I just read a post on ThinkProgress by Joe Romm titled, “7 Reasons America Should Succeed On Climate Change“. It was in response to Exra Klein’s post on vox.com titled, “7 Reasons America Will Fail On Climate Change“. Klein’s secondary title seems to be, “STAND BACK AND WATCH THE WORLD BURN”.
To join in on this debate you will have to be in a group of people who already believe in climate change. No deniers allowed. I encourage everyone to read the two posts and also to explore both sites for information on many subjects.
I have been reading various reports that it’s too late to keep global warming below a supposed safe 2°C (3.6°F) increase. We are on our way to a 4°C increase by 2100. Scientists are increasingly saying we are at only a 0.8°C increase now and look at what’s happening to the planet and that the 2°C figure is too high. You can read about how this number came to be at this post by Brad Plumer of vox.com.
I have referred to Joe Romm’s posts probably more times in this blog than any other writer. I’ve seen him on TV explaining climate change. He is one of the chief science advisors for Showtime’s, “Years of Living Dangerously”. I have lot’s of respect for his knowledge on the subject. Let’s take a look at Joe.
Joe’s Wikipedia page is here.
“Joseph J. Romm (born June 27, 1960) is an American author, blogger, physicist and climate expert who concentrates on methods of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and global warming and increasing energy security through energy efficiency, green energy technologies and green transportation technologies. In December 2008, Romm was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In March 2009, Rolling Stone magazine named Romm to its list of “100 People Who Are Changing America”. In September 2009, Time magazine named him one of its “Heroes of the Environment (2009)”, calling him “The Web’s most influential climate-change blogger”.
Romm is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he founded their climate blog, Climate Progress, part of their Think Progress website. In 2008, Time magazine named Romm’s blog one of the “Top 15 Green Websites”. In 2009, Thomas L. Friedman, in his column in The New York Times, called Climate Progress “the indispensable blog”, and in 2010, Time included it in a list of the 25 “Best Blogs of 2010”. Romm also writes regularly for several energy and news websites. In the 1990s, Romm served as Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy.” That pretty impressive.
I have listen to Ezra Klein many times on MSNBC. He appears regularly on almost all of the news shows discussing many issues. He’s even hosted several of them. Ezra is a “WONK”. I have lot’s of respect for his well reasoned opinions. Let’s take a look at Ezra.
Ezra’s Wikipedia page is here.
“Ezra Klein (born May 9, 1984) is an American journalist, blogger, and columnist. He is most known for his former work as a blogger and columnist for the Washington Post, as well his ongoing work as a contributor to Bloomberg News and MSNBC. He was formerly an associate editor of The American Prospect political magazine and a political blogger at the same publication.
At The Washington Post, he managed a branded blog called “Wonkblog,” which featured his writing and the writing of other policy reporters. Issues discussed in the blog included health care and budget policy. He wrote a primer on policy called “Wonkbook,” which was delivered by e-mail and on his blog each morning. In 2011, Klein’s blog was the most-read blog at The Washington Post
In 2011, he was named one of the 50 most powerful people in Washington by GQ In 2010, he was named Blogger of the Year by The Week magazine and the Sidney Hillman Foundation. His blog was also named one of the 25 best financial blogs by Time Magazine in 2011. In 2013, Klein won the Online News Association‘s award for best online commentary. He also won the American Political Science Association‘s Carey McWilliams Award, for “a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics.” He appeared as one of 80 men featured in Esquire’s 80th anniversary issue and in a feature in the New York Times style magazine.” That’s pretty impressive too but obviously Joe has him beat on the subject of climate change.
So what are Ezra’s 7 reasons that we will fail on climate change.
1) We’ve waited so long that what America needs to do is really, really hard — and maybe impossible.
“The world isn’t going to sharply cut emissions this year. It isn’t going to sharply cut them next year. And every year we wait the adjustment gets more violent — and more impossible.
“Ten years ago, it was possible to model a path to 2°C without all these heroic assumptions,” says Peter Frumhoff of the Union of Concerned Scientists, told Plumer. “But because we’ve dallied for so long, that’s no longer true.”
This is the awful math of climate change now: the question isn’t whether we’ll fail. It’s how badly we’ll fail. It increasingly looks like success is holding warming to 3°C rather than 4°C or worse. That is to say, we are redefining success as a milder strain of failure.”
2) The people most affected by climate change don’t get a vote.
3) We’re bad at sacrificing now to benefit.
“The pain of doing something serious about the problem is upfront. But the worst effects of global warming won’t be visible, even in America, for a long time to come. The true crisis is abstract while the sacrifice required to prevent it is tangible. The American political system is not good at trading sacrifice now to prevent crises later.”
4) The effects of global warming are not easily reversible.
5) The Republican Party has gone off the rails on climate change.
6) The international cooperation required is unprecedented, and maybe impossible.
7) Geoengineering is nuts.
2. All of the people who get a vote are severely affected by climate change.
“It is I think one of the most widespread and dangerous myths that poor, “irrelevant” countries will suffer far more than everyone else. Yes, poor countries will suffer terribly — and all the more so because they lack the resources to “adapt.” But one only need look at Superstorm Sandy to realize that America, by virtue of being the richest country, has the most to lose in an absolute sense.
5. The Republican Party has gone so far off the rails on climate change that it is triggering a backlash.
But the GOP has derailed so much that there’s now a backlash over climate denial, as Marco Rubio found out. And many progressives have finally realized what the polling and social science has been saying for years — campaigning on climate action is a political winner.”
6. The international cooperation required is unprecedented, but the key country for a treaty, China, is on a path toward capping its carbon emissions.
“There is no international climate treaty possible without the genuine participation of China, the biggest polluter and the biggest obstacle to a global treaty besides us.
We reported earlier this week that a key academic advisor on climate to the Chinese government said that he and other experts were recommending a cap on carbon emissions. Even more important, a key leader on climate issues in the government has acknowledged the country is committed toward developing one:”
“I agree with Klein here: “Not to be a killjoy, but it’s hard to believe that the consequences of the huge, unpredictable changes to the global climate can be safely reversed by further efforts to make huge, unpredictable changes to the climate.”