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July 02, 2012


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131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds

I am sure the CEO of Exxon will be calling you Jon to tell you he agrees with you and by the way I am moving to Short Creek to take over the FLSD.

to much LSD
I meant FLDS

Mr. Talton wrote:

"(Climate change) should be the No. 1 election issue. America could make a huge difference globally, both in its own output of greenhouse gases and leading other nations, if it would act."

Maybe. What do you suggest? Specifically.

China is the number one emitter of greenhouse gases. Now, just think about that. The developed world emits roughly the same amount of greenhouse gases as before, and added to that is an amount larger than the United States puts out by itself, like a second America, only in Asia and without the pollution controls that America already possesses and enforces (imperfect as those are).

How can climate change be addressed without putting the brakes on America#2 which has not only put itself in first place in annual CO2 emissions, but which, in just a few decades, has put itself second in the cumulative list of CO2 emitters from 1850-2008 (the United States is in first place in the cumulative category)?

That's a lot of polluting very quickly, and as China's domestic demand is added to demand for its exports, both productions and pollution there are going to accelerate. Big time. China has a population of more than 1.3 billion and a substantial number of those residents are expected to come online as members of the country's new consumer class. Consumption drives production, and production drives pollution.

Mr. Talton wrote:

"Only a fool would not recognize that climate change is coming on faster and worse than expected, and that it won't be a phenomenon that only affects poor people in the Third World."

Sorry to be a party pooper, but though the news article you linked to confirms that"in the past week, 1,011 records have been broken around the country, including 251 new daily high temperature records on Tuesday", a close read of the article reveals critical contextual information:

"Those numbers might seem big, but they're hard to put into context — the National Climatic Data Center has only been tracking the daily numbers broken for a little more than a year, said Derek Arndt, head of climate monitoring at the center."

So, are we talking about temperatures only measured for a little over a year, and records broken relative to previous highs within that limited database?

Daily records are often broken. There are hot days. Hot weeks, hot months, too, which make single years record breakers. This does not indicate climate change and scientists who study climate change do not claim that it does.

Climate change is something predicted to take place by degrees over long periods of time (many decades). The current prediction is 4 degrees Celsius rise in average temperatures (globally), perhaps by as soon as 2060. That's a little over 7 degrees Fahrenheit if I did the conversion correctly.

Now, it's true that this is a global average, and that regional average temperatures (e.g., North America, the American Southwest) might change by more or by less than this, with respect to their local averages.

Can you give us some data on predictions for the United States in particular, and the Southwest specifically? Please be sure to include both the average degree change expected and the time period over which such a change is predicted. Also, the source and how recent the model is, because newer models actually suggest accelerated warming (relative to earlier predictions).

I found this regarding Denver:

"Denver usually gets a taste of scorching hot weather each year. On average, the thermometer hits 100 degrees Fahrenheit just one day in July. Temperatures in the 90s occur from June to September, including on about half of July days."

Now, contrast this with the recent Denver weather:

"So far for June the average temperature for Denver stands at 74.1 degrees which is 7.4 degrees above normal. Denver's warmest June on record is 73.5 degrees set in 1994 and given the forecast of hot weather for the remainder of the month we are likely to see a new monthly warm mark set by the time all the numbers are calculated this coming Sunday."


So, it's a little hotter in 2012 than it was in Denver during the same month in 1994. It's a heat wave. We get it. How many years before it repeats? What does it all mean?

"What does it all mean?? Good question, Emil. Probably best answered by you. So go for it.

Can our power grid even handle the peak loads? We all remember brown-outs, don't we?
Might we begin to tiptoe forward and re-introduce the subject of energy conservation? Are we up for small sacrifices unless they are mandated by that nasty socialist gub'ment? Could it be that the pervasive culture of "I've Got Mine" is colliding with resource-mandated reality? And if so, who will we blame?

"Addressing climate change should be out first priority. It should be the No. 1 election issue."

Bush and Kerry had three "debates". The environment was mentioned once. Energy policy was not mentioned even once.


"Maybe. What do you suggest? Specifically."

Begin by bringing the energy utilities to heal...


... or 'heel'. :)

I enjoyed this fictitious "graduation address" by Tom Engelhardt:
TomDispatch: A Subprime Education in a Subprime World

As so many Americans have noticed, this was a spring for the record books just about everywhere in the continental United States. And keep in mind that at the moment we also seem to be making a beeline for a potentially record-setting summer, the months of your job hunt for a future, and maybe the hottest year in American history as well.

And records or no, this year is no anomaly. Look at a temperature map of the United States, 1970-2011, and every state — every single state — is, on average, hotter now than it was four decades ago. Imagine that.

And now, imagine this. If climate change is the main culprit and the burning of fossil fuels is threatening to turn Hell, which you were once supposed to visit after death for your sins, into a pit stop on planet Earth, and if you want to do something about it, brace yourself. What you’re up against is the power of the richest, most profitable corporations in history at a time when the sky’s the limit, not just for carbon dioxide, but for the infusion of private and corporate money into what we once called democratic (with a small “d”) politics.

In other words, the giant energy corporations that rake in tens of billions of dollars every quarter and whose lifeblood is the burning of fossil fuels are essentially capable of buying more or less anything they want in Washington. That includes continuing massive subsidies — via “your” Congress (via your tax dollars) — of their unbelievably profitable operations.

Emil asks:

Maybe. What do you suggest? Specifically.

Let's begin here: End the "massive subsidies".

Perhaps I'll have more to say about China. They aren't a global warming denying nation and are actually doing a lot of things to get to a sustainable future. Things that may well change some fundamental ideas about the ground rules of the "marketplace". And since the "marketplace" is the American Chimpanzee's one true god, China's ideas may will change the way that game is played.

"There's a reason fires don't reach the old towns. They were built in safe places."

More likely, fires don't reach the old towns because the fires get put out after they burn the sprawling exurbs.

As weather pertains to the Phoenix metro area, I believe the famous weather philosopher cal once said, "It ain't the high highs, it's the high lows" that are the issue.

In the recent past we have discussed the price of gas and the point at which drivers would change their driving habits. I used to think the magical number was $4.00 a gallon. I now feel it is $5 and up.

I never really gave any thought to electric bills until last week. As you may know, due to my wife and I downsizing a few years ago, along with our purchase of a new, high efficiency AC unit, our power bill for June was $115.

When I mentioned this at work, I was surprised to hear responses from others who stated their June bills were in the $400 to $600 range.

What will it take to motivate people to conserve? Obviously, it isn't money.

The only thing I can think of is drawing a correlation between gas use and electricity use with the death of puppies and kittens. That is the only thing that I see motivating these people, puppies and kittens. Even Sheriff Joe is using puppies to win votes.

"What does all this mean"? Now here is a guy that thinks the answer to that question,is, not much. So the planet is just a little warmer this year. Just stay out of my road and I will engineer this thing "climate change" right up for you.

Meet Exxon's "paid" Einstein.


Koreyel said, "And since the "marketplace" is the American Chimpanzee's one true god, China's ideas may will change the way that game is played."

Id give a lot to be able to talk or write stuff like that.

AZRebel, I wouldn't count on the death of puppies and kittens to motivate consumers or voters. Millions of animals are euthanized every year because most pet owners do not spay or neuter their pets (not to mention all those feral cats and dogs out there).

I used to think there would be a price point where people would have to find alternative means of transportation, but in suburbia, there are no alternative means since the commutes are so long and public transportation is for communists, the poor, and the smelly.

try this on for Highs and lows and climate change.


I'm relocating to the Pacific Northwest.

Price does effect consumption.
The residents of highly modern Tokyo mostly hang dry clothing rather than use electrical dryers due to the cost of electricity. Europeans certainly prefer bikes and buses due, in part, to the price of petrol.

AzRebel obviously is a cut above and hangs with similar well-heeled individuals in which price is no problem:)

It is a lot warmer now in the US than it was in the 1960's. Winters without snow were unheard of in the snowy northern parts of the US.

"In a world of persecution, that is burning in it's greed " - little did the Moody Blues realize their lyrics would become so literal. There is No western U S state that isn't under the very real threat of uncontrollable wildfires. One friend in Ventura County had them a few years ago, now it's CO, NM, AZ. Maybe WA or OR in a couple weeks. One thing's for sure- we're gonna get these headlines every year!

JMAV, thats what the PBS article suggested. Looks like Jon got a big jump on it.

"Addressing climate change should be out first priority. It should be the No. 1 election issue."

I had high hopes that Obama would lead on this issue when he appointed Steven Chu as energy secretary. I thought that Romney showed awareness on this issue when he was governor.

The fact that it is not a campaign issue is a deliberate choice on the part of both candidates.

I'm afraid by the time our "leaders" are ready to lead, we will have passed climate tipping points. By then, 2012 will seem cool by comparison.

In response to koreyel's comment that at least China does not deny climate change, one other thing that China is at least trying to do in terms of sustainability, is limit human population growth. Why are we not talking about that factor of climate change as well? We sure should be.

Annalisa, Malthus warned us 200 years ago.
But the compulsive obsessive greedy and religious nut jobs arent listening.

Forced abortions and intimidation...do we really want to have that conversation in America?

China may not deny climate change but they sure aren't curbing their emissions. On they contrary, China is not only polluting its air to extents not ever seen in the U.S. but also spewing toxins into their water and soil. They may not need laws limiting children if they continue on this course.

This isn't a haboob moving through Beijing, it is actual smog:


And let's not forget about Beijing hiding its issues with pollution behind the Vienna Convention:


If there is a country we should look to "compete" with in terms of ingenuity and the race to replace nuclear and fossil fuels, Germany would be it.

About population growth in the U.S.: the birth rate has slowed considerably even among the immigrant population. According to the Brookings Institute: "While some might welcome slowed population growth, it is nonetheless a worrisome trend for a few reasons. First, the ability of the United States to maintain high and rising standards of living will depend in part on keeping a large share of its population in the workforce."


Anderson Cooper is gay?

I hope that doesn't cause me to have sleepless nights.

What time is it?

2:53 am ?

oh oh !?

"(Exxon CEO Rex) Tillerson blames a public that is 'illiterate' in science and math"

Yes, but what does Tyrannosauras Rex have to say about M. King Hubbert? And, why not take your fossil fuel profits and educate the public?

Rex, you're a dumbass.

"Forced abortions and intimidation...do we really want to have that conversation in America?"

No, we would prefer to continue imagining a limitless oblivion of consumption.

"we would prefer to continue imagining a limitless oblivion of consumption."

That is a different conversation than population control. Limiting consumption and becoming evermore efficient with our resources is a conversation we should be having.

"First, the ability of the United States to maintain high and rising standards of living will depend in part on keeping a large share of its population in the workforce."

Generational slavery for "high and rising standards of living" for increasingly few.

"Anderson Cooper is gay?"

Oh yeah!!!

"Generational slavery for "high and rising standards of living" for increasingly few."

Or, as in Europe, this type of social structure is known as a social compact. The young help to take care of the old and indigent just as the generations before should have.

"That [consumption] is a different conversation than population control."

10 mouths * 1 apple = 1 mouth * 10 apples


1 Global Cornucopia = 10 BILLION (and counting)

Maybe Rex was right?!

"(Exxon CEO Rex) Tillerson blames a public that is 'illiterate' in science and math."

"Or, as in Europe, this type of social structure is known as a social compact. The young help to take care of the old and indigent just as the generations before should have."

I'm looking around here, and I don't see hide nor hair of any "social compact". I see grumpy old farts criticizing lazy kids for not gettin' a job; with their enormous Lincoln Towncars, running over young fathers bicycling to work; enjoying three squares of cholesterol-laden meals with meds for (a second) desert; and ready willin' and able to vote Romney.

What an insanely simplistic example (consumption of apples) to give for a complex problem.

It isn't so much the consumption of food, but the resources used to produce them. How do we become more efficient in production of those necessities; limiting the distance those "apples" have to travel to get to market, limiting soil degradation via multi-cropping (for instance), and so on.

"What an insanely simplistic example (consumption of apples) to give for a complex problem."

Forgive me, I'm only a child, I'm ignorant of science and math, and I spend all my time commenting on blogs.

"I'm looking around here, and I don't see hide nor hair of any "social compact". I see grumpy old farts criticizing lazy kids for not gettin' a job; with their enormous Lincoln Towncars, running over young fathers bicycling to work; enjoying three squares of cholesterol-laden meals with meds for (a second) desert; and ready willin' and able to vote Romney."

That is something I can't argue with...but that isn't the future I want when I grow old. And for the sake of those old farts now, I am willing to pay a little more "taxes" to ensure they have decent insurance so they can live out the rest of their years comfortably...I can't bring myself to hate people just because they are stupid, grumpy, and happen to be old I just don't like them.

"It isn't so much the consumption of food ..."

Sounds like you have multiplication mastered. :)

"but that isn't the future I want when I grow old"

You and I will die alone and foresaken in a barren, post-apocalyptic wasteland where our bones will be gnawed by radioactive rats. If we're lucky, we'll be used as living targets for casual firearms practice and the entertainment of the younger generation. Can't say I'll blame them. But, they'll find Rex Tillerson first. Cheer up! :)

You point at others as being illiterate in math and science but fail to understand that in the U.S., agriculture currently relies on a steady inputs necessary to grow more food. The challenge ahead is becoming even more efficient, limiting waste (water, and foodstuff that is discarded), and reducing miles that have to be covered to get those goods to market (carbon footprint).

Anyway, back to a grownup conversation: this global warming will end around the 4th of July! It is expected to rain in Phoenix! See, you guys worry to much!


(Sorry, just trying S.C.'s slant in terms of conversing with others)

It isn't so much the consumption of food, but the resources used to produce them. How do we become more efficient in production of those necessities...

It was the shift to "efficient" cultivation of food, rather than simple extraction of what the Earth had to offer (which, not incidentally, rather "efficiently" gave birth to our species in the first place,) that begat the inordinate growth of our population in the first place.

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Petro, that is part of what occurred, but really it was access to infrastructure that allowed the population to grow exponentially; sanitation, cities, education, etc.

Efficiency itself doesn't lead to population growth otherwise Japan's and Europe's population would be growing NATURALLY and not shirking (even with increased immigration).


I wrote that education led to population growth which isn't specific enough for arguments sake; technological innovations in engineering and medicine lead to population growth...

I understand the perception, pSf, but those factors that you outline are results, not causes. They could not be dreamed of, let alone actualized, without the bounty of "plenty" that efficient resource extraction enabled.

Your contributions here seem to portray fine character, as such I presume that you are not a Dominionist. As such, I'd expect that you might be willing to entertain a wary eye upon cultivation.

(I do not mean to imply that disagreement with this would impugn your character, of course!)

10-4 Petro. I remember hearing someone say, something like "the invention of Agriculture was the beginning of mans downfall." And I am not convinced man can engineer himself to god level gene’s.

As to efficient production and greedless consumption, OK bring it on. As to Sir Thomas and population control, I look forward to a radioactive free small populated planet with a hunter gatherer culture.

Of course we grouchy old dudes, me and REB probably will not live that long but then we got and spent ours. I wish you the best of luck Phxsunfan as you are the most positive dude with the best of intentions.

I didn’t feel like Jons column was “party pooped” on. I thought it was very good and it generated some human hot air which is a good thing.

I think the overall facts and factoids that I am aware of tend to make me believe that in the last 100 years the planet has accelerated dramatically in its cyclical patterns.

I look forward to a radioactive free small populated planet with a hunter gatherer culture.
Oh, you old Romantic, cal.

Petro, I understand your concerns (and no I am not a conservative Christian, or even religious to a slight degree), but I think we are arguing chicken or egg here.

For example: did better sanitation cause population to grow or was the result of better sanitation population growth? It is semantics which I hate arguing.

My point still stands, efficiency doesn't lead to population growth. If that was the case what I stated above would not be occurring and poorer nations (which aren't efficient at growing their own food) wouldn't be adding people.

Issues I do have with current forms of "efficient cultivation" are: increased runoff (especially pesticides and fertilizers), single crop yields which aren't efficient at replacing nutrients into the soil, and miles driven (energy, fuel, etc used) to transport our food supply.

Noted, with equanimity.

Another point I would make is that because people became more educated (innovations in science) we became more efficient. Since people were healthier, people we able to focus on developing efficient techniques for just about everything. And because we congregated in cities we were able to more efficiently use resources; of course, resource consumption in cities over time looks like a bell curve.

Equanimity; what a great word! I'm off until Monday so you guys have me all week: I apologize in advance. ;-)

Is that a proposition?

To get a better handle on the universes population models I have rented all the Alien movies and Prometheus.

(Spits out coffee)
If you're Anderson Cooper!

Speaks volumes

Do you mean we shouldn't be attracted to attractive people?

Is Prometheus (2012) a remake of an older movie?

"Prometheus" is a prequel to the Alien series - although Ridley Scott apparently doesn't like that characterization.

You're kidding about renting that, right, cal? Because I don't see any DVD rips out there for downloading yet... and I'm watching for them (I don't want to bother with the cam bootlegs.)

"understand that in the U.S., agriculture currently relies on a steady inputs necessary to grow more food"

"The Locavore's Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-mile Diet"


In my post I suggested to Emil that we begin by removing the "massive subsidies" to oil corporations. I was expecting Emil to do everyone a great service and attempt to debunk those "massive subsidies".

If they can be debunked Emil will find a way. If they can't, then Emil will find a way to enumerate them and we can begin a conversation on how the subsidies could be better spent for our future.

What would I like to see regarding the reworked subsidies:

A fantastic rebate for American homeowners to put up solar panels or solar water heaters. Along those lines, can you believe "they" still allow houses to be built in AZ without mandatory solar hot water heaters? That's sort of like living where the streets are made of gold and you use mercury to fill cavities in your mouth. The best time to put up a solar water heater is to design it in with the house. But of course, that would mean a "regulation". That would mean telling someone what to do. That would mean a loss of freedom. And we do love our freedom to waste here...

phxSUNSfan suggest we would do better to compete with Germany than China. Sorry friend, that's out of our league. Those people believe in regulations. Can you imagine what Germany would do if they owned the state of AZ? Can you imagine the rules! The resultant solar infrastructure? The loss of our builders freedom to put the hot water tank as far from the main shower as they can? So that 100,000+ homes have to wait 45 seconds for the hot water to get there, and all that excess cold water goes down the drain day after day after day in a desert...

Compete with Germany? Let's not even pretend. I mean really, your Governor doesn't even have a college degree. And everybody in the rented State House is watching Fox News...

C'mon. Get real.

"Desrochers only allows for the coexistence of locavores and agribusiness, of urban farmers and urbanization, in one place: the production of niche products for rich folks. He leaves no room for many of the benefits that Rich documents are already taking place, and he sidesteps some of the biggest problems these urban farmers think need addressing.

Flip to the back of Desrochers’ book, and the topic of obesity gets this meager entry: "145, 146, 166" (Michael Pollan, on the other hand, gets 16 pages). Surely locavores have their extremists, just as any other movement does. But if Michael Pollan himself has never advocated a full-scale return to pre-industrial agrarianism, is there really such a menace?"


"Sorry friend, that's out of our league. Those people believe in regulations."

It would seem the half of Americans believe in regulations (especially those that would benefit society) while the other half does not. The problem is getting the half that believes to vote as much as those that believe their personal freedoms are being restricted if they, for instance, buy a house with a solar water heater built into their house.

They have powerful renewable energy foes in Germany whom are threatening advancements made, especially in solar technology:

"Soon the usual bunch of anti-renewable energy vultures within the conservative party joined the criticism and voiced their support for rapid cuts to 'contain solar energy.' They are a relatively powerful group within Angela Merkel’s conservative party and have close ties to powerful industry groups and the conventional power and energy corporations."


Depends on what kind of regulations! Need an abortion? NOT ALLOWED (due to regulation)! Need a morning after pill? NOT ALLOWED (due to regulation)! Need a condom or the pill? Soon not to be allowed (its against God's will ya' know).

Same way everyone is against corporate subsidies, unless it involves oil, gas, roads, the military, mineral extraction, timber cutting, and the all important "FREE MARKET" (as if one ever existed).

The US could easily compete with Germany or China (and we do in many things). It only takes better management than what the MBA schools churn out here. The problem with US business is its management. They are out for themselves and not the stockholder, not the community, and certainly not ever the worker. A hear a bull whip crackin'.

Regulations in Mississippi will likely close the only remaining abortion clinic in that state. A state with nearly 3 million people...


I don't think anyone that contributes on this blog would be advocating for regulations that would be detrimental to society or harmful to individuals (like restricting access to reproductive health).

Getting back to this thread and heat, the Republic actually printed an article by Eugene Robinson regarding climate change and the heat:


*Couldn't find the digital format on AZcentral so had to post the link from USA Today's site.

PETRO, I have already seen Prometheus and the Alien movies.
They r ok. I was just trying to James Joyce around as i am upset that both Cooper an Phoenix sun fan stood me up.
Iam looking forward to a high noon shoot out featuring Koreyel and Emil with Jon as referre.

The high tomorrow will be in the nineties.

Global cooling.

Looks like another ice age is on the way.


The movie JAWS kept me out of the ocean for 4 decades.

The first Alien movie will keep me out of space for an equal length of time.

The first Alien movie will keep me out of space for an equal length of time.
Yer killin' me, Reb.

Oh, I almost forgot to apologize to Slave Child for nicking him with my Towncar (aka, the Ghost Car)!

AZRebel seems to be running out of vacation options!

Still don’t believe in climate change? Then you’re either deep in denial or delirious from the heat.


Meanwhile, in the heart of Moronistan:


And how are those tax cuts working out for y'all?


And 94 in Phoenix in July? That's why it's called climate *change.* But the Southwest trend is for more extreme heat.

"Guns blamed for starting wildfires in parched West"

Then why didn't The Duke or Clint ever ignite a wildfire. Hah!

Colorado's emergency-response teams burned by anti-tax attitudes

"'Ironically, Colorado Springs is going to rely heavily on federal funds for rebuilding,' Dunn said. 'But it won't cover everything.'"

Ironically hypocritical.

CONSERVATION: this seems to be a common theme running through much of our discussion about excessive heat and climate change, right?

To me (and most of us I suspect) it has become increasingly apparent that we'll need to buy into a culture of conservation that abhors (sp?) waste and rewards reasonable frugality and right-sizing. Governor Saint Janet repeatedly advanced this set of beliefs but they pretty much fell on deaf ears, 'specially during the go-go years Jon describes as the "growth-gasm".

Today, scholars like Emil can write chapter, book and verse on this subject, but I am simply reminded of one of Jon's recent comments about investing, "don't be greedy and don't be stupid".
We no longer live in an era where the theology of MORE is a workable one. The too-big house, car and prime rib have become yesterday's news but the migration path is a bumpy road.

From Talton's latest links:

Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Sports Shooting Council, said that perhaps 5 percent of the wildfires in the state have been caused by target shooters this year. "I don't know how much of a problem it really is," he said.

Utah officials believe steel-jacketed bullets are the most likely culprits, given one shot that hits a rock and throws off sparks can ignite surrounding vegetation and quickly spread. Popular exploding targets are also blamed for causing wildfires.

The bullets were recently banned on state and federal lands in Utah. Officials are telling sportsmen to use lead bullets that don't give off sparks when they hit rocks.

Many in the West are avid Second Amendment proponents, so most state lawmakers are hesitant to enact any restrictions for fear of a backlash.

"We're not trying to pull away anyone's right to bear arms. I want to emphasize that," said Louinda Downs, a county commissioner in fire-prone Davis County, Utah. "We're just saying target practice in winter. Target practice on the gun range.

"When your pleasure hobby is infringing or threatening someone else's right to have property or life, shouldn't we be able to somehow have some authority so we can restrict that?" she asked.

Really very timely Jon, thanks...
The answer to Louinda's question is no.
No one tells me what to do.
Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!
Let Freedom Ring!

And that, Mr Lash, is why I called us a nation of Chimpanzees. It didn't used to be that way. I hope everyone had a chance to read that Front Page link of a few days ago. If not here it is again: Spoiled Rotten in The New Yorker.

As far as the opinions of Clark Aposhian (chairman of the Utah Sports Shooting Council), what orifice do you think he pulled that 5% figure from?

The positive side of the natural gas boom, from a climate change perspective, is that it offers a strong motive for U.S. power generation companies to switch from coal burning power plants to clean burning natural gas plants.

"When (natural) gas is trading at $6 per million British thermal units, it is 50% cheaper than coal over the life of a power plant. Today, gas is trading near $2."

"Since 1990, (U.S.) power companies have selected coal for merely 6% of new (power) generation. (Natural) gas was the fuel for 77% (of new power generation), even as coal has been far more competitive than it is today."

So, what prodded markets before the fracking boom, when coal was more competitive?

"One major reason" (for the shift from coal to natural gas generated electrical plants) is the Environmental Protection Agency, which has been regulating against carbon like crazy. The EPA has effectively banned new coal (power plants), and other rules are grinding down the existing fleet."

This is an exaggeration: capitalists (and their ideological lackeys) pule like colicky babies whenever they don't get their way, and in fact the same article (see link below) mentions the construction of new coal-fired plants by Southern Company. But regulatory pressures exist.

EPA regulation may assume a larger role in future days as the U.S. builds more terminals and natural gas exports increase: "You're going to see a harmonization of world-wide (natural) gas prices, much like the global commodities markets for oil. Right now the U.S. has a dividend coming to the economy in terms of cheap energy."

The big loophole is coal exports, to China, India, and elsewhere: these have "doubled since 2007". So, all that coal (and more) is still being burned, not by us, but by developing nations with weak to nonexistent regulatory environments. (I refer to enforced regulations, not theoretical, on-paper regulations.)

The United States, which owns "28 percent of the world's coal reserves", could ban the export of coal to dirty producers like China; or it could include the environmental cost of dirty Chinese production in Chinese product prices via an environmental tariff applying to imports of Chinese goods. It could also organize, through a combination of rewards and coercion, a coalition of developed nations to do this more effectively.

The chance of this happening is zero, because American capitalists love underpriced Chinese goods (underpriced because China lacks the regulatory overhead of the United States and other developed countries). China is the big end-run, not only around EPA regulations governing pollution and OSHA regulations governing workforce safety, but also NLRB regulations governing free and independent union organization. This, aside from standard of living differences, is their great competitive advantage.

By outsourcing production to China, American capitalists no longer have to factor in these expenses, either in product costs or in labor costs. Of course, it's a deal with the devil: American consumers benefit from lower prices, but lose even more in lower wages as labor-intensive manufacturing jobs (traditionally unionized) fly East; the difference goes to the capitalists in increased profits, and in the capital gains which increased profits bring to shareholders via stock appreciation.

The chance is zero, because capitalists control the U.S. campaign finance system now as never before (after Citizens United and other terrible Supreme Court decisions).

Wealth insulates. When the nation is sweltering, undergoing water depleting, agriculture destroying droughts (or, in some places, flooding, hurricanes, and/or tornadoes with the same effect), the capitalists will be living comfortbly in temperate climes, safe and sound behind the walls of their mansions, eating imported luxury foods and drinking bottled water, and complaining about the wicked laziness of the welfare class. By the time the mobs figure it out and take up pitchforks and ropes, they'll be stymied by the cost of airfare to places like Hawaii or other remote locales where their intended victims manage their commercial and financial empires via cellphone and the Internet.

The logic of this is disturbing. Among those who agree that the wealthy control the political system via campaign financing, professional lobbying, and media ownership, only idiots will expect fundamental political reform to emerge by means of individual political lobbying, educational outreach in the mass media, and conventional political organization and activity. The natural tendency is for economic concentration to increase over time (those who start the race with a comfortable lead are more likely to maintain or increase it), and insofar as economic concentration is allowed to interfere with regulation over itself (via tax law, campaign finance law, etc.) the normal channels for ameliorative feedback are narrowed, not enlarged.


U got it right Emil. Baron Nation States.
Its been coming for a long time. A return to the good ole days.
The return of Prince John and Sheriff Joe.

and a interesting piece
A climate scientist battles time and Mortality.


This post is in honor of all the Americans who didn't study history and who don't know history. Instead they are the graduates of the school of TV and movie industry.

So............Happy Birthday America. Today we look back to the day that Ben Franklin announced that he had invented the flash light. His buddy Paul Revere rode through the streets flashing the flash light twice to signal that the fireworks show down at the mall was one hour away from starting. At the mall, Betsey Rose Wilcox had her national flag on display. She was not paid for her services, so the bill continued to grow until her great-great-great-great-great granddaughter was able to recently collect the money.

The reason we celebrate this day is because without the invention of the flashlight, President LIncoln would not have been successful in his vampire hunting and the country would be overrun with bloodsucking welfare slackers living off the toil and sweat of our beloved billionaires and job creators.

God Bless America


Happy 236th. Any bets on whether we make it to the Tricentennial?

"...Oh, Lady Midnight/I fear that you grow old./The stars eat your body/and the wind makes you cold..."
- Leonard Cohen

petro, you're scaring me. What did you do to that old lady??

I"m betting it's even money we get to 300 years old before we hit the tricentennial.

REB U smokin dat chit agin?
I dont know if U noted but them Israelis that discovered THC
at the request of our illustrious Arizona leaders invented NHW.

U all enjoy the firecrackers today.
I am kicked back re-reading "God Is RED and Custer died for your Sins"

re: Emil's post above.

Combine the tidal wave of money awash within our political system, along with an electorate that has been TV'd, Internet'ed and iPhoned into mental mush and you end up with a system which can be used to move the masses in very scary ways.

I bet with enough TV ads, you could convince the lemmings to stampede off a cliff if the puppet masters decided that would be fun to watch.

(come to think of it, it would be a good way to rid our country of all the FOX news worshippers.)

Here U go Reb.

I am taking a break from Vine Deloria and watching a global warming movie.

AI is over.
Guess U all r at the AZREBEL firework display.
Thats where they blow up Coors beer cans with M80s.

And before I go to sleep.

Manunkind can kiss my progress.
No such thing as progress, just reorganization of existing atoms.
But the fact train rolls on!
Man has no permanent answer for "the problem" !!!
The forces of the galaxies hold the cards in this deal.
Just hang around. Industry and agriculture will vanish
and the few that are left on the planet earth will be called "hunter gatherers."

From a place far far away in another galaxy I offer my ancient wisdom.
Factoid de loco

This is way off topic, but many of you (especially Jon) may find this interesting: the Arizona Opera will be moving into the building next to the Flinn Foundation at Central and McDowell. The building looks gutted and some walls have been removed in order for the expansion of the buiding. It will include practice facilities for the Opera. In no way will it take up the vacant lot but it is good that another facility like this will be near PAM.

A contributor on skyscraper forum posted pictures of the project and a link to the story from 2011 in the Republic concerning expansion:

Very good news, pSf

koreyel wrote:

"In my post I suggested to Emil that we begin by removing the "massive subsidies" to oil corporations. I was expecting Emil to do everyone a great service and attempt to debunk those "massive subsidies". If they can be debunked Emil will find a way. If they can't, then Emil will find a way to enumerate them and we can begin a conversation on how the subsidies could be better spent for our future."

Flattered, and it's an interesting question. Some of the estimates I've seen include a lot of intangibles in calculating the subsidy cost, which inflates the total; others fail to include indirect but real subsidies, which underestimates it. Sorting through this would take at least a solid day online doing nothing else.

Unfortunately, Emil has limited Internet time, a lengthening list of interesting topics to look into, question, and respond to, and in general is falling behind.

Carbon dioxide is the primary manmade greenhouse gas responsible for global warming, and fossil fuels are responsible for 96 percent of carbon dioxide emissions.

The three sectors responsible are utilities (energy production), manufacturing, and transportation.

I've dealt above with China as today's primary malefactor in dirty manufacturing (comparative absence of pollution controls) and dirty electrical power generation (while the United States regulates new coal-fired plants out of existence and the U.S. boom in natural gas production results in low prices on our national market, encouraging the switch to cleaner burning natural gas, China continues to rely primarily on dirty coal-fired plants).

What about transportation?

The U.S. currently has the world's largest auto fleet at about 240 million vehicles. China is second with 219 million (100 million cars and an additional 119 million motorcycles).

However, China's de facto emission standards are abysmal, compared to the United States.

The Center for Automotive Research, in a 2011 study, estimates that the U.S. auto fleet will grow by 44 million by 2025 (though I suspect this overestimates the increase because it uses projected new household formation to determine increases, without figuring in the decrease in auto ownership among retiring baby boomers).


According to Ming Ouyang, Head of the Department of Automotive Engineering at Tsinghua University, the number of cars on China's roads are predicted to triple to 300 million within 15 to 20 years.


So, China will overtake the U.S. in fleet size, and poor emissions standards will result in vast amounts of carbon dioxide pumped out by Chinese autos.

ExxonMobil, in a 2008 study projecting energy trends to 2030, writes:

"Transportation, currently responsible for more than half of total oil demand, is expected to grow substantially. From 2005 to 2030, demand in developed countries is expected to be essentially flat, reflecting significant penetration by more-efficient vehicles. In contrast, demand in developing countries is likely to more than double as economies grow and rising prosperity leads to a dramatic increase in personal vehicles."

As for CO2 emissions from all three sources (utilities, manufacturing, and transportation), the prediction is OMINOUS from a climate change perspective:

"Global CO2 emissions are projected to rise by close to 30 percent between 2005 and 2030, even with improved energy efficiency and growth in nuclear and renewable energies. Although CO2 emissions are expected to begin declining in the United States and Europe over the period to 2030, these declines will be more than offset by increases in developing countries. For example, by 2030 China is expected to have CO2 emissions comparable to those in the U.S. and EU combined."


This is why I harp about China whenever climate change threads pop-up here.

One last quote from the ExxonMobil report:

"Power generation will be the largest and fastest growing energy-demand sector through 2030. China, which today meets almost 90 percent of its power needs with coal, will see its energy demand for power generation more than double by 2030, surpassing U.S. demand by more than one-third."

The share of Chinese power generation coming from non-coal power sources is projected as a larger but still comparatively small slice of overall Chinese energy production in 2030; and Exxon Mobil projects China increasing coal usage well beyond today's quantities, even as nuclear and renewables come online.

See the graph titled "Power Generation By Region" on page 12 of the report:


If we could get all 7 billion of us to hold our breath for one minute each day we would reduce carbon dioxide output by 2,000,000 tons per year.

I'll do my part starting now.

Done. See, that wasn't so hard.

Try it.

NBC prime time news tonite: Kate Snow sat in for Brian Williams and ran a detailed piece on our western forest fires, suggesting that climate change was playing a part in this debacle . . even showed belching smokestacks and tailpipes! Que milagro!

It may sometimes seem that I disagree with the conclusion of the writer when I am merely objecting to the technical form of the argument. I may instead agree with the conclusion, or I may be open minded (convince me).

"Nine of the 10 warmest years since 1880 have occurred since the year 2000, as the Earth has experienced sustained higher temperatures than in any decade during the 20th century. As greenhouse gas emissions and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue to rise, scientists expect the long-term temperature increase to continue as well. (Data source: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory, Robert Simmon)"


Ten years of data seem much more convincing to me than a heat wave lasting a few days, a week, or even a month.

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