Opinion | The Republican Climate Closet – By Justin Gillis – The New York Times

Justin Gillis

By 

Mr. Gillis is a contributing opinion writer.

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A group of teenage protesters, demanding action on climate change, gathered in front of the White House in May.
CreditCreditEric Baradat/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“For a political party stocked with people who deny the seriousness of the climate crisis, the Republican Party does some curious things.

Did you know, for instance, that a Republican Congress put an explicit price on emissions of the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide? That was in early 2018. Companies can now get a tax credit from the United States government as high as $50 a ton for pumping carbon dioxide into the ground, instead of emitting it into the air.

For years, Congress has also subsidized the installation of low-emission sources of electricity like solar panels and wind turbines, a policy that has helped scale the market and drive their cost down drastically. More recently, it has offered tax incentives for the purchase of electric cars, and their costs are falling, too. Some of these policies were originally adopted when Congress was controlled by the Democrats, but the Republicans declined to kill them in the years when they held both houses.

A huge extension of the wind and solar tax breaks passed Congress in late 2015. Like most of these policies, it sailed through with votes from both parties and little public fighting.”

Opinion | A Prophet of Doom Was Right About the Climate – by Justin Gillis – The New York Times

“June 23 turned out be a blistering day in Washington, and much of the nation was suffering through a drought and heat wave. Dr. Hansen took his seat in a Capitol Hill hearing room and laid out the scientific facts as best he understood them.He had thought up a good line the night before, during the Yankees game, but in the moment he forgot to deliver it.

When the hearing ended, though, reporters surrounded him, and he remembered.  “It is time to stop waffling so much,” he said, “and say that the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here.”

His near certainty that human emissions were already altering the climate caught the attention of a sweltering nation, catapulting Dr. Hansen to overnight fame. That year, 1988, would go on to be the hottest in a global temperature record stretching back to the 19th century.With the perspective of three decades, it is fair to ask: How right was his forecast?”

. . . .

“So while his temperature forecast was not flawless, in a larger sense, Dr. Hansen’s 1988 warning has turned out to be entirely on target. As emissions have soared, the planet has warmed relentlessly, just as he said it would; 1988 is not even in the top 20 warmest years now. Every year of this century has been hotter.

The ocean is rising, as Dr. Hansen predicted, and the pace seems to be accelerating. The great ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are dumping ever-rising volumes of water into the sea. Coastal flooding is increasing rapidly in the United States. The Arctic Ocean ice cap has shrunk drastically.

If his warning in 1988 had been met with a national policy to reduce emissions, other countries might have followed, and the world would be in much better shape.  . . . . “

David Lindsay:  Thank you Justin Gillis. Here is one of my favorite comments at the NYT.com:

Steve
New Mexico 

Words don’t quite convey just how accurate Hansen’s predictions were. See
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/06/30-years-after-han…
for a graph comparing his three scenarios with what actually happened. How anyone can look at that graph and claim Hansen was “wrong” in his predictions, as several commenters here have already done, is beyond me. Science is not a matter of opinion. Human-caused climate change is as real and undeniable as gravity.

 

 

Opinion | To Make Headway on Climate Change- Let’s Change the Subject – The New York Times

“. . . .  As the economic case for renewables grows more compelling, the issue becomes how much faster we can go in cleaning up the grid. The tactical goal for Democrats is not to get Republicans to admit they have been wrong about climate science; the only thing that matters is to pass measures to speed the energy transition.

Understanding all this, Democrats can still run hard on climate change in party primaries. But in general elections and upon taking office, they need to make the subtle shift from talking about the climate crisis to talking about the benefits of clean energy — something that Mr. Polis, for one, is skilled at doing.

The polls have told us, over and over, that right below the surface in this country lurks a powerful consensus to go all out on the energy transition. The falling costs offer a fresh opportunity to talk about competition and freedom of choice in the market for electricity, a language that many Republicans understand.

That unanimous measure in South Carolina tells you that for the right policies advocated in the right language, the votes are there.

Opinion | A Prophet of Doom James Hanson Was Right About the Climate – by Justin Gillis – NYT

“June 23 turned out be a blistering day in Washington, and much of the nation was suffering through a drought and heat wave. Dr. Hansen took his seat in a Capitol Hill hearing room and laid out the scientific facts as best he understood them.He had thought up a good line the night before, during the Yankees game, but in the moment he forgot to deliver it.

When the hearing ended, though, reporters surrounded him, and he remembered.  “It is time to stop waffling so much,” he said, “and say that the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here.”

His near certainty that human emissions were already altering the climate caught the attention of a sweltering nation, catapulting Dr. Hansen to overnight fame. That year, 1988, would go on to be the hottest in a global temperature record stretching back to the 19th century.With the perspective of three decades, it is fair to ask: How right was his forecast?”

. . . .

“So while his temperature forecast was not flawless, in a larger sense, Dr. Hansen’s 1988 warning has turned out to be entirely on target. As emissions have soared, the planet has warmed relentlessly, just as he said it would; 1988 is not even in the top 20 warmest years now. Every year of this century has been hotter.

The ocean is rising, as Dr. Hansen predicted, and the pace seems to be accelerating. The great ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are dumping ever-rising volumes of water into the sea. Coastal flooding is increasing rapidly in the United States. The Arctic Ocean ice cap has shrunk drastically.

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If his warning in 1988 had been met with a national policy to reduce emissions, other countries might have followed, and the world would be in much better shape.      . . . . “

David Lindsay:  Thank you Justin Gillis. Here is one of my favorite comments at the NYT.com:

Steve
New Mexico

Words don’t quite convey just how accurate Hansen’s predictions were. See
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/06/30-years-after-han…
for a graph comparing his three scenarios with what actually happened. How anyone can look at that graph and claim Hansen was “wrong” in his predictions, as several commenters here have already done, is beyond me. Science is not a matter of opinion. Human-caused climate change is as real and undeniable as gravity.