required."

Posted by: JD | April 23, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"Is increased fuel economy a good idea IF the cost decrease of the fuel expense is EXCEEDED by the increase in the cost of the car?
Should we increase the cost of a car by $1,500 to achieve $750 in fuel savings during the life of the car?
This is what federal mileage standards do."

Why do you assume that fuel-efficient cars cost more? Some of the cheapest cars on the market are the most fuel-efficient, because they're small and light. And the most expensive cars tend to have terrible fuel efficiency, because they're giant SUVs, or sports cars designed for speed. Often when buying a car, you can choose an upgrade package that adds features (4WD or a bigger engine) that both add cost and reduce MPG.

So, basically, your question is moot. There's not necessarily any correlation between expense and fuel effiency. You're just looking at the fact that hybrids are more expensive and drawing an inaccurate conclusion.

Posted by: Blarg | April 23, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

JimD in FL, I agree with every word of your first 2 paragraphs.

With respect to the third paragraph, my political comments focus on the dishonesty of the debate. I doubt that Dr. Stockman pretended his solution was cost free, or that the cost would be paid by some corporate entity.

For example, as the boss (Cillizza) of this blog reported: "Dodd has proposed perhaps the most radical plan of all his Democratic rivals, a so-called "corporate carbon tax" whose goal is to not only force big companies to reduce their carbon dioxide output but also generate revenue for studies on clean energy technology if they won't."

What he didn't say is that to the extent that any of these "big companies" are regulated utilities, that each and every dollar the corporation spends will be recovered from ratepayers in their utility bills, because that is, according to the Supreme Court, a 5th amendment constitutional guarantee. This is settled law, and the law in all 50 states. In the regulated world, cost pass through is direct and complete. In the market, basic economics and pricing bring the same result: CONSUMERS PAY. Why can't that be a part of the debate?

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, the ingredient trade is booming particularly since 2001, when the Sept. 11 attacks focused attention on the security of the nation's food supply.

Over the past five years, the AP found, U.S. food makers prospecting for bargains more than doubled their business with low-cost countries such as Mexico, China and India. Those nations also have the most shipments fail the limited number of checks the FDA makes.

"You don't have to be a Ph.D. to figure out that ... if someone were to put some type of a toxic chemical into a product that's trusted, that could do a lot of damage before it's detected," said Michael Doyle, a microbiologist who directs the University of Georgia's Center for Food Safety.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

LOS ANGELES Apr 23, 2007 (AP)-- The same food safety net that couldn't catch poisoned pet food ingredients from China has a much bigger hole.

Billions of dollars' worth of foreign ingredients that Americans eat in everything from salad dressing to ice cream get a pass from overwhelmed inspectors, despite a rising tide of imports from countries with spotty records, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal trade and food data.'

This is the direct result of budget cuts are doing to the FDA - killing Americans.

Posted by: 'SMALLER GOVERNMENT' | April 23, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Emily says:

"However, I do think that certain actions can be rewarded -- for instance, tax deductions for individuals who improve their energy efficiency, by buying cars with better gas mileage, installing solar panels, improving insulation, etc. This would also save people money."

This does not save people money AS A WHOLE, it only changes the account that it is drawn from. It swaps energy costs for tax costs.

It is good environmental policy, but it is also regressive tax policy. Those who are voluntarily "willing to pay a little more" are the wealthier types, who can afford to double their electric bill and get half of their electric bill back in the form of a tax cut. People who pay no income tax get no savings at all.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The Columbia Missourian newspaper is reporting that at least two people have been shot at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

--we definitely need lots more guns on campuses.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Razorback, we are in a period of warming temperatures as part of the normal cycles but there is a scientific consensus that human activity is exacerbating this trend. There is disagreement as to the extent to which human activity is causing global warming but general agreement that it is not a trivial extent.

There is far less consensus on what can and should be done to remedy the situation. Given current technology, significantly reducing greenhouse gasses would require drastic changes in lifestyle for advanced societies. These changes would not be palatable to many people. I personally believe it will not be achieved without some major technological breakthroughs, not only in alternative fuels but in methods to remove or reduce emissions.

Your posts discussing whether advocating measures to ameliorate global warming is a winning electoral strategy remind me of Ibsen's play "An Enemy of the People". The protagonist, Dr. Stockman, discovers that the famous baths in his town are contaminated. He tries to spur people to action to deal with the situation. He is declared an "enemy of the people" because the town's economy is dependent on the baths. Doiong the right thing is often unpopular.

Posted by: JimD in FL | April 23, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

mark in Aus, I appreciate your reasonable approach and comments, even though I suspect you and I are on opposite sides of the political spectrum.

Some thoughts:

- Yes the earth has been warming recently, but as others have said, we don't know how much is because of us and how much is the natural fluctuation. Don't take my word on it, read Newsweeks' recent piece on it (remembering that Newsweek is certainly no friend to conservatism or libertarianism)

- To make any significant changes, Americans would have to drastically change their lifestyle. Only a draconian tax on gas, something like $3/gallon, would really change behaviors. Show me the politician that will suggest this

- Technology advancements will only make minute changes, at the margins

- If China and India don't play along, the discussion is mostly moot

So, let's see the specific proposals from the Dems (or GOP, for that matter). Else, the can STFU and quit insulting our intelligence.

Posted by: JD | April 23, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

BLARG:

As carbon based energy runs out, it becomes more expensive. As it becomes more expensive, alternative energy takes market share, thereby reducing carbon emissions. As it becomes more expensive, efficiency ideas change from bad ideas to good ideas, with or without subsidies.

Efficiency, which is driven by market forces, contributes to any concievable global warming solution.

At least BLARG is intellectually honest enough to admit he thinks higher energy prices are a good thing. This is classic intellectually honest environmentalism.

What is disgustingly dishonest is that Gore, candidates in both parties, and so called "celebrity advocates" do not focus on the heart of the issue. We obviously need to protect the planet, but the enormous potential increases in gas prices and electric bills has to be part of the discussion.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Some folks are definately focused on short term issues.

Most normal folks are focused on whether something major is happening and whether it will impact the planet for their kids. Most of those folks don't have time to sit in front of a computer and read/write this baloney all day. But, they are starting to pay attention. So, we'll see what happens.

Good article in BNA today about GAO, global warming, and the insurance industry. Even McCain in NH said over the weekend it's one of the biggest threats facing our country. We'll see whether the moderate center that has seemed to wake up recently is going to get motivated, one way or the other. Looks like they are.

Posted by: Hacksaw | April 23, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Even the Pentagon now publicly states that global climate change is a fact -- and yet look at all these posters who deny it. It is clear to me that the republican party attracts people who are too stupid to have a grasp of even the most basic elements of science.

Posted by: E | April 23, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

'Ethanol will happen ALL BY ITSELF when gas gets to 5 or 6 bucks. Why should they be subsidized? And what if they cut down the rain forrest to plant corn?'

I think you're right about that -- I don't believe in subsidies to a particular industry either, or that ethanol is a good idea, precisely for the reason that you cite.

However, I do think that certain actions can be rewarded -- for instance, tax deductions for individuals who improve their energy efficiency, by buying cars with better gas mileage, installing solar panels, improving insulation, etc. This would also save people money.

It would also help if the vice president didn't ridicule conservation.

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

bdstauffer:

Is increased fuel economy a good idea IF the cost decrease of the fuel expense is EXCEEDED by the increase in the cost of the car?

Should we increase the cost of a car by $1,500 to achieve $750 in fuel savings during the life of the car?

This is what federal mileage standards do.

As gas costs increase, the numbers change. As soon as the numbers make it cheaper to improve the car, then the car companies do it themselves. The only time its actually mandated by Government is those occaisions when car companies don't understand how to build cars, OR the cost of improving the car exceeds the fuel savings.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Man-made global warming is a fairy tale. The planet warms and cools over hundreds and thousands of years. Deal with it!!!

Posted by: Zap | April 23, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Looks like I was right. Razorback can't understand anything except prices. Alternative energy should be subsidized, and conventional energy should be taxed, because of the other benefits of alternative energy.

The free market won't solve global warming, because global warming doesn't directly change the price of anything. (At least, not without a carbon tax or carbon trading program, which economic conservatives reject.) The free market won't stop us from funding hostile regimes; in fact, the free market encourages us to buy Middle Eastern oil. The free market might help with peak oil, but probably too late to enact a smooth transition to the new economy.

But Razorback and people like him don't get it. This isn't just about the cost. This is about the long-term future of our country and our planet.

Posted by: Blarg | April 23, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Hacksaw:

Check the website of any Attorney General in the US and see if their public position on electricity prices is anything other than they should be as low as possible. C

Ultimately, the debate will and should be "How much environmentalism can we afford".

Right now, that is not being discussed, but as green expands beyond the voluntary, and utility companies seek to recover these costs from ratepayers, this will be the central focus of the discussion.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

This is incredibly pathetic. I can't believe the supposedly learned presidential candidates are pandering to an idea that is a complete croc. Nobody is challenging it. This is sad. However, increased fuel efficiency is a good idea.

Posted by: bdstauffer | April 23, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

In the summer of 2005, Alberto Gonzales paid a visit to British Attorney General Peter Goldsmith. A British civil servant who attended told me "it was quite amazing really. Gonzales was obsessed with the Official Secrets Act. In particular, he wanted to know exactly how it was used to block newspapers and broadcasters from running certain news stories and how it could be used to criminalise reporters. He saw it as a panacea for his problems: silence the press.

Then you can torture and abuse prisoners and what you will--without fear of political repercussions. It was the easy route to dealing with the Guantánamo dilemma. Don't close down Guantánamo. Close down the press. We were appalled by it." Appalled, he added, "but not surprised."

By May 2006, Gonzales was on ABC's "This Week" program, convinced he had found the link. Could the United States gag the media to prevent its publication of information? "It depends on the circumstances." Gonzales explained, "There are some statutes on the book which, if you read the language carefully, would seem to indicate that that is a possibility.'

Posted by: Enjoy the news -- while you can | April 23, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Funny how a subject all of a sudden gets all kinds oof media coverage, in this case the Global Warming scam, then, lo and behold, they report that this has suddenly become a top 3 issue for the American people. How about doing something useful and talking up the housing market for awhile?

Posted by: Stick | April 23, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | April 23, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Regional and global climates have undergone quick and dramatic changes even after only gentle prodding by natural influences. That prodding has been far less severe than the changes humans have wrought via industrial emissions of carbon dioxide.

"We have to assume that humans are making abrupt climate change more likely - just because we're changing the system so drastically," says Richard Alley, a Penn State University paleoclimatologist. Dr. Alley led a 2002 National Research Council panel that examined abrupt climate change and laid out recommendations for research priorities and possible adaptation strategies.

Meanwhile, a report prepared by the Defense Department bids Pentagon planners to elevate the study of abrupt climate change "beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

BLARG says:

"Yes, if environmentalists have their way, energy prices will be higher. And that's a good thing."

Why wont Hillary, Obama, Gore, Cheryl Crow, or anyone else say that? Especially those like Pelosi and MD Gov. O'Malley who campaing on LOWER energy prices? This is what i am referring to when I say the debate is DISHONEST. BLARG and I, from opposite sides, agree on this point. WHY WON'T THE POLITICIANS DISCUSS THIS?

Something has to give, and when it does, there will be one pro-environement party, and one pro consumer party.

BLARG then says:

"Higher prices will lead to greater energy efficiency. When gas prices went up a couple of years ago, SUV sales plumetted, and auto dealers couldn't keep smaller cars in stock. When gas is $1 people don't care about their MPG, but when it's $3 they pay attention. As energy prices increase, it becomes a good idea to drive a smaller car, use fuel-efficient appliances, and make sure your home is insulated well. There are a lot of ways to be more energy-efficient without a significant lifestyle impact, and those will become more popular as they become more cost-effective."

BLARG is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. This is how the MARKET works. What I am against are those "environmental reforms" which artificiall INCREASE the price of conventional energy, or artificially LOWER the cost of "alternative Energy."

Ethanol will happen ALL BY ITSELF when gas gets to 5 or 6 bucks. Why should they be subsidized? And what if they cut down the rain forrest to plant corn?

The PROFIT MOTIVE will bring about new technology that will solve the problem. As energy prices inevitably go up, each "alternative" will reaches the point where it actually makes economic sense.

If "Company A" gets a subsidy, and discovers nothing, we just wasted our money. If "Company A" gets a subsidy and discovers the anwer, when company A gets rich off it, when we will be asking why did we subsidize "Company A", look how rich they are.


Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I must work now and will not get back to read more comments 'til noon or 7pm CST.

So I beg all of you who want to talk "off-point" about something, anything, beyond environment-energy and its relationship to this political cycle go to a different blog so that I will not have to wade through 200+ comments on Iraq, VaTech, Second Amendment, health care, personal flaming, etc.

Thanks in advance for your consideration.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | April 23, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse


After Chalabi fired the Iraqi Army for spite (Viceroy Jerry was following Doug Feith's orders), where do you think their platoon and company commanders went? Into the US Auxillaries? Not bloody likely. The Iraqi resistance has pulled off way too many attacks which require training for that to be the case. These guerrillas have an unusual grasp of tactics. They know how to lay ambushes, how to keep US forces off their backs and have neutralized tactical movement by helicopter, which is a tremendous advantage.

Posted by: the incredible stupidity | April 23, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin:

How do you explain the "Little Ice Age" which brought snow in June and July to New England? Search "little ice age" on Google.

How do you explain sufficient naturally occuring tempurature variations to cause glaciers to advance and retreat?

While there is some evidence that human activity is causing global warming, there is also some evidence of significant naturally occuring variations in tempurature.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

"|" asks:

"So who is it you work for Razor? Who pays you to blog? Is it the RNC, the C of C, or Exxon? Becaise you shill for all of them"

I OPPOSE oil companie subsidies of any form, green or other. That cuts out Exxon. I oppose business subsidies, and believe that the only necessary "incentive" is the profit motive, so that cuts out the Chamber of Commerce.

I disagree with the RNC position on Iraq, so that cuts them out.

I am please though that you seem to believe that the quality of my writing is such that I am paid to do it.

"|" is obviously not a "shill" for anyone, because the market rate for drivel would never pay the rent.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Yes, if environmentalists have their way, energy prices will be higher. And that's a good thing.

Higher prices will lead to greater energy efficiency. When gas prices went up a couple of years ago, SUV sales plumetted, and auto dealers couldn't keep smaller cars in stock. When gas is $1 people don't care about their MPG, but when it's $3 they pay attention. As energy prices increase, it becomes a good idea to drive a smaller car, use fuel-efficient appliances, and make sure your home is insulated well. There are a lot of ways to be more energy-efficient without a significant lifestyle impact, and those will become more popular as they become more cost-effective.

The result will be that Americans use less energy. And that's a good thing. It means less of our economy is devoted to funding totalitarian dictators who want to kill us. (Chavez in Venezuela, pretty much everyone in the Middle East, etc.) It's better for the environment. And if you believe (as many people do) that we're running out of cheap oil, it's better to adapt before we run into a major crisis.

To everyone but Razorback, thanks for reading this post. I know he stopped at "energy prices will be higher", because he's unable to think past that point.

Posted by: Blarg | April 23, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Razorback -

I do not know Arabian oil and gas to be cheaper than American coal - even after gassification. But I do not know you to be wrong, either.

Diesel is potentially cheaper to refine than gasoline because of its lower octane - although its wider spread use may require substantially more refinery capacity to be built. The addition of bio-waste to diesel is cost effective, from everything that I have read in "Discover", which I concede is not a petrochemist's journal.

Austin buys 10 mw of wind genrated power per day from the Lower Colorado River Authority at a competitive rate - I do not know if that is an artificial rate or a market rate, but your comment will cause me to investigate.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | April 23, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

In the Haditha incident, which has become one of the most notorious alleged atrocities of the Iraq war, Marines killed two dozen civilians after a huge roadside bomb ripped through a Humvee in their convoy, killing one Marine instantly and injuring two others.

A Naval Criminal Investigative Service report found that the Marines then killed five unarmed civilians whom they ordered out of a car -- one Marine alleged that another got down on one knee and shot them one by one -- before storming several houses and killing women and children, some of them still in their pajamas and lying in bed.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin:

The OIL INDUSTRY invented the "energy independence" line when, decades ago, they asked the government to force consumers to by more expensive oil from THEM as opposed to less expense oil from overseas.

Mark in Austin also said:

"The smart campaigns will propose energy reforms and claim credit for carbon emission reduction as an added benefit."

The "smartest" of all might be the Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric. He wants carbon "costs" to be used to compare the costs of nuclear power to coal power, so that lots of more expensive nuclear plants will be built. RATEPAYERS will pay MUCH HIGHER COSTS if these so called "CARBON COSTS" are imposed on the economy.

The statement I refer to can be found with a google search "friedman" "green" "immelt".

The environmental community has been completely dishonest about the enormous costs of what they propose.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

There were at least 70 people killed in Iraq on Sunday -- twin car bombs, suicide bombers, pulling passengers from another sect off a bus and shooting them -- just an average day in an endless chain of carnage.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse


"|" is complaining about gas prices, but doesn't have enough on the ball to figure out that if the environmental wackos have their way, the price will be MUCH MUCH higher.'

So who is it you work for Razor? Who pays you to blog? Is it the RNC, the C of C, or Exxon? Becaise you shill for all of them/

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

' focusing on ONE day in this debate is the ultimate in stupidity.'

No, on a trend, RAZORBOY... but you are just a little too primitive, I guess, to get it. Not much of a conceptual thinker.

So, you're on duty now... your shift starts at 9, right? And you will be on here posting every 3 to 4 minutes for about 12 hours... YOU REALLY DON'T DO ANYTHING ELSE BUT THIS, DO YOU?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Razorback -

You may be interested in this excerpt from a lecture on the recent Antarctic ice core analysis:
--------------------------------------
From an engineering view the chart on page 22 is quite interesting. This chart looks like the noisy output of a sawtooth generator whose output slowly falls from an upper set point over about 140,000 year period till it
reaches a lower set point and then rises more quickly to the upper set point over some 10,000 year period. Currently we seem to be somewhere in a fast rising period which started well before humans could have made any significant contribution. It's also interesting that although the CO2
level is rising and is higher than previous peaks, the temperature as indicated by center plot (delta D ice) seems to have been rather flat recently and does not seem to have risen as much as during the peak that occurred 150,000 years ago.

Clearly we have some sort of damped oscillatory system where we seem to have
a handle on the system's period and output waveform, but have little if any
understanding of why it has an upper and lower set point like it seems to nor anything else about it. Unfortunately, we humans are living inside this system and affecting it rather than viewing it as disinterested observers
from the outside. Thus we need to be very careful to not get ourselves tangled up in this system's flywheel and "get pulled asunder" by
inadvertently effecting the system's output in a detrimental way.
------------------------------

It may support your view that for many the focus is in the wrong place. However, it does not detract from what I wrote to JD - energy "independence" will drive this at the political action level for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | April 23, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

The moderates are winning this one. The left and the right argue because they hate each other. The moderates look at the weather, pictures of massively shrinking glaciers, and ever-stronger hurricanes and storms and are beggining to think that "hey, something's going on here."

When all of the coal-fired power producers ask the president for a cap-and-trade program on carbon emmission, you've got to think there's something up.

Anyway, back and forth argument is swell. But it's moderate America that appears to be deciding this really is an issue.

Posted by: Hacksaw | April 23, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Baghdad - At least 29 Iraqis were killed and scores were wounded in four separate bombings on Monday, local police sources said.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

"|" is complaining about gas prices, but doesn't have enough on the ball to figure out that if the environmental wackos have their way, the price will be MUCH MUCH higher.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin:

The reason we by oil from the middle east is it is the CHEAPEST. An alternatives by definition COST MORE. While price is not the ONLY ISSUE, the global warming advocates have been COMPLETELY DISHONEST about the kind of money they are asking consumers for.

Wind power in TX is a miniscule amount of the total power consumption. Extreme heat stills the wind, so that wind power is less useful for meeting peak demand during the heat of the summer, and subsidies greatly reduce the cost of wind power.

The real political ramifications of this debate will be when one party takes the PRO CONSUMER position and the other takes the GLOBAL WARMING position. I know who will win then.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

The rightwing in this country has just become utterly unhinged and completely freaking insane.


'Gingrich Blames Virginia Tech Shootings On "Liberalism"

'STEPHANOPOULOS: But what does that have to do with liberalism?

GINGRICH: Well, who has created a situation ethics, essentially, zone of not being willing to talk about any of these things. '

Talk of what 'things' -- the voices in your head?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

"|" already has the DUMBEST post of the day at 7:55 am:

"Today it is forecast to be 86 degrees in the Northeast. The normal maximum temperature is 52. The record is 71."

Completely aside from the fact that the numbers are obviously wrong (How can you have forcast 15 degrees above a record?), focusing on ONE day in this debate is the ultimate in stupidity. That is like taking a public opinion poll, and asking ONE person who they intend to vote for.

This is one reason the "consensus" on global warming is overstated. If you use ANNUAL tempuratures, you only have about 150 data points, because that is about how long we have tempurature records for (and that is only in the US, not worldwide). What would you think of a poll that only asked 150 people their opinion?

You have to have enough data points in order to use a statistical sample to project a likely result.

Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

'(CNN) -- Gas prices rose more than eight cents in the past two weeks to a national average of $2.87 per gallon of self-serve regular -- and are expected to further rise -- according to a national survey released on Sunday.

That marks a rise of 69 cents at the pump since late January, Trilby Lundberg, publisher of "Lundberg Survey," said. The "Lundberg Survey" tallies gas prices every two to three weeks at about 5,000 gas stations.'

How much did you pay before a coup d'etat put two oilmen in power?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail.

They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon - which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe - was beginning to hit Britain as well.

The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up.

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) occurs when a hive's inhabitants suddenly disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature workers, like so many apian Mary Celestes. The vanished bees are never found, but thought to die singly far from home. The parasites, wildlife and other bees that normally raid the honey and pollen left behind when a colony dies, refuse to go anywhere near the abandoned hives.

The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all American states. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East Coast.

CCD has since spread to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. And last week John Chapple, one of London's biggest bee-keepers, announced that 23 of his 40 hives have been abruptly abandoned.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

JD -

It has been historically difficult for Dems in Congress to buck the UAW and Reps to buck the oil industry. So I agree with you that mere lip service to energy-environment issues has been the previous norm.

While I do not question the factual record of current "global warming", I have read widely enough to be capable of arguing that the human contribution to it does not appear to be the only component, as the fervid imply and/or sometimes express.

However, there is a sea-change in the public mood, I think driven by the understanding that petroleum dependence cripples our foreign policy and leaves us vulnerable to the panoply of problems in the Middle East and other hot spots.

The smart campaigns will propose energy reforms and claim credit for carbon emission reduction as an added benefit. They will be able to tailor their message to every audience.
And they will find a public receptive to flourescent lights, hybrid engines, "clean" bio-turbodiesels, and nuclear power plants - all of which reduce dependence on imported fuels without actually changing American lifestyles or threatening American jobs.

I think federal support [tax subsides and credits, and research grants, at least] for coal gassification, ethanol, methanol, wind-driven generators and solar panels will play. Here in Texas the spread of wind generators and the significant increase in their total contribution to the grid is remarkable - and led by a Republican Land Commissioner who could be re-elected for life, at this point.

Watch - both parties in Congress will manuever for their favored approaches and we will move beyond "lip service", not because of the environmental lobby, but, significantly, without its opposition.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | April 23, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

The problem with global warming is we are debating the wrong "FACT". While there is a overstated "consensus" that humans are causing SOME global warming, there is no consensus on WHAT problems will be caused by global warming and what to do about global warming.

For example, some suggest global warming will raise tempatures, change growing seasons and cause flooding. Others suggest that the destruction of the ozone layer will bring on a new ice age, as in the movie "Day After Tomorrow".

"With the endorsement of eco-friendly Al Gore, The Day After Tomorrow blows into theaters this Memorial Day weekend, a spectacularly-staged cautionary tale about the dire effects of global warming."

Apparantly, Al Gore is on the freezing side of global warming:
http://www.hollywoodvideo.com/movies/movie.aspx?MID=138715

So liberals, is the "scientific consensus" you speak of the hot consensus, the cold consensus, or does the truth lie where I think it does, that there is NO CONSENSUS on the nature of the problem, just SOME CONSENSUS that humans are a part of the cause of some global warming?

Also that the Kyoto Treaty establishes 1990 as a target for emission standards. Given that there is "consensus" that during the last 100 years, tempatures have increased as a result of the spread of industrialisation, if Kyoto is the solution, we are locking in 90% of the problem. There is no rational relationship between the proposed solution and the problem.

Finally, any costs associated with global warming are paid for by CONSUMERS mostly in the form of HIGHER gasoline prices and HIGHER electric prices.

So the same bunch who promised you LOWER energy prices in the last election is now supporting measures which will cause HUGE increases in energy prices.


Posted by: Razorback | April 23, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Gunmen shot and killed 23 members of an ancient religious sect in northern Iraq after stopping their bus and separating out followers of other faiths, while car bombings in the capital killed at least another 20 people.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, in Egypt to increase support among Arab leaders for his Shiite-led government, told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that Iraq was not embroiled in a civil or sectarian war. Key Arab leaders pressured him Sunday to step up reconciliation efforts to include Sunni insurgents if he expects Arab support.

In the northern Iraq attack, armed men stopped a bus carrying workers from a textile factory in Mosul to their hometown of Bashika, which has a mixed population of Christians and Yazidis -- a primarily Kurdish sect that worships an angel figure considered to be the devil by some Muslims and Christians.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

The abrupt resignations last week of two Republican House members from their sensitive committee assignments have thrust lingering legal and ethics issues back into the limelight, potentially complicating GOP efforts to retake Congress next year.

On successive days, Wednesday and Thursday, Reps. John T. Doolittle (Calif.) and Rick Renzi (Ariz.) disclosed FBI raids on their wives' businesses. The men proclaimed their innocence, but the raids exposed their legal jeopardy. The announcements were only the most recent in a series of developments that have kept the focus on the old ethical and legal clouds that helped chase the Republican Party from power on Capitol Hill.

Two other lawmakers face possible ethics investigations amid allegations that they pressured a U.S. attorney in New Mexico to indict Democrats before last year's fall elections.

Rep. Gary G. Miller (R-Calif.), under investigation by the FBI for a series of land deals, is now facing allegations that he lied about a land sale that he declined to pay taxes on.

Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) still faces FBI scrutiny of his work as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and this month, his campaign filings showed that he has racked up $892,951.69 in legal fees since July. And for the first time, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) reported significant legal fees -- $15,620.60 -- in his campaign filing this month, as he tries to stave off accusations that he used taxpayer-funded congressional staff and resources to do political work.

"Everybody's kind of a little bit numb," said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.). "There's this, 'What else can happen now?' feeling going around here."

Posted by: the morally bankrupt gop | April 23, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

The Justice Department is conducting a probe of a $6 billion reading initiative at the center of President Bush's No Child Left Behind law, another blow to a program besieged by allegations of financial conflicts of interest and cronyism, people familiar with the matter said yesterday.

The disclosure came as a congressional hearing revealed how people implementing the $1 billion-a-year Reading First program made at least $1 million off textbooks and tests toward which the federal government steered states.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse

House Democrats, aiming to seize taxes from Republicans as a political issue, have come up with a plan to shift the burden of the hated alternative minimum tax off the shoulders of the middle class and onto the nation's richest households.

The proposal, still in its preliminary stages, would attempt to restore the original purpose of the parallel tax structure, which was created in 1969 to nab 155 super-rich tax filers who were using loopholes and deductions to wipe out their tax bills.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

'Putting aside the questionable science that makes up the Global Warming debate'

Flat Earthers are the only ones left who think the science is questionable. For God's sake leave the 14th century behind and join the human race.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Everybody notes that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said he would seek to stop all construction of a wall around a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad. The U.S. military plan to separate Adhamiya from the surrounding Shiite neighborhoods was met with criticism from members of both sects.

Before the prime minister's statement a spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq tried to reassure Iraqis by emphasizing there is no new strategy to build walls or create "gated communities." But the Post says on Page One that the U.S. military is planning on creating just those type of communities by "walling off" at least 10 Baghdad neighborhoods. Yesterday, the U.S. military announced the deaths of four American troops.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

More on the candidates and global warming at http://www.solidpolitics.com

Posted by: William | April 23, 2007 8:35 AM | Report abuse

The first thing to do is acknowledge global warming is a FACT. So many things can be done, and now we don't take it very seriously, because the effect on us is not in the immediate future.

Posted by: lylepink | April 23, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

'Smaller government'


The Washington Post leads with word that the Food and Drug Administration had been aware of problems at a Georgia peanut butter plant and on California spinach farms long before disease outbreaks resulted in three deaths, hundreds of people sick, and huge recalls.

Posted by: Celila | April 23, 2007 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Today it is forecast to be 86 degrees in the Northeast. The normal maximum temperature is 52. The record is 71.


Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Putting aside the questionable science that makes up the Global Warming debate, it's a given that Democrats bow at the green alter, and you don't win the nomination unless you pay sufficient homage.

Still, their actions are very 'Bush-like' in this respect - they make speeches, show the appropriate angst about warming...but when the time comes for specifics (especially specifics about what pain they will cause on people, and/or inflict on the economy) on how to fix it, suddenly they are silent.

Maybe this is where Richardson could discriminate himself. He's from the SW, where GW (and implications on water supply) are a big deal, and he's former SecEnergy.

Posted by: JD | April 23, 2007 7:55 AM | Report abuse

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