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Obama Reveals Climate Change Plan

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the it-ain't-easy-being-green dept.

Earth 577

Today President Obama gave a speech outlining the administration's plan to take on climate change. (Video of the speech available on YouTube, and the White House published an infographic as well.) Most significantly, Obama's plan would have the EPA set limits on carbon pollution from all U.S. power plants, a goal already meeting resistance from Republicans. The plan also sets the goal of funding enough solar- and wind-based energy projects on public lands to power over 6 million homes by 2020. By 2030, it aims to use efficiency standards to reduce carbon pollution by 3 billion metric tons. Obama called for new efforts to deal with extreme weather like Hurricane Sandy. He also pointed out the difficulty in getting emerging industrial economies to be environmentally conscious. To that end, the plan calls for the end of U.S. support for financing coal power plants in foreign countries, unless those plants use carbon capture and sequestration technologies. The speech addressed the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry up to 800,000 gallons of oil per day from Canada into the U.S. Obama indicated that approval for the pipeline would be tied to emissions goals.

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Microsoft and Bill Gates (0, Offtopic)

futuramasd (2958127) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104233)

Microsoft is the best example of a company that cares about climate. They run their datacenters in places with access to clean water and wind power. Their Windows OS supports power saving features. Azure cloud is hosted on data centers that utilize clean power.. etc.

Hell, even Bill Gates Foundation widely supports research towards cleaner power and data usage. Way to go, Microsoft and Bill Gates, I say.

Re:Microsoft and Bill Gates (2, Funny)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104349)

I don't understand what this post has to do with Obama battling ManBearPig.

Re:Microsoft and Bill Gates (4, Funny)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104451)

US already has a climate change plan - destroy the climate! I don't see why he'd want to change horses midstream...

Re:Microsoft and Bill Gates (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104793)

Yes, because reducing annual output by a global pittance and thus driving up costs for everyone solely in the US along with adding more inconsistent generators of energy while doing nothing to solve the actual problem is certainly preferable to setting up programs which look for actual solutions.

Re:Microsoft and Bill Gates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104485)

He's just trying to close out as many Astro-Turfing tickets before 5 PM

Re:Microsoft and Bill Gates (1)

jameshofo (1454841) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104797)

Its actually a really good example of what the green movement is, in this troll's attempt to plug a company that is hated for their inability to take any real useful advice from consumers if its not on picket signs outside their door. He created the real world analogy for "climate change" many people working to promote "idea X" there are many fakers, that take something and make it their message for why they're better at complying with the idea than others. Its perfect because its the most abused message of our time, next to terrorism. And at the end of the day someone stands up and acts like they're doing something good for someone somewhere and that causes another guy to stand up in the crowd completely off-topic and describe what a good person he is because he does vaguely good tings for theoretically good causes for invisibly but totally innocent people.

Re:Microsoft and Bill Gates (1)

buswolley (591500) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104857)

ManBearPuig is a force of nature that will take the Ginats down tonight!

Bam!

Bam! Bam!

Bam!

oh ManBearPig...never mind, what were we talking about"?

Re:Microsoft and Bill Gates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104383)

It's just business sense.

1) Those technologies and data center locations save the company money through energy costs and government subsidies.
2) They get to spin it as good PR -- Hey Look at us all green and eco-friendly and carbon neutral!

I'm not disagreeing that they're doing potentially good things, but you're deluded if you think the motives are altruistic.

Re:Microsoft and Bill Gates (3, Insightful)

Dave Emami (237460) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104755)

It's just business sense.

1) Those technologies and data center locations save the company money through energy costs and government subsidies. 2) They get to spin it as good PR -- Hey Look at us all green and eco-friendly and carbon neutral!

I'm not disagreeing that they're doing potentially good things, but you're deluded if you think the motives are altruistic.

Someone wrote something about that a couple hundred years ago: "But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only... It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity, but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages."

Re:Microsoft and Bill Gates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104437)

I personally like The Bill and Melinda Gates foundations' efforts at sterilizing and depopulating the world, especially the parts of the world that contribute nothing except disease and famine.

Bill Gates invented MS-DOS and also invented the first point-and-click GUI operating system, Windows 3.1, so he has the authority to decide whose lives are worth how much. He also has a hot wife who likes him for who he is, and his fashionable taste in fashion. You know how Apple made a touch interface for the iPod and iPad? Well, Bill Gates made the first touch interface, Windows 8, for the PC! When was the last time you made something like that? No, your popsicle-stick birdhouse doesn't count.

-- Ethanol-fueled

If Obama were a dinossaur (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104269)

I guess dinossaurs would still be walking on the Earth, since he'd have devised a plan to divert that huge meteor from Earth (maybe get dinossaur Bruce Willis on board to help).

Don't believe the hysterics (-1, Troll)

urughak (2963237) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104281)

I'll just leave this here for you all to ponder- One of the wisest men on the planet. Dennis Prager. Please read with an open mind. :) http://www.dennisprager.com/transcripts.aspx?id=1167 [dennisprager.com]

Re:Don't believe the hysterics (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104407)

Ah, a radio show transcript. Isn't it funny how the wisest people on earth all have radio shows rather than jobs where they have to do so much as put on clothing for the camera?

You'd think a FEW of them would, I dunno, work as scientists or something.

DP: So you feel that a lot of scientists have sold their souls?

It's that line specifically that makes me feel comfortable totally ignoring anything else he says. I feel a lot of radio talk show hosts never had any souls to begin with.

Re:Don't believe the hysterics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104475)

> It’s a case of following the money. It’s a case of following the fashions and the fads. It’s a case of getting the fame and the fortune which comes with something like this,

Please tell us more about this book you wrote that you're here promoting.

Re:Don't believe the hysterics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104503)

I've never heard the guy's talk show, but you seem to imply that because he has a talk-show he's not worth listening to.

From Wikipedia:

"Prager was raised in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Hilda (née Friedfeld) and Max Prager.[2] He attended Rambam, a Jewish day school and Yeshiva of Flatbush, where he met his future co-author Joseph Telushkin. He majored in Middle Eastern Studies and History at Brooklyn College, graduating in 1970. He went on to study at the Russian Institute (now Harriman Institute) at Columbia University.[3] He speaks, and lectures in several foreign languages, including Russian and Hebrew.[4] He taught Jewish and Russian Elana History at Brooklyn College, and was a Fellow at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, where he did his graduate work at the Russian Institute (now the Harriman Institute) and Middle East Institute from 1970–1972. He is a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. He is also the founder of Prager University, a virtual university aimed at educating people through five-minute videos on conservative political and social views. He is the brother of physician and Columbia University faculty member Kenneth Prager and the uncle of former Wall Street Journal reporter Joshua Prager."

You may want to discount him because of his Conservative views, but I don't think you can define him by his talk-show.

Re:Don't believe the hysterics (1, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104651)

Why not?
I see no mention of any science degrees, he is a political hack.

Re:Don't believe the hysterics (1, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104959)

Why not?
I see no mention of any science degrees,

Huh, wasn't aware that "science degree holder" was a requirement for holding a valid opinion.

Re:Don't believe the hysterics (1)

drakaan (688386) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104695)

Why does that line make you comfortable totally ignoring anything else he says? Poor phrasing? Bad metaphor? Disagreement on the possibility?

Re:Don't believe the hysterics (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104767)

Hyperbole.

Re:Don't believe the hysterics (1, Troll)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104829)

Hyperbole

Ah, talking about the church of global warming are we?

Re:Don't believe the hysterics (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104877)

Ah, a radio show transcript. Isn't it funny how the wisest people on earth all have radio shows rather than jobs where they have to do so much as put on clothing for the camera?

You've never listened to Radio 4 [bbc.co.uk] , have you? (Sorry if that doesn't work wherever you happen to be.) I recommend The Life Scientific, which is quite a pleasant talk show where scientists (duh) come on and talk about their particular fields. Plus, it's hosted by an actual scientist [jimal-khalili.com] and, in a breaking move for the Beeb, one that hasn't been in a boy band.

If science isn't your bag then give "In Our Time" a try. The topics are much more varied but you do get Melvyn Bragg (chancellor of a University and a fellow of more British academic institutions than I care to list).

You'd think a FEW of them would, I dunno, work as scientists or something.

When one's radio obligations consist of barely more than one morning/afternoon per week, one generally finds plenty of time to pursue a career in whatever.

tl;dr Having a face fit for TV is not a pre-requisite for wisdom and there are a great number of radio shows hosted by the wise ones; I wouldn't be surprised if there were fewer on TV.

Re:Don't believe the hysterics (2)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104477)

I am not a climate scientist. So someone please help me to understand how and why the ice caps melting is a perfectly okay thing? I'm not asking whether or not the ice caps melting is man made. It's another discussion and certainly one which is harder to prove or observe. But we've got ice melting that has been frozen for many, many planetary cycles giving scientists access to a wealth of new data on earth's history.

How is it not climate change?

I have an extremely open mind. Just lay out some reasons why it's not climate change. Is the melting ice a lie? Bigger lies have been told after all. What's the deal? I *want* to believe climate change is a hoax. It just doesn't look like one to me.

Re:Don't believe the hysterics (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104933)

My larger question is...who cares if it is climate change natural or man made?

By the time it all goes to hell, I'll be long gone, dead and in the ground. And if anyone *is* still around that wants to curse my name or my generation, I'll be DEAD..and not terribly bothered about it.

I'm only here on earth a short time...and gonna enjoy my life to the fullest while I'm here, I see no reason to start sacrificing my time and effort for anything that won't really affect me nor anyone I know immediately alive now.

"I don't know what's gonna happen, man, but I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames."

- Jim Morrison

Re:Don't believe the hysterics (0, Troll)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104961)

Here are a few thoughts for you:
1. Periodic Ice Ages. The last one was 11,000 years ago. The earth is still warming up towards 'normal'. What we have now, is not normal yet. The cavemen must have burned a helluvalot of wood to bring the last ice age to an end...
2. Layered coal seams. Each seam represents a period of 150 to 200 million years of fern covered swamps. We are now in a cold period, before the next coal seam will be created.
3. Medieval mini ice age. The earth is still colder than it was during the height of the Roman empire, when people produced wine in England.
4. The earth is mostly covered with water and most of the land is desert. Humans only mess with a small percentage of the earth's surface and in those areas, we mostly replace wild grass with special grass, bisons with cows, boar with pigs, birds with chickens etc. Farming is controlled by the climate and farmers only produce what will grow in that particular area - they don't really change anything, while the surface area covered by cities is very small indeed.
5. Radiation is related to the square of the temperature difference. If you heat the atmosphere slightly, heat is radiated faster into space.
6. What caused those hot swampy periods? Dinosaur farts?
7. Climate change is real, but man has precious little to do with it, if anything.

Just think about things rationally.

Re:Don't believe the hysterics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104483)

If you're going to appeal to authority by calling him one of the wisest men on the planet, then I'll ad hominem by calling him an anti-Muslim bigot!

Re:Don't believe the hysterics (4, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104495)

So a radio talk show host, along with a single scientist well known in the community for his outspoken opinions on climate change, on one side of the argument, and then a vast, vast body of peer-reviewed work and many hundreds of disparate and inter-arguing (ie, non-colluding) scientists on the other. Oh, and facts.

Yeah, my mind is open. A talk radio host is not going to change it.

Re:Don't believe the hysterics (1)

kenaaker (774785) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104627)

Pssst... I think he's got his ranking scale inverted. That would put somebody like Ed Witten as the smartest and D.P. at the other end of the scale. He might be off by one too. Did he start counting at 0 or at 1?

Yeah, its getting approved (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104291)

I have absolutely no respect anymore for Obama. Everything i hear from him is a lie, after the NSA scandal. So i fully believe that this plan is going through.

Re:Yeah, its getting approved (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104473)

I too find this questionable. "Well see if it negatively impacts the environment before we approve it," is not at all reassuring given that he's already been told numerous times that it will.

But I suppose saying something is a little bit better than the usual ignoring the issue. And the NRDC certainly seems happy. I'm going to allow myself to hope it's just a more politic way to shut it down, but I'm not going to be surprised if it isn't.

Good, this is an urgent problem (-1, Troll)

sideslash (1865434) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104295)

All you have to do is look at predictions from 10 and 20 years ago to see what a disaster would befall us even right now in 2013. That the predictions turned out to be overblown and wrong is missing the point. Now, how can we redistribute some of that carbon-associated wealth?

Re:Good, this is an urgent problem (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104369)

Not to mention that reducing our use of oil might be a good way to stop sending piles of our cash to places like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. I'd rather spend $2 on R&D to improve technology than $1 on importing oil: the latter is cheaper in the short-term, but not really in the long-term.

Re:Good, this is an urgent problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104583)

The problem is that in the years/decades it takes us to finally move away from oil/coal; these regulations today are causing the costs of said products to keep increasing.

Do you really think the corporations will absorb the costs or pass them on to the consumers!?

Re:Good, this is an urgent problem (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104675)

Do you really think it will be free?

It costs money to move away from oil and coal.

Re:Good, this is an urgent problem (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104861)

How did I imply it would be free? I said I was willing to pay $2 in R&D to save $1 in oil. Obviously that means I'm expecting and willing to pay a 2x premium.

Re:Good, this is an urgent problem (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104903)

I replied to the AC bitching about the cost, not you.

Re:Good, this is an urgent problem (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104847)

Do you really think the corporations will absorb the costs or pass them on to the consumers!?

It depends on the market. If all products were priced as cost + fixed profit margin, then yes, an increase in cost would be reflected exactly in retail prices. And so would a decrease in cost.

But of course, retail prices aren't a fixed function of cost, and profit margins aren't fixed. In general, the prices companies charge is set by what the market will bear, not directly by their costs. If they could raise prices and still sell their stuff, they would've done so already, and just pocketed more money. If their costs go up, this does not necessarily mean the price the market will bear will go up the same amount. It depends on a number of factors, such as the structure of their competition, elasticity of demand, elasticity of supply, and so on. In most cases the answer is that it'll be some mixture: cost increases will be partly passed on and partly eaten by the company. Similarly, price decreases tend to be partly passed on and partly pocketed by the company.

Re:Good, this is an urgent problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104371)

Don't you know reality has a liberal bias?

Re:Good, this is an urgent problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104757)

...but only until it bites you in the ass. Then it turns out that the reality is exceedingly conservative.
"Liberal reality" is a well-known fallacy. In fact "a conservator is a freshly mugged liberal" has predated it by well over a hundred years.

Re:Good, this is an urgent problem (5, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104671)

What, that the mean average temperature would continue to rise, the ocean level would increase, the ice sheets would recede and the [CO2] would increase?

Sure, some of the wildest "worst case" predictions might not have happened, but the overall thing that science has been pointing to for the past 30 years? It has happened as predicted. You can measure that, and we do.

The effects are also measurable, and again, we note those down.

It's only controversial because the answers are incompatible with big businesses making vast profits from coal, oil and other fossils, so they've paid a great deal of money to make sure people *know* it's controversial, because they say it is. Not because it actually is.

Great!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104317)

Great, now he wants to keep track of climate too!!!!

THANKS, Obama!

Outsourcing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104319)

He also pointed out the difficulty in getting emerging industrial economies to be environmentally conscious.

Yes, it's very difficult to tell the countries where we outsource our industrial jobs to reduce their profits and spend more on the environment.

Washington D.C. (-1, Troll)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104337)

There should be a rule that whenever there is a power shortage attributable to power plants being shut down due to government regulations, Washington D.C. is the first place that is blacked out.

Re:Washington D.C. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104387)

Hippyville California is the first place that is blacked out.

FTFY.

Re:Washington D.C. (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104389)

What power shortage would be cause by government regulation?

Sounds more like because people failed to meet a regulation.

I don't get a check from the IRS when I screw up my taxes. I don't understand how someone who supposedly supports capitalism is ok with externalities.

Business bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104575)

There should be a rule that whenever there is a power shortage attributable to power plants being shut down due to government regulations, Washington D.C. is the first place that is blacked out.

Whenever a business PR person or business leader uses these excuses:

1. Government regulation

2. Litigation

3. Foreign Dumping

you know he's full of shit.

Remember, in the US the Golden Rule prevails - He who has the most gold makes the rules.

Corporate American has the most Gold (and the 1%'ers who control them). If Government Regulation really hurt them, they was just order their bitches in DC to change the rules - like they did with the tax laws allowing them to pay a much lower rate than the rest of us.

No, this whole government regulations BS is just to fool Joe Sixpack and Jane Q. Public and justify picking their pockets.

In the meantime, they move the jobs overseas to less regulated countries and murder their citizens with shitty working conditions and environments.

Name ANY industry that's bitching about "Government Regulations" and I'll show that not only are they full of shit, but they LOVE the regulations because it increase the barriers to entry.

And everyone on Fox News and Talk Radio are just the propaganda arms of the 1%'ers.

Now get back to work peon.

Re:Washington D.C. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104649)

If a plant couldn't get shut down because they violated emissions regulations, then none of them would obey emissions regulations. Did you have an alternative solution to climate change that you forgot to mention?

No real solutions - and we're doing what? (5, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104377)

>> Obama called for new efforts to deal with extreme weather like Hurricane Sandy.

Like move coastal populations so we aren't always on the hook for rebuilding people's beach houses?

>> the plan calls for the end of U.S. support for financing coal power plants in foreign countries

We're doing what? And they wonder why taxpayers hate the federal government...

Re:No real solutions - and we're doing what? (4, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104529)

Consider where the money ends up. Those foreign power plants are frequently very lucrative for large corporations that buy senators. It's a handy way to milk money out of the government and add it to the coffers. Bonus: everyone blames it on the government!

Re:No real solutions - and we're doing what? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104731)

So where should be put our harbors?

When is "not enough" still good enough? (4, Interesting)

47Ronin (39566) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104381)

Friends of the Earth's climate and energy program director Damon Moglen said the President's climate plan is "not enough" and needs to be more ambitious.
http://www.foe.org/news/archives/2013-06-statement-on-president-obamas-climate-plan [foe.org]

Well isn't doing something like this, which causes so much angst from the energy sector and Republicans, at least a step in the right direction? Using a US football analogy, we can't always make a touchdown with every effort isn't a heroic 9-yard run a good start? Being any more ambitious with the President's plan would risk all-out resistance from every billion-dollar lobby and politician.

Re:When is "not enough" still good enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104459)

No kids here.

And I don't love yours enough.

Re:When is "not enough" still good enough? (5, Insightful)

tirerim (1108567) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104901)

There will be angst from the Republicans no matter what. Heck, if he proposed sticking to the status quo, they'd still angst that he wasn't doing enough to support business. But setting loftier goals might result in a better compromise when the Democrats inevitably cave to Republican demands.

Re:When is "not enough" still good enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104917)

Uhhh, when has he ever been ambitious?
It's always the half assed plans that get us into trouble.

Obama calls it like he sees it (3, Funny)

TimHunter (174406) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104417)

"We don't have time for a meeting of the flat-earth society."

Not for nothing are the Republicans known as "the stupid party."

Re:Obama calls it like he sees it (0, Offtopic)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104439)

He's extremely wealthy. This will not hurt him or anyone else inside the beltway of DC. This WILL hurt the poor and middle class however...BY DESIGN!

Re:Obama calls it like he sees it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104789)

He's extremely wealthy. This will not hurt him or anyone else inside the beltway of DC. This WILL hurt the poor and middle class however...BY DESIGN!

They are already hurt by the status quo, also BY DESIGN. I am all for ending the exploitation of the economically weak, but that is another issue. Given the choice between hurting them (me, really) with a system that destroys the future or a system that provides hope that they will survive long enough to see social justice is a no brainer.

"the stupid party" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104681)

I see democrats are still into calling names...

Let's just bypass the Constitution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104429)

We have a carefully designed system of government. For one branch to declare that it will simply bypass one of the others is a direct violation of the Constitution. No ifs, ands or buts. No President has the power to bypass Congress. The system was designed to balance powers, in this case the Executive branch is declaring the process null and void.

Re:Let's just bypass the Constitution (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104581)

Interesting. I didn't know that Congress had to give approval when the President planned stuff and called for things. Where in the constitution was that? I'd sure like to read up on it.

Re:Let's just bypass the Constitution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104791)

In this case, the President isn't just planning stuff, he's planning the implementation through executive orders to bypass Congress.

Didn't think it was possible (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104435)

Well, I didn't think it was possible for the U.S. to fuck over third world countries any harder. But then!

To that end, the plan calls for the end of U.S. support for financing coal power plants in foreign countries ... And STAY down, Africa.

Re:Didn't think it was possible (2)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104481)

Africa has the most to lose with global warming.

The "most to lose" (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104611)

Africa has the most to lose with global warming.

And that would be... what? SInce we all know now that global climate change does not specifically mean warming all over.

But if it did mean Africa getting generally warmer, remind me again what life saving air conditioning runs on?

I mean, if you really thought Africa was getting warmer it seems like you would make some allowances to help them, not specifically to yank help away and let more people die than have to. That is, if you wanted to help people at all.

Re:Didn't think it was possible (2)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104535)

Africa: There's a Chinese guy with a checkbook knocking at our door.

Re:Didn't think it was possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104629)

Well, I didn't think it was possible for the U.S. to fuck over third world countries any harder. But then!

To that end, the plan calls for the end of U.S. support for financing coal power plants in foreign countries ... And STAY down, Africa.

So how about supporting solar power in Africa instead? I've heard that they have quite a lot of sun there. Not to mention that if temperatures there rise some more, many places will become uninhabitable. The developing world doesn't need to make all the mistakes we have made when striving for the same standard of living.

Re:Didn't think it was possible (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104743)

So how about supporting solar power in Africa instead? I've heard that they have quite a lot of sun there.

But no money and solar is many years away from being viable for large scale energy use.

Not to mention the emissions caused making the panels...

I know the details (0)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104449)

He's going to do his best to end the threat of global reporting.

It's clever, no? (4, Insightful)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104505)

Tying the Keystone XL to emissions is clever. Sure the tar sands are amongst the filthiest forms of oil , but if emissions are limited, it really doesn't matter since emissions is the point of the sword that kills and everything else is, in the final analysis irrelevant.

If XL is not built, there is nothing stopping the oil from coming in on rail and it's not clear how punishing that would be to the industry.

Emissions are the business end of all policy. Going after emissions is exactly the right thing to do. It creates the environment where innovative technologies that cut emissions are differentially rewarded by the marketplace. Nothing like enlisting greed in your cause.

If big oil and coal want to develop a zero emission technology then they can light this shit on fire until there's none left and it wouldn't matter one bit.

Another great thing about this policy is it will force the retirement of some of the dirtiest fucking coal plants around the country and stop the creation of new dirty ones since investors aren't going to invest in them if they're never going to see the light of day.

This is exactly the right message to send. Make carbon emission expensive and prohibit the worst of it. Spend big on R and D.

Re:It's clever, no? (4, Insightful)

thule (9041) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104597)

Coal plants have already been shutting down due the fact that natural gas is cheaper. Since we've been building natural gas plants, our carbon emissions are down to 1990's levels. Funny thing, we didn't even sign Kyoto, yet we did better than most (all?) countries in reducing carbon.

Re:It's clever, no? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104809)

yeah, but isn't that mainly because you guys were one of the worst countries to start with?

Re:It's clever, no? (2)

P-niiice (1703362) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104603)

Yep. emissions are the problem - they should be a big part of the solution.

Re:It's clever, no? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104817)

If the US doesn't want a pipeline that's fine, China has been stroking the Feds dicks up here in Canada for years.

The environmental question is which superpower would make cleaner use of the fuel?

Not to mention if disaster falls somewhere off the West coast as crude is shipped to China/Russia/etc what kind of impact is there going to be to the Pacific Northwest coastline vs a land-based pipeline breach?

Either way, the Oil will flow

"use efficiency standards to reduce" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104521)

Which we know by Jevons and Khazzoom–Brookes, doesn't work.

Obama is a sucker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104547)

The Republitarians will rollover to get Keystone XL passed.

Then they will use the court system to get the environmental part of the deal reduced, and hold the economy hostage for the kill them completely.

But I'm cool with it anyway, just so long as the states have to deal with cleaning up the mess themselves, as opposed to the fed.

"War on Coal?" Is that a bad thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104553)

The "war on coal" is no less morally sound than the "war on Nazis" was, Godwin be damned.

Re:"War on Coal?" Is that a bad thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104765)

Because coal is rounding up millions of people and killing them in concentration camps, right?

Great news for poor people (4, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104577)

Having to pay much more for electricity will mean having less money left over for food, which means less obesity! Now we just need to increase gasoline taxes so they will get more exercise as well. On top of that, high energy consumers, such as, you know, factories, will have to cut down production, perhaps even close down completely, further reducing the pollution! There is just no end to the benefits from artificially inflating the cost of energy.

Re:Great news for poor people (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104609)

sad but in this country good food costs more than junk & processed garbage. high fuel costs just means poor people's lives become more miserable while they rest of us just have less free money for toys and entertainment and better gear. poor people have more children too.

Re:Great news for poor people (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104899)

You need to get your sarcasm meter checked.

Re:Great news for poor people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104699)

...less money left over for food, which means less obesity!...

Obama's new healthcare plan!

Great news for rich people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104853)

The desperate poor will get what they need form wherever it is available. Dark days ahead for the wage thieves and wealth hoarders.

Politics and Stupidity (2, Interesting)

ilikenwf (1139495) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104593)

So, we're going to start trying to nix the primary way we generate electricity...and not go nuclear even though we can recycle buried waste into power...and instead we're going to cut down a bunch of trees on public land and toss up solar and wind farms? Yeah, that's logical.

This is purely political and not about the environment or climate change. The climate changes naturally, and adapts to the creatures (us and everything else on earth) and their affects on it. If anything we should be burning less coal from switching to nuclear plants.

I'll just leave this here. http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/MIT-Develops-Meltdown-Proof-Nuclear-Waste-Eating-Reactor.html [oilprice.com]

obama proven himself brainless today (3, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104683)

saying pipeline can't be completed unless it cuts greenhouse emissions, Obama has shown himself to be a moron of the highest caliber.

Energy use drives progress and has lengthened human life and quality of life. This fake "environmentalism" is just mask on religion of man-haters.

Real environmentalism and the best thing for the human race is to go to clean and powerful energy sources that are superior to the polluting fossil fuels, such as advanced nuclear reactor designs that can't melt down and have no long-term waste products.

Why cap emisions? (2, Insightful)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104637)

The hypothesis to base limiting carbon dioxide emissions on is that they cause damage to the commons.

Fine, if that's so then limiting them is a bad solution. I understand that it may be worth it for the benefits of the activity. That's fine too. Why is any harm allowed free of cost? Publicly fund research to put a dollar figure on the current marginal damage done by carbon dioxide emissions as well as on the cost to cleanup. Take the minimum of those two values and just tax the emissions at that rate, plus maybe a small percentage markup, right from the start. That way costs are borne by the people causing the harm. They are incentivized to minimize harm even at rates under what would have been the cap. Market forces will determine whether it's worth it and by how much and what amount should be prevented versus cleaned.

The two weaknesses here are monitoring, which is just as much a problem with capping, and determining the cost. The research wont come to a perfect solution, but we can improve it over time. It'll have to be reevaluated periodically anyway since the cost is probably non-linear. In any case I don't see how that's more questionable than coming up with the cap figure. Liberals should be happy with this solution since it more strictly limits than what we have today. Conservative should be happy because everyone pays his fair share and the market gets to work. In reality liberals would hate it because it murders the Earth, and conservatives would hate it because it murders jobs. Both hating it seems just as good as both loving it.

A good start, but too mild. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104647)

Wake me up when he calls for higher gas taxes, cycling infrastructure, and high-speed rail.

Re:A good start, but too mild. (4, Insightful)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104733)

Too many middle-income families already struggle paying for gas, raising those taxes wouldn't solve anything. Cycling infrastructure should be setup by local governments, not federal. High-speed rail should be setup by the private sector, not public. 0 for 3

I am like Terra ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104679)

... in that I don't give a damn about this.

Playing Politics AGAIN (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104689)

"The speech addressed the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry up to 800,000 gallons of oil per day from Canada into the U.S. Obama indicated that approval for the pipeline would be tied to emissions goals."

The job of the government is to analyze the proposal and then based on that analysis grant or deny permission preferably providing feedback regarding the proposal. Instead of the government doing its JOB, it is playing politics. The agencies in charge of the evaluation have given their approval with the exception of the White House. The President is tying the approval of this JOB CREATING PROJECT to his political stance. Playing politics again instead of doing its job and accepting or denying based on the merits. :(

Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104759)

about his climate change plans while Snowden is on the run? Fix the justice system first, then climate stops changing on its own.

Natural Gas has done more for the climate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104761)

The use of fracking technology to recover natural gas has done more to help the climate than any of these plans.

another rush to action (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104769)

Doesn't ANYONE remember the great ozone scare and debate in the 1980s?
Scary predictions were made by the dozen. Dire futures were laid out. Plant to cut CFC discharge into the atmosphere were drafted willy-nilly.
And what was the result? The earth was NOT "saved". WE ended up spending gazillions of dollars for CFC alternatives, and nobody still can tell us how much of the stuff ever got into the upper atmosphere.
Does anyone remember the introduction of catalytic converters for cars? What was it we were told? We were told the converters would convert the noxious emissions into harmless water...and carbon dioxide.
Doesn't anyone feel like we have been taken for a ride, here???

ROFLOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104785)

You elected him, bozos!
Now the bed is made, sleep in it.
Nighty-night!

Pie In The Sky (5, Funny)

AlleyTrotte (1842702) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104827)

Pie in the sky while American children in Appalachia go to bed hungry every night. Clean coal is as just possible as cost effective solar/wind and its made in America.

Seriously (4, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104865)

At $0.50-0.60 a watt for today's solar panels, we're almost at the point where people can power their own homes. Unless of course you live where it rains constantly, like the pacific NW, lol. Oh and cloudy days/night time? There are energy storage solutions available - flywheels for example.

Carbon and fuel taxes (4, Interesting)

jensend (71114) | about a year and a half ago | (#44104871)

Rather than picking winners and losers and setting arbitrary limits they should be using carbon and fuel taxes.

Under Obama's plan, operations that could pollute less will pollute exactly their limit, places where higher output and thus higher emissions would be actually more efficient in terms of greenhouse gases per MW will instead operate at lower efficiency, the government will spend billions of dollars subsidizing Solyndra wannabes, and actual gas use by consumers will change little no matter how they try to regulate the auto industry.

With carbon and fuel taxes, consumers and corporations would all have better incentives to improve their emissions, the market would decide the best way to allocate resources, energy innovation would be encouraged, there would be tremendously less deadweight loss, and the government could either reduce other taxes or reduce its absurdly large deficits.

People from all across the political spectrum who are informed and honest agree that this, not hard caps or cap-and-trade, is the way to go. But politicians like Obama would rather trash the nation's economy and not actually accomplish any climate progress than touch the third rail of fossil fuel taxes.

In a "town hall" conversation where I brought this up with my Congresscritter- a Tea Party diehard who I'm frequently frustrated with- I was shocked to hear him admit that raising gas taxes and using the revenue to either reduce deficits or reduce taxes on productive behavior is a very good idea. But, he said, it'll never fly, so I'm not going to try to push it. If everybody who knew it's the right thing to do got behind it and tried to educate the populace rather than hiding behind a smokescreen, pretty soon the idea would fly, with bipartisan support.

Doesn't have to increase costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104905)

Technology like the type that Mantra Venture Capital Group (MVTG) has been working on for a while now would lower carbon pollution without much (if any) of a cost increase. Industry just needs an incentive to go out and use this technology (ie to not have to pay for carbon pollution).

Re:Doesn't have to increase costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104949)

http://www.mantraenergy.com/Technology/ERCTechnology.aspx

Several reality checks on "Climate Change" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44104907)

1. The Farallon islands were connected to the land 20,000 years ago. The San Francisco Bay was dry land with a river valley in it. There have been several incarnation of the California coastline, radically altered due to advancing and receding glaciers during what are, in geological terms, a short period of time.

2. This was by no mean a North American phenomenon. It was global. The Great Barrier reef near Australia is also very young. Aborigines once hunted Kangaroo where the fish now swim and the coral grows. Loss of the reef would be annoying to some humans, but no big deal in the grand scheme of things.

3. In even more recent times there was the "little ice age" and the medieval warm period. Civilizations were around during those times. Some did well, others less well. If anything, the cooler climates were harder on Europe; but the increase in shipping which brought plague rats to Europe probably caused more grief than anything else.

I worry a heck of a lot more about the next bird flu from China than I do that my 9 year old nephew will have to move up a mile inland when he's an old man.

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