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Political Involvement With Agw / Gw / Climate Change


pottyprof

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Posted
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL

    So, with governments handing out loads of cash to bail banks etc out of the current financial mess, are we seeing more pressure from governments to force through 'green' taxes?

    What is happening at local level? Do our local councils pile pressure on any developers to meet expensive 'green' targets?

    What is happening at world level? Is there any real political involvement in 'independent' scientific bodies?

    Please continue here...............

    :rolleyes:

    Just to quote TWS's last post in the old thread.

    An interesting article has come up in the Weather journal about climate change mitigation. Unfortunately the article is not freely available to those outside of universities, the Met Office, and subscribers & members of the Royal Meteorological Society. Still, it's worth focusing on some key points that it makes. The author is Dr Simon Buckle, which illustrates that sometimes science and politics can mix in a reasonable manner.

    "Globally, GHG emissions need to peak soon and fall rapidly (say 3-4% per annum) if we are to avoid significant risk of global temperatures increasing by 3 or 4C by 2100."

    I think that point is very well expressed. While I think the uncertainties are much larger than most scientists make out, there is nonetheless a significant risk that they might be right, and to continue as we are now, in the face of such risk, is a pretty risky approach.

    The article also points out that, if we are to achieve significant reductions in GHG emissions without forcing major draconian cuts to everyday life and economies across the world, we may need some radical reforms in the way we approach energy generation, with a lot more research into alternative sources of energy. Solar energy, photovoltaics and carbon capture technologies are cited as being very promising but under-developed. Also, development of the necessary skills for employment in the alternative energy industries.

    The author also makes a couple of key points similar to those that I have repeatedly made in the recent past:

    "It is helpful to be able to communicate solutions at the same time as explaining the problems"

    "The reluctance of climate scientists to expose disagreements or uncertainty in public as a response to climate sceptics itself poses a problem for communicating the issues effectively ... if mainstream climate scientists refrain from public debate, this leaves the field less open to well-informed views. The net result is more uncertainty and confusion in public opinion."

    In addition, although the article focuses on GHG emissions measures such as these may also be necessary if we are to move towards a more sustainable economy without having a sudden, painful transition forced upon us with the free markets suddenly finding in 20-50 years' time that resources are running too scarce to bring them maximum profits. I don't advocate doing away with free market capitalism as some campaigners wish, but I do think this is one area where the government needs to "interfere" with carrot and stick based measures, for when left to their own devices the markets just do whatever it takes to maximise profits in the short term. The article doesn't explore the barriers that this area of politics can generate, but I think it provides a very good start, and it would be good if the "mainstream" climate science community could take note.

    Please avoid any petty squabbling folks.. :rolleyes:

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    Posted
  • Location: Dorset
  • Location: Dorset

    I do find it strange that 5 years ago, people were saying that environment taxation would cripple what ever it was applied to, i.e domestic electricity bills rising 20%, petrol rising 20%, or house prices rising 20%. When in reality they cope with this on a daily basis nowadays.

    The trouble though is that the money from these taxes almost never finds it's way to where it's ment to be and the public are rightly critical.

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    Personally I find it worrying that so many economically challenged folk find themselves paying the major percentage of anything 'good' for the planet (or themselves) be it Green energy, organic food, petrol, etc. No wonder so many (apparently) have to find reasons why not to 'green up'. What chance do they have to feel good about themselves and there living (and the implications of that 'style ' of being) if they cannot afford the supposed 'right' alternatives???.

    Great God Greed has a lot to answer for (methinks). :(

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    Posted
  • Location: Redhill, Surrey
  • Weather Preferences: Southerly tracking LPs, heavy snow. Also 25c and calm
  • Location: Redhill, Surrey
    I do find it strange that 5 years ago, people were saying that environment taxation would cripple what ever it was applied to, i.e domestic electricity bills rising 20%, petrol rising 20%, or house prices rising 20%. When in reality they cope with this on a daily basis nowadays.

    The trouble though is that the money from these taxes almost never finds it's way to where it's ment to be and the public are rightly critical.

    Are people really coping. Give me some of youur wage then Iceberg. That is to generalised and i have and I know a lot of people who are sacrificing quite a few niceties to 'cope'. Its ever decreasing circles, good farming practices, fair trade, organic, healthier eating etc etc are being abandoned aplomb for cheaper, saltier, bad practice farmed goods which in turn I''m sure has a negative environmental feedback. Supermarkets are making it quite clear of the shift....just to save money to pay for utilities....it isn't right IMO.

    BFTP

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    The problem with environmental taxes is that they primarily hit the poor- the rich can usually adapt without much of a problem, but the poor end up having to make big sacrifices. However, the recent downturn is more to do with the economy rather than environmental taxes.

    In general I am in favour of implementing high levels of environmental taxation if (and only if) it is done in conjunction with developing some kind of reasonable alternative, and the "carrot" comes before the "stick". Then it merely serves to force a shift, especially among the poor, to something more sustainable. If there is no reasonable alternative then we end up with heavy losses, particularly for the poor.

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    Posted
  • Location: Putney, SW London. A miserable 14m asl....but nevertheless the lucky recipient of c 20cm of snow in 12 hours 1-2 Feb 2009!
  • Location: Putney, SW London. A miserable 14m asl....but nevertheless the lucky recipient of c 20cm of snow in 12 hours 1-2 Feb 2009!
    Are people really coping. Give me some of youur wage then Iceberg. That is to generalised and i have and I know a lot of people who are sacrificing quite a few niceties to 'cope'. Its ever decreasing circles, good farming practices, fair trade, organic, healthier eating etc etc are being abandoned aplomb for cheaper, saltier, bad practice farmed goods which in turn I''m sure has a negative environmental feedback. Supermarkets are making it quite clear of the shift....just to save money to pay for utilities....it isn't right IMO.

    BFTP

    Cheaper/bad practice stuff is only saltier if you're talking processed, surely? And why would anyone feeling the pinch want to buy that...?! In fact in general it is arguable whether fresh organic food is significantly healthier than the 'bad practice' stuff, but I completely accept that there is a difference to the environment, and to farmers' livelihoods both here and in the developing world. Unhappily as a city dweller I was only briefly (in about 2006-7) able to afford the luxury of 'good practice' food: now for me it's back not just to the cheapest, but also to the 'yellow stickers'. My first stop at the supermarket is always the reduced price meat/fish/veg shelves, and much of my diet depends on what I find there (thank goodness for the freezer) - I still prefer the less intensively grown/reared if I can find it cheap, though.

    I think most are, indeed, coping - as I am - because we must. Of course sacrifices are being made - that is what coping means. When energy prices increase by 20% I try and cut my usage. I drive less and bicycle more. I keep the heating a bit lower, turn it off when I go out, keep any unused room cold. The condensing boiler & mini-fluorescent lighbulbs have helped hugely, too, my consumption is way down on a few years ago (and the bulbs are not nearly as vile as I thought they'd be). And I don't find most of this too troubling or "not right" - it's what people did for generations, before we all got comfy and cocky and lazy. I think a bit of economising is good for the soul: concentrates the mind on what does and doesn't really matter.

    But I certainly do wish the green/animal-friendly alternatives were not so significantly higher-priced. I don't feel guilty, but I do feel sad. The condensing boiler, incidentally, is a great example of how good legislation can help - once they became compulsory the economies of scale brought the prices right down to much the same as the old ones.

    (Sorry, much of that had nothing to do with climate change!)

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    Posted
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs
    Cheaper/bad practice stuff is only saltier if you're talking processed, surely? And why would anyone feeling the pinch want to buy that...?! In fact in general it is arguable whether fresh organic food is significantly healthier than the 'bad practice' stuff, but I completely accept that there is a difference to the environment, and to farmers' livelihoods both here and in the developing world. Unhappily as a city dweller I was only briefly (in about 2006-7) able to afford the luxury of 'good practice' food: now for me it's back not just to the cheapest, but also to the 'yellow stickers'. My first stop at the supermarket is always the reduced price meat/fish/veg shelves, and much of my diet depends on what I find there (thank goodness for the freezer) - I still prefer the less intensively grown/reared if I can find it cheap, though.

    I think most are, indeed, coping - as I am - because we must. Of course sacrifices are being made - that is what coping means. When energy prices increase by 20% I try and cut my usage. I drive less and bicycle more. I keep the heating a bit lower, turn it off when I go out, keep any unused room cold. The condensing boiler & mini-fluorescent lighbulbs have helped hugely, too, my consumption is way down on a few years ago (and the bulbs are not nearly as vile as I thought they'd be). And I don't find most of this too troubling or "not right" - it's what people did for generations, before we all got comfy and cocky and lazy. I think a bit of economising is good for the soul: concentrates the mind on what does and doesn't really matter.

    But I certainly do wish the green/animal-friendly alternatives were not so significantly higher-priced. I don't feel guilty, but I do feel sad. The condensing boiler, incidentally, is a great example of how good legislation can help - once they became compulsory the economies of scale brought the prices right down to much the same as the old ones.

    (Sorry, much of that had nothing to do with climate change!)

    Good post Os, I think that sums it up for me to. It's about time cheaper-greener alternatives were available, instead of them being a premium product. That's why the public view any talk of a greener planet by politicians, as just that talk!

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    As I said above you are more likely to find excuses, other than your poverty, as to why you are ignoring the things we are told we must do. Life is hard enough for most without being put on the mother of all guilt trips every time you shop. :doh:

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    There is some truth in the above... but perhaps, just perhaps, not all of the excuses are without merit? For instance, I reckon a large number of people would rather:

    • use partly renewable energy within the home, giving a reduction of (say) 30% in emissions without having to cut 30% of energy use
    • cut down on "A to B" driving due to the availability of reasonable alternatives (e.g. taking a bus to work, cycling to work, working from home) instead of having to cut out recreational and social use of cars (e.g. going to the cinema, meeting up with people, "pleasure driving", storm chasing) because there are no decent alternatives for the A to B journeys
    • have more efficient air conditioning in the workplace instead of having it switched off so that it heats up to 45C.

    ...but most of us cannot do that because the "stick" generally comes before the "carrot" these days, partly because that's the prevailing consensus among environmentalists and transport planners, and partly because of the recession.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and lots of it or warm and sunny, no mediocre dross
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl

    Here is the latest from James Hansen; is it just me or does anyone else feel uneasy that a leading climate scientist is so politically active?

    http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2168

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    Posted
  • Location: South Yorkshire
  • Location: South Yorkshire
    Here is the latest from James Hansen; is it just me or does anyone else feel uneasy that a leading climate scientist is so politically active?

    http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2168

    Very uneasy,but I reckon his increasingly outrageous antics will ultimately be his downfall. Leave him be...

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
    Here is the latest from James Hansen; is it just me or does anyone else feel uneasy that a leading climate scientist is so politically active?

    http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2168

    I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing if the climate scientist in question has relatively well-rounded and modest ideas, taking into account various sides of the equation. Lack of well-rounded feedback from climate scientists into the political sphere limits the scope for exposure to well-rounded views.

    It's certainly a bad thing when the scientist in question has extreme and/or one-sided political views, however. Unfortunately, for whatever reasons, my experience is that the extent to which they are extremist/one-sided is positively correlated with the extent to which they get accepted by the politicians.

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    Posted
  • Location: Dorset
  • Location: Dorset
    Here is the latest from James Hansen; is it just me or does anyone else feel uneasy that a leading climate scientist is so politically active?

    http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2168

    Or feel more uneasy that leading politicians are so involved in climate science like Mr Monkton.?

    I think that almost anybody should be able to get involved in politics assuming that their agenda is quite clear.

    But should people pass themselves off as climate scientists without making it clear they they are not.?

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and lots of it or warm and sunny, no mediocre dross
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
    Or feel more uneasy that leading politicians are so involved in climate science like Mr Monkton.?

    I think that almost anybody should be able to get involved in politics assuming that their agenda is quite clear.

    But should people pass themselves off as climate scientists without making it clear they they are not.?

    I'm not a Monkton fan either.

    I think political leaders should refer to science on this subject when making policy decisions which ultimately will affect us all. I think scientists should focus their efforts upon sound, un-biased studies, make those studies available to politicians but let those studies stand or fall on their own merit.

    Political involvement by leading scientists will inevitably lead to accusations of either bias in their studies or profiteering or both, whether it be justified or not. I personally believe they do their profession a dis-service, long term it leads to distrust and at the end of the day, science is supposed to be about facts, not spin.

    Fame is everything I guess in the modern age.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    I'm not sure about that. I agree more with Iceberg's suggestion that everybody should be allowed to have a say in politics. A well-balanced and unbiased contribution from a climate scientist would be very welcome in my book. If we could get more political articles like the ones released by Prof. Mike Hulme following his departure from UEA for example, that would be good.

    One problem that climate scientists have is that no matter how hard they try to present an unbiased case to the politicians, the politicians will bias it...

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and lots of it or warm and sunny, no mediocre dross
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl

    James Hansen doesn't need the help of politicians to add bias, there's absolutely nothing moderate about his approach.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    Sadly I think that's very true- perhaps another of those who started out with good intentions but allowed fame to get to him.

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    Posted
  • Location: Dorset
  • Location: Dorset

    Good to see that the US climate bill has passed the house of representatives, despite the efforts of some and the absurb claim of job losses. It was tight though and shows that Obama took it as far as possible.

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    Posted
  • Location: 4 miles north of Durham City
  • Location: 4 miles north of Durham City
    Good to see that the US climate bill has passed the house of representatives, despite the efforts of some and the absurb claim of job losses. It was tight though and shows that Obama took it as far as possible.

    This was a VERY stupid piece of legislation: -

    It involves huge excessive amounts of beuracracy, too much government intrusion and a tax on virtually every citizen and also involving corrupt and debt-laden financial institutions (e.g. Freddie Mac) and no guarantee on job creation. More than 200 congressmen voted on the bill in circumstances where coercion, denial of copies to those who were not on the House Committee, etc took place. Very controversial. Heck, even democrat leaders and global-warming advocates like Dennis Kucinich voted against it, due to its impracticality and over-arching structure: -

    http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/10478

    Watch this important speech that reveals the big problems with this legislation and how it is not the solution to effectivley tackling global warming: -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFC48voKjbs

    This is an interesting petition: -

    http://petitionproject.org/

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    Posted
  • Location: Hucclecote, Gloucestershire. 50m ASL.
  • Location: Hucclecote, Gloucestershire. 50m ASL.
    This was a VERY stupid piece of legislation: -

    It involves huge excessive amounts of beuracracy, too much government intrusion and a tax on virtually every citizen and also involving corrupt and debt-laden financial institutions (e.g. Freddie Mac) and no guarantee on job creation. More than 200 congressmen voted on the bill in circumstances where coercion, denial of copies to those who were not on the House Committee, etc took place. Very controversial. Heck, even democrat leaders and global-warming advocates like Dennis Kucinich voted against it, due to its impracticality and over-arching structure: -

    ...American democracy is alive and well, then!

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
    This was a VERY stupid piece of legislation: -

    It involves huge excessive amounts of beuracracy, too much government intrusion and a tax on virtually every citizen and also involving corrupt and debt-laden financial institutions (e.g. Freddie Mac) and no guarantee on job creation.

    Erm, no. In you opinion (and of some openly right wing Republican websites), 'it involves huge ....' lets not make out opinion and right wing policitcs is necessarily right.

    More than 200 congressmen voted on the bill in circumstances where coercion, denial of copies to those who were not on the House Committee, etc took place.

    Well, here we have a alllegation. Care to back it up with some actual evidence (preferably not said right wing Republican blogs)?

    Very controversial. Heck, even democrat leaders and global-warming advocates like Dennis Kucinich voted against it, due to its impracticality and over-arching structure: -

    http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/10478

    Watch this important speech that reveals the big problems with this legislation and how it is not the solution to effectivley tackling global warming: -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFC48voKjbs

    This is an interesting petition: -

    http://petitionproject.org/

    I suspect (just MY opinion) that Kucinich thought it was too weak a piece of legislation?

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    Posted
  • Location: 4 miles north of Durham City
  • Location: 4 miles north of Durham City
    Erm, no. In you opinion (and of some openly right wing Republican websites), 'it involves huge ....' lets not make out opinion and right wing policitcs is necessarily right.

    Well, here we have a alllegation. Care to back it up with some actual evidence (preferably not said right wing Republican blogs)?

    I suspect (just MY opinion) that Kucinich thought it was too weak a piece of legislation?

    Kucinich also says: -

    And it is rounded out with massive corporate giveaways at taxpayer expense.

    8. Carbon markets can and will be manipulated using the same Wall Street sleights of hand that brought us the financial crisis.

    9. It is regressive. Free allocations doled out with the intent of blunting the effects on those of modest means will pale in comparison to the allocations that go to polluters and special interests. The financial benefits of offsets and unlimited banking also tend to accrue to large corporations. And of course, the trillion dollar carbon derivatives market will help Wall Street investors. Much of the benefits designed to assist consumers are passed through coal companies and other large corporations, on whom we will rely to pass on the savings.

    Kucinich also stated that it will make things worse. It is also a fact that the central financial managament of this credit is ultimately by the Federal Reserve cartel. This is central economic planning, massively excessive beuracracy, credit-creation in the form of debt-based money linked in to carbon-credit trading derivatives that are NOT going to benefit the majority of people or create new jobs. No evidence of job-creation from this bill, and there is no evidence of likely benefit to the economy. The institutions involved are corrupt, and the methods of implementation are a tyrannical form of intrusion on every citizen. This is fact, and NOT my opinion. Why should the average citizen be taxed, dictated to by some banker-sponsored government proxy to have their money sent overseas to plant trees abroad? This is all when the bankers and big corporations end up profiting from the interest-rate derivatives from the carbon credits generated out of fiat money.

    Oh, and 300 pages added at 3 am in the morning followed by only 30 minutes for the House to discuss these additions before the vote?

    http://www.mikepence.house.gov/index.php?o...ituent-services

    Unless you are going to call this "right wing" guy a liar? What if I am right-wing? Does this give you some form of right to compartmentalize everybody on the Republican party as part of the same political agenda? Oh dear.

    The American economy is in a bad enough state as it is. Millions are unemployed and history teaches us that government can never be relied upon to centrally-plan economies, and that leads to corporatism because of control over subcontracts. The best move forward would be to sponsor a simple Bill that gets rid of the Federal Reserve, fractional reserve banking and fiat money, and base money on mixed metals and stable commodities. The next move would be to cut military spending abroad, and use the savings to fund state advertising for co-operative green-energy groups that would lobby businesses and their shareholders in developing a new manufacturing industry around clean-coal, wind-energy, geothermal, solar farms, etc. Most of the money could be advertising, chairing meetings, giving advice to lobbyists, investors, etc. No oppressive carbon tax would be needed, and no central-economic beuracratic control over every facet of human life would be required either.

    If the same form of corporate-fascist control over my life occurred here in Britain, then I would push for protests on the scale of the Poll Tax riots.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
    Kucinich also says: -

    Kucinich also stated that it will make things worse. It is also a fact that the central financial managament of this credit is ultimately by the Federal Reserve cartel. This is central economic planning, massively excessive beuracracy, credit-creation in the form of debt-based money linked in to carbon-credit trading derivatives that are NOT going to benefit the majority of people or create new jobs. No evidence of job-creation from this bill, and there is no evidence of likely benefit to the economy. The institutions involved are corrupt, and the methods of implementation are a tyrannical form of intrusion on every citizen. This is fact, and NOT my opinion. Why should the average citizen be taxed, dictated to by some banker-sponsored government proxy to have their money sent overseas to plant trees abroad? This is all when the bankers and big corporations end up profiting from the interest-rate derivatives from the carbon credits generated out of fiat money.

    Oh, and 300 pages added at 3 am in the morning followed by only 30 minutes for the House to discuss these additions before the vote?

    http://www.mikepence.house.gov/index.php?o...ituent-services

    Unless you are going to call this "right wing" guy a liar? What if I am right-wing? Does this give you some form of right to compartmentalize everybody on the Republican party as part of the same political agenda? Oh dear.

    The American economy is in a bad enough state as it is. Millions are unemployed and history teaches us that government can never be relied upon to centrally-plan economies, and that leads to corporatism because of control over subcontracts. The best move forward would be to sponsor a simple Bill that gets rid of the Federal Reserve, fractional reserve banking and fiat money, and base money on mixed metals and stable commodities. The next move would be to cut military spending abroad, and use the savings to fund state advertising for co-operative green-energy groups that would lobby businesses and their shareholders in developing a new manufacturing industry around clean-coal, wind-energy, geothermal, solar farms, etc. Most of the money could be advertising, chairing meetings, giving advice to lobbyists, investors, etc. No oppressive carbon tax would be needed, and no central-economic beuracratic control over every facet of human life would be required either.

    If the same form of corporate-fascist control over my life occurred here in Britain, then I would push for protests on the scale of the Poll Tax riots.

    Careful, I said 'opinion' NOT 'liar' - OK?

    If I'm honest I'll say I don't know the full ins and outs of this bill - and by a long way. But, I do know a Republican leaning blog when I see one and when WUWT (and it's oh so moderate commentators) is in full cry experience teaches walk the other way.

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    Posted
  • Location: Dorset
  • Location: Dorset

    PP I am not sure that anything the US Govt, FED, or anything involving financial markets would ever be good in your books.

    This isn't Brilliant by a long shot, but it's a very big step forward from the Bush/Republican approach of doing nothing and denying that AGW even exists.

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    Posted
  • Location: 4 miles north of Durham City
  • Location: 4 miles north of Durham City
    PP I am not sure that anything the US Govt, FED, or anything involving financial markets would ever be good in your books.

    This isn't Brilliant by a long shot, but it's a very big step forward from the Bush/Republican approach of doing nothing and denying that AGW even exists.

    It isn't a step forward at all.


    • The original cap and trade bill, HR 2454, was introduced to congress May 15th
    • June 23rd, the thousand-page bill was replaced by a whole new bill - HR 2998 - weighing in at 1200 pages
    • At 3:09 am on June 26th, a 300 page amendment was filed
    • 16 hours later, the house voted and passed the bill none of them had read

    Source

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