A No Nothing, Do Nothing Party will not Prevail on Climate Change.

As the average person can see climate change right before their eyes, and the evidence our carbon footprint is contributing becomes better understood, the Republican Party is losing ground within its own ranks in denial.

People can see the cost of doing something about climate change is not nearly as big as the damage caused by it.  The majority is turning against the know nothing, do nothing attitude that prevails within the Party.

The relationships between cause and effect in science is often not simple and, even more often, difficult to explain.  This is especially  difficult when several variables are changing at once and some are potential causes and others are not.

From what I understand in the field, the weather we find on any particular day is influenced by a host of variables.  All weather, I have heard it said, is ultimately caused by the heating and cooling of air.  But, how much and where this happens is how complexity is introduced.

Carbon in the air influences the heating and cooling process.  Our atmosphere and environment handles the volume of carbon produced naturally.  Even with this ability, there are long term changes in weather patterns.

Humans’ recent introduction into the environment has jacked up the amount of carbon by multiple amounts.  This has tipped the balance and influenced the amount and locations of the heating and cooling.

The rate of change is increasing. Democrats and a majority of Republican voters are now asking, why should we fiddle while Rome burns?

http://mobile.nationaljournal.com/magazine/the-coming-gop-civil-war-over-climate-change-20130509?page=1

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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33 Responses to A No Nothing, Do Nothing Party will not Prevail on Climate Change.

  1. Henry says:

    Jon:“A No Nothing, Do Nothing Party will not Prevail on Climate Change.”

    Good to see the dems will not prevail.

    • Brad says:

      Another planet hater.

      • Henry says:

        Aren’t we all. There are very few people that don’t pollute the hell out of the planet, even the greanpiece/peata/seaaira crowd driving their electric cars. We are exporting our money and our pollution. Some think they are saving the planet.

  2. entech says:

    Perhaps a Pascals wager approach, or at least consideration, may be useful.

  3. Wanna B Sure says:

    I believe a mistake was made when initially the term “global warming” was used to represent what is now called climate change. More people can get their head around climate change than global warming, especially with winters like the one we just got past. Climate change also has the ability to anticipate large swings from the normal, not just a raise in temps. Most people aren’t climatologists, and it has been hard/ slow to explain the changes related to “warming”. Initially, unless one was curious of the situation, and all the possible ramifications, it was easier for an understandable negative knee jerk reaction against “global warming”. Cosmetic yes, but an important difference.

    • Avatar of realist realist says:

      I’ve said the same thing; we should have called it global warming from the git go. It was just too easy for those incapable of understanding reasonable explanations to lampoon when it snowed or when it was 20 below. The “warming” part was always just a few degrees of ocean temperature.

  4. Brad says:

    I don’t have a lot of faith that Democrats will do much about climate change, because they allow themselves to be intimidated by the corporate polluters and their Republican puppets who have a vested interest in ignoring the problem (profits).

    The Democrats may be able to win elections by paying lip service to the problem while Republicans continue to call it a “hoax” and a vast socialist conspiracy to convert America into a communist state. But that’s meaningless if they don’t get something done about it. I am not that hopeful. I think our future is fairly bleak in terms of what is going to happen to the planet in the next 50 years.

  5. Michael Ross says:

    I like the George Carlin School of Environmentalism:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB0aFPXr4n4

    • entech says:

      I can see the point there Michael, I am not keen on his vulgarity, humorous but a bit thin on occasion. I don’t suppose you would agree with him (and me) about the earth being billions of years old and having had such a long and battered history, wall to wall volcanoes in the early days, global ice, near global desert, rain forest everywhere all without a sign of people. Given people haven’t been around very long you might suggest they could not have done much damage, I do think the invention of machines and power stations and the mining that was needed probably had a much more rapid and extreme effect than a few camp fires and a bit of livestock herding.

      That people with their industry are having some effect is undeniable, the extent is the question. As so many Christians tell me I should believe just in case! perhaps I should say that you should take it seriously for the sake of your offspring and theirs. From what I see most of the denial is funded by the need to protect profit at all costs. Some of the research is probably influenced by the need to protect grants at all costs (but I think to a much lesser extent).
      The frightening part is those that would encourage the end of days anyway and think it does not matter. I suppose if you think God made this world perfect for you and will take you away at his convenience, presumably renovating it before sending the good ones back.

      But Carlin is 100% correct, save the planet is a stupid thing to say, as I mentioned from 100% volcano to 100% ice and everything in between, an estimated 99% of all species extinct. The planet is doing fine it is resilient, it could shake us off like flees without a worry. It will evolve and change just as life on its surface does. Do you know that they have found a form of mold in Japan that only lives and feeds on plastic, there was no plastic until relevant recent times – evolution of a new species of mold anyone :?:

      So save the planet for your offspring, or not, if there is a God he will fix, if not there will always be another species. And it would be nice to think they do better than the past.

      • Henry says:

        entech:”“form of mold in Japan that only lives and feeds on plastic,”

        To prove that, you would need to prove the negative assertion that all other possible hosts have been ruled out. That would seem like an impossible task, therefore making that claim in question.

        • Henry says:

          questionable not “in question”

        • entech says:

          OK I was a bit over ambitious in that statement, to say that is its only food need more investigation for confirmation, bit like the equally unprovable “with God all things are possible”. I have read or seen a lecture that said the only thing consumed was plastic, unfortunately I can’t bring up the source.

          But I suspect your real Complaint is the claim that a plastic eating organism evolved and we all know that according to cretinist thinking that is impossible because it leaves the absolute necessity of a creator out of the equation, not eliminates because not everything can be tested so not everything can be eliminated, you would need to be a real cretin to propose that (even a <1000 year earth is possible, however unlikely).
          Imagine anyone stating quite categorically that without God nothing can exist, there are so many possible definitions and possibilities that we can't even say what it is in that theory that causes everything to exist. We can leave my suggestion that none is required for the moment, wait until we find a competitor, to find the competitor we need first to prove the negative assertion that all of the other contenders for the title of creator don't exist, Allah, Brahman and so on; That would seem like an impossible task, therefore making that claim questionable.

          At least questionable, to me there are so many questions that there is no room for an answer, each partial answer raises its own question(s).

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Henry 2:30 “The future of Obamacare.”

      First, you did not say it in your post, but the story is from England, not the U. S. Anyone here can go to Family Health Care here in Fargo and see one of four dentists for a minimal charge. Second, costs of Obamacare are falling.

      • Henry says:

        England is the model that America will follow. Slight nuances? Sure. Price controls and taxation to support healthcare for all is the common theme. Price controls restrict supply.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Henry 1:45 “Price controls restrict supply.”

          I agree, in most cases, that is true. In the U. S. we do not have price controls, medical services are said to be “competitive”, which should keep prices down and services up. But, I don’t think there is a stardard we can use for the U. S. medical systems that yields us any conclusion other than that it is priced too high and the service, in terms of measured results, in inferior to that of other countries.

          There are people the industry serves well, however, some of those private firms in the industry. There, we see what economists call “excess profits”. Excess profits are profits over and above what is needed to attract firms and individuals into an industry. That is, profits are so high that if they were reduced, those in the industry would stay there anyway. Competition is suppose to come in with lower prices and/or a better product and eliminate those excess profits. Taxes, too, can be used to take away excess profits and use the money for some common good. It’s not always easy to tell when the are excess profits, but one can look for signals. I think I see them locally.

          • Henry says:

            Jon:” In the U. S. we do not have price controls, medical services are said to be “competitive”, which should keep prices down and services up. “

            It would be called the medicare reimbursement rate. All other forms of fees follow.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Henry 2:22 Another economic principle is the assumption of what is called “perfect knowledge”, all buyers and sellers know everything about what is available, about the product and the price everyone is paying. Our private medical system makes sure the buyers, us, do not have much knowledge. It would cost them nothing to send to medical invoices with the fees for all services listed clearly and simply. But, they don’t do that. It would mean the buyer had a lot of information the seller does not want you to have. If you had it, you might call another provider and compare prices.

      • David says:

        Costs of Obamacare are not falling. Nor will they. As much as we would hope to topple the laws of supply and demand it just ain’t gonna happen. If we give something without charging a cost you will demand increase. An increase in demand will cause the cost to go up. The myth that we will be stopping problems before they occur is a myth. If the government steps in to reign in costs it has only one lever to pull – ration care. Worse is that we are implementing this at a time where we will see a natural increase in demand with an increase in the number of seniors demanding care. Have we looked at increasing the supply of healthcare? I am afraid we will be facing a catastrophe of rationing of care.

        The dirty little secret is that Medicare and Medicaid have already been pushing demand sky high. The government pays a fraction of the cost for the care and hospitals sock it to insurance companies which in turn get blamed for higher premiums to cover their costs. What we should be doing is trying to figure out ways to decrease the cost of the care. Obamacare does the exact opposite.

        Someone has to explain to me how adding millions of people to free or reduced insurance premiums will lead to less demand. I don’t see it.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          David 9:01 “Costs of Obama care are not falling.”

          I understand that may be your opinion. Like Henry, you are locked into a belief that if people don’t pay out of their own pockets for there medical services, the increase in demand will make the cost increase. That’s like saying if the services to your street/road in front of you house are “free” people will demand it be swept by employees with brooms every morning and the cost to taxpayers will skyrocket. In fact, as you well know, the service is “free”, rolled into taxes, and the costs have not skyrocketed. I can tell you from 16 years as a mayor, however, people do call up and demand almost this level of service, especially on snow removal.

          I’d suggest you find objective and independent sources of information on the Affordable Health Care Act and study them. They will derail your incorrect thinking. From the Office of Management of the Budget (OMB) I found this after a couple of minutes of searching:

          “Those amounts do not reflect the total budgetary impact of ACA. That legistlation included many other provisions that, on net, will reduce deficits over ten years.”

          I was surprised you mentioned the probabiltiy of “rationing” health care. Do you even know anyone who does not have have health insuracne, or, has a policy with a large co-pay. I know lots of such people. They ration, or go without, visits to their doctor. To imply there would be rationing, and there is not rationing now, is, in all due respect, ridiculous.

          • David says:

            I will have to give the notion of equating free streets with free health care some thought.

            I still do not understand how the costs of health care can drop with demand increasing. You are the economics professor. I am more prone to go to the doctor if I don’t have to pay for the visit. I think many on the left would say – that’s great because it will catch disease before it gets to a state where problems are really expensive. I think this argument is weak – bending the cost curve. Similarly if you mandate that steak will cost the same as hamburger pretty soon the T-bones become a rare item (cows are happy) or a T-bone looks a lot like a hamburger patty with a bone inside. The quality or the quantity of the product is reduced.

            I think the issue of a government run or government mandated health care system (I don’t mean to mislabel how one views Obamacare) hinges on the ability to bend the cost curve by reducing demand. I would seriously be entertained to hear your thoughts on whether you think this is true.

            Okay getting to the other items. I am not going to be persuaded by the OMB analysis. Yikes. I laughed a little as well when you tried to lump me in with Henry – nice try.

    • Avatar of realist realist says:

      Henry, the future of Obamacare is that in a few years you’ll see articles in Reader’s Digest with the title “Obamacare saved my life” or “I owe everything to Obamacare”. I’d make that bet in a minute.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Or—— for the ones who pay the taxes and surcharges;—-”I OWE everything TO Obamacare. I have nothing left”.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Or— “I don’t owe so much to Obamacare because your job is now 30 hr. per week, instead of 40, which is part time.” Get your own ins.

  6. Morgan Christian says:

    On climate change or global warming as it should be called, I think of a little thought experiment. There is a refridgerator in your kitchen that holds all of the things you hold dear in life. The foods, the people, the places and the environments. You open the freezer door, take out an ice cube and place it on the counter. The ice cube is local weather. You then reach behind the fridge, unplug it and with a meat cleaver, chop the plug off the end of the cord. This is global warming. Now you might be able to go down to your local hardware store and get a new plug but you have to get a bill through congress to apropriate the funds to buy it and when you do the hardware store isn’t open on sunday and monday is some kind of holiday. So by the time you get the plug reattached all the stuff you loved about life on this planet has gone bad and started to stink but you can’t just go down to the local five and dime and buy new stuff can you?

    • Henry says:

      Actually, cutting the cord off your fridge will produce “kitchen cooling”. You will lose the waste heat for the time the cord is cut off.

      I saw an article that said the world currently has the highest carbon emissions ever. With that, I would expect us to be trending upwards in temp. I don’t see it. There does not even seem to be a correlation, unless you use some special, “cooked” numbers from some fraudulent scientists.

  7. David says:

    I’m not sure what it means to prevail on climate change. We have seen some shameful tactics on those in the scientific field. If you dig into some of the studies you will see results dictating methods etc. We certainly know that the climate is changing. Perhaps this is bad. What we do not know is what is happening. If you want to lay some blame at the feet of anyone, I would start with those who have endeavored to save the earth. If there are adverse effects to the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere we have very little understanding at this point. The sloppiness of the research along side the grand claims have directly lead to a much warranted skepticism. Any understanding of what is exactly going on has been set back years. We have a blind public that does not know where to follow. Thank goodness for the few Republicans and Democrats that have not been willing to follow the mantra ready fire aim!

    How much time have you invested in understanding the science? It’s complicated. You don’t simply follow those claiming God exists without proof. What proof have we seen about the supposed disasterous effects of too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? Poor models. Poor predictions. Broken hockey sticks. Politics leading science. It all equals poor science. The only reasonable response is skepticism. The know nothing party at this point appears to be the party of climate scientists. We could be in serious trouble. We simply do not know. The likes of James Hansen have let us down tremendously.

    • Wolfy32 says:

      I don’t know on global warming. I believe the earth and many of its organisms are highly adaptable to have survived (billions) of years..

      However, I’ll reiterate that having 10-15 people in my house, changed the chemistry of my reef aquarium. At a standard PH of 8.35-8.50. — PH is a reflection of disolved oxygen and carbon dioxide within the sea water.

      After having 10-15 people in my house at the same time and playing with dry ice (during a halloween party)… (Dry ice is frozen carbon that sublimates at room temps), the PH dropped from 8.35 to 7.5. Within a matter of a few hours and it took another 24 hours after everyone left to return to its former state of 8.35. I, thankfully did not kill anything then. It all would have triggered a die off process if it had stayed that low for more than 24 hours.

      That’s just with 10-15 people in a small confined house. Our population will be at its largest ever. Imagine 10-15 billion people all just expelling carbon…consuming oxygen. And how many more animals we need to feed them all. I believe we have a huge impact, however, I also believe that things like plankton in the ocean that produce oxygen and consume carbon, and plants, that they may adapt to the changes and either become more populous or over time adapt to the higher carbon saturation and become more efficient at consuming more carbon. That’s not to say we won’t experience some major eratic weather patterns first. However, I believe, hope, that over time this will happen.

      And I can’t believe people would think mold eating plastic couldn’t exist without God indicating he’s creating something new?? give me a break.. New strands of bacteria and viruses are happening all the time. No common cold is from the same strand of bacteria or virus EVER. And there’s new viruses emerging all the time. One right now that I just read has a 60-70% mortality rate, has an incredible treatment method (if there’s a treatment), and it’s communicable from person to person. Coincidently the virus is said to have emerged from the Mid east and the first two cases of people from France were confirmed to have it.

      Viruses and bacteria are evolving all the time, because that’s what they do…
      Our immune systems are evolving all the time trying to be ready to combat the next virus threat… It’s a constant…

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        Wolfy 1:39 “New strands of bacteria and viruses are happening all the time.”

        Could it be you are close to heresy with that statement? I think the company line is God created the world 6000 years ago AS IS.

        Interesting experience with the fish tank and number of people in the room.

  8. Long John says:

    David, Good comments today !

  9. Gerald Fauske says:

    Terms like ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming’ are both employed (by right wing politicians) to hide the correct term: Anthropogenic global warming (AGW), referring to the twin findings by climate scientists that: a) global climate is warming and b) this warming is the result of human activities. An important aspect of the debate is listining to AGW denialists is a road map of what is needed for remedial science education in this country.

    A somewhat amusing corrolary is that while not all AGW denialists also deny earths’ long geologic history or the scientific fact of evolution, numbers are greater than in the general community. Similarly, birthers, 911 conspiracy theorists, holocost deniers and in fact, conspiracy theorists in general occur in greater numbers in the AGW denialist demographic than in the general U.S. voting population.

    To paraphrase a geologist/ paleoclimatologist at NDSU when speaking at a Science Cafe public forum on this subject: ‘Yes, it is possible that AGW is not true. In which case it would be the single greatest coincidence of facts and factors in the history of science.’ To simplify this statement: for AGW to be false, then virtually all of science is false (and your cell phone could not work).

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Gerald 10:48 To our readers here on the discussion page, allow me to reintroduce my friend, Professor Fauske. He is an entomologist at NDSU with considerable experience debating climate change and evolution. I hope you will repost some of your views and questions for him to answer.

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