Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Photo of Bill Moyers Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Watch & Listen The Blog Archive Transcripts Buy DVDs

« Religion and the ''Moral Axis of the Universe'' | Main | Bill Moyers & Michael Winship: Obama's Health Care Struggle – Waterloo or Water Down? »

How Should America Respond to Global Warming?

(Photo by Robin Holland)

This week on the JOURNAL, environmental advocates Mary Sweeters and Erich Pica joined Bill Moyers to discuss their disappointment with President Obama’s environmental policies and pending congressional legislation intended to address global warming. On June 26th, the House narrowly passed the Waxman-Markey climate bill, collecting crucial votes through extensive negotiation and compromise. The Senate is scheduled to debate its own climate bill in the coming weeks.

Many environmental groups have endorsed the Waxman-Markey climate bill as an important first step that will hopefully be strengthened over time. The Natural Resources Defense Council, for instance, issued a press release that said:

“The House of Representatives has made a dramatic breakthrough for America's future by choosing to create jobs, move to clean energy, and reduce global warming pollution. The passage of this legislation, which was almost unimaginable six months ago, will help set our country in a new direction by shifting to a clean energy economy and reducing the carbon pollution that causes global warming... But the work is far from over. Now, the bill will move to the Senate where it needs to be strengthened, so we can reach the full potential of our clean energy future and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”

Erich Pica listed the reasons why groups like Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace oppose the legislation:

“One, the bill doesn’t reduce global warming emissions in the United States fast enough and the emission reduction targets are just inadequate... Two, it strips away the [Environmental Protection Agency’s] authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, which is a key tool that environmentalists have been using to shut down coal plants. Three, it gives away a tremendous amount of money, hundreds of billions of dollars to the polluting companies that have essentially caused the problem of global warming... Four, and this is kind of overwhelming the entire system, is that it relies on Wall Street to help solve the problem of global warming by allowing them to manage the trading system that’s created underneath this bill... Wall Street is going to work feverishly to erode any of the standards and protections that are put into this bill to prevent Wall Street from gaming the system.”

Although the NRDC and groups like Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace disagree about the Waxman-Markey climate bill, they agree that the United States should forge ahead in passing federal policy to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Others argue that U.S. emissions cuts are not worthwhile unless the rest of the world can commit to doing the same. Writing in the WASHINGTON POST, economics professor Martin Feldstein said that the legislation is “all cost, no benefit:”

“The proposed legislation would have a trivially small effect on global warming while imposing substantial costs on all American households... Americans should ask themselves whether this annual tax of $1,600-plus per family is justified by the very small resulting decline in global CO2. Since the U.S. share of global CO2 production is now less than 25 percent (and is projected to decline as China and other developing nations grow), a 15 percent fall in U.S. CO2 output would lower global CO2 output by less than 4 percent. Its impact on global warming would be virtually unnoticeable. The U.S. should wait until there is a global agreement on CO2 that includes China and India before committing to costly reductions in the United States... The proposed cap-and-trade system would be a costly policy that would penalize Americans with little effect on global warming.”

What do you think?

  • Do you support the Waxman-Markey climate bill? Why or why not?

  • How do you think the U.S. should respond to global warming? What measures do you think are politically feasible?


  • TrackBack

    TrackBack URL for this entry:
    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/mt4/mt-tb.cgi/1836

    Comments

    The US should be the leaders when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions. Saying that reduction in the US will have little reduction globally is a poor excuse. As a country we can not sit and wait any longer to protect our planet.

    So many people are saying that alternate energy isn't "cost effective". What is the cost of doing nothing? Why should we wait for China and India? Do we need to follow, or should we lead and do what's best for our country, our citizens, and our world? Which, by the way, isn't lining pockets with piles of money, it's making energy affordable and clean.

    Grady: Obedient fails to comprehend even the principles of bailing, for he dips his cup into the sea and empties it into the boat exclaiming, "Ya'll thirsty?"

    (See you at Thanksgiving...? email@F)

    melty: Mr. C's ignorance and racism do not negate the shortcomings of President Obedient. We elected a constitutional lawyer who is in practice a pragmatic political scientist. He has little firsthand knowledge of science, medicine or economics and must rely upon a staff of corporate provided experts for his information. (Even his wife is a hospital administrator!) Not only is he being intimidated and manipulated but concepts are being spoon-fed into his communications with the public to the point that he has become a naysayer in service to the wealthiest among us. (His glib intelligence is above the crudity of "talking points.") (Contrary to the Reagonian anxiety of President Obedient; if the spires and towers of the City on a Hill are leveled at 4 stories the City, with all its mundane enterprises of sustenance, remains.)

    Have we known better days? Maybe not, but we were too naive to understand. Think about this: Aren't nuclear missiles, and defensive missiles, and manned flight missiles the ultimate phallic delusion superceding the business-leased skyscraper. Doesn't Babel Towering "fork" humanity every time? Keep on bailing, Obedient, until you drown us all. (Jack M. was the first on this blog to originate "President Obedient" and I thank him for it.)

    "A little knowledge is dangerous and that is exactly what that loathsome piece of filth has" --William P Caloia Sr | July 25, 2009.

    Look, I think President Obama is performing poorly too, only I think he is betraying the country for the opposite reasons Mr. Caloia Sr does: his actions on global warming and healthcare are both completely inadequate -- but I won't stoop to calling him a "loathsome piece of filth". That's pretty disgusting language and has a distinctly 1950s flavor. My advice: talk to some scientists (try the 50,000-strong American Geophysical Union) and decide if they have a hidden agenda. You'll find a good many of them are very worried indeed about the potential impacts of warming on humanity.

    The previous comment was not intended as an offer to sell land in Arizona, nor should it be viewed as advice to purchase land in Arizone, and no CDSs are offered nor any expected to be available at this date.

    This is provided in the "NEW" era of full & complete disclosure.

    (It should be noted that we do not speak for any of those "To Big To Fail" companies.)

    Billy Bob, Florida
    (No association or relationship to the DNP is intended)

    Start buying soon-to-be water front property in Arizona & beat the rush.

    Billy Bob, Florida (Glub-Glub)

    Yes, to Waxman-Markey. The trading system monetizes the issue for those in the energy industry that can't think any other way. If someone only speaks Spanish, you don't insist on talking to them only in English, if you expect them to understand what you are asking.

    While I'm impressed,with Dennis Kucinich's observations, why do we need to do things the same way we've always done them? Online publicity for claims of implementation of renewable energy, for example, could give everyone in the country with eyes and ears, a place to report what they see. Transparency is a form of enforcement.

    A different approach to management is available and has been demonstrated - for example, putting hundreds of thousands of pages of litigation-disclosed documents online and inviting people to report on what they find.

    Despite my deep concerns about Obama on issues of torture and executive power, - if he wants this, I'm for it.

    So many comments, admittedly I skimmed a fair few but these stuck out. Firstly;
    'Recent advances in nuclear technology make it a much more viable option.'

    No, just no. Nuclear Fission is not an acceptable option. Has the following been solved?
    1. They are expensive
    2. While it may last, the fuel source is still finite
    3. They aren't nice to be around should they go BOOM
    4. They are tremendously expensive
    5. They require inordinate amounts of water for cooling
    6. They can be abused to create weapons
    7. As far as I know, the highly radioactive waste byproducts cannot be neutralised

    There is an impressive array of alternative energy solutions out there that are not receiving due attention. PESwiki.com is a good place to start, particularly their Top 100 section. A key benefit that I see would be decentralised or at least localised power generation.

    As to the other post;
    'Ok, here is my take...
    Global Warming - Has yet to be 'Proven'. With record low temps, actual cooling of the planet, and the Antarctic ice sheet getting bigger and deeper, I don't see the proof (NASA reported it, not me). Now, if it is 'Proven', then prove it is 'Man Made'. It is hard to believe that Man can change the climate in the very little time that we have been industrialized. CO2 is not a toxin, it 'air' for plants that give us O2...cut CO2, plants die, O2 goes down. Now, my real fear, Global Warming exists, is a totally Natural event, but man's arrogance tries to change it, and the real Climate Change destroys us all. From the arguments on both sides, it is clear, we cannot manipulate the global climate cycle any more than we can control the time the sun rises and sets.'
    I'm seeing this a lot, however, whenever I look into those that write such denialist articles their objectivity and/or qualification is in doubt. Many have links to big oil, given that how can you take such 'reports' seriously?

    As to the topic at hand, I would agree that, from what I have read thus far, this bill is inadequate. I'm not sure I agree with Cap and trade ideas as, to me, it relies on Wall Street whom I trust with money-related matters now as far as I can throw them and don't let Goldman Sachs in on this to make even more money that they don't need.

    I never truly realized until the last election that the United States of America had so many terminally stupid voters. Barack Hussein Obama is the most dangerous man on the planet. A little knowledge is dangerous and that is exactly what that loathsome piece of filth has. He is not alone. The entire regime, from the Vice puke to the Postmaster General is a bunch of lunatics who will do nothing more than ruin this great country. Global Warming is Al Gore's created enemy, much like Hitler created an enemy of Germans by blaming the Jews, Al Gore and the new regime have Global Warming to blame for everything from Hurricanes to dying kangaroo rats. blaming the Jews was a bad idea. They were innocent of the diatribe poured out by the Nazis. The theory of gGlobal Warming is a hoax. The hidden agenda is to stop capitalism. Cap and Trade is a tool to achieve this end. As surely as Hitler had the "krystalnacht", we will see the destruction of small business which is the very backbone of this country's economy. Herr Reichsfuhrer Obama will, in his 4 years as Der Fuhrer, destroy this country economically, as certainly as Hitler destroyed Germany. History repeats itself when its lessons are not learned.

    All of you obamabots who voted this hideous monster into power are going to have a comeuppance. Having a government job will not save you. When the economy is destroyed, there will be no source for Der Fuhrer to tax. No one will have money. The rich will leave. Only the Liberal Elite will be left. Do you think Oprah would giove millions to the government over and above her legal taxation? But when only they are left with money, Obama will turn on them like a scorpion that stings itself to death. There maybe one bit of history to look forward to. Hitler's demise.

    I observed this many years ago that the production of weapons of mass destruction was enough to cause mass destruction even when the weapons were never used.

    Anna D, I guess I'm similar to FoxSpews. We both use the Chicken Little approach to raising fear. My paranoia usually tends to be based on facts with very little speculation (wink, wink), while Fox’s is the complete opposite. Does this still make Ailes my hero? I think, I'm gonna need therapy. {:0)

    Well, David F, you're not fooling me :-) You're the one hoping the hate thing still is working, right?

    There has been a complete black out in the USA of "news" of REALITY going on in other countries on Spaceship Earth.

    It's TOO easy to follow the money around the globe....

    "Technology" has been frozen at that time here in the USA when dead fish floated on all USA rivers and factories belched FILTH into the air (under Reagan, they CUBED the amount of particulates allowed) and because of we-the-people, the filthy polluters were run out of USA. They went into China.

    The refrain is the same as it was 30 years ago - it's a question of species survival to STOP USING OIL.

    Now, we all know that the Middle East is on one giant building spree - Dubai and oil wells deep enough to reach China - scheesh, they can just blow the oil underground INTO China :-), but what does that have to do with us? We have NO MORAL RESPONSIBILITY to accept filthy polluters, liars, thieves, and murderers who quote from "holy books" while they KILL US SLOWLY.

    This is the SCIENCE discussion, isn't it? We are CENTURIES, maybe even MILLENIA ahead of the polluters. We DO NOT need their oil - shut off the spicket TODAY! NOW! and we'll dance an irish jig of joy...

    Righto - THERE's your FEAR, David F.

    Go to ANY EU country or the ex-Russian areas - NO WHERE ELSE IS THE CONSTANT DRONE by propagandists so insulting to its own people.

    We have the PROOF that we are not stupid about SCIENCE...the propagandists have yet to prove that they are "innocent" of criminal psychosis.

    Jodi, here is what I was trying to say, but without all the clutter.

    Wedge issues are use to recruit and generate fear. Fear is used to generate hate. Hate is the driving force in brainwashing (getting someone to do or say something they normally wouldn’t do or say). That sounds right.

    Big Business (which has now gone global) has bought off our politicians (both right and left parties). Our politicians wrote laws to allow Big Business to control the growth of our media. And viola, Big Business can now legally manufacture neocon-hate-drones (I see a Frankenstein joke in there somewhere).

    Ok, time for some more clutter.

    With everything that had occurred during the 8 years of Bush (9/11, Enron, Iraq Invasion, wiretapping, torture, subprime loans, AIG, recession…), there is still a quarter to a third of our population which is backing the neocon oligarchy. This is the base that Cheney(s), Palin, and Joe the Idiot are trying to keep together. I believe in the near future, our fears will make this base grow--again (the economy and terrorism will be the main wedge issues; and the growth will be well over 50%, just like the last time). Hate will grow with our fears--again. And then more and more people will start saying and doing things that they normally wouldn’t say or do--again. After all this, America will gratefully accept the next Patriot Act--again. Velcome to Amerika, Bay-b.

    Jack Martin:

    Nuclear industry is only in the interest of GE...

    This has bothered me for a long time and I wonder if GE has sacrificed MSNBC in order to enhance GE Energy.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/03/us/politics/03exelon.html?_r=1

    I would like to see the US move rapidly and aggressively to 1) build electric cars like the Aptera 2) create large industrial sized air cleaners 3) move to solar, wind, and nuclear power. Recent advances in nuclear technology make it a much more viable option.

    Jodi,

    I forgot to mention that I think wedge issue fears are used to trigger hate.

    Maybe a psychologist will read this and then set me straight.


    Posted by: David F.


    "You must not give in to your hate, Young Skywalker..."

    Hate does make you stupider than the good lord made you...

    A common psychological image used to be the frog in the bottom of a well. All the frog knows about "light" is from that hole at the top of the well.

    USA (and USSR) shot themselves out that hole and got a different perspective.

    Earth is a Spaceship in the purest definition of the word "space" and "ship".

    We're acting like a bunch of brats, only "smart" enough to use up everything and then trash the whole place.

    note: The Podesta Group also reported a big increase in revenue. It reported $11 million in lobbying earnings for the first two quarters of 2009. That is more than a 50 percent increase from where the firm, headed by well-known Democratic donor Tony Podesta, was at the halfway mark in 2008. (from "Obama is good for K Street lobbyists"
    By Kevin Bogardus and Jim Snyder, at TheHill.com,
    Posted: 07/20/09)

    I haven’t done the numbers on this but what if we used nuclear power plants to generate fuel? Of course the fuel would be hydrogen.

    The nuclear power plants would be located in remote (really remote) locations in our country. The hydrogen would be piped to gas burning electric power plants.

    The distribution pipelines already exist. We have over a million miles of abandoned natural gas pipelines that could be refurbished for this use.

    The byproduct of burning hydrogen is pure water.

    Sabina: I did not malign you. Grady Lee Howard is an associate of mine who posted about nuclear reactors and LeBait. His post was deleted because of the illusion that non-serious posters have value, and that serious but insulting posters do not. Manners are a great handicap to this site.

    Nuclear thoughts: Fusion power is already available and plentiful: solar energy. Shielding is provided naturally by distance (93 million miles), atmosphere and magnetic fields.

    Building more nuclear plants is like eating at Bojangles when your kitchen is stocked with the best organic fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts, flours and seasonings- too lazy and distracted to do the tasks of cooking. Nuclear industry is only in the interest of GE and Westinghouse (maybe also perverted regimes in captive states) and is not sustainable. Think of it as getting obese, then having a heart attack.

    An old cowboy in Charlotte used to sing on TV: "Atomic pow-wer-wer; Atomic pow-wer-wer; It was given by the mighty hand of God...." He poisoned the minds of children, confounding religion with ambitions of empire and profit. Some still worship those oligarchic mysteries. (Chris Hedges explains this phenomenon very well/while former Southern Baptist become Buddhist,Robert Wright, simply articulates his truncated puzzlement; never gets real. It's almost like Hedges is solar-powered and Wright is refining isotopes.)


    Jodi,

    I forgot to mention that I think wedge issue fears are used to trigger hate.

    Maybe a psychologist will read this and then set me straight.

    Sabina,

    Melted magnets. They must have generated a lot more heat than expected. It’s a good thing they know what they’re doing. ;0p Yes, we should take a step back, but they won’t.

    That makes sense, the plants made oxygen back then like they do today. Pretty interesting.

    Jodi,

    I’m just a computer geek, so I’m no expert.

    Gullibility has been common in The South for centuries (generally speaking), but in the ‘90s, with the help of radio, TV and the Internets, gullibility began to spread throughout the country. Limbaugh and Fox had the ears of the Republican Party and this is when they first started to get them to hate.

    Back then I was a white-cane Republican (fiscally responsible, I guess). I really didn’t care much about politics, but then Dole and Gingrich caught my attention. I think it was when they wouldn’t pass a bill to pay federal employees (I remember their excuse(s) was lame, I can’t remember the details). This bs woke me up.

    While I was moving to the left the rest of the Republicans were being taught to hate by way of wedge issues. I’m not sure, but I think each individual was lured in with a specific wedge issue of interest (some gun control, some abortion, some gays…), and this is where they were taught to hate. Once the media got them to hate, it was all over, they were now neocon drones, and then they were taught to hate other issues.

    I think these drones know that their leaders are lying to them (they probably even know that they are rationalizing when they repeat these lies), but their hatred for liberals take precedence over being (neo)conned. It appears to me that hate is more logical than logic for them. How has the media gotten the poor (drones) to protest against taxing rich corporations (illogical isn’t it)? Hate. Why are so many men concerned with abortion nowadays? Hate. Once the media gets them to hate, they own them.

    I wonder if there is a way to awaken them from their stupor. Most of them have been brainwashed for over 10 years now. Brainwashed…didn’t the CIA research it back in the ‘60s. I just thought of this, but hate appears to be the key to brainwashing. You and I hate to hate, so maybe this is why we’re not on autopilot.

    Jodi,

    The Democrats, I might add, are every bit as corrupt as the Republicans are.

    Damn, no response to my Angels and Demons (CERN) theory. Maybe it was too nutty, but then again, too nutty has worked before. I guess I’ll have to wait for the NRA reps. to roll in again.

    Posted by: David F.


    The LHC was shut down - melted magnet to fix after just a couple of seconds into the first try.

    Even one of the scientists on the project called the experiment a juvenile attempt to find the answer.

    A billion years ago, during what is considered the volcanic age of earth, the atmosphere was composed of water vapor, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and hydrogen chloride - little or no free nitrogen or free oxygen.

    The carbon, over A LONG TIME, went from being just in the atmosphere to form the carbonates of the various metals, enriching the soil, then the plants could grow, and then OVER A LONG TIME, oxygen given off, and finally the creation of an atmosphere mixture that meteors burned up in, and overdoses of sunlight were filtered out of...MIND INTELLIGENCE at work, huh?

    There has never been 7 BILLION people on this Spaceship Earth. We have no idea what the heck we are doing 90% of the time even when the data is not made up and/or cherry picked.

    Back in the 70s it was the particulates in the atmosphere...how it morphed to a mono focus on "carbon", I have no idea.

    Everyone needs to take a step back - back to atmosphere formation that began a BILLION years ago and rethink "sustainable".

    Why do Republicans hate the environment so much? Can't we put them on a space ship and send them to live on the International Space Station? Why do Republicans just hate so much? Why are they anti-gay, anti-minority, anti-tolerant, anti-environment, anti-trees, anti-polar bears, anti-government, anti-female, anti-peace, etc.? What kind of upbringing did they go through as children?

    Alternative energy creates jobs just as it is in Florida and has in many states.

    During W's 8 years of horrible leadership, about 64 species were listed to the Endangered Species Act. During his father's 4 years, 235 were added. Even the old Bush knew better. Plus, W proposed allowing federal agencies, instead of scientists, to decide whether to protect a species. Because we certainly don't want a QUALIFIED person deciding important things like we did for 8 years!

    It is so nice and considerate (NOT) of 'Conservatives' to boycott GM. Because GOP's are Anti-American/Anti-Government, and because they are pissed their candidate didn't win (sore losers) they would put American workers out of jobs by not buying from them, the American worker. Not very Patriotic of the Republicans now is it? Of course, it also isn't very patriotic of GOP's to re-elect Bush (after he lied to start a war in Iraq) or to vote for McCain (who condoned a corrupt war in Iraq) and then send then children off to a nice, safe, fun college instead of enlist them in the military. If Republican's want to be war-mongols, the LEAST thing they could do is back up their vote and send their kids to war.

    Damn, no response to my Angels and Demons (CERN) theory. Maybe it was too nutty, but then again, too nutty has worked before. I guess I’ll have to wait for the NRA reps. to roll in again.

    Ok, here is my take...
    Global Warming - Has yet to be 'Proven'. With record low temps, actual cooling of the planet, and the Antarctic ice sheet getting bigger and deeper, I don't see the proof (NASA reported it, not me). Now, if it is 'Proven', then prove it is 'Man Made'. It is hard to believe that Man can change the climate in the very little time that we have been industrialized. CO2 is not a toxin, it 'air' for plants that give us O2...cut CO2, plants die, O2 goes down. Now, my real fear, Global Warming exists, is a totally Natural event, but man's arrogance tries to change it, and the real Climate Change destroys us all. From the arguments on both sides, it is clear, we cannot manipulate the global climate cycle any more than we can control the time the sun rises and sets.

    LeBeit: "Do stars have uranium within them??? Stars are super hots balls of hydrogen, iron, helium, etc. But I don't remember stars containing uranium fuel rods within them."

    Fusion and fission, Sir.

    One process CREATES hydrogen, iron, helium, etc.
    That's what the suns DO.

    How do YOU know what kind of "fuel rod" is in the center of the sun? I'm sure the entire scientific community would PAY you to show the data from which you speak with such "authority".

    Posted by: Sabina


    Mr. Martin,

    I am not "that little putz Grady..."

    That little putz Grady is correct: Our star Solaris is fusion powered (makes helium from hydrogen and so on) while our nuclear turbines on Earth are all still fission (makes toxic crap from uranium refined at great expenditure of other energy. Heard about Iran's centrifuges?)plants. Fission reactors are primitive technological dinosaurs that, as they say at Oak Ridge labs, are "like hammering a dressmaker's pin with a ten story pile-driver." They also waste and overheat environmental water. If they are safe why does my utility send me a calendar with evacuation routes and a schedule of siren tests? Do they send out a calendar for windmills and solar panels, to help you escape the danger? Take your iodine, Kiddos.

    "All those jails they built? They should go lock themselves in (panic room?)"

    It might be quicker if they put "automatic pad-locks" to lock themselves in, when they close
    the doors!
    With all the highly train police force available, you would thing someone would have
    courage to place a padlock to "stopped the injustice and the ramped corruption."

    to Paul Excberry,


    The indians have to wait and see. From the beginning of time, with the Mongals,Romans, The British now Americans, the Monopoly by the most powerful will come to an end. Its the people in-between that are going to suffer. Nobody is going to listen.

    Ok, is this sci-fi or maybe sci-fact?

    With all the nuclear power plants around the world, Europe seems to have the most (at least for today), and they seem to be tightly packed together. And then to top this off, right in the middle of them, in Switzerland, is CERN and its LHC (a 16 mile long circular particle collider).

    What if servomotors were attached to valves in all these European plants (or even all around the world), could they be activated to cause a simultaneous catastrophe at each one? With the Internet, this would be easy to do. In fact, CERN was where the original world-wide-web software, ENQUIRE, was written.

    Now, if nuclear radiation was released in volumes into our atmosphere, could the LHC be used to do something with it? I don’t know why, but for some reason, every time I think of this LHC, it makes me think of a gigantic cigarette lighter with a quartz crystal as the igniter (POP). And could our oxygen, mixed with high levels of carbon dioxide, be used to connect the radiation leaks causing a chain reaction?

    If there wasn’t so much water, I’d think that this could cause our Earth to become a Sun (or would fission converted to fusion be more dominate). But still, this would give a true meaning to “scorched earth.”

    Personally, I think we should spend all our time researching wind, solar and other types of safe energy.

    On a per capita basis the US pollutes at a rate many times that of developing companies. We’re 5X of Mexico for CO2, for example. Most of our immigration is from these countries. Now, everyone that is added doesn’t consume at the rate of a hedge fund manager, but I think it’s accurate to say that immigrants pollute at many times the rate that they did in their former country.

    So what’s the quickest way to reduce growth in pollution – stop adding to the people who are the worst offenders – the US.

    And this doesn’t mean we don’t take all the other steps. I also want to see us implement conservation and solar in a manner that would rival the effort we had for Apollo. But it’s obvious, progress there will be very slow.

    So if you in Greenpeace and similar organizations are really so concerned about global warming, why don’t you address immigration? Or do you only use the science when it fits your agenda or when it won’t offend those who fund you?

    Grady Lee Howard wrote, in part, "13 TRILLION has been advanced to underwrite the financial sector (Nomi Prins: Democracy Now) in less than a year and we can't get 1 trillion over 10 years to fix medical care."

    Well, the shamanas have taken over the "moral axis" thread - pushing divine substances...every generation just keeps on giving, don't they? The Apollo Astronauts say a new business model is in order. GenXers want to micro manage THEIR synthetic "god" with drugs and software...sigh.

    Man oh man, they are SERIOUSLY ruthless this time around - ala the "second derivative" - in preventing health care for ANYONE - planet, people, plants, animals...(aka the "environment")...

    Numbers never did add up on paper, so everyone created another page in the ledger for the "unknown" numbers and kept life going. Just as we reach critical mass for "alternate" energy and "organic" living - they SHUT DOWN the flow of money altogether. That's sick.

    And the #s they're providing - what a scam. "Health care would be over 18% of the GDP!!!!"

    Yeah, well, total up all the "business" (even minus FOR PROFIT insurance companies) that produce the products/tools that provide the "best health care money can buy on" - isn't that a WAY higher % of GDP than the 18%?! So what's the problem? DISTRIBUTION!

    Here's the ENVIRONMETAL reality - if you throw a web over the whole planet, even the spider is going to run out of food. So one day in the future, some species will find this planet lifeless and covered in a web that suffocated all life on the planet.

    PROFIT has its limits. You have to limit the PROFIT that any and all businesses can pursue. Especially is this true when the profits are NOT spent on either maintaining the business or distributed among the population that created the business.

    Okay, so the second derivative has delivered 25% unemployment - now what? Go sit on the sidewalk outside the coffee shop and watch a parade of millions of ENFORCED POVERTY people go by? "Oh look, its the Joneses? She needs to have some work done, pronto."

    You think the Joneses are not going to cook you and eat you to "survive" because you think that they're on the right drug medication and believe that they are "divine" and passively interconnected with the cosmos?

    Tomorrow there is a total solar eclipse that will happen over the most populated real estate of Spaceship Earth. The Big Giant Head must love the "holy" potential of so much superstition to exploit.

    I think it's pretty clear that no amount of religion or law or drugs or anything else will change the character and behaviour of the psychotic and the sociopath. All those jails they built? They should go lock themselves in (panic room?) because the "hoi poloi" is the bigger biological force. Head games don't work in that situation :-) Check your history books.

    Instead of moaning and groaning, why not go in the back door?
    Talk up the companies that are environmentally aware and push to bring their products to the forefront.
    Subaru and Johnson and Johnson are a couple that come to mind.
    It might be that others will see that going green is popular and jump on the bandwagon.

    Murphy was a former analyst with Laugher Associates. Whatta laff.

    Economist Dr. Robert Murphy blasts Paul Krugman's pro-cap and trade argument here: http://www.mises.org/story/3473

    and here: http://www.mises.org/story/3491

    Mr. Moyers,

    Mr. Pica states that he think that "there's a lot of moneyed interest in Washington that don't want a strong climate bill." No kidding, who would have thunk it?

    GREENPEACE and FREINDS OF THE EARTH and other groups should focus on, what I feel is the most destructive problem in our country, our right to petition our government. Only then will we be able to get things accomplished.

    PAT MAC

    Everything about Obama's America is half-assed. I guess we're down for the count. 13 TRILLION has been advanced to underwrite the financial sector (Nomi Prins: Democracy Now) in less than a year and we can't get 1 trillion over 10 years to fix medical care.(Cobra cost caps are the only positive for workers so far.) The Afghanistan bullcrap and the contractors and the secret prisons go on as per usual for elite profit. Oil, coal and nuclear remain first in line for energy money, with ethanol still hanging in, and renewables bringing up the rear. (Duke Power wants to own solar panels on your roof and rent them to you. Woe to you if you break one. Electricity from them will be metered as usual, maybe at a higher rate, and when it gets dark coal and nuclear (profit centers) kick in.) No green jobs are coming and Community Colleges are a sick joke with big debt attached. Layoffs roll on. We had better find a better party and candidate than Dems and Repubs before 2012. Re-electing this corporate kiss-ass would be worse than re-Bush in 2004. If we don't dump the success ethic we could feel like Iranians by 2013, and them rubber bullets really hurt!

    Michael,

    NO ONE on this planet has REAL scientific data on what "fuel rod" our own sun may or may not have at its core. I can't believe you won't even wiki for 2 minutes to get a clue about how dumb your argument is.

    NO ONE on this planet with REAL scientific data will agree with you that a human built "nuclear reactor" is MORE STABLE than the suns/stars.

    What are you smoking?! :-)

    Where do ALL the elements that the material universe is composed of originate? In "unstable suns"?! If all the suns in all the cosmos are unstable, they how did a genius like you learn how to stabilize "nuclear energy"?

    Look, this is the SCIENCE discussion, not the religious one :-)

    Go back and read everything I wrote so far. All I said - and it is a FACT that ALL scientific data references as FACT - is that the sunlight that reaches earth is PERFECTLY calibrated to support life on this planet.

    We're talking about mirrors and water and paddles - not even batteries - being USED by people in Death Valley to cool themselves.

    You should go attend the Burning Man festival one of these years. It is still a CRIME for YOU to show up and prevent the dear nutz at the festival in the desert from surviving however they are able to using whatever science they figured out.

    That's my point.

    In a free marketplace, you must lay out your case for your "science", and so far, selling it to me (along with that darling "slap") with fairy tales like suns/stars being unstable is not going to convince me that you're a nuclear "god" who deserves trillions of dineros, or wha'ever.

    Maybe the politicians and lobbyists will listen after the polar icecaps melt and cause the Rockies and Himalayans to rise and massive volcanoes to grow in the Coral Sea. But then it will be too late. Lobbying which involves bribing should be crimes with punishments.

    Sabina,

    Pure ad hominems are no replacements for real arguments. My assertions thus stand unchallenged from you though I certainly welcome counter-arguments from anyone else. A reactor is controlled; stars are not. Your little guilt by false association scheme between stars and nuclear power is no good.

    Bravo to Donald B and Charles Wurster -- posted in the early hours of Jul 18. Yours are the most sensible posts on this blog.

    The folks Moyers selected have not taken the time to really understand the economics or politics of this issue (nor the science really).

    This policy deserves serious discussion. The show missed the mark this time.

    Global Warming:
    China and India have already said that they are not going to comply. This
    Administration has said, We
    Americans are primarily responsible, so don't worry
    yet, America will take the lead.
    The result will be, that which is left of our non-government jobs will be
    leaving America (titanic)
    soon. With our tax base gone, soon ALL government jobs will be effected too, as we sink further into 3rd world status.
    Who needs the Private Sector Anyway, don't you get a good government check ?
    It's all over Amerika.

    Sabina,

    A star and a nuclear reactor are two different things darling. Again, as I mentioned earlier, people for some odd reason have been given the false impression that nuclear reactors are similar to nuclear armaments. A star is analgous to a nuclear weapon, not a nuclear reaction. And, as stated before, you attempt to blemish nuclear power by associating it with nuclear weapons, a fallacious line on argument because the two are entirely different phenomena. Stars are analogus to nuclear weapons because the reactions within stars are not controlled. The reactions within power plants are controlled however by neutron absorbing control rods. Plus, different substances exist within a sun and within a nuclear reactor.

    Ron Geurts van Kessel,

    The status quo is a form of corporatism, a social system where private businesses and the government co-operate in ways which are deleterious to private property rights. We must make an essential distinction between economic power and pilitical power. Economic power refers to the ability to produce goods, and to voluuntarily exchanges goods with others on the open market. Its is the power of wealth creation and persuasion. Political power refers to the ability to coerce, to compel others by physical force against their will. In a free market, private agents may seek as much economic power they like but they may not seek political power to gain special privleges. Special privleges such as subsidies exist under corporatism, but not under capitalism.

    In an capitalist (as opposed to a corporatist) economic environment, nuclear power providers would have to compete with each other to satisfy the power demands of their consumers. Free entry into the nuclear power industry would ensure that competition would exist which would serve to enhance efficiency and lower costs. And given the stellar safety record of nuclear power plants, private insurers would definitely seek to insure nuclear power providers against risk.

    Some people do not want their taxes used to subsidize wind or solar power. They simple want their money back which is justification enough.

    Certainly, corruption exists in the private sector (no social system can guarantee the complete elimination of misbehavior). But we must be careful in not forming stereotypical conclusions from fallacious reasoning. It would be fallacious to argue that "Kenneth Lay was corrupt, Richard L, Scott was corrupt, therefore the private sector is corrupt per se." The conclusion of this argument is a stereotype, a result of an erroneous line of inductive reasoning. Stereotypes are gross overgeneralizations.

    I would much rather have private enterprises provide power than public authorities. To a private form (on the free market) you are a customer, a person who's demand must be continuallu satisfied in order to make profits. To a public firm, you are not a customer, you are not a person who's demands must be satisfied.

    Private firms on a free market have a responsibility to satisfy consumer demand and respect the individual rights of others. I reject the idea that they should be ashamed of their profits or their business influence. By satisfying consumer demand, they enhance the standard of living. Trade is a positive-sum game, not a zero-sum game. People trade when they believe they will benefit from such exchanges. The market adjusts in such ways to ensure that people will benefit from voluntary exchange.

    The problem arises when we delegate to the government to authority to "regulate" the power industry. Government authorities are not subject to profit and loss considerations, they can manufacture money ex nihilo, etc. Government, with a few exceptions, attracts the sort of men who are prone to moral depravity. Such weak moral fiber doesn't fly on the free market where survival of businesses requires them to perform at their best.

    Combustible fuels (petroleum products) store their energy for future consumption; we have an elaborate infrastructure to distribute that energy. But electricity is generated on demand and energy storage is essentially unavailable, batteries notwithstanding. Can we build the safe and effective distribution system we would need for an all-electric future? Some amongst you may recall the dismal "success" of the all-electric homes built in the mid-west in the early 1960's: to be affordable to operate, such homes needed to be massively insulated and tightly sealed against the intrusion of cold air in the winter, and warm air in the summer. Such homes provided certain advantages but odor free bathrooms were not amongst them.

    LeBeit: "Do stars have uranium within them??? Stars are super hots balls of hydrogen, iron, helium, etc. But I don't remember stars containing uranium fuel rods within them."

    Fusion and fission, Sir.

    One process CREATES hydrogen, iron, helium, etc.
    That's what the suns DO.

    How do YOU know what kind of "fuel rod" is in the center of the sun? I'm sure the entire scientific community would PAY you to show the data from which you speak with such "authority".

    The better solution the robber barons don't want

    http://www.capanddividend.org/

    This Bill is about privatizing the sky so hedge funds can make $$$$ - it has nothing to do with the public interest. Obama was meant to be better than this.

    The same green-wash groups that back this Bill - Environmental Offense Fund etc. - are trying to privatize U.S. fisheries (through catch-shares) and other natural resource too.

    Enough with the kleptomaniacs running policy for the U.S!!!

    GO GET EM' GREENPEACE AND FRIENDS OF THE EARTH - I WILL BE MAKING A CONTRIBUTION THIS MORNING

    @Michael Labeit

    Your argument is very compelling, and I wholeheartedly agree that nuclear has preference over coal etc. any day. However, you must surely see that nuclear power ultimately just upholds the status quo, and continues to concentrate all power in private companies, which surely means that it will be subsidized directly or indirectly.

    Me personally, I don't mind my taxes used to subsidize novelties such as wind and solar etc. of which I am confident will (at some point) allow me to invest money in my own local power generation, if only to power my e.g. electric car if not most of my household or even a surplus.

    I for one feel uncomfortable that so much of our daily necessities are provided by unscrupulous thugs with no sense of corporate social responsibility. Did you hear those Enron trader tapes, about Grandma Millie etc.? Or what about the kind of stunt that Richard L. Scott pulled on the government and customers while at Columbia/HCA? I don't even want to be the fly on the wall at the conglomerates that allow a modern society to run, I'd get sick to my stomach. Anyway, those are the guys that will sell you your nuclear power.

    If you believe that there is going to be "an unsubsidized nuclear industry [that]could guarantee uninterrupted electricity" than I think you have too much confidence in how the market operates in the U.S., but I hope the future proves me wrong.

    Sabina writes,

    When you look up at night and see the stars - it might help to remember that every "star" is actually a "sun" and every "sun" is, in fact, a nuclear reactor.

    All life on this planet is already getting the proper dose of cosmic atomic energy via sunlight. Photovoltaic batteries can be improved."

    Do stars have uranium within them??? Stars are super hots balls of hydrogen, iron, helium, etc. But I don't remember stars containing uranium fuel rods within them.

    Noting that earth receives cosmic energy from the sun is besides the point. E=mc2 and rate x time = distance too but these have nothing to do with nuclear energy. Now, of course your insinuation was that nuclear power is somehow dangerous. Well, according to Patrick Moore, one of the co-founders of Greenpeace,

    "In the early 1970s when I helped found Greenpeace, I believed that nuclear energy was synonymous with nuclear holocaust, as did most of my compatriots. That's the conviction that inspired Greenpeace's first voyage up the spectacular rocky northwest coast to protest the testing of U.S. hydrogen bombs in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. Thirty years on, my views have changed, and the rest of the environmental movement needs to update its views, too, because nuclear energy may just be the energy source that can save our planet from another possible disaster: catastrophic climate change"

    Moore goes on to post a stunning fact published also by the Nuclear Energy Institute saying,

    "No one has died of a radiation-related accident in the history of the U.S. civilian nuclear reactor program. (And although hundreds of uranium mine workers did die from radiation exposure underground in the early years of that industry, that problem was long ago corrected.)"

    Moore's article as well as NEI vast information database attest to the superiority of nuclear power.

    It certainly is the safest reliable source of power. Thousands die every year from coal-mine accidents, oil refinery explosions, and natural gas leaks. Of course, one can never avoid the "what about Chernobyl" rejoinder. The disaster at Chernobyl however discredits socialism, not nuclear power. The Soviets also manufactured the lousiest of automobiles but surely no one would therefore argue against car manufacturing. That's what you get when the means of production are "communally-owned."

    The most ridiculous fear within the anti-nuclear posse is that nuclear power plants can possibly go up in massive nuclear explosions. This is fantastically untrue. Uranium within reactors is very impure (around 5% plus) whereas uranium within nuclear weapons is about 95 to 98% pure. We're talking two different substances here. But of course, we're dealing with a "lower primate/still afraid of the dark" mentality to overcome here.

    That nuclear power is the most powerful form of energy is uncontested - I don't even have to mention how the energy potential of a uranium pebble dwarfs that of coal, petrol, or anything else of equal size in use.

    Nuclear power is cost-effective in the long run. Uranium lasts - coal, petrol, and gas don't. The reason is because uranium is not consummed by fire within the reactor. Fossil fuels by contrast are burned up and must be replenished every so often. Constructing nuclear power plants is expensive but construction ends eventually and long term profits can easily cover costs.

    Nuclear power is also renewable, believe it or not. 95% of uranium fuel rods can be recycled, so the concept of "nuclear waste" actually has a much smaller denotation that previously thought.

    What's the alternative? Wind? Solar? Geothermal? Woodchips? A combination? Please..... Does it dawn on anyone that you cannot even remotely power a nation the size of ours exclusively with these sources? Your dreaming if you think we can dispense with BOTH hydrocarbons and nuclear power. Its either fossil fuels, nuclear power, or a combination of both. Nuclear power does the job fine by itself. But the non-nuclear "green" alternatives are little more than taxpayer-subsidized novelties. An unsubsidized nuclear industry could guarantee uninterrupted electricity. The environmentalist alternative by contrast offers rolling blackouts and energy shortages.

    Anna D writes,

    "Mr. LaBait, I don't believe in a word you say. Hedge hogs have trillions "sitting on the sidelines..." as they lament on business shows...you do the math...trillions in "debt", yet trillions in hog pockets..."

    You don't believe that both the Bush and Obama administrations have accumulated unprecedented budget deficits or that they put us into multi-trillion dollar debt or that the Fed has been inflating the money supply all along? You've got a lot of catchin up to do.

    Oh, we have "money." All Ben Bernanke needs to do is write a check for $ 10 billion and viola! He can abracadabra any amount he wants. And you'll get all the solar panels and windmills you want with a side of burgeoning hyperinflation.

    You're crazy.

    When you look up at night and see the stars - it might help to remember that every "star" is actually a "sun" and every "sun" is, in fact, a nuclear reactor.

    All life on this planet is already getting the proper dose of cosmic atomic energy via sunlight. Photovoltaic batteries can be improved.

    Mr. LaBait,

    I don't believe in a word you say. Hedge hogs have trillions "sitting on the sidelines..." as they lament on business shows...you do the math...trillions in "debt", yet trillions in hog pockets...

    Anna D writes,

    "It's a criminal ACT to pretend that the country is too broke NOW to build solar arrays in Death Valley and other places."

    With respect, we are too broke to do a lot of things and you can thank Bush/Obama & Co for that. We have trillion dollars deficits, major price inflation is just around the coroner thanks to the Fed, we are spreading democracy to Iraq, etc - where is the government going to get the money to spend on solar panels??? It could borrow more money (it can even twirl the magic Fed baton and crank up monetary inflation) but both do us more damage down the road.

    Doesn't it seem unusual that the government insists on spending on all of these green jobs and green products? As Ray Harvey writes,

    "As with ethanol and recycling and a host of other issues, you must ask yourself again, if these things are so efficient, why do they need to be subsidized? Answer: they're not so efficient.

    Energies that require massive subsidization benefit absolutely no one; the only reason they need to be subsidized is that they cannot compete on the open market. That fact alone tells you everything you need to know about them: they're simply not good enough yet."

    On the other hand, nuclear power is cheaper, cleaner, extraordinarily safe, renewable and is the most powerful source of energy in existence as demonstrated here briefly by the Mises Institute: http://www.mises.org/story/3536. Yet the medieval phobia possessed by the American public and by Congress of nuclear power prevent the fulfillment of its potential.

    I'm responding to three comments on this blog:

    1. Thank you, mulp, for your excellent suggestions for appropriate actions. I like you ideas for banners on the Detroit Reneaissance Center and a blockade and banner at mountaintop removal sites.

    2. Many thanks to Paul Exteberri for bringing this to light the American Indian claim to 'Mount Rushmore'. I was surprised when I heard that one could "trespass" on Mount Rushmore. I thought it was public land.

    3. Michael Maxa wrote:

    "this is what FDR said in his '36 nomination speech:
    'Concentration of power in all embracing corporations . . . represents private enterprise become a kind of private goverment which is a power unto itself--a regimentation of other people's money and other people's lives'"

    Yes. Isn't it time we call our Plutocracy a Plutocracy?

    It's a criminal ACT to pretend that the country is too broke NOW to build solar arrays in Death Valley and other places.

    When it's 130 in the shade and you can use the sun that's heating it up to 130 to cool your dwelling, it's a criminal ACT to prevent people from even KNOWING that basic fact of their survival, isn't it?

    We have a lot of work to do with the electrical infrastructure.

    How much insurance companies can grub off of sickness is also criminal behaviour and is preventing progress - NOT the other way around as they are selling it - that "business" can't succeed unless they dump "health" costs. I'm losing patience with the stupidity of these pre-fab conversations in cosmic cookoo circular thinking - anyone else?

    Build it ALL - depending on the natural energy available in your area of the USA - wind, solar, natural gas. We will all be plugging into the same distribution grid, so the factory(s) who are going to make the common plug should be up and running already...no? If you don't have the "plans" - they might be in Jimmy Carter's Presidential Library :-)

    I can't believe that Mary Sweeters and Erich Pica don't get it. Not once in the discussion did they mention the most important thing for the nation: jobs. Obama knows that jobs are critical, and Obama knows that sustainable energy is key to job growth.

    Rather than the stunt on Rushmore, they should have put banners on the Detroit Renaissance Center calling for transforming Detroit into Wind City where the machines to power America are built.

    Or a blockade of a mountain top removal operation with a huge kite banner calling for the increased long term employment from building wind farms on the mountain tops instead of destroying and flattening them.

    For a quarter century the US has effectively been exporting jobs with every barrel of oil imported, and every ton of low grade coal mined.

    The conservatives have argued that cheap imported energy, cheap energy replacing human labor, cheap borrowed money, and slashing jobs to increase profits in the US is the road to prosperity. They have hammered this message over and over so that those whose jobs are most at risk are fearful of high energy costs because they have been told that high energy costs will cost them their jobs.

    You can't counter the fear mongering that environmental action will kill jobs by the vague claim that failure to act will lead to bad things after half the adults are dead, when they fear they will be unemployed for the rest of their lives.

    The election of Reagan cost millions of Americans great manufacturing jobs, cost the nation its leadership in energy, and led to 911. But bygones - we can't change the past.

    But what Jimmy Carter said three decades ago still holds, but we are past the point of seeing the need for a change in direction, and even beyond knowing what that new direction is, so what is needed now is a focus on the jobs that need to be created to move us into a sustainable energy future.

    Sustainability is dictated by the trifecta of limits: the limits of the supply of fossil fuels, the limits of the environment to handle the pollution, and the limits of power to keep the nation out of the wars needed to supply the world with cheap oil.

    But instead of the solution to these three problems being painful, the solution is to create millions of great jobs in sustainability.

    If every other sentence isn't about jobs, then you just don't get the economics of sustainability.

    Mary and Erich apparently don't understand the sustainability problem.

    We human beings need to take global warming very seriously. If we are not careful Mother Nature will demonstrate who is really in charge and all our "progress" will be material of the next dominant life form's archeologists. I wish Bill Moyers and/or his Greenpeace guests had mentioned 350.net.

    What is politically possible is not enough because the US is not a democracy but a fascist dollarocracy that has put us in this mess in the first place. "You can't solve a problem with the same mind set that created it. - Einstein."

    NGOs like Greenpeace need to expend at least 50% of their resources on democracising the political institutions of the world. Money trumps the people every day, and until the playing field is made more level there can be no real solution to global warming. Question is, will Mother Nature - Gaia - wait that long?

    One more thing I wish Bill Moyers and/or his Greenpeace guests had mentioned:
    Mount Rushmore sits on land that belongs to the Lakota by terms of an "international" treaty between the Lakota and the US which the Supreme Court has ruled is legally binding. I'm sure the next time Greenpeace wants to climb on Mount Rushmore the Lakota will give them permission in writing.

    Last week, boys and girls, we learned that we're not going to get meaningful
    healthcare, because the Health Industry is too powerful. But, of course, we
    already knew that. This week we learn, it's the industries that stand to lose
    money with a strong, emissions bill that are running the show. But we knew that
    too.

    Last week I wrote in and wondered "how long can this go on?" I can't imagine
    that it will go on indefinitely. Although we good people have been hashing and
    pointing out for a long time, I am getting tired of it: nothing changes. And I guess
    I am getting tired of listening to all the getting-us-nowhere-really discussion and
    counter-debate. I'm sorry, but I'm getting cynical in my advancin' years.

    But as I said, "This can't go on indefinitely." And I speculated what will eventually
    happen to bring change: that a sufficient number of young people, of the next
    generation, will get really angry when they finally realize how badly their
    antecedents, the previous leaders who were supposed to think about the future,
    have screwed them. It probably won't be as nice as that revolt of the 60s,
    unfortunately, but these are different times.

    By the way, this is what FDR said in his '36 nomination speech:
    "Concentration of power in all embracing corporations . . . represents private
    enterprise become a kind of private goverment which is a power unto itself--a
    regimentation of other people's money and other people's lives"

    Guess corporations weren't as powerful then as they are now.

    I was very disappointed that Mary Sweeters justified her civil disobedience in a comparison of her cause to that of Gadhi and the Indian nation who were fighting for basic human rights and freedom. The two causes are not same. The Indians did not live in a democratic society, Mary does and she did not respect the community around her with a lawful protest. I am disappointed that Bill Moyers did not point out her disrepectful act.

    The problem is: Will the tyrannical fossil fuel companies allow us to use clean energy.

    The only solution is to let these corporate masters be in charge.

    We would have to manufacture and install photovoltaic panels for every roof top in america. A decent home array is about the same cost as a car, so this can be done.

    The effort would be as dramatic as the build up to the 2nd world war. One last blast of consumerism.

    May be we won't be driving the huge cars of the past, but there are some nifty little electric cars that have alot of zip.

    AS soon as my Honda breaks down I am getting a very groovy Gem car, put out by Daemler Chrysler. It negotiates the San Francisco hills with ease.

    I won't mind buying solar panels from a former coal company. They will be a better product than "Clean coal"

    Remember: Once the solar panels are up, there is not much maintenance required. Just hose them once in a while.

    They usually have a 25 year guarantee. Is that an investment for our future or what!

    The fossil fuel method is to dig dig into the ground or maybe the ocean and how long does that power last?
    for sure not as long as the panels.


    stop the sellouts. no carbon trading. see:
    http://www.carbontradewatch.org/durban/durbandec.html



    Durban Declaration


    To sign onto the Durban Declaration email info@fern.org

    English [PDF 28KB]
    Português [PDF 32KB]
    Castellano [PDF 33KB]
    Français [PDF 32KB]


    Climate Justice Now!
    The Durban Declaration on Carbon Trading

    As representatives of people’s movements and independent organisations, we reject the claim that carbon trading will halt the climate crisis. This crisis has been caused more than anything else by the mining of fossil fuels and the release of their carbon to the oceans, air, soil and living things. This excessive burning of fossil fuels is now jeopardising Earth’s ability to maintain a liveable climate.

    Governments, export credit agencies, corporations and international financial institutions continue to support and finance fossil fuel exploration, extraction and other activities that worsen global warming, such as forest degradation and destruction on a massive scale, while dedicating only token sums to renewable energy. It is particularly disturbing that the World Bank has recently defied the recommendation of its own Extractive Industries Review which calls for the phasing out of World Bank financing for coal, oil and gas extraction.

    We denounce the further delays in ending fossil fuel extraction that are being caused by corporate, government and United Nations’ attempts to construct a “carbon market”, including a market trading in “carbon sinks”.

    History has seen attempts to commodify land, food, labour, forests, water, genes and ideas. Carbon trading follows in the footsteps of this history and turns the earth’s carbon-cycling capacity into property to be bought or sold in a global market. Through this process of creating a new commodity – carbon - the Earth’s ability and capacity to support a climate conducive to life and human societies is now passing into the same corporate hands that are destroying the climate.

    People around the world need to be made aware of this commodification and privatization and actively intervene to ensure the protection of the Earth’s climate.

    Carbon trading will not contribute to achieving this protection of the Earth’s climate. It is a false solution which entrenches and magnifies social inequalities in many ways:

    • The carbon market creates transferable rights to dump carbon in the air, oceans, soil and vegetation far in excess of the capacity of these systems to hold it. Billions of dollars worth of these rights are to be awarded free of charge to the biggest corporate emitters of greenhouse gases in the electric power, iron and steel, cement, pulp and paper, and other sectors in industrialised nations who have caused the climate crisis and already exploit these systems the most. Costs of future reductions in fossil fuel use are likely to fall disproportionately on the public sector, communities, indigenous peoples and individual taxpayers.


    • The Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), as well as many private sector trading schemes, encourage industrialised countries and their corporations to finance or create cheap carbon dumps such as large-scale tree plantations in the South as a lucrative alternative to reducing emissions in the North. Other CDM projects, such as hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) -reduction schemes, focus on end-of pipe technologies and thus do nothing to reduce the impact of fossil fuel industries’ impacts on local communities. In addition, these projects dwarf the tiny volume of renewable energy projects which constitute the CDM’s sustainable development window-dressing.

    • Impacts from fossil-fuel industries and other greenhouse-gas producing industries such as displacement, pollution, or climate change, are already disproportionately felt by small island states, coastal peoples, indigenous peoples, local communities, fisherfolk, women, youth, poor people, elderly and marginalized communities. CDM projects intensify these impacts in several ways. First, they sanction continued exploration for, and extraction, refining and burning of fossil fuels. Second, by providing finance for private sector projects such as industrial tree plantations, they appropriate land, water and air already supporting the lives and livelihoods of local communities for new carbon dumps for Northern industries.

    • The refusal to phase out the use of coal, oil and gas, which is further entrenched by carbon trading, is also causing more and more military conflicts around the world, magnifying social and environmental injustice. This in turn diverts vast resources to military budgets which could otherwise be utilized to support economies based on renewable energies and energy efficiency.

    In addition to these injustices, the internal weaknesses and contradictions of carbon trading are in fact likely to make global warming worse rather than “mitigate” it. CDM projects, for instance, cannot be verified to be “neutralizing” any given quantity of fossil fuel extraction and burning. Their claim to be able to do so is increasingly dangerous because it creates the illusion that consumption and production patterns, particularly in the North, can be maintained without harming the climate.

    In addition, because of the verification problem, as well as a lack of credible regulation, no one in the CDM market is likely to be sure what they are buying. Without a viable commodity to trade, the CDM market and similar private sector trading schemes are a total waste of time when the world has a critical climate crisis to address.

    In an absurd contradiction the World Bank facilitates these false, market-based approaches to climate change through its Prototype Carbon Fund, the BioCarbon Fund and the Community Development Carbon Fund at the same time it is promoting, on a far greater scale, the continued exploration for, and extraction and burning of fossil fuels – many of which are to ensure increased emissions of the North.

    In conclusion, ‘giving carbon a price’ will not prove to be any more effective, democratic, or conducive to human welfare, than giving genes, forests, biodiversity or clean rivers a price.

    We reaffirm that drastic reductions in emissions from fossil fuel use are a pre-requisite if we are to avert the climate crisis. We affirm our responsibility to coming generations to seek real solutions that are viable and truly sustainable and that do not sacrifice marginalized communities.

    We therefore commit ourselves to help build a global grassroots movement for climate justice, mobilize communities around the world and pledge our solidarity with people opposing carbon trading on the ground.

    Signed 10 October 2004
    Glenmore Centre, Durban, South Africa

    The worthlessness of the climate bill that's making its way through DC is captured in an old saying: "You can’t jump a 20-foot chasm in two 10-foot leaps."

    Thank you for having Mary Sweeters and Erich Pica on the show. While I sometimes disagree with the tactics of groups like Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, I am behind this protest. Obama has not led on this issue as he promised. And this is too important for political games.

    It's very disturbing that all of our Government actions to date to address the economy and the environment have thrown obscene amounts of money at the perpetrators. First we rewarded the greedy investors with bail outs and now we're about to do the same thing with all the smoke stake industries. Even the "cash for clunkers" bill gives up to $4500 to the very people who have been irresponsible with gas guzzlers all these years. They should be taxed. The people driving fuel efficient cars should get the break. It's crazy.

    I can see where this is going. Watch the health care reform. We'll end up subsidizing private health care companies to cover the high risk people and the poor, and they'll still charge us more and make their fat profits. Private enterprise wins again!

    While listening to Erich Pica articulate his complaints with Obama's legislation I couldn't help thinking that the problem with using Wall Street to champion cap and trade is that, of course, money talks... And who will talk louder on Wall Street, a government sponsored environmental initiative or the powerful and well established oil, coal and other energy industries which obviously experience environmental protections as a serious threat to profits?

    Sort of like leaving the fox to guard the hen house.

    Richard Hunsader wrote - "Somehow it is hard to get excited about global warming when I sit here with the furnace on in July to keep warm."

    In fact, the unseasonable cold temperatures could be a symptom of climate change.

    What scientist are saying is that our climate systems will become increasingly unstable. While Richard may be able to turn on his furnace or someone else their air conditioning where its 117 degrees, the biological systems that sustain life can't adapt so easily.

    Where I live, temperatures in late spring and early summer have been unusually erratic - in one period bouncing from the 70's to 100 in one day.

    While I adapted, my vegetable garden suffers. For example, extreme temperatures affect fruit set and development. Certain climatic conditions are more conducive to spread of plant diseases and pests, which makes growing food more problematic.

    I'd like to examine Feldstein's quote. He's quite right to say that climate change cannot be solved without a global effort. However, he's wrong to conclude that initial efforts on our part have no value in the absence of commitments from other countries.

    Our efforts buy us time and allow us to figure out how we can run an economy without fossil fuels. This will be necessary eventually (after all, fossil fuels will run out), so the countries that figure it out first will be at an advantage.

    Short term pain, long term gain. In the meantime we will enjoy less air pollution if we make fossil fuels more expensive through a cap-and-trade or carbon tax system.

    Isn't that a benefit? Or do you like pollution?

    For those of you that do not quite understand why this “global warming” is such a big deal.

    Let there me no misunderstanding, we are in the beginning of global warming. The world’s scientific community is as one on that. There may be questions as to why or can humans do anything about it but there is no question about global warming.

    As the world’s scientific community studies the global warming situation, the quantity and quality of the data they have been able to accumulate has grown exponentially. This improvement in data has allowed for the development of models to project environmental effects due to this atmospheric warming.

    The models they are using today are generating projections that produce reactions of fear, anxiety, and down right horror in the scientific community. It is interesting to note that this alarm has not percolated into the public sector.

    Just one example of that concern:

    If the Antarctic melted, worldwide sea level would rise 60 meters. Let us say that only 10% melted and then the Antarctic reached a freeze/melt balance. Worldwide sea level would rise 6 meters. We know that this ice is melting as you read this. The melt is accelerating. The mechanism of that acceleration is under study.

    A 6-meter rise in worldwide sea level over a 20-year period would reduce worldwide human civilization to hunter-gatherer level. “All” coastal cities and coastal land would be underwater. The billions migrating inland would be unsustainable. The eventual famine, plague pandemics, genocide would eventually result in cannibalism.

    The weather pattern changes due to atmospheric heating would be impacting agriculture at the same time the seas are rising. They are rising as you read this.

    Sweeters and Pica gave us good advice: stop increasing man-made risk to our climate NOW!

    Moyers and his audience (like me) agree--but wonder if damage to the economy risks greater harm to civilization than reducing risk to the climate.

    I do not really wonder--I know a full-employment budget system would have money enough to reduce the risks to climate and improve the economy overnight.

    Moyers, Sweeters and Pica ought to pay attention to our budget and supply and demand systems.

    If these were better understood, we would budget for higher demand, supply, wages, profits, and money in circulation and in inflation protected savings accounts.

    We would also budget for more affordable prices for human and environmental necessities.

    The mother of all problems, the one Bill Moyers must address more often, is "money enough to pay for making the right decisions at the top": (1) swap equity for debt, (2) create significant amounts of debt and tax-free sovereign money, (3) strengthen collective bargaining, (4) simplify law and overhead constraints on green supply of wants to win the hearts and minds of the voters.

    Our neighbors in the coal mining communities of Kentucky and West Virginia are suffering horribly from mountaintop removal mining, blowing up and poisoning their ecosystems - and their 'representatives' do nothing to help - nothing.

    This is a prime example of how our 'representatives' in D.C. are carrying out their duty as public servants, for which we pay their salaries, health care benefits, and retirement income. To me, this epitomizes what we're up against. We are not being represented.

    To all those who supported Obama in the primaries and were so hopeful when he was elected, all I can say is you should have read his website carefully during his campaign. The fact is that Dennis Kucinich was the only presidential candidate who championed real energy and health care reform. I've been called a "policy wonk" but I'm more concerned with the specifics of what a candidate proposes to do than words like "hope" or "change". So, when Dennis Kucinich lays out an intelligent account of why this House energy bill is unacceptable, we should learn from it and act on it. Thank you, Marshalldoc, for laying out Kucinich's concerns on this blog.

    According to an NPR report:

    (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103358189

    President Obama committed $60 billion from the federal government's $800 billion stimulus package to invest in clean energy and research for environmentally friendly technologies. Clearly that is way better than anything Bush did. But I’m still curious to know how many billions in energy subsidies (federal tax dollars) continue to flow to the coal, oil and nuclear industries in comparison to that amount.

    A few weeks ago, the EPA held hearings on its finding of CO2 as a pollutant endangering the planet by causing global warming. Now we hear that the EPA's power to deal with greenhouse gases is being taken away in this House energy bill. That should be sending off alarm bells in us. The EPA was castrated under the Bush administration and it seems that's happening again. We need to support the EPA so that it can work for us the way it was meant to.

    Is there any moral/ethical center in the congress or the industries that routinely purchase the votes of so many of our 'representatives', both republican and democrat?

    Please read James Hansen's article in the New Yorker:

    http://thingsbreak.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/hansennewyorker.pdf

    According to Hansen, and many others working for years on the climate change issue, we have maybe four years left to turn around the global warming trend over the next 100 years. After that it will be too late.

    We have wasted so much time already, making excuses for why we can’t afford to save people and the planet, and arguing with well-respected climate scientists like those of the IPCC. I don’t believe we can afford to compromise now to this degree. We could have a compromise bill if we had more time to improve it over time. But we don't have the luxury of time anymore. And people are already suffering in the U.S. and around the world from the effects of climate change.

    Here’s my big question: Why? Why do we have to fight so hard to get our 'representatives' to do what is right to protect our lives and those of people around the world affected by our practices? It is a moral, spiritual, ethical issue, and we need to address it now.

    As a society, and especially those of us with extreme access to power, we worship money over human life and all else. We have got to face that.

    Clearly, money talks. So, massive boycotts of these polluting industries and the other companies they own under a variety of different names and guises should be boycotted now.

    If sustainable renewable forms of energy are still too expensive for a lot of us, at least we can start with improving our energy efficiency, and perhaps within our communities we can collectively afford to purchase solar panels, etc. I'm very interested to watch how "Concentrating Solar Power" and wind power storage and transmission technologies continue to improve. A lot of people in the U.S. are already generating their own energy. Let’s see how each of us can do that, buy locally to discourage huge carbon footprint of products

    Call GE and tell them you want CFL’s manufactured in the U.S., not in China. What is the carbon footprint involved in shipping all our CFL bulbs from China? Not to mention the Americans who have lost their jobs as a result of those jobs going overseas.

    If our 'representatives' aren't representing us, vote them out. Right now we are paying for them NOT to represent us – let’s not forget that.

    About Global health care:

    I believe mary sweeters and the other kid.

    America should take the lead and not let lobbysists and mobsters rule the legisture. If not, it would be the same old White House that Bush ruled from.

    Professor Feldstein's comments that the legislation is "all cost," misses important points. Changing policy to be more environmentally friendly cannot be based on the idea of waiting for everyone else to agree to do it too. It is about doing our part to ensure the sustainable future for the next generation. If anything, we should jump at the chance to make technological advances, which would give the U.S. an advantage over other growing countries. Fossil fuels made America a super power in the 20th century, but now its time for green technology to make America a 21st century super power, and a leader, not a follower in terms of technological advance. If big corporations do not like it, tough luck, it's my planet too.

    Professor Feldstein's comments that the legislation is "all cost," misses important points. Changing policy to be more environmentally friendly cannot be based on the idea of waiting for everyone else to agree to do it too. It is about doing our part to ensure the sustainable future for the next generation. If anything, we should jump at the chance to make technological advances, which would give the U.S. an advantage over other growing countries. Fossil fuels made America a super power in the 20th century, but now its time for green technology to make America a 21st century super power, and a leader, not a follower in terms of technological advance. If big corporations do not like it, to bad, it's my planet too.

    President Obama is turning out to be very close to Mr Bush with regard to climate change. This Waxman-Markey Climate change bill is a disgrace to all who really understand the issues at hand. Coal, a major contributor to climate change is supported and enhanced , Wall Street who has destroyed our economy and housing market is given the leading role of controlling these carbon trading initiatives. It seems President Obama like Bush and Clinton before him is totally controlled by the moneyed interest in this country Wall Street and the Money Cartel better known as the Federal Reserve Bank. Look at who is top in his administration. Geithner and Rubin. These two have done much to destroy our Auto Industry our Housing Market and now are given overall authority with this bill to control Climate Change. I voted for Obama but cannot help but see that all fundamental critical economic decisions are being handed freely to Wall Street and the Federal Reserve Bank which is a private corporation owned and controlled by many of the major Wall Street firms !
    Al Gore owns a carbon-trading company and I imagine stands to earn millions when Waxman-Markey bill becomes a reality. So much for his idealism. It bogels ones reason how anyone so conscious of this Global Warming, as Mr Gore is, could possibly support this Bill.

    bill,

    you needed to press them on the critical question--if waxman-markey isn't passed, then what?? nothing this year; nothing next year; if we lose seats in the midterm elections (as almost always happens), nothing in 2011 or 2012; and so we won't get any legislation until 2013 at the earliest. is this what your guests want??

    a further question: if they could offer a bill for a vote on the house floor, what bill would it be?? and how many votes would it get??

    Bill,
    Atmosphere- 78percent notrogen, 21percent oxygen, .09 percent argon, leaving one tenth of one percent of several other gases of which carbon cioxide is .03 percent. Man has contributed each year .43 percent of the total .03 percent carbon dioxide in earth's atmosphere. Please have someone do the math.

    I can not believe that carbon dioxide has anything to do with climate. I firmly believe that man can not tame Mother nature's c02. Man can not keep the wind from blowing or the Sun from shining!!

    I would like to hear the Facts (not political facts). I would enjoy hearing a factual discussion on c02.

    Rotarily, Jim Jones

    Is it the truth.
    Is it fair to ALL concerned

    Somehow it is hard to get excited about global warming when I sit here with the furnace on in July to keep warm.

    Let's get real about renewable energy...

    Recently the cornucopians are putting their hopes in keeping the jets flying on algae oil?

    Well, who knows??

    I am not like the atheists that claim they know everything under the sun...I am just a lowly agnostic that in the end does not know.

    But the cornucopians still have a way to go with algae powered jets. When the cornucopians can pave roads and make roofing shingles out of corn instead of asphalt and make tires out of sewage sludge instead of crude - maybe their time will have arrived.

    Whether one is an intellectual, cornucopian or survivalist, they all have to live in the future to some extent with their thoughts.

    The difference between a survivalist and the other two is this.

    The intellectuals can keep their mind fixated on the future and fantasy as long as they want. They have no reckoning in the present. Their currency of trade is in 'thought' and not in practical application.

    The survivalist on the other hand must come back to the present to prepare for and implement via 'practical application' what his future needs will be. As futurists we try to anticipate future events and the direction the
    world is headed in and as survivalists we try to prepare for those circumstances.

    Yes, renewables are our future.

    But, renewables are not a seamless and fungible replicant for fossil fuels.

    Renewables do not replace the petrochemical uses of crude oil.

    Renewables do not replace the specialized uses of natural gas in industry or food production.

    Renewables will be our future by design and not by desire.

    But they are the default choice for our future power needs as ALL fossil fuels and nuclear energy source will be depleted in the not so distant future.

    The more realistic we are with our evaluation of the conversion to renewable energy, the less deaths will occur from fantasizing about the improbable future that the intellectuals, cornucopians and political spin doctors have dreamed up.


    Assuming global warming is real...why don't we do anything about global warming...because we can't.

    To do anything substantive would cause a financial and population backlash of unimaginable proportions.

    And what we could do, even with drastic measures, would not cure global warming but only slow things down.

    I'm sorry for the polar bears and the penguins, but this is how mankind operates by living outside of natures intended means. All our actions have consequences, and many of our actions produce consequences that end up destroying peace. They destroy our peace as well as the inner peace of others.

    In addition, there is no one global entity to control all the green house gas emitters. China and India (CHINDIA) plan on adding more dirty coal burning electric plants to feed their burgeoning economies.

    We can't start wars over green house gas like we do oil...even then we would have to go to war right here at home before we point fingers at other countries.

    The two dreamers interviewed last night must live in a dream world. They look at this subject with tunnel vision, thinking that we can do a 180 and keep the newer, perfectly green 'america' as 'America.'

    Sustainability...lets be honest, we only pay it lip service.

    We talk of living in a sustainable world, yet our actions betray our true feelings. All we have to do is to look at the stock market to see what happens when growth declines even a little.

    Even if a company yields stable earning, but does not grow its earnings it is looked down upon. Stability and balance is part of a sustainable footprint, yet we shun such balance.

    A good book that discusses concepts of sustainability is: 'Peak Everything' by Richard Heinberg

    America is built on debt and spending.

    70% of our 'economic heath,' better termed as 'economic sickness' is based on consumer spending. When the consumer can't compulsively spend any longer our economy collapses...we are not a healthy country.

    With one breath we talk about cutting global warming and how we have to cut our dependence of fossil fuel.

    Then with the next breath we demand no cut backs in our standard of living, we must spend and consume above all else...build more, build faster, build bigger.

    The GDP must only go up, up and away...all the while this consumption just increases global warming and keeps depleting the fossil fuels faster and faster.

    Sick...sick..sick mentality, buy more cars, build more houses and monstrosities of architecture, spend more but 'cut back' to save our dear fossil fuels. For all practical purpose we will be out of crude oil and natural gas in 2 or 3 decades and possible much sooner.

    If it comes to the government and military having a supply of gas or the avenge citizen you know who is going to be first on the list. Yet we are sucking down these non renewable as fast as they can be pumped out of the ground.

    And leading the pack of over consumers is the USA.

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_oil_con-energy-oil-consumption

    Consumption is ingrained in us and we know no other way. And even if we wished to amend our ways, how could all our retirement funds take the hit?

    We have the tiger by the tail and cannot let go...but our grip is getting tired and all hell is going to break loose soon.

    Our world population has grown to levels where it has passed the point of no return for supporting a sustainable human population as we know it today when it comes to their energy demands.

    And what does all that consumerism lead to?

    It leads to the mess we are in now and the bigger mess the world will be in once India and China pick up momentum to copycat the envious lifestyle that they have held in high esteem as the 'American Dream'

    The problem is not with the earth having enough land for all its people - the problem is with earth providing ad infinitum for all the needs the people crave.

    The more people born, the more heat is produced from their life and all their cravings, As such, the warmer and more polluted the earth gets and the more energy they all use and the earths resources are depleted.

    Our economy is not based on sustainable health - it is based low interest credit to encourage compulsive spending, debt and living a life of constant consumption with a 'disposable mentality' when it comes to durable goods.

    All this consumption to artificially fuel our economy to make our retirement funds only go up contributes to more and more global warming and the depletion of our natural resources.

    Then the governments juggle the numbers to make the inflation figures seem artificially low, so everyone's retirement portfolio will make them happy so they will continue to buy and consume more...and on it goes....IT IS ALL WE KNOW and the bill is coming due soon!

    Bill:

    Wish I could contribute intelligently to the dialogue here on an issue I am most sensitive about but unfortunately last night in Philadelphia, your show was not aired. When I went to my alternative PBS station, you were setting the table for your guests when your show switched over to another program. Not sure if this was technical or deliberate, but if we are going to solve Global Warming, building awareness is key! Missing out on last night's program did not help matters. Time to watch your video.

    Jim Matorin

    Paul Krugman demolishes Martin Feldstein's arguments as bogus on his blog; maybe Mr. Feldstein is trying to get back in Republican's good graces after supporting the stimulus bill.

    While we debate--yet again
    --the merits or absence thereof of the Waxman-Markey Bill, the politically-shielded power grid industries and their friends can afford to be patient.

    The debate is an extremely effective distraction from their work and mission: how to continue to build intensely consumptive markets both here and around the world. With remarkable efficiency, small cities are becoming large ones. Large ones are becoming metro- regions, competing with the states which can barely hold them.

    Like urbanized wind-up toys, their moving parts are fed by what has always fed them: growth and development and more growth and development at the expense of clean air, the environment and our quality of life; only now the process has been accelerated, fueled by debates that conveniently ignore the culture of growth and the not-so passive political practices of creating yet another generation of social marginalism: poverty and subsistence labor.

    Whatever the outcome of the Waxman-Markey Bill, the game of growth at any cost will continue literally unchallenged. But aren't the wind-up metro toys fun to watch?

    To those like Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace:

    I agree that Waxman-Markey (HR 2454) is not the optimum bill, but neither Waxman or Markey are dilettantes. Each compromise was the best deal they thought they could get for the strongest bill possible; the successful legislative history of Rep. Waxman in the House is not to be trivialized.

    I suspect that you have made up your mind but I hope you take a relook at Cap & Trade (see the Pew webpage linked above and especially Robert Stavins' blog at: http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/analysis/stavins/?p=108).

    I am hoping that you will understand that C&T allows each sector that has conditions that would be hurt differently or harder than another to get relief and make the burden equal across a lot of interests. The C&T guarantees the amount of CO2 reduction by decree (the possible exception being the allowed offsets, but they are relatively small and will be policed); a carbon tax might put the country in the ballpark, but without constant adjusting following measurements of CO2 output, will not be nearly as close. If you think a carbon tax could be passed without even greater complexity, and this complexity would probably make the bill unenforceable, you live in an alternate universe, not just a different galaxy.

    This bill does not have to be perfect to put the country on the correct path; as the warming earth and its negative consequences become more obvious over the next five to ten years there will be a lot more support for strengthening it, but if the process is not started NOW, the earth will be past a tipping point before the necessary response can be implemented. Americans need to SEE that the response is NOT devastating financially but that it CAN prevent climate devastation.

    Also, business thinks the allowances will be more expensive than they will be, so they work to lower the output by MORE than necessary and CO2 is reduced faster than planned; this has happened on the C & T reductions of other pollutants.

    Each day, EACH DAY!, Senators on the edge of supporting a clean energy bill are receiving 100 to 200 calls from "supposed constituents" declaiming against any climate bill and virtually NO calls in favor -- how would you vote if you took those calls at face value?

    This bill or its strengthened/weakened version is the only shot at this for four or eight years -- there will NOT be a redo next year (an election year). Think of the Clinton healthcare bill; fourteen (14) years later we are finally trying again. In fourteen years the required change will be so much greater with smaller benefit that the world may give up. Do YOU want to be responsible for that? Do YOU want to be the Ralph Nader of Global Warming?

    Bill,
    Thank you for your program. Climate change is the most important issue that should be front and center of every politician and person interested in living.

    With Walter Cronkite's death, please remember him on your next show. I am also requesting for you to talk about how the news media has changed since Walter was forced into retirement and was is being done to reduce corporate media entertainment so Americans can start receiving investigative news again.


    Bill,

    Thank you for your program on climate change and the environmental activists who are disappointed with Congress and Obama. I have followed Obama and Congress very carefully on the climate change legislation and I agree with your guests in their assessment of the problem and what needs to be done.

    Obama and the Democrats actively courted youthful, college age environmentalists by inviting them to come to Washington, D.C. before the election by enjoining them in climate change activities and seminars. What the Democrats wanted was the youth and environmental movement vote. What youth and the environmentalists received is betrayal and dishonesty on the most important issue of our lifetime.

    I am so sick of Washington, D.C. politics and disgusted of how much damage these elitist politicians have done to our country and to the world. Corporate lobbyists have taken over our country. It is my understanding that 40% of Americans are now registered as Independents. Hopefully, more will join the ranks so we can vote all incumbents out of office each and every time they seek re-election.

    As a side note, ExxonMobil and Shell Oil are still continuing to fund a marketing campaign for confusing the public about climate change. Greenpeace has received documents that would be helpful to go on your website for the doubters about global warming.

    Please continue to follow the climate change bill as it moves forward. Your voice is needed and appreciated on this very important topic.

    Thank you, again, Bill.

    Yeah right, Christiaan. Very clever. Some people will say anything for their brownies. :oP

    "Although the NRDC and groups like Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace disagree about the Waxman-Markey climate bill, they agree that the United States should forge ahead in passing federal policy to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases." After years of Exxon and republican propaganda denying climate change, half of the population does not believe in climate change. It should be the job of environmental organizations to persuade the population that climate change is real to help the administration pass the climate change bill. We don't need complainers, we need action. If you cannot educate the population, you cannot change the politicians.

    Some people change when they see the light, others when they feel the heat.
    --Caroline Schoeder

    For those who claim to be Christians; "caretaker of earth" should be their prime responsibility according to the Bible.
    For those who understand that having sufficient oxygen in the air to support life should be an obvious reason to support clean air as a first priority.

    By choosing two people from Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace you seriously misled your audience. They do not understand the science, the law, or the politics of solving the climate change problem. The current bill before Congress is the first, and last chance to solve this problem, and if we lose it, there will be no later opportunity. They have made the phantom perfect bill the enemy of a good bill.
    You should interview the scientists and economists of Environmental Defense Fund, which has the longest and most successful experience with this issue. It was EDF that got the remarkable cap-and-trade system into the Clean Air Act of 1990 to fight sulfur dioxide emissions. Why not interview the smartest and most experienced people in the field?

    fully and hurriedly,
    It is 112% in Las Vegas and rising in some spots tomorrow it will be 117% that is ten% above the norm... and this is only the beginning of summer.

    The "moral axis of the universe"? My, uh god!
    He uses an expression like that now? The immediate
    thing that comes to mind is
    the moral axis of evil.
    If you enter into a simple understanding
    of religion as the
    Urform of politics, you can see that it is from the outset a utilitarian
    construct, not a moral construct.

    When a leading climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen, calls Waxman-Markey a "counterfeit climate bill" - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-james-hansen/g-8-failure-reflects-us-f_b_228597.html - I think we need to listen and demand more of congress and the president.

    Thank you for the excellent interview and please do more on climate change and other environmental issues.

    Legalizing cannabis would be a huge step forward in ending global warming. yes, thats right cannabis. Cannabis per acre, releases more oxygen into the air than its equal in trees, is completely renewable, conditions the soil without the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides, and is a natural alternative to petroleum in as a source of fuel. In fact it could bring energy independence to a nation under the vice like grip of foreign oil! Lets put people to work, keep people out of prison save the economy and pay for healthcare with the proceeds!

    Its going to happen eventually, as people become educated and free of 70 years of propoganda...why not now!

    I have been watching tonight's interview with Robert Wright.

    Bill, you have got to read "Reinventing the Sacred" by Stuart Kauffman.

    Stuart is an Important scientist who has spent a lifetime exploring the ways that incredibly complex -- even chaotic -- systems tend to be self-organizing. This has led him ultimately to wrestle with the question of what Wright called "the moral axis of the Universe."

    A surprising number of his scientist friends seem to regard Stuart as a traitor. Religious leaders from the Vatican to the Harvard Divinity School have been far more receptive.

    I will warn you, Stuart's writing can be pretty dense. Not a quick, light read -- but a really stimulating one.

    We must organize a march on DC since those in power have lost their reverence for life: manipulating climate change and health care legislation to suit their own pocket books! I am amazed that Americans are allowing our Earth and its citizens to crumble in the hands of a few hucksters. And I am deeply saddened to realize how low we have sunk as a species--almost ready for extinction it seems. And regarding Mr. Wright, I wasn't able to view my TV--problems with my converter box but think there's a true God who's minding the store from an infinite, invisible field that wraps within and around us all. God is not a mere idea of the mind! Ridiculous notion--God is everything that is.

    I have an old TV with a new converter box so I couldn't really watch the show this evening and was hoping the video would already be posted on the sight. But I did see many of your comments and think we are getting closer to the point where Americans must truly march on DC since the elites are denying us our basic rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," by manipulating climate change and health care policies to their advantage--they all are too sociopathic and must be stopped. I never thought I would live to see the day when so many have such a lack of reverence for life, and are unwilling to change! God help us--not Wright's God but the invisible force that runs the universe!

    I've made this argument a few times myself, and I think that the problem is due the influence of the Clintonians who seem united in feeling that something is better than nothing, and old-fashioned logrolling is the way to do it, but they also seem oblivious to the loopholes being created. You might liken them to the Republicans who were determined to finish the Gulf War when they returned to power.

    First off, addressing the second part of the show, "The Evolution of God"; Mr. Wright is a prime example of the verse,"Professing themselves to be wise, they become fools." Anyone who hasn't met God personally at least once, should refrain from writing books on the subject.
    I agree that one doesn't have to be a "believer" to be a moral person. I will even agree that being a morally good person may hold one in better stead than confessing the name of Jesus, as Jesus himself said. I do applaud Mr. Wright's experience through meditation. Meditation is one of the lost aspects of "Christianity" and is a genuinely valid means of reaching out toward a genuine experience with Him. But to assert that God is just an idea create by man is an insanely pompous assertion. That heinous things have been done in God's name by wicked people is a well known fact. I can yell "Honk" in a garage but that doesn't make me a truck.
    I suggest that Mr. Wright stop writing books and get to know that God that he might have sensed during his meditation, the one that made us. Then he could write a useful book I would look forward to reading.

    On the matter of climate, until the Illuminati Satanic Cult that runs the U.S. Monetary system is overthrown, our Congress and "elected leaders" will do their bidding which is ultimately Satan's bidding, to destroy mankind as a means of attacking the God Mr. Wright doesn't really know. If they can't destroy us, they will settle for enslaving us for their wicked pleasure. Their actions and maintenance of misery and suffering around the world are more than adequate proof of the truth of what I say.

    Tonight's program was apparently shut out of the Philadelphia metro market! Channel 12 WHYY Philadelphia listed it in programming schedule and then pulled it for some local public affairs programming. Channel 39 WLVT started to broadcast the program and then shut it off after about 5 minutes and switched to same local "budget" roundtable, after the introduction but before the interviews began...very disappointing. Local editorial control? Any other markets experience same?

    Both the United Nations Agriculture Committee & the University of Chicago have concluded that animal agriculture causes more greenhouse gasses than all transportation. Our leaders should be urging citizens to cut down, or better yet stop, their use of animal products!

    Yes, Al Gore supports this. He also has a carbon permits trading firm. Pretty gross.

    Same goes for the corporate 'enviros' who are working alongside the worst polluting industry in USCAP. These should be exposed and shamed.

    The ACESA bill is too weak (and will only be made worse in the Senate) to accomplish its primary goal: Curb the accumulation of greenhouse gases and prevent catastrophic global warming.

    Rep. Dennis Kucinich lists the following faults:

    1. Overall targets are too weak. The bill is predicated on a target atmospheric concentration of 450 parts per million, a target that is arguably justified in the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but which is already out of date. Recent science suggests 350 parts per million is necessary to help us avoid the worst effects of global warming.

    2. The offsets undercut the emission reductions. Offsets allow polluters to keep polluting; they are rife with fraudulent claims of emissions reduction; they create environmental, social, and economic unintended adverse consequences; and they codify and endorse the idea that polluters do not have to make sacrifices to solve the problem.

    3. It kicks the can down the road. By requiring the bulk of the emissions to be carried out in the long term and requiring few reductions in the short term, we are not only failing to take the action when it is needed to address rapid global warming, but we are assuming the long term targets will remain intact.

    4. EPA’s authority to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the short- to medium-term is rescinded. It is our best defense against a new generation of coal power plants. There is no room for coal as a major energy source in a future with a stable climate.

    5. Nuclear power is given a lifeline instead of phasing it out. Nuclear power is far more expensive, has major safety issues including a near release in my own home state in 2002, and there is still no resolution to the waste problem. A recent study by Dr. Mark Cooper showed that it would cost $1.9 trillion to $4.1 trillion more over the life of 100 new nuclear reactors than to generate the same amount of electricity from energy efficiency and renewables.

    6. Dirty Coal is given a lifeline instead of phasing it out. Coal-based energy destroys entire mountains, kills and injures workers at higher rates than most other occupations, decimates ecologically sensitive wetlands and streams, creates ponds of ash that are so toxic the Department of Homeland Security will not disclose their locations for fear of their potential to become a terrorist weapon, and fouls the air and water with sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, particulates, mercury, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and thousands of other toxic compounds that cause asthma, birth defects, learning disabilities, and pulmonary and cardiac problems for starters. In contrast, several times more jobs are yielded by renewable energy investments than comparable coal investments.

    7. The $60 billion allocated for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) is triple the amount of money for basic research and development in the bill. We should be pressuring China, India and Russia to slow and stop their power plants now instead of enabling their perpetuation. We cannot create that pressure while spending unprecedented amounts on a single technology that may or may not work. If it does not work on the necessary scale, we have then spent 10-20 years emitting more CO2, which we cannot afford to do. In addition, those who will profit from the technology will not be viable or able to stem any leaks from CCS facilities that may occur 50, 100, or 1000 years from now.

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

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

    10. The Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) is not an improvement. The 15% RES standard would be achieved even if we failed to act.

    11. Dirty energy options qualify as “renewable”: The bill allows polluting industries to qualify as “renewable energy.” Trash incinerators not only emit greenhouse gases, but also emit highly toxic substances. These plants disproportionately expose communities of color and low-income to the toxics. Biomass burners that allow the use of trees as a fuel source are also defined as “renewable.” Under the bill, neither source of greenhouse gas emissions is counted as contributing to global warming.

    12. It undermines our bargaining position in international negotiations in Copenhagen and beyond. As the biggest per capita polluter, we have a responsibility to take action that is disproportionately stronger than the actions of other countries. It is, in fact, the best way to preserve credibility in the international context.

    13. International assistance is much less than demanded by developing countries. Given the level of climate change that is already in the pipeline, we are going to need to devote major resources toward adaptation. Developing countries will need it the most, which is why they are calling for much more resources for adaptation and technology transfer than is allocated in this bill. This will also undercut our position in Copenhagen.

    We're better off trashing it and trying again when, hopefully, more of those who determine our legislation will be attuned to reality and not religious hokum or the blandishments of vested interests who give not a whit about global warming, only how to turn a buck on it.

    It's important to understand that, once done, our government isn't going to 'revisit' the issue to make corrections for a very long time... too long as far as CO2 accumulation is concerned.

    As far as other nation's responses... that's their business but they'll certainly not follow if we don't lead and, currently, our position is a laughingstock!

    Feldstein is absolutely right. It feels good to talk about being anti global warming, but the sad truth is that whatever cuts America can feasibly make are basicaly worthless unless you can get the whole world to go along with you, which China, Russia, India etc have no real intention of doing. And that's talking about a bill that actually does what it says, not this big washington power grab filled with pork and corporate welfare. I completely oppose the waxman-marky bill because it hurts our economy and dumps money on special interests without really helping the environment. The real root of the problem is overpopulation but no one has courage to talk about that. Mr. Moyers why not have martin feldstein on your show?

    I support Waxman-Markey, despite its well-documented flaws, because it’s a good start; we’ll need to take further steps. We should be doing cap-and-dividend, with a cap that slowly ratchets down and returns most or all of the money to the citizens; that will create some effective market signals as to what actually emits greenhouse gases.

    Political feasibility comes from the citizens. Be sure to harangue your congresscritters and vote in your party’s primary elections; if enough of us do it, our voices will be louder than all the money the lobbyists can bring to bear.

    Post a comment

    THE MOYERS BLOG is our forum for viewers' comments intended for discussing and debating ideas and issues raised on BILL MOYERS JOURNAL. THE MOYERS BLOG invites you to share your thoughts. We are committed to keeping an open discussion; in order to preserve a civil, respectful dialogue, our editors reserve the right to remove or alter any comments that we find unacceptable, for any reason. For more information, please click here.

    THE MOYERS BLOG
    A Companion Blog to Bill Moyers Journal

    Your Comments

    Podcasts

    THE JOURNAL offers a free podcast and vodcast of all weekly episodes. (help)

    Click to subscribe in iTunes

    Subscribe with another reader

    Get the vodcast (help)

    For Educators    About the Series    Bill Moyers on PBS   

    © Public Affairs Television 2008    Privacy Policy    DVD/VHS    Terms of Use    FAQ